Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here. 

This cute dress with cutouts is from LNA, which I normally think of as leading the trend of the destroyed look. It looks like the perfect little dress for wearing with sneakers for a day of brunch, meeting friends, shopping, etc., and maybe a really casual date. It’s at Zappos for $128 and at Bloomingdale’s for the same price, in sizes XS-L. At Amazon it’s available in both black and a gray/black stripe, also for $128. LNA Mini Esso Dress

Here are a couple of similar dresses in plus sizes from Eloquii; Universal Standard also has a very similar t-shirt.

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Weekly News Update

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  • Racked looks into the environmental impact of the fashion industry, which at this point hasn’t been measured. (Have you seen our Slow Fashion Shopping Guide yet?)
  • Mic tells you “how to look professional without spending a fortune.”
  • Road Warriorette shares her recommendations for must-have gear for business travelers.
  • In Vanity Fair, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki explains how the tech industry can better support women employees.
  • The creators of the app Happify write in Harvard Business Review about how they analyzed user responses to find out how job factors affect happiness and gratitude.
  • The Economist reviews Anne-Marie Slaughter’s new book, Unfinished Business.
  • Ozy talks to Lauren Naturale, the woman behind Merriam-Webster‘s entertaining Twitter account and the company’s first social media manager.
  • NPR made a page that tells you where your congressperson stands on the new health care bill.
  • NBC News explains how to clean all kinds of stuff with … vodka.
  • Here are your Laughs of the Week: The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts shares an Ivanka Trump “interview,” while Buzzfeed offers some work memes.

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Did we miss anything? Add ’em here, or send them to [email protected] Thank you! Also: Are you a mom or mom-to-be? Don’t miss this week’s news update at CorporetteMoms     

Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Long-Sleeved Wrapover Dress

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

This H&M dress, at least on the model, looks like the kind of thing that an elegant French businesswoman would wear, and I think it shows a lot of promise. I would probably wear it with a camisole underneath, at least the first time (and if you’re me, a heck of a lot of Spanx). It looks like a really good option if you like elegant, sophisticated styles like this — and for only $35. It comes in sizes XS-XL and is available in black and a dark khaki green. H&M Long-Sleeved Wrapover Dress

Two plus-size options (from Eloquii) are here and here.

Psst: Have you caught the reader comments lately about Target’s ponte blazer? When a reader first mentioned it, the white was only $9, but that has sold out. (There’s a similar blazer — or some say the same — in black and gray, but right now it’s $29.99.) Here’s what one reader said about the one originally mentioned:

Thank you to whomever recommended the $9 ponte Target jacket. It’s a great deal and has the same lines as the MMLafleur. I hesitate to compare them as there is a huge quality divide between them but for $9 I am very happy.

Two things that I did with this are take out the shoulder pads (it was an easy snip), and slip stitch the lapel to the jacket on the inside so it would lay flat.

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Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

Coffee Break: Barkly Trench Coat

It’s springtime — yay! — and I’m excited about spring coats. They’ve got a lot of really lovely ones right now, and I especially like this parchment pink coat from BB Dakota, in part because it’s really affordable. (Some of the more expensive ones are gorgeous, including this Club Monaco trench.) The pictured coat is hand wash or dry clean, and the fabric is lyocell, which is really lightweight and has a nice feel. This seems like the perfect drapey, lightweight trench coat for spring. It’s $155 at Shopbop in sizes XS-L. BB Dakota Barkly Trench Coat

Here’s a more affordable version; it’s only $83.

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Cash Savings vs. Retirement Savings Accounts: Where to Stash Your Money When You’re Unsure What You’re Saving For

Cash Savings vs. Retirement Savings: Retirement Savings Accounts 101Everyone knows saving for retirement is a priority, because retirement is important and compound interest is powerful — but are the tax savings for retirement accounts so great that you should use them to save extra cash, too, such as for a hypothetical future home purchase? When I was in my late 20s — unmarried, not yet a homeowner, not sure how long I wanted to do the lawyer thing — this was my serious concern: cash savings vs. retirement savings. With my future so uncertain, and with so long to go before retirement, I wondered if I was losing more opportunities by saving money where I could get to it quickly, or by putting it away in retirement accounts… If I saved in cash, then my money was always available to me in case I wanted to buy an apartment, get married, or go back to school, but everyone told me to put it in retirement accounts instead to get the tax benefits (plus, retirement is important!).

In the early years, I was lucky because Schwab’s money market fund was paying ridiculous interest by today’s standards (5%!); I also finally did start maxing out my 401K in addition to saving money in cash when I was around 28. But when I finally got my bearings and started researching different retirement savings accounts, I was shocked to find that a lot of them would let me put the money (or some of it, at least) toward school, a first home, or more. A few years ago we did a post on tax-savvy investments that looked at these kinds of questions — but it’s been too long and we need an update. Thank you so much to editor Kate Antoniades for looking into the ultimate question: How do cash savings vs retirement savings stack up? If you’re already saving for retirement but have an extra $5,000 that you think you might need soon — but aren’t sure — should you leave it in a cash account earning very little interest, or put it in a retirement account to get tax benefits? – Kat

We haven’t gone into detail about tax-savvy investments like retirement savings accounts since 2012, so it’s definitely time for an update. What are the different retirement savings accounts available to most people? What are the tax benefits of them? Can you use the money for anything other than retirement, like grad school, a vacation or wedding, or a home purchase?  In the meantime, we’re shared posts on some pretty closely related topics such as setting financial goals for the year, making end-of-year money moves, choosing a financial planner, retirement savings in general, and paying down debt vs. saving. At election time last year, we talked about reacting to a stock market drop.

Before we get into the retirement savings vehicles — where, for the most part, you can’t touch your money until 59½ at the earliest — let’s discuss cash savings. (Oh, and a note on going back to school — if you’re 100% certain you’re going back to school, a 529 may be the way to go. Here’s a post from Fidelity that weighs the options.)

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Thursday’s Workwear Report: 3/4-Sleeve Ponte Flounce Dress

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

This kind of reminds me of the fit-and-flare dress we featured on Tuesday — but it’s way more affordable at $59, originally $79. I like the 3/4 sleeves, and I like the cut of the skirt — it’s got sort of a flounce built into the A-line. The red is a bit much for me, and I’d probably prefer the navy, but we’re picturing it because it’s the one on the model. It also has a striped version. Note that it comes in sizes regular, petite, tall, and plus, and it’s machine washable. 3/4 Sleeve Ponte Flounce Dress

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support! 

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]