Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Stretch-Wool Sheath Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. Many thanks to this week’s guest poster, Carolyn Hsu of The Daily Obsession and The Hsu Closet!

Carolina Herrera Stretch-Wool Sheath DressMondays are inherently difficult so I try to cope by wearing something extra fabulous.  A sheath dress is always in style for the office and this Carolina Herrera runway piece in a flattering amethyst nude is impeccably tailored to a ladylike silhouette. It’s an investment piece but a worthy one. You could wear it with sheer black tights and pumps in the winter or with nude accessories in the fall or spring.  Plus the modest neckline and cap sleeves make it an acceptable option even in a conservative office. The dress is $1,990 at Neiman Marcus. Carolina Herrera Stretch-Wool Sheath Dress

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  1. That dress is more than my rent! It’s beautiful, but yikes!

    • Heh, it’s more than my rent and my mortgage combined! (I’m trying to sell and have already moved) It is pretty, though.

    • Chiming in to third that this dress surpasses my mortgage payment. Luckily the sheath style does me no favors, so it’s easy to overlook it.

    • Absolutely beautiful- however, like you said, this is more than my mortgage payment. I would love to see what others think is a more affordable “splurge” option. Perhaps in the $200 range?

      • One girl’s humble opinion: I like splurge mondays as they are – gorgeous, extremely high-priced pieces that offer a fun, somewhat fantastical peek into another level. I can’t afford this stuff but I enjoy looking at it once a week.

        $200 to me is not a “splurge”, and there are already many, many other items featured on this site that are in that price point or far below.

        • I agree that it’s fun and aspirational, but I think this is the highest priced item I’ve seen on this site so far!

          • I remember a sailboat-motif dress that I think was between $2 and $4k. Someone commented that she’d rather book a trip to the scenic harbor depicted on the dress for that price! Fair enough.

          • AnonInfinity :

            Monday — I remember that dress and still think of it fondly from time to time. Wish I could have all these fabulous clothes.

        • AnonInfinity :

          +1. I think the items featured every day except Monday are under $200.

          And I think this dress is so.beautiful.

        • This is also why I read fashion magazines. I would never drop the necessary $ on most of the items featured, but they’re beautiful and fun to translate, conceptually, into things I actually could buy and wear. I have no issue with Splurge posts. If anything, it’s relaxing not to feel any temptation because an item’s price places it firmly out of the question.

          • Agreed! It’s the one day of the week I don’t have to control the urge to click over and order away!!

        • Anonymous :

          Right– Splurge Mondays are like pages in Vogue (price available upon request!), most days are like InStyle or Peple Stylewatch or somesuch. Adore the latter ideas, but where would we be without Vogue? It’s not supposed to be attainable or real– it’s better than real.

      • I don’t mind the super high splurges since they prevent me from actually buying anything. But if SkirtEnvy is just curious what a splurge option would be for others on this site, I’d say for me personally a “splurge” would be anything $200+

      • Kat sets price ranges for each day and I think “splurge” is over $500 or so. $200 isn’t much of a splurge for most professional women working in a corporate setting, which is the target audience of the blog. I can’t afford a $2000 dress (or a $500 one), but I like the eye candy.

      • Beautiful dress but, thankfully, anything with that high a neck would look terrible on me, even if I were willing to spend my mortgage payment on a dress.

        A splurge to me is in the $500 – $1000 range. I have a hard time spending more than that on a personal item in the best of times and these are not the best of times for me.

    • I wish that dress were the price of my rent. Stupid nyc rental prices. #therentistoodamnhigh

      • Right? I live in the San Francisco area and I WISH my monthly payment were less than $2000!

        I love Splurge Mondays too. They’re double fantasies for me, becacuse I would never be able to pay that much OR to fit into most high-end duds (as they do not do vanity sizing), but a girl can dream.

      • Same here. My rent in NYC was more than that 10 years ago. $1990 sounds like a bargain.

        • That makes me feel silly for complaining about my rent increase up to $895, and I love my apartment. It’s amazing how drastically cost of living varies around the country.

  2. a passion for fashion :


  3. Beautiful. One of these days I will be able to splurge.

  4. I love this – the color, the style, everything – but I am having a hard time pinning down what’s wrong with the model. I think her head was shrunken and they had to photoshop in her b**bs?

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      I agree – the model’s head looks shrunken down. There’s just something off about her proportions.

  5. I’m going to dissent and say I really don’t like this dress, primarily because I don’t find the neckline or the sleeves to be particularly flattering.

    • Ditto, there’s such something off with armpits. It’s like the seamstress went, “Eh,” and just decided skip out on cutting the fabric. It’s just asking for wrinkles and creases.

      I like the color though. It’d be great with a range of pinks.

    • The shoulder/sleeve lines are a bit avant garde. I like, but agree that that’s the soft directional statement update here in an otherwise timeless dress. Very sculptural.

    • I don’t like this one either. The neckline and sleeves aren’t even flattering on the model. It’s like she put on a dress that was way too big and they just cinched it in the back.

    • I agree, but high necklines are awful on me, so I usually pass them by anyway.

  6. Absolutely fantastic.

  7. I like the concept, but zooming in on the neckline, while it’s interesting, I suspect I would feel strangled in it. I also think that for career women (as opposed to socialites) by the time you likely can afford this dress you probably wouldn’t have arms that would look the best in cap sleeves.

    • I do think in most cases the arms being a plus or minus are something we notice and critique most only in ourselves. No one else would ding us for it. They’d think, great dress, cool woman.

      • agreed. if the dress fit you right otherwise i think it would overall be a fantastic look, however you feel about your arms.

    • True! Thank goodness Michelle O always covers up her arms.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Not disagreeing with the rest of the sentiment, although I think someone much younger could afford this splurge if that was how they structured their shopping — but isn’t Michelle O actually known for sometimes wearing sleeveless dresses and her toned arms? If this was sarcastic, my apologies.

        • It was saracastic, women of any age don’t have to hide their arms

          • Speak for yourself. You’re probably flashing all kinds of ankle on a daily basis. Hussy!


          • LOL @CFM and @ Kanye East! I feel like a lady of the night with all the ankle and arm that I’m sporting today!

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t think you owe apologies for reading a rude comment in the most charitable, hopeful humanist way. The writer of rude comment doesn’t ow apologies either, but the rest of us can ignore it.

          • Sweetknee :

            I beg to differ. .. I ALWAYS have to cover up my arms, if I don’t want to see them waving back at me when I say hello or goodbye to someone ! :)

          • @Sweetknee – Mine wave at me too! Friendly arms, they are.

          • Really? My comment was rude? I was simply making the funny observation that women of any age can have toned arms. Or women of any age can be happy with whatever arms they have and not need to hide them away

  8. I love this dress – the sleeves, the neckline, the color, the length, everything. Except for the price – yikes!! But it is called Splurge Monday for a reason …

  9. White hair at 30?! :

    I’m 30. I look younger than 30, and am occasionally still carded. I’ve never dyed my hair; it’s just a nice regular shade of brown. I blow dry it a few times a month, if that. But this morning I noticed that smack dab in the middle of my head, right at the top, I have an increasing number of wiry, white hairs, a totally different texture than my usual fine, flat, straight hair, not to mention being white – not gray. WHITE. WTF?! I’m so confused and am trying to think if maybe I hit my head somehow right in that spot and that caused it. Has this happened to anyone else?? And what does one do about this??

    • Anne Shirley :

      I have a large grey streak where I hit my head once. Hair stylist says it could be dyed to match, but my part tends to cover it.

    • Anonymous13 :

      I’m in my 30s and have had a white-grey streak since cracking my head open on the playground in elementary school. Hair grew back with no pigment.

      As far as what to do about it, I rock mine a la Rogue from X-men. Wish it were bigger, actually. :)

      • I think a single white streak is really cool. If you can work it and rock it, it could be awesome.

    • Single process dye them (and only them) or cut them very close to the root. Never pluck.

      • noooo! Having much experience with wiry gray hairs, I will tell you – don’t pluck or cut them, because they grow back in standing straight up.

        I have luck with using high and low lights to help the gray blend in. I don’t want to have “roots” so I keep the colors very close to my natural dark brown, but a little variation of color helps the few gray strands seem more part of the overall scheme, if that makes sense.

    • My “grays” are white, too, with a different texture than the rest of my hair.

      I actually love them.

    • Cats Ahoy! :

      Are they all clumped together? Maybe you did hit your head. I wish my greys all lived together in a funky streak. Instead, they decided to emerge randomly all over my head several months ago (I am 31). I dyed them while I’m trying to decide how I feel about them.

    • Welcome to the club!

      You’re going gray. Either decide to embrace it, or embrace hair dye.

    • You sound like me. I have similar colouring to you, and started to go ‘grey’ at about 30 (maybe a little younger, actually). My ‘grey’ hairs are actually white as well. I’m 36 & have been colouring my hair for about 3 years now. I have a fairly young face – most people are amazed when I tell them my age. I haven’t decided when I’ll stop colouring my hair yet.

      The age you go ‘grey’ is genetic – my mom was also young when she started.

  10. Ballerina Girl :

    I have a question for the hive: how do you know when you’re done with therapy? I’ve been going for over two years now and it’s been pretty great for my life. The problem is that I’ve switched jobs and can’t really afford it anymore. I want to prioritize my health but I can’t help but wonder if this has become more of a luxury than a necessity for me.

    Follow up: when enough is enough, how much of a wind down period do people usually take? A few months?

    • Sometimes therapists see their patients as cash cows and will not end the therapy even if they know it is not working or is no longer needed. I suggest that you let your therapist know that you think you might no longer need the therapy (without mentioning the financial resons for quitting). Let your therapist let you know the reasons he or she does not agree with you and then have a tapering off period (go once every two weeks if you had been going weekly, once every month if you had gone bi-weekly).

    • Talk to your therp about it. How she see and shapes your process and development. And if you’re readier to cut out than she thinks you are, talk about practical CBT strategies (hardcore, real-life, how to apply your lessons homework!) to get you street-ready on a compromise timetable.

    • Ballerina Girl :

      My problem has been that I’ve broached the subject of quitting a few times, but he always reels me back in. I just don’t know how to tell if enough is enough.

    • karenpadi :

      I would say it’s when you feel like you’re not talking about anything “new” in your sessions. When you feel like you are repeating yourself, know what the therapist will ask next, and have long periods of silence where you search for something to say to fill the void.

      I think it’s kind of like any big decision (changing jobs, breaking up with a SO, etc) where if you are wondering about ending it, it’s probably time to start letting go.

      • karenpadi :

        And one more thing, remember, you can always go back to your therapist! If it helps, you can think of it as a trial separation.

        I went to a therapist for a few months, felt better. Six months later, my life had turned upside-down (in a good way) but I was having trouble dealing with it. I went back to my therapist for a few months. It really wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be.

    • I would suggest that you start by reducing the frequency of your visits – once a week to twice a month for two months, then once a month for two or three months, then once every two months for four months, then none. If you feel like you need more therapy, then ramp it up again. But if you feel like you’re going two months just fine without therapy, then it’s probably time to end it.

  11. Reporting back on my tights shopping mission: AIMS et al. were right that DKNY, with a lower spandex content, is free of shine! Hooray! Also, if anyone else is looking for comfy and warm sweater tights, I recommend Hue. These are great! One tip: do not try to fudge your size in these things. I almost sized up, but now that I have them on, have realized that this would not at all work (as it does with many normal tights). They have a well-defined seat and also stitching at the heel, like socks. You have to get the exact size for your height/weight–don’t be afraid that they will be too small.

  12. MissJackson :

    Every season there is one Carolina Herrera sheath dress that I drool over. I can still picture the teal blue and grey number from one or two years ago, that was pretty much the dress of my dreams. As soon as I pay off my student loans, I am going to buy one for myself. That day is still a couple years away, but I am so looking forward to it. In the meantime, that extra $2K will be going toward the loans and I’ll stick to drooling.

  13. Cle de Peau Concealer update:

    Someone was asking about this about a month ago. I went to my local Nordstrom yesterday and tried it on. It feels velvetty, doesn’t sink into fine lines, and covers up the circles under my very tired eyes. I also had a blemish and just a little covered it up very well. It lasted all day yesterday and stayed in place. I’m wearing it again today and my Monday face really needed it. Pricey, but it’s the best concealer I’ve owned and it should last a while. Also, I am fairly fair skinned and got Ivory.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s so cheering to read. I always wonder about the heavily promoted, adored-by-editors must-haves (Shu U. lash curler!). They always say the Cle is best, but it’s so pricey. That’s awesome it really is the best. Thanks for the report.

    • Always a NYer :

      That was me =) I’m so happy to hear that it’s as amazing as everything I’ve read. Thanks for reporting back!!! I’ll probably buy it the next time I see it in the store.

  14. Love. Love love love love love. Now, when I find my new job and get a nice bonus…..

  15. Alanna of Trebond :

    This dress is gorgeous! Taste is a funny thing — I thought I would click through and find a sea of satisfied comments. Turns out, that was not the case.

    Furthermore, with New York rents, this is *less* than my rent!

  16. That neckline…blech. Ruins an otherwise fantastic dress (which I can in no way afford: that’s more than a mortgage payment here too)!

  17. That neckline would be unflattering on all but the most swanlike of woman, IMO.

  18. That dress is absolutely terrible. It would make anyone incredibly top-heavy and look like a linebacker. I would pass if it was $19.90 at Target, let alone $1990.

  19. Diana Barry :

    Love this dress. Unfortunately it is not anywhere near our jumbo mortgage payment!

  20. I’m wearing my first wool sweater of the season–it’s scoop-necked and a bit itchy. Any suggestions for thin, long sleeved scoop neck tees to wear under them?