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Workwear sales of note for 6.02.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – $50 off $150; $100 off $250+; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 25% off purchase
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off select styles; extra 20% off sandals & sneakers
- Eloquii – 60% off all tops
- Express – 30% off all dresses, tops, shorts & more; extra 50% off clearance
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!); extra 50% off select sale
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 60% off everything; 60% off 100s of summer faves; extra 60% off clearance
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event: extra 30% off
- Loft – 40% off tops; 30% off full-price styles
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 60% off sale
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – 25-40% off select styles
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 40% off; pop-up sale up to 30% off
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses (Reader-favorite brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Up to 25% off in-stock furniture; up to 60% off clearance
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
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- What are some of your go-to outfits that feel current?
- I need more activities that are social, easy to learn and don’t involve extreme running/jumping/etc.
I have a very similar blouse to this one that I bought at Ann Taylor years ago. I only wear it underneath dresses though, it’s way too sheer (and this one seems to be too). I guess I could put a cami underneath but then it screams bedroom clothes to me.
I think sheer tops (with or without camis, etc) are possibly suggestive, and it seems just easier to stay away from them for work.
SF Bay Associate
This isn’t a blouse I’d wear, but to make it office appropriate in the SF area, I’d put a more substantial cami underneath – not a spaghetti strap cami, but a full-back coverage, wide straps, scoop neck type, a la the spanx camis. And have a blazer handy for meetings.
I’d wear a shirt like this with a substantial cami in DC. I don’t think it’s too suggestive if you wear proper items underneath.
Out of curiosity, what would a “proper” item be? White camisole? Skin-toned camisole? Specific brand that works well? Possible topic for another Shopping Guide?
I was thinking of a camisole like this:
No lace, wide straps, and good coverage. I’d probably avoid a skin-toned camisole because I would not want people guessing whether I’m wearing a camisole.
Definitely a nude cami. I have some great ones that are almost spanx like and great for this (I think they’re some knock off spanx brand).
If wearing with black pants, I actually think a black solid (not lacy) cami is the way to go, for a solid sleek look underneath. When I used to use a personal shopper, she taught met this trick.
And in terms of the whether I’m wearing a cami or not question with nude camis, I pretty much assume that 99% of people would not think I would show up to work with a see through shirt and just a bra. No need to worry on my part of whether I have a shirt underneath or not. It’s assumed, just like when I see someone with a see through shirt on and no cami outline, I assume they have a nude cami underneath.
But in my office, no associate is rocking see through clothes, the females all dress pretty sylishly and appropriately.
Nonnymous, you might be surprised at how ignorant some men are re: women’s clothing. They might well wonder if you showed up with a see-through shirt and a bra on. I personally wouldn’t wear a shirt this sheer to work, but if I was going to, I would definitely go with a white cami.
I think I just trust my colleagues to know I don’t dress like a whore. I’m not naive, just like to have faith in men and women as good, genuine people who do not go around judging people.
Sadly this blog makes me distrust women at work way more than men.
I like the idea of putting it underneath a dress! What a great way to wear a shirt like this – it would look awesome under a particular dress in my closet…
I wear shirts like this with nude camis all the time underneath blazers or a belted cardigan. It looks great and not suggestive at all.
Further, how do people on this blog have a whole conversation about a t-shirt being ok, but not a 70’s style loose, beautiful blouse? It’s beyond me.
Everyone needs to realize that each office is different. For some places, a t shirt is totally fine. For my work, a sheer blouse would be inappropriate and a big no no. My work place is also very boring fashion wise. Thats ok with me, my goal is to look polished and sharp (and boring) Some people get to aim for fashionable stylish, confident and fabulous. For some this shirt screams bedroom, and for some t shirts scream unprofessional. Different strokes for different folks, and different clothes for different offices, careers, locations, income level, culture.
While I agree all offices are different and different strokes for different strokes, I fail to see an office where a t-shirt is appropriate and the shirt featured is not?
No I didn’t mean it like that. There are offices where tshirts are ok, offices where this shirt is ok, offices where neither is.
Although I can’t speak for all offices, I will say that at my office, nice t-shirts are definitely appropriate, and this shirt would probably not be (judging from the fact that many women wear nice t-shirts regularly and I have yet to see anyone in a shirt like the one featured).
You can think of it as there being two axis. There’s the formality axis and the (lack of)sexiness axis.
In an office high on the formality axis a tshirt is inapproriate while for an office high on the (lack of)sexiness axis anything suggestive of see throughness is inappropiate. For another example, for an office that’s low on formality but high on (lack of)sexiness a pants suit is more appropiate than a skirt suit while in an office high on formality and low on (lack of)sexiness a skirt suit is more appropriate even if it’s paired with 3.5/4 inch shoes.
Those are two different concerns.
Arachna, I love that description!!
I would wear it under a loose, short sleeve sweater. I love the look of a sheer blouse under a sweater/vest.
Judith Rasband | The Image Expert
This is a very relaxed top that would be better for a casual work environment or after hours. It certainly needs a layer with good coverage underneath to deal with the transparency factor.
Agree that sheerness might pose a problem, but so very pretty! Love.
Agreed, I like this but think it would be too sheer for work…more for a dinner out or something.
Love love love it! But this would show major cleavage for me. Maybe a pretty cami (something with color, I’m so in the mood for color to get out of the dreariness of winter) would take care of both sheerness and cleavage.
I like the idea of a bright color underneath.
Junior Mngr in Canada
Sorry for the early thread-jack.
I’m evaluating the possibility of taking an opportunity with my company in Kuala Lumpur. I am 27, work in corporate IT, and this would be a great opportunity.
Any advice on:
– culture shock?
– things to consider before going?
– advice on managing 2 careers? My husband would have to stay behind for at least 6 months (with trips possible).
I’d be moving around Spring 11 until early 12.
In addition to regular culture shock, remember that the office you are working in might have different priorities as well. When I worked abroad, “I have to go do laundry” was a good enough reason to leave work after lunch, which sometimes made it challenging to get things done in a timely manner. I really loved living and working abroad, but depending on how drastic of a change, it can wear on you to remember to change not just what you say but your mannerisms to suit another culture. And of course, there is the lovely reverse culture shock, where you’re just confused about what on earth you’re supposed to be doing.
That being said, if you think it is a great opportunity, I would take it. Experiences like this can really change and enhance your life – just be aware of what you’re getting yourself into. Good luck.
Junior Mngr in Canada
I am sure there will culture shock both ways, plus the additional challenges and work-loud. Appreciate the sharing of your experience – thank you!
KL is a nice place (I live over the border in Singapore) . English common, great food, good vibe, great base to explore southeast Asia. Also cyberjaya outside kl is an infotech hub ( or trying to be).
I have no experience in this, but I have a friend whose job sent her all over the world for 6-month stints, and Kuala Lumpur was her absolute favorite. She is planning to retire there!
Junior Mngr in Canada
Now that’s a positive comment – definitely a big “plus” in my pros/cons :-)
Take the opportunity! Malaysia is beautiful, and you can use it as a springboard to visit all the other Asian countries.
There are books and articles about managing your career when you decide to take an overseas stint. Be sure to look into those . . . they’ll help you w/ managing relationships for your return, etc.
When I worked in Bahrain, the first 6 months were a honeymoon for me with all the novelty and excitement. Then came the realization that I wasn’t going home right away. It helped to tap into the expat community for support and to learn how they handled things. There should be some established communities that can help you. And that same community may be able to help you figure out how to form meaningful relationships with the locals.
Can you visit ahead of time? That can help you think of things you might want to take w/ you that you take for granted now.
This. Malaysia is amazing, and you should take the opportunity to try as much as possible while you are there. Mmmm, salivating at the thought of the food….
But also, as Darlene says, when you are working abroad is it so important to become part of the community, or you can end up feeling really lonely and isolated. Do you attend church or synagogue? Find one right away that you can attend in KL – not even so much for the religion as the community. What are your hobbies? Don’t let them slide while you are away, and find clubs of like-minded people to join. In Malaysia, the equivalent of country clubs are a very important part of the social scene. Maybe your employer will have a membership that you can use – take advantage of it.
I also think it is just as important to make friends with the local community as the expat community. It is far too easy to become part of the expat ghetto and never learn anything about what the country is really like for “normal” people.
I am sure you will miss your husband, but Skype is a great thing.
Have fun! What a great opportunity!
Junior Mngr in Canada
Thank you very much – in particular the local specific information about clubs!
We will rely on technology as required… including Skype :-)
As someone now tied down by family (both kids and parents): Go! Have fun! I’m jealous!
I can’t speak to managing two careers long-distance, but I know several geographically-divided families, and they absolutely rely on technology to stay close: frequent text messages, chat sessions, and now FaceTime.
anon in canada
I went from Canada to Singapore at your age for 4 years. It was the best move I ever made! I also spent a lot of time in Kuala Lumpur and it’s great. I can’t say enough good things: cheap, delicious food, amazing travel opportunities, gorgeous beaches, cheap custom-made clothing, good shopping, cheap massages, etc!!! The people are friendly and while the work pace is slower and can be frustrating, you will adjust. It will be important for your husband to join you as soon as possible though. 6 months apart will be fine though.
Do it now before you have kids! You will not regret it and it will change your view on life.
This. DO IT NOW BEFORE KIDS. Sorry to yell, but I cannot emphasize it enough. I took several opportunities to live abroad. The last one was 4 months in the Netherlands. I wasn’t terribly excited about going; somewhat ambivalent, actually. What pushed me over the edge was the knowledge that it was one of the last times I could do this easily, without the encumbrances of husband, kids, mortgage, etc. Now that I am so much more tied down, I look back very fondly and am SO glad I did it.
Junior Mngr in Canada
thank you both! definitely one of the big “pro”s in doing it now is the flexibility our family currently has.
Anon this time
I had a similar opportunity to go to a distant locale for several months for my job. I took it — and brought my child with me for the educational opportunities. (The internet was scorched by my searches for housing and good schooling suitable for my youngster in this educationally uneven locale.) I enjoyed myself enormously, and it was a super adventure for my bi-racial child where many other people were brown like him. The far locale asked me to stay an additional year –consider it a branch office. . . I really want to be anon. for this. Much as my child and I wanted to stay, I declined. See below.
To my astonishment, every single lawyer in my office was really jealous that I was picked. My immediate supervisor, who had also applied to go, began sending me sh**ty emails almost from the moment I got to the new locale. The lawyers I was closest to in my office often didn’t respond to my emails asking how they were doing. I was closed out. My supervisor went thru my cases and decided I messed up on one and sent me one scathing email after another about it.
Upon my return to the office, everyone except the support staff was aloof for several weeks. The day of my return, my boss left a memo on my desk demanding I explain why I failed to do something in that case. My “failure” had been based on a decision that this particular action was not in our client’s best interests, and it was later determined, without going into the details here, that I was correct in my decision.
My office is small — 7 litigators, a few researchers/paralegals. Maybe in a bigger place there would have been no jealousy. Before the trip, I had a good relationship, with everyone, including my boss. Upon my return, I kept a low, pleasant, profile, but it took a long time to get back to my former level of camaraderie with my co-workers. My boss remained distant and angry. No one asked about the assignment, or what I’d learned that could help our office.
A few months after my chilly return, the main office in D.C. asked me to go to “X” country. It was a short trip, with extraordinary opportunities to learn, and to help a certain group of people, and to meet and work with a famed federal judge not in our jurisdiction.
As before, my own supervisor had been invited to do this particular thing in this great foreign country. (You can’t apply for this; your are selected or not. This opportunity comes up every 3-4 years, and my supervisor had done it twice before, bragged about it extensively, etc.) . . . I actually went to a therapist to discuss if I should go or not. If I didn’t take the trip, my boss would not get the job. She said to go for it, one only lives once, etc. She practiced with me how to tell my supervisor. I decided she was right. I was so nervous the day I told him that I threw up before our meeting.
Anyway, I went. Stupid, stupid, stupid. That was a few years ago. My boss has made sure I’ve regretted that decision every day since. He yells, he screams, my work is never up to his standards, etc. My co-workers have again warmed up to me — some have moved on and some are new –, but having a p*s*ed off boss who can hold a grudge for a lifetime, make it so not worth my have elected to do either trip. Plus, I was really shocked/hurt over my the response of my colleagues, and my sorrow over this has never quite left. I can’t quit because my salary is really good, I’m the sole support of my family, and I hope to take an early retirement.
I’m so sorry I’ve ranted so long. My dismay remains strong.
My point? Make sure this splendid opportunity will not sour your left-behind co-workers or supervisor, and if you think there may be problems with your coworkers/boss, consider whether it is worth it. (Of course, before I left — at least for the first adventure — I had no idea that anyone at my office would be unnerved at all.)
Either way, good luck to you! I hope you go and that you have great support back at the home office.
Are you absolutely sure you can’t get a different job and get away from your awful manager and co-workers? Life is too short and they sound like truly terrible people.
Threadjack — After the recent commentary on button-down shirts gaping, I wanted to pass on a link I found on another site (pregnantfashionista.com, which by the way is pretty good for sales and other fashion news for those of us who are maternity-minded) for a button-down shirt that seems to address the gaping problem. http://the-shirt.com/index.php/how-it-works. Looks like it uses extra interior buttons in the placket so that the placket doesn’t gape at the bust. The shirts look nice for other reasons, but this is probably something you could get your tailor to do (or do yourself) on shirts you already own. Just wanted to pass this on — have no idea about quality, fit, etc. Only heard of them last night.
That is brilliant
I actually know the person who invented these. It was a great idea!
This is basically the same thing as having snaps sewn on.
I am looking for a new mascara. My eyes get very irritated with most mascaras I have tried, and it ends up making my eyelids painful and itchy when I wear mascara (eyeliner, shadow, etc doesn’t cause this problem). The only mascara I have used that I could tolerate was Almay’s Naturals, but I wasn’t happy with volume or the color shade. Any recommendations for a mascara that is non-irritating, but still has all the good values of mascara (non clumping, full, good color, etc). Thanks in advance!!
surrounded by lawyers
Aveda. I have very irritable eyes as well, but it never caused me problems and worked well as long as I replaced it regularly.
This is key – replace at least every 3 months if you have sensitive eyes.
I also have sensitive eyes and love Clinique’s Naturally Glossy.
The only one that doesn’t irritate me is Korres – it is all natural and sold at Sephora etc.
That’s the one I’m wearing right now! I bought the Sephora mascara sampler and this is my favorite of the ones the ones I’ve tried so far.
Maybe Physicians Formula?
I second the physicians formula– I have the organic wear, which is free from parabens and all that other stuff. I got it because my eyes were irritated last winter (I think a combo of dry air and my last mascara), and it has been great.
I love Josie Maran’s mascara.
Blinc is great for sensitive eyes, IMO. It’s a tube mascara and it doesn’t flake off at all or clump.
Love Blinc! I just tried something else after using Blinc for several years–no idea why I thought I could beat it, and I can’t. Back to Blinc for me!
I love Blinc, too! So easy to take off and no racoon eyes.
Blinc is my favorite, too. @Jay, I did the same thing recently. I think all the mascara commercials finally convinced me to try out the great technological advances in regular mascara. Tossed it out after the first use, cannot stand the smearing and clumping!
I agree. I have sensitive eyes and have had great luck with Tube type mascara (I use Trish McEvoy’s) and as an added bonus, my towels don’t get all black-stained.
I really like Clinique Lash Power. It’s long-wearing, so it doesn’t run or smear, but it’s easy to remove, and also hypoallergenic. Costs more than drugstore, but much less than designer lines.
Yikes! See through blouse. And strikes me as kinda schlumpy looking. The hem and the way the shoulders look droopy.
I avoid all sheer tops for work – too hard to get it right, so very easy to get it wrong.
I’m fascinated by all the “too sheer” comments! I thought everyone wore them since that’s all you can find sometimes. Once again, a dose of reality for work wear designers from real working women.
I wear them to work. Don’t take too much advice on this board seriously. If you did no one would wear makeup, a heel greater than 2″s, a skirt that showed the knee, etc.
I thought you would say “EVERYONE would wear makeup.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone on this blog say that you shouldn’t wear makeup to work.
I meant the “not noticeable makeup” lectures I tend to get on this blog constantly.
Successful pink lipstick and grey eyeshadow.
Just know your office. For some its no noticeable makeup, no heel greater than 2″ and knee length skirt. For some its not. I would never wear a sheer shirt. But I can totally comprehend that there are many places where a sheer shirt would be find, and awesome. There are some people who don’t believe you should ever break their rules, and another group that believes no one dresses as conservatively as some say on this board. We all need to come to the middle. Some people work in super conservative places. Sheer would not be appropriate. Some people work in places where there is more fashion. Only dressing in skirt suits with low heels and collared shirts would make the person stick out there as boring. Take all the advice as a possibility, and figure out which applies to where you work.
Or, take the advice here with a grain a salt and know your office, and what you are comfortable wearing to it.
We are a clearinghouse for perspectives around here.
I’m not sure how they could be “all you can find” – I avoid blouses unless I can wear them without a jacket as the blouse/jacket thing is tricky for me. (I know, I know. I wear shells.) So I’d never buy a sheer blouse as it requires all the cami business and just seems like a lot of work. I’ve never gone without a blouse for lack of an opaque one…
Maybe this blouse could work with a menswear inspired vest? That would cover all the areas that need to be covered, but still show the pretty arms and neckline.
Yes, perfect for a sweatervest.
Oohh very good idea! I worse a Theory wool suiting vest yesterday with a button down shirt but it would be wonderful with this type of shirt. Thanks!
Great idea. I really like this kind of shoulder (what would you call it – slightly puffy?) with a sweater vest. It adds a nice bit of interest. Try to imagine with a black vest and a long gold pendant necklace. Nice.
surrounded by lawyers
Quick check: it is totally unacceptable/unethical for someone in a management position to order one of his reports to do research for him toward the effort of getting himself a different job, right? How about lying as to the purpose of the research assignment, and categorizing it as “business development” work for accounting purposes?
My gut reaction: yes.
surrounded by lawyers
Yeah, I am obviously not expecting legal advice. This is not my field, nor is it my own situation, but just wanting to see whether somehow I’m way off here…
Assigning someone to do it just seems like an a**hat thing to do, and really weird, and begging to get reported. But billing it? That’s sketchy.
Starting down the “abuse of authority” and “fraud” paths if not clearly on it already.
Does anyone know how I should buy high quality loose teas? I heard they are much better for you than prepackaged tea baged, grocery store teas, but I haven’t the slighted clue of where to buy them, how much loose tea makes how much real tea, how to make the tea, etc.
Agadio.com! Get the sampler sizes so you can try a variety to see what you like. The reviews are great too.
To make it, you generally need a strainer and a tea pot. The loose tea goes in the strainer, approximately a teaspoon of tea per 8oz of water. Pour the hot water over it and let it steep, usually 3-5 minutes, then take the strainer of tea leaves out (I usually cover the pot with a kitchen towel while it steeps to keep it warm). Adagio includes the steeping time and ideal water temperature on the boxes. I don’t measure the temperature of the water – if it says 212 F, I pour the water immediately after it is boiled (once it stops bubbling), if it says less than that I let it stand a minute after it has boiled. When looking for a tea pot, the most important thing is that the spout doesn’t drip when you pour. Read the reviews online.
Tea is like wine, you can make it as complicated or as simple as you like.
Check out Adagio Tea’s website. They’ve got a wide variety of really great teas, along with brewing instructions, and lots of educational stuff. You can order samplers to let you try out different kinds of teas.
Brewing times and temperatures vary depending on whether you’re brewing green, black, etc. Generally speaking, you want a rolling boil for black tea, and a little less for green tea. I usually let my kettle get to a rolling boil, turn it off and wait a minute, and then steep my green tea.
You may also have a tea store near you–Teavana, Tealuxe, David’s Tea (in Canada), etc. Staff in tea shops are more than happy to let you try different types of tea, give you instructions on how to brew, you can purchase tea paraphernalia, etc. If you buy a bag of tea, they’ll usually include a sticker on the bag to tell you brewing temp, etc.
Thanks to both you and Janie for the tip-off re the Adagio website. Looks like a great source!
Argo Tea is another chain tea shop that might be by Nonnymous. They have some really yummy unorthodox tea drinks.
Teavana has good teas, but at least in my area, they are unrelenting upsellers. You really don’t need to buy more than 4 ounces of loose tea at a time – they will try to sell you a pound, which is a massive amount of tea. You also don’t need a special tin for storing it – a clean jam jar or even tupperware works just fine. I finally had to tell one kid that I had probably been drinking tea for longer than he had been alive to get him to stop trying to sell me stuff!
As for brewing, the tea infusers are good, but I actually like using a very small (like 1 cup size) press pot. I put the tea in the pot, add water, then use the plunger to strain the tea into the cup. I have this idea that the leaves need to be in direct contact with the water as much as possible to elute all the good-tasting chemicals. Oh, and the water should be boiling – I don’t use a microwave because microwaves actually leave “pockets” of colder water, so all the water isn’t really boiling temperature.
Couldn’t agree with you more on Teavana. Went in there to purchase some loose leaf tea for a Christmas gift and, before I even knew what was happening, I was being charged $50.00 for more tea than my boyfriend will ever drink and a special “air tight” container. Will not return. Their aggressive sales tactics are simply too much.
The quality is also not very good, compared to the range of quality on the Asian markets for the same types of tea leaves. It’s a fun place to go for some interesting blends catered to US tastes, but I wouldn’t advise spending much money on their stuff. I also see many of the exact same tea sets at Teavana in Chinese markets for way, way cheaper, which contributes to my feeling that they are overpriced (and, for teaware, possibly not up to the highest standards for lead, etc.)
It may just be me, but never make tea in a stainless steel pot like the ones they give you in cheap restaurants. The metallic taste gets into the tea and ruins everything.
Always heat the teapot before you make the tea – just swish some hot water around in it while you are waiting for your water to boil. Makes all the difference.
I don’t even bother with tea balls of any kind. I like just letting the tea leaves float around in the pot – it steeps better – and if I really don’t want tea leaves in my cup (I am not usually particular), I just use one of those tea strainers when I pour out the tea.
When I am making green or white tea, I usually throw out the first cup. I have actually heard of a lot of people who do this. I am not sure if there is a technical reason, but the first cup never tastes as good!
Yes, loose tea is better for so many reasons, particularly taste! You can get loose tea lots of places, including many high-end grocery stores or a coffee roaster. Be wary of stale stock since it may sit on the shelf a long time. I have had great success with the loose tea from Granville Island Tea Company, Upton Tea Imports, Peet’s and the English Tea Store, among others.
Generally brew one teaspoon of loose tea per cup of water. I like strong tea, so I tend to brew a heaping spoonful for my big mug, which is more than the 1 t/cup ratio.
In terms of how to brew it, you can use a teapot plus tea strainer, a tea ball, a “brew-in” mug that combines the strainer, mug and lid into one neat device, or T-Sacs. Google these things and you’ll see what I mean. For work or other times when I don’t have easy constant access to a kitchen, I like the T-Sacs best, brew-in mug second best.
Brew for 3-5 minutes generally, depending on the tea. Also the water shouldn’t be super boiling hot, more like just below boiling if possible.
Enjoy! Tea is an underrated pleasure.
Get a good tea pot. Measuring is a matter of taste, trial and error. When you make tea in a pot, you can always dilute it in your cup with hot water if it tastes too strong. I actually do this a lot — use the tea pot tea as a sort of infusion. . . . Make a pot for the evening/day: 2-3 heaping teaspoons in a small teapot, let sit for a bit (10 min or so); pour 1/3 to 1/2 into a cup; add hot water.
As for where to buy, there are tons of places. Whole Foods has a few . . . Even Twinings makes loose tea that’s sold in most supermarkets. Happy Tea!
Thanks all. I guess I better get a tea pot!
This is how we Russians make our tea – it took me years to learn to do it the American way, though I now prefer it :)
Is there a tea store near you, even somewhere like Teavana? Sure, you’ll end up paying more, but they’re usually more user friendly. The teas include directions of exactly how much to use and how long to steep, since it differs for different teas. If you’re used to teabags, a tea infuser like this (http://www.amazon.com/Infuser-1-5-Inch-Mesh-Ball-Spoon/dp/B0006SYA34) will probably be a lot more user friendly. The loose leaf tea goes into the ball, then you use it exactly like a tea bag. They even have disposable tea bags (e.g. http://www.amazon.com/Melitta-Loose-Tea-Filter-Ct/dp/B000FKJNL2/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1296582603&sr=1-2) that you can fill yourself. A final user-friendly option is a tea infuser mug. They normally have a removable basket for the tea built into the cup. Add the tea, steep as normal, then remove the basket and it’s a regular mug of tea.
I’m a huge tea fan, and drink all sorts (from the cheap wal-mart bags to grab and go in the morning to pricey white and herbal teas that I order online).
First off, I don’t know that loose teas are actually better for you, other than the fact that they tend to taste better (so you might drink more) and that you can make them stronger to suit your preference.
Second, I highly recommend Teavanna. Great quality, decent prices, a lot of choices (in varying prices). I order online, but they have some brick and morter stores, too, depending on where you are. My favorite is the Assam Gold Rain, which is a black tea which has a very tannic quality to it, similar to red wine. It’s just lovely. I also love the Thai Tea Blend, which is a blend of black and red teas.
But you can usually get some loose teas in a decent grocery store, as well (try a more upscale one if your regular one doesn’t carry them, and look hard, they are often poorly marked). I wouldn’t make these a go-to, but they’re good in a pinch. I know that you are not supposed to keep them too long, but I haven’t really found significant differences in flavor between teas that have been open a few weeks and ones that have been open a few years. (I have a bad habit of letting things disappear in my pantry)
Consider a high end electric kettle. My husband got me one a few years ago, and we use it several times a day. You can set it to different temps for different kinds of teas. (He’s more of a coffee drinker, and we’ve ditched our drip maker and use that with a french press now for coffee as well.)
A lot of places sell “tea balls”, often in whimsical shapes. I would avoid these. The best strainers give the tea a little room to float around while it brews- Bodum makes several good ones. I use the single cup strainer (which is a mesh cylander that sits in a mug) if I’m just making it for myself and a pot that is similar to a french press if I’m sharing. Use the package directions for amount and brew time, then experiment based on that to your own preferences.
Oh, and don’t ever put tea in a plastic container that has held coffee (ever), and make sure that any glass or metal ones have been well-cleaned. Coffee flavor + tea flavor = very, very bad mix.
For what it’s worth, I’m trying to stick to my diet. With that being said I’m consistently hungry (I’m not starving myself, please do not preach to me, i just am hungry). I also love green tea. Magically, green tea is supposed to be an appettite suppressant. but fresher green tea has more of the chemical than the dried, older, prepacked bagged teas. Same with all the other stuff that’s good for you in these teas. That’s what I read and so I’ m trying to get the fresher, loose teas.
Don’t know about the appetite suppressant, but if you are after a good green tea, I suggest Japanese tea sellers. There are great green teas from China as well, but (1) pesticide contamination is a major problem, and (2) the ones they sell in the US market, such as via Tian Ren, are very low quality. Tokiusa sells a nice Organic Green Sencha (basically your garden variety Japanese green tea): http://www.tokiusa.com/organic-sencha.html. Remember to keep the water temp low for green tea, not quite boiling, because if the water is too hot the tea will be bitter.
SF Bay Associate
This is why I love my Zojirushi hot water heater. It has temperature settings, so I can keep 175 degree water on hand for my green tea. I also use a Bodum glass teapot with a plunger, which helps keeps the leaves from overbrewing and turning the tea bitter. And in case anyone isn’t aware – green tea can have a lot of caffeine, especially matcha. I’m sure most of you know that already, but I learned the hard way.
I really like ITOEN’s bottled green tea, and it can be much more satisfying to drink than plain water. I don’t know if it’s high quality tea, but I still like it. It’s unsweetened with vitamin C added, and they have plain green tea and different flavors (white, jasmine, mint, etc.).
Have you heard of Ballerina Tea? My paralegal swears by it. It’s not loose tea, but has the appetite suppressing qualities you’re after.
I would agree not to store in the same containers but I have to say that coffee and tea can mix well when done on purpose – a Dirty Chai latte is my new favorite beverage – chai tea (best brewed from whole leaf I’ve found) with a shot of espresso. Delicious!
Interesting, I’ll have to try that! (I’m sure there’s an issue of: Having a bare hint of coffee flavor is awful, but having a good amount of coffee flavor is just fine)
I love loose tea. Some of my favorite bagged teas also come loose (makes them cheaper!) so check out Two Leaves and a Bud (their lemon rooibos is to die for). Teavana has also showed up in many malls – might be a good place to start. Most of my loose teas either come from tea shops or nicer grocery or specialty food stores.
There are a few ways to make loose tea, depending on how lazy you are and how much you want to make. You can get a small teapot just for making tea but that equals more dishes to me, so I tend to either get strainers or the drop-in infusers for tea. You have to allow the tea enough room to expand, so I find that the drop-in ones work best for rooibos while the larger one are better for black, white, and green tea. Some companies now even make travel mugs with built-in tea strainers/infusers.
A place like Kitchen Kapers (or even Bed Bath) will have some of the basics. If you happen to be in NY, go to Zabar’s upstairs – they have an amazing collection of strainers, infusers, travel mugs, etc. Ah, how I wish lived closer….
I just attended a food show recently, and the tea importers were in full force. I haven’t gotten through all of my samples yet, but some that I would recomend, Talbot Teas, Republic of Tea, Tea of Tao, Stash Tea and Porto Rico Imports. Happy shopping and drinking.
If you have a Chinatown near you you’ll probably find a few high quality/low cost tea shops.
Rishi tea is the best!
The comments already here give some great advice on preparation. Rishi gives you suggested steep times and amounts for each tea variety. Most high quality tea vendors will provide this information, and I will certainly give that information weight seeing as how they are the ones that travel the world looking for the perfect ingredients and blends!
My recommendation would be to experiment to find what what you like!
Love this blouse. But on to my threadjack: I recently won an award. A national award. And I don’t know how to react to it. The higher-ups and my coworkers are very proud of me and I am honored to have been chosen but I have absolutely no clue how to respond to people asking me what I did to deserve it. I didn’t do anything!!! I applied, like other peers of mine did, and I happened to get selected. It’s an award for promising young professionals. I know “Nice Girls…” says that women always diminish their own accomplishments and we need to just say, “Thank you” and move on but I’m finding it difficult, especially since this award requires interviews and videos and press releases and other stuff. I don’t know what I’m looking for here by posting this but advice? Insults? I’m really trying to get over this feeling of it’s-really-not-that-big-a-deal-but-everyone-thinks-it-is-and-why-can’t-they-just-forget-it. How do you overachieving ladies handle accolades?
For heaven’s sake, just smile and say thank you. If people ask why, say that you were selected from among the applicants based on your application. No need to go into further detail, or “I didn’t do anything” because you clearly did.
Why did you apply for it? What did you talk about in your application materials? That’s probably your answer.
Maybe that’s what’s bothering me, I didn’t apply for it on my own. I was instructed to apply and I did. I guess I should take confidence from the fact that people thought I was a good candidate for it and encouraged/nominated me.
“My name was submitted and I am very honored to have been selected.”
You were encouraged/instructed to apply for a reason. The details don’t matter all that much.
Congratulations! It is a big deal. I (and probably many other Corporettes) too have won some awards and honors, and really, often other people make a bigger deal about it than I would like them to. But when you did the work that earned you the award, it seems easy because you are good at it – however, your work may seem confusing or challenging to others and they’re impressed by how well you do it!
Here are 3 general tips:
1. You can have one celebration/gloating moment, but just one. Be a little excited, invite a few friends for celebration drinks, but don’t drop it into casual conversation, don’t bring it up a year from now or five years from now, etc. If you want to brag, brag to your parents – parents are always thrilled to find out that their offspring are awesome.
2. Notwithstanding the above, use the award to market yourself when you are marketing yourself. It should be bolded on your resume, featured on your online bio, featured in company materials promoting staff expertise, etc. Don’t hesitate to show off in a situation where you’re supposed to be showing off – mention it in job interviews, maybe in a cover letter if it’s directly relevant, if you apply for future honors, etc.
3. Be modest but not self-deprecating when you’re congratulations. A simple “Thank you! I worked so hard and I’m happy to have received the award!” is a great response. Then drop it unless the complimenter continues to ask you about it – she might be looking for tips on how she can improve her chances of getting a similar award. If she is, give her some genuine pointers in a mentor-y way, not in a self-involved way.
This is great advice.
That’s great! Congrats! Smile, say thank you, do not minimize your role/application, etc. I agree with a previous poster – you must have had some reason to apply, so talk about that.
Think about this as a job interview – you wouldn’t meet a potential new employer and say, “I’m decent at my job, but really I was just in the right place at the right time.”
You: “Well thanks, I’m thrilled.” (Remember, to try to deflect their words of congratulations would be Poor Manners and make them feel awkward. Focus on making them feel like they said exactly the right thing to you)
Them: What did you do to deserve it?
You: (with a big smile) I’m just generally fabulous. What’s on your plate these days?
This made me laugh so hard. Will definitely let people know how fabulous I am next time I feel cornered, lol.
Congrats! I won an award once that had a lot of deep personal meaning to me — it really felt like I was being recognized for hundreds of hours of hard work, and a dedication to patient care. I was overwhelmed on a personal level, privately. Then, the surgeon in chief where I was said some amazingly heartful words to me about winning, in front of about 40 other doctors and nurses, people I deeply respected and cared about. I had been up all night on call, and ended up crying in front of them, I was so overwhelmed with emotion. It was mildly embarrassing, but I still feel tremendous gratitude towards this man for his expression of emotion — he is a cigar chomping, tough as nails Texas trauma surgeon.
My advice? Don’t cry (just kidding). Say “Thank you,” or “It means a lot to me” or “your support is so important to me.” And have your gloat moment, make sure you add it to your resume, and use it to fuel your next down period.
I’m not trying to be mean, but why did you apply for such an award if you didn’t want to be recognized? And I don’t just mean recognition from your peers; being able to list something on a resume is a type of recognition. It’s not a bad thing to want recognition at all! You work hard, you’re good at what you do, and it’s great that a national panel has noted that.
Just say “thanks,” add it to your self-marketing materials, and remember the pride you felt because of the award when you’re feeling less than adequate later on.
Thank you all for your responses, I’ll work on getting over myself =).
This Dear Prudie letter made me realize that some of the people who dress completely and totally inappropriately may, in fact, just be totally clueless. How does one get to be over 30 and still wonder whether it’s ok for one’s nipples to show though one’s shirt at work?
Haha, yeah, I thought the same thing when I read it.
I had the exact same conversation with a friend. But what’s really shocking (if you read the comments) is the number of people who DO think it’s ok, at least occasionally, for nipples to show. Because everyone else is just being judgmental…
It is ok occasionally, for instance, when I’m in a bar braless beneath a halter top deliberately looking kind of slutty, or on the beach in a bikini, or in a yoga class. But somehow I doubt those are the situations the questioner is worried about.
And hey, if natural isn’t slutty enough for you when that’s what you’re going for, you could always get a pair of these: http://www.bodyperks.com/
Victoria’s Secret now sells a padded bra with nipple impressions.
Well, as a teenager/young adult, my mother was quite insistent that padded bras, even lightly padded ones, were kind of slutty and inappropriate for work because they increased my already-large bust. I suspect that’s why I’ve never seen her go to work without a blazer/jacket. Granted, dealing with high school boys quickly convinced me that showing nipples was never a good idea. It would be nice if we lived in a world where Barbie-breasts weren’t a requirement, but we don’t.
I used to be quite the hippy chick and went bra-less routinely through my college years. But even then, when I noticed some cold related (or other wise!) poke-age, I would be sure to adjust my (very long) hair to cover it up! (or cross my arms)
I found a line of bras recently that have these concealing petals in them. Bali does them, as do a few others. They definitely help reduce nipple show-through. And that’s from someone for whom padded bras do not offer enough coverage.
This would be perfectly acceptable at my office with a pencil skirt and fun necklace and a nude cami underneath. And were business formalish.
I dont think there is anything wrong with a sheer top. Just wear the right undergarments. No one is going to think I’m walking around a lawfirm with a bra showing or my breasts hanging out for all to see.
I do think that things like t-shirts and courderoy blazers are a downright no though, so what do I know? I guess corporete must mean something different to others on this board.
Threadjack: does it drive anyone else insane when people talk too loudly in the office? I’m working on a project with one of our support staff and every time she comes to me with a question, she shouts at least three times as loud as necessary. She has a very piercing voice, which isn’t helping. I have a headache now. I’m trying to be patient and pretend her questions aren’t silly and she does actually know how to use her brain.
Argh. It’s snowing again and I’m cranky and needed to vent. Thanks.
She may just have a loud voice. Is she actually shouting, or does she always talk like that? If she has a loud voice, deal with it. If she’s actually shouting, you’re entitled to ask her – politely! – to speak in a lower voice.
does she have a hearing problem? I know I talk louder than the average person, but I also have pretty bad hearing. That being said, if I notice someone shocked at my volume (physical reactions such as a head jerk or other little items), I make a conscious effort to reduce the volume.
I’ve had days where this stuff annoys me. Just try to get through today, and hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Dermatological Threadjack: I’ve been using a .05% tretinoin gel (Atralin) since October with great results, clearer and smoother skin and a lessening of acne blemishes. My doctor recommended that I move up to .1% so for the past two nights I’ve been using Tazorac.
On the left side of my face, I now have these small bumps that you can’t really see, but I can definitely see and would describe as orange peel. If both sides were affected I’d simply stop using it, but I’m wondering if anyone else has had this problem and this is just a brief adjustment period. Thanks.
Should be “…but I can definitely FEEL and would describe…” Ugh.
Sounds…shrill? Hopefully your project won’t last too long… :) Is she oblivous to your reactions? Can you exploit the headache and ask her to speak more softly, like “Hey, my head kinda hurts right now….would you mind terribly (whispering, lowering your voice, etc.)?”
Love the color. But alas, that is far too low cut and sheer for this conservative woman.