Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Jersey-Bodice Wool Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. Many thanks to this week’s TPS guest poster, Stephanie from Adventures in the Stiletto Jungle.

Akris Punto Jersey-Bodice Wool DressIn my dream world, the “professional” side of my closet would have an entire sub-section just for Akris Punto. The Swiss label Akris, designed by Albert Kriemler, is known for uncomplicated silhouettes and a special kind of subtle elegance. The label’s Akris Punto sportswear line delivers a similar aesthetic, but at a relatively more affordable price point. Yes, I said “relatively.”

I’m particularly enamored with Akris Punto skirts and dresses, which fit like nothing else I’ve ever tried. A perfect example of the signature long and lean Akris Punto silhouette is this Jersey-Bodice Wool Dress. This is one of those dresses that, at first glance, appears appropriately conservative and well-tailored. But, when in-the-know fashionistas take a second look they will immediately notice the designer details. The slightly extended cap sleeves, rounded neckline with seaming and partially lined sheer skirt (which leaves a little strip of sheer wool at the bottom) all add to the fashion-forward look.

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For the office, trade in the booties and socks pictured here for a pair of classic Jimmy Choo pumps and simple jewelry. Take this dress out to cocktails by lowering the zip neckline just a bit, adding back in the booties or a pair of strappy sandals depending on your personal style, and swapping your sensible shoulder bag for a standout clutch. This 100% wool dress is available for $1,460. Akris Punto Jersey-Bodice Wool Dress

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

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  1. Swoon, I love, but I fear this dress would make me look stumpy. I just realized that my thighs are probably longer than my calves. Now I want to go home and measure.

    I also wanted to share that I felt like a true Corporette this morning when I put on a leopard print blouse. Toned it down with a black sheath, black wide-legged pants and a black scarf. Come on Monday morning, I can take you.

    • I agree. I like the lenth of it. Below the knee, the manageing partner can NOT look at my legs to much.

      But I would have a hard time JUSTIFYEING the price to my parents who are now subsidizeing my apartment in NY.

      • found a peanut :

        maybe ask the manageing partner for a raise? or maybe he’ll buy you a new dress if you offer to go out to dinner with him.

    • MissJackson :

      I agree with you, Ru. So pretty on someone tall, but at 5’4″ this would be all kinds of wrong for me without some serious tailoring of the length. I am jealous of anyone who could wear it, though. I’d love an extra inch or 5 of height!

      Not in my budget anyway, but still fun to look :-)

      And, Ellen: you really BRIGHTEN my day. Never change!

      • I agree. I am also 5 ft 4. Great look for the taller ladies – but I would look stumpy in this dress, unfortunately.

        • between the long length and the booties, I think you have to be tall and thin to pull it off

  2. Always a NYer :

    I love this dress! The neckline, the cap sleeves, the sheer detail at the bottom – love. It also looks like it would hit me just below the knee when standing and not ride up too much when I sit down. Oh, the joys of being 5’11” =)

    But the socks and booties need to be banished. A simple pair of nude-for-me pumps would be much sleeker.

  3. Litle Lurker :


    +15 Little Lurker points for a “modest”-length piece that is gorgeous!

    I’ll probably be able to afford it in about 15 years…

    • How many points do you need to earn a badge?

      • Little Lurker :

        The system was totally informal until just now; I’m open to suggestions. ;)

        I feel like anyone should be allowed to award Corporette points or Ellen points. I won’t award points under a name that isn’t mine.

        Maybe there should be “anon” points as well?

        • Ellen POINTS??!?!?!?!? Sign ME UP!!!!!

          • If Ellen does show up to one of the meetups, there needs to be a full reporting back to the hive so we know once and for all that s/he does exist. Until then…

          • +2 1L-1 points! I think Little Lurker left early today :)

  4. Diana Barry :

    I really like this, except for the belt. I don’t like that D-ring look, it is very casual looking to me.

    Thank goodness for ‘fat’ clothes! I took out all my larger sized pants this weekend and bought a new (busy print) shirt, and now I have stuff to wear at work before I tell them. (I am 8 weeks and clearly showing to myself, but my husband says you can’t tell yet.)

    • Kicking myself for donating all of my “fat” pants. I’m nearly 16 weeks and not showing just yet but my normal work pants are starting to be very tight in the waist. Of course, I’m still not quite “popped” enough for maternity clothes yet. Sigh.

      • Put a rubber band around the button on the pants, loop it through the buttonhole and back around the button again. Then leave the pants unzipped a couple of inches, and be sure to wear a top long enough to cover the gap. That will last you until you need the maternity clothes.

        • Anonymous :

          Ditto the rubber band suggestion. Or buy the bella band, or the target version. Lifesaver. That will keep you from having to buy maternity pants until you hit at least 6 months. (Or until you gain 20lbs in your rear end instead of your belly, which is what happened to me.)

          Maternity shirts are another story. Loose shirts only work for so long, then it’s off to pea in the pod.

  5. Hi Ladies,
    I’m hoping for some style advice this morning. What sort of top would you pair with this skirt? I have the perfect pair of ladylike deep green pumps, but no blouse! I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m fairly certain there is NOTHING in my closet that will go. TIA!

    P.S. Sorry for the long link, apparently my office has decided tinyurl is dangerous.


    • Little Lurker :

      Where are you wearing it?

      That skirt is gorgeous, but the only pairings I can think of are very twin-set garden party. Which is cool, if that’s your thing.

      • I’ll wear it to work. I work in a business casual environment where this wouldn’t be out of place if paired with the right (conservative) top. I’ll also probably wear it to dinner with the BF, and to church, and wherever else I can find a place. It’s so pretty!

        Thanks for all the suggestions, you ladies have given me so much to think about!

    • I actually saw someone in a similar skirt this morning (black skirt with a big floral pattern). She wore it with a t-shirt in one of the major colors in the print (green, in her case).

    • I’d wear it with an off-white lacy camisole and a cardigan in a dusty color.

    • Diana Barry :

      What about a beige (deliberately darker than the skirt color) sweater, fairly closely-fitting?

      You could also do red or fuchsia t-shirt with an off-white or beige cardigan.

    • Take a cue from the styling they show for that skirt…a solid color from the print, not matching the shoes. Maybe a soft silky buttonfront shirt, or a lightweight ladylike sweater knit.

    • I’d go with dark yellow blouse. Would look gorgeous with the green heels. Maybe something like this? http://tinyurl.com/3wdzwqv
      Or a more traditional yellow button down, but with a fun necklace like this: http://tinyurl.com/3mojvvp
      Or with long cardigan and tall boots.

      Fun skirt!

    • I’d wear it with a tucked in top/sweater in one of the contrasting colors in the skirt. If you don’t want to go bright, I think you could easily do a brown or find a nice brown/khaki blazer to wear up top. It would need to be a darker khaki to provide contrast to the beige.

      • This. I’d pick up one of the darker colors, perhaps with a simple boatneck sweater.

    • Green/pink/orange/coral/purple (pick a colour from the pattern and either match it or go a few shades darker) t-shirt/cami/v neck fine knit sweater

      The right shade of gray, or beige would probably also work

      If it suits your style you could also do something like orange jacket and pink top (but only if you feel confident in bold, clashing colours otherwise you’ll just come across uncomfortable).

    • I saw someone wearing that skirt this weekend with a very saturated teal colored shirt – it was gorgeous.

    • tinyurl is totally dangerous. I believe inappropriate use of it has been known to trigger a terror alert upgrade to code orange.

      • don't need a boyfriend :

        I can also see going with the red tones in the skirt. I think the key will be to select two solid colors that go well together, one for the top and one for the jacket/cardi…lovely skirt!

  6. There was a thread few days ago about corporettes who would take the extra 20 minutes to get ready in the morning because it is important for our career. That inspired me as I would like to progress at work.

    Today, I woke up at 7 instead of 8:30 AM. I got ready and was at the office at 8 AM instead of being the always late Houda who shows up after 9.
    I put on make up and pulled my hair back.
    I am wearing:
    – a gray and black color-block sheath from BCBG MaxAzria.
    – Black slightly patterned hose, with black Söfft flats with a little bow

    Today, thanks to fellow corporettes’ inspiration, I feel like a million bucks and got tons of compliments :)

    I can’t wait until I do my Big Chop this friday and finally have a corporate hairstyle.

    • Good for you Houda! What variation of corporate chop are you going for?

      • For now I have been transitioning so my hair is at nape length curly with relaxed ends.
        I have gotten some negative comments on my hair because in Africa, many people cannot equate natural hair with office-appropriate.
        I have booked an appointment with a very reputable hairstylist; I will describe the need to suit my active lifestyle (gym 5 days per week) and corporate needs (PR events and image at the office).
        I decided to trust a professional into finding the right chop.. and I’ll take it from there one day at a time.

        • Michelle Obama’s hair is natural. She doesn’t use any chemical processes. She does, obviously, have it straightened. But if anyone gives you lip about not getting it processed – tell them you’re copying the First Lady!

          • Anon for this :

            Without (hopefully) sparking a debate on hair texture, I always thought “natural” hair meant hair that was both not chemically treated and not heat treated. Meaning, hair that was not chemically relaxed, but was styled straight using a blow dryer and flat iron, would not be “natural”. Am I wrong?

          • The Bad Wife :

            That’s not true. Her hair is relaxed which is a chemical treatment.

          • @ The Bad Wife – actually you’re wrong.


            Google Michelle Obama Natural Hair for more corroboration.

          • @ Anon for this – I would disagree with your definition of “natural.” Using a blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron , etc. – are just temporary (i.e. until the next wash) styling methods but overall hair texture remains the same. Obviously overuse of any of these can lead to hair damage but I think this is still distinct from using a chemical process (relaxers, brazilian hair treatments, etc.) that straighten hair for several months at a time.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Yay Houda! I always feel so much more polished and less frantic when I take that extra few minutes in the morning.

      I hope you love your new hairstyle.

    • I an infinitely jealous that 7 am is early for you!. I am up at 6 every day and out by 630. Good for you houda.

      • don't need a boyfriend :

        This would be an interesting thread/survey to start…time awake, out of door, at office …

        being ceo of 1-person shop, can only do Corporate stuff before/after business hours, so ….

        up 5:15, out by 5:50 (with makeup, hair, clothes, hosiery)
        at office by 6:15-6:20
        leave office around 5 p (but often write reports nights, weekends, etc.)

        • I cannot even conceive of being able to get out the door in 35 minutes. Good for you!

          • I’m up at 7 and out the door by 7:20, but I don’t wear makeup and I shower at night.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I’m with Bunkster. I shower at night and don’t typically wear makeup, so I get up about 6:45 and am out the door by 7:10.

          • Hah–my mornings often involve getting up early to get to the airport for a trip, and I’ve refined it so I can pack for a 2-3 day trip, and get ready, in 20 minutes. (Showering the night before) I am SO not a morning person, I demand every extra moment of sleep!

          • Consultant in NoVA :

            I also shower at night and don’t wear makeup. I’m awake between 6:00-6:15 (don’t set an alarm), start getting ready at 6:45, and leave at 7:15. I always need a little time to defrost in the morning. I can’t just wake up and go.

          • don't need a boyfriend :

            thanks, Ruby. I also shower in the mornings…and blow dry my hair…it’s all just routine. Happily, allows for me to work through the routine when we lose power, like in H. Ike … although there wasn’t access to hair dryer until I got to the office!

        • Up at 6, out of the house by 7, at work by 7:15. I could probably get ready in 30 minutes if I showered at night, but it’s hard for me to do that.

        • AnonInfinity :

          Up at 4:45 to work out.
          Get ready starting at 6:30 (entails shower, hair, teeth, make up, talking to dogs, grinding coffee, packing lunch, generally poking around)
          Office at 8
          Leave around 6 p, sometimes work at home around 8-10.

        • I have my routine down pat:

          wake up between 7:04 and 7:06
          out of the shower by 7:19-7:21
          out the door by 7:36
          in the office by 7:47 :)

          This includes shower, hair, make-up and getting dressed (coffee/breakfast bar at the office while checking work email). I’ve got my snoozes timed too, hence the “waking up” at a random time. If I have to shave, it adds an extra few minutes. I value my extra one minute of sleep more than I value speeding up by a few minutes on days that require “more” to get dressed :) My husband makes fun of my precision, but I make it to work on time!

        • a passion for fashion :

          this has changed over the years given the addition of children, but currently:

          up (or back from working out, depending on day) at 6:15-ish,
          shower, make-up, blow-dry and straighten hair, clothes, chase kids around, try to get them dressed, chat with husband, chase kids around some more, hopefully getting their clothes on this time, pick up toys, maybe pack a lunch for myself, and get out the door between 7-7:30
          drop kids off at daycare and husband drops me off at work b/t 7:45 and 8 am.

          • Diana Barry :

            I am up at 6-630, depending on when kids get up. We eat breakfast, they play a bit while I make lunches, then everyone gets dressed at 745-8 and out the door by 830.

            This just includes putting on clothes. I put on makeup (lipstick) in the car in the parking lot and shower at night.

          • Anyone have tips for getting out the door in the morning with kids (2)? Our routine has changed recently due to a new school, new time, new route, etc. and I feel like it takes a solid 2 hours to get everyone cleaned, dressed, fed and prepared in the morning, including make lunches, etc. I can’t seem to get around to making lunch the night before, although I do prep for it…have a menu in mind, tupperwares ready to go, etc.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I was an always frazled, sleeping in, skipping the shower, snoozing gal until I decided that I have to work out in the morning.

          Now – my gym bag contains my shower stuff, small make up bag, hair dryer, and curling iron. Each night I pick out an outfit and stick it on a hanger and throw panties, bra, and shoes into gym bag. 2 Clean towels go into gym bag. Pick out sports bra, shorts, tank and leave with gym shoes in bathroom. Make sandwich and stick in fridge.

          Up at 6. Bathroom, brush teeth, take meds, put on gym clothes. Grab gym back, work outfit, and throw yogurt and sandwich in purse. Out door by 6:15.

          At gym by 6:30. Work out until 7:30. Shower at gym. At home, if I was washing my hair and shaving I need an hour and a half to get ready. At the gym, I can do it all in an hour sometimes a half hour. Everything is right there with me and I am stuck in the little changing room so I can’t be running all over the place dealing with other stuff while trying to get ready. My iphone is locked in my gym locker so there is no responding to work emails while getting ready either!

          Leave gym by 8:15 at work by 8:30. Leaving work depends on work load but usually around 6:30 or 7. I have only a 20 minute commute home.

          • Little Lurker :

            “At home, if I was washing my hair and shaving I need an hour and a half to get ready. At the gym, I can do it all in an hour sometimes a half hour. Everything is right there with me and I am stuck in the little changing room so I can’t be running all over the place dealing with other stuff while trying to get ready.”

            This is how I can get ready in 15 minutes on vacation but it takes two hours at home…

        • In-house at a large company.

          Up at 5:45-6. Out the door between 7:30-7:45. At the office 8:00-8:20. Leave office between 6:00-6:30.

          I don’t know how you ladies who get ready in 30 minutes or less do it.

          • spacegeek :

            I am with you –30 minutes to get ready? Wow. Up at 5:15. Showered and dressed by 6, eating breakfast, feeding dogs, checking the traffic until 6:30 when my nanny comes and my children wake. Interfacing with nanny, kiss kids goodbye, throw yogurt, apple, carrots and coke zero into bag, out the door by 6:45, at work by 7:45 or 8am, depending on that *@$% traffic.

          • I shower at night. My youngest is 15 so there is no morning kid rush, she can get her own stuff together. Hubby walks the dog, and if I don’t need to straighten I can use that time to walk the dog. I hardly ever wear makeup. I don’t eat breakfast until I’m at work (don’t even want to look at food for like 2 hours after I get up!), get my latte on the way to work. Basically its brush teeth, wash face, brush hair straighten if necessary, sunscreen, clothes, randomly throw a can/box/leftovers in a bag for lunch and go. Maybe take out the garbage if I can’t convince the kids to do it, but thats about it.

        • Up at 7:45 or 8:00 most days, in the office a little after 9:00. If I have a management meeting, I usually am up at 7:00 and out the door by 8:00. Shower at night and wear make-up/flat-iron/curl hair in the morning.

        • On a typical day, I get up between 7:30 and 8:15 (usually set the alarm for 7:30), eat breakfast and read the paper for 30-45 minutes, get ready, leave the house around 9:15, walk to work and arrive around 9:45. Theoretically I’d like to leave at 9 and arrive at 9:30, but that rarely happens.

      • – Alarm goes off at 6:20. Lie in bed for 20 minutes listening to the news on the radio.
        – Shower at 6:45, only wash hair every second day, do not use hair dryer. When I want to be fancy I wash my hair the night before and pincurl it overnight.
        – Breakfast at 7:15
        – Brush teeth and do makeup at 7:25
        – Leave house to catch bus at 7:36.

    • Usually up at 6 (though push snooze for 30 minutes! It makes me feel like I am getting more sleep…), shower, throw hair in a ponytail or bun, get dressed, sometimes put on a little makeup, and grab my stuff and leave by 6:30. At work by 7-7:15 depending on traffic.

      Now that it is getting colder I am going to have to shower at night or get up earlier to dry my hair. It is long and thick and takes forever to blow dry, but makes me cold the whole day if I put it up wet during fall/winter.

      My hubby gets my coffee, lunch and breastpump stuff ready for me. My two youngest kids are sometimes up by the time I leave, so I kiss them goodbye and hope for no tears!

      • Hmm .. I might be late to answer, but since my post triggered this, I’ll chime in.
        7:30 – 8:10AM Snooze
        8:10 – 8:50 AM Get dressed – Have breakfast – Play with Cat – Feed the cat – Put on make up (new)
        9:00 AM Work at Office
        5:45 up to 6:15 PM Leave office and go to Gym
        6:30-9PM Workout – Shower
        9:20 – 11 PM Feed the Cat – Laundry – Dishes – Make dinner – Prepare Gym Bag – Take meds – Write diary/ to do list

  7. Gorgeous dress. I love the land of conservative dress with edgy detailing, and Akris is a master of the territory.

  8. SF Bay Associate :

    PSA – reminder for Bay Area Corporettes: meet up this Saturday at 1pm at Reposado in Palo Alto. I’m looking forward to it!

  9. Love akris. In my dreams, I’m an investment dresser who will buy this dress and wear it to death. In al life, not so much:)

  10. Happy Monday! :

    In the theme of our much-loved “what are we wearing today?” strings, I would love to hear what people put together for this beautiful feels-like-fall (in the Northeast, at least) Monday!

    Today I am in gray Theory skinny pants, navy pointy-toed kitten heels, long-sleeved pink linen sheer sweater, 3/4 sleeve slouchy white blazer (with the long pink sleeves sticking out), white watch, and pink 1940s vintage Japanese art glass button earrings and carrying a navy Kate Spade bag.

    • found a peanut :

      your outfit sounds much more creative than mine. I’m wearing a navy blue Betty sheath dress with a Vince cashmere ribbed henley over it. On my feet are my Chanel pumps I got at the last Nordstrom designer sale.

    • Black pants, gray t-shirt, slim gray belt, gray and brown mid-heeled brogues, gray on gray striped jacket and a funky steampunk style necklace a jewellery making friend put together for me.

      Apologies in advance, I will be all over this thread today as I am waiting on a written job offer – verbal already made, and accepted. It’s a brilliant step for me and I’m smiling at everyone who comes in my office!

    • MissJackson :

      Oooh, I like your outfit! I love navy/pink/white together!

      I’m in a many-seasons-old camel colored with a dark brown pinstripe Benetton suit today, with a dark brown cowl neck sweater. And brown boots.

    • a passion for fashion :

      Extra long black tahari slacks, white BB non-iron buttondown, untucked, mustard yellow 3/4 sleeve halogen cardigan (with the button down sleeves sticking out — apparently that is in now!), black skinny patent belt over the whole thing, and black patent SW platswoon pumps, w/ a black and cream patterned Kate Spade bag from the sample sale!

      • a passion for fashion :

        oh, yeah, and the best part of my otherwise semi-plain outfit is a big gold and glass statement neckless and tiny gold and pearl earings.

    • The Black/White ZigZag Missoni for Target Blouse
      Black High-Waisted Pencil Skirt from Brooks Brothers
      Tan Louboutins with black trim and bow (my first pair!)
      Red lips!

      I’m normally one for more color than print, so I’m feeling a little awkward in such a loud blouse today, but I’m trying to rock it!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Black and white pin-stripe pants suit that I found at the Rack for $90 this past weekend, a gray v-neck t shell from Target, new black pumps, new birthday watch, silver hoops, a silver orchard necklace from a vacation overseas.

      I just want to say I hope to never pay over $100 for a pair of shoes. My brand new just worn today very nice leather pumps already have a little ding in the heel just from walking from the gym to the car and car to work. Grrrr. I just can’t handle “nice” shoes!

      • This is the exact reason why I can’t make myself spend more than $150 on a pair of shoes. Not because I think that amount is too much, just that I am terribly hard on my shoes and the thought of scuffing a pair of $300+ shoes gives me the vapors.

        • Little Lurker :

          +5 LL points for not getting the vapors AND for bringing back that phrase. ;)

    • Navy and green printed corduroy dress, green tights, knee high boots. I got one of those fad-y necklaces with the mini spec pendants from F21 this weekend so I threw that on as well.

    • Diana Barry :

      Awesome outfit! I am wearing charcoal pinstripe J Crew pants, BR red/blue/light blue paisley/floral print blouse, and power red AT jacket from forever ago. Really red lipstick and my regular softwalk loafers.

    • Totally boring today on a rainy day here. White shirt, plain gray pants, navy cardigan with white placket. The usual rings/watch, a gold bracelet , and pearl earrings. Plain navy flats that are about a hundred years old.

    • Office day: medium gray Eileen Fisher pants, black wedge sandals (high ones! I am 5’2″ and I really, really like a little extra height), deep plum toenail polish, a lighter gray silk shell, and a shrimp/coral Land’s End Canvas cardigan. Diamond stud (small) earrings and a multi-strand grayish to light blue beaded and silver necklace that fills up the neckline of a shell that I would otherwise consider just a smidge too low. No cleavage or anything, just too low for my comfort. Bag is a black leather Kate Spade – same as Every Other Single Day. I am a one bag woman.

    • Got this super-cute top from the Gap over the weekend: http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=65183&vid=1&pid=852518 – on the sale rack, with 30% off, and oh, I just happened to have a cashback coupon from BR meant that it only cost 6 dollars and some change! (It’s not nearly as low cut as the picture makes it look, at least on non-cleavage having me.) Wearing it with a black pin-striped pencil skirt (and suit blazer, currently on my chair), and black pumps. I feel smart and sophisticated, but, unfortunately, my client meeting scheduled today was postphoned, so it doesn’t really matter!

    • Yes, it does feel like fall today. I am in the Halogen skirt (black), white shell, black/white tweed zippered blazer from Tahari, black leather knee high Manolo Blahnik boots with cut outs the length of the shaft (making a sort of lace pattern – hard to describe).

    • psdisaster! :

      Flowy, wide leg black pants (filene’s, forget the brand), cream Tahari shell with interesting neck design, short sleeved grey shawl cardigan and camel-y brown wedge peep toes. No jewelry and hair up in a bun because I didn’t have time this morning!

    • I am wearing navy pants, a long-sleeve navy/white bretton t-shirt (heavy cotton with tiny brass buttons on the shoulders), fuchsia flats and a gold necklace with fuchsia flowers. It’s more casual than I normally wear, but I have no meetings, the boss is on vacation, and I’m just typing away at my computer.

    • don't need a boyfriend :

      Just got needed rain in Texas – thanks – please send more!

      Today – cooler! Yeah !

      cobalt blue “the” Halogen skirt, Nord.
      white sheath shape blouse with black and blue large spots, AT
      grape knit, long sweater coat, Boden
      double strand of big/small alternating black/grey pearls, earrings
      dark cherry patent sofft pumps

      Wish I had the oomp to carry different bags! ALready, I’m a dither needing to replace a black briefcase for one with handles AND a carrying strap…sad that Brahmin only had ONE to fit std size file folders. Thoughts?

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Congrats on your job Gem!
      I am a student, so not really in a corporette wardrobe right now. Am wearing light wash skinny jeans from the Gap with a coral belt from Jcrew, grey long-sleeved shirt from H&M with navy tweed Chanel-style jacket from Whistles and silk scarf from India (gold and blue). Not wearing shoes yet, but planning to wear either navy heels or hazelnut Ferragamo wingtips.

    • I feel like hell today, Corporettes, but have done my best to look good while I’m at it. Purple cashmere three quarter length scoop neck sweater, gray pencil skirt, black ballet flats with a patent cap-toe, and a Swarovski black pearl pendant from their Pirates of the Caribbean collection.

    • Actually wearing my Real Lawyer uniform today, which I seem never to be doing when we run these threads.

      Black sheath dress with ivory belt; matching black blazer with ivory trim and 3/4 sleeves. Black heels, hair back. Gold jewellery.

      I didn’t wear this suit all summer and figured I ought to fit it in before we get too far into the fall, since it definitely has a summer feel to it despite the colour!

    • -Medium maroonish short-sleeved sweater, asymmetrical neckline with a gold buckle on one side
      -dark brown tweed pants
      -medium brown snakeskin 2.5″ heels
      -black pearl stud earrings
      -large brown YSL Muse bag

      Finally accepted that it’s fall!

    • -medium maroonish short-sleeved sweater, asymmetrical neckline with a gold buckle on one side
      -dark brown tweed pants
      -medium brown snakeskin 2.5″ heels
      – black pearl stud earrings
      – large brown YSL Muse bag

      Finally accepted that it’s fall!

      • Sorry for the double post! First one had disappeared. Odd.

      • Had a court appearance today. Black BR pansuit, new red silk blouse from J. Crew, thin leopard belt, black Manolo pumps, gold necklace, diamond studs, tank watch and DY hook bracelet. My favorite accessory? The Fifth Ave red nails that I was inspired to get done after last weeks discussion on polish colors. I typically stick with nude or pale pink but I’m loving how bold they are!

    • That sounds so cute!!

      I didn’t have it in me to do much in the way of dressing this morning. Too much personal dramz. So I’m in an untucked white button-down with thin stripes in 2 shades of green. On top of that, light blue lightweight cardigan, buttoned. Shirt cuffs pulled back over cardigan sleeves. Large blue statement necklace. On bottom, dark wash Citizens and camel stilettos.

    • brown tweed skirt from land’s end’s current collection (someone was asking about their fall stuff the other day–I like the skirt, but definitely size down unless you want mid-calf length. I ordered a size down and in petite and it’s still a tiny bit big on me), brooks brothers white button down, and purple suede cole haan heels. This outfit was clearly designed for the shoes.

      • I was one of the people asking about that skirt. Thanks for the report! Normally I am hesitant to size down, fearing the horror that often comes with returning/exchanging, but sizing down appears to be de rigueur for this skirt…..

  11. Party Planner :

    Help!!! My best friend is getting married next month and I’m planning the joint bachelor/bachelorette party with the best man. We all live and work in the Stamford, CT area but want a fun night out in NYC for our friends. Completely stumped as to what place would work for a mixed group. Someplace with beer and good cocktails would be great, not to mention everyone would be happy. TIA!

  12. Love the dress, but like many others, the length would not work (would hit the widest part of my calf!), so I would have it hemmed up to mid-knee cap!

  13. housecounsel :

    Corporettes, please help me. I bought the Halogen seamed pencil skirt featured here in mustard and in teal. To accompany the mustard one, I bought a print blouse, also Halogen, in ivory, mustard and camel. What do I wear over it all as my “third piece,” and what do I put on my feet and legs?

    P.S. if you haven’t tried on the skirt, you MUST!

  14. Okay, friends, talk to me about commuting.

    I currently live in a Major City and work for a Major University and have a fifteen-minute walk to work, which I love. My boss has strongly encouraged me to apply for a senior position at a Different Major University in a Small Suburb–the job’s a bit of a reach, but it’s exactly what I’d be looking for in about eighteen months, so I may as well try for it now.

    Except. I do not want to move to Small Suburb and would, if all went well, commute ninety minutes (each way!) by train to the new position at Different Major University. I’ve never had a commute like this, so I have no idea if I’m potentially signing myself up for something insane. Is this doable? Do you do it? How do you pass the time? Do you like the mental and physical space it provides between home and office, or do you hate the “wasted” hours? Seriously, I’m jazzed about the job opportunity, but the potential commute is making me quake in my walking shoes.

    • It sounds like this will be a very different life for you. I do it, and it’s just a part of life, but your current situation sounds like a fairy tale I would be loathe to leave. My commute is about 3.5 hours of my day. I pass the time doing work, applying makeup (gross, I hear you, but there are only 24 hours in a day, with the only free minutes devoted to rare time with kids and rarer sleep… we’re all in it together, we 6 a.m. commuter-rail-ers…), reading… but it’s a chunk of the day, and there’s no getting around it. On working-late days, I fantasize about sleeping in the office so as not to have to do it all again so soon.

      It’s a living, as they say, cost of doing business, opportunity cost, etc. But if I had your gig, which sounds like my sleeping-at-the-office dream come true, I would not leave it. If you like your current gig at all and it pays the bills, I would consider the opportunity your sweet life and the cost skipping the potential new job to sustain the sweet old life.

    • Usually Lurks :

      I had a 90-minute bus commute each way at my last contract job, and for me it wasn’t wasted time at all. I read a lot of novels and watched a lot of TV shows on my iPod. I really miss that commute now because I feel like I’m not getting much leisure reading done, and I’m falling behind on my TV shows.
      If I had to do that commute now, I’d probably invest in an iPad.

    • I love my job. It’s amazing, wonderful, fulfilling, blah blah blah. I also commute 90 minutes each way by train and let me tell you, I’m beginning to feel its toll (after 3 years). I have a lot of transfers (at least two), each way. It just eats your day. And saps your energy. I wouldn’t mind it so much if I had a one-seat ride so that my nap/novel-reading would remain uninterrupted by c’est la vie. I’m considering moving closer to my workplace next year.

      Then again, I’ve been commuting at least an hour each way since high school, so perhaps the decade or so of commuting for so long is what’s getting at me. I really do like taking the train and the personal me-time to do nothing but sit or stand. And with my Netflix app, I get a lot of tv-watching in these days.

    • I am a big fan of being able to walk to work. I’ve had commutes of up to an hour long in prior lives. I think if you were driving, it would be terrible. However, my commute was via train/subway, which made it a lot better. I think the train at least allows you to read the paper, do work, etc., and you do not have the hassle of dealing with traffic. Why don’t you apply and see how things go? You will be able to try out the commute during the interview process – if you decide you can’t take it, you don’t have to accept the position or even continue with the interview process.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      I know people in a university environment for whom their long commute via train is their dedicated email time. They synch their email to their computer (via outlook or your choice of software – even gmail will do the trick) and make it widely known that those are the *only* times they answer emails, and that if something is urgent during business hours, it’s better to call or drop by.

      If you still need ways to pass the time, I’m sure that between work-related reading, your university, and your public library, you’ll be just fine :) IMHO, there is a *huge* difference between a 90 minute train ride and a 90 minute drive. 90 minutes on the train can be useful, focused, and productive time.

      • There’s rarely such a thing as an-all-train commute, though. I have to drive to train, early enough to get a parking space, then subway from train to work ‘hood, then walk. Or, wait for bus to/fro train. Either option is expensive, too– don’t forget that calculation when considering.

        Plus, the days when I don’t get a parking space and have to drive back home to wait for the bus and know I’m way late to work and/or might miss the commuter train since it doesn’t run all day… those are dispiriting and ruin the week’s momentum. I know I’m in apologize and play-catch-up mode all week.

        • LadyEnginerd :

          Yeah, I guess I’m spoiled by my express train :) My commute takes 1 hour door to door at the longest, and only involves one train that makes a handful of stops. I read the newspaper during that time, and it’s a great way to start my day. You’re right that 90 minutes via ‘nice’ train vs. 90 minutes of shorter trips via multiple trains/busses/whatever is a very different animal.

    • I used to have a 45-60 min commute by public transit each way, and it sapped the life out of me. I hated sitting on my butt, jostling on an overcrowded bus, sweltering when the heat was on and shivering when the AC was on, dealing with rude people, running frantically to catch a bus, waiting 20 minutes in the rain for a delayed bus, etc. I hated having to leave at a precise time to avoid missing my preferred bus; if I took too long in the shower or if an afternoon meeting ran late it made my commute hell. In the morning I’d arrive at work with my nerves on edge and with no energy. In the evening I’d get home and feel so exhausted and defeated that I just wanted to sit on the couch and rest. My 9-hour workdays turned into 11 hours.

      For the past 3 years I’ve walked to work and I arrive energized and get home refreshed due to the light exercise and total control over my own schedule. I would not go back to my long commute even for the best job in the world. Seriously. If you absolutely won’t consider moving closer to the job, then I wouldn’t apply.

      • Plus, if there’s any sort of delay, that 90-minute train ride can turn into hours of hell. I don’t know how common delays are in other cities, but the good old DC metro has a giant fail at least once every couple of weeks.

        • Fashion Faux Pas :

          So true, and definitely not confined to DC. I posted about my husband’s heinous train commute below. It gets even worse when someone commits suicide by jumping in front of one of the trains he rides, or when it’s really hot and the train tracks expand so they have to slow down the trains, or when a car stalls on the train tracks, etc. Something along these lines seems to come up about every six weeks. Sometimes it means a 3 hour delay; other times it means that they just cancel service altogether.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Caltrain on the SF Peninsula is also (sadly) popular with suicides, which cause significant delays and cancellations.

    • Do you have kids? A significant other? Any person you’d want to spend time with regularly that you currently spend time with? If you answered yes to any of the above, say no to the 90 minute commute. Yes, you can get a lot done 90 minutes each way on the train (as opposed to in a car), but as others have mentioned, it’s still a really long day (11 hours if you just add to a normal 8-hour work day, but since you work at Major University, I’m going to presume you are an academic or have some other more-than-8-hours-a-day position.) And that long day can be draining. Alternatively, you could try to set boundaries such that you are in the office less than a usual work day, because you work on your commute, but my impression is that most people take the extra commuting time out of their personal lives part of the day, rather than their work day.

      I’ve done the 90-minutes each way in a car, and 60 minutes each way on the train, and both are exhausting after a few months. And I’m in my mid-20s, married, with no kids. This is the time in my life where people say I’m supposed to have the energy for this, but I simply don’t, and I think most people don’t. I say if you really want Awesome Job at Different Major University, you need to move closer. Otherwise, keep your current job and your jealousy-inducing walking commute :)

      • Little Lurker :

        There are plenty of 8-hr days at a Major University if you’re non-faculty staff, but otherwise, this advice is spot on.

    • Fashion Faux Pas :

      My husband and I both have long commutes to our jobs. He works at a university and spends 4 hours per day commuting. He bikes to and from the train station on each end (about 40 minutes total, per day) and then takes regional rail for an hour and ten minutes each way and the local subway-equivalent for half an hour each way. He views the biking as his exercise time. He has a mifi and does a lot of programming on the regional rail. He’s not really able to get any work done on the subway-equivalent due to crowding, it not really being worth the time to get his computer set up, etc. He’s been commuting like this for about 18 months, and it’s taken quite a toll on him, such that he usually ends up working from home one day per week out of sheer exhaustion. We leave the house at 5:30 in the morning and get back at 8 at night. He could drive, but it would require him to battle horrible traffic and would only save him 20 minutes each way, while not providing him with any flexibility about when to leave (due to the severity of the traffic). He gets most frustrated when he needs to stay late to get work done in his lab, but, due to the train schedule, either has to leave and not do the work or stay and find a friend’s couch to sleep on because there are no later trains.

      I drive a little over an hour each way (though it’s more like an hour and a half if I hit traffic). I listen to NPR in the morning and spend the commute home talking to friends on the phone. I’m okay with the commute, but it does suck on nights that I get stuck in the office trying to meet a filing deadline and don’t leave until midnight.

      We’re expecting our first child on Saturday, and the commute is going to start being a lot less manageable because (1) I’ll have to drive during peak traffic times due to daycare’s hours; (2) I will have a potentially-screaming baby in the car w/me for 2+ hours per day; and (3) my husband won’t get to seek the baby very much during the week because of the commute. I realize you didn’t discuss any potential spousal/child issues in your OP, but if these are things you see in your future and it would be hard for you to get another job or move to the suburb (e.g., because of spouse’s career), I’d think long and hard about committing to the commute. We weren’t planning to have kids when the commute seemed manageable, and now that I need to move because of the baby, I can’t find a job in the city where my husband works (thanks, recession!). Result: major marital stress.

    • I’ve done it (90+ minutes each way, half driving and half train) and while I didn’t mind having some quiet time on the train to read, catch up on email, etc., the lost 3 hours per day got old fast. I couldn’t only handle it for a year before I had enough and changed jobs.

      Another downside, for me, was always being preoccupied with the train schedule (I’m sure it had some impact on my attentiveness to work) and feeling like I was sprinting to catch the train every. damn. day.

      • Diana Barry :

        I have a 30 minute commute and it is long enough. I wouldn’t go any longer.

        It would be AWESOME to be able to walk to work again! I did that when we lived in the city and it was so great.

        I have also read that long commutes are the single biggest contributor to unhappiness.

    • I commuted for years on a train. It was not so bad before I had kids. I used the time to rest, read, get work done, etc. I had one boss who let me leave early and count time on the train as work time, provided I did work on the train of course. However, once I had kids, I became painfully aware of the timesuck that is commuting, and never got used to it after maternity leave. I switched offices to be closer to home (though still a 30 min. drive, but much more doable.) It is tough and I am so jealous of you being able to walk to work. I would LOVE that!

    • Could you live somewhere in between Major City and Small Suburb?

      • Y’all rock. Seriously.

        I am certainly putting the cart before the horse here, I know: I need to actually apply to the job–and, you know, impress them despite the fact that this opportunity is coming a little earlier than might have been ideal–before the commute becomes an issue. I lose nothing by trying, though, so I appreciate your willingness to weigh in on such a hypothetical.

        To all of you who are envious of my walk, I hope I haven’t seemed ungrateful for my genuinely lovely set-up–I do *love* walking to work (and I also *love* my current job). In answer to Bonnie’s question, no, I don’t think I would want to move to somewhere between Major City and Small Suburb–I also *love* my Major City and have a number of ties here (boyfriend, chamber choir that I direct, church community in which I’m very active) that could not be comparably sustained if I were commuting into Major City as well as into Small Suburb.

        At this point in my life, it does me no harm to investigate, I think. It certainly sounds as though this kind of a commute would be a major shift in the way my workdays run, but I must also admit that the job itself would be a major shift: it’s a senior position with all the responsibilities (and, yes, significant pay increase) that come along with the new title. All good food for thought.

        • I’ve done a lot of commuting, and it’s really difficult to stay involved in extracurricular activities on weekday evenings if you’re spending that much time on the train. Pretty much weekends only, because you’ll come back a lot later than you’re used to.

          You should also consider whether you get motion sickness.

          • Yeah, I’ve thought about that–in normal circumstances, the commute would deposit me back in major city by 7 PM at the latest, and all my rehearsals start at 7:30 PM. Possibly this is madness, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

            (I just finished getting a master’s degree part time while working full time and doing all this extracurricular music stuff. Strangely enough, now that I’m *not* in class every other evening until 9 PM, I feel as though I have lots of free time; the prospect of going from work to a train to a rehearsal is not as daunting as it might be for someone less chronically jam-packed.)

    • I used to train it from NY suburbs to NYC, about 1 hr each way. In the morning I slept (I am one of those lucky people blessed with the ability to sleep anywhere) and on the way home generally read or slept again!

  15. What type of legwear do corporettes who live in cold climates wear in the winter. I’m not sure what to wear with bright colors and bright-colored prints (like that gorgeous pink/purple/navy print dress posted a few days ago), which are so often shown with bare legs. If you wear tights, any favorite brands?

  16. Holy Cow ! I like that, but it cost more than my wedding dress. . . . Granted, I got married 16 years ago, but still. . .

  17. Hi ladies,

    I was wondering if I could get some words of wisdom from you.

    I am trying to find a way to get ready faster in the mornings. The one thing that takes a lot of time with me is my hair. It is thick and a pain to blow dry in the morning. I have to blow dry though in the morning–showering at night and not washing my hair in the morning is not an option. My hair is a wreck after I wake up.

    I have thick hair is that is just above my shoulders. It takes me about 15-20 minutes a morning to blow dry and style. I have one of those super absorbing towel which might shave off a minute at the most.

    I am considering doing the Brazilian Keratin treatment so that it will hopefully cut back on the styling I have to do. that or cut my hair (which I would prefer not to do).

    I always have my hair thinned out when I get it cut too.

    any suggestions?!? I am desperate and tired of running to work late and harried.

    waking up earlier could be an option, but usually not a successful one for me!

    Thanks in advance!

    • You sound almost exactly like my flatmate, albeit that she does wash her hair at night.

      I totally hear you on the ‘have to wash hair in the morning’ and I struggle with this, too, so I would love to hear the tips.

      As for the Brazilian Blowdry, my flatmate had it done and it did cut down some of the time for getting ready, but you have to have it a couple of times I think for it to really make a huge difference, if your hair is not relatively straight. She is getting it done a second time soon and she was told that after about 2-3 times you usually won’t need to have it done again as there are enough chemicals in your hair to make it stay until it grows out.

    • Well, standard warning about the Brazilian/Keratin treatments – the process uses formaldehyde, so proceed with that in mind. You mention have thick hair, but not whether its really curly or not – if its not curly/majorly textured, does a Keratin treatment do any good?

      Other thought – have you talked to your stylist about the best way to blow dry your hair? Do you have a pro-style hair dryer that might help cut on your dry time? Do you dry it layer by layer, or just have it all down and point the hair dryer and go? Are there additional products that you could be using to help speed dry time?

    • Brazilian and keratin, as far as I know, are two different things. The Brazilian has the formaldehyde and will make hair straight and shiny. The keratin treatment, which I’ve had twice, doesn’t change hair’s texture. I don’t find keratin to be worth it. I have thick, coarse, curly hair (not kinky curls . . . think Sarah Jessica in the early seasons of SATC) and the only thing keratin did for me was eliminate frizz for about three weeks, which wasn’t worth the price tag and having my hair smell like a chocolate scented marker.

    • I’ve been doing the Brazilian Blowout for about a year (4 applications so far) and it has changed my life. I had frizzy, thick, curly hair that used to take me 30 minutes to straighten. Now I let my hair air dry every morning with no product (seriously, I get out of the shower, brush it and go). Lana Lang is correct that it takes a couple of applications to really work — after my first blowout, I still had to use a blow dryer a little bit (but no straightening iron and I literally just had to blow it dry, so approx. 5 minutes), but after the second application I could get by just on air drying. Can’t recommend highly enough!

    • I have thick, curly hair which I wash at night, braid, and then when I let it down in the morning it’s still mostly wet. I just throw mine into a bun or ponytail, but you could still blow dry and at least you’ve saved the time of showering.

      Everything I’ve read about the keratin treatment is that it’s really bad for your hair and for you, but I have no personal experience with it.

      • Thanks all for your replies.

        My hair is slightly wavy and frizzes if I don’t blow dry. If I don’t dry it, it takes hours to air dry.

        I know the treatments are not good for you or your hair, but have so many friends that swear by it that I am seriously considering giving it a shot.

        Argie, my hair stylist agrees that my hair is a monster to dry. She suggested getting a professional dryer too, I will look into it. Anyone have good recommendations? I might try Ulta today to see what they have.

        I fear that waking up earlier might be in my future…:)

        • I was just discussing Keratin treatments with my stylist this weekend (thinking that they might be necessary to save time on my hair once I have a baby and have to get to work in the mornings) and he mentioned that Chi now has a similar treatment without formaldehyde that he strongly recommends. He says that he has not noticed a difference in strength, but he definitely notices that the “chemical smell” associated with Keratin treatments is absent. I haven’t looked into it yet, but he was pretty enthusiastic about it (and I’ve been going to him for years, so I really trust his judgment on stuff like this).

    • I have thick hair too & I wash at night, but coil it up into a bun on top of my head so it dries about 60% overnight, but is still damp enough for a blow out in the AM — takes about half the time as if I washed in the AM. The bun thing works because it keeps it from getting all matted & gross (which is what happenes w/o it for me). My hair is on the longer side though, so not sure if this would work on your length. I also got one of the fancy hairdryers ($150+ & maybe this is my wanting to belive it, but it seems to make a difference).

    • Have you ever tried flat-ironing? I have similar hair and going to be with it wet and putting on a strong leave in conditioner is my key. I then wake up, flat iron it for all of 8 minutes and I am ready to go. My hair doesn’t look as great as if I would have showered, blow dried and then flat ironed, but it still looks professional and polished.

      And also flat ironing is really easy. I cannot figure out how to do 99% of hair related things but flat ironing is really simple.

      • I shower at night and blow dry, but don’t put in too much effort (doesn’t have to look nice, just has to be dryish, and can be frizzy). In the morning I straighten it, and it looks fine.

    • I don’t know how much time this would save, but I take a shower immediately and then let my hair air dry while I do everything else in the morning…breakfast, etc, and then I blow dry it right before I leave. It gives it enough time to air dry a little and it makes the blow drying way less painful.

  18. I am desperately looking for a simple sweater to wear under suit jackets. 3 years ago I found a short sleeve wool sweater and UNIQLO that was perfect. A silk blend would work as well. I know a lot of people recommend cotton t’s but they never seem to hold up as well for me. Also, many these days are too long to wear untucked with a suit jacket. I would love one that I could buy in a variety of colors. Any ideas?

    • New York and Company has cute 3/4 sleeve, V neck baby cable sweaters in a bunch of colors. They are quite light weight, and if you are taller than me (5’1″) they should not be too long to wear with a suit jacket.

    • Ann Taylor Loft usually has simple thin sweaters that work under suits.

  19. Everyone else seems to like this dress, but for me it’s too much like the garb my husband’s first wife wears every day now that she’s a Buddhist nun. Her nun outfit is red and yellow, but very similar in cut, with the Star Trekkie shoulders and long length.

    • Accountress :

      I’m not a fan either- only instead of Buddhist, I was definitely getting an Amish/Mennonite vibe from it. It might be the severe hairstyle/colors, though.

  20. This question is in moderation, so I’m trying again. I’m wondering what those of you who live in cold climates do about legwear in the winter. I’m not sure what to wear with bright colored skirts and dresses that would not look good with black tights (like that gorgeous pink/purple/navy print dress posted a few days ago). Colored tights don’t seem professional. If you wear tights, any favorite brands?

    • Grey is often fab for days of confusion. It looks intentional. I like it instead of black when black would do, too– again, intentionality. Spanx and Assets are the bomb.

    • I wear gray ones. My favorite brand is Hue. I do wear colored tights sometimes, too, and I don’t think they’re per se unprofessional.

    • Brown works too (I mean dark brown). My cold-weather legwear drawer consists of black, brown and grey tights, both plain and in a variety of same-colour patterns. I don’t ever feel the need for other colours.

      In terms of brands, Hue is fantastic – washes well, doesn’t shrink, price point is good. I have one pair of Wolford tights and I love them, but I got them on deep sale and wouldn’t pay full price. If you get a chance to go to England, Marks & Spencer tights are Da Bomb.

    • I wear Hue tights – I’m wearing grey today. I also have brown and black. I don’t think it’s weird to wear grey or brown tights.

    • Gray and brown both work well – and Target makes sweater tights in these colors. They are warm and amazingly comfortable (thicker than normal tights, but not like you’re wearing an actual sweater on your legs). I do wear other colors sometimes like maroon, navy or dark green and have never had negative comments. I think as long as you stick with darker colors, not bright ones, you may be okay.