How to Style a Sweater as a Layering Piece

how to style a cardigan as a layering pieceI recently saw some interesting photos at Banana Republic of sweaters styled as a layering piece, and since it IS that season where you may or may not need a sweater or cardigan, depending on temperature, wind, humidity, office AC, etc., I thought it might make an interesting discussion. If you’re not actively wearing the sweater, how do you style it? Do you wrap it around your shoulders or your waist, or do you just carry it in a bag? This can be very office-specific as well as location-specific, but here are the basic questions: Are there ways to style a cardigan that are “classic,” or does the sweater-as-accessories-look read a certain way to you, like preppy, casual, or (ahem) dated? Do you prefer to just throw a cardigan in your bag for your commute if you’re not wearing it? (In the past, we’ve talked more generally about cardigans in our guide to stylish cardigans for the office, and we’ve also discussed ways to button cardigans.)

For my $.02, I think both looks above are way too casual for a conservative office. If I needed to shed a layer before returning to my office I’d be far more likely to throw both arms of the cardigan over my shoulders, like below. But while I see a lot of this look in real life (enough that I’d call it classic!), I see hardly any images in the styled annals of Pinterest and style blogs, which makes me wonder if people see it as outdated. (Refinery 29 has their “cool girl” take on how to style sweaters that includes a very sloppy version of the below looks…)

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How to Commute to Work on a Bike and Still Look Polished

how to commute to work on a bike

If you’ve decided to be more active (and get a little stress relief), save money, and feel like you’re doing something to help the environment by no longer relying on your car to get to the office, you may be wondering how to commute to work on a bike and still look polished. We recently received a question from Reader M, who asked:

Can you do a post on professional attire for bike commuters with minimal resources? There has to be a better way than my bursting waterproof backpack, folded blazer, messy hair, and muddy shoes.
Specific issues:
– Keep dress shoes clean.
– Waterproof/helmetproof hairstyle.
– Managing sweat, rain, etc.
– Keeping my suit/dress clean.
– No cabinets to store spare clothes, hair tools, etc.
– Bike stays at a public outdoor park & ride so I must carry all my saddlebags & supplies all day.

It’s been quite a while since we’ve talked about biking to work (we’ve also discussed more specific topics like backpacks for commutinghow to stay cool on your commute, and how to lighten your load), so today we’re sharing advice from me — a lawyer in a midsize Midwestern city who rides a bike for exercise and occasionally commutes to the office by bike — and Corporette® reader (and CorporetteMoms writer) April, who has commuted to work on bike both in NYC (because it was faster than public transit) and to the train in New Jersey (both for the exercise and to enjoy the outdoors). 

Here are some key tips on safety, equipment, where to store your bike, how to plan for a smooth ride, and other tips for how to commute to work on a bike:

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Near or Far: Do the Benefits of Living Closer to Work Outweigh the Cons?

benefits of living closer to work - image from streeteasy campaignThere’s an amusing Streeteasy ad campaign in a lot of NYC subway stations right now, with Venn(ish) diagrams like this one, and I thought it might make for an interesting discussion here. Why did you choose to live where you do? What do you think the benefits of living closer to work are — vs. farther away? Do you prefer to have some separation between work and home? In general, what was the most important factor for you in choosing where to live — living closer to work, being in a good school district, having an amazing apartment, or something else? We’ve talked before about how where you choose to live can be one of the most important money decisions you make, as well as how to decorate your home and even when to buy a home, but we haven’t really talked about the pro and cons of living closer to work or farther from work.

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The Best Commuting Shoes in 2018: Stylish, Comfortable, AND Practical?

best commuting shoes for women 2018Reader D wrote in, asking us to update our older post on the best commuting shoes — so let’s discuss, particularly since the weather is finally getting warmer! Here’s her question:

Can you please update the ‘The Best Commuting Shoes‘ post? I left my Born Crown Collection nadine’s at a hotel by accident a few months ago and I’m so devastated!! They are no longer available and I loved them so much. Please share updates…….I’m searching for a replacement and need help! Thank you!!!!!

Interesting. (The shoe she mentions is sold out, but you can see it here if you’re curious. This option looks pretty similar, FWIW…) A few notes on what I think makes for the best commuting shoes in 2018 (particularly so you don’t look like the sad model in the stock photo at top)…:

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Commuting Hall of Fame: Penny Boot

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Happy Weekend! This Sam Edelman boot has been around for a thousand years, and it’s very highly rated everywhere. It doesn’t go on sale very often, so this is a great opportunity to snap it up. Amazon has it as low as $102, Nordstrom has some lucky sizes in a price range of $84 to $149, and at Zappos they’re $149 as well. These come in a few colors, and in wide sizes as well as an extensive size range in the regular width, 4-13. They’d be great if you’re looking for a boot to commute to and from work and to wear on slushy and/or rainy days. Sam Edelman Penny Boot

Psst: check out our latest roundup of the best knee-high boots for commuting, work, and more.

2017 Update: We’re adding this boot to our Workwear Hall of Fame because it keeps coming out in more colors and sizes and getting rave reviews.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support! 

The Hunt: Waterproof, Weatherproof Shoes for Work

weatherproof-shoes-for-the-office

2018 Update: We still stand by a lot of these recommendations for weatherproof shoes for work — we’ve also updated some of the categories and links.

Sure, we all know what basics 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.

I don’t think we’ve had a good discussion on weatherproof shoes for work in far too long — so let’s discuss, ladies. Do you own both rain boots and snow boots where you are — or just rain boots, with the assumption that if it’s that snowy out you can probably work from home? What makes a shoe acceptable to wear all day at work, versus just for your commute? Do you have any rules about changing out of bad weather commuting shoes (e.g., no stopping at the coffee room before you change — or no big meetings until you’re in your “office shoes” — or do you actually do the thing where you change outside the office, like in the lobby of your building)? For those of you who are consultants, in court, or otherwise away from home base often — what do you do?

(Pictured at top, clockwise from top left: tall boot with laces / Chelsea / short with back bow / tall bow / bootie / heeled bootie)

For my $.02, I have an almost surreal memory from my lawyer days of having to review documents at the office one weekend when it was truly horrible outside — so bad that I took the subway instead of calling for a car. I may have had to take a different subway line than I normally took because weather was so bad — I remember getting out of an unfamiliar subway exit on one of those interior, tight streets around Wall Street and seeing snow piled everywhere, several feet thick, and I felt like the last few blocks to work were a true trek.  It could have been worse — a few months earlier, I had happened to buy super ugly Lands’ End snow boots on sale on a friend’s recommendation, and I was so grateful I had them!

Psst: we’ve also discussed how to do business casual in cold weather, as well as how to buy a great winter coat.

Before we get to the featured weatherproof shoes for work, I thought I’d round up some weatherproof, waterproof options in special categories:

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