Frugal Friday: Secret Sweater Layered Cardigan

The Grommet Secret Sweater Layering Cardigan | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

In general I’m a fan of The Grommet for clever little inventions I never knew existed, so I was excited to get the email about this “secret sweater,” designed for layering beneath a blazer (or wearing on its own). It seems like a great response to the common reader question of how to look professional when it’s freezing in your office. I like that it’s designed to be packable, too, which helps you adjust on the fly. It’s $39.95 at The Grommet, available in a variety of colors. Secret Sweater Layered Cardigan

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Brrr: Staying Warm in a Freezing Office

freezing office2018 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to look professional but stay warm in a freezing office, but you may also want to check out our most recent thoughts on what to wear to work in the winter.

How should you dress this winter when you work at a freezing office, and your trusty back-of-the-chair cardigan just won’t cut it? What are the best ways to keep warm while still looking professional and stylish?

Reader J wonders:

My office is freezing cold in the winter — some of the assistants and paralegals keep huge blankets in their office spaces and wrap up in them, or alternatively wear Northface jackets around. As an associate, I can’t get away with cuddling up in a warm blanket or wearing my Northface — it doesn’t exactly scream competent and professional. Do you have any recommendations for sweaters or wraps that look professional but are also very warm?

We talked about how to stay warm in a freezing office a looong time ago (and, more recently, staying warm in a subzero office when the A/C is blaring), but now is a great time to readdress it. While gloves, space heaters, and wraps-as-lap-blankets can help when you’re in your office, here are some thoughts for people who are moving around a lot (e.g., during meetings) during the day, or those who just don’t have the option to wear gloves or sneak in a space heater:

[Read more…]

Staying Warm in the Subzero Office

subzero office in the summerIf your office is freezing, it doesn’t matter how hot it is outside — you want to bundle up and stay as warm as possible. Can you stay warm in a subzero office where the A/C is blaring — and still look polished? Trust us, there’s a better way than having an office Snuggie, as some of Reader N’s coworkers seem to have done:

Despite record breaking temperatures this summer, I find myself huddled in my “office sweater” most of the day. (You know, the one you keep in a drawer in case your nice business casual outfit can’t keep you warm.) While some of my co-workers have long resorted to bringing in  fleece blankets to huddle in, I would like to avoid this ‘burrito-chic’ fashion.  I’m already wearing winter-weight pants with seasonally appropriate tops, but most of the time I resort back to the tired but appropriate Old Navy sweater. That is, until I found a strange alternative.  My question for you is it so strange I should actually just stick to my sweater…

The piece in question is a blazer made of thick hoodie material. It’s fitted/tailored  just right for me as a blazer, but it has a zipper where the front buttons should be. I feel kind of funny wearing such an odd thing, but it does make me feel like I’m more business-casual than business-burrito.

Snow(business)man, originally uploaded to Flickr by oxygen timebomb.I’m with you — it always felt like my office was the South Pole in the summertime.  And trust me, nothing makes you feel more glamorous than settling in for a long day of doc review wearing a hat and gloves (although, hey, those are options).  We’ve talked about how to stay warm in the office in the fall and winter, but the summer office can be a bit more difficult because there’s such a stark contrast between your inside and outside dress. (Pictured: Snow(business)man, originally uploaded to Flickr by oxygen timebomb.) Here are some more professional suggestions… [Read more…]

Brrr: How to Deal with The Freezing Office Without Mittens or Blankets

the freezing office2018 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to deal with the freezing office, but you may also want to check out our more recent discussions on the subzero office thanks to summer A/C, as well as the freezing office all winter long.

Reader K has an interesting question about cold offices – how can you look professional in a freezing office?

Now that the weather is changing, my office has a tendency to get pretty cold. I am wondering if you have any ideas on something to keep in the office for when it gets a little chilly. If the answer is a shawl or a wrap, I’d also love some advice on how to pull it off. Also, should I keep two pieces – one for days I am wearing black and another for days I am wearing navy or brown? My dingy cardigan has to go…

Great question, as the cold office seems to be a real problem for so many women I know.  (Pictured: So I broke down and pulled out the heated, fingerless gloves that the CA folks gave me, originally uploaded to Flickr by cindiann.) First, let’s make an important distinction: there’s the cold office as a whole (cold hallways, cold meeting rooms, etc), and then there’s the cold “I’m sitting in my office working by myself and I’m freezing” office. If your office as a whole is just generally freezing, I think your “outfit” for the day should keep that in mind. In other words — don’t keep one cardigan at the office that you’re going to have to change into every day; actually dress warmly enough for the office. Cashmere and wool sweaters, tweed and corduroy blazers… you get the picture. [Read more…]