When the winter months comes around, you should re-stock your office emergency kit. You never know what mini-crises you might run into working 9-to-whenever-the-work-is-done. A professional lady should always be prepared.
The Laundry Room. Spill coffee on your blouse? Skirt clinging like a bad boyfriend? You can’t have your carefully chosen outfit ruined by an unfortunate incident.
I recommend keeping a Tide Pen for tiny spills, and Shout Wipes for bigger messes. A lint roller (I like the ones that smell like Bounce), some Static Guard, a bottle of Febreeze and a sewing kit wouldn’t hurt either. Also, I used to keep a thing of Pledge Wipes in my desk drawers. They’re give leather shoes a quick shine if they get soiled on your morning commute.
The Furnace Room. Every office that I ever worked in was freezing, populated by men who refused to turn up the heat for fear they might melt. And men are such whiners when they’re hot, that most women just take matters into their own hands. My desk was like a climate control command center.
You need a warm scarf/wrap to hang on the back of your chair. This gorgeous one from Forzieri comes in several stylish colors, I chose the taupe. If you need a similar scarf for under-$50, Uniqlo has a fantastic cashmere scarf in more colors than you can count.
In addition to the scarf, I recommend a heating pad over a space heater. Most offices ban heaters due to fire danger, and dry air isn’t great for the skin. Place the heating pad on your chair, adjust the setting accordingly and it’ll keep you toasty all day. Promise.
If you wear black tights all winter long, you need to keep an extra pair in your desk. I like these Gap Maximum Heat Tights because they’re not too expensive, they’re really thick and if I’m cold, I can layer them over my other tights. Doubling up never hurt anyone.
The Medicine Cabinet. Hand sanitizer is a must for professional women who shake hands all day. And, unless you want your hands to get drier than the Kalahari, you need to choose a product with aloe. I like this Burt’s Bees spray because it’s not too drying and it’s all natural. But I keep a tube of L’Occitane Shea Butter hand cream handy just in case.
You also need to keep your lips and skin in good shape. For the lips, I love this Kiehl’s Cranberry-scened Lip Balm or Smith’s Rose Balm. For seriousness dryness, however, I turn to Blistex Med-Ex. For the skin, I like Evian water in a spray can. It seems like a useless product, but after a walk outside in the wind, a little spritz keeps that dry, tight feeling at bay.
I’d also suggest keeping some cold medicine, pain relievers, antihistamine, etc. in your desk as well. I also kept an Epi-Pen because my Boss had a severe food allergy. And unless you like cheap tissue that feels like cardboard for your runny nose, a few boxes of Puffs may be in order.
I keep my own mug and silverware set so I’m not sharing winter colds via poorly washed community items.
You mentioned wearing two pairs of tights before to get a super opaque look. I tried this and now I pretty much wear two pairs of tights all the time. One pair of regular tights on top of cheap fleece-lined tights. I actually feel bare legged with just one pair now.
(It also helps hide accidental runs!)
I suffered for years until I brought in a heating pad to stay warm in the winter months. Such a great tip. I also keep baby powder in my drawer for sweaty shoes and to use as dry shampoo on bad hair days. Love your blog Belle!
Sarah M. says:
Great post and very applicable! If anyone is looking to help with climate control (my office is like a tundra), I’ve heard the USB Heated Lap Blankets are great and they’re under $20.00 on Amazon.
This checklist is very helpful — thanks! Also, tan wraps were all the rage among the female lawyers I worked with this summer.
My quandry is, where to apply the Static Guard? If I arrive at work and my slip is clinging to my skirt and/or my tights I have two issues. The first is where I can spray without anyone happening upon me holding my skirt up. If I go to the Ladies Room then I fill it with aerosol. If I spray in the office, a sea of cubbies, the smell goes away faster, although it may still annoy some, but there isn’t any privacy. Am I supposed to spray in the stairwell?
Along with the Evian, decant a bit of your favorite moisturizer into a travel sized bottle to keep in your desk. Use it after you spritz on the Evian. A well-moisturized face will always make you look more refreshed.
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Blondie, Esq. says:
I am freezing in my office but never thought about a heating pad! Genius. Just ordered one from Amazon. Thanks for the great tips! 🙂
Sarah Morris says:
Hi Belle! These are great tips for staying warm in the office. Could you do a post on how to stay warm & stylish on your COMMUTE TO the office? I ride both the Metro and bus in DC. Thanks!
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