Graceship New York Laptop Bag Sale

If you were interested in trying the vegan laptop bag option I mentioned in last year’s 15″ laptop bag roundup, there’s an Instant Deal for it on Vipon for $79.95 (it was $175 full-price last year and is $185 this year). Vipon has some mixed reviews of their website, but Graceship posted about this deal on their social media presence, so they’re at least legitimately partnering with Vipon on this.

If you’re skeeved out by the site, it’s currently on sale on Amazon for $130.  Meanwhile, on Graceship’s website it’s still $185.  Okay then.

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Unwritten Workplace Dress Codes

You’ve probably seen the articles going around about the reporter turned away from the Speaker’s Lobby because of her sleeveless dress.

I’m pleasantly surprised that they’re working on modernizing the dress code in question, because it’s outrageous and unfair!  Hearing about the dress code didn’t surprise me the way it seems to have surprised a lot of people, though.  Workwear blogs have told me for years that sleeveless dresses are considered inappropriate in a really conservative workplace, and there’s no workplace in the United States more conservatively dressed than Capitol Hill.

Workplace dress rules are a mess.  They all require you to know things you’re never formally taught.  Conservative dress codes are classist and discriminatory by gender, body type, and frequently race.  Casual offices are a little better, but if you went through the effort of learning the conservative office dress code rules and dressing accordingly, a lot of casual offices will treat you as if you are less competent.

If you’re like me, you just want to get all that stuff out of the way so you can be seen for your merits!  Here is what I’ve learned about unwritten dress codes for various workplaces.  Eventually, once I teach myself how to make interactive infographics, I hope to make this an interactive infographic instead.

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Secret Yoga Pants for Work: Which Are Best?

“That outfit is not appropriate for work,” my supervisor said quietly.

“Why?”  I demanded.

In retrospect, the question was hilarious.  I was wearing a too-short orange tee shirt and black cargo pants with the sides torn and the hems worn out from where I kept stepping on them.  But I was furious.  I was humiliated.  This was my first job out of college, working for a nonprofit I believed in, and I worked really hard, I followed all the rules (I even tore through the employee guidebook searching for rules that my outfit broke), and I expected to be judged for what I did, not how I looked.

That, and other experiences like it, prompted me to study the unspoken parts of what ‘appropriate-for-work’ meant.  I wanted to keep my sense of personal style, but I didn’t want to get pulled aside by supervisors anymore.  But more specifically, that experience got me near-obsessed with finding a pair of work-appropriate pants I didn’t hate.

So are there pants out there that are work-appropriate, flattering, flexible, soft, durable, lint-resistant, machine-washable, and somewhat affordable?  No, not all at once, that’s too much to ask, but you can get a decent subset of those from Ministry of Supply, MM. LaFleur, and to a lesser extent Betabrand.  (And since the Betabrand Mondo Anniversary Sale makes their Dress Pant Yoga Pant extra affordable, I wanted to get this up even though I still haven’t gotten some answers back from Ministry of Supply.  I’ll update the post when I do.)

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Post Delay!

This week’s post has been delayed because I’m being too thorough about getting some hard details about the pants I’m finally reviewing.  I expect to hear back soon, though, and I promise you this post will be giant.

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Skincare Problem-Solving: BHAs for Acne

Nothing made my acne go away.  I tried everything available over-the-counter.  Dermatologists prescribed me topical and oral antibiotics and Retin-A.  I even went on Accutane, the “scorched earth option” for acne treatment, which involved monthly blood draws and the 2/3 likelihood of a permanent solution.  None of it worked for more than a couple of weeks, which makes sense in retrospect– I turned out to have a hormonal imbalance that makes it super difficult to get rid of acne.

I tell you that to give you hope, because the ingredients I thought didn’t work for me actually did.  I just had to learn what made them effective!  Here’s how to fix common problems you might be experiencing with my personal favorite ingredient for dealing with acne– salicylic acid (also known as a beta hydroxy acid, or BHA).  This topic may be familiar for anyone who’s been reading the blog since April of last year.

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Speed Review: MM. LaFleur Rankin 2.0 Top

Please excuse the photos today, it’s pouring outside and my photo-color-adjusting PC is out of commission.  Whee, getting back into the swing of posting!

I’m generally skeptical of MM. LaFleur’s ‘bust-friendly’ filter.  Multiple shirts under that filter fit me anywhere from ‘terrible sack’ (yes, Didion, I’m talking about you) to it-would-be-perfect-if-they-added-just-a-tiny-bit-more-fabric-across-the-bust (Bourgeois Blouse).  I impulse-bought the Rankin 2.0 top anyway because of MM.LaFleur’s recurrent combination of impeccable style and convincing branding (a shirt that makes it look like I tried really hard when I actually just threw a thing on?  Yesplz.)

It arrived in the mail today, and I’m actually kind of surprised by how it turned out, so I thought I’d show you.

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Whew!

Six months, I started a new full-time job, moved across the country, bought a lovely house which has nonetheless been a surprising time sink (bamboo!  surprise broken AC!  water leaking out of the ceiling from the newly installed AC!), and also got so sick that being on my feet for more than 10 minutes at a time made me want to pass out.  Basically, it’s been six months of my life overwhelming my blogging.

But I’ve missed it, and that’s finally, finally all settling down.  Expect to hear from me a lot more soon: I’m tentatively planning on updating every Monday, and I have a bunch of blog topics stored up.  (As always, feel welcome to either comment or drop me an email if you want specific advice on something!)

In the meanwhile, sad news for busty ladies: DD Atelier is closing its doors for good in less than a week.  If you wanted to buy any of their remaining stock, now’s the time.   Front Room is also currently having an end-of-season sale, and I recommend basically everything of theirs I’ve ever bought.  (The stock hasn’t changed much over the year because the founder’s been sick.)

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Beija Flor Jeans Update: Avoid the Sarah Knit Pant

I feel sad saying that, because they’re an *absurdly* comfortable material, but I’ve had three significant issues with the Sarah knit pant that make me want to warn others about it.  (Also, I feel silly calling it a ‘pant’ in the singular, even though that’s Beija Flor’s language, so ‘pants’ it will be from here on.)

  1. They shrank after the first wash.  That wasn’t a problem for me, as I was going to have to get them hemmed, but when I brought them to the tailor they were already the right length.  Still, this is a big deal if you’re tall, or if the Sarah pants fit you right when you tried them on.  In fairness on this point, I don’t remember if I washed them in the proper water temperature.
  2. They slide down on me constantly.  The fabric’s so smooth that they keep slipping enough that they’re uncomfortable and honestly, a little obscene.  I have to pull them up every five minutes or so.  They’re the same size as my other two Beija Flor pants, so it’s not just a sizing issue.
  3.   They are wearing out fast.  Rayons in general are not exactly durable, and I tug on these pants all the time, but they’ve already developed holes at the seams along the hips.  I’ve only owned them for four months.  That’s not what I expect for a pair of pants that cost over $100 apiece.

So basically: don’t waste your money, but please do tell me if you’ve found a pair of soft, flexible, work-appropriate pants that stay on.

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Dagne Dover Sale

A lot of the awesome holiday sales are over on January 1, but Dagne Dover seems to be clearing out last year’s seasonal bags today!  I previously recommended the Mini and continue to recommend it– it’s still heavy, but I have yet to find another bag that feels as comfortable to me as it does.  Also, I use mine literally all the time, and it has shown no wear between that last post and today.

So if you ever wanted a sturdy $245 bag for $129, you’re in luck through the end of today.

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