Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Dot-pattern silk-chiffon shirt

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

Jason Wu Dot-pattern silk-chiffon shirtWe like this playful navy and white blouse from Jason Wu — under a simple black suit (ooh, or a white suit) it would be fabulous.  (Plus, the pockets give you extra coverage if you decide to wear it with nothing below it, as worn on the runway.  (Although for work, we’d probably try it with a dark camisole beneath it.)  It’s $595 at Net-a-Porter.com. Dot-pattern silk-chiffon shirt

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    Mwaaahahahahahaha! There is nothing about this that isn’t making me laugh. I liked the April Fool’s skull sweater better.

  2. Unfortunate styling as at first glance it looks like the model is wearing a particularly messy shirt-dress! But clicking through and seeing it without that skirt, it looks lovely.

  3. Designers really are just playing a joke on us, aren’t they, when they pair this blouse with the dotted skirt?

    Too much. A dotted blouse is just fine, but for work, I’d prefer a sleeveless one with no buttons down the front and no floppy-bow.

    My 18 yo daughter just bought a navy and white dotted blouse in the juniors department of Nordstrom’s and it looks great with jeans or with a dark pant / skirt. Then again, she’s 18. Sigh.

  4. Another Laura :

    Something about the placket down the front looks weird. Love the fabric, but not the pockets or placket.

  5. re: black suit — website claims it’s navy, so black suit not so much. With otherwise very conservative jacket over it, I really like this, and I haven’t worn polka dots since I was 9.

  6. The shape looks odd to me, maybe too boxy? I do like the dots though.

  7. I like the blouse! Most likely wouldn’t wear it except for a date or something (the sheer arms are, to me, inappropriate for a professional setting).

    Slight threadjack: I have my first callback interview at a Biglaw NYC firm this week, and my legs are so covered in bruises they look terrible and show through sheer hose. I don’t have a pantsuit, and can’t afford to buy a new one. Should I stick with sheer body-colored hose anyway, or do sheer black. It’s a morning interview followed by lunch. Or should I try to cover them with concealer or something similar?

    • I’d go with sheer black. Concealer could rub off or go wrong in so many ways. I can’t imagine bruises would be noticeable under sheer black hose.

    • I don’t think that body makeup is a bad idea, especially if it will help you feel comfortable. But keep in mind the weather (e.g., if it’s going to be esp. hot & humid, which it is supposed to be this week) and do a practice run first. You don’t want to try this for the first time the morning of your interview. Also — when you do try it out, look at yourself in bright, natural light — badly covered bruises will, I think, look much worse than just plain old bruises.

    • Disclaimer: Do your own research on any product you use/ingest before deciding if it is for you. I only know what works for me.

      I swear by Arnica for bruises (found at vitamin stores and health food stores in the homeopathic remedies section). I use topical as well as oral (little pellets that dissolve under your tongue). It works really, really well! There is never a day when I don’t have bruises (yay martial arts!) so I always keep my arnica on hand. I am prone to bruises and these help them to go away much more quickly.

    • Definitely don’t risk concealer. In a (hopefully) air-conditioned office, I wouldn’t imagine that black hose would be less comfortable than see-through. Probably your best option.

    • I’m almost always covered in bruises (between volleyball and pole fitness classes) and understand how difficult they are to cover. Right now I have about a 3″ diameter area on my shin just below my knee that is scraped up from playing volleyball on a sand court that wasn’t actually all sand… Learned that the hard way.
      I would say sheer black is your best bet, you don’t want to risk the concealer rubbing off on their office chair/your skirt, who knows what else.

      • What are pole fitness classes?

        • You learn pole dancing routines that are meant to kick-start your cardio and build muscle. Really fun, and I highly recommend it. I’ve been to one in the UK which is very fitness oriented (proper stretching and cool down plus muscle building, there are pushups in our routines!) and then one in DC which was very different. It was a lot of cardio but they were incorporating very stripper-like aspects of pole that my first class didn’t (i.e. flipping hair, licking your finger and trailing it over your body).

          • Got it – thanks for the great explanation! I don’t think that is my cup of tea but I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question :) Glad you are enjoying it!

          • No problem, I get a lot of questions about it.
            Even if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea I’d still suggest it. It is so much fun to do with a gal pal and your arms and abs get ridiculously strong if you work at it! And you don’t even feel like you’re exercising because it is so goofy and fun.

          • Anonymous :

            Where in DC? I’m not interested in the stripper-like aspects either, but I would love to try it – it seems great for building upper-body and core strength.

          • The company is called Pole Pressure based in NW, though if you’re not interested in the stripper-like aspects I would recommend looking elsewhere. This group was started by a former stripper and they recommend buying specialty-reinforced platform stripper shoes that have been designed for pole fitness.
            They have taster sessions that are free and non-committal, though.

        • pretty much just what they sound like :-)

    • Thanks for the advice! I’m going to experiment with body makeup tonight but pick up some sheer black hose just in case. It’s one of my top-choice firms and I’m super-excited about it!

  8. I actually like the skirt better. I think it would like sharp with a solid blazer.

  9. I really like the blouse. I recently got a similar black blouse with a white houndstooth (I think that’s the name) pattern on it. I should go hunt it down – I love blouses like these for wearing under a basic structured sheath.

  10. Not a fan. This is too busy (my eyes hurt looking at the pattern for too long) and too sheer. If you look at the picture of the model walking down the runway you see that it’s really sheer, even with the strategically placed pockets.

  11. I really dislike this, although I love polka dots in general. Too sheer, too much.

  12. She’s an optical illusion!

  13. I don’t like it either. Too sheer, too busy, and the shape around the shoulders, combined with the plackets/pockets/whatever they are is just not good. I do like the skirt though!

  14. The reason that it feels like a date-blouse and not a work blouse is because of the sheerness. But I agree, the cut in the front is spectacularly unflattering, certainly to anyone who is more on the busty side than not.

    Re the tie-front blouses. I shuddered when they came back in, because as a forty-something, that’s what we wore for dress-up clothing to bar mitzvahs back in the 1970′s. I’ve bought one, but I keep feeling the look is going to go right back out, very quickly. Anyone else have this feeling?

  15. DO NOT like it. Sometimes I really do wonder if designers truly think that they can get away with ugly just because of the name on it.

    Blouse should be ok if paired with right pants or skirt. Skirt should be left to pre teens.

  16. I have a similar blouse, with a similar tie front (although I think mine has a more flattering neckline). I bought mine at BR on clearance probably six years ago. I’m pretty sure I paid around $30 for it. It’s a great blouse with a black suit, but I question the price of this pick for something that’s not all that unique.

    It would also look great with white pants, but I’d NEVER wear a white suit. I’d feel like I should be selling fried chicken.

  17. I wouldn’t wear that on Halloween.

  18. Agreed, this is kinda hideous. Even as separates.

  19. Going off-topic–how do you all stay motivated when your motivation reaches an all time low? Right now I’m struggling with whether to keep working, when I would love to stay home with my 2 kids. Or do I really want to stay home all day every day? I think I would go a little crazy if I stayed home. Is this just a reaction to being miserable at work because there is just too much of it? Actually, I cannot truly afford to stay home. We do live rather frugally, no vacations or BMWs or eating out for us right now. Pre-school/daycare is our biggest expense in addition to our house. Life is just expensive. But. I. don’t. want. to. do. this. job. anymore. I am burnt out, yes. Is it better to be crazy because I’m working and my kids are with the nanny and I miss them or because I’m with the kids all the time and get no break and no appreciation?

    Does anyone know if I can get unemployment if I quit my job because they have changed the conditions of my work, namely, they are making us do the work of 2 people and I simply cannot handle it.

    • As someone who is out of work for a while, please do not quit your job. Especially since you need it. Staying at home sucks. The stress from lack of money is far greater than stress of a sucky job!

      Hope that you hang int here for a while and your job changes for better. OR
      You can think of getting another job that is not so stressful.

    • Better to be miserable at work, in my opinion, but with a job that’s better for you, if possible. As my mom put it to me, the period of life where your kid needs or even wants a large part of your time is very short — you need to make sure you keep yourself set up for a life that makes sense after that. Look for a new job that you like better, but don’t quit to stay home if you are that close to the edge financially (and if you aren’t sure you’ll like being home anyway). You’ll need the job and the money eventually, and you really don’t want to be looking for something new after 5-10 years out. Sorry!

      • Unemployment laws vary by state, but typically you can only get unemployment if you are terminated for a reason other than “misconduct” (statute will define) or if you quit for “good cause” (again, listed in statute). In my state, I seem to remember one of the reasons for good cause was a reduction in hours, not an increase in duties. But, again, this all varies by state.

      • I’ve been where you are… Wondering when the day would come when I would be unable to get out of bed to go to work anymore because I loathed it so. Add to that the stress of juggling kids, work, husband… Calgon, Take Me Away!! Your quandry is real and painful and far more prevalent that many people think. I recommend asking for a leave of absence from your current job (paid, unpaid, whatever you can get…) Take a break and use that time to figure out what you want. Would a part-time option make life better? Would a change in work assignments help? Are there other jobs out there that would suit you? Do you really like being home with the kids 24/7? Can you come back as a contractor, working hourly on a project basis? I’ve found that many many employers recognize when their talented people are burnt out and will do what they can to keep you. Good luck!

        • I’d be pretty nervous about asking for the leave of absence unless it’s just desperate. That’s a bad signal that can permamently hurt your career. But do be creative with your alternatives — I went from feeling something like you are feeling to being pretty happy with my job and my life, by changing my work group and learning a little better to push back on unreasonable requests.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Don’t forget about FMLA – that may be away to take a leave of absense – especially if your situation is leading to depression/anxiety, etc.

          • anon - chi :

            Keep in mind that you will be asked why you are taking FMLA leave. I would not do this personally unless I was (a) desperate and (b) pretty sure I would not return anyway.

          • AnonForThis :

            I have a coworker who had work-related stress and ended up with some health issues (depression, insomnia). She got a doctor to certify that she needed FMLA for these health issues, and was able to get 3 months off with partial pay (55% I believe in California). This dramatically improved her health and outlook and she is back in full force now. No problems with her career as far as I can see (if its a health issue, people dont ask details and all is forgiven).

      • This. I would be bored stiff all day at home (sure, it’s great taking a day off to be with my toddler, but 24/7 – No!). And he’ll be off to “big boy school” in 2 years and won’t need (or even want) me around 24/7.

    • very sorry for the stress you are under. But, you can not collect unemployment if you quit. Maybe you could get the company to agree to eliminate your position and qualify for unemployment that way… if you are truly as miserable as you sound, here’s what I would recommend:
      first of all, figure out how much income you NEED to sustain your lifestyle, and get a clearheaded view of what your household income requirement is. Maybe you can afford not to work if the childcare costs go away, but maybe you can’t – better to know. It sounds like you don’t have a lot of fluff to cut out so it really might be more stressful not to work. Meanwhile, obviously, look for a better job – knowing your income requirement very important here, some jobs do trade off work/life balance for income, and maybe you can get to a better place. In this economy, of course, maybe you can’t, or at least maybe you can’t right away. If, with all that, you really can’t stand the place AND you can afford the income downturn, can you work out a less demanding schedule for less money with your current employer? If you ask for one, you risk getting terminated – which, of course, does result in unemployment, but if you can’t sustain your lifestyle without the second income this is not something to undertake lightly. I mean, I can get into the little tricks we can do to self-motivate when employer recognition/gratitude is lacking, but it sounds to me like there is more to this than that.

    • Anonymouse :

      I have young children and have been in your same spot. I love my employer and worked out a very flexible part-time arrangement, but I would have quit if I hated my job or couldn’t work out part-time.

      Your children are babies/very young only once, and if you think you would enjoy the time home with them (I do very much), this is your ONLY chance if you can swing it financially. YMMV, but I really miss my kids when they’re with the nanny all day and they miss me too even though they love her.

    • You didn’t mention what field you are in, but maybe you should start looking for another job in a different work environment? For instance, if you are an attorney in a big law firm, perhaps look at legal services or government, which (while there is a lower salary), have much better hours and tend to have a more relaxed environment (i.e. less competition, no billable hours requirement, etc).

    • I think this is something that every working mom thinks about. I am miserable at work, so why not just stay home? Unfortunately, staying home is not a panacea for job woes. For one thing, it’s not just the lost money that becomes an issue. If you’re used to having your own money and having some control over it, relying on your partner’s money can feel very uncomfortable. A lot of women I know have problems with it, and it can put a real strain on your relationship. Two, I believe women are either cut out to stay home, or they are not. I am not. I work part-time, and that has been a good solution for me – I have a professional job that is allowing me advancement opportunities, job training etc. but it’s only 30 hours a week, so it doesn’t take up my whole life. I lucked into this job but there are others out there; in the recession a lot of people are relying on contract/temp/part-time employees. Contact a professional temp agency and see what they think. Depending on what you do, they may have openings. My husband has been continually headhunted throughout the recession because there are still not enough IT people who do what he does. He gets calls from temp agencies all the time.

      I know when your job sucks, staying home seems like a refuge. But has its own set of challenges that goes with it. I tried staying home a couple of years ago after I went through a really tough job situation that resulted in the company folding – I lasted less than 2 months. I was miserable and my son was unhappy too; he missed getting to go to school and play with other kids (he’s an only child). If you have flexibility financially, look into working part-time or temping if you really cannot stand your current job. You may find a better fit by chance, like I did.

    • Anon in NC :

      I have been where you are – I have 3 children – under 10 and was in a role that was not working for me or my family to say the least. I did move on and eventually found a part time role (with another company) with flexibility and it inventually morphed into a full time role – still with some flex time etc. You CAN find a good fit out there – explore other industries, other practice areas (not sure of your profession). I know it is crazy to leave a job in this economy but sometimes it truly does require taking a leap of faith for things to line up.

    • I was in your shoes and then I was laid-off from my job and it made me completely miserable. I had 1 year old twins at the time and instead of enjoying my time with them, I was anxious about finding work and worried that the shortened hours I gave my awesome nanny would cause her to quit on me. Also, more than anything, I felt a blow to my self-esteem and a lack of identity since I was not used to being at home and did not have any SAHM friends. If you want to be a SAHM, make that an independent decision that you make for yourself (with your husband/SO of course), and don’t let that be your default solution with a job you do not like. There are lots of better jobs out there and trust me, it is way easier to find a job when you already have a job.

    • North Shore :

      I re-read my copy of “The Feminine Mistake” by Leslie Bennetts. So glad I’ve kept my job — you never know what’s ahead . . .

    • Original poster here. Thank you for your responses. I agree that “working it out” seems like the optimal solution. The thing is, this is supposed to be my “work-life balance friendly, compromise on money” job, but in this economy, my employer is taking advantage, assuming we have nowhere to go. I am getting paid part-time and working more than full-time (as most of us “professionals” do work more than full-time). I have already had a conversation with my boss about needing more resources. I got a lecture about how professionals “step up” as needed–well, that sounds an awful lot like code for a form of servitude. I’ve tried to draw the line at work as suggested above and am facing repercussions for it, not being a “team player” etc. I think it was put best above–I feel like one day I’m just going to wake up and not be able to function. Every morning I get up wondering is today the day. And truthfully they would find a replacement for me, they’d just have to go through the pain/expense of hiring and training that person and figuring out whether they’ll stick around as well. I know others I work with are going through this as well, but not as acutely, as I had a lot of projects come to a head at once and their kids aren’t as cute as mine are :). I don’t love everything that comes with staying home, money issues duly recognized. Will work on trying to make this existing job more manageable, while I look for something else, but I’m not optimistic about anything changing at this job– I’m wondering what happens when someone just cannot do the work that is expected of them (quantity-wise). Do I screw up and get fired? I guess that would solve the problem for me at the cost of my reputation and other factors.

      By the way, someone commented that you cannot get unemployment if you quit your job. That is not universally true — there are some exceptions — if for example you can no longer work for health reasons or taking care of a sick relative, you could get unemployment depending on your state’s rules.

      By the way, the reason we have no extravagances and yet cannot live on one salary is a combination of student loans and family members we help to support, compounded by living in an expensive area. Theoretically I think we *could* live one one salary but would be making minimum payments on our credit cards etc.

      Thanks again.

      • divaliscious11 :

        So as others have suggested, start looking for a new job, use that as your motivation. start paying off your debt so that you wouldn’t be in a minimum payment situation. figure out what you need to have to stop working, and work toward getting there. If the job hasn’t changed, and/or you haven’t found anything different, you still have the freedom of knowing you can walk when you want. That eliminates an enormous amount of stress….

      • And remember, a bad job can distort your own sense of your talents and professional possibilities. Your options are probably broader than you think they are right now.

      • North Shore :

        Sounds like a crummy place to work. For what it’s worth, I’m part time also, working for the government. I’m in litigation, so sometimes I obviously end up working crazy hours. When that happens, I let HR know that I’m working full time (and then some), and at least they will pay me for the full time work. Can you do that? It must suck to work full time but get paid part time.

      • Anon–you’ve probably already done this, but if you run the numbers, and calculate what you’d save from staying home (no daycare, no babysitter helpers, no lunches out, no group gifts at the office, no coffee breaks, no commuting costs, etc.) it’s amazing how it adds up.

        Maybe a part-time job (freelance research & writing or the like?) could supplement the short-fall? Just a thought. It’s a tough economy, but they are only little once. Good luck.

      • Panicked (not so much anymore) :

        Hi OP Anon,

        I’ve been where you are – a few times and in a few different scenarios – and I can’t add a lot to what the commentariat has already wisely suggested. As a mom of three (who are now getting into middle school years) and one who hasn’t had the option of SAHM (and would not want – for basically the reasons Amy suggests – to be dependent on husband/SO for financial support), I will say this: if you can identify a part time, less demanding, less burn out-y solution, or if you just have to bite the bullet for ~a year or so to get there, DO keep in touch with your ‘inner mom.’ There really is only ONE reason to kill yourself for a job (and then ideally only for the short term), and that reason is if you are the sole breadwinner with tiny dependents who don’t have a say in the matter – and who are entirely dependent on YOU to make sure they are housed, clothed, fed, medicated, taught, etc. In other words, if you are running yourself crazy (and not doing what you feel you need to be doing for your family – not financially, emotionally) for a job that you don’t really NEED, figure out an exit strategy – it may take more than a couple weeks, and may not involve an ‘instant sabbatical’ but try to keep the long view (and the mid-view – kids grow up FAST) in mind. when my kids were babies, I was a partner in Biglaw, and dabbled in the part time/work life balance thing – it didn’t work. It might work somewhere else for you, it might just need some time. But if you are spending 80% of your time/energy on work, and then too drained/frustrated to ‘feed’ your kids’ and husband’s needs, you do need to seek change – and you will find it, I just know it. Hope this helps.

  20. I’ll leave the $600 Jason Wu shirt to Michelle Obama. I’ll stick with Gap.

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