Ok, ladies, let’s hear it: which are the best work pants? I’ve seen many readers bemoaning the decline in old favorites like the Banana Republic Sloan and the Gap Perfect Trouser — and other popular pants, like the J.Crew Minnie ankle pant, just aren’t formal enough for more conservative offices. So let’s discuss. First, here’s Reader … Read More about Open Thread: Best Work Pants
I have written before for my love of focus-boosting tools like Leechblock and RescueTime, but I’ve been using a new one that I like, and thought I’d share: MORPHINE. When I switched to Chrome a while back, I was bummed to find that my beloved Leechblock was only available on Firefox. (Firefox kept crashing, everyone said Chrome … Read More about Tool of the Trade: Morphine Plugin for Chrome
Should you join the office fantasy football league — even if you hate sports and don’t want to commit the time? What about other guy-centric office hobbies? Reader S wonders… What is the rule on joining the office fantasy football league (or other comparable sporting activity) when you don’t know or care about the sport? … Read More about Tips for Joining the Office Fantasy Football League
How should you handle it when your client hits on you? We got an emergency email from reader K, who is getting a bit uncomfortable with a prospective customer and his unwanted sexual advances at work — the client asked her out! I am a [physical product that attaches to buildings*] sales woman. During intermittent conversation with … Read More about When Your Client Hits On You: How to Deal with Unwanted Sexual Advances at Work
I need advice on how to keep my shoes from developing a bad odor. I wear hose 90% of the time with my dress work shoes, and they develop a foul odor within just a few weeks of wear. I have tried odor eaters without success, old pantyhose filled with baking soda, rotating my shoes to never wear them two days in a row – nothing works. I haven’t normally had smelly shoes or feet, but now that I am in a professional environment and wear dress shoes instead of socks/sneakers, I can’t get a handle on this. I don’t notice the smell when my shoes are on, but when I take them off at home, look out. I am afraid that it will keep getting worse and my feet will smell all the time!
Interesting. We’ve talked about delicate issues such as body odor, sweaty feet in pumps, what to do when drycleaning doesn’t remove smells, and general shoe care for women, but I don’t believe we’ve talked about stinky shoes. Reader K herself mentioned some of the other oft-cited advice, but I might stress a few things:
- Give your shoes at least a day off — it lets the leather dry out.
- Products like Silver Linings have insoles “infused with antimicrobial silver ions for women who wear shoes without socks.” (They’re available at Amazon, but here’s the product page for more behind the technology.)
- Look into ventilated shoes, like Geox — they’re designed to let air circulate better. They’re sold at the usual spots (Zappos, 6pm, Amazon, Nordstrom), but here’s a link to their product page about the technology behind the shoes.
- Avoid plastic shoes that don’t breathe at all.
- Try the freezer — put your shoes in a ziplock bag, then stick them in the freezer for 24-48 hours. (This is also supposedly a great way to defunk your expensive denim.)
- Wear socks. Trouser socks, knee-high pantyhose, even shoe liners all exist for exactly this purpose. I tend to prefer toe liners when they don’t interrupt the line of the shoe. Here’s a link to our older discussion on what hose to wear with pumps (if any).
Ladies, have you had to deal with stinky shoes? What are your best practices for avoiding funk, and then your best suggestions for destinking your shoes?
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2020 Update: We still think this is a great roundup of podcasts for working women — but if you’re looking for something a little more recent, here’s our latest discussion of the best podcasts for smart women. In the past we’ve talked about our favorite magazines as well as summer brain candy books, but we haven’t talked about … Read More about What Are Your Favorite Podcasts for Working Women?
A new MBA student has plenty on her plate: classes and projects, networking events, recruiting opportunities — not to mention the typical grad school challenges of making new friends and (for some) adjusting to a new city. Reader R wonders if we have any great tips for full-time MBA students, particularly female MBA students… Hi … Read More about Tips for Full-Time MBA Students
Today we’re bringing you our next installment of our Money Milestone series, where we’ve previously discussed paying for grad school, wedding finances, home buying, financially planning for a baby, financial strategies for divorce, and saving for retirement. Readers requested one on eldercare, finances, and aging parents — and I think that can certainly make an impact on one’s finances, so let’s … Read More about Tales from the Wallet: Eldercare and Finances
If you’re petite and your office desk is too tall for you — enough that it’s causing you pain while you work — how much is your employer required to do to make your desk/chair setup more ergonomic? What if you work at a nonprofit? Reader A asks… I wonder if you could address what my work place is required to do … Read More about Petite Office Ergonomics (and: How Does Your Office Handle Ergonomics?)
Sure, we all know what basics 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 … Read More about The Hunt: Purple Pumps to Wear to Work
When should you quit your career? How do you know when you’ve chosen the wrong one? How long should you give yourself before you quit — and how many jobs should you try in that career? Reader F has SUCH a great question about this: Question for you: how do you know if you hate … Read More about Your Job, Your Career, or You: When to Quit Your Career
2018 update: We still stand by this advice on where to find ethical clothing for work, and links have been updated below. You may also want to check out our Guide to Slow Fashion. Big thanks to Kate for our next post on ethical shopping: workwear brands made in the United States, Canada, and Europe! … Read More about Workwear Made in the USA