Dress for Success: The Professional

This post is a part of our Professionals series.

Sometimes, you have to fake it till you make it. There is definitely merit in putting your best face forward when interviewing for new careers or asking for a promotion. Additionally, if you win that job or upgrade, you should probably treat yourself to something nice. Bonus points if you can wear or use it at your place of work! Here are some upgrades I have my eye on.

Tech Upgrade

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Engraved Leather Laptop Case

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Foliage Laptop Skin

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Rose Gold Macbook

Dress Up

I love Madewell’s central shirts and can’t wait for these central drapey shirts to go on sale!!! They look so comfortable, and like they would flow over your skin in a very flattering way, where many dress shirts will puff out awkwardly.

I like pairing luxe silk camisoles and tanks with a conservative cardigan or relaxed blazer.

Imagine this jumpsuit with this bold blazer… the ultimate power suit!


Classic Loafers and Chelsea Boot

Flats are a quick finish to any business outfit, and most importantly, they allow you to move around comfortably. Here are four selections: Classic CognacRose MetallicVelvet Mule, and Leather d’Orsay.

 

Grooming

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Debaser Pocket Perfume is my favorite luxurious perfume right now.

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This NYX Drop Foundation can mix with lotion for a personal tinted moisturizer or be applied alone. Best part? It lasts all day!

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My favorite peppery deodorant.

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Really curious about this gold-plated safety razor. Definitely a great gift for the high-class professional in your life (if you can afford it!)

Related: 10 Ways to Get Ahead and Get the Job and 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Applying for Jobs

 

7 Things

We’ve rounded up 7 great links from the week.

73f227b0-7657-4998-9673-77f4ceb605f2--ae930c88-1bbf-4f80-b227-b11d74934fcb-green.jpegGreen Goddess Kale Smoothie

This smoothie has two secret ingredients. I’m going to tell you those secrets: pear, and… salt? Trust me. I made it, true to the recipe minus the vanilla, with every intention of modifying the recipe after I had tasted it. NOPE! I am hooked. Eating it every day and staying full for 3+ hours even after a long workout. I ended up subbing the almond butter (mine was rancid) with almond flour, and it is delicious and still adds protein.

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10 Ways to Get Ahead and Get the Job

The reactions to our Professionals series has been incredible! I have been taking long, hard looks at my own career trajectory and am glad to share my lessons learned with all of you. Since this was posted, I’ve learned one more “last resort” method of following up: send the business a giant, hand-labeled manilla envelope with a copy of your resumé, cover letter, and sample work inside.

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24 Women on How Life Changes with Age

I am not sad to lose my youth. Every year brings me more experience and wisdom. I am genuinely excited to get old (except when my younger sister calls me old). The reflections of these women, from their twenties to their seventies, are thoughtful and resounding.

“Conveniently for me, the older I get, the less I care about the age of my friends. I have come to realize that the connections humans make are truly timeless. Growing up, I was nervous of older or more sophisticated women. Then, as I became a mom, I was nervous of the moms who seemed to be old pros at this gig and had no time for a newbie. Not sure if time has softened or hardened me (you pick), but lately, I simply don’t care! I am so happy making my own decisions. This confidence has brought me MANY new amazing friends. I used to feel that I was ‘too young’ or ‘too old’ for that group… but really, if I can party like I am 30, and reflect like I am 60? I think I’m on the right track.”

-Susan, age 41

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Eclipse Experiences in 5 Regions

Did you see the eclipse? Here are photos and stories from 5 friends who experienced the eclipse in ranges from 85% to totality.

 

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NYX Total Control Foundation

As the weather gets dryer, do you find your skin following suit? I was having trouble finding a tinted moisturizer that wasn’t a goopy BB, CC, or DD (what??) cream that clogged my skin. I just tried this thin foundation that comes in a dropper bottle and mixed it with my lotion for the perfect blend of moisture and color. The thing that most impressed me was how long it lasted. I wore this all day, and even though it was mixed with a heavy lotion, the coverage didn’t budge. 2_00bd1b58-5f7e-4e1b-a3bc-f01c2471b634.jpg
In Chorus by Justina Blakeney

I love this musical image of bowed heads and peeking eyes. It seems to show unity and independence happening in unison within a group of unique and diverse women.

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Ten Best Album Covers of Summer 2017

Our roundup of the 10 best album covers of the year so far. I guarantee that with this group of artists, some you’ll know and some you won’t. Each album has a link to a track for a first listen.

 

 

The Case for Going Off the Grid

Written with an appreciation for the irony of a blog post about going off-grid.

I recently spent time with a friend who lives most of his life almost entirely off-grid. When he’s at home, he lives in a modest home in the rural hills of Ireland. (I’ve never been there- he says it’s a small town. I assume it has hills?) There is no wifi, and electricity use is minimal. He has a smart phone without data as his “computer” when he’s around wifi, and a burner phone for calls and texts. As paranoid as this sounds, given the current debate and changes regarding America’s own policies towards net neutrality, and the variation in these rules in other countries, sometimes it is necessary to take extra measures in order to maintain privacy and secure identity. In addition to being exposed for identity theft, there also lies a risk of being exposed at a point in your life where it makes your career vulnerable. Consider the Hillary Clinton email scandals. The emails contained nothing incriminating, beyond their existence. Because she did not use the government-protect server exclusively, she was exposed to have been emailing the way our Mom’s do: gossiping about people using abbreviations and lots of emojis. Granted, the issue is more nuanced than that, but it only takes that much of personal behavior being exposed to affect the public’s perception of you as a professional.

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I am really fascinated by a lifestyle where you can withdraw from the appeal of media and engage with reality. It’s a little crazy that we live in a world where we have to work to engage with reality. I accidentally disconnect all the time. I forget to charge my phone or pack an external battery, and I am off the grid for 3 days straight. When I have absolutely nothing to do. I will temporarily lose my phone and not think about it until… well, until I know I have something to do. A lot of times these device vacations leave me with a new sense of “shoot, I should’ve read that email two days ago,” or “I should have confirmed this event yesterday,” but the time away from the device brings me a deep sense of calm.

Let’s talk about FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. FOMO IS REAL. If you aren’t online, you might miss the next big thing that everyone is talking about, or miss an invite to a new place, or miss a friend’s big announcement.  …So what? So what if you miss the moment the news happens?? It will trickle down to you eventually, anyway, if it is even worth knowing. Something that I never hear talked about is the fear of missing out on the here and now. Right? How many meaningful conversations with our parents have we mm-hmmd scrolled through and can’t remember? How many opportunities have been missed to keep eye contact and make nuanced jokes during dinner with friends? I want to instill a little real life FOMO in my daily routine. As I catch myself scrolling while on my couch I should think… what if I was outside on a walk right now? I might make small talk with that nice lady, or see flowers blooming in the park. I should turn off my phone and go outside.

What in the world does my friend do in his free time? He said, “Since I don’t have a tv, or computer, I’ll often sip a drink while I play my instrument, or write (offline!), or read a book.” Brilliant. When he said this, I instantly thought of the thousands of hours I have spent with me, myself, and Netflix. I thought of the hours in that week alone that I was offline and in person, maybe 20 usually wasted hours were spent establishing deep and personal connections with wonderful musicians and artists from all over the world. Is there a way to make every day that purposeful?

Maybe. But there is merit to this technological plague, too. Room for personal growth within each career field. Towards the end of the week, I was hard at work on my computer, establishing an online community for watching concerts and supporting the musical organization for which we were working through digital viewerships and donations. The friend who lives off-grid came up and commented that it looked like important business was happening in this coffee shop, with my tech set-up and focused expression. I explained what I was doing, and made a (joking) comment that he wouldn’t know anything about this stuff, since he is off grid. He responded in a somber way, saying that he did recognize the merit of an online presence, and that by making the choices he makes to stay offline, he is also choosing to be disconnected from people he could otherwise be in touch with, and his once large following of musicians may lose touch with his work as he remains inactive on the world wide web. Like anything, being on-grid/ off-grid is all about striking a balance, and that balance is different for anyone. I do dream of a quiet, offline cabin-in-the-woods experience some day… but full time? I don’t think that’s for me. (Says the girl who spent an hour in front of the computer to bring you this post.)

Do you have a technology balance, or a goal to remediate your regular usage or lack there of?

What to Wear Downtown

I grew up in southern Indiana, and while I was near a suburban area, my upbringing was largely rural. When you are from a smaller town or rural area, visiting a major urban area (like downtown Chicago) can seem so daunting!

I have friends coming to town this weekend, and as I am telling them what to bring, I am planning my own necessities for spending several days downtown.

What to wear:

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This jacket is my go to for any trip- urban or rural. It is perfect for city trekking because it comes in any color, it has pit zips so you can wear it inside or in warmer months without sweltering, it is waterproof, and the best part: it folds into it the pocket. When it is packed into the pocket and zipped up, it is smaller than a paperback book, which is perfect for tossing in a bucket bag or daypack.

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In the city, it is totally okay to wear any wild and crazy color that you feel compelled to wear! Admittedly, I gravitate towards gray and black these days. Black jeans are easy to wear with any top or shoe, and wearing dark neutrals is the fastest way to feel sleek and pulled together.

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Sometimes in the park or in a theater, it can get pretty chilly- even if it was an otherwise warm day. It is crucial to pack an extra sweater or fleece, even if it was warm when you left! I was kicking myself during brunch on the patio last week when the sun went behind the clouds and the temperature suddenly dropped ten degrees! Please take an extra layer.

Walking: 

#1 Rookie mistake: wearing cute flats downtown. Locals cringe when they told their friends to wear tennis shoes and they shoe up in flats or flimsy sandals… or heels!

Here’s why:

  1. You will be walking to the train and to the bus and to shops and museums and through shops and museums and up stairs and down ramps and will run to catch the train or cross the street and stand still waiting in line… your feet will be killing you even if you wear your best, most supportive shoes. So wear your best, most supportive shoes.
  2. You shoes are going to get a little nasty. People pee in these streets, and worse. Seriously. If you have sandals or flats your feet will be as dirty as the bottoms of your shoes. Keep this in mind! When I wear sandals downtown, I am sure to choose a pair that is about an inch off the ground (still a flat, but with a slight elevation.) These flatforms are probably a great way to navigate the city!
  3. The weather can be different in each neighborhood. Even when it is sunny with clear, blue skies at my apartment, it can end up being cold and rainy downtown or in another neighborhood. When it is raining, some parts or the street or subway flood. Rain boots you can walk in are essential.
  4. Sometimes you want nice shoes. It is okay to wear flats or heels to the show you are seeing or party you are going to. Just take them with you, in your bag, and change when you arrive. Anyone who works in the is going to wear sneakers to work and change when they get there. When in Rome…

Carry-all:

You need something to carry your wallet, extra sweater, rain jacket, flats, external battery, water bottle, and snacks in. This reversible option is my favorite! _9512099.jpg

Star Trek Today: Personal Access Display Device

I was watching Star Trek Voyager (on Netflix!) and was watching Janeway compose and read letters on her Personal Access Display Device- the PADD– and wishing that I had one of my own. And then I remembered that… I do!!! I have a kindle!

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I have been re-inspired to take best advantage of my kindle. I am sending some pdf articles to my device for easy reading. I often put off reading some articles because I hate staring at the bright computer screen long enough to read. I find it difficult to focus on whatever I am reading at the time, and thinking about all of the other things I might be doing on the computer (checking Facebook, analyzing my monthly spending, emailing an arts partner… etc.).

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Image via The Trek BBS

I learned that there is an underground discussion about Star Trek predicting the modern tablet, and found photos comparing the iPad and the PADD. Was Apple inspired by Star Trek? I mean, PADD and iPad are awfully similar…