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Check Me Out on Tumblr.Com!

20 Jul

Well, life happens.  Time flies (and not just when you’re having fun).  Since my last post (last year!), my work and family demands increased dramatically, I got pregnant, and I had a baby.  Phew!  It exhausts me just writing that.   Anyway…  Although I have been somewhat present on Twitter, I have been totally absent from my blog (sorry, ladies and gents).

I miss blogging and wanted to find a way to continue sharing my random work-fashion musings with those who care to listen.  Microblogging on Tumblr.com rocks!  Until I can fit more time in my lawyer-mom-of-two schedule for full-throttle blogging, please stop by and check me out at cornerofficechic.tumblr.com.  There, I post pics of my latest favorite things in fashion for work.  Hope to see you soon!

Happy Earth Day!

22 Apr

(Picture courtesy of Skeeda.com)

Happy Earth Day to all!  We here at Corner Office Chic are hoping to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint by next year this time (particularly after using this carbon footprint calculator and discovering the number of tons of carbon dioxide we contribute to greenhouse gas emissions).  We might start by picking up some chic reusable bags like the one above from Skeeda, priced at $15 each or $40 for a 3-pack.  Check out the variety of hip prints (frost, pictured above, olive and tangerine are our faves)!

We were brainstorming about other steps we could take to live cleaner, greener lives when we came across a study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  That study estimates that Americans throw away more than 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year!  68 pounds of clothing sounds like a huge amount!  Based on this study, clothing and textiles represent about 4% of municipal landfills. 

As huge consumers in the fashion industry, we also may not think about the tremendous amount of energy and natural resources consumed and pollution generated during the clothing production process.   In other words, when you wear something new, you may not consider the highly involved processes used to generate that darling new piece.  Large amounts of water and oil are used to produce the fiber, fabric, threads, and needles.  Chemical residue often pollutes our air and water.  After production, the clothing must then be transported to retail stores – here, fossil fuels are used, resulting in what may be excess greenhouse gas emissions. 

OK, now that we’ve given you a dose of Clothing/Textiles and Energy 101 and sounded a little preachy (and, believe us, we don’t mean to be preachy because we’ve got lots of work to do in this category)…what little things can we fashionistas do to improve the Earth and reduce our carbon footprint?

1.  Donate to charity.  When you donate clothes to a charitable organization like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Dress for Success, Lupus Foundation, or Vietnam Veterans of America, you’re not just helping someone in need, you’re helping yourself de-clutter (and perhaps get a tax deduction) and you’re helping Mother Earth!  Also, check out homeless and domestic violence shelters for their needs.  Clothing/shoe swap parties can also be fun and helpful.   

2.  Hand them down or host a swap party.  Consider handing your clothes down to a relative or close friend.  Or host a swap party where you too can benefit!   Invite a group of girlfriends to get together and “shop” from each other’s gently used or even new but unwanted items.  You all can then donate things left over to a charity. 

3.  Sell your used clothing.  Make a little cash and help the planet too.  We have sold a few items on Ebay and at yard sales (in our view, the yard sales were way too much work given the return).  You may want to check out local consignment shops that cater to the woman who loves designer clothing; that way, you can get a good resale value for your nicer career wardrobe pieces.  If you’re in the DC area, check out Secondi.  We’ve heard good things about it.

4.  Buy recycled or eco-friendly clothing.  There are various brands available.  For instance, Urban Outfitters has an Urban Renewal collection that reuses gently worn goods to make trendy pieces.  While many of the Urban Renewal pieces won’t work in our career wardrobe, we like these Urban Renewal skinny belts.  We think it’s kind of cool that no two of these belts are the same.  Too, a number of retailers like Banana Republic offer organic clothing which is also eco-friendly.

5.  Find creative new ways to use old clothes.  If you’re creative, good with your hands and have some time (the time factor is usually rare among many professionals, we know), you might consider making something from your old clothes. For example, you might gather those precious baby clothes that are collecting dust and make a sentimental quilt or beautiful scrapbook collage.  Or you might transform an adult piece into something a child can wear.  Or use a gorgeous silk blouse or dress that you’ve outgrown to make a small throw pillow for your bedroom.

Whatever you decide to do to reduce your carbon footprint, know that your contribution is much appreciated by many who share the planet with you!  Happy recycling!

How Low Can You Go? Low Necklines at Work?

31 Mar

Issa Silk-Jersey Knot Dress, Net-a-porter.com, $405

Is it just us or are necklines getting lower and lower on dresses and tops nowadays?  We were browsing in the dresses section of Net-a-Porter.com and were shocked – no, appalled – to see the dress pictured above listed as a “work dress.”  Exactly what kind of work did Net-a-Porter have in mind when they decided this dress fit into the work category? 

If we walked into a law office wearing a please-look-at-me (no, let’s rephrase that to “please-look-at-us”) neckline like this one, our reputation at work would be totally ruined.  Who can take someone seriously when their C -cups are half exposed?  Is this a joke?  A mistake?  Did Net-a-Porter truly intend this dress to be categorized as a work piece?  Even a camisole or scarf could not save this plunging neckline.

Perhaps some smaller-chested women can get away with slightly low necklines (and we would not characterize the neckline pictured above as slightly plunging, by the way – with any more plunge, the model’s belly button just might be exposed).  However, we would advise staying away from low necklines altogether in the office unless you’re able to use a scarf or camisole to raise the neckline a bit.  If you’re the teasing kind, feel free to wear your sexy, cleavage-baring pieces on nights and weekends when you’re out on the town, but please leave those pieces in your closet when headed to your day job.  Low necklines send the wrong message in a professional environment.  No one has an excuse to try to check our your assets (that’s what sexual harassment lawsuits are made of), but please don’t encourage anyone to do so either by wearing something inappropriate that screams “check-us-out”! 

Perhaps our friends over at Net-a-Porter are marketing to some, ahem, “working girls” who aren’t exactly in conservative fields.  We’re thinking that we’re probably preaching to the choir here, so we’ll stop now.  Just had to get this off our chest (no pun intended)!

Spring Has Officially Sprung!

23 Mar

Stress ball, Shoplet.com, $1.65 each

Spring has sprung and we hope you’re all enjoying it!  We wanted to check in with you to let you know that we’ve not fallen off the face of planet Earth. 

For us, springtime has ushered in quite an intense period at work.  In our experience, the litigious and their counsel come out of some sort of quasi-hibernation as temperatures start to rise.  In light of this crazy-busy period, we haven’t really been on our blogging game for the past couple of weeks.  That being said, we salute all the bloggers out there who are able to effectively juggle stressful work, mommyhood, and consistent, daily blogging!!! 

When we started this blog just weeks ago, we had no idea how challenging an endeavor it would be to consistently post meaningful information on a daily basis given our other obligations.  The first few weeks have definitely been exciting and we look forward to getting back on our blogging game very soon.

In the meantime, we think we may need to pick up something like the stress ball pictured above – it has cheerful, bright colors and its manufacturer claims that playing with its strings will relieve stress.   We’re a little doubtful, but we’re willing to try almost anything cheap, quick, healthy and lawful at this point to get out of our funk.  If you’ve got other stress relief options (rated G and PG only, please) that we may want to consider, please feel free to share!

Ciao!

Go Green! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

17 Mar

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Are you wearing your green today?  With the first day of Spring just a few days away, we are thrilled to see so many shades of green all around us!  As much as we loathed winter this year (ugh, Snowpocalypse will forever be ingrained in our memory!), we are welcoming in the warmer temps, softer colors and sunshine with open arms!  Buh-bye, Old Man Winter!   Hello, Springtime!

Green is a color that reminds us to be environmentally responsible, but it is also a color that symbolizes energy and revitalization.  It is a quite refreshing hue.  As the grass begins to turn green, we’re more than happy to add some more green to our wardrobe!  We wanted to share some of our fave green lust-worthy items with you in honor of St. Patrick’s Day!  Enjoy!

We started with the Alexander McQueen skull scarf pictured above in green & purple (AlexanderMcQueen.com, $260) (not sure whether the skull motif can pass as work-appropriate on a day other than Casual Friday, but we just had to include this scarf anyway!  May Mr. McQueen rest in peace.)

The necklace below could add just the right touch of color to an otherwise boring work outift.

Anthology Necklace in Green Howlite, Nordstrom, $45

 We’re always looking for interesting belts and think this one definitely fits the bill.  With a white blouse and navy skirt, it might just be work-appropriate, especially on a casual Friday or a meeting-free day. 

Maru sash, Anthropologie, $38

 The dress below is arguably a bluish-green, but the description used with it calls it green, so we’re going with that!  Love it!  We’d have to check out the measurements to see where this would fall on us.  The slit may make it not so work-appropriate if the hem is not long enough, but it’s still a beauty (although definitely not in our budget, we can still appreciate its beauty). 

Giambattista Valli Silk Dress, MyTheresa.com, $2,245+

For those who love to splurge, we could not stop daydreaming about this to-die-for Lanvin tote (a  splurge with a hefty price tag of $1,575).  And this  lime Ralph Lauren cardigan has been marked down from $740 to $370.

Also, more options in green for the budget conscious…we like these sheath dresses at The Limited ($79.50) and J. Crew (now $180, was $225).

There you have it – more items to be added to our (and perhaps your) neverending wish list!  So go revitalize your wardrobe with some green for Spring, ladies!

MIND YOUR MANOLOS: Shoe Care & Maintenance

12 Mar

Fab Feet Shoe Care Travel Kit, Target, $12.99

From time to time, we must stop to assess where we here at Corner Office Chic are falling short of “Corner Office Chic” standards (you have to practice what you preach, after all).  As crazy stressful as this work week has been, believe us, we’ve committed a number of chic-standard violations so the assessment results haven’t been at their optimum this week.  Today, in particular, we’ve concluded that we need to do a much better job in the shoe maintenance department. 

We have to admit that, while we have a fabulous shoe collection, we’ve never been as on point with maintaining our shoes as we should be.  (At least we’re not in denial about this issue.)   If you’ve spent the small fortune on shoes that we have, please do your shoes justice and keep them looking as close to new as you possibly can (yes, we’re talking to ourselves too).  There’s no point in buying gorgeous (not to mention expensive) shoes, if they’re just going to end up dust-ridden and turned over.  Even Manolos, Choos and Louboutins can look bad (yes, bad) if you don’t care for them properly.  Plus, as with everything in our wardrobe, proper care results in longer wear.

We saw the travel shoe kit at Target shown above and recalled the days when we did a better job at keeping our shoes in good shape.  Ideally, you should take care of your shoes at home but, if you’ve got the packed after-work schedule that we do, there may be no time for such luxuries as shining shoes at home!  In that case, you may want to keep a kit like the one above hidden away in your office for emergency shoe shines.  Believe it or not, we’ve been in situations where we’ve either accidentally stepped in mud puddles or found ourselves walking through a dusty construction area, leaving our shoes undesirably dirty.  In those situations, we could make a quick stop in the ladies’ room on the way to our office, wipe the goo off with water & a paper towel, and then head to our office to give them a quick shine.  Walking into a meeting with the appearance that you’ve been dancing in flour is not corner office chic.

As for repairs (you know when your heel tap inconveniently comes loose or you have some other issue that is not do-it-yourself), find yourself a great cobbler (a good cobbler is right up there with a good tailor – although we have to admit that we’re still searching for the perfect tailor).  We were fortunate enough to find a fabulous cobbler close to work; thus, we can drop off our the shoes first thing in the morning and they’re ready within a day or so for evening pick-up.

Well, there you have it!  Lesson for today:  MIND YOUR MANOLOS (or, whatever your brand of preference).  We know, we know…Something else to keep track of as if we don’t have enough to worry about as it is!  (If it makes you feel any better, guys have to shine their shoes too).  No one said looking corner office chic would be easy!

It’s A Wrap: Scarves!

5 Mar

Ombre Scarf, Banana Republic, $59.50

 One accessory that we want to incorporate into our wardrobes more is the scarf.  A scarf can jazz up a drab outfit, add new flair to an old one and even make a revealing top more modest.  Here are just a couple of the scarves we’ve been eyeing for our Spring wardrobe:

Waterflower Scarf, Anthropologie, $58

We also like this polka-dot scarf at The Limited ($29.50).  If you’re like us and have been a bit shy about wearing different types of scarves because you don’t quite know how to tie them, we found this You Tube video on various ways (both office-appropriate and casual) to wear scarves very helpful:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCVEvCiVigU.  Also, Chico’s has a brief tutorial at http://www.chicos.com/store/browse/shelf.jsp?cat=Accessories+Wraps++Scarves&subCatId=cat40031&catId=cat40006.   Just thought we’d share…