The Best Work Bags for Interviews, Commutes, Your First Day of Work, and Beyond

best work bags of 2018Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

What do you think are the best work bags, readers? How does your answer change if you’re looking for a great tote bag for an interview, your first day of work, business travel, and beyond? Who do you think makes for the best tote bags for work, interviews, and beyond? For today’s roundup of the best work bags I’m mostly featuring fun, happy prints and colors, but if you’re looking for a neutral, basic bag we’ve rounded up some great Hall of Famers below as well. As I’ve noted before, I think the best professional tote bags in general may be leather (more polished), a room for a laptop or possibly a legal-size notebook, and have intelligent details like feet, keyfob chains, interior pockets, and more. By contrast, whenever looking for a great tote bag for an interview (especially a day of interviews like with OCI) I’ve appreciated tote bags nylon (lightweight) but structured (non-floppy, stand up by themselves on the floor), large enough for a folder (for copies of your resume), and are mostly a solid color without brash logos.  Some of the most neutral, timeless options if you’re looking for the best work bags include these, pictured below:best work bags of 2018!

 

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The Hunt: Cute Flats for the Office

cute flats for the officeSure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

This isn’t a typical Hunt for us — I started doing a roundup of classic pointy toe flats, but then decided to branch out — so each category includes several options. Readers, how often do you wear flats to work? Are they a commuting shoe for you or an all-day shoe? Have you bought any comfortable, cute flats for the office lately?

Looking for comfortable heels for work? Don’t miss our Guide to Comfortable Heels for a roundup of readers’ favorite brands!

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Tool of the Trade: When to Trust Online Reviews (Fakespot Review)

when to trust online reviewsI sometimes wonder, “What would I do without online reviews?” because I rely on them so much (for example, as a very frequent Amazon Prime user). When I’m looking for a new bra or shoes or a flash drive or a book (ha, remember when Amazon was about books?), I note the average rating and often read a few of the reviews. At Amazon, I’ll often use “4 stars & up” as a search filter. Recently, I was looking for something for undereye circles, and besides the usual suspects, my search turned up a bunch of products from brands I’ve never heard of — and they had thousands of positive reviews. (Some of the products appeared to be the same ones as others sold under different names, which seemed like a red flag). Around the same time, I came across a site called Fakespot, which proposes to solve the problem of how to spot fake reviews on Amazon and other sites. It quickly analyzes online reviews for Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor (especially relevant after its recent controversy), and Apple’s App Store, and grades each one from A–F. A indicates 90%+ reliable reviews and reviewers. After it takes into the account the real vs. questionable reviews for a particular product you enter, Fakespot gives you an “adjusted rating.”

I tested out Fakespot for a few of those eye serums I saw and got some interesting results regarding when to trust online reviews for beauty products:

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How to Cut the Cord: The Streaming Services And Devices to Consider

how to cut the cordCutting the cord and freeing yourself from that monthly cable bill is becoming more and more popular — people choose to do it not only to save money, but to avoid dealing with cable companies, who have earned their industry the title of most disliked in the country (along with ISPs). Kat recently decided to cut the cord, and I haven’t had a cable subscription since at least 2007. (My son probably doesn’t even know what cable is.) Still, finding out HOW to cut the cord can be a little nervewracking — so today we’re rounding up which streaming services you should consider, as well as which devices you may need.

At my house, we stream Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and we enjoyed a few months of Showtime … after I signed up through Prime Video and then forgot to cancel the free trial. We also use our huge DVD collection, borrow DVDs from the library (mainly Blu-ray), buy the Blu-ray versions of our favorite movies (I feel old saying those things), and watch various TV clips on YouTube, from Key & Peele to The Graham Norton Show. DVDs aside, there are so many great alternatives to cable that considering all the options can be really confusing. Still, that’s a good problem to have.how to cut the cord - image of a cable remote

Here are details of the main services and devices that can help you cut the cord for good:

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The Hunt: Classic Sheath Dresses for Work

classic sheath dresses for workSure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

For spring and summer, classic dresses for work are often the easiest thing to throw on — particularly if you keep a blazer and cardigan and a pair or two of classic pumps or comfortable heels at the office, you can almost create a work uniform from the sheath dress. (In fact, in our four-week work outfit challenge we dared you to try wearing the same sheath dress four different ways during the four weeks!) Particularly for summer, note that slipshorts are a reader favorite for comfortable layering under sheath dresses; if you want something to suck you in a bit more you may want to check out shaping shorts like these from Spanx. (If your office is extremely conservative, do check out our guide to pantyhose — and keep in mind that going sleeveless may be controversial in your office, so keep a cardigan or blazer close at hand if you’re new.)

Pictured above: some of our Hall of Famers! Clockwise from the largest: one / two / three

We’ve rounded up a ton of options below (including ones in a wide range of sizes, sheath dresses with pockets or sleeves, and more!) but I’d love to hear from you — what are your favorite dresses to wear to work in 2018? Do you feel like black dresses are classic — or is the color too heavy for warmer weather? Does your summer work uniform include a ton of dresses — and which are your favorites? 

classic sheath dresses for work in 2018

 

Hall of Famers: one / two / three / four / five

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The Hunt: Nude-For-You Pumps

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Tis the season, ladies — to do a nude-for-you pump roundup! As we’ve noted before, a shoe that is a close match for your natural leg tone is a great way to elongate your leg and make it look like it goes for miles — of course you can always just wear a beige, tan, or brown shoe as a neutral as well (regardless of whether it matches your skin tone).  We’ve rounded up something for everyone, hopefully — affordable nude-for-you pumps, dark brown pumps, light beige pumps, medium brown pumps, and some super light pink pumps for the pasty-legged among us (including me!). Readers, are you in the market for a new nude-for-you pump? Which ones did you wear into the ground last year?

Some Hall of Famers, pictured above (clockwise): one / two / three / four

Psst: looking for nude flats? Check this roundup.

nude-for-you pumps 2018

Hall of Famers, pictured above, top row: one / two / three / four // bottom row: one / two / three / four

For our featured nude-for-you pumps this year, read on after the jump…

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