Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I’ve mentioned before that I like doing lifting programs. I’ve got a new routine I really like and I just wanted to give a shoutout to these dumbbells from Bowflex, which I’ve had for one or two years. Each one adjusts from 5 to 52.5 lbs., and it’s easy to change them. If you’re gaining strength, it’s great to be able to increase the weight in small increments — 2.5 lbs. at a time for the first 25 lbs. They are a little pricey at $299 (eligible for Prime), but they replace a set of dumbbells, so if you think they would be useful for you I would definitely give them a try. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

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Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Wrap Top with Collar

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Happy Friday! This wrap top looks like a great top as we head into fall — lightweight but long sleeved and super soft. I like the collar and the sliiiight puff to the sleeves, as well as the top-of-the-hip length. I’d wear it with all kinds of tailored trousers and skirts (ankle, bootcut, flared, straight, midi, flare, pencil). It’s available in four colors, sizes XXS-XXL, at J.Crew, where it’s marked down to $27. (Incidentally, lots of markdowns right now — some older pieces are 75% off, and they’re offering 40% off the new stuff.) Pictured:  Wrap top with collar

This Halogen top is a pretty good dupe in plus sizes (it also comes in regular and petite sizes), and this isn’t terribly similar but I’ve always liked this plus-size cardigan with a drawstring detail.

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Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

Coffee Break: Convertible Backpack and Crossbody

convertible work bag - from reader favorite Lodis! backpack to crossbody We’re overdue to update our post a few years ago on the best backpacks for work, but a good friend prefers them for ergonomic reasons so I always seem to be keeping an eye out. This convertible backpack (and crossbody and top handle bag) looks great — particularly considering it’s from reader favorite brand Lodis, which always has intelligently designed bags. It has an exterior zip pocket as well as an interior zip pocket and two slip pockets, and has a top two-way zip. Nice. It’s $348, available at Nordstrom, Zappos, and eBags in oxblood (pictured), army green, and a saddle brown suede.

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Thursday’s Workwear Report: Popper Waist Peg Trousers

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

how to wear high waisted pants to workHigh-waisted pants are coming back in, and this $68 pair looks like a great option to try the trend for a reasonable price (although, as I’ve noted before, high-waisted skirts can be a bit easier to get the fit right). The trick to a high-waisted style is pairing it with the right top — you don’t want too much volume. Look instead for slim t-shirts and blouses that are easily tucked, or even look for a great bodysuit (J.Crew has a ton of them right now, for some reason). Cropped tops are almost never appropriate for the office, but if layered with a tank top and a high-waisted bottom like this (so, no skin showing), they just might work. (More like this one or this one, NOT this one.) The pictured trousers are $68, come in sizes 0-12, and are available in four colors (with some sizes and colors selling out already). Popper Waist Peg Trousers

Looking for something similar in plus sizes? These $40 pants come in sizes 12-24.

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Suit of the Week: Talbots

stylish navy herringbone suit For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

If you’re on the hunt for a subtle but stylish navy herringbone suit, Talbots has a great one now. As always, I like that it comes in a huge range of sizes (regular, petite, plus, and plus size petites), and it’s always nice to find them 25% off. There are matching pants, a dress, and the two button blazer, all priced between $134 and $231 today. Italian Luxe Knit Herringbone Suiting

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(Don’t forget to check out our recent roundup of how to build a work wardrobe at Talbots!)

Weekend Wednesday: Where to Shop for “Tough Girl Chic” Clothes

where to shop for tough girl chic clothingI have some mom friends who are really (really) into Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines type of preppiness — and I thought it might be fun to round up different stores selling “weekend vibe” clothes in different personalities for our ongoing Weekend Wednesdays series. After all, we’ve talked in the past about the weekend you vs. the weekday you — as well as sharing our best tips for upgrading your weekend clothes and cultivating style in general. I tend to associate Lily et al. with the summer months, so we’ll save preppy weekend looks for next spring — and instead let’s start with the weekend vibe of tough girl chic, which has always been one of my preferred options,

Let’s back up a bit, though: As a reminder, there was an old style book I had where the author (CNN style commentator Elsa Klensch) talked about how “[m]any successful businesswomen I know tap into their private visions of themselves and express that inner being in their weekend wear. … On weekends, I want to be softer, more romantic. My fantasy in the summer is to look as though I just stepped out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel wearing Gatsby-style long skirts and gently flowing chiffon scarves.”

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