Coffee Break: Michelle Tote

We recently rounded up some vegan bags in our post on six clothing and accessory brands for the stylish vegan professional, and we’ve just heard about another option: Marsi Bond, which makes eco-friendly, vegan leather bags (made from polyurethane, not PVC). The pictured Michelle Tote is office-friendly and durable — yet still stylish — and it has a zip top and an outside pocket that fits an iPhone 8+ or other large smartphones. Best of all (and I haven’t seen another brand that does this), the zip-out lining is removable and machine washable! I love that idea. The tote is available at Amazon for an affordable $88 in the pictured black as well as cognac, gray, pink, red, and a tricolor. I like the bit of red peeking out of the black one — it’s a nice little detail. Marsi Bond Michelle Tote

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How to Build Your Network — and Maintain It

how to build your network -- our best professional networking tipsThis is kind of an abstract post, so I’ll ask some questions up front for you to think about as you read over it — what are your best professional networking tips, particularly regarding how to build your network, and then how to maintain a network? Which networks, associations and affiliations have been the most fruitful and the most enjoyable for you? Have you seen a lot of overlap and “lucky coincidences” between your various networks, associations and affiliations? 

I’ve been thinking about different business relationships you have to cultivate over the course of your career, from people in your network to mentors to sponsors and beyond. When I was younger, if you had asked me about “how to build your network,” I might have defined it as very self-focused. You choose who you want to bring into your orbit and keep them there — people who are handpicked for knowledge or skill or experience as it relates to you.

This version of “how to network” might be represented visually like this:

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Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Belted Shirtdress

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with shirtdresses — I feel like I hate most of them, but this one from 1.State just feels so cool and casual (and I think it would even fly at more conservative offices, provided it wasn’t a big day and you wore grownup accessories with it, like these pumps). I like the slight slit in the skirt and also the sort of D-ring belt, and I like the way the collar looks as well. It has a removable slip lining and it’s hand washable (line dry), and it’s $119 at Nordstrom, available in sizes XS–M. Belted Shirtdress

Update: Unfortunately, the dress has sold out — but here are options from Everlane and Mango.

Two plus-size alternatives are at Nordstrom and ModCloth.

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Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

Coffee Break: Extra Long Heated Neck Wrap

heated neck wrapI’m not sure if I’m dealing with allergies or a cold right now (or, hey, possibly strep, although I just had that in January), but I barely have any voice and my throat is sore from coughing all the time. I’ve been a fan of microwavable heating pads for a while, but the big, square, rice-filled one I have (and use a ton) isn’t quite doing the trick for me on my neck. I’ve just ordered this heated neck wrap, which I’m also hoping will make my throat feel nice AND help when my shoulders feel tense from carrying all my stress there. (But note that if you’ve got aches and pains, ice is often better to reduce inflammation, and heat might not be good — so follow your doctor’s (or Dr. Google’s) instructions. The neck wrap is $25 at Amazon. Sunny Bay Extra Long Heated Neck Wrap

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: 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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Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Danouk Shoulder Cutout Sheath Dress

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Danouk Cutout Shoulder DressCutout details can be dicey for the office, to say the least, but this little hint of skin and this fun, bright color strike me as just right for a creative office or a semi-casual day at a conservative one. I love the asymmetric seams, the fact that it’s fully lined, and just the general sophisticated chic of the dress. It’s $575 at Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom. and Hugo Boss (where they also have it in black). Danouk Shoulder Cutout Sheath Dress

Looking for a more affordable option? This dress comes in bright pink and is $28, this $89 option comes in sizes 4-18, and this $199 dress comes in regular, petite, plus size, and women’s petites.

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!

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

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