Budget Thursday: Striped Pleated Skirt

This is a fun, cute skirt that looks like it could be much more expensive than it is. In a quick perusal of Anthropologie, they have several mid-length, colorful, pleated skirts being shown for fall — and this one is a very convincing dupe. I really like the wide stripes and the color combo, and extra points for an elastic waist — woo! The way it is styled here looks a little crazy to me and definitely does not do the skirt justice. I would do a simpler shirt, shoes with a heel or block heel, and accessories that matched the skirt. The skirt is $24.99 at Target and comes in sizes XXS–XXL. Striped Pleated Skirt

A plus-size option is $29.99 and comes in sizes X–4X.

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Washable Workwear Wednesday: Striped Tie-Neck Shirtdress

I really like the combination of elements in this dress. I like how the black and white vertical stripes are broken up by the elasticized waist that has a little bloused element to it. The elasticized waist makes the dress look like it could be separates. There are buttons down the front to the waist, which could be helpful for pumping at work. I like the v-neck with ties, although I would probably tie them instead of leaving them loose like in the photos. This dress gives me a “Kate Middleton attending Wimbledon” vibe — and I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be putting those vibes out into the universe. It’s $129 full price at Ann Taylor (but be on the lookout for one of their frequent sales). Striped Tie-Neck Shirtdress

Two plus-size options are at Talbots (on sale — and available in all size ranges) and Bloomingdale’s.

Looking for other washable workwear? See all of our recent recommendations for washable clothes for work, or check out our roundup of the best brands for washable workwear.

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Tips for Packing School Lunches

Tips for Packing School LunchesIt’s that time of year, ladies — let’s share favorite tips for packing school lunches. Who does it: you, your partner, or your caregiver? (Or your child?!?) Have you adopted any favorite hacks or tricks to simplify it? Are you on “Team Everything Must Be Reusable” or on “Team Prepackaged Preportioned Foods are Great” (or somewhere in the middle)?

My new tip for packing school lunches is to do it throughout the day and week — basically, whenever you open a package for another reason, put some aside for the kids’ lunches if they’ll eat it and it will keep for a day or two. Let me back up a bit: This year I have two lunches to pack (I do it most days, but my husband knows my “formula” by now: protein, drink, fruit, tiny salty treat, tiny sweet treat, and veggie or fruit for snacktime snack) so I’ve been thinking a lot about a post I saw a while ago about a woman who packed lunch for five kiddos in 30 minutes because she did it immediately after coming home from the grocery store. I’m not at that level yet (and my kids are far too fussy) but I have adopted a “while I have it open” policy — if I have the popcorn bag open I’ll pack a bunch of popcorn for lunches. If I have the Goldfish crackers open I’ll pack a bunch of smaller containers. If I make myself green beans or crackers for lunch I try to put a few aside for my kids (odds of them eating them are slim to none, but I feel like just seeing them in their lunch is good).

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Accessory Tuesday: AirPods Case

I never thought that I would own AirPods. My first instinct is always to resist new Apple products, but I always seem to give in. The reason I gave in this time is I lost my regular set of headphones and my husband surprised me with AirPods. Since I would lose my head if it were not attached to my neck, these seem like the perfect combination of elements to get lost: three separate pieces, all the pieces are small, and I am using them every day in different locations, while out and about and usually while distracted in some way. My opposing counsel one day had this case attached to a belt loop, and I asked him where he got it and immediately ordered one. I use the carabiner to loop in my bag, so it is always in the same place. I ordered it in bright red so that I can always spot it in my bag. Hopefully this is a successful coping mechanism for my tendency to misplace things. The case is $9.95 at Amazon and is eligible for Prime shipping (and a coupon for 6% off). AirPods Case

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Maternity Monday: Tie-Waist Tunic Shirt

I like this shirt as a maternity version of the crisp white button-down. (As I was writing that, it occurred to me that since having a child, I could not describe anything I currently wear as either “crisp” OR white.) I like how the buttons are on the top half as if it were a non-maternity shirt and the rest flows over the stomach. The tie-waist part is a nice feature to define the top half from the bottom. The shirt is $36.99 at Old Navy, is machine washable, and is available in sizes XS–XXL. It also comes in a blue and white stripe, which I also really like (and which is 35% off), though not all sizes are in stock currently. Maternity Tie-Waist Tunic Shirt

Target has a plus-size option that comes in sizes 1–4X and is $26.99.

Building a maternity wardrobe for work? Check out our page with more suggestions along both classic and trendy/seasonal lines.

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Organizing Thursday: Non-Slip Velvet Scarf Organizer

We are about to enter my favorite season: fall. One of my favorite parts of my favorite season is wearing scarves. Not scarves that are all utility, like you have to wear in the dead of winter, but fashion scarves. (OK, sometimes they can have a dual purpose of actually keeping you warm.) I can barely resist buying a great scarf, but I have a lot of problems storing them. I really dislike the scarf hangers where you have to shove the scarf through a little hole, and I don’t have great “stick-to-it-iveness” when I have to fold the scarf before putting it away. These hangers let you just drape it over the hook. I think what you trade off by not having to wrinkle it, you lose in closet space, but if you have nice scarves then it could be worth it. A pair of these scarf hangers is $6.48 at Amazon, eligible for Prime and 5% off. Non-Slip Velvet Scarf Organizer

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