A pet peeve of mine about the fashion industry: its idea of “suiting” tends to be completely absurd.
For many years, I worked in law firms where a suit was not just expected but actually required — and even on days when I could get away with “business casual,” a suit was still mandatory for days when I’d be in court. I was constantly looking for suits that were not only appropriate, but were actually somewhat cute — and let me tell you, it was tough.
See, the fashion world hears “suit” and gives you this:
Yes, seriously. If you look on Shopbop for suiting, the first option that pops up has big multicolored stripes, huge lapels, padded shoulders, all of it. Rebecca Minkoff, I love you, but if you think this would work for an attorney in a federal courtroom, you have lost your mind.
The next option is a pure silk, leopard print, pajama-style suit. I kid you not.
Don’t want those? Rag and Bone hears “suiting” and gives you: Chambray Shorts.
Totally. Those will definitely work for your conservative office job. Just shell out $450, show up to work in chambray shorts, and we’ll see how that goes for you.
And yes, these suits might look great on a Fashion Week attendee. But for people with real jobs in real offices?
Not so much.
And, hey, I get it. Suiting for women can be lovely, but it can also be frumpy and uncomfortable and profoundly un-cool. It’s a workhorse in your closet, and it’s hard to get it right.
But, you know what?
Working women need those workhorses, and they need them to be chic, and stylish, and fashionable without making you look like a giant clown.
So with that in mind, I’ve pulled together a few options for fashionable suiting that isn’t absurd. Whether you’re gearing up for your first post-college interview or you’re the CEO of a corporation, here are some suits that will make you feel as polished, confident and professional as you deserve to feel.
With the dogs and the baby, some days it feels like every night is a slumber party at our house! Evenings are the best time to de-stress after our busy days, but sometimes it’s hard to remember to take time to relax at the end of a long day or week.
But a few small tweaks to your evening routine can bring terrific benefits for your mind, body, and skin! Setting aside an hour every night for a peaceful, slumber-party ritual will leave you refreshed, calm, and ready to sleep like a baby.
When you’re having a particularly stressful week, take a little time to indulge in one of these calming bedtime routines — and then reap the benefits when you wake up to beautiful skin!
Wind Down Without Alcohol: It can be tempting to have a glass of wine with dinner or at the end of the night, but alcohol dehydrates your skin and disrupts your sleep. Our solution? A soothing cup of chamomile tea or sparkling water with lemon, just before bed.
Take an Evening Bath: This is my personal favorite. A few nights a week, after the baby is sleeping, I hand the monitor off to my husband and relax in the bathtub. Sometimes I meditate, sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I just decompress and relax. When your days are as packed as mine have been lately, sometimes a little quiet time to yourself is the biggest luxury there is.
Catch Up With a Friend: Sometimes the happiest moments are when you connect with a good friend or family member, so I try to make sure I check in every day or two — over the phone! (Remember the phone, that wacky method of communication we had before email?) I take fifteen or twenty minutes out of my night and catch up with my sister, mom, or a friend — sometimes a little chat session is the best way to de-stress!
So, after eight straight Fashion Week seasons — I am a certified expert in packing for Fashion Week.
Which is no small feat: let’s face it, it’s easy to over pack. For many seasons, I’d cram every beauty product I could possibly want into a giant case, and then I’d get to the hotel and unpack them, and four or five days later, as I was packing them up again, I’d realize: I only used a handful of all those products.
Because, you know what? Fashion Week isn’t the time to try the random sparkly glitter eyeshadow that you’ve never used before. Fashion Week is the time to stick to your essentials, to pull out a few tried-and-true looks, and to keep your beauty routine streamlined and well-planned.
Fashion Week is the very worst time to have your skin react to a new product, or to realize that glitter eyeshadow doesn’t photograph quite as well as it looks in the mirror.
So now, my beauty case is a lot smaller. I stick to my essentials, the products that I love so much that I couldn’t possibly leave them at home. I add a few short-on-time necessities (makeup wipes, eye remover pads), and throw in an extra lipstick or two. But for the most part, I stick to my favorite products.
Even though I didn’t make the trip this September, I plan to again in February! So with that in mind, here’s what I’ll be packing:
Simple Skincare Radiance Cleansing Wipes: These are the first thing I reach for whenever I pack for a trip, whether it’s for Fashion Week or work or a vacation. When you’re too exhausted to take off your makeup at the end of the night (which, let’s face it, sometimes happens), they’re nothing short of lifesaving.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Palette: I like bringing a palette of eyeshadows so I have some variety, but with colors I’ve tested and love. This one is a few seasons old, but their Ammo Palette is pretty similar for colors.
Lancome Flash Bronzer: I always try to get a spray tan before Fashion Week, but sometimes my skin needs a little touch of bronze a few days later. This lotion is subtle, easy to apply yourself, and never streaks.
Polish Touch-Ups: If I get a gel manicure beforehand, I don’t bring polish with me, but if not, I like to make sure I have colors that work for my fingers and toes. Chipped nail polish is completely inevitable when you’re traveling and navigating the city, so backups are key!
Simple Skincare Foaming Cleanser: I love how gentle this product is! It’s amazing for removing all the city dirt and grime that accumulates on my skin. Despite how much I love makeup wipes, I’m religious about washing my face with real cleanser twice a day, so this bottle is always a must-have.
Makeup: Again, stick to daily essentials with makeup. A favorite mascara, concealer, and lipstick are must-have essentials! For lipstick, I like to pick an everyday soft pink shade, and a bold coral or red for night!
Those are my streamlined Fashion Week must-haves! What’s in your beauty bag for a big trip?