Coffee Break – Perry Street Kendra East/West Tote

Cole Haan - Perry Street Kendra East/West Tote (Palomino Snake Print) - Bags and Luggage6pm has two reader favorites* on sale today: both Stuart Weitzman and Cole Haan are up to 70% off. For today’s coffee break, I’m liking this Cole Haan tote/briefcase — the bag looks nice and roomy, as well as organized, and for those of us who dislike the messenger look, the shoulder straps are the perfect length. It comes in black, a brown leather (“Woodbury”), and a snake print as well as a gorgeous, gorgeous white snake print (pictured) — it’s really distinctive and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. 6pm’s big sister, Zappos, seems to be offering the same prices today, which range from $226.80 to $256.80 (originally $378-$428). Cole Haan – Perry Street Kendra East/West Tote (Palomino Snake Print) – Bags and Luggage

*Have you checked out The Corporette Guide to Comfortable Heels?



  1. Beautiful bag! It’s a rare to find a bag that is clearly professional, yet clearly fashionable and feminine!

    • *It’s rare . . . . D’oh!

    • Diana Barry :

      I love this bag. Does anyone have experience with the likelihood of this color to get scratched/stained?

      • You have to be VERY careful about wearing dark jeans/denim with a bag like this – the super-saturated indigo dye is almost impossible to remove! I have a lovely CH bag that I’ve had to have re-dyed (to no obvious detriment, though it cost me about $100) because of indigo pigment from denim. Other stuff like newsprint pretty much just wiped off. (I love this one though…)

        • re-dyed, you say? the same thing happened to a white leather bag I own, and I would love to be able to get rid of the indigo dye stain. can you give a hint as to the company that re-dyed the bag/how it was fixed?

          • Is it Cole Haan? Take it to the Cole Haan store and they’ll send it to their recommended cleaner. Same is true of other brands that have their own stand-alone stores.

        • The same happened to me – my white Cole Haan bag turned blue in places where it came in contact with dark jeans!
          Incidentally, the offending jeans were my most expensive pair – cheapie Jags and Ann Taylors did not transfer at all…
          Thanks Eponine for the CH cleaning tip.

      • I would think it should be okay. It’s not smooth leather, but snake textured. Not as likely to happen and also not as likely to be noticeable if it does.

        • s in Chicago :

          You’re probably right on it being less likely to transfer. I suspect the downside of the snake material, however, is that the bottom may be more likely to flake or peel.

          I wish all bags came with feet. It’s almost a crime to make such a beautiful light-colored bag and not add some protection on the bottom.

    • But whyyyy does it have to have awful gawdy gold hardware in black? I hate that almost all bags I have been able to find that are nice and professional have tacky gold hardware. I only wear silver-toned jewelry and cool colors, so I can never find a good bag I like. :-(

      • You know, just because you don’t like something doesn’t make it gaudy and awful and tacky. Do commenters like you even realize that you’ve just insulted the rest of the population who don’t share your exact tastes?

        • The hardware on that particular bag, in black is actually awful. It’s brassy toned, not a nice gold color. That was the type of gawdy, tacky gold I was talking about. Did not mean to insult you!

      • I don’t see anything tacky or gawdy about the hardware. It may not be your style, but there is nothing wrong with it. I love this bag in white. Must resist.


        check this, I don’t know how much you want to spend, but I have noticed Michael Kors has a good selection of black/colors with silver hardware in structured styles.

  2. Anyone have any tips on managing feelings of isolation while at work?

    Background: I recently moved positions within my company and am working for a completely different department. In my old department, everyone physically worked in one of two offices and we had a very dynamic, team-oriented environment. I really felt like I was a part of an effective team and loved having people around to bounce ideas off of and take coffee breaks with.

    In my new job, I am the only one in my department physically in my office. Everyone else works remotely from home or from another office location across the country. I have office “neighbors” from other departments, but they are largely a generation or two above me and we really don’t have much in common. I speak with my fellow new department members via phone or email, but I feel pretty “on my own” 90% of the time. Sometimes I’ll go through most of a day and realize I’ve only spoken to people on the phone, and not an actual person yet. I feel a bit ridiculous admitting this, but I get lonely sometimes. Has anyone ever been in this situation before? How did you handle it?

    I’m thinking of asking my boss (in a few months, when I’m more settled in my role) to work from home for a day or two each week. I think it may make me feel a little less lonely, since I could have some background noise (I can’t play music in my current office & I don’t think wearing headphones is very professional). Plus, I live alone, so it’s not like I’m used to having people around there anyway, the way I am in the office. I haven’t made up my mind up yet though.

    • karenpadi :

      We have a similar office. If no one else is interacting in person, it’s acceptable to not interact in person.

      Does your department have a weekly/monthly meeting? If so, I’d be sure to attend or lead the meeting. Also, I wouldn’t feel “limited” to just interacting with your department or your peers in the department. Go higher or lower up the food chain if you need interaction. Why not talk to the neighbors? If you are approaching them with the attitude of “ugh, you’re so old,” no wonder they don’t want to talk.

      I might even consider continuing to “visit” the old department for coffee breaks (just keep it on the DL–if no one interacts in the new department, I’m guessing no one notices when you are gone).

      • My new department has biweekly meetings, but they’re held via conference call (as everything else in this department seems to be). I do make an effort to be active in our discussions, though.

        I do try to engage my neighbors in conversation, but I’m not exaggerating when I say 75% of the people in my immediate vicinity are grandparents. I ask about the grandchildren and such, but I’m in my early 20’s and there’s really not a lot for us to discuss, aside from that.

        I have stopped over to see my old department a few times when I realize I need some real human interaction, and it helps a little bit. I do feel a little guilty about it though.

        I think I just need to adjust. I love working independently, but I do miss having someone to turn to and talk to every so often.

    • been there :

      Don’t feel rediculous. I felt the same way in my first job. The next assoicate in age to me was about 15 years older, and I received most of my assignments via email or typed memo. I am a total extrovert in the sense I derive energy from being around people. It was a life-sucker of a place to work in general, so I ended up getting a different job. In the short term, I got involved in a few professional organizations and found lunch meetings helped lessen my isolation. Sending quick emails/texts to similarly situated friends can also help. Finally, actually physically smiling can help lighten the mood.

      • I felt this way when I first left my firm for in-house. I missed the camraderie of having people my own age around me. Also the layout of the office was not conducive to socializing. I would suggest finding activities to do right after work so that you have interaction with people during the day – sports league, class at the gym, charity work, etc. My two cents would be not to take the work at home days. You may feel even more isolated. At least right now, you get to see people, even if you may not really have anything to say to them. At home, even that is gone.

    • Lonely too :

      I am in almost this exact situation but to make it even worse (even though it’s a good thing), my floor is very serene. Everyone is really calm, and the feeling is very “aaahhhh”. I’m a borderline extrovert and the silence, peace and lack of physical interaction kills me and if I’m not careful, it sucks my motivation. I now try to attend as many breakfast networking/carreer building meetings as possible because it helps me start some of my days solializing, make sure that I take regular breaks and walk outside (I’ve learned that a bit of sun and the sounds of outside help break that isolation bubble), get to know people on other floors who don’t work for my company so when I see them in the elevators or the lobby we chat about whatever for a few minutes, and try to make lunch plans with people whenever I can get out. All of it combined helps take the edge off.

    • soulfusion :

      I’ve encountered this at times as well and it is hard. I suggest setting up lunch dates or even quick coffee breaks with people. If there is someone in your new department you think you might click with, make the effort to crack through the silence. Also, take the time to walk through your old deparment. I’ve found popping by others offices can be a welcome break for the other person as well – just always ask if it is a good time to chat to give them a graceful out if they are jammed. You may find this encourages your former colleagues to stop by your office. Also – and this sounds totally corny – but a former co-worker and I would occasionally have “clean office” or “new office” parties when we had a break in workflow or moved to a new office (different floor/department/etc). Invite your former colleagues to your new digs so they will feel more comfortable casually stopping by. For some of us, the social interaction can really impact productivity. Good luck!

    • Oh ugh, I’m sorry. I’m completely introverted but I couldn’t deal with living alone and working alone all day! People need interaction! I think your request to work from home is fine. I also think that putting some photos or plants in your office will make you feel a bit more cheerful during the day.

      I’d also suggest that you should try to organize some sort of regular in-person meetings with your team. If not work meetings, then some sort of teambuilding/happy hour event where you all get together. You can’t collaborate well with people you never see.

    • I feel the same way, and honestly, reading this blog helps :)

      • It does, doesn’t it? It’s a virtual conversation throughout the day. Love it!

  3. Sydney Bristow :

    I LOVE this bag.

  4. Cute, Kat, but love the earlier Cole Haan that you featured even more– the Valise Jenna How did you like your purple one? I’m swooning over the “nougat” color, and have had twitchy fingers for over a week! :-O

    • Honestly I’m still assessing whether it’s the right bag for me — I’m normally busty but the pregnant bust and belly whammy is throwing off my assessment. thank goodness for the 365-day returns…

      • LMAO! I can relate! Wait till you get the big ol’ diaper bag when baby arrives. ;-) I’d love to have you do a post on your maternity wear advice. I have an 11 year old and a 6 year old and am *so* done with pregnancy/childbirth, but it would be good to hear what’s out there nowadays. I needed suits and professional wear with the first kid (clerking for a federal judge), and could wear jeans and other casual stuff to work with the 2nd kid (in-house at technology company). I swore by my Motherhood bootcut jeans… Wore them post-preg for months (even after I’d lost 25 of my 40lb weight gain); they were *that* cute!

  5. Crap. I just spent $150 on shoes. But seriously, how fantastic are these?

    • Diana Barry :

      Oh, those are AWESOME. Will brighten up any outfit!!!!!

    • AH! I love them, and I allllmost bought them, but I’m on a shopping ban right now. Sad face.

    • I have the Air Talias in two colors – black patent and grey suede – and they are my go-to shoes for days where I know I’ll have to be on my feet a lot. Like one-day trips involving an airport (SF to LA and back.) They are fantastic shoes and that’s a great price! But, I have to admit, I don’t love those particular colors!

      • Oh, whoops. I have the Air Laineys. They are the same shoe but 1/2″ higher heel.

    • I’m currently in love with these but am on a shoe ban, unfortunately.

      • I feel like if you’re limited to hard-to-find modest clothing you should be entitled to as many shoes and accessories as you want!

        • Haha, that’s so sweet! I think I subconciously agree with you…my shoe collection is getting a little out of hand =). We’ll see, maybe as a bday present to myself.

      • Ru, did you have luck getting your nude-for-Asian-skin eyeshadow?

        • I haven’t found the “holy grail” eyeshadow yet – I just know that Bare Minerals’ “nude” eyeshadows do not work for me, although I LOVE their eyeshadows. If you’re interested, Camp is a nice subdued coppery color and Moss is a slate/silvery-gray color that I thought would look awful but really brightens my eyes when paired with eyeliner.

          I have an unexpectedly free evening tonight tho, I may just take advantage of the Lord and Taylor Friend’s and Family sale. If I find it, I shall post!

          • Ru, have you tried Bobbi Brown? My heritage is 75% northern european and 25% ??? [Turkey, Bosnia or somewhere around there, as best we know], and I got my skin tone from the 25%. Though a long-term big fan of the French makeup lines like Chanel and Lancome for their quality, the palettes at those lines are not friendly to my skin tone. The Bobbi Brown line is very, very friendly to my skin tone, at any shade of pale to dark. I range from yellow-tone Caspar the Ghost to exotically dark, depending on sun exposure, and the BB palette always has a nudish eye color for me.

  6. Fashion Faux Pas :

    I need advice on what to wear to a post-offer lunch. I’m considering an offer from a large law firm in a West Coast city. I interviewed with only one partner, and will be having lunch with the rest of the practice group to help me decide if I want to take the job. On the one hand, I think I should wear a suit since I’m meeting people for the first time. But I don’t want to overdress and seem stuffy. What about slacks, a silk blouse, and a blazer? If it matters, the office is business casual.

    • Wear the more formal stuff now, since your making a first impresion.

      There will be ample time to dress down later. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!

    • I would probably wear a less formal suit. Usually interview in grey/black/navy suit. If you want to “dress down” in a way for an interview type situation, especially in the summer, you could do a tan suit with a cute blue suit shirt under it. Summer formal.

  7. Long time lurker, first time poster here. I am a deferred associate working at a nonprofit. I have become good friends with another deferred associate volunteering at the same nonprofit. She began working at the nonprofit last fall with the understanding that she would work until late summer/early fall when she would begin working at the firm. In February, her firm asked her to start at the firm immediately. She declined, stating that she had made a commitment to work at the nonprofit (for which the firm does pro bono work). Today, the firm called her up again and asked her to start in late July. My friend is conflicted. She would be leaving the nonprofit a month early, and giving up some much-needed vacation time if she starts at the firm in August. The September start date is still an option — many people from her class will be starting then. If she starts in August, she thinks she might get more interesting/better work than those who start in September. Obviously, the fact that she would receive an additional month’s salary is a consideration.

    I told her that I would probably accept the offer to start in August. What do you ladies think? Will anyone at the firm know/care that she put off starting for another month or so? Will she actually get better work if she starts a month earlier than the other deferred associates?

    • Start in August. Yes, she needs a vacation, but don’t let the firm know that. I doubt they’ll take it kindly. If they asked her to start earlier, don’t turn them down. IMO, it kind of looks bad if they asked her to start early and she says no.

    • Fashion Faux Pas :

      I was in a somewhat similar situation to your friend, except I hadn’t started by deferral position at a nonprofit yet. The day I accepted the nonprofit’s offer, my firm called and asked if I could start in a week (instead of in 10 months). I felt bad about rescinding at the nonprofit, but I didn’t feel comfortable turning the firm down (this was in the fall of 2009 when no one knew if deferred associates would ever start their firm jobs). To answer your specific questions:
      My discussions about starting early were between me and the partner for whom I work, so he would have known if I postponed starting. He had to get policy committee approval for me to start early, so the members of the committee all would have known of my refusal as well. The logistics at your friend’s firm may be different.

      I definitely did/do get better work than the rest of my class, but that’s probably because I started six months before anyone else, so I’m further along the learning curve. Not sure how much difference a month will make.

    • start in August. Everyone in her practice group will get to know her alone, which will help her stand out as everyone else is getting acclimated as part of the group. Might not make a huge difference in the type of work immediately, but definitely in starting to build relationships when you’re not part of the sea of new faces.

    • Definitely August. Especially since she told them before that she couldn’t do the Feb date, I would hop to when they asked her to start in August.

    • Thanks for all of your input.

      From what I understand, the offer came from HR. My friend thought that maybe the partners on the hiring committee would know about the offer, but probably not the partners in her department.

      I hadn’t thought about the relationship building before everyone else arrives, and will definitely mention that to her. I think it is difficult for her to mentally adjust to the idea of starting a new job and working long hours when she had thought she would have a laid back summer, but that she knows she needs to suck it up and say yes to the firm. Hopefully all of your comments will help convince her!

    • Start in August. Declining to return to work to honor a professional commitment is professional and the right thing to do, especially since the firm has a working relationship with the nonprofit. Leaving 6 months early would have burned major bridges and reflected poorly on the firm as well as your friend. But declining to return to work because she wants a vacation is unprofessional and makes her look like she’s not committed to her job. If she’d actually be working at the nonprofit in August and they need her to honor the last month of her commitment, that’s one thing, but if she was just planning to use vacation days that month, it would be very unprofessional of her to refuse to go to work at the firm instead.

    • Didn’t mean to sound like my friend was going to be on vacation for all of August. She had planned to work at the nonprofit through the end of August (which compared to working at a firm is a laid back summer.) If she were to say no to the firm for August, she would tell them it was to honor her commitment to the firm.

      • From my perspective as a non-profit employee (I have previously worked in firms), I’d encourage her to honor her commitment to her current job and, most importantly, her current clients. Unless it was explicitly stated in her fellowship agreement that she could be called back to work at the firm, if a fellow and her firm made a unilateral decision to depart early I’d interpret this as just incredibly unprofessional and flaky, both on the part of the fellow and the firm. Just because it’s a non-profit doesn’t mean the work isn’t real and important.

        I’d suggest that she raise it with her supervisor at the nonprofit and say that the firm made this request and she’s considering whether to agree to return. If the supervisor’s reaction is one of panic and not knowing how she’ll manage the August workload without the fellow she was relying on, tell the firm she can’t return. If the supervisor says they can handle August just fine without her, then she should go back to the firm.

  8. I hit Limited today and ended up getting the sleeveless ruffled blouse Cat featured in her ruffled blouse post in green. It’s now 50% off:

  9. Anonymous :

    Not a Lands End employee, just a fan of their work — Queen’s Oxford shirts are on clearance + 25% off, plus free shipping (lucky sizes):

  10. anon in dc :


    Corporettes I need your help. I’m SURE this has been covered somewhere, but I couldn’t find it when I searched. If there is already a thread about it, please do point me in that direction. Now that it’s getting warmer, I’ve pulled out my slingbacks. Unfortunately, when I wear them they make that sticking/unsticking sound that happens when you wear flip flops. Just dreadful!! Is there a solution??

    Thanks for your help!!

    • I don’t think there’s a good solution, and I cringe when I hear that noise around the office. I avoid wearing shoes that make icky or squeaky noises, including flipflops and slingbacks.

    • Seattleite :

      Try putting moleskin or felt-covered insoles on the footbed. The idea is to have something there that won’t ‘grab’ your foot.

    • i think its dr scholes (however you spell that) that makes a cushened insole for womens shoes, the top where your foot goes is cloth. If your foot is sticking to the shoe it should stop it. If it is just the slapping action that is making the noise, maybe adjust the strap if you can or take it to a cobbler to have it adjusted?