Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday's Vegan Accessory: Cork Tie and Belt

There is no way to even vaguely suggest that this cork tie and belt, as a combination, might be work appropriate. The belt, maybe, in a very "liberal" office that encourages wearing non-professional items on days when you don't meet with clients, etc. and if you are the sort of person who can pull off a cork belt. The cork tie and belt hail from Cork Design, which makes handbags, placemats, and a limited number of accessories entirely from cork, meaning they are all eco and animal friendly. And, unlike maple syrup, which some vegans consider non-vegan, the bark of a cork tree can be harvested without injury to the tree -- cork is very, very vegan!

Cork Design's website compares the feel of the tie to the texture of nubuck suede. Find the tie here; it is $50. The belt, which comes in three cork colors and lengths and has a silver nickle buckle, also has that nubuck suede texture. The belt is $40; find it here.

Cork Designs primarily makes a line of designer handbags -- obviously, completely made from cork. Based on your office environment, and your love of cork, I think carrying a cork bag or wallet might be acceptable. My favorite of their handbags is the quilted Chanel-inspired zipped bag (pictured). It's 14" long at the bottom and 6" deep. The bag is $145 and comes in five cork color varieties; find it here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday's Work-Appropriate Clothing Item: Banana Republic Non-Iron Short Sleeve Shirt

Banana Republic's basic button-down shirt in a summery short-sleeve version that hits at the hip -- long enough to tuck neatly into suit pants or skirts. The shirt comes in the right pictured "summer orchid," an "imperial blue," and a classic white. Made from 100% cotton, but still incorporating the ever-popular and important non-iron technology. The shirt is $60; find it here.

Banana Republic (and Gap, Old Navy, and Athena) is holding a 30% off special -- 30% off your entire order, one time use -- 4 days (now through Sunday, August 2). If purchasing online, use code: MNNBGYY6WNXQ.

Since Banana Republic is holding a sale, I thought I'd briefly highlight a few more items:
(1) Linen/cotton embroidered blouse (pictured left): white blouse made from a blend of 2/3 linen and 1/3 cotton; I love the puffed sleeve, ruffled collar, and pleating at the bust-line. I think the blouse is work-appropriate for a casual environment, although it might be most appropriate on the weekend. The blouse is $60.

(2) Classic non-iron shirt: exactly like the short sleeve one above, but with long sleeves. Available in cerise, shark grey, ice blue, and lady slipper (my favorite). Depending on color, the shirt is $44.99 or $59.

(3) Martin skinny pant (pictured right): the skinny jean finally has made it to (semi-)work-appropriate pants. These pants are made from rayon, cotton, and elastane. They come in the pictured black and silky coal. I would pair them with a button-down shirt to make them seem a bit more work-appropriate. The pants are $90.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday's Work-Appropriate Bag: Hollywood Intuition Large Satchel

From Target! I've been posting a lot of expensive items lately, so I thought I'd highlight a bag more within my budget. Luckily, Hollywood Intuition recently launched a line of bags and accessories at Target, including this fabulous large satchel that would be perfect as a briefcase. The bag is 16" x 13" x 3.5" and comes in the pictured black and an orange. It is made from polyurethane and has polyester lining. The only feature about it I'm not in love with is that it closes with a magnetic clasp, not a top zipper. The satchel is $26.99; find the black here and the orange here.

Also, they aren't exactly work appropriate, but I really enjoy these matching faux-leather bracelets, pictured right.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday's Work-Appropriate Clothing Item: Hackney Jacket

Via Neiman Marcus' online sale -- today is the last day -- take 25% off already reduced items. Such as this Hackney jacket with a stand collar and two sets of flap front pockets accented with buttons. I would pair it with black trousers and a button-down shirt or sweater. The jacket is made from cotton, lyocell, and lycra. It comes in the pictured charcoal and is available in select sizes. Originally $505, it is on sale for $253; with the extra 25% off, it will be $190. Find it here. (The jacket pairs with same-colored trouser jeans to make a casual cotton suit; however, the trousers are only available in size 25; see same link.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday's Vegan Suit: Armani Collezioni Double Pinstripe Suit

It's Armani and vegan! And, yes, very expensive! I love just about everything about this suit -- the large ruffle accenting the collar of the jacket, the three-button closure of the jacket, the larger buttons of that closure, the double gross-grain to accent the waist, the straight legs of the pants, the front slash pockets of the pants. And its made from polyester and polyurethane. I would pair it with a cami or a some other non-collared shirt (to accent the ruffle collar of the jacket). The only thing I don't love is the insane price. The jacket is $1,225 and the pants are $525; it's worth dreaming about, at least. Find the suit here via Saks Fifth Avenue.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday's Vegan Accessory: A Vase For Your Office

Staring at the dead flowers on my desk for the fourth day in a row, I was inspired to post a flower-holding item. This "petite vase" (5" wide x 8.5" high) from The MacBeth Collection comes in a wide variety of patterns. Each pattern is laid onto the pictured metal bucket with handles. And the vases are monogram-able! Perfect for a corner of your desk or a side-table in your home. The MacBeth Collection also features vases and other buckets with similar patterns in a variety of sizes and shapes if you are looking for something slightly different. The petite vase is $35; find it here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday's Work-Appropriate Clothing Item: Sameunderneath Blazer

For men! Knit blazer from Sameunderneath made from 75% organic cotton and 25% polyester. Classic, fitted, two-button blazer with front flap pockets, 3 buttons at the cuffs, and internal lining in contrasting print. It comes in the pictured black. Pair it with khakis and a button-down shirt for more casual work environments. $239; find it here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday's Work-Appropriate Shoes: Wanted "Drape" Pumps

Piperlime is holding a "secret sale" -- extra 20% off all sale shoes and handbags today and tomorrow (July 22 and 23) -- use code: JUST4U. These Wanted conservative pumps are on sale for $29.99 right now; with the extra 20% off, they will be $23.99. I would pair the pumps with a full, conservative black or grey suit, or with a dress to make the dress look a bit more conservatively professional. The pumps come in the pictured black and a light grey with a wooden stacked heel. The heel height is 2" Find the black pumps here, and the light grey pumps here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday's Work-Appropriate Clothing Item: Burberry Pants

In its Sunday book review, the New York Times reviewed a book I now really, really want to read: Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell. I admit, I shop at discount chain stores, my favorites being Target and H&M, though I try to stay away from Wal-Mart. Sometimes I find (semi-)good clothing at these stores, but the best clothing always comes from higher-end designers, so if I can front the money, I will buy select items and wear them for years and years (instead of weeks and weeks). In short, I fully agree with (at least) one of the premises of the book.

While on the subject of high-end, pricey designer clothing, I thought I'd make today's work-appropriate clothing item on the pricey, long-lasting side. These nutmeg colored Burberry cotton pants are perfect for more business casual days, and, obviously, for the weekend. Pair them with a button-down shirt or a cardigan set for work, or a polo or t-shirt for the weekend. I especially like the button-detailed pockets in the back and the widening legs. They are $275; pre-order them from Saks here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vegan Purchase: Gathered Neck Sweater

Via Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale. I purchased this sweater in a dark purple, which doesn't seem to be available online. I also purchased it in a petite size, which is what is available online. I didn't see it in "regular" sizes in the store, but I didn't look very hard. The gathered scooped neck lands at a perfect spot so as not to be too low, but still not straddling the neck. Online, the sweater comes in the pictured "berry ice," a bright light blue, brown, and black. It's made from rayon and nylon. Originally $58, it is on sale for $38.90. Find it here.

Monday's Vegan Suit: Semantiks "Pen and Ink" Suit

Via Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale. This black-and-white suit has a tweedy knit texture -- perfect for the summer-to-fall transition. The jacket, which features a softened collar and matching rounded hems, pairs with pants and a skirt. The skirt boasts contrasting piping in black, and hits perfectly at the knees. The matching trousers have the same contrast piping in black.

The suit is made from polyester, viscose, and rayon. The jacket is on sale for $98.90 (originally $148); find it here in regular sizes, and find it here in petite sizes. The skirt, which also comes in petite sizes, is on sale for $49.90 (originally $78); find it here. The pants, which also come in petite sizes, are on sale for $58.90 (originally $88); find them here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Vegan On The Weekend: Selections From Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale

Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale is one of my best friend's favorite sale event. The sale offers some good deals on fall fashion. I thought I'd point out some of the vegan items on sale.

(1) Joie "Fara" Plaid Tuxedo Shirt: plaid shirts have been appearing all over magazine covers lately. I'm not sure if this shirt's ruffles combined with the plaid is a bit too much, although I saw it in Nordstrom and it seemed to work. The shirt is made from cotton and comes in the pictured "potion" plaid; in store, it also is available in a white-black-brown-gray plaid color combo. Originally $188, it is on sale for $109.90.

(2) Classiques Entier Drape Neck Sheath Dress: a folded collar with a sophisticated bow adds a unique look to this sheath dress; the cap sleeves are a perfect combination of the current sleeve-less look with an added bit of fabric for a more conservative look. The dress is made from polyester, viscose, and spandex, and comes in the "menswear-inspired" black multi color. Originally $228, it is on sale for $149.90.

(3) Semantiks Ruffle Pocket Cardigan: this deep v-cardigan with un-obtrusive ruffling at the pockets comes in "regular" and petite sizes in a variety of colors including the pictured "paris purple." The sweater is made from rayon and nylon. Originally $68, it is on sale for $39.90.

(4) Foxcroft Fitted Shirt: classic crisp white button-down shirt in a feminine "fitted" fit with pleats and princess seams. The shirt is made from cotton, and is of the "no-iron" variety. Originally $68, it is on sale for $44.90. The Nordstrom sale also features a bunch of other Foxcroft shirts, most with patterns or texture; find them all here.

(5) Kristen Blake Iridescent Quilted Coat: I particularly like the huge pockets on this shiny quilted water-resistant coat. It comes in the pictured pewter and a bronze, and in "regular," petite, and plus sizes. The coat is made from polyester and nylon, and has polyester lining. Originally $150, it is on sale for $89.90.

(6) And, finally, something for men: Fa├žonnable Cotton Jacket: this lightweight zip-up jacket made from cotton is perfect for weekend excursions or more casual days traveling to and from the office. It is lined with the ever-popular plaid. The sweater jacket comes in the pictured navy and a dark-ish tan. Originally $295, it is on sale for $199.90.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Vegan Purchase: Three-Quarter Sleeve Stretch Shirt

Purchased on sale via J.Crew. Besides Brooks Brothers, I find the J.Crew shirts fit me best, particularly their "slim fit" cut, which realizes that I have a chest that the shirt's material should cover such that buttons are not strained in that area, but that after the chest. J.Crew currently is offering its three-quarter sleeve stretch shirt on sale in certain colors for $39.99, reduced from $58. I purchased it in a light blue that I can't find online; the "light pewter" is pictured instead. Find the shirt here.

Friday's Vegan Accessory: Bread Warmer Basket Set

This weekend I am traveling to see married friends and meet their new baby. Of course, I purchased an adorable outfit for the baby (baby clothes are irresistible). But I wanted to get something for my friends that had nothing to do with the baby. Also, I decided to bake some vegan muffins for them . . . so I thought something tangentially related to the muffins, or in which the muffins could be presented, might be nice. I ended up getting a decorative bowl, in which I will place nice kitchen dishtowels and then put in the muffins -- a bit "desperate housewives," switching the traditional basket for a bowl.

However, what I really wanted to get them was a bread warmer basket set. I've heard a bit about these lately. Essentially, the set is a bamboo or wicker basket, a cloth liner, and a terra cotta warming stone. The terra cotta warming stone is placed in the oven or microwave, warmed, and then slipped into the cloth liner and put at the bottom of the basket. The loaf of bread or other bread-like products to be kept warm are placed on top of the cloth liner.

Alas, I couldn't find any readily available in-stores. But Target has a set available online (pictured left). It's 17.99 and has been receiving good reviews. Find it here. Overstock. com has a similar set, on sale for $17.49; find it here (pictured right).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vegan Purchase: Slippers Via Target

Not exactly designer, but I was browsing through Target this weekend for cleaning products to pick up dog hair, and I passed these clog slippers that look more to me like go-on-the-street shoes and had to get them. I purchased them in the pictured grey cable knit (here). Who can resist grey cable knit? Though, perhaps, that does make them more like slippers than actual shoes. The slippers also come in a deep chocolate brown cable knit (here), a brown-pink-white plaid (here), and a black-purple-white plaid (my second favorite - I'm a sucker for purple) (here). They are made from faux-suede, faux-shearling, and textile uppers and bottoms -- vegan! They are a very doable $16.99.

Thursday's Work-Appropriate Clothing Item: Nevara Pants

Yes, they are super-over-the-top expensive, but I love these Leifsdottir "Nevara" pants via Anthropologie (hence, over-the-top expensive). The pants have a high-ish waist accented by side-buttons and mini-pockets, all of which I love. I also like the dark tweed fabric (the pants come in the pictured "blue" color) and semi-wide legs. Pair the pants with a simple button-down shirt and black pumps for a crisp, business look. The pants are made from viscose and polyester. And, yes, they are a whopping $278. Find them here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Notable Vegan Items on Sale

Thought I'd post a handful of (meaning three) items from two stores that are on sale and vegan:

(1) Calvin Klein Pleated Dress via Nordstrom: great for more casual offices or dress-down days. The cotton dress boasts an empire waist with a large, but not overbearing side-bow and a slightly flared skirt. Obviously the addition of a cami underneath is a must. The dress comes in the pictured black. Originally $108, it is on sale for $70.

(2) Jane Post for Saks Fifth Avenue Nylon Jacket via (amazingly) Saks Fifth Avenue: clearly a non-work-appropriate item. I really like the all-over ruffle front and the sleek sheen of this 100% nylon jacket. Interestingly, it comes with a nylon tote for storage, though I'm not sure how wrinkled the jacket would get in the tote. It's available in the pictured black. Originally $325, it is on sale for $161.90.

(3) Theory 'Valens - Crunch' Pants via Nordstrom: these pants are made from a combination of linen, rayon, and elastane, which gives them a textured, somewhat crinkled feel and look. Because of the linen, I might suggest these pants are more for casual days or the weekend. They come in the pictured "north sea," black, dark plaster, and white. Originally $245, they are on sale for $147.

Wednesday's Work-Appropriate Bag: Melie Bianco Patent Bowler

Made from 100% synthetic pvc materials, not actual patent leather. This huge (huge! - 17" high, 15" wide, 4" deep) comes in the pictured yellow that is quite appropriate now that the sun is shining in full force, though possibly not office-appropriate depending on your office, and a more subdued gray that goes well with lighter summer suits. The bag comes with a removable shoulder strap, which I likely would ditch as the handles have a perfect 8" drop. The bag is $95 via Piperlime, which, as always, offers free shipping and free returns. Find it here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday's Work-Appropriate Clothing Item: Custom Dress Shirts for Men

Proper Cloth, which was started in 2008 in New York City, allows men to design dress shirts from Italian fabrics; the custom shirts then are produced in the United States: "Men are free to choose unique fabrics for the inside of their collars and cuffs as well as other options so that their shirts will suit them. We want to embrace the corporate cubicle world but poke some fun at it." The custom shirts are made from cotton. Proper Cloth offers a wide variety of collar and cuff options as well as fabric options. The shirts range in price from $80 - $140+.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday's Vegan Suit: Antonio Melani Suit

Via Dillards. I don't know how I feel about how double-breasted jackets such as this one look on me, but I love the idea of such jackets, especially one with buttons set semi-close like this one. The shawl collar is a great added touch, and the black/mist herringbone wide-stripe pattern gives the suit an updated look.

The jacket pairs with a vest and wide-leg pants. The vest boasts seven closely-set buttons, small front pockets, and a hardware buckle detail on the back. In addition to the wide legs that pair nicely with the double-breasted jacket, the pants have cuffs and an extended-tab waist.

The suit is made from polyester, viscose, and elastane. The jacket is $199; find it here. The vest is $129; find it here. The pants also are $129; find them here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Designer Vegan Deal: Melissa PVC Shoes

The Brazilian shoe brand Melissa designs a line of PVC (plastic) shoes and flip-flops. Portions of that line are on sale, up to 50% off, today on ideeli, another of those designer sample sale online websites. I believe you can register for ideeli without invitation; if not, shoot me an email at professionalvegan@gmail.com and I will send you an invitation.

These shoes and flip-flops clearly are not office appropriate, but they are great for the weekend or, at least some, for the beach. The most intriguing of those on sale is the "black and white joy" shoe pictured left. Lace-up, jazz-inspired, and made of 100% non-toxic recyclable PVC material. The shoe is on sale for $49 (originally $99). Check out the sale here.

Friday's Vegan Accessory: Vegan Sunscreen!

It's summer -- really, really summer, which means it's time for the beach or other sun-ray-catching activities. Never fear! There is vegan sunscreen to attend to your sun woes. Not incorporating any animal products, not tested on animals -- you can feel safe wearing these skin-protecting sunscreens:

(1) Alba Green Tea SPF 30+ Sunscreen via Alternative Outfitters (a vegan boutique) (pictured): 70% certified organic ingredients, hypo-allergenic, with green tea antioxidants and aloe vera, both of which absorb quickly, leaving a light, fresh scent.

(2) Jason Suncare: complete line of vegan sun care products, including sprays, anti-aging sunscreens, water resistant sunscreens, and lip balm.

(3) Kiss My Face sun-lotions: most of these vegan sunscreens are made with oat protein; they come in convenient spray bottles as well as tradition lotions.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday's Work-Appropriate Clothing Item: Flare Pants from The Limited

Remember The Limited and The Limited Too? Thinking about them brings back memories of shopping at the mall during middle school. The Limited Too is now called Justice, which seems very odd to me. But, The Limited is still going strong and still has its original name. For a more casual work environment, or for casual Fridays, I sometimes turn to The Limited for pant options, especially when I am looking for machine washable work pants.

Right now The Limited has all of its pants on sale -- 40% off, including its "Cassidy Triple Button Flare" pants, pictured in the grey with black pinstripes (I know, the pinstripes aren't visible in the picture). I especially like the triple button front closure and front pockets. And the back has pockets too! Made from polyester, viscose, and a bit of spandex for stretch. The pants originally were $79.50, and are on sale for $47.70 -- and come in short, regular, and long in a variety of still-available sizes. Find them here in the grey with black pinstripes, and here in "mushroom melange" and black (these two colors are on sale for $41.70). The "mushroom melange" and black pair with this jacket ($158) to make a complete suit.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday's Work-Appropriate Bag: Stella McCartney

Via a wonderful comment from a reader informing me that Yoox has some Stella McCartney handbags on sale -- and, wow, Yoox has a bunch of great bags on sale. I had a hard time choosing which one to post, so I'm posting a few.

First, I greatly enjoy this white "large fabric bag" made from cotton and canvas. It's bigger than it looks -- 11" high, 16" wide, and 7" deep -- perfect for use as a fashionable summer briefcase. Originally $295, Yoox has it on sale for $149. Find it here.

Second, I am really taken by this faux shiny patent leather tote-ish handbag in the pictured beige (that would match a pair of Steve Madden vegan pumps I picked up a couple months ago). It's also made from vegan materials, of course, and is slightly smaller than the above fabric bag. My favorite feature is the zipper and logo pendant details on the front. Originally $730, Yoox has it on sale for $365. Find it here. The bag also comes in a coral: same materials, same size, same price; find it here.

Third and finally, my favorite of my favorites is this shoulder bag with white with tan contrasting that is somewhat of a combination of the above two bags. The bag is made from cotton and faux leather (even though Yoox says its "leather," as I understand, no Stella McCartney bags use real leather). Originally $590, Yoox has it on sale for $295. Find it here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday's Work-Appropriate Clothing Item: Karen Millen Crochet Yoke Cardigan

Sometimes I forget about Karen Millen, the UK-based designer that has a few stores in the United States. But she designs some great, trendy, yet still professional clothes, has online exclusive items not to be missed, and is holding a sale right now. The sale includes this white (very white on the black background) cardigan with contrasting black and white hand crochet yoke and metal buttons. Pair it with a simple black dress or black trousers. The cardigan is made from cotton, polyamide, and elastane. Originally $140, it is on sale for $95. Find it here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday's Vegan Suit: AK Anne Klein Suit

Every so often you need a basic black suit, such as this AK Anne Klein black suit via Dillards. I like this suit because it's affordable and perfect for very business formal occasions.

The jacket has a notch collar and a classic single-button front. It pairs with pants or a pencil skirt. The pants are wide-leg with a front hook-tab closure, and the skirt hits perfectly at the knees. The suit is made from a blend of polyester, rayon, and spandex. The jacket is $99; find it here. The pants are $59; find them here. The skirt is $49; find it here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Of note, Bluefly is having an "explosive" 4th of July sale; and check out Corporette's sale roundup. And with that I'm off for a long weekend of shopping, fireworks, miscellaneous tasks, and maybe some relaxation.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Designer Vegan Deal: Amrita Singh Sample Sale

Today, already started, HauteLook is hosting a sample sale of Amrita Singh items. Of particular interest are the vegan shoes (sandals), clutches, and handbags. HauteLook is one of those invitation websites; if you need an invite, email the Professional Vegan at professionalvegan@gmail.com.

Thursday's Work-Appropriate Clothing Item: Classic Pencil Skirt

Via Banana Republic, which is holding an online sale -- 20% off when you buy $100 or more of selected new items online. This classic pencil skirt is one of the new items. It's made from viscose, cotton, and spandex, which gives it a bit of flattering stretch. The skirt comes in the pictured grey suede, which would match well with yesterday's work-appropriate shoes, washed stone, and black. It's $59.50; find it here.

Also included in the sale that's of vegan interest: (1) white cotton/rayon motorcycle jacket great to pair with a more dress on more casual days -- $125; here; (2) cotton flutter sleeve embroidered top available in a few colors perfect to pair with a full suit -- $59; here; (3) "lyocell" long draped cardigan available in taupe or black -- $59.50; here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday's Work-Appropriate Shoes: Rocket Dog Flats

I recently received an email from Piperlime stating that grey and other neutrals add "a rich touch to your look." For the summer, I too enjoy adding a bit of non-black to my outfits by mixing up the color of my shoes. As such, today's vegan shoes are these grey Rocket Dog's "Mystique" round-toe ballet flats. Although they do have a 1/4" defined heel and the pleated detailing, making them work-appropriate in my opinion, they definitely are for more casual work days. Perhaps pair them with black slacks and a nice button-down shirt or summer sweater. The shoes are made from synthetic leather and rubber. They are $40; find them here via Piperlime.

Also via Piperlime -- although most likely not work appropriate, I thought I would point out these Blowfish "Zandu" high shaft slouchy boots. They boast an interesting drawstring at the back of the shaft. Made from fabric lining, textile outer, and a synthetic sole -- vegan! I'm not sure how wearable they are in the summer heat, but they'll be great as summer transitions into fall. The boots come in the pictured "bark" and black; they are $75; find them here.