The Hunt: Colorful Sheath Dresses

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

We’re heading into prime sheath dress weather right now — not only is it great for layering in spring (beneath blazers or cardigans, or occasionally on top of blouses), but it’s a workhorse in sticky hot summers. I actually meant to write about black sheath dresses (especially since I’m in the market for one myself) but was so unexcited about all of the black sheath dresses, and instead found so many great colorful sheath dresses, that I thought I’d feature those instead. Readers, have you gotten any great sheath dresses recently? Have you bought any colorful sheath dresses in the past that became favorites?

(Psst: if you like the picture at left, please consider Pinning it on Pinterest! You can follow me here.)

Twist Knot DressAnn Taylor is having a 30% off sale on full-price dresses, which makes this rayon/spandex machine-washable blend one of the least expensive. I like the color (“Riviera” is pictured, but it’s also available in a lighter blue/green and black) and the knot detail. It was $98, but with the discount it comes to $68. Twist Knot Dress
Tahari by ASL - Keith Crepe Sleeveless Belted Dress (Cobalt) - ApparelI think the model is wearing this crepe dress by Tahari by ASL several sizes too large — with a proper fit this could be a great dress. Zappos has it in cobalt (pictured), dark green and red for $79.99; Nordstrom has it in a lighter turquoise for $118. Tahari by ASL – Keith Crepe Sleeveless Belted Dress (Cobalt) – Apparel
Marc New York by Andrew Marc Square-Neck Sheath DressI know there are many who hate the “exposed zipper” trend, but if you’re not in that camp, this could be a great purpley/ink dress.  I particularly like the square neck — perfect for beneath blazers.  It was $138, but the price comes to $93.75 with the 25% off sale going on at Last Call. Marc New York by Andrew Marc Square-Neck Sheath Dress
Calvin Klein Color Block Sheath DressOf course, there is a Mondrian-inspired colorblocked dress from Calvin Klein.  I like that it’s available in regulars, petites, and plus sizes for $129.50-$139.50 at Bloomingdale’s. Calvin Klein Color Block Sheath Dress
KAY UNGER Diagonal Cut-Out Sheath Dress This one is actually my favorite, even though I know from experience the color would make me look absolutely ill.  But I love that textured fabric (going in two directions!), the diagonal cut-out, and, apparently, patterned lining.  Lovely.  It’s $169 at Lord & Taylor. KAY UNGER Diagonal Cut-Out Sheath Dress
Diane von Furstenberg Jori Day DressGooooorgeous dress from Diane von Furstenberg.  I think the asymmetrical seams across the bodice are both interesting and flattering, and the “sailor blue” color makes me hap-hap-happy.  It’s $325 at Saks. Diane von Furstenberg Jori Day Dress

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Comments

  1. Love, love, love sheath dresses. They are a staple in my closest. This is the one item I had made when I was in China, in multiple fabrics, and I was so happy that the dressmaker was able to get it to fit my body to perfection. I’m digging the blue ones you have listed and may have to put them on my wish list.

  2. SF Bay Associate :

    SO EXCITED YOU ARE ON PINTEREST!!!

    *ahem* That was Ellen, I swear.

    I love that DvF dress, too. I wish I could find more sheath dresses that fit, but if it fits my hips, it’s way too big in the bust, and if it fits my bust, I probably can’t zip the thing. I wish I had bought custom dresses when I was in Asia like ADL.

    • Haha! I could totally picture this sentence coming out in a Dr.SFBay Associate and Ms.Ellen way!

    • I have the same problem. I tell myself I can just get it tailored, but I don’t actually ever get around to doing that sort of thing.

    • I know exactly what you mean–I am typically a size 2 in shirts/jackets but a 10 in pans/skirts. I thought I was doomed to sheath-less life. But I have success with ordering a custom sized dress from a company called Dress By Design–they are located in upstate NY, but you can order everything from their website. You send in your exact measurements, pick a basic style and fabric, and voila–a dress that fits, yay! The downside is that they don’t have as many fun colors and fabric types as one might wish for, and it is a little pricier than buying off the rack from Ann Taylor or JCrew, for example, but I think it is worth it to get a dress that is literally made for you.

      • Have you seen this great site for custom dresses? I haven’t ordered there yet but saw it recommended on another blog & it looks wonderful.
        http://eshakti.com

        • Chicken Counselor :

          I ordered 2 dresses for Easter from eShakti last year. So easy, good fit, nice fabric. But I don’t ever wear them b/c I find the styles I picked were not that flattering on me. And I felt too guilty to return them.

  3. I am on the hunt for a grey and/or brown sheath dress. Why do they prove so elusive? I already have a black, navy, and cobalt blue (otherwise I’d snap up one of the blue ones above).

    • Diana Barry :

      Without looking (lol), J Crew usually has a suiting sheath dress that comes in grey. I have one from a few seasons back.

    • I have two grey sheaths off the rack: one is from Banana Republic, the other is from J McLaughlin.

      • Ugh. How am I posting too quickly if I have posted just once today?

        Have you tried Calvin Klein dresses? Lots of gray versions.

        • I don’t think it’s about any particular individual posting too quickly, but that too many people are trying to post at the same time.

          Kat, is there anything you can do about this? It’s super annoying, and I have literally never seen this “posting too quickly” business happen on any other website.

  4. Ladies who are Large-Of-Boob:

    BiuBiu is AMAZING and bases their clothes on bust AND waist sizes. Their “Red Town” and “Stone Town” are especially great for those of us who also have Hips of Justice.

    ps. PLN to USD exchange rate means you basically divide by 3. Love it!

  5. Anonymous Girl :

    OMG, the Ann Taylor sheath is going to come home with me today. I will be stopping in to check it out on my way home! Love.

  6. Freelance Anon :

    Hi!
    I would like to have additional income by doing freelance translations.
    I am based overseas and travel a lot, so would like to work with a reputable freelance translation website. I have looked up few websites which looked amateur-ish to me.
    Any recommendations on where I can sign up?

    • I’m interested in this too! I speak few languages so let me know if you find a good website (hopefully that pays people in Morocco).

    • I found this on the US-based ATA website (American Translators Association), to which I have belonged but am not keeping current right now. It looks like it’s at least a good jumping-off point.
      Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs/International Federation of Translators (FIT)
      www dot fit-ift dot org

    • Usually Lurks :

      I’ve got a few translating jobs from craigslist. The pay isn’t great but it was something to pad my portfolio with since I don’t have a translation certificate

      • In-house Translator :

        Hi,
        Long-time lurker here, as an in-house translator and project manager in an agency, I would recommend Proz. It’s fairly professional and is usually where we recruit new freelancers. Otherwise, your best bet for regular part-time work is probably sending out resumes to lots of reputable agencies.

        A word of warning, though. If you want to work as a freelancer but travel a lot and have another job, make sure that you are easy to get in touch with at all times and are very clear about your availabilities. It’s very tough to build up professional relationships and get steady work when you’re hard to reach or can’t work much, and clients find it unprofessional.

  7. Question about the Ann Taylor dress with the twist knot–I have tried on other dresses that have this kind of detail (ruching on one side, a knot, etc.), and while I generally like the fit, I worry that it will look weird to wear a cardigan over it. Is this actually an issue with these kinds of dresses?

    • Vegas Baby :

      It’s not. I bought one of these last week and I love the way it fits and looks.

    • Anonymous Girl :

      I ran out and got it and the fit is great. It’s not lined, FYI, but it’s machine washable (yay)! I didn’t try it with a cardigan, I think it will look nice.

    • I think it does look weird with a cardi. I saw a woman in court today in a faux-wrap top, with a cardi, and it didn’t look great.

  8. TJ- What do you guys eat for breakfast?
    I’m not really a breakfasty person (more just a giant coffee until noon person), but a medicine I’m taking requires morning food.
    Also, eggs give me migrains & I’m a vegetarian.
    Please help me find options that aren’t a giant (and delicious of course) chocolate chip cookie.

    • Equity's Darling :

      An apple with a few almonds or a cup of almond yogurt with hemp seeds. I’m not a breakfast person either….

    • Peanut butter on toast. Protein in the morning helps keep you full until lunch.

      • Seconded — also, good if you add banana slices or apple slices.

        • viclawstudent :

          I also eat peanut butter and sliced banana on whole wheat toast for breakfast almost every day (and am a vegetarian). If you like sprouts (alfalfa ones, I think – the really thin ones with the green ends), they’re really good on top of it, too, although I’m usually too cheap to buy ‘em and add them in.

          Other than that I do cereal – the fancy fibre-y ones, usually; either Kashi Go Lean (mentioned below, and I agree that’s quite tasty) or Nature’s Path raisin bran, again with a banana chopped into it. Skim milk or soy milk if you like it better add in protein.

    • I’m not a big breakfast person either – but I like an English muffin with peanut butter.

    • A cereal variation – granola in buttermilk, with fresh berries. Easy, delicious, filling, nutritious! Or, mashed avocado with salt and pepper or toasted rye bread. Same benefits as first option:)

    • Anonymous :

      I usually have a yogurt (Dannon, to be specific, but any kind would do).

    • Usuaully, it’s either cereal w/milk or half a bagel w/2 strips of veggie bacon (I was resistant to trying it for a long time, then I did and I’m hooked; I think they have eggs in them, so if eggs always give you migranes, not just plain eggs, you should avoid). I love having frozen waffles for breakfast, even when I’m tired, grumpy, or generally not hungry, but I devour those, so they don’t stay around for long. I usually buy Eggo multigrain or whole wheat, and I’ll add peanut butter and/or maple syrup

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I agree with nona – protein is essential for breakfast, and breakfast is itself essential. Kashi GoLean, with vanilla soymilk, right when I wake up. So good. When I’m on my A-game, I make a big batch of steel cut oatmeal with soymilk (not water) on the weekend, and then nuke it in the morning with a thinly sliced banana. And then a Fage around 10:30. I do peanut butter on whole wheat toast if I’m in a rush.

    • I always eat some kind of French pastry with Jam and drink with it Milk and coffee.
      Some days I am just too late so I just grab a banana on the go.

    • I absolutely love breakfast foods! Does this medication require an entire meal or just something small? I’m not a vegetarian so I don’t pay attention to all of the ingredients, but I like yogurt with berries and granola or Greek yogurt to get some extra protein. Also some various bars might be good, but avoid the ones that are all sugar. You can even eat them on your commute if time in the morning is an issue. Also oatmeal might be a good option.

    • D Train South :

      Veggie sausage or marinated and baked tofu with a muffin or Ezekiel bread.

    • Greek yogurt with fruit.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I have lazy Greek yogurt with fruit–which is the Double Delight (does that exist anymore) style Fage Greek yogurt that you can get at Trader Joe’s (and I assume elsewhere).

        On weekends my boyfriend makes me crepes. ;-). I also sometimes have cut fruit, usually apples or asian pears.

    • attiredattorney :

      New obsession thanks to pinterest: overnight oats. 1/4 cup steel cut oats, 1/2 cup milk (skim, almond, whatever), 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, mix and store in the fridge overnight. In the morning, sweeten to taste (Splenda, preserves, honey) and add any desired toppings (nuts, fruit, pumpkin pie spice, coconut). So delicious, filling, and healthy!

    • AnonInfinity :

      BREAKFAST IS MY FAVORITE!

      In my current rotation:

      Oatmeal with some sort of fresh fruit — mostly berries right now. I use the plain, quick-cook oats and add my own stuff. Also delicious with peanut butter, frozen fruit, pumpkin, various nuts, etc.

      Cold steel-cut oats — Soak steel-cut oats and craisins in milk (I use soy milk) overnight. Add crushed almonds in the morning for crunch.

      Greek yogurt and a banana on the side.

      Croissant and soy milk

      Baked sweet potato mashed up with cinnamon and raisins (I bake the night before, usually)

      Apple and cheese sandwich

    • MaggieLizer :

      Soyrizo is my new bff. I made a breakfast burrito bowl when I have time in the morning – soyrizo and egg whites (which you can leave out) sauteed with garlic and lime juice, black beans, brown rice, plain Greek yogurt instead of crema, fresh cilantro, salsa, hot sauce, and queso fresca if I can find it and spare the calories.

      When I don’t have time, I have Morningstar breakfast patties and Greek yogurt with granola.

    • I usually do whole wheat toast + whatever spread I feel like that morning (Nutella, PB&J, butter and jam, honey-butter), followed by a piece of fruit as a mid-morning snack.

    • Oats. I’ve made them a bunch of different ways – with dried fruit and cinnamon, “overnight oats” made the night before with milk, greek yogurt and fruit (it’s a cold, sort of mushy cereal – no need to cook the oats because they absorb the milk/yogurt), savory oats with onions, spinach, and some parmesan cheese, and a recent incarnation with some cottage cheese stirred in at the end of cooking time and topped with a banana. Usually oats can keep me full for about 3 hours.

      If you google “overnight oats,” “savory oats” or “cheesecake oats” I’m sure you’ll see a ton of variations on the above. I usually use steel cut oats except for the overnight oats (just regular rolled oats for those). Also, I pre-make several servings on Sunday, and they last me through the week. I just make sure that I don’t cook off too much of the liquid so that the portions retain some moisture and re-heat better.

    • Gooseberry :

      If you live near a WholeFoods, I love their cranberry-pecan rolls (though, I guess any grocer would have something similar, and if not, raisin toast works just as well). Sometimes with butter (margarine, if you’re vegan) or peanut butter, depending on how much time I have in the morning!

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      this is so me!!!
      I have started eating Fage 2% in the morning. It is high in protein and very creamy. Plus, I love the tartness.
      or, I eat cashew clusters from Costco.

    • Breakfast treat :

      Lately I’ve started making a big batch of apple crisp with less sugar (a few teaspoons in the topping, cinnamon only in the fruit portion) and I eat a bowl of it warmed with Greek yogurt. So good!

    • I cannot function without breakfast. These are my go-to fast breakfast options:
      – greek yogurt + fruit
      – hard boiled egg + cereal and fruit
      – oatmeal + fruit + walnuts. I also add a spoonful of bran and a spoonful of chia seeds to the instant oatmeal to add fiber and omega 3s. In the winter, sometimes I make ahead real oatmeal, like the overnight oats someone already mentioned. www [dot] ohsheglows [dot] com has a lot of recipes for this. I heat them up though, I don’t like the cold versions.
      - peanut butter spread on toast + fruit.

      The fruit is usually a banana or orange, except I sometimes use frozen blueberries to put in oatmeal or yogurt.

    • Thanks guys, I always forget about oatmeal & yogurt for some reason. :)
      Also, just to clarify- the medicine is an antibiotic for my skin, so it doesn’t really NEED to be taken with food, I just get a stomachache if I don’t eat a few bites of something solid with it.
      And I’m not a super vegetarian or anything, I just won’t eat straight up meat. I’d die without cheese (and yes, cheese & fruit is amazing).
      I know breakfast is good for you, I just don’t have much of an appetite in the morning. I’m also not much of a morning person– so easy and thought free are always virtues for breakfast foods.
      Thanks!

      • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

        I love to use dark chocolate alomond milk in place of water with some oatmeal. It’s like warm Coco Krispies.

    • I wasn’t a breakfast eater (but I love breakfast foods!) either before I started a regular “needs to be taken with food” medication.

      Coffee!
      -banana + PB
      -almonds + dried apricots + dark chocolate
      - plain yogurt + cinnamon + fruit
      - homemade oatmeal bars

      Sometimes I’m in a rush or forget and end up making a soy latte in my “food”, but that’s why I started sticking baggies of almond/apricot mix in my bag. Easiest grab and go breakfast ever!

    • Muffin (homemade from a weight watchers recipe), fat free cream cheese, hot chocolate made from half water and half milk, and whatever fruit I have around.

    • Nonfat Greek yogurt with Kashi cereal mixed in. When I first started eating the yogurt, I added a little honey to help with the tart taste, but now it’s grown on me and I eat it plain with the cereal. Love it!

      Or, if I’m running late in the morning, I grab an oatmeal with raisins & brown sugar from the cafe downstairs.

    • I eat oats pretty much year round. When it’s cold, I make hot oatmeal, usually with raisins or other cut-up fruit added.

      In warmer months I make a batch of bircher muesli – oats soaked in milk overnight, with grated apple and raisins (and/or other fruits and nuts) added. The bircher muesli has the added advantage of being able to toss into a tupperware and take with me in the morning.

    • I’ve found I feel better if I don’t eat a lot of overly processed foods in the morning, so I second the suggestions of greek yogurt or oatmeal, with whatever natural add-ins you want.

      If you like the convenience of grab-and-go, google around for some healthy breakfast bar or cookie recipes, and make them on Sunday for the whole week. Not so different than what you might buy in the store, but I like it better when I know what I’ve put into it, and you can ditch the extra perservatives.

    • Small bowl of regular oatmeal (not the quick cook kind) – 1/4 cup dry with 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp coconut oil, 2 minutes in the microwave, add cinnamon and frozen blueberries. Yummy and filling.

    • Check out HungryGirl.com. I’ve made and love her grab and go breakfast cookies and big fat blueberry muffins. She does a LOT with fake eggs (the kind that come in a carton, I know they’re still somewhat egg so I don’t know if they would give you migraines) but she’s a great go-to for filling, quick and easy recipes.

    • karenpadi :

      Eggs give me migraines too!

      My physician explained (and it’s turned out to be true) that it’s actually a protein sensitivity. I’ve found that if I keep my animal protein intake limited (e.g., rarely eating more than a deck-of-cards sized serving), I don’t get migraines from eggs.

      For now, I try to eat vegetarian 2 or 3 days at a time, then I’ll eat two meals (lunch and dinner) that have meat. If I know I’m going to be going to a restaurant or having some lunch I’m not in charge of, I’ll be sure to not eat meat for a few days before. For example, my firm had a holiday party that was steak and lobster. Because I wanted to enjoy all that yummy animal protein, I didn’t eat meat for 3 days before and 2 days after.

      When I went home to the Midwest, I carefully rationed the meat I ate into smaller than normal portions. It turned out to be a good idea as my grandparents really wanted to take me out to brunch to a place that only served eggs. I had one egg (of the two in my dish–I ordered them over-easy so I would know exactly how much one egg was) and the migraine didn’t hit.

      tl:dr: it might be a protein sensitivity. I cut back on animal protein and am able to eat one egg at a time.

    • Vegemite on toast and a cup of tea!!!!

    • onehsancare :

      Lowfat cottage cheese! Fast, filling, and feels like real food.

    • I’ve eaten Kashi GoLean (not “crunch”) every day for years. Keeps you full forever – very high protein and fiber. I think it’s delicious, but I might be the only one who thinks so.

    • oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon, salt, molasses

    • Herbie f/k/a Bada$$ McGee :

      Steel cut oats with raisins and walnuts, half cup of 2% milk, and a cup Earl Grey tea. Sticks with me until lunch, usually.

    • Bananas, pineapple, mangoes, papaya juice, with some carbs like toast if I’m really hungry.

  9. Equity's Darling :

    What colours of sheath dress are appropriate? At what point are they too bright to be work approps? Is it a know your workplace kind of thing?

    Regardless, I just ordered the Erin plum-wine sheath from BR, it has yet to arrive, but I’m excited.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I definitely think it’s a know-your-work deal. I believe I could wear a neon sheath with a dark jacket or cardigan and it would be fine in my office.

      Plum-wine would be fine just about anywhere, I imagine.

    • I have a David meister sheath in plum, great for work.

  10. momentsofabsurdity :

    TJ – So excited that I (essentially) bought an outfit Kate Middleton wore because I saw it on her and loved it so much.

    It’s essentially this outfit

    http://www.osoblog.tv/katemiddleton_coraljeans_new.jpg

    (the one with the blazer) and I got basically all the pieces for <$100 total and am wearing it to work today. I keep looking down at my coral pants and grinning. I can be a princess sometimes too.

    • Anon for coral :

      Where did you get the coral pants, pray tell!?

    • I bought purple skinny jeans that can be rolled into capris at Dots for $19. I’m psyched and can’t wait to wear them out. And yes, I did wear colored jeans the first time around when I was in 7th grade. I don’t care.

      • I want purple now too. And the magenta ones (like the Gap has).

      • Sounds like we’re about the same age, and I was wondering if anyone else had thought about that! I had green and purple then, and maybe some other colors… but there are some turquoise ones calling my name this time around!

  11. Kanye East and other creative types, help please.

    Having browsed KE’s (fab) esty shop I now need a funky grey or peacock coloured pearl necklace. Is this something a beginner could make themselves or will the set up costs and lack of skills make this a no go? (I can’t justify buying from Kanye east as I’m in the uk, so cost plus postage probably prices me out, but boyfriend will be pointed in the right direction come birthday time!)

    TIA

    • You totally can! Hand-knotting pearls is easy, you don’t need a lot in the way of tools, and there are so many tutorials on YouTube if you can’t find anyone to teach you IRL (that’s probably true of just about any crafting project you can think of, not just jewelry). A beading or craft store is a good place to start; even if you don’t buy their materials, a lot of them have classes (or at the very least, employees who know a lot and are happy to share).

      Feel free to email me if you want: gewgawsgimcracks [at] gmail [dot] com

    • Is there a craft store in your area? I’ve never been to the UK, but here in the US there are craft stores (JoAnn and Michael’s) that sell jewelry making supplies among other crafty stuff. I went to a store in my area a while back and bought all the materials to make my own freshwater pearl set (necklace, bracelet, and earrings). Probably cost less than $50 for everything

  12. What are our thoughts on whether or not that DvF dress would be too tight for the office? DvF in general seems just on the border of appropriate on the snug-factor. Would love to get some conservative office/any office opinions!

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think the one that Kat picked is fine on the model. As a very non-busty gal, I only have to pay attention to my bottom. If the dress hugs my curve back there, I feel uncomfortable at work. To describe it another way — I try to make sure the dress or skirt hangs straight down from the top of my bottom rather than coming in under it.

    • I think it depends on your body type and how that dress fits you. DvF dresses are usually a thicker material but can probably still look a bit too vavavoom on some. Although I do think the bright color might make things less appropriate here.

      I was actually thinking about this last week because I saw two women wearing the same work dress and one looked great and 100% appropriate for most any office, and the other looked like she was playing sexy secretary. I must have spent ten minutes trying to figure out what was different about each.

      • MissJackson :

        I ordered a gorgeous grey wool DvF sheath dress this winter and it was stunning. But in my regular size it was way too vavavavoom. The problem was with the bottom — the dress had no slit at the bottom, but it was very very tapered, which meant that it “cupped” my bottom. Not what I’m going for at work.

        I’ve seen other women wearing the same dress and it looks perfectly work appropriate on them.

        I’m super jealous of everyone else who can rock it, and am now leary of DvF sheaths! *shakes fist at the sky for my above-average backside*

    • Depending on your body type and the dress, DVF sheaths http://dvfaddict.blogspot.com/2012/04/diane-von-furstenberg-sheath-dresses can be awesome for work or just way too body-con. The Jori style isn’t flattering on me. But I love my DvF Thane.

  13. So I found out I will be having a review at my firm next week, and have no idea what to expect. Anyone familiar with these?

    • Is this your regularly-scheduled annual review? At my former (law) firm, I found my reviews to be relatively painless and useless. “You’re doing fine, blah, blah, blah … your raise for next year is $X.” I also only worked for 1-2 partners, so already knew if they were happy with me, where any issues might be, etc. Whether yours will be more substantive will likely depend on your firm’s approach to reviews overall and the partners you work for specifically.

      If the review is unexpected, out of season, or possibly triggered by something that happened, then that’s a different story.

  14. Sorry for the repost from late last night:

    Peninsula ladies, are there any local young professional orgs near Menlo Park/Palo Alto? I’ve seen a lot in SF but none in MP/PA. TIA!

  15. I think I never really knew what a sheath dress was. I thought they were just straight up-and-down dresses that didn’t nip in at the waist, and didn’t have to be sleeveless? I love dresses with sleeves, especially in the summer as I sunburn quite easily. Having said that, if I had $325 sitting around, I’d love to own that electric blue DVF number. Such a great color.

    • Your definition sounds accurate to me. Although all the dresses featured here are sleeveless, I think that’s more a seasonal thing than integral to the definition of a sheath dress.

    • I usually think of the kind of dress you describe as a shift, but I’m certainly not an expert and can’t cite to any authority. (Sigh, lawyerdom).

    • Straight up & down dresses are shift dresses, if they are more form fitting they are sheath dresses, and I’ve seen both with & without sleeves, although sheath dresses with sleeves are definitely harder to find.

    • Anonylawyer :

      That’s a shift dress. Sheaths are more body-conscious. I actually look awful in shift dresses but look great in sheaths. Generally speaking, if you are a rectangle or hourglass, sheaths look very good (though with an hourglass, they can sometimes look too vavavavoom) but if you have a bit of tummy (apple tendencies), a shift looks better.

  16. Lipstick question: I have lips that get very dried out and peel in response to lipsticks and lip glosses. Maybe an allergy to some ingredient in them, and I’m tired of spending $$$ on “natural” “hypoallergenic” and “emollient” lipsticks that make my lips itch and peel the next day. I’ve tried a lot of them after chats with cosmetics counter reps, but no dice.

    I can only use Korres lip butter and Burt’s bees tinted lip balms. Both are safe, natural brands and work well for me. But neither of these gives me a big infusion of color, and they have limited choices of shade for my dark-ish lips. Light pinks and peaches don’t even show on me, I’m really looking for magenta, chocolate, plum and deep reds.
    Is there a lip butter-type product that’s got a big infusion of color, and the right shades? Do I have any hope of participating in the red-lipstick trend? Thanks!

    • I use a lip tint and then my normal lip balm over it to give it some shine. Perhaps you could try that instead of a true lipstick?

    • Always a NYer :

      Have you tried Rosebud Salve in a Tube? I love it and have tubes of it everywhere so I’m always able to use it. It makes my lips soft and allow for an even application of lipsticks. I also love Clinique’s Chubby Sticks, which are just tinted lipbalms that look like giant crayons. The cherry shade is in red lipstick territory so that might work for you. They also have darker shades but I stick to the pinks and reds as I’m very fair-skinned.

      • Most lipsticks feel too dry/drying to me, but I really like Clinique Superbalm. I think it comes in some darker colors.

    • I am on isotretinoin so my lips are chapped and will peel no matter what.
      I use a very moisturizing lip balm (Kelyane by Ducray) and on top of it, I use a MAC lustreglass in a great red. The moisturizer is a barrier between the lip glass and my lips and works fine.
      Also did you consider these reds that come in a pencil brush like an ink (lipstains).

    • Oh.so.tired :

      Revlon Lip Butter line at drugstores. Highly pigmented- almost looks like lipstick, but goes on smoother.

      • I’ve not used the Korres or Burt’s Bees ones you mentioned so I can’t compare, but the Fresh Sugar tinted lip treatment in Plum was almost the same as Clinique’s Black Honey on me, if I remember correctly. It was too dark and plummy for me (medium skin, medium lips). Try sampling it at Sephora or something?

    • Fresh Sugar Plum won’t give you red lips, but it works on a lot of different skin tones & delivers more color than Korres lip butters, IMO. It’s moisturizing, but isn’t sticky the way glosses and other balms can be.

      • This is a good recommendation. I’d also add Fresh Sugar Passion for another one that adds a bit of color. The other Fresh Sugars will add color only if you have a fair complexion. I like the Fresh Sugar lip treatments with color so much that my lipsticks have been utterly neglected.

      • I really like Fresh Sugar Plum as well. Have you tried CO Bigelow? Bath and Body Works has a variety of their lip balms, including tinted.

      • karenpadi :

        I love Sugar! It’s so expensive but so worth it. I used to buy the clear version for my boyfriend too.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          It’s the free birthday gift for sephora beauty insiders this year! It’s little minis of the untinted and I think the rose?

    • Springtime :

      Just bought something describing what you are looking for on the weekend- Tarte lip stain. They have three different “levels”- the first is more of a sheer stain, the second more shimmery and more pigmented, the third matte and the most pigmented. I bought the sheer stain one in the red- lust I think. Gives some colour, did not make my lips flake, wonderful.

    • ME TOO!!!! Almost everything makes my lips itchy and peel. Gross. To get color, I use lip liner and/or lip stains. I like CoverGirl’s line of lip stains and I just wear Vaseline or Burt’s Bees on top for shine and moisture.

    • Not a lip butter-type, but I’ve had good luck with the Buxom lipsticks and glosses. I also get dry cracked lips from most lip products, and also assume I have some kind of allergy. The Buxom products don’t seem to bother me. I usually wear the Buxom Big and Healthy Lipstick (which is too dry to wear alone) with a little of the Buxom gloss on top.

    • Sephora just gave me my Insider birthday gift – a set of two Fresh Sugar lip balms, untinted and a Rose tinted (which adds no color on me). But they do not make my lips peel! I’ll try Plum and Passion, and also some of the other products mentioned here. I have heard good things about Tarte also. Time for another self-birthday gift or two, yay!

    • I have this same problem, but I have found that the “Baby Lips” chapstick/gloss from Maybelline gives a nice hint of color while still moisturizing. I use the darkest color one, which gives me a nice deep pink. I think there is a red in the line, but it wouldn’t give coverage like a lipstick.

    • I’m so glad you asked this, as I’ve been worried that I was somehow failing at lipstick—everything dries me out!

      Sometimes I try a lip stain underneath my tinted lip balms (love Burt’s!), and that seems to keep my lips from death (without weird color-wear issues). The last lip “butter” I tried, Revlon Colorburst, was too sticky and still dried my lips out a ton, so I’m wary of trying another…

  17. Sheath dresses are my all-time favourite wardrobe item – I have more of them than anything else. Especially with a defined waist, they are so flattering!

    I like coloured ones but I also have a light grey and a charcoal one. What’s the general consensus on pairing different greys, like wearing a light grey dress with a dark grey blazer, or vice versa? I haven’t yet as I’m afraid it might look weird…

    • At some point, I used to wear all shades of gray and it looked good.
      I have a little gray cardigan from old navy that has flowers in different shades of gray, I would pair it with a light gray shell from Ann Taylor and striped gray Antonio Melani skirt.
      None of the colors looks the same but the overall look is one of my most put together easy outfits.

    • I think pairing different shades of the same color is totally fine (I do it all the time).

      • Former MidLevel :

        I think this is right, but with gray I would add a caveat that it may be hard to mix warm grays (ones that look more brown) with cool grays (ones that look more blue).

    • I personally like some contrast in my outfits, so I’d pair a light grey dress with a charcoal grey cardigan, or vice versa, as long as the greys are similar temperature, like Former MidLevel says.

  18. I love colored sheath dress. They’re my favorite, particularly in the summer. Throw on a funky necklace and a cute pair of flats and you’re done getting dressed. In the winter I add in a blazer, scarf, tights and flat boots.

    I am currently eyeing this yellow dress from Banana Republic. I haven’t bought anything from there in a long time though. Any ideas on quality?

    http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=69887&vid=1&pid=905239&scid=905239002

    • SoCal Gator :

      I am also eying that dress online. They did not have it at the BR store when I was there. If anyone has seen it in person, would love feedback on it.

    • Love the dress!

    • Anonylawyer :

      Ooh love it! It’s not a color I can pull off, unfortunately. waah.

    • CoasterCity :

      I tried this on in store. The salesgirl and I were commiserating that it looks very lemony and sunshiney online but in-person, it’s really more of a mustard. Also, the pleating around the skirt is a little stiff and can make your hips stick out a bit more.

      We were both of the freckles and blue eye variety, so if you have a tan to your skin or are lucky enough to have an even darker tint I think this would look lovely. It’s just not for me and I was very disappointed.

  19. Speaking of shift dresses, Boden has many colorful (and print) dresses on sale right now, up to 35% off * free shipping/returns till 4/11. I am a big fan for work because they tend to be faily modest while still feeling whimsical and individual, etc.

  20. Oil in Houston :

    Can I ask you girls something?
    I used to have a wheelie bag for my laptop and files and things, but recently I’ve only really taken my laptop back home, so carry it on its own, which is not necessarily a great look, or very convenient (I must add that I drive to work, so not an issue in that way).
    I’ve been thinking of getting a nice bag to carry it, I don’t want to use my normal purse for that. I saw this and fell in love…. but the price tag is stopping me a bit…

    what do you think? love at first sight, or impulse buy? :0) (in case the link doesn’t work, it’s the Edie bag, from J Crew)
    http://www.jcrew.com/browse/single_product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524441820257&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302065768&nav_type=PRMNAV&bmUID=1333394018378

    thank you!

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