Tuesday’s TPS Report: Knee Length Skirt

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

DKNY Knee Length SkirtFabulous skirt from DKNY — it’s a slight A-line with leather trim on the hip pockets and waist. I also love that ShopBop has styled it with black tights and shoes — what a great way to demonstrate navy and black together. For some reason, I’m seeing this with a crisp white shirt, perhaps tucked in and belted with a wide belt. The skirt is $175 at ShopBop.com. DKNY Knee Length Skirt


Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.

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Comments

  1. housecounsel :

    I always think leather trim makes clothing look cheap. Am I in the minority?

  2. I love it! Your recommendations have been dangerous recently!

  3. Ooh I’m very excited about this post (and love the skirt), because I’ve been meaning to ask — what does everyone think of this leather trim trend for the office? Obv this will vary to some extent by field/location/office culture, but I am worried some may think it’s across-the-board too sexy. Some examples (just to illustrate what I mean by leather accents — some of these may have other office-appropriateness issues)
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/3107313?origin=keywordsearch
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3109017?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=2418
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/3107333?origin=keywordsearch
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3107767
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/3107330?origin=related-3107330-0-0-1

    • Anonymous K :

      I think it would be fine for my business casual office. Some of those look almost like belts and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to wear a wide leather belt over a dress to the office. Like with many trends, I think a piece-by-piece evaluation would be the best bet, but I definitely wouldn’t write it off as altogether office-inappropriate.

    • divaliscious11 :

      Those are cute dresses, and all would be fine in our business casual office, too, but remember I am in-house.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it depends where the leather is. Something like a leather harness or wide leather belt just seems too sexy for the office, IMO. A skinny leather belt or leather trim on the hems, sleeves, or pockets, OTOH, seems perfectly appropriate.

    • I think the last one is a bit much – a lot of leather, low wide neckline – but the rest I don’t see a problem with. I’d wear most of those to the office.

      • J’adore the Ralph Lauren dress!! I think the third link (Maggy London gray dress) is a bit much…those leather flaps on the shoulders are a bit out-there (unless you wear a blazer of it the whole day).

  4. I’m looking for a briefcase/attache case for my husband for christmas. Not too expensive, maybe in the 100-200 range, leather (could spent a little more for something fab!) Any suggestions for brands or online shops to look at? It doesn’t have to be too sophisticated, but I want to make sure it doesn’t just look like a sloppy messenger bag. Help would be greatly appreciated!

  5. Another thread hijack here. I need a new basic black leather pump, and it needs to be reasonably good-quality because my almost-50yo feet cannot take cheap shoes. I’m 5’2″ and not thin, and need something professional-looking with a “v-neck” (meaning, no maryjanes or shoes that cut off my foot in a way that make my leg look shorter).

    I don’t like patent leather.

    Is this dowdy/old-lady?:

    http://www.6pm.com/ecco-city-coventry-black-leather

    Thoughts please! Thanks so much!

  6. LOVE this. I’m really digging navy right now.

    Also, is it just me, or is everything about black and gray this season? I don’t see any browns or camels anywhere.

  7. Makeup threadjack – what makeup remover would you all recommend? My Almay oil-free pads aren’t really cutting it any more (more tenacious mascara????) so I am wondering what to use. I have sensitive eyes (contacts etc) if that makes a difference. Thanks!

    • My dermatologist recommends just using a simple face lotion, including for waterproof eye makeup. I thought it was weird but then gave it a try. Works like a charm. Use a cotton ball to wipe it off.

    • Anonymous K :

      I love the Ole Henriksen Purifying Eye Make-Up Remover. It’s also little pads, which for some reason seem easier for me to use. They are pricey, but they work really well.

    • I use Lancome’s “Bi-Facil” eye makeup remover. I have contacts/sensitive eyes too, and this makeup remover is perfect!

    • I use cold cream (either Pond’s or the generic CVS brand) and a tissue. Works like a charm and is by far the cheapest option out there. I’ve used Maybelline Expert Eyes for eye makeup too, and that works great but isn’t as cost effective as cold cream.

      • I second this. Pond’s cold cream works great and it’s pretty cheap.

        On a side note, my mother recently met an 80 yr old woman with no wrinkles and asked for her secrets. The woman said she had always used cold cream as a makeup remover, never washes her face with soap, uses witch hazel as a toner, and then moisturizes with Pond’s. I’ve been following this regime for a few months and my face looks healthier and the skin is tighter.

        I swear I don’t work for Ponds! I figure if I start now (at 29) I might be 80 without wrinkles too.

    • surrounded by lawyers :

      As someone who wears contacts and has eye problems all the time, I prefer not to use any product other than the remover itself near my eyes. (I.e. no cotton balls, tissues etc as they might irritate.) I use Pure Comfort eye makeup remover from Aveda, and just splash a bit on with my hand and then rinse. The runoff is gray, but otherwise it’s perfect. It cleans everything off and don’t have to use anything to dab.

      • I have sensitive eyes (wear contacts and would get lots of infections) and my eye doctor told me to wash my eyes with baby shampoo. It’s worked great so far and I haven’t had an infection for awhile.

        • surrounded by lawyers :

          Ooo–I was told to do this too at times (a diluted mixture of baby shampoo). It probably would be fine as a cheap substitute for my makeup remover as well. Good idea! Thanks!

    • I use the original Pond’s Clean Sweep makeup remover wipes – they’re effective at remove makeup and very gentle. They also don’t dry out in their package.

    • I have tried loads — what has worked the best for me is the Oil of Olay waterproof eye make up remover. It comes in a blue tube. It’s great at removing even waterproof makeup without 1) irritating my eyes, and 2) leaving a greasy residue behind (I’m thinking of you, Lancome!) . . . .

      The way that I have found it to work best for me is to put some on a pad and then just press the pad gently to my eye & hold for 10 seconds or so. This seems to dissolve the make up & then it’s very easy to just wipe clean & you’re done!

    • I use baby-oil. If you have oily skin this might be a problem…but I use the baby oil first and it will take off ANYTHING then follow up with my normal cleanser to get the oilyness off my face.

      I wear contacts and have sensitive eyes and this seems fine. My mom is the same and at 60 has used baby oil her entire life for makeup removal and has no problems!

      Also…it’s cheap! Find it in the baby department

    • Cetaphil all the way. Works like a charm. No problem with eyes, either.

  8. Just a little news for everyone who is a fan of Olivier Theysken. He is now the artistic director for Theory! http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/26/fashion/26iht-fthey.html?_r=1&ref=fashion

    • I love Olivier Theysken! He was the best thing that ever happened to Nina Ricci, I was shocked when they let him get away … can’t wait to see what he comes up with over at Theory!

  9. I am circling back on my winter coat purchase. A wonderful poster lead me to this coat and I ordered it in red (which doesn’t appear to be available any more). Total price came to $84. The verdict: like everything I order from Lands End, it’s totally fine, but not fabulous. Seems to be great quality, but the fit is a bit boxy. If I had loved the fit, I think I would have ordered the winter-white, too, because the price is so great.
    http://www.landsend.com/pp/WoolCarCoat~208871_48.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::IVO&CM_MERCH=IDX_00008__0000000159&origin=index

    • Anonymous :

      ‘Twas I who suggested it. Sorry it ended up boxy! A lot of people say that about Lands End – it must depend on body shape because their stuff fits me fine.

    • Yep same happened with me. I ordered a dress and khakis from the “Canvas” line and the pants were beyond boyish-boxy cut, so I had to return them. The dress was a-line so no boxiness issues and it looked great. It’s too bad, because their quality is top-notch.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I wonder if it’s worth taking to a tailor for an evaluation. Another $25 may make a huge difference.

      • i was about to suggest this! if you only spent $84 on the coat, take it to a tailor! would suspect they can take it in the middle to get ride of the boxy effect. . . .

  10. Leather trim :

    I have this dress with leather trim, and always get positive comments on it.

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3127635?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=3367

    I like that I can wear it standalone for going out, etc, or layer a blazer over it (so you can’t even see the trim) for work, or in the winter I will pair with black tights and a black turtleneck.

    Nobody has ever seemed troubled by the leather trim. The zippers on the shoulders have provoked a question or two from associate friends, but nothing negative.

    • Anonymous :

      LOVES it!

    • I have been debating this dress for a while. I like the leather trim and that it’s navy, but I don’t know how I feel about the zips on top.

      • Anonymous :

        Just one girl’s opinion, but I don’t think this dress is appropriate for work. The zippers are flashy and distracting.

        • Leather trim :

          They’re actually not that flashy/distracting in person. And anyway, for the office I’ll generally wear a blazer over it, which totally covers the zippers.

          • Anonymous :

            I’ll have to see it in person, then – because they are definitely very shiny gold contrasty from the photo! Hate it when the photo doesn’t give an accurate representation :)

    • Anonymous K :

      I like the zippered pockets and I’m abivalent about the zippered shoulders, but I’m not a fan of the exposed zipper in the back. I don’t necessarily think it’s work inappropriate, just not for me.

  11. Threadjack. I’m an associate (not first-year, but still junior) at a big law firm, in what many people consider to be an exciting and intellectually challenging practice field. I used to love my job initially, but I’ve become increasingly bored with it. I joined as an ambitious young thing, dreaming of making partner, etc, but now I just can’t be bothered anymore. The only thing that motivates me is my pay-check… I get bored, and my mind wanders, and I have difficulty concentrating

    I am sure many of you have faced this kind of situation. What would people recommend to keep myself motivated?

    • Well, first, don’t think this is a permanent condition — I’ve been practicing now for about 11 years and from time to time, I get bored, restless, easily distracted, too, sometimes for a few weeks and sometimes for a few months. Usually an interesting trip out of town or an interesting case or issue will motivate me back into reality. I’d recommend that you seek out some work or other opportunity that will enable you to stay motivated . . . as you well know, if you like the paycheck, you have to do the work! Good luck getting back on track (if that’s ultimately what you want to do)!

    • I would love to hear people’s recommendations on this. I’m in a similar situation, but since I’m not in biglaw, my paycheck doesn’t quite compare and I’m really having trouble telling myself it’s worth it. But on the other hand, I have no idea what else I would do!

    • If it isn’t too revealing – what field are you in? I had the same problem initially, loved my area for the first year, less so the second year, bored to tears third year. I ended up changing my focus to a different specialty in the same field and no longer dread the boredom at work. If a specialty isn’t really an option, it could be that a new case or deal will bring you back around, as per Anon’s post above. There are definitely times even now when I feel disengaged. To motivate, sometimes I catch up on a couple of blogs written by forward thinkers in my field and read up on articles/new regs etc to get motivated too. Nerdy but it works if you like what you do.

    • Some of the best advice I ever received about being in BigLaw was to think of it as a long-term commitment (I think the person told me 3-4 years). Then you approach it the same way you approach law school: there are some up times, there are some down times, but through it all you are learning new skills and advancing yourself. If, at the end of that time period, you don’t like what you’re doing, you look for something new. But if you don’t have an “end plan”, you might get too frustrated too quickly and/or give in to non-motivation. (I do think this approach can be overridden if, for example, your partners are horrible or your hours are undoable — the idea is that to get a real sense of the “work”, you need a longer time horizon.)

      That said, I have always found it very useful to talk to those a year or two above me and ask “What are you doing day-to-day? How does it differ from what I’m doing?” It gives me a clear sense of what lies ahead. I’m also an active networker even when not job searching — love to ask people in my field or related fields what their jobs are like and when openings pop up. Just being aware of the world around you helps you to evaluate where you are with an educated mind.

  12. Anonymous :

    Someone posted a while ago that wearing a top with an exposed zipper all the way up the front seemed to be begging for it to be unzipped and was therefore not office appropriate, and some controversy ensued. Well, yesterday I saw an intern in my office wearing a pencil skirt that zipped all the way up the back, with an exposed, contrasting-color zipper with heads at both ends. It looked completely sexy and inappropriate – I was actually a little stunned when I saw it.

    It seems to me like the exposed zipper trend is going a little too far.

    • I may be in the minority, but I think exposed zippers just look trashy. Not only are they not office appropriate, I wouldn’t even wear them out to a bar. In my mind, it is the equivalent of clear heels with flashing lights – only appropriate for strippers and prostitutes.

      • I would not go that far. I think in the right context & on the right person, an exposed zipper can look perfectly fine.

        But I wouldn’t do this “trend” for the office. But I have ceased to be amazed at anything interns wear or do anymore.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t think all exposed zippers look trashy. An exposed zipper in the regular place a zipper would be, like the back of a dress, doesn’t bother me although I wouldn’t wear it if it was visible in a business formal setting. Exposed zippers up and down the entire length of a tight skirt, however – definitely trashy.

        I also think any exposed zipper that seems to suggest that the dress would fall off/open if unzipped (like on the shoulders or up the front) is inappropriate.

      • Legally Brunette :

        Not sure if I would say that an exposed zipper is trashy, but it definitely is not work appropriate, at least not in most law firms. I really do like that dress featured above though, sans zipper.

    • I’m glad it’s not just me that thinks exposed zippers look trashy. I just don’t understand the trend at all. Next it’ll be velcro!

  13. Parisienne :

    I would say you are in the wrong field of law – or maybe law is the wrong field for you altogether. You need something about which you can feel passionate – at least five minutes per week! I am only half kidding.

    • Reasonable minds will disagree on this, and I disagree with the statement that you must feel passion for your job. (I think Parisienne is making a less strong point, that something at some point should excite you — which I may or may not agree with.) I don’t think you need to feel passionate about your job. I used to think that, and maybe it’s now just cynicism, but …

      You just need to like your job enough to do it. You can get passion elsewhere in your life. And having a “not painful” job that allows you do other things you are passionate about — saving for your kids’ college education so they can take out fewer loans, taking wonderful international vacations — may often be the right choice.

      • Miss Anon :

        I agree with you and think that being too passionate about a job can actually be a detriment. If you like your job enough to do the work, that should be enough to get you through the day. If you’re truly passionate about it, I think it’s easy to get so involved and frustrated that you lose the passion and burn out after a few years.

    • Anon in NC :

      I agree – passion is important in what you do during the day not just after hours and weekends. Yes this may sound “hokey” but if we all operating in a role that we were passionate about it would make for an incredible work environment we would have – regardless of field.

      • I think this idea of having to have passion for what you’re doing is a luxury. Not everyone can have a job they feel passionate about. How many people who work at McDonald’s or deliver the mail or work on a construction crew are passionate about it? Probably some, yes, but most are doing the job because they’re capable of doing the work , they find that job preferable to others available to them for whatever reason, and it pays the bills. Certainly it takes a certain level of enjoyment to survive working 80 hours a week, but even if I didn’t enjoy my job as a lawyer, I would appreciate that it 1) isn’t back-breaking work, 2) doesn’t require me to do manual labor outside in cold, hot, wet, or snowy weather, 3) allows me to meet plenty of interesting and intelligent people, 4) doesn’t involve too much micro-management by my superiors, and 5) allows me to afford much more than most people have. It’s all in your perspective.

        • Agreed!

        • anon - chi :

          Sure, but it sounds like the OP has options. I agree that not everyone has the luxury of being passionate about what they do, but it seems like a great thing to strive for if your education/experience make it possible.

          • My mom has spent her career striving for “passion” and ends up flitting around from job to job, getting bored/burning out. Maybe it’s just her approach to it, but it has definitely been a detriment to her looking like a committed professional. This is what I worry about when people “strive for passion.”

  14. Bummer, skirt is only available in a size 10 & 12

  15. Anonymous :

    We had a fire drill at work the other day (of the evacuate the building variety, not the fake deadline variety).

    I am now convinced that, in the event of a real fire, most of the women I work with will not make it. I can’t tell you how many people I passed going down (in flats) as they struggled wearing heels. To the heel wearers out there, please keep some flats in your desk drawer for your own self-preservation if nothing else, so that you have something to change into in case of emergencies!

    (Yes, I supposed you could kick off heels and go barefoot, but real emergency uncertainties – broken glass, embers etc – makes that less of a viable option).

    Done with PSA now.

    • Anonymous K :

      Apparently the women you work with just aren’t as used to their heels as they should be! I can move pretty darn quickly in my heels. Perhaps these women chose to move slowly simply because they didn’t feel a sense of urgency?

      • For me, it’s stairs, and the going down part, that is challenging. Honestly, I’m bad with stairs in sneakers, too, but in heels, I’ll admit I’m a slow poke.

        In an emergency, I would like to think I had the time and/or foresight to change into the driving mocs I keep in my office. But sometimes there just isn’t time. Scary!

      • Anonymous K, I am impressed if you can go down the stairs for 30+ floors in heels quickly!

      • We have to walk down 28 double-flights of narrow stairs. That simply cannot be done quickly and safely in heels under emergency conditions. Even if I thought I could do it, I wouldn’t want the person behind me on the stairs attempting it and risking taking us both out on her tumble.

    • Anonymous :

      I was evacuated from my office on 9/11. Some women had to walk over a mile in their heels. It was very unpleasant. Obviously far from the worst thing that could have happened that awful day – but what if we’d had to run, not walk? I always wear or keep walkable shoes in my desk.

    • Agreed. I saw many women on 9/11 with totally blistered, ouchy feet (not from the WTC, just from buildings that were evacuating and then they had to walk bc the subways were shut down). There were several drug stores that had personnel out on the sidewalks with band-aids. I’d rather stick to my flats just in case!!!

  16. I’m totally down with black + navy (usually black shoes with a navy suit), but I think the tights with this skirt are a little much because there isn’t enough contrast to make it look intentional. Could be my monitor though.

  17. Speaking of exposed zippers, what about this one? I already own it, but now am wondering . . . I wear it under a blazer so the top zipper is covered.

    http://www.anntaylor.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=26461&N=1200010&pCategoryId=3939&categoryId=185&Ns=CATEGORY_SEQ_185&loc=TN&gridSize=sm&showAll=true&defaultColor=Dark Navy&defaultSizeType=Regular

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, I don’t think the top zipper is the problem – I think the problem is that the zipper runs the length of the skirt and is very visible. Weekends/evenings only?

      • Anonymous K :

        Agree. The zipper top isn’t the problem here.

        • Agree. It calls too much attention to your backside. I think it would look cute on weekends though. FWIW, I think any kind of trim or decoration along that seam would be too sexy to be professional; I’ve seen people wear skirts that have ruching or ribbon trim there (sometimes ending in a bow!). I think it looks nice, but too sexy.

    • I obviously have an issue with exposed zippers as a whole (see comment above), but since you asked… My guess (confirmed by my husband) is that when men look at this skirt, they think “All I have to do to get her naked is pull on that little tab that is dangling and sparkling and in one swoop her entire skirt will be off.” As soon as men see this zipper, they are picturing you naked. Is that what you want at work? Not me.

    • Anonymous :

      I believe that this was the exact skirt I posted about an intern wearing a few posts up. Not work appropriate at all.

    • I got this skirt in gray, would also like opinions: http://www.anntaylorloft.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=27843&Nr=AND%28CAT_SALE_FLAG:Y%29&N=1200048&pCategoryId=3364&categoryId=279&Ns=CATEGORY_SEQ_279&loc=TN&defaultColor=Sterling%20Heather&defaultSizeType=Regular

      Is this also troublesome? The gray makes much less of a contrast than the black one pictured. I am ok with it because it’s pretty tame compared to what women in my office wear (I tell ya, it’s wild).

      • I have a similar one from AT in a classy leopard print (I promise, it’s pretty subtle, and I wear it with a white button up, overall very professional looking). I don’t think it’s bad because the zipper doesn’t go all the way top to bottom. I hope people agree, because I love that skirt! FWIW, mine is also to my knee or a little past and is not tight.

      • I think the gray one would be cute, depending on your body shape. If you have a round booty, it might not sit right. But I have to admit I must be the only one here who doesn’t think exposed zippers are a big deal. I used to work in a plant, and had to wear those blue coveralls every day. So I guess I’m numb to seeing giant zippers.

      • I’ll caveat this by saying I also don’t understand this trend at all and while not necessarily “trashy” I would say it definitely screams of sex/sexiness in almost all the iterations I’ve seen it in (especially when actually “holding together” an outfit like in these skirts).

        I wouldn’t wear it like the model’s wearing it (with a tucked in shirt and nothing else) because to me it’s the same thing as the other skirt (though not as bad). But with a jacket covering it or a shirt that covers most of it I think you lose the “unzip me” effect. Then again, you lose the whole line of the outfit. In a very casual office maybe it doesn’t matter, but to me, it’s definitely treading on the line of “look at me, I’m sexy!” as opposed to “I’m good at my job / competent.”

      • I think it’s OK, but it does definitely draw attention to your rear end, which may not be what you want. But it’s not as inappropriate/sexy as the one posted above that zips all the way up and down the skirt.

    • No no no! This screams unzip me. Very unprofessional. Very cute for weekends though.

    • former at associate :

      i know the zipper doesn’t ACTUALLY go all the way up and down, but even many of the people i worked with at AT thought it was too much for an office setting. and retail associates are not always known for their conservative dress (at least where i worked).

    • urgh. this is what happens when you shop alone and can really only see the front of an item. it didn’t look inappropriate on the hanger, and i couldn’t see the back of it well when trying on. ann taylor, you’ve betrayed me!

  18. And thanks for the (occasionally blunt) opinions. I already knew the answer, but was hoping I was wrong since I can’t return it now. Sigh. At least it was on sale . . .

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