Coffee Break – Reed Krakoff

Reed Krakoff Caviar Grain Boxer I ToteI’m fairly new to the brand Reed Krakoff, having only heard about it a week or two ago, but everything I’ve seen looks professional, fashionable, and seriously lux. The brand’s signature thing (at least this season) seems to be that outside folded/buckled belt, which I love — I think the leather also looks like an amazing quality. It’s (gulp) $1,090 at Saks Fifth Avenue. Reed Krakoff Caviar Grain Boxer I Tote



  1. I posted this on another thread – but the NYT Well blog has a review of the “barre” fitness classes that many Corporettes have been asking about.

  2. Threadjack:

    Help! I overthink everything. Personal situations become crises and minor work assignments take too long because I’m constantly making mountains out of molehills in my mind. Once the situation is past, I look back and realize I was overreacting, but in the moment, it always seems “reasonable” to me. Does anyone have any advice on keeping things in perspective?

    • I often have this problem. What helps me is asking myself what the worst that will happen be if I make the wrong choice. If you are honest and realistic, you’ll realize that very little in life is the end of the world. As an example, I know this great judge who always says that sometimes you have to get reversed just to clarify a wrinkle in the law. I think it’s a good attitude to adopt, and I always try to keep that in mind.

      I also try to put myself outside of myself, so to speak, and think, ‘what would I tell me to do if I were on the other side, giving advice?’ I think it’s sometimes hard to make decisions b/c we are so attached to our own problems, but I bet everyone here knows exactly how they would solve the problems of all their closest friends or do the job of certain coworkers better, etc. So I kind of try to do that to myself.

      Finally, I think it’s also important to remind yourself of the costs to not making a decision as indecision and delay also often bears a price. You have to trust that life usually evens out. It’s not easy, but practice makes it easier. You can train yourself to be decisive!

    • This is for your “personal situations become crises” comment. You need to get out of your own head.

      Close Corporette for a moment and take a look at the news. 100 children drowned in Russia a few days ago. Bombings in India and floods in the midwestern US. A little boy in Brooklyn was abducted and murdered earlier this week as he walked home from school. In short, there is a lot of true awfulness going on out in the world, as opposed to whatever molehills you are pushing through.

      If that’s a bit too far removed from real life to be meaningful, look a bit closer, like at the unemployment rates in the country, the number of people with no health insurance, the number of homeless people still on the streets, the masses of people who are barely scraping by in your city/town/state. If you have time, spend a few hours volunteering at a soup kitchen or participating in meals on wheels or building a Habitat for Humanity home. It’s really amazing what a few hours spent NOT thinking about yourself and your life (including your boss, husband, kids, neighbors, etc) can do to make you appreciate your lot in life.

      Thoughts like this actually help keep me in perspective.

    • I have been under a lot of stress lately and I overreact about everything. I have kept a diary so that I can read about my feelings on some situations dating to few months earlier. This helps see how overinflated my current problems are.
      I still freak out (and vent on corporette) but I think historical “data” helps put your current concerns in a more neutral frame.

    • Thanks for the responses!

      • microentrepreneur :

        Overreacting is one of the side effects of an active mind and engaged emotions. Good things, but not always the most helpful in every situation. When I overreact, I ask myself: Is this the best way to respond? Is this the most helpful way to respond? Given the circumstances, will this emotional reaction make the situation better, or even help me approach it better?

        Over a lifetime of overreacting, I’ve found that my first reaction isn’t always the best–sometimes my second, or even third, is the better one. Give yourself the time to calm, and to find the reaction that will work best, given the situation you are in.

  3. Diana Barry :

    I love all the Reed Krakoff things that I’ve seen, but they are too expensive for me now. Sigh. The clothes look beautiful too.

  4. At the risk of telling everyone something they already know, Reed Krakoff is (was?) the creative director of Coach. I can’t decide if that makes me more or less likely to pony up for his eponymous brand.

    • Corporate Tool :

      I have a friend who works there (at Reed Krakoff). Although they are a subsidiary, apparently they are fairly seperate from Coach, both in terms of branding and marketing, but also design and control.

    • found a peanut :

      There was a hilarious article in the New Yorker about Reed Krakoff. It was…less than flattering.

      • That article was fantastic.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Yes, I read this too, and I decided never to buy anything from there. He was so snobbish and condescending.

        • Ditto – his attitude is so wrong.
          And I do appreciate the luxury aspect of fashion – The New Yorker had an earlier profile of Christian Bale at Bottega Veneta: now that’s a brand worth saving for.

          • Ditto on the Bottega Veneta article — it totally made me want to save for one. Luxury quality leather, no obviousl label? Yes please.

          • Equity's Darling :

            Yes, Bottega Veneta is my favourite to drool over. Mmmmmm…..

      • Can we have a link?

    • Kathryn Fenner :

      He is still the head guy at Coach.

      The New Yorker article made me more likely to buy Coach and less likely tp buy Reed Krakoff– the snobbery reported from him as well as the author made me defensive.

    • Definitely less for me. Sounds like he changed the name of his designs and just upped the price. Nice bag though.

  5. Love this bag. Love the tri-color ones by him even more!

  6. found a peanut :

    Sooo….what’s the consensus on what to wear to a company pool party? If it matters, most of the guys will be playing golf or some other sport, so it’ll mostly be the ladies by the pool. I only own bikinis but own a cute romper-type coverup. Should I wear a bikini, the cover up, or something more covering-up? If I wear the cover-up to lounge can I take it off and wear my bikini in the actual pool? If it matters I am thin-ish but have a va-va-voom-ish body.

    • found a peanut :

      I just did a very rudimentary search and it doesn’t seem like this has ever been addressed. This would be a good topic for a post, no?

      • Actually, there has – From July 7, of 2009

        Poll of the Week: Should Anyone Wear an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini To An Office Function?

    • Formerly Preggo Angie :

      Not an answer to your question, but I would rather play golf than lounge by the pool. And it would take an act of God to get me in a bathing suit in front of my co-workers at this point in my life!

    • I would wear the romper for sure. Every time I think of a comment to type about what suit to wear, I delete it. On the one hand, if you have a great body, you shouldn’t have to hide it. On the other hand, you might want to in order to avoid drawing too much attention to it.
      If it were me, I’d wear the romper and get one of those stylish, strapless one piece swimsuits. That way, I’d feel age-appropriate but not too bare.

    • I’d go with a one peice. and a dress styler coverup so you’re not just standing around in a bathing suit. Romper screams hipster or child to me. Two-peice just seems like waaaaaay too much skin to show the company.

    • I don’t believe in swimsuits in front of co-workers. If underwear day at the office would be inappopriate, its not appropriate to show just as much (or more) in front of co-workers.

      • found a peanut :

        I understand where you’re coming from but it’s not a perfect analogy – I wouldn’t wear my underwear in front of my in-laws, either, but I routinely wear bathing suits in front of them.

        • Ehh…I still think its different. Unless you have a really inappropriate family, your in-laws are unlikely to talk about your boobs. I don’t trust my co-workers.

          • Lol!

            Unfortunately I always feel like my in-laws are sizing me up whenever it turns summertime. Not sure why but it’s gotten to the point where if I know my in-law siblings will be around, I’ll wear boardshorts and a modest top rather than my go-to 2-pieces… it’s weird. It’s not my fault my genetics gave me a smaller bone structure and faster metabolism.

          • This is why swimsuits are so fraught with stress for all women! If you’re thin, women who aren’t as thin are judging you and sizing you up. If you’re not as thin as you’d like, you feel like your fat is right there for the world to see. Throw in a work function and if you look good in your swimsuit, everyone will hate you and/or see you as a potential source of work fantasies (ick). If you don’t look so good, people will be thinking “wow, didn’t realize __ had such a lumpy butt.” Simply, there is not a “professional” swim suit. Any work function that requires swim suits is ill conceived, IMO, and should not be humored. Its where I put my foot down. I will karaoke with co-workers, run in 5ks, engage in eating contests, etc….all in the name of team spirit. But how much cellulite I have or don’t have is not going to be public knowledge at work (and, at least in all the places where I’ve worked, photos get taken at any remotely firm-oriented function. And geez louise, I don’t want a photo of me in a swimsuit on the intranet!). For what its worth, I have a perfectly fine body. Not skinny, but toned, and very curvy. I look totally fine in a well-fitted swimsuit. I just don’t want co-workers to even think of me in a swimsuit.

          • Accountress :

            @Anon 7:04- swimsuits being fraught with stress is exactly why (for non-work functions, anyway- everything in moderation) we should get ones we feel comfortable and confident in, and screw the physical standards that keep us from enjoying ourselves! Who generally sees us when we’re swimming? Strangers and people who already know what we look like. That’s why, at the pool or beach, I rock my size 22 bikini.

            My friends know that I’m fat, and no spandex-laden Spanx-like MiracleSuit (“Look 10 pounds thinner!”) will change that. Strangers can and do stare, and they’re either jealous of my confidence or they’re making beached whale jokes. But the best part of the haters? I will never see them again, and their opinion is the size of krill to me. (Krill? In keeping with the whale joke? No? Okay…)

          • Accountress – while I agree with you, I still don’t want co-workers to see me in a swimsuit. I’d never wear a midriff top or booty shorts to the office…so why would it change if the office is temporarily outside? You know the whole managing stage fright by picturing the audience in their underwear? Well, that’s a way to manage things because everyone looks silly like that. Why would I undermine my professionalism by letting people see me in, essentially, my underwear?

    • I would wear your most modest bikini or a one piece and a simple sundress or shorts/skirt and a sleeveless top over it.

      I would also not get in the pool unless I was absolutely one of the last people on the sidelines, and then I would go swimming just to participate. Perhaps being overly conservative here, but in my opinion you don’t want to be one of the small group of people swimming while everyone else is standing around drinking cocktails.

      Corporate pool events are excruciating! Why do companies do this?!

    • Honestly, I would skip the swimsuit and wear a sundress. Just say you’re not much a of a swimmer. I can’t imagine getting or giving negative feedback to someone who has seen me in a swimsuit.

    • I do not envy your situation. I have a relatively okay body but I would REALLY REALLY not want to bear a bathing suit in front of my co-workers. Partly because I work in an industry dominated by men and I try pretty hard to dress conservatively and not too sexy.

      If was me, I would to this… I’d still wear a 2-piece (I only wear one pieces for swimming laps and wouldn’t feel like “me” in a 1 piece). But, I’d find a cute (not cutesy) 2-piece with a fuller bottom and the top would be a tube top style. They cover cleavage and are more “sporty”. I’d also wear a sundress over it that would serve as a cover-up (I like to match the style of my sundress with my bathing suit to prevent crazy tan lines, e.g., halter bathing suit, = halter or strapless sundress or shoulder-strap bathing suit = shoulder-strap sundress, or sundress with sleeves). That way, when you are laying by the pool you can keep your sundress on but hike it up a bit to expose your legs to the sun without bearing your bikini-clad body to all of your workers. Which makes me wonder… how many of your female co-workers will actually bust out a bathing suit?

      I’d also bring your romper and a change of clothes in an extra bag as a back-up. Don’t forget to pack the following in your bag to freshen up after the pool activities: deoderant, brush, mirror, hairspray (if you need it), body spray.

      Report back – I’m curious to hear what everyone wore.

    • karenpadi :

      LL Bean has some Bermuda-length swim shorts in their sale catalog. They aren’t online, unfortunately. You could pair those with a modest tankini top and still go swimming. They have some other modest swim “skirts” that are cute too.

    • I think it turns on what everyone else is wearing. Ask the other women who are going; they’re probably asking themselves the same question about what to wear! In my opinion, the worst scenario is where you’re the only one in the two-piece. If you wear a bikini, I wouldn’t do a string bikini–I would go for something more sporty, that says “I want to play in the water” not “I want to lie on my pool chair and attract men.”

    • I agree with the results of the poll, a two piece should never be worn to a work event unless it provides the same amount of coverage as a one piece (i.e. a tankini). My two cents however is that you should be off doing the golf or other sport that most of your colleagues will be participating in.

  7. I would hesitate on the romper- they read awfully young to me. A sundress might be better.

  8. I had this problem until my father told me what is important….enjoying life and having a support network consisting of my family and my boyfriend. Now I do not let dumb people get to me.

  9. hating the humidity :

    any thoughts on Ouidad’s Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel?

    the saleslady at Sephora handed me a free sample this week and I tried it out, but am unable to see a remarkable difference. then again, the humidity hasn’t been so bad in the last couple of days.

    I have thick, dark, curly hair, whichI always wear naturally (albeit with minor product) and am trying to grow past my shoulders, darn it.

    • I have relatively thick, curly/wavy hair that is very frizz-prone. My primary goals with haircare products is to control frizziness and add shine (rather than defining curls). I used Ouidad’s heat and humidity gel for years, and really like it, but I’ve started using another product (by Kerastase – Oleo Curl Creme) that I love as well. That said, a friend tried it (with thick, wavy, frizz-prone hair) and didn’t think it worked at all for her.

    • I also have thick, dark, curly hair and have been using Ouidad’s Climate Control for years. With other products, I find that if I use enough to control frizz and define curls, my hair becomes crunchy and/or the product gets flaky. I use a lot of Climate Control and have neither of those problems. It is key to cover the surface area of all your hair as described in the product usage section on Ouidad’s website:

      Apply using Ouidad’s Rake & Shake technique. When hair is still damp, divide into 4-6 sections. Spread a nickel size dollop through each section, with your fingers seprated like a rake. Rake section from scalp to ends, then holding the ends, shake hair back and forth to create curls. Repeat process for each section. Let hair dry naturally or blow-dry with a diffuser.

      (I actually divide my hair into 15 or so sections because I have so much of it.)

    • My thoughts are that Garnier’s Smooth and Shine Smoothing Milk is just as good and costs $6.

    • I used the Ouidad products and think they work well, though honestly did not see much difference between the regular and high humidity versions – my issue with them was they made my curls “crunchy”. Looked great, felt like rattan. Stopped using it.

  10. SALit-a-gator :

    Ugh. This reminds me of a horrible “women-only” spa day my summer firm planned. The invitation said to bring bathing suits. Not knowing better, I thought I would avoid the whole swim-suit situation by not bringing one. Big mistake. Everyone of the partners, associates, and summers had brought theirs and I was stuck on the sidelines. Another summer offered me her bathing suit, which I actually ended up accepting. Needless to say it was less than flattering and the whole experince was a disaster. Somehow, the whole “women only” thing really didn’t help – I was a summer associate, so under high pressure to impress everyone.

    That being said, I would probably wear a one piece suit. I think the most important criteria, however, is to wear something you feel comfortable in. At least half of how others perceive you is based on how you carry yourself. You want to do it confidently.

    • SALit-a-gator :

      Ops. This was meant as a reply to Found a Peanut’s question above.

  11. Hi Corporettes! I need some advice!

    I am one year out of law school and have been working with an legal NGO in a temporary position for about six months. The NGO is now hiring a permanent attorney in the program area that I have been working in. I have applied for the position and will have an interview next week with my colleagues. I have a very good relationship with these people and know them fairly well, but am quite nervous about the interview — especially since I’ve never interviewed for a position where I was already working.

    First, do you have any advice at how to approach this? Especially what types of questions I should be asking (I feel like I already know so much about this place I can’t imagine what I’d ask in the interview!)

    Second, this is a very informal office. Senior attorneys regularly wear sneakers and jeans (one even wears very stylish and long shorts – but shorts nonetheless). Should I still wear a suit for the interview even though they will see me the day before and the day after in my regular trousers and cardigan uniform?

    Finally, are thank you notes appropriate in this situation? It seems SO false to me, but I also don’t want to offend anyone. A hand-written not would be easy enough since i could hand deliver it the next day, but that seems awkward. Am I overanalyzing?

    Thanks so much in advance!

    • I would wear a suit, I would definitely think of questions – perhaps about responsibilities of the job, training etc. Treat it like a normal interview, try not to slip into verbal ticks (like, um) that are fine (to a degree) in casual speak but not okay in an interview. Express your enthusiasm for the position and have very concrete detailed positive things to say about your experience thusfar.

  12. Speaking of totes, I need help.

    My new job requires significant (>50%) travel to a diverse range of venues (read: rural South Dakota and D.C. in the same trip) and I’m in desperate need of a new “personal item” that serves as both a briefcase for the day’s meetings and a purse for the night’s dinner.

    My ideal would be a slim tote that fits my wallet, files, and ipad during the day/on the plane but is chic enough to carry (sans files) to a reasonably nice dinner (side note: I also travel with a clutch that I bring to more formal evening events). I was really into the idea of the Foley & Corinna mid-city tote because it folded over to create a smaller purse. However, in-person the bag overwhelmed my frame (I’m 5’3) and the proportions made it look very unprofessional.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • I’ve gotten some nice large purses/totes from Bodhi. They aren’t cheap, but they are excellent quality, don’t scream “name brand”, and are unique and classic (at least the ones I have). They aren’t overly structured (the ones I have) so they tend to conform to whatever I have in them in terms of size.

    • I have the Lo and Sons TT tote that Kat reviewed a while back, and I LOVE it for travel. It is black, sleek, stylish, has a ton of pockets, fits everything I need it to, but still looks like a normal bag and fits under the seat in front of me when flying. It also has a specific strap on the back to slide onto your suitcase, but it looks like a pocket, not a strap. Love!

  13. Awful Lawful :

    Does anyone have suggestions of places to buy cute and unique baby clothes? My good friend just had a baby and I want to buy her some clothing as a little gift with some other goodies. I’m also looking for something not too expensive. Not that I don’t love my friend or want to spend a lot of money on her baby, I just in general think it’s silly to spend a lot of money on clothing for babies because they can only wear it for a short period of time.

    • anon-oh-no :

      As someone who has two small children (my youngest turned 1 today!), you are correct that its silly to spend a lot on baby clothes — it either gets destroyed or worn once, if at all.

      That said, most of the unique baby clothes is expensive. So, I’d stick to Old Navy, Gap, Gymboree — all really cute, pretty good quality, and ranging in price from inexpensive to moderate.

      One word of advice — try to get a size clothes for the climate when you think the baby will be there. I.e., dont buy size 6 mo in summer clothes for this baby b/c he or she will be 6 months in the winter.

    • It’s not unique, but Carter’s children clothing stores always have the cutest baby clothes, especially for girls. Their stuff is very reasonably priced, often marked down, and I always find something adorable there.

    • I agree you don’t need to spend a fortune, but there are some brands that I found worth it to spend a little more on, even when my kids were babies and growing fast. I loved the one piece jammies from Hanna Andersson. They are incredibly soft, cute patterns for babies, and very, very well made. Mine looked like new after months of heavy use, which means they can be passed down from kid to kid. I buy these as baby gifts alot, and still buy their p.j.s for my older kids because I have found nothing as nice out there.

      • My sister and I lived in Hanna Anderson as children. It wears like iron. I plan to buy it for my future children and hope hope hope that it’s still around then!

    • Anonymous :

      The Boden clearance right now– stuff is going fast but it’s so cute, a little different from the usual brands they probably have, and really discounted now.

    • Expensive, but so adorable: Trumpette socks for babies (they’re the ones that make it look like they’re wearing shoes). I got them as a gift and I loved them. And people always comment on how cute they are. They are definitely the type of baby clothing item that is a “gift” rather than something I would buy myself. Perfect for a gift basket.

      • Eek, sorry, meant to say “not too expensive”…of course, then I looked at their site again and it is prob more money than should be spent on socks…

    • Get her a SleepSack (Halo brand). It is a “wearable blanket”, basically a really easy way to swaddle, and it is the best, most useful, awesomest thing ever. Since discovering it has been my go-to baby gift.

      • Oh, and the second most useful gift is the SnotSucker. Also a great thing to give.

      • The birthing center where I had my daughter gave us one of these as a gift and it was so useful in the early months! It also had a really cute bear and name of the center embroidered on it, so I saved it.

    • Gotta put in a plug for a friend’s Etsy store!
      She mostly does hats, gloves, and shoes, but you can ask her about custom making anything.

    • You may already be doing this, but if you are in the period of life (like I am right now) when your friends and colleagues all seem to be having babies (or you have your own), there are several websites that work like RueLaLa, but feature baby items. I’ve gotten several very nice gifts for a great price on and

    • When I can find a store that stocks it, H&M has adorable stuff for babies that is a bit different. It’s decent quality – I got a few little sleepsuit/onesie things for a friend (got the 4-6 months size, I think) and she was able to pass some of it on to another friend, although she did keep one or two items because they were so cute!

      Needless to say, H&M baby clothes are pretty inexpensive.

      • Awful Lawful :

        Wow, thank you everyone for the great ideas! I especially LOVE the shoe socks!

  14. scarf lady :

    I ordered this tote from Net-A-Porter several months ago and returned it because it was so heavy! Looks beautiful though, as are most of his things. I would love to get one of his clutches at some point.

  15. Dallas associate :


    I imagine this is something many other professional women face and I’m hoping the Corporettes here can help. The security guys in my office building are a little too friendly – flirtatious, really. Now, I know how to handle a wink and a smile. But there is one guy in particular who seems a little too friendly and this morning complimented me on my dress – this is not the first time he has made a comment like that. I sincerely appreciate the compliment, but it makes me a little uncomfortable and I really dislike it when it is given in front of the partners and other colleagues I work with. I would like to avoid the “filing a complaint” route, and am looking more for a way to blow it off and discourage it in the future, w/o making it awkward every time I walk in and out of the building. Make sense? And I guess this could be generalized to: how do you address unwanted flirting from someone under these circumstances? Thanks!

    • Stop smiling when you see him. Say hi, but with a neutral (polite) face. Do that for a few weeks and if that doesn’t work, stop saying hi altogether, just give a small nod of recognition and move on. If this makes you feel bad, get over it. He won’t be that upset (he’ll find someone else to wink at) or hopefully, he’ll learn that as a security guard it’s not necessarily a good idea to make comments on people’s appearance, positive or negative.

    • If you’re in downtown Dallas, I’ll bet I know what building you’re in. I used to work in a building with the exact same problematic security guards. I just learned to nod in recognition at them and not say anything. Or I would look at my phone, etc while I was walking by. Yeah, it’s mostly avoidance, but it worked.

  16. SF Bay Associate :

    Completely indicative of my current state of mind: I read the name of this purse as “Karkaroff” and thought “The bag is named after a Death Eater??” Reading comprehension fail.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Amazing — timely Harry Potter related comment :-). Of course, Karkaroff was killed, and would be unable to make such bags.

      Something fellow Potter fans might like:

      I am unfortunately unable to go to a midnight showing tonight and will be seeing it on Saturday.

      • Anon in ATX :

        saw it last night & it was great! Gonna be a long day, though :)

      • Barrister in the Bayou :

        I am exhausted today because of the midnight showing… I don’t know how I’m going to make it today!

    • I read it as Kraken and thought of Theon Greyjoy :).

  17. I just finished my last day at a toxic job that I’ve been trying to “make work” for months!!!!! My new job is super exciting, but it doesn’t start for a few weeks, so I now have the most vacation time I’ve had in a decade.

    I am so happy and excited right now.

  18. Hi Ladies! If you like this bag – I think that you will love this one from Nordstrom:

    It is part of their anniversary sale, is two tone (which I think is slightly more striking than the monochromatic look, and more versatile) is $228.00. Fabulous!

    I posted on Nordstrom’s anniversary sale today if you are interested:

work fashion blog press mentions