Coffee Break – Catherine Collection File Folders

DiVOGA Catherine Collection File Folders, 6pkWhile manila folders are great for most things, every so often I like to buy a pack of brightly colored, festive folders — I usually use them for a project that I’m constantly pulling out the folder, or for personal paperwork (healthcare fun, paycheck stubs, etc.), or more. The result is that I can immediately find the folder, and — now that I’ve been doing it for a few years — I have this lovely, crazy, file drawer full of brightly colored, mismatched folders — and when I pull out an old folder, I fondly associate it with whatever was going on in my life at the time. I’m loving the look of the entire Catherine collection from DiVoga, especially the file folders — bright, beautiful blues in feminine patterns.  (If you are not so into the “mismatched” look, note that there is an entire coordinating suite — binders, letter holders, laptop cases, notepads, and more.)  These file folders are $4.99 for a pack of 6.  DiVOGA Catherine Collection File Folders, 6/pk



  1. I love these, and any other cute, personalized, or otherwise decorative office supplies. It brings out the 12 year old girl in me who would use the paper bag book covers just so I could be creative and decorate it myself.

    • Yes!!! If I ever have my own firm, I will get nice colored accessories like these!

  2. Christina :

    If you want a more budget friendly option, Target recently had pink/black/white decorative folders in a similar style. They were 6 for $1.00 and included labels. Look for them in the “dollar section” at the front of the store.

  3. I love these! I’m addicted to office supplies, and this made me smile on a very un-fun day.

  4. I looooove these but I have a threadjack!

    Earlier this month I had two offers for (public interest, legal) summer internships. I was really interested in both and was advised to ask if I could intern in the fall at whichever one I turned down. In my email turning down one offer, I said that I was still really interested in the organization and asked if they would consider me for a fall internship. The intern coordinator was going on vacation right after my response was due so when I did not hear back, I didn’t think much of it and waited. It’s now been three weeks. I’m still interested in the position and I wonder whether (1) they were interested but forgot about it, (2) they don’t usually hire semester interns or (3) they don’t like being a second choice and I’m now out.

    I’d like to follow up with the intern coordinator before I start applying for other fall internships (yes, some start applications now) but have no idea how to phrase the email. Since they gave me an offer for summer, they must have liked me, but I don’t want to be presumptuous. I’d appreciate any advice.

    • I would probably send an email to your contact reiterating how much you enjoyed meeting with them and learning more about the organization, etc. during the interview process. Let them know that you have begun the process of seeking an internship for the fall semester, that you would like to be considered for a fall internship with the organization, and ask what steps you should take to apply.

    • North Shore :

      It’s really early for hiring fall interns in the agency where I work, so it probably just fell to the bottom of the in-box. I’d suggest you follow up with “deadlines approaching with other applications for the fall” or “my school needs to know so I can apply for credit” or something like that. I’d phrase it like a formal application for a fall externship, just to be safe.

  5. Speaking of bright, colorful things, I was wondering about bright, colorful clothing. The discussion MM and I were having last week about styling sheath dresses in a more conservative way really got me thinking about the appropriateness of my work wardrobe (btw, thank you MM, another one and Lola for your kind comments).

    As many of you know, I wear hijab and I dress pretty conservatively, including sometimes wearing abayas/jilbabs to work. I sometimes also wear kameez/kurta on top of dress pants to work and I *try* to keep them muted. Like today, I’m wearing wide-legged navy pinstripe pants with a knee-length kameez that’s caramel/tan with a navy print, which I topped off with a navy hijab. How ethnically can one dress at work and still maintain a professional look? I try to wear very simple cuts with simple prints/solid colors in non-shocking colors with very little/no embellishments. I try not to wear bright colored clothing because there’s just so. much. fabric. involved and I usually use my headscarf to brighten up my look. Am I dressing appropriately for a business casual office?

    • Anonymous :

      (1) Yes, you are dressing appropriately for a business casual office.

      (2) Your outfits sound beautiful!

      (3) Frankly, I’m envious – I don’t belong to a culture or faith that has such gorgeous yet full-er-coverage clothing options such as kameez/kurta, and I wish I did.

    • It might depend on where you work. I went to school and worked in Michigan, and there was a significant minority of professional women who wore various levels of Islamic attire (is there a general term for this?). While those women might have been the only person in the office wearing this type of clothing, it was pretty common to see women of every level wearing it, and I think it was accepted by almost everyone as “normal.” In this situation, I think you would want to take a cue on pattern, color, print, etc from other women in the office, even if they didn’t wear ethnic attire.

      Now I work in a different midwestern state, and the only women who wear hijab, kameez, etc tend to be recent immigrants who don’t often come in contact with the downtown office set – it would be very unusual to see these clothes in a professional environment. I would probably veer toward very conservative colors, prints, and textures in this environment, since the clothes themselves would be so strange. Although, if you’ve been there long enough (say, more than 3-5 years) and tend to work with the same people all the time, I think you can liven it up more because people will have gotten used to you as a person.

      • You bring up good points. I’m in engineering, so there are very few women here. The younger engineers and support administrative staff wear brighter colors while the more seasoned engineers wear more conservative colors. I have to say tho, since I joined more than 3 years ago, the women around here (all 5 of them, lol, well, it feels like 5) have started wearing brighter colors and heels because of me.

        Our offices are in the NY metropolitan region but seeing as how there are so few women in engineering, let alone those who observe Islamic attire (I don’t know of a general term because we mix cultural and religious clothing) that it’s hard to gauge what I’m doing.

    • It sounds fine to me. I like the idea of using the headscarf to brighten up the look–I’ve seen some really gorgeous headscarfs doing this on my commute and I’m always a little jealous that I can’t wear them (well, I guess I could, theoretically). Though I have noticed most of the headscarfs I see are either a brighter color or a pattern, but not both at once. So maybe that’s what counts as appropriately business casual?

      • Well, that’s the theory I’m working under. I try to leave the glittery, sequined headscarves for the weekend, lol.

    • Agree that your outfits sound beautiful and perfectly appropriate. We have a female attorney in our BigLaw office that dresses very similar to what you described (we’re a business casual office in Texas) and no one even thinks twice about her attire.

    • I think it depends on what the other women in your office are wearing. I live in Florida and people tend to be more flamboyant with their dress than they might be elsewhere. I think you could easily wear a brightly colored kameez with colored pants and no one would blink an eye. That said, the Florida look would probably not work in many states.

      • Another good point. Sigh, I don’t want to dress like the other women here – they wear khakis/cargo pants with men’s style leather shoes or sneakers. Or tapered dress pants from 80’s. The men are all appropriately dressed unless it’s casual Friday or they’re visiting the field – dress pants, shirt and tie. These women are walking around in polo shirts! It’s very common in engineering for women to “dress like men” as much as possible and while I’m not a “girly-girl”, that is just not me. So I guess I’m battling ethnic clothing as well as overly casual women’s attire in the office.

        • I can empathize. I work in a government office that is not much better and just wear what makes me happy. So what if I am the only woman in my department who wears skirts and dresses! I get a lot of compliments and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happened to you.

      • Now THIS I have to agree with. Visited the Miami office of my firm, could not BELIEVE what the female attorneys and staff were wearing. Would definitely NOT have flown in my buttoned-up New England office. But they looked good…so I guess that’s really all that matters. :-)

        Also Ru, I think your outfits sound lovely. And as I sit here shivering in my not warm enough office…quite appealing.


    • I guess I’m a little late to the party so I don’t know if anyone will read this but here goes. I am muslim, don’t wear a headscarf but I also dress conservatively and face the challenge of finding work appropriate, fitted, stylish but appropriately modest and conservative clothing . It helps that one should generally dress modestly for work any way. The biggest challenge I think is wearing pants all the time without falling into a rut. You sound much more creative and put together than I could ever be as I throw on whatever is clean and pressed! One day I will make outfits… Getting to your topic, I am very cautious about wearing anything too ethnic. Not because it would be inappropriate for business casual but because I do think it affects how people perceive you and I don’t want people to focus on ethnicity at work. I prefer to stay just this side of what might be appropriate for someone who is not muslim/south asian. So while Indian styles/tunics/kurtas are “in” to some extent, I would wear the simplest, plainest ones possible. Someone else may be able to get away with embellishments for fun, but I think on me, at work, it becomes too much. I do love fancy sleeves though — bell sleeves, dolman sleeves, puffy sleeves. Of course, I work in an office where a pashmina/shawl (for warmth as much as style) is perceived as “ethnic” and “blanket.” I work with a lot of men. This blindness can also work to my advantage, as many of them probably have little sense of the difference between a standard issue blouse and a kurta. You sound like you are doing fine and look great. Could you have some tops made that are more western in pattern/cut but the length that you prefer? A bright headscarf is a great idea because it really adds color to your face, like a great lipstick.

      • Thanks for your response. I’m very obviously South Asian, so I can’t separate myself from my ethnicity – I bought tunics from Old Navy to wear to work and my coworkers complimented me on my salwar kameez. I do have some custom-made kurta/kameez – solid color georgette fabric and some other muted prints. Thanks for your suggestions!

    • 1. Your styling sounds great. Never tried tan/navy but am sure it looks classy
      2. Headscarf is the best way to bring colour near your face (since jewellery would be a no-go). Maybe try to see whether headscarf can bring in colour #3?
      3. Don’t shy away from colour. Maybe wear a less impactful scarf if you wear, say a red top?
      4. Do you wear lipstick? I wear berry shades (Indian/desi skin) that add colour to my face especially if I am in black/white type colours
      5. What about shoes? Maybe add colour there?

      By the way, when you wear hijaab, the focus is really 100% on your face if hair/neck covered up so I’d assume brows/lippie are important for you!

      PS – you sound awfully stylish, not sure i’d ever be able to dream up the combos you sometimes describe

      • Ru

        Pricey, but these would be great given your modest dress code. Or you can get similar stuff elsewehere using her for inspiration. This line has some nice long sleeved jersey shirts too similar to a DvF one featured on this site a while ago. Check them out!,default,sc.html

      • Ru

        Check out Tory Burch’s tunics (=kameez:) for inspiration if you haven’t yet done so!

        • Love these – can’t wait to be rolling in enough dough to be able to purchase some of these!

      • Oh yes, eyeliner, polished eyebrows and some sort of gloss/lipstain is verrry important. Thanks to Corporette, I’ve introduced purple and plum shoes into my repertoire =). I’m glad to hear that you’re suggesting more color for me, I always feel like I’m too brightly dressed. Oh and I don’t dream up the combos, I’m just used to dressing in sets, lol. My kameez had navy in it so I paired it with navy pants and scarf and presto, lol.

    • Your clothes and styling suggestions always sound gorgeous and perfectly work-appropriate to me! I’m inspired by your color combinations, as someone who is trying very hard to force a little color in to my black, grey, navy and beige wardrobe.

      Regarding work-appropriateness, I think that your clothes sound great as long as you are not working somewhere where everyone else is wearing suits – they fall perfectly into any business-casual dress code. I have a Muslim friend who works in the financial industry and has to wear suits every day – I know its tough because she can only wear pant suits and really gets sick of them and the lack of variety! But, like I said, as long as you aren’t supposed to be wearing a suit, your clothing sounds great to me.

  6. Accountress :

    Off-topic, but I just want to squee about my manager. I spent the first three months of my Big 4 assurance job with a manager who knew just what to do and not do to make me miserable. From giving no positive feedback or constructive criticism, to barring the work-assigner from giving me anything but one type of activity (which I got little to no coaching on from my senior), I spent 3 months half-hoping to get fired (so I could get out of my lease), counting down the days by thinking “I’ve been employed for 40% of the week- go me!”

    But then I got transferred to my current manager’s team, and it was like Dorothy- stepping from black-and-white into Technicolor. Feedback flowed in both directions, more activities were thrown my way, and his interest in each teammember’s performance was remarkable. After I mentioned that a particular Excel formula was illogical because it didn’t cover all possibilities, and offered an alternative, he turned me into his Excel protege- encouraging me to find different methods for completing work, and teaching our team simple and easy shortcuts. Other managers and seniors managers are now requesting me to assist them, when a year ago they hesitated to accept my help because I didn’t have as much experience as others (even those who had started with me.)

    He understands how my brain operates. I can skip from Step B to Step H in an explanation and he won’t blink an eye- but he also encourages me to think about the audience and of how best to phrase an explanation to get maximum understanding. And he understands how I work best- when I got in today (after being out sick on Friday), I found a sticky-note on my desk: “Accountress, While I am out on my holiday, please feel free to use my office. I know how you value being undisturbed. -Manager”

    I’ll be celebrating my one-year anniversary on his team in another week, and I’ve just been alerted that I’ll (thankfully) stay here for at least another 6 months. I know that it’s important to gain exposure to other managers and reviewers- but all the same, I’m glad to stick with him. Mad props to all you Corporettes who have been awesome managers and mentors to those of us who’ve been thrown into the corporate pool!

    • Accountress, so happy for you! That is great news. I hope you have opportunities to tell his bosses that he is a great manager. I’m desperately trying to leave a job that I’ve been miserable at for over a year because of a bad management situation. Here’s to hoping I can find somewhere with a manager like yours!

    • That’s so great! I’m happy for you!

    • Accountress, that’s awesome. Good managers are hard to come by, especially if they also jive with your work style. Yay! :)

      • I’m very enviously, since my manager is a clone of your first one and the opposite of your second. Congratulations to finding an environment that lets you bloom.

  7. I haven’t used manila folders in years. Redwelds for almost all work projects/case files; hanging folders for my home files. How do you all store your manila folders?

  8. Kat SOS!
    The 403 error is still happening on my work computer-it’s been that way since last wednesday. help!

    • Anonymous :

      I can’t get here from home. :(

    • I went to my internship at the USAO today, and I got this error as well (on both Chrome & Firefox). The site obviously works just fine from home.

      Perhaps it was good, because I probably shouldn’t be wasting my internship time on blogs…

      • SO tempted to ask whether you are at SDNY or EDNY… cause at one of those the internet situation is miserable in general…

        • I’m starting to think we go to the same law school. Although our internet situation at the USAO is not too bad — just issues with loading Lexis/Westlaw sometimes.

          • Haha, I doubt it, but let’s not out ourselves just in case! I don’t want everyone knowing about my secret corporette life… I hope you are enjoying the USAO, that was over way too fast for me :)

    • Mine too

    • Kanye East :

      Same here.

      • Sorry guys — I keep making changes that should help and then they don’t help. Meanwhile my tech guy has stopped returning my emails, and for some people the problem is going away on its own. I’m really frustrated about this also.

        • I had been having trouble and then it stopped. Starting this week, the site isn’t loading for me without my turning off scripting (which was my fix before as well).

          • Scripting? Tell me more… is it a setting on your browser? Not familiar with that one at all. Tx!

  9. I have a completely unrelated question. My 3 year nephew wants to get a “Labradoodle”, which I am told is a cross breed between a Labradoor Retriever and a Poodle.

    Are there reputable kennels that sell these, or do you just have to luck out and find someone who has a mutt that looks like one of these?

    It is coming up on his birthday and I live in New York City, and my nephew in New Jersey, so I would like to go see one nearby.

    • There are breeders who sell these, but the bloodlines vary widely. I’d definitely research the breeder, and look at online forums.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Ok, there are really very few things I get preachy about, but unless there is some specific reason your nephew wants a labradoodle (i.e., because they are hypoallergenic and he has pet allergies), please please consider adopting a puppy from the humane society or other rescue organization. A three y.o. does not know the difference between a labradoodle and another lab mix. And lab mixes are a frequent find at rescue places. With the rescue organizations so full of puppies without homes, please consider adopting one of those as opposed to paying a breeder.

      • This. And even if you do have an allergy issue that is prompting the desire for a labradoodle or goldendoodle, see if you can find one through a rescue organization. Also consider standard poodles, which also are hypoallergenic (and more reliably so than goldendoodles or labradoodles), and which you might have more luck finding at a shelter.

        I assume you have discussed this with the child’s parents? If not, this is a really, really bad idea.

        • Oh, and even if you have discussed it with the child’s parents, they really should be involved in picking out the dog, since they are going to be its primary caretakers.

          • Anonymous :

            Labradoodles, along with many other purebreds, also show up at the shelter. Let them know what you’re looking for and they’ll either call you when one comes in or put you in touch with a rescue agency.

    • You can defintely find a reputable breeder for Labradoodles (although I have no recommendations, sorry). They are bred as non-allergic, non-shedding service dogs. There are a few labradoodles in my neighborhood and they are very sweet and well behaved. Great family dogs, especially for families with allergy issues.

      Good luck!

      You can also try for homeless ones, but you probably won’t have much luck as they are really popular. You will probably have to search under lab or poodle though, because labradoodle is not a recognized breed.

    • I’m pretty sure there are reputable breeders for Labradoodles. They are frequently used as service/guide/therapy dogs because their hair doesn’t cause allergic reactions in most people (thanks to the poodle genes). I know you have to look out for hip dysplasia because both breeds are prone to it. You might be better off with a cute mutt if you want a specific look, because the breed hasn’t standardized yet.

      Have you considered a rescue or adoption? There are tons of puppies out there with great personalities. Check out to see who’s in your local shelter


      I attached the link for a website for a labradoodle rescue in Montclair. Not sure if that is close to you, but maybe worth a try.

    • I will third the urging to go with a rescue…lots of great labra-mix puppies looking for a good home.

      But — if you do go with a breeder, please make sure to ask about the following things:
      (1) Are the puppies raised in the home — are the breeders also raised in the home (this tells you more about the breeder’s practices than anything else).
      (2) What traits have the bloodline been bred for.
      (3) How frequently are the breeding dogs bred.
      (4) What type of adoption screening do they do (they SHOULD do adoption screening, if they are reputable).
      (5) Will they ship a dog by airplane (if they say yes, be suspicious).
      (6) How much do they charge? (if it is too cheap, be VERY suspicious.)

      Reputably bred labradoodles and, frankly, any “designer” or purebred dog are expensive. Thing $2500-$3000 at least for a puppy. And frankly, though this isn’t true necessarily for labradoodles, a lot of the “mutts” out there are healthier because purebred dogs can have problems.

      But please, please, please, whatever you do, don’t give in and get a dog from a pet store or a suspicious breeder — not only is the puppy likely to have serious health problems, you’ll be feeding a highly irresponsible and poorly run industry. Though you pay more up front, the investment in buying a healthy, well-bred dog will be WELL worth it over the life of the dog.

      Oh…and pet adoption rules.

      • Agree with the myriad of postings urging adoption/rescue of these types of dogs. I adopted 2 goldendoodles 6 months ago; the young family that bought them (not cheaply I might add) for allergy reasons found they still produced enough allergens that made their family miserable and they needed to be crated in their basement fulltime. They don’t shed, but do require a serious grooming commitment. Because these are not purebred dogs, you really can’t know how “allergenic” they will be.

        My bigger concern with this kind of pet for a family with a 3 year old is that they are VERY high energy dogs that require a lot of exercise and grooming attention. Don’t get me wrong – I love my new dogs and wouldn’t trade them for anything, but they are some serious work and expense.

  10. I’m going to Prom this Saturday. Seriously. My friend’s husband is throwing her a surprise Prom for her birthday because she was reminiscing about how fun Prom was.

    Anyhow, I still have my old Prom dress and it stil fits (thank you, stretch fabric!). It was black lace with gold lame’ (early 1990s). What kind of shoes should I wear? I think I wore black the last time around, but am going for authentic. Anyone remember if people wore gold shoes? The whole thing is over the top, so I guess it doesn’t matter much.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I wore silver shoes to my prom!!

      Those clear ones were also really popular (year 2000).

    • I remember dyeables were in for my prom but I think it was a few years later than yours. I don’t really think you have to be too authentic. My guess is that others attending the prom will probably not all be from your exact age group so the attire will vary a bit.

    • In the late 90s, I had quite the collection of metallic shoes (mostly lame and horrendously ugly) that I broke out for prom and other high school dances.

    • I wore sparkly copper high heels to my late-90s high school prom and then immediately changed into flip flops so I could dance. Most of my friends did the same or went barefoot. So…a pedicure might be more important than the shoes themselves if you want to be authentic!

  11. Housecounsel :

    Are these folders too girly for the office? I love cute office supplies, too, but they don’t scream authoritative to me, and I can’t see a man using anything but the standard-issue office ones. I think I’d keep these at home.

    • Yeah. I considered for about half a second buying a few for work… but then decided they’re a little too elementary school.

      Home is a great place for them.

    • Yeah, I feel the same way. I saw this really cute tape dispense shaped like a stilleto, and one shaped like a purse and decided that it didn’t give a completely professional look so I passed!

    • Yeah, I feel the same way. I saw this really cute tape dispenser shaped like a stiletto, and one shaped like a purse and decided that it didn’t give a completely professional look so I passed!

    • divaliscious11 :

      What level are you? I guess I’d be concerned if I was very junior and not particularly confident in my skill set, but the more senior I get, the more comfortable I get letting my personality show. Besides, I AM a girl!

  12. Threadjack!

    How work appropriate are these shoes in black leather? I was afraid the pleats might make them a little casual looking:

    • These would be completely appropriate in my biz cas office.

    • AnonInfinity :

      They’d be perfectly appropriate for my office. It’s somewhere on the borderline between business casual and business.

  13. Threadjack! How work appropriate are these shoes in black leather? I was afraid the pleats might make them a little casual looking:

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