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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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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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

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Weekend Open Thread

Ellie Step Hem Skinny JeansSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Step hems have been around for a few years, but I really feel like they’re hitting the mainstream now. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — I think one of the main ways to keep your general look “fresh” is to keep up with denim trends for the weekend because even workwear trends seem to flow and follow with denim trends. (See, for example, how skinny jeans and ankle pants rose in popularity popularity while bootcut denim/full-length trousers went out of style for a long time but are on an upswing now.) These $55 step-hem jeans are highly rated at Nordstrom, allegedly are very stretchy and comfortable (one reviewer notes that both she and her mother can wear them even though she has an athletic body type with large thighs/small waist and her mother has a “normal” body type). The dark blue wash also feels like it’s on trend. They’re available in several washes in sizes 24-32 at Nordstrom, Amazon, and Macys. Pictured: Ellie Step Hem Skinny Jeans

Looking for a plus size option? This $99 pair looks great, and this $65 pair looks nice if you want a longer hem in the back. Looking for lots of other options? Don’t miss our guide to the most-loved denim at Nordstrom.

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Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Flutter Top

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

Flutter TopLoft always has cute, affordable tops for work, and if you’re looking for easy wear and easy care tops for layering in the spring weather, they have a ton of cute options right now. This gray top (also in pink) stood out because the fluttered cap sleeves are on trend, but unlike the more voluminous sleeves out there right now, these would layer nicely under a blazer, sweater, or cardigan. The gray feels very purpley to me; I’d pair it with a light blue, white, or paaaaaale gray to make it feel more springy. It’s $44 full price at Loft, available in regular, petite, and plus sizes (new at Loft!). Flutter Top

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Thursday’s Workwear Report: Tie Waist Rolled Sleeve Blouse

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

Tie Waist Rolled Sleeve BlouseI recently updated our Guide to White Tops for Work and was intrigued to see how many cute ones Express has this year. I like the casual elegance of this one — it seems like an easy piece to throw on to springify your whole wardrobe. Jewelry can always be a bit difficult with a blouse that has a waist detail like this — my first impulse was to wear a long pendant necklace with it, but I think that will result in too busy of a look. Instead I’d probably stick with a short, round necklace (16″ or so), or skip a necklace and focus on other jewelry like several rings, a non-jangly bracelet like a cuff, or even a brooch. The top is $39, available in five other colors sizes XS-XL, and has a ton of great reviews.  Tie Waist Rolled Sleeve Blouse

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