Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Leather Jacket

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

Akris Punto Leather JacketWow: I haven’t seen a yellow leather jacket since the movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love the clean, structural look to this Akris Punto jacket, though. It hadn’t occurred to me to wear yellow with beige and white, but they look great together. It’s (gulp) $2,300 at Saks. Akris Punto Leather Jacket

P.S. If you haven’t checked out the Saks FashionFix sales, please do — the sales are consistently great!


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



  1. Diana Barry :

    Wow, this is the first leather jacket I’ve seen that actually might work in a conservative workplace. I love the way it hangs. But it better for $2300! :)

  2. So is that model computer generated? Or has the use of photoshop gotten totally out of control?

  3. Akris was the best thing about Sarah Palindrome, I think! Beautiful designs, especially their jackets.

  4. My question is, where can I buy those pants??! (not)

  5. Wow that is gorgeous!

  6. My conservative workplace would frown on that jacket.

    But, more importantly, I once had a jacket just like that and it always annoyed me that I could not close the front.

    • Whereas I love jackets that don’t close in the front, per our previous discussion in these pages about finding suits with enough room in the bust to close without straining … I love a jacket that allows me to do that purposefully. I also love yellow, but it makes me look tres jaundiced, so I am fortunately not tempted!

  7. Online PC Backup :

    What online backup service do you use to backup your personal PC?

    I have an account with SOS Online Backup, which I despise. Their software and user interface is terrible. They have no customer support. Literally. But they are the only service I have found that backs up external devices. (They also, inexplicably, got a fab review from the NYT.)

    Carbonite looks so user friendly. I’d like to switch, but they don’t back up external devices.

    Any advice?

    • I got a Toshiba external drive from Amazon. The software let me easily schedule regular backups which occur without me thinking about it. I’ve had the hard drvie for about 2 years and no problems so far.

      Is there a reason you want to use a service instead of an external drive? They’re quite small, and not too expensive (320 GB is ~$45).

      • Online PC Backup :

        Terry: I have an external drive (don’t recall the brand), but it is too much of a PITA to haul it out every week to run the back up. My PC is a laptop, so I don’t leave the external drive connected regularly. I decided about a year ago that I should be honest about the fact that I wasn’t backing up regularly with the external drive and move to the cloud to make sure it gets done.

    • I use Carbonite, and it’s definitely easy and user friendly. After the initial install/backup, I hardly even know it’s there. That said, I haven’t had to use it (knock on wood), so I can’t speak for how well it actually works when you need it.

    • On screen, Carbonite looks good to me as well. I do an external back up right now but always wonder what would happen if my computer crashed and would I be able to get everything back that I needed.

      I did a google search on consumer reports, and fwiw, they recommend Mozy.

    • I use the Jungle Disk online backup system, and I know from experience that it works. My laptop hard drive died suddenly and irrecoverably but I didn’t lose a single file. I did need to contact customer service to figure it out the first time, but they got back to me pretty much instantly and were quite helpful. I’m not quite sure what you mean by “external devices,” but you can backup multiple computers with Jungle Disk, and if you keep your external drive plugged in all the time I think you can back it up as well. Like you, I had attempted to backup “important” files on external drives, but didn’t end up being very systematic about it. I had only been backing up my data for ~2 months before my crash, so I consider myself extremely lucky in retrospect! My current usage costs me ~$8/month, which backs up every single one of my files other than software (including pictures and music). Well worth it IMO.

    • This is a great question, and I’m wondering if I can piggyback to see if people have other suggestions (or the same ones) for Mac users.

      • I am a Mac user and use an external hard drive that I back up using Time Machine. I just leave it plugged in whenever my laptop is on my desk, and when the computer is on it is set to update automatically every hour.

        This, after learning the hard way how to use a backup system correctly. It was painful.

        • What external drive do you use with your Mac? I have a Western Digital Passport drive that only seems to work with PCs.

          • Honestly, I can’t remember. It was just on sale at Best Buy and seemed to be the right size, and has lasted over 3 years now…

          • I went through 3 Western Digitals that (I was told) would be fine with my Mac. Not so much. They would just die — be unreadable and not capable of being written to. I finally caved and spent considerably more on a G-Drive (purchased at the Apple Store). So far, so good! (Knock on Wood!)

          • This company, Other World Computing http://www.macsales.com/ is a small company that makes Mac compatible drives for backups. They are a fantastic company, and have a reputation for having very reliable hardware. Seagate and Western Digital drives are also good, and known for being reliable.

            And I apologize in advance for how dangerous this website is ;o) but dealmac is amazing for finding the best deals on electronics. For example, here’s a link to their External Hard Drive category: http://dealmac.com/c472/Computers/Storage/Hard-Drives/External-Hard-Drives/

            and you can set an RSS feed or email alerts so that you know the second a good deal or coupon code comes up. I have used this to save a ton of money on the drives i’ve bought in the last few years.

          • grrr, moderation. Trying without links:

            I like the company Other World Computing, they’re a small company that makes Mac compatible drives for backups. They are a fantastic company, and have a reputation for having very reliable hardware. Seagate and Western Digital drives are also good, and known for being reliable.

            And I apologize in advance for how dangerous this website is ;o) but dealmac dot com is amazing for finding the best deals on electronics. You can select the category you are looking for, like “External Hard Drives” and set an RSS feed or email alerts so that you know the second a good deal or coupon code comes up. I have used this to save a ton of money on the drives i’ve bought in the last few years.

          • SV in House :

            I use the Phantom Drive Green Drive w/my Mac. Works great!

          • After a rough loss following a stolen laptop last year, I am religious about backing up. I’ve got a La Cie Rugged that I use with Time Machine for my mac. Worth every penny.

    • My personal computer is a netbook, so it has almost no local storage. I’ve learned to embrace the cloud and accept that I have no secrets. Plus side, nothing to back-up!

  8. Ballerina Girl :

    Has anyone looked into freezing their eggs? Does insurance ever cover it if it’s purely a preventative kind of thing? How effective is it? I’ve done some online research but it just seems prohibitively expensive. I’m 33 and single and beginning to worry that I might lose my chance at having children.

    • I know you are asking for specifics, but I heard a pretty informative story about this subject on NPR a few months back. Google “NPR egg freezing”. It’s the story from May 2011 and there might actually be a couple other stories on it from the same series.

    • A friend of mine did it, I think it cost her around $10K, plus there are probably storage/maintenance costs to keep the eggs frozen. I know a few years ago the technology was not good enough for keeping the eggs viable, but apparently things have improved enough to offer the services to, how shall I say this, regular women – I’m thinking that it used to be something mostly offered to young women going through cancer treatment. The egg retrieval was successful for my friend, they were able to retrieve 30+ healthy-looking eggs. Whether or not they’ll actually survive the thaw process and be able to be fertilized is another matter. She went through basically the first half of IVF, with the injections of hormones and everything associated with that. She was about 38-39 when she did this, for reasons of not having a current partner and worrying about not being able to have children in the future.

      Do some research, though, especially if you can find anything on how successfully the frozen/thawed eggs can be fertilized.

      • Cancer-survivor hubby pays annual ‘rent’ maintenance/freezer fee for his stored supply of just-in-case. No insurance subsidy.

      • It is important to look up the statistics of any facility you may be considering using their services and compare their success rates with frozen eggs for take home babies to other facilities. Stats are available on the CDC site. This is important beyond and before considering money issues.

    • Anonforthis :

      There was also a really great article about it in Glamour and another in Vogue, in the last year or two. The kicker is not that it’s hard to freeze them…it’s much harder to unfreeze and use them.

      Insurance would not cover this in almost any circumstance, as it’s not “medical necessity.” My work covers once cycle of IVF though (ah…law firms!).

  9. Holiday Cheer :

    I am just curious about how other people’s offices work with holiday leave. We request ours in advance on a chart, but it seems like half the people in my department are requesting a full week at Thanksgiving and a full 2 weeks around Christmas/New Year. Last year one of the supervisors made a big deal about one person taking two weeks and it seems like this year there may only be one of us here on some of the days. I think it’s a bit inconsiderate to take all 3 weeks and leave the responsibility on the others to fill in.

    • There have to be 3 out of 9 of us here every day, so we fill in a calendar with initials… if there are days without 3 monograms, we have to negotiate amongst ourselves lest the boss have to assign days to be here. I don’t think it’s ever gotten to that… we work it out.

    • There’s no formal policy in my office. We get X number of vacation days (X depends on tenure) plus 9 of personal days per year, so as long as you have enough days accumulated, you can take whatever you want. There are a few people who prefer to accumulate all year and take 3 weeks or a month off. I don’t find it inconsiderate at all; they’ve worked all year to accumulate that leave and they’re entitled to cash it in.

      As a general matter, every department has to have at least one or two staff members at the office every day, but we have enough religious and ethnic diversity that we don’t have a problem with everyone wanting to take the same holiday off.

    • We have to request ours ahead of time and get permission from our department head and HR. As long as it doesn’t interfere with our deadlines they don’t really seem to care how much we take off. I think I’ll be taking off 3 weeks for Christmas.

    • Our office closes for a few days before or after Christmas and New years and for the Friday after Thanksgiving. If people want more than those days off, they have to put in a request with HR. There are 5 people in each dept. and there has to be at least 2/5 here when the office is open. People who stay complain about the work, but never about how they wanted off. And if they called in sick, world keeps turning so there are ways around it.

  10. I use the external drive method. But I can’t tell if it is really working. How do you check?

  11. Haha, my first thought when I saw this was and before I read the post was, “that’s the ‘retro’ jacket from Buffy!!”

    I am not a fan of leather jackets generally, and I think it would be weird to wear one *in* the office all day, but I totally do love the color combination here and if this jacket was made out of wool instead of leather, I would totally covet it big time.

  12. Skirt review:

    I bought the Talbots skirt featured here the other week. Tried it on and loved it! BUT – after wearing it for about 30 minutes, it is already super wrinkled/creased across the front.

    FWIW, the skirt is fully lined, so I didn’t think a slip would be necessary, and I’m not sure it would help with the wrinkling. It is the right size for me and fits my body type. Is this just inevitable with certain fabrics? If so, grr, and it is getting returned.

  13. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    Finally, things have started winding down at work and I can pick my Corporette obsession back up.

    For my first day back, I’ve got a question for you ladies. This weekend I had an event to go to and I found a pair of killer open toe, leopard print booties. The issue is the booties have a four inch heel with no platform, so I am wondering if there i anything I can put in the shoe under the ball of my foot to keep my foot from sliding forward?

    Thanks in advance.

    • There are clear insoles that go only in the toebox area that you shouldn’t be able to see with open toe shoes. They should push your feet back a little bit and alleviate some of the pressure.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Foot Petals at Nordie’s, or the co-branded version at the Rack. I have them in pretty much all my heels.

    • What type of “event” calls for leopard booties – my life is not so interesting.

    • Dr. Scholl’s has two types of clear gel insert that wouldn’t show– one sort of wide, short squared-oval-shape that only goes under toe/ball of foot, and one long, skinny (marketed as for high-heels but I wear it in tons of stuff) that goes under the ball-to-heel. They’re removable and thick, lovely gel. They also make a stick-in thin think foam that comes in three-packs, but they are not that helpful, too slim to cushion shock, and only good for when the fit of a shoe is so perfect/tight that there’s no room for the gels. Go for the gel. They’re cheap, too, at drugstores, Amazon, drugstore dot com, etc.


    I finally have a place to hang my law license. I just need a frame. Can someone suggest a website to buy from? I would like something that doesn’t look cheap, but I do not need an ornate frame either. Maybe around $50?

    I’ve seen some on Officemax and Staples for $10 or $20 but the reviews are spotty and I’m scared they might look “plasticky”.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would try to find a local frame store instead. There are usually “frame your own” shops (that are open late a few times a week), and those are really cheap if you DIY, and not too expensive if you have them frame it. That way it will last for many years!

      I had my diplomas and bar admission framed 9 yrs ago and they still look great.

      • Ditto to getting them professionally framed. You worked hard for your degree!

        • AnonInfinity :

          I got mine professionally framed at the least expensive place in town (I took an entire day and went everywhere getting estimates), and it was a little more than $100 per item with a simple frame, single mat, and the cheapest glass.

          They look awesome, so if you have the money, I’d definitely go that route, too.

        • Exactly. When you consider how much time, effort and money it’s taken you to get your license, it is worth it to frame up your certificates professionally. At least that is how I feel, and I think they do look far better than if I had just done DIY…

    • I actually really like Ikea for frames. I use the Ribba frames in a matte brushed silver and they look really nice. As a bonus, they come with a mat, which I always like. And they are cheap.


    • I went to JoAnn’s (Michaels would work too) and bought a frame and pre-cut mat. Both were on sale, so I probably spent $40 to frame one document. And was about to get coordinating frames for my undergrad diploma and cert of admittance to the bar in my State.

    • I went to Michael’s and used one of their 60% off coupons. I got my state and federal bar certificates, JD, and BA framed for about $150. I did silver framing with colored mats, which I don’t regret because I work in the beigest office of all time and it’s nice to have a little pop of color.

    • Congrats Lalala! I second Michaels, I got diploma and graduation picture frames there that were very nice, and in May/Jun they were buy on get one half off.

      As I was doing some organizing the other week I came across my license, which is still rolled up in the tube it was mailed in and I was thinking “what the hell is this?”, until i looked at the return address!

    • What size diplomas do people have? My law diploma is pretty big and even with the 60% off @ Michael’s, it was nearing $200. I refuse to frame my bar admission because the cost would be the same and really, if I have this job isn’t it a given that I’m admitted? I just got off-the-rack frames and mats for my other diplomas. I am not into traditional-style frames at all so the modern look was really easy to accomplish just with stock mats.

      • They gave us two diplomas when we graduated, I have the 8 1/2″ x 11″ one framed at work, and the huge one is probably hiding out with my law license on the top of my bookshelf at home.

      • The reason I didn’t go off-the-rack is that I wanted acid-free, archival-quality frames that will preserve my diplomas and law license. I am proud of my degrees and bar admission, and want to keep the diplomas looking nice for years to come. It was worth the $500 or so it cost me to get everything professionally done. Also, I don’t really know what else I’d put on the wall if I didn’t have them framed. Pretty frames look nice in my office.

    • I would suggest getting a custom frame and mat. I bought mine online and was really happy with it – I was able to customize it with my school colors. I measured my diploma prior to ordering, and when I got the frame I just put it in myself. I am trying to dig through my old emails to find the name of the place – if I find it I will post, because I was really happy with it.

    • Framing shops often pop up frequently on Groupon, Living Social, etc. I’d keep an eye out if there’s no rush; make a YipIt for it.

    • I’ve framed some things with Michael’s pre-made frames. Some of them do have acid-free matting included. I splurged on a frame with my school’s seal through http://www.framingsuccess.com/

    • Thanks to everyone!!!!

      I don’t have a Michaels or Joann’s near me, but I found a small local framer within walking distance! I spent about $80 but I think it will look very nice!

    • Did mine at Michael’s Framing – wait for their 50% off framing sale which lasts a month. They do a great job and if you get the discount, mine was $60 for the diploma. But then $60 for the license, $60 for my undergrad….now federal court license. So I guess the good new is I know I can get a match for new certificates, bad news is I always wait for that sale.

    • My boss got his at WalMart for $15. Floating black wood frame and he has it on his brick wall so the brick pokes through. Looks nice I think. I got mine for my birthday, so that’s another option if you celebrate Christmas, ask for a gift card to a framing store from a few family members. Mine looks nice of course, but I don’t have a brick wall…

    • Do you have a Hobby Lobby or a Michaels near you? I got mine framed at Hobby Lobby (they have 50% off custom framing basically every other week, it seems like) and I love the way the frame and the matting look.

  15. I recently purchased fuschia leather gloves (J.Crew’s cashmere lined leather gloves in holiday punch) to wear with my black wool winter coat. Any suggestions for a scarf to wear with this? I love the gloves as a fun pop of color, but want it to look sophisticated enough to wear to the office, not too crazy. Thanks!

  16. A question about skirt lining:

    I have a number of skirts/dresses (both inexpensive and very expensive) where the lining sticks out the bottom when I sit down. Does anyone else have this problem? Know why it happens and/or how to fix it?


    • The outer layer is being pulled up by the chair, but the inner layer is staying in place. If you tug the outer layer down as you sit that should take care of it.

    • Yes, I have one skirt that consistently does this. I finally just hemmed up the front of the lining, about 2″ higher. It’s kind of a half-*ssed sewing job, but no one sees it anyway. I did it during an episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey <- guilty pleasure.

    • I actually had a lining shrink while I was wearing it and it pulled up at the slit- so awkward looking. I had to take it to alterations to have them unattach and resew the lining to make it hang right. The lining itself doesn’t look pretty, but you can’t tell from the outside. I am sure you can just have it shortened, but it may have the same result if it is attached to the seams like mine was.

  17. Anyone familiar with Munro American shoes? I purchased my first pair this weekend on a rare trip to Nordstrom. Now I’m wondering if $50 Naturalizers might be more comfortable than my new $200 Munro flat loafers. I need good support and stability because of a bone spur problem.

  18. SF Bay Associate :

    After a literal lifetime of inactivity (never played a sport, almost failed gym because I couldn’t hit a softball or a tennis ball, etc), the last straw for me was getting totally winded walking up a moderate hill. I realized that at some point, I would need to chase after children, and in the shape I was in, I wouldn’t be able to do it. So I got a personal trainer in May. He did the intake measurements when we began, and this morning re-measured me for the first time. While making zero changes to my eating habits (which were admittedly pretty healthy), I have lost over 5lbs of fat (not just weight, actual fat), and gained over 1lb of muscle. I’m stunned, and pretty stoked. So to all of you who are as inactive as I was and view exercise/sports as yet another opportunity for embarassment and failure, I say to you: yes you can. I am still afraid of moving spherical objects, but bring on the hills and heavy grocery bags. The personal trainer is, without a doubt, the best money I have ever, ever spent. If a former couch potato like me can do it, you can do it, too.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      Thank you posting this – I too dread physical exercise, and despite being a size 6-8, I feel like a big blob of flab (bbf for short). I’ve thought about getting a trainer and this may just be the motivation I need to do it!

      • Wow – this could be my writing this post, SAlit-a-gator! Same size as you, but I, too, often feel like a bbf. :) And thank you, SF Bay Associate for the inspirational post. It IS good motivation!

    • You know, I was one of those kids who also almost failed gym, because I had no skilz with balls or anything involving catching or throwing. So I thought I was physically weak. As it turns out, I am not. I still cannot catch or throw very well, but I do a weight lifting class twice a week and have some good muscles to show for it, ab muscles that shock my BF, I can keep up with guys a foot taller than me in across-the-floor moves in ballet class, and I was able to climb a set of silks (to the ceiling) on my second try.

      So yes, to all the gym class haters, it is so worth it, both physically and mentally, to find an activity you enjoy. Don’t let memories of awkward gym classes and mean gym teachers or classmates keep you away. As far as costs go, a friend once told me that she thought it was never a bad idea to spend money on things to improve your health or education, and I agree (okay, I didn’t really know about law school debt then, but you get the idea).

    • Good for you! I’m another near-failer of gym and I always have been on the chubby side (size 12-14 since I was 16). I always thought I just didn’t like exercise, but when I was 20 I realized that I love fitness and working out and I just hate competitive or team sports or anything that requires hand-eye coordination or being outside. I love aerobics and spinning classes at the gym, and I’ve been practicing yoga for 9 years now. People always tell me they’re amazed at my dedication to working out – I don’t feel like it takes much effort, since I’d actually rather go to the gym or to yoga than watch TV or go to a bar. Once you find an activity you love it’s easy to stick to it!

      Congrats, and especially because you’ll get to be the buff bride that everyone is jealous of :).

    • just Karen :

      Congrats, and good for you! I am a total klutz and TERRIBLE at sports, but thankfully have come to the realization that as an adult, most exercise really doesn’t require much coordination – granted, I am still only willing to do aerobics in the privacy of my own living room, but bring on the treadmill and weight machines – anyone can do it, just start slow!

    • Another gym class-hater here. Really, did they have a curriculum beyond goofing off with the varsity athletes when I was in school?!

      I do need to exercise or bad things happen to me. I’ve done solo swimming, solo running, step class, cardio kickboxing, jazzercise, “real” kickboxing (Muay Thai), and now I do CrossFit. The options are endless!

      Adult exercise class is very different from gym class. There are no varsity athletes acting like jerks. You can quit. You can walk out in the middle of class. You can even tell the instructor, “No, I am not going to do that, I’m going to do this instead” (within reason). You can just do something instead.

      Most of CrossFit is b*llsh*t. That’s OK. I adjust the workout to fit my needs. I’ve told my coach that if the workout is so horrible that I don’t want to come back to class the next day, I might as well not exercise at all.

      One (more) thing. I make taking time to exercise a priority. I don’t make getting the highest weight, the best time, or the most reps a priority. I have a tough professional job and doing my best for my clients is my number one priority. Being the best athlete in the gym is not my priority. I’m happy for people who derive self-worth from exercise. I don’t. So if I DNF (“did not finish”) a workout or run a 12 minute mile, I don’t care. I went to the gym and I did some exercise. Mission accomplished.

    • I have no hand-eye coordination, too! My brother finally took me to the park two weeks ago to teach me how to throw and catch a ball. After a solid hour of practice, the very last pitch left me with a very nice bump on my forehead =D.

  19. SV in House :

    Styling advice, please. I know this dress won’t work for many of you in conservative offices, but it is fine in my business casual office. I have a purple sweater that works, and was thinking of grey tights and wedges. What do you think?

    (dress: http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Dresses/Above-Knee-Dresses/WH298/Womens-Fun-Dress.html)

  20. Love that shade of yellow! Ok, quick threadjack: I have an all-day interview coming up soon with all three meals hosted by the company. There are multiple candidates interviewing at the same time, so I’m guessing the food will be prepared in advance. I’m allergic to gluten, so generally can’t assume that these kinds of events will have food I can eat. I do NOT want to create any sense of obligation on the company to accommodate me, but it would be nice to know in advance whether I need to bring my own food. What should I do? I’m thinking of just assuming there won’t be any food for me to eat, so I’ll eat a breakfast at home and then bring along some snack-food that will be pretty discrete. Other ideas? Should I just tell the recruiter?

    • Yes, definitely tell the recruiter. I don’t have a gluten allergy so I’m not sure that my course of action would be the best (Val of City Life Eats, where are you?) but I might call up the recruiter, explain my allergy, and ask if he/she can at least have something simple available for you at each meal (big fruit plate, huge green salad with no dressing and no croutons, etc). It might not be fancy or completely filling, but if you stash a bar or some nuts in your purse for emergency break snacks, you should be okay.

      Personally, if I was interviewing someone and she/he didn’t tell me about a food allergy (or food preference – vegan, etc) and just showed up with a purse stuffed with discrete snacks instead, I’d wonder why she/he hadn’t thought to tell me. I’d worry about how you’d handle yourself in business situations where you needed to advocate for yourself/your position, and I might not be as inclined to hire you. Maybe not fair, but true.

    • You should absolutely tell the recruiter. If possible, find out in advance what restaurant you’ll be going to (or if it’s catered, where the catering is coming from). Pretty much all restaurants and caterers that have a professional clientele have a gluten-free menu or can otherwise accommodate food allergies, but advance notice may be necessary, particularly for caterers.

      Do NOT bring along snack food or refuse to partake in the meal. That’s very awkward and will make you not fit in with the group. It’s very important to demonstrate that you’ll fit in with the office culture, and sharing a meal is a crucial way to do so.

      Also, from an employer perspective, I’d be mortified if I took a candidate to lunch at, say, a pizza place only to find out she was allergic to everything on the menu. It is absolutely best to tell the recruiter in advance.

    • Ditto on the tell the recruiter. When I was interviewing I was a vegetarian, and I was scheduled to have lunch at a place with no real vegetarian options. (An appetizer salad is not lunch.) I agonized over whether to say something to the recruiter — I didn’t want to seem like I was a lot of effort — but I finally did, and she was INCREDIBLY accommodating. (And she thought that the place did have something vegetarian.) Recruiters get their jobs by being helpful and making candidates feel welcome.

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