Archive | February, 2010

Needing a Lower Heel is No Excuse!

28 Feb

Steven 'Blend 1 - Leopard', Heels.com, $99.99

On more occasions than we can count (or wish to remember), we have seen professional women commit the unforgivable fashion sin of wearing low, frumpy heels.  You know the kind – huge, blocky heels or barely-there wedges that resemble the old Naturalizer, LifeStride or Hush Puppies styles (in their defense, these brands have attempted – note the use of the word “attempted” –  to re-vamp their shoe styles to rid themselves of their frumpy-fab reputations). 

Attention, attention, ladies!  There are way too many shoes on the market to settle for frump!  If you need to wear lower heels for some reason (e.g., you’re on your feet most of the day, you’re pregnant, or you just haven’t yet found a higher heel that your feet seem to like), that is no excuse to abandon your inner diva (unless a doctor has ordered you to wear a specific orthopedic shoe and, in that case, you are of course completely excused).   If the highest heel you wear is about 1-1/4 inch, we’re talking to you, my dears.  (Smile.  Smooches!)  While many hardcore fashionistas would argue that an in-between heel is not and never will be in fashion, if you must choose something between flat and 2 inches high for your heel of choice, please, please, please (for your own sake) try to choose a lower heel that at least borders on the line of fashionable.

While we here at Corner Office Chic tend to choose high heels for work, we do buy ballerina flats and some select lower heels for our daily walks to the office (we’ve learned the hard way that this is a must by ruining way too many heels in the cracks of DC’s sidewalks); for daycare drop-off and pick-up (we’ve learned the hard way too that toddlers weighing more than 30 pounds often feign forgetting to know how to walk and want to be carried for a block or so); for running errands; and for miscellaneous days when we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off and just don’t have the time or energy to deal with a cutesy heel.  Unfortunately, though, when it comes to low heels, it is so easy to end up looking frumpy if you’re not careful in your selections.  For that reason, the majority of our shoes are either high heel or flat – seldom anything in between.  If you, on the other hand, like your shoes to fall somewhere between high and flat, it is possible to keep your look chic; it’s just more difficult.

If this article speaks to you:  for your consideration, we offer some adorable lower heels in basic black (and in fun animal print, which we think you might be able to get away with when wearing slacks on Casual Friday so long as you don’t have meetings or court appearances).  Our personal favorite is the Steven in animal print, pictured above.  We will note that we were reminded what a challenge it is to find a chic, lower- heel shoe while searching for these (LOL).  We wanted to add in a spunky red in the mix (we love how red ballerina flats spice up an otherwise conservative outfit, by the way), but will have to save that for another post because everything we saw in a red low heel was…ummmmm…underwhelming would be a nice word to describe them.  Enjoy!

Aldo 'Fabeck', Aldoshoes.com, Were 100.00, now $29.98

Kate Spade ‘Nolan’, Amazon.com, Were $295, Now as low as 135.53 (if you wear the lucky size) (also available in red)

Anne Klein ‘Marcella’, Endless.com, Were $69.99, Now $49.99

Unisa ‘Roxxy’, 6pm.com, Were $89, Now $43.70

Spotlight: Social Secretary Desiree Rogers Resigns

26 Feb

Every now and then, we will put a spotlight on women who have mastered dressing chic for the corner office.  In light of the recent news that White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers will be stepping down from her position at the White House next month to return to the private sector, it is only fitting to give her the spotlight this week.  We will definitely miss seeing photos of her gracing the White House (a/k/a The People’s House) halls with a remarkable, diva-esque sense of style and fashion.  She is, without question, a Master of the Corner Office Chic look.  In fact, Huffington Post readers voted her the best-dressed woman in Washington, DC in 2009.  

Ms. Rogers is an inspiration to the rest of us corner-office-chic-aspiring fashionistas.  Check her out!   Her replacement Juliana Smoot will have big fashion shoes to fill!  We wish her all the best.

Rogers Attending a Metropolitan Museum of Art Tribute Luncheon

Rogers with the First Lady before a DC School Visit

(Images Above, Copyright:  Zimbio) 

Rogers makes looking chic seem so effortless

( Image Copyright:  Huffington Post)

  More pictures of Ms. Rogers can be found in this Washington Post photo gallery.

Attention, Pearl Addicts

26 Feb

Pearl earrings, Overstock.com, now $16.49, were $48.95

We saw these darling freshwater pearl dangle earrings at Overstock.com and couldn’t help but think of you.  At just $16.49, they’re a pretty good buy, marked down from $48.95.  If you don’t own a pair of pearl earrings, you definitely have a huge void in your career wardrobe.  Pearl studs and a simple pearl necklace are an absolute office wardrobe must-have, but you can purchase dangle earrings like this to jazz things up a bit.

DISCLAIMER:  We at Corner Office Chic would wear pearls every single day of our lives if we weren’t so trend-conscious (in fact, we have to force ourselves to change it up a bit at times).  Love, love, love pearls!   Perhaps it’s a regional thing.

Chipped Nails are Sooo Anti-Chic!

26 Feb

Essie 'Sugar Daddy' polish, Transdesign.com, $4

Sure, we are all busy and can barely find the time to shower, put on makeup and get dressed for our overscheduled, hectic days.  However, an overbooked calendar is no excuse, my dears, to have nails that look trashy and unprofessional.  Wearing a loud, unprofessional nail color to the office or to an interview can kill an otherwise chic look.  Just the same, wearing a classic color that has become chipped is a huge no-no! 

It is so distracting to watch someone who has disgusting nails share an idea in a meeting (or God forbid, an interview) using hand gestures.  If you are a person who loves to use your hands when you talk (you know who you are – we are in the same club with you), keep your digits in check!  Besides, manicured nails aren’t just about other people; they make you feel even more confident which is a major plus for performance.  When, on the other hand (no pun intended), you know your nails look bad, you start balling up your fingers or concentrating on hiding them instead of focusing on fully engaging with your colleagues or clients.  

So here are a few tips for keeping your hands looking manicure-fresh even when you’re short on time (and/or money):

1.  For emergency situations, keep nail essentials in your office drawer.  We keep nail polish remover, nail clippers, a file and hand moisturizer in our office drawers at all times.  (Preferably, you’ll want to use the instant nail polish remover that allows you to stick your finger inside for quick removal without making a mess.  And, remember, quick removal is key because you don’t want to scent up your entire office suite!)  This way, if we are in a mad-rush in the a.m. and realize, after getting to our desks, that our nails look horrible, we can close our doors, discreetly remove all traces of polish and tidy up any overgrown or uneven nails before a big meeting. 

2.    Wear neutral colors to the office to avoid the risks of (a) wearing an inappropriate color and (b) getting really noticeable chips.  As much as we love a short, classic red nail, we do not wear dark polish to work because, in this swine-flu era, everyone is washing their hands a gazillion times a day which inevitably leads to chips.  Beige and light pinks are very close to the natural color of your nail so generally won’t show chips.  To stay on the safe side, avoid high-maintenance, dark polishes in the office unless you work in a creative field (like fashion).  And for goodness’ sake, please do not wear one of these trendy, fluorescent colors to the office.  Blue, green, yellow – no, no, no!  Black – don’t even think about it (we don’t care if it’s a $23 bottle of Chanel, that doesn’t make it alright)!

While we prefer a French manicure, we often don’t have time.  Our favorite do-it-yourself sheer pink right now is Essie’s ‘Sugar Daddy’ (pictured above) which complements a lot of our wardrobe and looks oh-so-chic.  Another sheer pink which can be found in drugstores like CVS is Milani in Angel Pink.  (Oh, and we are a little addicted to nail colour, so we keep plenty of polishes for every occasion on hand.  To keep our nail colour budgets in check, we like to order our faves online at transdesign.com, a site that has premium polishes at very low prices (e.g., Essie which sells for $8 at Nordstrom for as low as $4 at Transdesign; OPI for as low as $4.99; China Glaze for as low as $2.60)).

3.  Wear a top coat.  A good top coat will help your manicure keep longer and look super-shiny.  We apply an extra layer of top coat when our polish starts looking a little drab to buy us an extra day or so of wear.  Our fave top coat right now is a drugstore-staple, Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat.  We can apply one coat of this over an old manicure and zip out the door 15 minutes later, looking like we just left our manicurist’s chair.  If we’re in a super-rush, we also submerge our nails in a bowl of ice cold water to seal the Sally Hansen.  Another great top coat we’ve tried is Healthy Hoof Nail Lacquer (it was made for horse’s hoofs, but works miracles on humans’ nails — is great for nail growth aid as well).

4.  Keep your nails fairly short and low-maintenance.  OK, I know some of you will not like this one, but it works for us.  Clipping our nails just as they grow over our nail beds keeps them looking professional and saves us the headache of needing to file and clip and primp them constantly.  We don’t have to deal with nightmarish breaks and we are able to type a gazillion words-per-minute on our keyboards without error.  If you do like a longer nail, please, please, please don’t go with the fang, vampire look (and avoid acrylics if possible – they’re an expense and time-killer you can probably live without).  Remember, we are dressing for the jobs we want and how often do we see executive women who are in partner, CEO or VP positions flaunting claw-like nails?  If you have the opposite problem and bite your nails down until your nail beds are swollen and inflamed, please try one of those anti-nail-biting polishes (readers, if you have overcome a nail-biting habit, feel free to offer your advice here because we haven’t tried any of the nail-biting products).

Well, ladies, there you have it!  Go treat yourselves to a manicure this weekend (or give yourselves one at home).  You deserve it!

Is Gray the New Black for Spring 2010?

25 Feb

Eva Longoria in her shades of gray

Gray is a staple color in most professional wardrobes.  That’s why it’s quite refreshing to hear that gray is an “it” color for Spring 2010.  Finally, a runway trend that we can wear to the office without hesitation.

We are inspired by the way celebrity Eva Longoria Parker has incorporated two different shades of gray into her look (pictured above).  If her outfit were a wee bit roomier and had a bit more sleeve, we might be able to wear it to the office.  (While we want our clothes to be tailored and to fit properly, we do not want them so tight that they  scream “Look at me, I’m hot!”  “Hot” is not corner office appropriate – at all.  You want your boss and colleagues to be floored by your analytical skills, not by your curves.  Save your “hot” looks for nights and weekends.) 

For your viewing pleasure, here are a few items in gray that we’ve been eyeing for our Spring wardrobes.  😉

Classiques Entier 'Heathrow' Dress, Nordstrom, now $135.90, regularly $228

Tory Burch 'Reva' python flats, Net-a-porter.com, $235

Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Mini, RebeccaMinkoff.com, $550

Cardigan w/ embellishment, Anthropologie, $88

Kate Spade 'Susie' pumps, Footcandy.com, now $162.50, regularly $325

For more inspiration, check out Elle Magazine’s take on the trend.

The Hunt for Navy Pumps

24 Feb

Giuseppe Zanotti Navy Peep Toes, ShopSavannahs.com, orginally $476, now $333

Is it just us or are fashionable navy pumps hard to find?  It seems that most of the navy pumps we come across are either frumpy or outrageously priced.  Our wardrobes are filled with navy, but it’s often hard to find the right pumps.  We came across the Giuseppe Zanotti beauties pictured above (which are still a bit steeply priced even on sale) and could not resist posting them!  After all, it is Wish List Wednesday.  Oh, and these navy suede Stuart Weitzmans ($227.50 on sale, 6pm.com) are adorable too (we’re just loving the way the dark navy suede looks on both the Stuarts and the Giuseppes)… Le sigh…Add these both to our wish list!

Wednesday Wish List – To-Die-For Peep-Toes

24 Feb

Giuseppe Zanotti Multicolor Platform Peep-Toe, $465, ShopSavannahs.com

If you’re like us, you have a neverending wish list of items you would reeeeeally looooove to have in your closet if money were no object (oh, and if practicality were no object either).  Some wish list items are more unforgettable than others though.  These oh-so-“mahvelous” Giuseppe Zanotti pumps certainly fit that bill. 

We absolutely cannot get these showstopping platform peep-toe pumps off our minds.  Talk about eye candy!!!  Le sigh…Since the first time we laid eyes on them, we have dreamed about them, salivated about the idea of slipping our tootsies into them, saved them as an image on our computer so we can visit them each day…They are a beauty to behold…But…we could never justify spending $465 on a shoe that we could never wear to the office (the bright colors are way too distracting for a conservative office and that killer heel would probably land us flat on our butts which would impress neither our bosses nor our clients)!  Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to dream!  Right?

If you have come across lust-inducing items that you just can’t seem to get off your minds and want to see them mentioned on our Wednesday Wish List post, please feel free to comment about them below or to send an e-mail about them to us at cornerofficechic@gmail.com.  We can wish, dream, sigh and salivate together!!!