Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Raya Dress

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

kate spade new york 'raya' dressHappy Monday! Today we’re loving this dress from Kate Spade — it’s the basic sort of dress that you can wear for years (and be complimented on for years). The pleats detail on the neckline is fabulous,and the general fit of the dress is great. We’d pair it with a gray or beige sweater or blazer if we wanted to mute the color, and black if we wanted the red to really pop. It’s $395 at Nordstrom. kate spade new york ‘raya’ dress


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  1. Absolutely love the fit of the dress! The red is too orange to work on me (or at least it looks like that on my monitor) but it does look gorgeous.

  2. Very nice dress — not sure I would ever wear that color but love the cut, and would love this in a more sedate tone.

  3. Love! Though probably can stand on its own sans blazer!

  4. Love this. Hope it would work on those of us with bigger boobage!

  5. I want to be BFFs with Kate Spade. I’m crazy for this dress and everything else from the label!

  6. Just in case anyone was planning to make a gap.com purchase —
    promo code BGD76R46R2K6 for mystery savings of 10 -40% off + potential free shipping. Now through 10-28.

    • Thanks, I just used it (2o% off).

      FYI, I went to Gap and BR this weekend and got:

      1) Corduroy coat, $35 (BR)
      2) That cut summer skirt everyone was wearing, with the ruffled waist, $15 (BR)
      3) Nice tank top to wear under cardigans, $7 (BR)
      4) Cute v-neck t-shirt, $6 (Gap)

      I also decided I like the Gap corduroys, but I had to order online to get petites. And they are apparently oversold, so my pair won’t ship until ~Nov. 22.

  7. Really gorgeous, but really orange! Would have to see IRL!

  8. Love it! And I love that they modeled it on a red head. It looks great!

  9. Love this dress. I have a dress that’s nearly *exactly* the same as this one (length, neckline, tucks, sleeves, etc.) in bright turquoise that I bought (on sale) from BR in Fall 07.

    I agree it’s classic and you will be complimented on it forever!

  10. it’s available in black on the Kate Spade website:

    Personally I think I would go with the red, but the black is much more versatile and a good option if you don’t want the dress to be so loud.

  11. Dress is cute but overpriced, IMHO.

    Hijack — @Anonymous Inhouse, I think your post got lost in the weekend shuffle. I’m such a wimp when it comes to having promo/bonus/review discussions. I lose sleep over it for weeks and never actually have that conversation with my boss that I’ve rehearsed for weeks in my head. I know, I’m a mess. As tough as I am representing clients, I’m so not a “Getting to Yes!” person when it comes to my personal affairs. LOL.

    @divalicious, can you lend your advice? I always love your take on things. You “sound” like a confident, assertive chick who takes care of business ;-)

    • surrounded by lawyers :

      Agreed–I always appreciate hearing from divaliscious.

      • Anonymous Inhouse :

        Lawgirl – thank you so much for bringing this discussion into this thread!

        • Anonymous Inhouse – I need to know too! I have a 1-1 discussion with boss soon too ;-)

          • Me, too – I just took a break from working on my self eval in preparation for my 1-1 to check this thread!

          • I have a related question. I have been at my firm for a little over a year. When they hired me, they knew I would be leaving for a one-year clerkship, which I will be leaving for in December, and then coming back. So, when I had been here a year, I decided I needed to do a check-in with my boss because I felt like we weren’t speaking the same language or something. So we had a one-year review which did not go well. I’ll spare you the details of the review and whether I thought they were justified because that is beside the point to this question. Basically, he thought I need to improve. Anyway, now I’m leaving in about a month, and I want to check in again and see how my career is looking. I’m in the appellate section, so I want to know when they think I might get my first oral argument, if they think I’m on track to stay at the firm long term, etc. I want to see where I stand before I come back to the firm in a year. But I’m not sure if that’s appropriate given that I just had a semi-bad review in August. I’m afraid their thought will be “first stop sucking at your job, and then we’ll talk about this stuff.” Thoughts?

          • anon – I think a check-in is appropriate, but I don’t think asking all those questions would be. I would look at it as a way to get from your boss what he thinks you could do at your clerkship to improve your skills when you return to your job and to try to get him to acknowledge that you have improved since your August review. If your clerkship is in an appeals court, you are very definitely going to have great opportunities for learning things very relevant to your job. Ask your boss how he thinks you might maximize those opportunities. Use this as a way to mend fences and seem eager to be the best you can be etc.

            If you’re trying to figure out whether you SHOULD return to this firm, I don’t think you should try to suss that out right now. This boss might not even be there when you’re set to return, or you might decide for other reasons you don’t want to return, or the firm might not be hiring no matter what they say now. I would definitely not ask when you might get your fist argument after you get back from your clerkship. That’s not something anyone can tell you right now (even if they thought you were FABULOUS) and it’s likely to come out as very pushy/entitled.

            I know that makes it hard for YOU to know whether you should return, but frankly it’s to early for you to know that too. In either case, try to stay in touch throughout the year you’re clerking with your boss and/or co-workers and the firm in general. It’ll help you to know whether you should return to that environment, and if you do return, it’ll be so much easier later.

          • anon – No advice, and not to be a downer, but I’ve *never* seen someone recover from a bad review unless they switch bosses/partners. Sometimes work styles and approaches vary and things just don’t click. (BTW, I don’t think you could possibly be as bad as your partner says; you got a clerkship!). I’ve found that in most cases, the reviewee bumps along with the same boss and the cloud remains — doesn’t get promoted, receives limited to nonexistent feedback, gets mediocre assignments, narrowly dodges being RIF’d, feels on pins and needles daily, and eventually leaves. I wish there was a happy ending to these. But many times, there’s just nothing you can do to change the boss’ perception of you. Can anyone share?

          • I’m a different anon. My first review at my former firm (left that firm for reasons wholely unrelated to my performance) was horrible. I got knocked down a year in experience. I went home, cried, and then asked to talk to one of the partners the next day about the review and asked her what I could do to improve and get a better review and told her that I was going to prove the partners wrong– that I was an asset and I would show that I was an asset. I proceeded to do that and had very good reviews and was appropriately promoted. I was later told that no one ever did that– that plenty of people got bad reviews and they took them to heart and started doing bad work. But no one else came in and took it as a challenge. I think I was rewarded, in part, because I did.

          • Anon & a different anon: I guess the “do I stick around after getting a bad review,” question comes down to trust — do you believe the boss and people you work with want to see you succeed? Are they invested in you as a person? Did they bad review convey the belief that you ARE capable and worthy of practicing law at that firm, but you need to work on some things? Search your heart. Be brutally honest with yourself. Lay aside your ego and hurt feelings. Talk to your spouse, dearest friends. Then shut everything else out but the voice inside your head. If the answer is yes, go for it. Trust your instincts. If it’s no (they think I can’t analyze my way out of a paper bag), then, go find places where your talent and skills will be recognized.

    • divaliscious11 :

      Aww thanks!
      I think its a topic that doesn’t get talked about much, and we probably get under paid as a result…. I am pretty sure I saw on one of the other legal blog sites an attempt to start tracking salaries, sort of like what was done on Greedy Associates a few years back for associate compensation and bonus. Its hard to sometimes get a read on what is proper average compensation for you position, and in some instances, seniority (although to the consternation of many attorney’s accustomed to lockstep compensation adjustment) or job requirements. another thing that plays into is department structure, ie..is assistant senior or junior to associate gen counsel etc…

  12. I don’t care that much for this dress. Neckline is to high for me.

  13. surrounded by lawyers :

    I have a wrap dress that is this color. I’ve been debating wearing it to work with a tweed brown blazer and brown boots (my office is biz casual). How do we feel about this?

  14. Help – has anyone ordered from Pendleton? How does the sizing compare to BR and J Crew? I want to order a blazer from them but am unsure whether to order S or M. I am a straight size 8 from BR/J Crew.

  15. I hate to threadjack, but I forgot to get on this weekend for the open thread. Here goes:
    I am IN LOVE with the leopard haircalf pumps from Talbots right now. In love. I would love to own them and mix them into my work wardrobe, and enjoy them in real life, too. Problem? Where the hell have they gone?! Not showing up on the website (only in plain brown haircalf, not leopard), my Talbots stores are pretty limited in shoe stock… any one else noticing this? I’d hate to hear they sold out. No other leopard pump has come close this season, especially at the relatively do-able price point.


  16. Fashion-related threadjack:

    I have a number of sweaters under which I really need to wear shirts. Collared shirts look the best at the neckline, but the buttons make the sweaters look lumpy, especially in the chest. Therefore, I’ve been seeking non-button-up collared shirts. I haven’t had much luck (i.e., if you have recommendations, please let me know). But I did find this shirt: http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?zoomImage=03075079&id=prdi25400&catId=cat110053&rootCategory=cat70012&sortKey=Default&conceptIdUnderSale=cat70012&section=Regular

    Would this go well under a light sweater? Or is the sheen/drape/lack of stiff collar a problem?

    • You’d probably have better luck looking for collared, button-up shirts with concealed plackets. The one you linked to could easily look way too ’70s…

    • I have been wanting that blouse forever…it wasn’t in stores though, so I’ve held off ordering it. I think it would look great under a vneck sweater or suit, and you don’t have any of the gaping problems in button-fronts.

      The material that Talbots makes those blouses out of is beautiful as well.

    • I have the same issue and have been giving thought to looking into dickies, which I have not worn since about 1967.

      • I have a lot of short-sleeved shirts I wear under sweaters in winter, both round and v-neck. (The sweater, that is!) Honestly, the best solution I’ve found is to buy sweaters a size bigger if I’m planning to wear something bulky underneath. This means I have a slightly ridiculous array of sizes and sweaters, but it really seems to work.

        Otherwise, how about collared t-shirts? There’s lots around this year (I’m in Europe, though) – they’re basically a heavy t-shirt with just a few buttons up the top, long or short sleeved, with a collar that you (can) iron. If only the collar is showing, that looks fine too. They look good on their own (I bought a couple last year), but that’s obviously slightly less formal.

  17. Never never would I wear that shade of tomato red, and I never see that on anyone else, either. I suppose a redhead could wear that color, but I do not see why they would want to. Certain colors that might be great for say the upholtery on a chair just do not seem to work for clothing. Except maybe if you are hosting a morning TV show.

  18. Threadjack on what to wear. I have a lunch meeting tomorrow with the dean of law school and some professors. I’m being considered for a professor at this school and this is basically the first move they have made after receiving my materials.

    I was going to wear black wool pants, black conservative pumps, a jeweltone silk blouse and a light gray cashmere cardigan and small pearl necklace. I feel like a suit might be too much for this crowd (lunch is at a tea/coffee/sandwich place).

    What would you guys wear if you had an infinite wardrobe? I’m not above running out to purchase something today.

    • What you have planned sounds perfect. I agree that a suit might be a bit too formal– my guess is that they want to get a better feel for you, not your credentials, so a slacks/cardi combo might have more personality. When they have you come TO the school and meet people there, I might suit up, but with personality (ie interesting blouse and shoes, etc).

      Good luck, prof!

      • Thanks :) I actually love suits and would love to wear one, but definitely wouldn’t work here. If my straight figure could do a chanel-type jacket, this would be the perfect time to buy one I think.

        In fact, I just found the perfect jacket in my closet (I think) – a dark gray/charcoal tweed jacket. Too bad it’s from my heavier days and does not fit at all. My cardi is light gray (and I own no other presentable ones, something to put on the future shopping list) and now I am thinking that it’s too light.

        Of course I’m likely just overthinking this and want to go shopping instead of doing some research :)

    • I wouldn’t do light grey with a jewel tone blouse :( – do you have a long sleeved jewel tone blouse? I love jewel tone silk blouses – they make up half my wardrobe.

      • Why not light grey with jewel tone? I think that’s a great color combo. I wouldn’t do a cardigan however. If everyone else is in jackets, you’ll feel like you should have worn a jacket. Since you are being evaluated, I think its ok to look like you made an effort. I’d do a jacket, but I wouldn’t wear a suit.

        • I’m always seen light grey as a couplour that worked better with pinks/light blues/light purples and not teals/ruby reds/sapphires which I assumed were the kinds of colours the OP was talking about.

          • I guess we’re polar opposites on the light grey front — I don’t think I’d ever wear it with those colors. To milqetoast for my taste :)

          • I mean “too milqetoast”

        • You’re making me think I should try and find a tweedy gray jacket today. I’ve been meaning to add that to my wardrobe anyway, I just haven’t found one that’s fitted enough (the boxy chanel-type cut just makes me look huge)

          • I know what you mean about the boxy cut — sometimes J Crew has flannel or wool jackets that are fitted. Not sure about other brands. I think that would be a great combo though — a grey jacket with some heft (so it looks like a standalone jacket) and a jewel toned blouse and black pants.

            Alternatively, a similar outfit would be a camel jacket, brown pants, and a red/off-white/orange/other warm color shirt. I think it just depends on your coloring and your available wardrobe.

          • Thanks @Anon – I’m definitely a winter, so no barely any camel/brown in my wardrobe. Although by accident, I actually do own the perfect camel standalone jacket, but I purchased it before I understood my coloring (thanks corporettes! :) and it doesn’t do me any favors (it’s too hefty to be saved by the right-color scarf as well).

          • J Crew had some really professor-type tweed jackets in store, about a month ago. Greenish, grayish & camel. . . I thought they were really flattering. If you have a store near you, maybe pop in?

            Also, love the combo of gray + jewel tones. To me, jewel tone + jewel tones OR light gray + other icy colors = 80s type overkill. Mix & match to your heart’s content. And, good luck with the interview!

        • How about light grey with a medium blue / ivory paisley print silk blouse? I just put the two together and they seemed alright, but not fabulous.

          BTW I have no idea what other folks will be wearing. The last time I did a talk at another school the range was very wide for professorial-wear, from jeans and t-shirt, to nice wool dresses and ratty sweater with corduroys. I think maybe 2 people wore jackets. The women were generally much better dressed than the men though.

          • I don’t like it when grey matches too closely to the color I’m wearing it with (unless its another grey — I like that look), but that’s me. I think the combo you describe sounds perfectly nice.

            I don’t see how someone can fault you for wearing a jacket, even if everyone else is in jeans (unlikely that EVERYONE would be in jeans). But they could fault you for being too casual (women can be catty about such things). I could see, though, staying away from an actual suit because you want to come across as being well beyond the initial interviewing stage of life.

    • anon today :

      Thanks all! As soon I can get out of here I’ll stop by Marshalls (saw similar looking jackets a few weeks ago) and probably Jcrew. Another promising jacket is this one by Talbots, though the gray might be too light:


      and the store might be too far to make it tonight. But if I can’t find anything, it sounds like my cardi + jewel shell (probably purple) combo isn’t too bad :)

    • Sounds lovely to me! Good luck.

  19. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    Threadjack: Anyone interested in purchasing an e-reader, the Kobo from Borders (which I have and love!) is on sale for $99. It comes with 100 classics pre-loaded and you get double Borders Bucks (basically $10 to use at Borders however you want).

    And anyone looking for a reading recommendation, I am almost done with The Help by Kathryn Stockett and can already tell that I am going to be so sad when it’s done.

    • I read The Help last month, and I was annoyed by it. It seemed trite, like the “life lesson” episodes on sitcoms. The book reminded me of The Kite-Runner, another book I found ridiculous but gripping. (I read each of them in two days, resentful the whole time.) Then again, everyone else in America seems to love both Kite-Runner and Help, so maybe this is a reflection of my lack of taste.

      • Eh, it’s just personal taste. I think I’m the only person I’ve ever met who didn’t finish Middlesex (I found it boring) – to each her/his own.

        • I hated The Corrections (which everyone seems to think was the great American novel of the early 2000s or something)!

        • I hated both The Corrections and Middlesex. The Corrections because all the people in it seemed detestable – like no one I would want to know in my real life – and Middlesex because it took so damn long to get to the big “reveal” which everyone knew was coming anyway.

          Has anyone read Franzen’s new one? I have seen very middling reviews of it on Amazon.

          • I felt similarly about the corrections but very much enjoyed Freedom, his new one.

          • I felt like Franzen detested his characters himself–like they were sort of held up to be mocked in all of their middle American-ness, by the novelist and the more enlightened reader. The novel struck me as really mean-spirited.

      • I HATED The Help. My book club read it, and I could only make it through the first few pages before tossing it to the side. I was the only one who hated it that much. What little I read was trite, and I found the dialect to be grating and a little racist.

        I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who hated the book. Everyone else in my book club looked at me like I had three heads.

      • I felt exactly the same way about The Help and it reminded me so much of Kite-Runner. I couldn’t put either down, and I wasn’t happy about it. I think for both I got drawn into “but what happens next” reading but wasn’t enjoying the writing itself/the plot & characters lacked depth. I always think it’s interesting to think about why I like some books and not others — and surprisingly hard for me to figure out! Probably because I’m a lawyer who hasn’t taken a lit class in more than 15 years.

    • So conflicted on The Help! I just finished it recently. I definitely enjoyed it, but like Laine, I found it somewhat trite, or that the story was perhaps written for younger teens (not saying this was the target audience – if it was there were certainly some things that would have been different). Very heavy handed. But still worth reading! (Really liked Kite Runner.)

    • i borrowed “the help” from a coworker…it was an easy read, which is always nice (finished it in one night) but basically the only part of it that actually stuck with me was one line (paraphrased): white people are always so worried about starving black babies in africa. what about the starving black babies right here?

      i kind of thought the book was worth it for that line. but i have a thing against mission trips to “exotic” locales.

      • For a non-fictional account of life in Mississippi in the 1960’s, read Freedom Summer. I put it on my mp3 player before a long run onLabor Day weekend and finished all 16 or so hours of it in less than a week (granted, I listened while driving and doing house/yardwork). It of course covers the Neshoba County murders (Mississippi Burning) but is really about Mississippi at that time, not just the killings. I could not put it down!

  20. Sorry for the threadjack – regular poster here under a different name today.

    I have a series of interviews next week at one of the Middle East office of one of the Big 3 management consulting firms. I.want.the.job.so.baddddd. Anyway, I know there are loads of discussions onhere re: interview attire but bear with me –
    I’m planning on wearing a mid-to-dark grey wool-cashmere (with a hint of stretch) one button skirt suit with black leather shoes, nylons, conservative studs and will carry a leather bag.

    My issue concerns what to wear under. I want to wear a blouse – namely a lovely periwinkle blue silk charmeuse one which is something like this in style (but it’s short sleeved). http://www.oli.co.uk/Closet-Pussy-Bow-Blouse/productdisplay.stm?An=673&A=17C368_12&Nao=848&Au=P_MasterItem&Nu=P_MasterItem&Ns=P_Colour%7C0%7C%7CP_Size%7C0&SID=234032117&cm_mmc=CJ-_-1909792-_-3021243-_-Product%20Catalog&AID=10569974&PID=3021243&SID=234032117
    The bow effectively hangs out over the suit button. However, when I mentioned that I planned to wear that outfit to someone best described as my mentor at the firm I’m interning at the moment, the guy went off on one and said I had to wear a white shirt under period dot.

    Now I know you shouldn’t express personality through attire at interview and obviously that’s not what I’m doing. However, I want to feel good about myself and look nice and I am so uncomfortable/don’t feel very secure/nice wearing button down shirts (ESPECIALLY white ones) under suits and ESPECIALLY at interview. I really think that if I feel good about myself, I will come through better at interview.

    FWIW, the firm I’m interviewing at has an anecdote on its site about a girl who joined the firm and ‘cut her hair short and wore pants so she looked like a man but then realized that women could succeed at said firm and felt confident enough to grow her hair out and wear skirts’ (Paraphrased)


    • I don’t think you need to wear a white button down, but I do think you need to minimize decorative touches for interviews (unless you are interviewing in a creative field, of which I know nothing). A button down, a plain shell, etc. – but I’d nix the big bow blouse.

      Good luck!

    • I have never interviewed someone, so take this with that in mind, but in my opinion, I do not like the thought of anything hanging out of the suit for an interview. I do not think it has to be a button up shirt. I think you could do a nice shell underneath. I just hate the shirt you linked for an interview personally.

      Also the website story, I take two things from that. 1. The mood at least when that woman got there made her feel that way, there were no or very few women at the firm. 2. The fact that they thought they had to share that means it is still male dominated. Both reasons I would also stay away from big bows.

      • Argh…OK will have to go shopping this weekend :(

        My back up option was a pink silk charmeuse button down, guess that won’t work either.

        • Also, and you’ve probably already looked into this, but it is probably a good idea to research what women in that Middle Eastern country wear for business attire and adapt accordingly (re: skirt length, collarbone covered vs. not, etc).

        • A blue silk button down would be perfect, though.

          I am being totally serious with my next suggestion: why not wear the most fabulous underwear you own. Go out and by expensive, fabulous underwear. That way, your outer image will be firm-appropriate, but you’ll still feel confident and – well – fabulous.

          • Heh, I’d go with the most comfy underwear I own so that it’s a non-issue.

          • anon - chi :

            Hah – love this suggestion. But do a thorough test with new underwear under your work clothes before the interview to make sure nothing shows. (I have a clear memory of wearing a brand-new bra to work only to discover that the lace part was creating weird lines through my shirt that totally revealed what type of bra I was wearing …)

    • What is really amusing is one of my best friends from college works at one of the Middle East offices of one of the Big 3 consulting firms, and she LOVES this kind of blouse. The women in the Middle East are often very fashionable — she speaks both French and Arabic, and they definitely dress a notch above American women. Honestly, I think she would love it. The men are also well-groomed and well-dressed, so as long as it was conservative and the rest of the outfit sounds pretty conservative to me, I would go for it.

      • Threadjack :

        Well, on the off chance my interviewer ends up wearing a pretty bow blouse, I’ll know whose friend she is ;) ;)

        I am thinking I will get something similar to this – I am happy wearing button-ed up things under suits, just not the cotton variety – in a winter or silvery white. That should be sufficiently sober. I’ve seen a really cute pearl and silver multi strand bead necklace that would look fab with it.


        I definitely agree with the comment about people here being conservative but fashionable. I live in the Middle East and have certainly noticed that to be the case. A couple of days ago, there was a lady in the elevator wearing a navy pin-stripe suit, gorgeous white blouse with loads of ruffles (that added a feminine edge to a business suit) and a pretty white embroidered hijab. It was so cute – I loved her outfit.

        I might take the bow blouse with me anyway as I have to travel to another country for the interview and won’t be close to my wardrove. I still love how it looks with the suit and I have had the tailor sew the bow permanantly into place which means there’s no risk of a messy bow or it unravelling. The blouse has a zip down the side so I pull it over my head.

        • I got one of those blouses in gold and I totally heart it. I’m also very petite and it fits perfectly (something that’s increasingly rare b/c petite no longer, apparently, means short).

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