Saturday 20th January 2018
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Week of requests: dressing for a corporate environment

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“I would love to see your ideas for stylish workwear for the corporate office,” writes a reader who goes by MLP. “I know that’s not your wheelhouse, but I would love to see what you come up with.” This post is, in fact, so far out of my wheelhouse that I have avoided executing it for the longest time because I have so little experience in dressing for a true corporate environment (I’ve only ever worked places where jeans were permissible), and feel I have little to offer. But I’ve received so many requests for my take on this over the years that at last I’m giving in. What follows are pieces I would wear if I suddenly found myself working in an office office. For starters, I know for sure I’d wear a lot of button-downs because I own so many of them already, and they make me look put-together on days that I don’t especially feel that way.

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Of course I have to throw on a few necklaces to keep the button-down from being too boring. Here’s one I’ve got my eye on.

everlane blazer

Throw a blazer over almost anything and it becomes instantly office-worthy.

cigarette pants

If I were to find myself in an office environment again, I’d definitely acquire a good pair of skinny cigarette pants (here is a cheaper pair).

marant belt

An interesting (but, as I always say, not too interesting)  belt is a small, cool way to let a little of your personality shine through.

halogen boot

I’d wear a pair of boots like these, which look like the ones I splurged on here (and here is a sort-of-clunkier version I also like.

marant dress

When I worked in offices, I wore a lot of dresses—mostly simple ones with something architecturally interesting going on, like this one.

sea dress

I think you could get away with this in a more creative corporate environment (I’d probably add a cardigan).

vince dress

I’d layer a shrunken leather jacket over this.

preen dress

It’s on the investment-y side, but this dress makes such a statement and is really flatteringly cut.

jill dress

And you couldn’t beat something like this on days when you want to look especially polished.

 

 

 

Week of requests: Duvet covers

Anthropologie duvet cover

“I’m in the market for a duvet cover and would enjoy seeing what you find,” writes a reader named Nancy, and I’m happy to oblige, because the right duvet cover can really transform your bedroom with a minimum of effort. (Also: I’m curious what other home/design posts you’d like to see here. Anything you’re in the market for? Please let me know in the comments.) I think this chevron-patterned number is really nice and subtle and quite chic too.

Holli Zollinger duvet cover

Here is a really good print that makes a statement but won’t overwhelm the room, which is pretty much exactly what one wants to achieve with a duvet cover.

Brooklinen duvet cover

I buy most of my bedding from Brooklinen because it’s cheap and well-made, and because my big dog likes chewing on linens so much that it’s pointless go for anything fancier. Their basic cover, which I like in grey, goes for a pretty-damn-unbeatable $95.

Calvin Klein duvet cover

Broken stripes are nice and bold and a little preppy.

Anthropologie duvet cover

I like that this sort of looks like a very contemporary quilt. I also like the dog.

John Robshaw duvet cover

I am a big fan of duvet covers (and quilts!) by John Robshaw, and this is just so elegant.

Eskayel duvet cover

Another fantastic, dreamy pattern by Eskayel, who make some of my favorite prints.

Anthropologie duvet cover

I like the light-on-dark embroidered business here so much that I’m considering going for it, chewing dog be damned.

Marimekko duvet cover

A bright, happy, slightly loud number from Marimekko that I would acquire in an instant if it wouldn’t clash so violently with my headboard.

Marimekko duvet cover

Another fine choice from Marimekko. I like that the dots are all irregular in shape—if they were straight-up polka-dots, it wouldn’t work so well.

Liberty of London duvet cover

And finally, a little Liberty of London cuteness from Anthropologie’s Liberty of London capsule collection, because, knowing of its existence, how could I not?

 

 

 

Week of requests: A selection of tote bags

 

“I would love a tote review,” writes a reader named Laura. “I know you have done one before [most recently, here] but I need a heavy-duty one that can deal with my computer, and stuff for travel and work, and that looks good.” For Laura, I’ve included a few that look really durable, and for the rest of you I’ve just chosen ones I think are cute. Like this splurgy Jerome Dreyfuss bag, which is almost too crazy but at the same time quite wonderful.

Madewell tote

This is just super-classic—I picture 70s Lauren Hutton carrying it around—and is the kind of leather that only gets better with age.

I always think grey suede is the chicest (and I also like this version of the bag).

This tool bag is super-utilitarian—maybe too much for most workplaces—but it’d be aces for travel.

Just a really straightforward, nicely priced black option.

LL Bean totes are the best—reasonably-priced, indestructible, and stylish in a timeless way—and this one is so good with the camo (Here is their classic Boat n’ Tote if you’re in the mood for something more straightforward).

I have never been crazy for Longchamp nylon bags, but this in leather is stupendous. Very Euro.

Baggu totes are pretty straightforward propositions—I do like how they’re long and narrow, though. And I like the idea of one in metallic, just for kicks.

This star print is just too adorable, and so is the quilting.

This is very attractive, a little menswearish, and very, very large.

A very sleek and office-worthy option.


Here
 is a combination I always find winning: canvas and leather.

I like the nifty (and useful) drawstring here (and I also like this drawstring option, from Allsaints and on sale).

The tassel here is a fun touch, and I even like the whipstitching, which usually I’m not a fan of.

Week of requests: Things I would buy if price was no object

Saint Laurent le smoking jacket

“I’d love to see what you’d splurge on if you could go a price point or two over GOACA guidelines,” writes a reader named Julie, and if ever there was a post that could write itself, this would be it. I have an informal price limit here of $900, and try to keep most of the items I show much more affordable than that. I try to stick by even stricter guidelines in my personal life (not always successfully). But were I to take leave of my senses and go for whatever struck my fancy, I’d acquire a St. Laurent  Le Smoking jacket so fast it would make your head spin. I’ve wanted one for years.

Bottega Veneta bag

For days when I want to look especially polished, I’d buy a Bottega Veneta bag with a chain strap.

Zero + Maria Cornejo coat

And I’d definitely go for this Zero + Maria Cornejo shearling, which I have tried on and it is just the chicest, and so cozy.

Dries Van Noten dress

Back when I was a fancy editor in chief, I used to wear a lot of Dries Van Noten dresses, and if I still had a clothing allowance to play around with (yes, you read right: a clothing allowance, and it’s one of the few things I miss about my old life), I’d buy this little confection.

The Elder Statesman blanket

And why not a cashmere blanket from The Elder Statesman? So desperately luxe.

Ten Thousand Things necklace

I’d definitely indulge in something from Ten Thousand Things, my favorite jewelry line. This Tahitian pearl necklace is just glorious.

Ted Muehling earrings

I might also spring for a big, dramatic pair of Ted Meuhling hoops.

Fornasetti waste basket

If I had all the money in the world, I’d buy Fornasetti everything, and definitely this waste basket.

Week of requests: Tops to wear under blazers

The Great top—tops

I’m continuing with the week of requests because last week was a short one, and there are still some fun queries to answer (and if you haven’t answered this question yet, please do so in the comments). A reader named Marisa wrote in to say that she’d like to see a post on “Work-appropriate tops to wear under blazers—preferably things that add a little color and personality without getting too Madonna “Express Yourself” (although I love that look—just not for work.)” I like the boldness and ease of this red choice.

Rebecca Minkoff top—tops

This is a tiny bit more Little House on the Prairie than I typically go, but I think all those pretty colors would look great peeking out from under a jacket.

 Other Stories top—tops

A very feminine—yet still nicely streamlined—option.

Xirena top—tops

This smocked top has a lower neckline than other tops like it, which is a bit more flattering.

 Other Stories top—tops

Such a very pretty blue.

Equipment top—tops

A black and white floral would be a nice, graphic touch.

LAgence top—tops

This has an eensy star print, which I love.

Rebecca Taylor top—tops

Another pretty floral, and one that would be especially good with a navy blazer, I’m thinking.

Cooper and Ella top—tops

This reminds me of a Maria Cornejo top I wear endlessly (and that I paid a lot more for).

Etoile Isabel Marant top—tops

The notion of a brown floral sounds kind of unappealing, and yet this could not be a whole lot cuter.

Joie top—tops

This, at first glance, might seem too casual and hippie girl for work, but it’s made of silk, which polishes things up a bit.

Tibi top—tops

True, this is on the pricey side, but I love the idea of the stripes peeking out at the cuff.

Wayf top—tops

A lace top that isn’t too fussy is a good thing.

Alice and Olivia top—tops

Yet again another floral, this one bright and poppy as can be.

Rebecca Minkoff top—tops

Don’t dismiss this cami as too bare—it’ll be under a jacket and nobody will be the wiser (if you still can’t quite imagine that, here’s a similar tee).

Michelle Mason top—tops

Just a vivid, gorgeous green—an underrated color, if you ask me.

Etoile Isabel Marant top—tops

I like the way collarless shirts look with blazers, and this is just so good.

Stateside top—tops

And finally: you can’t beat a good blue stripe.

Week of requests: What was the best thing you spent money on in 2017?

I spend a lot of time in this room

A reader named Dakota suggested that I ask this question of the GOACA community, and I’m very curious to hear your answers. Was it a big-ticket article of clothing that suddenly makes your whole wardrobe come together? A vacation? A visit to the dermatologist for fillers? Your divorce? As for me, the best cash I spent last year, hands down, was on unlimited classes at my yoga studio.