Thursday’s TPS Report: Piped Birdseye Blazer

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

This blazer is on deep discount at White House|Black Market — and it has a ton of positive reviews. I do like the ruffles, the piping, and the peplum, but this is definitely one of those “need to try it on” to see how it fits you. For the price, though, it may just be worth it: was $158, now marked to $59.98 (sizes 6, 10, 14, and 16 only).  (They also have a number of cute dresses on sale for around $70ish.) Piped Birdseye Blazer

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Comments

  1. Love it! I’d buy the suit…if I still wore suits.

  2. Shopping TJ – Can you ladies help me find a trench coat? I’m looking for something waterproof yet not crunchy, with a belt, a hood would be a great addition, and the color I’d be most over the moon about is olive, after that charcoal or red. Thank you so much!!!

  3. Thanks for all the great travel recs yesterday ladies! appreciate it. still haven’t determined quite where I’m going. think likely stay within the US and maybe less than $400 if its doable (holy airfare prices!!). Quebec and Iceland have been bumped up on my places to go list – hopefully sooner rather than later.

  4. Associette :

    Love the blazer, but it doesn’t look like the matching pants are available. I would have picked up the whole suit!

  5. Very cute. I wish it had a matching skirt but I guess a black skirt would work with this jacket.

  6. Ruffles, piping, AND peplum? Oh my! There’s alot going on with that jacket, though it is kinda cute.

    I need some recs for a new foundation. I’m 27, have oily/combination skin that is somewhat acne-prone. I’ve been using Bare Minerals for a while and, while I like the idea of it (powder finish and light-to-medium coverage), it’s just no cutting it. By the end of the day, I feel like there’s hardly anything left on my face. So I guess I need something with a little more staying power? And I’m ok with drugstore brands.

    Thanks ladies!!

    • Do you use a primer? I like Benefit and Smashbox underneath the BareMinerals Matte powder. Some people swear by the cheaper alternative of the Monistat anti-chafing creme for primer. I also have had good luck with the face-setting sprays to keep makeup fresher longer.

    • I have what sounds like similar skin and same issues with Bare Minerals. I tried using a primer and found that it just seemed to make my skin more oily (although I LOVE primer on my eyelids. Would recommend Urban Decay!). After much testing, I have found luck with Makeup Forever brand products. They also have great coverage on acne scars. Only at Sephora, a bit pricey (at least for me).

      • 2nd. I keep trying to find a foundation that is better than Makeup Forever HD and haven’t found one yet. I have partly oily acne prone skin.

        I liked Jane Iredale mineral powder makeup, too, but I gave it up because it’s hard to find, it created a glowy effect in flash photography, and it rubbed off a little on my phone. However, if you really like mineral makeup, this is the one my dermatologist recommended for acne prone skin.

    • I third using a primer, but my combination skin likes the stick foundation from Bobbi Brown and the oil free foundation from Laura Mercier. Laura Mercier also makes a primer that is specifically for mineral powder make-up.

      • This. I’ve had better luck with Bobbi Brown than with Bare Minerals (which oxidized and had an unattractive sheen on me).

    • I switched from Bare Minerals to Laura Mercier oil free tinted moisturizer. I use the LM oil free primer as well. If you don’t need full coverage (which it sounds like you don’t), then tinted moisturizer would work well. I tried Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer but at the time, it didn’t come in enough shades to match my skin tone.

    • I swear by Sephora brand tinted moisturizer, topped with some Bare Minerals. It’s a great combination of light and sheer but with good enough coverage to even out my skin tone. It also happens to be one of the few foundations that doesn’t look orange on me.

    • Confessions :

      I had this same exact problem. I tried the primers with Bare Minerals, and for me, it just didn’t cut it. However, on the advice of the Hive, I switched to Laura Mercier, and I LOVE it!!! I use the mineral primer, and the mineral foundation.

  7. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Too Gross from yesterday – apologies if I’m repeating, but I note various recommendations were given about antiperspirants etc. but one thing to also consider is the materials you are wearing. I find that some of my clothes (usually non-natural sweaters etc.) cause more sweat/smell than others, so you may be able to limit the problem by sticking only to natural fabrics.

    • And some hold onto sweat smell even after being washed. Try washing the clothes w/ vinegar to get the smell out.

    • This is very true! I have 1-2 sleeved tops that are very synthetic and I almost never wear them because they make me stink. With cotton or silk or even nicer polyester, this is never an issue. Food for thought.

      • Oh, I am so glad to hear others admit this. I have a few knits that I never wear for the same reason. I should just donate them to stop being tempted to pick them out of the drawer.

  8. to tuck or not to tuck? :

    Anyone have any good rules about when you tuck shirts/tops in? I’m wearing the Skirt today with a tee shirt, a nicer halogen one from nordstrom, but still pretty plain scoop neck, and i’ve honestly tucked and untucked it about 6 times already. i can’t ever decide what looks better. i’m very bus-casual, so it’s not an issue of dressyness, it’s just what are you supposed to do! any tucking rules, ladies?

    • I always struggle with this with The Skirt. It’s pretty high-waisted, so I feel like things don’t look that great tucked in (I am not tall enough to really pull off a slinky, high-waisted skirt look). I don’t know the hard and fast rules of tucking, but I usually wear things untucked with The Skirt.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      I choose to tuck or untuck based on the lenght of the shirt and whether I’m wearing a jacket. I hate the look of a shirt going past the hem of a jacket, so I tuck if I’m wearing a jacket, esp. if going to court. As you can imagine, shrunken blazers drive me crazy becuase I almost always have to tuck to look polished. Sans jacket, I only tuck if the shirt hem is too long and it looks sloppy otherwise. There are not hard and fast rules, just what makes you look and feel better. I have an hourglass figure and I sometimes choose to tuck simply so I don’t look like a blob.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I think it depends on the outfit, your shape and your preferences. If the shirt contrasts with the skirt, think of the end of your (visible) shirt as an arrow to one point on your body – do you want it pointing to the top of the skirt or to where it falls untucked. For me, my waist is my favorite body part to emphasize, so I usually end up tucking with the Skirt. But not always. So I guess that’s not really a “rule” but more of a thought process. :)

      • I agree that it really depends on your shape. I’m short waisted and tucked in blouses look terrible on me. I’ve tried to make it work but it does not work for my shape. Imogen has a great post on this:

        http://www.insideoutstyleblog.com/2009/04/to-tuck-or-not-to-tuck-that-is-the-question.html

        • PharmaGirl :

          Uh oh. According to that link I’m doing it all wrong:

          “Basically, if you are short through the waist (and especially if you have a medium to large bust), don’t tuck, it will make you look even shorter through the waist. This applies to H shapes, O shapes and some V shapes (though not all).”

          I’m short waisted and large of chest and currently wearing my shirt tucked in! My hips are disproportionately narrow compared to my waist and bust so, depending on where a shirt hits, my middle looks narrower with the top tucked in. My pants are somewhat low rise, which adds some length to the waist, and I wear a belt to add more definition. Hopefully I’m not completely fooling myself into thinking this trick looks good!

          • MissJackson :

            I think it’s fine if to your eye, tucking makes you look better and not worse.

            I’m an “H” shape (which basically means that my shoulders and hips are the same width, I am super short-waisted with not as much of a waist as an hourglass would have with my hip size — my rib cage and hip bones are practically on top of one another) with a large bust. Tucking makes me look like I gained 15 lbs in almost all circumstances. That said, I’m tucked today because I am wearing a suit and the blouse looks sloppy untucked. I find that silk blouses are best for this because they “blouse out” a bit naturally without me having to pull them out for that awkward 1990s tucked, then bloused look. The slight blousing helps mask the fact that I no waist (but again, not 1990s “blousing” which I think looks bad on almost everyone).

            Anyway, every single person I’ve ever asked (friend, dressing room assistant, family — everyone) agrees that tucking makes me look heavier. I doubt you could be fooling yourself that much!

        • I agree. When I am slimmer I tuck alot. But now with my tush. I go Looser, meaning less tuck.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      My rule: Tuck when the waistband of the skirt hits you at your actual waist, that is, the smallest part of your top half. That way, the tuck comes in at the point that it makes you look the smallest. Don’t tuck if the waistband sit somewhere other than your natural waist as this will make you look wider. Never tuck pants (except high waisted pants, which I never wear).

  9. Random question. During conversations with friends or family my husband always refers to our house, investments, cars, etc. as “his” instead of “our,” even when I’m participating in the conversation. For example, last night he was discussing investment strategies with his dad and said “I’ve been putting my extra cash in munis” and “my mortgage rate is 4.375.” This drives me crazy. I’ve been fully employed since graduating law school over 6 years ago (making more than him, BTW) and have been giving all my money to the family “pot.” I’ve asked him before if he really views our money and property as his and he says of course not. I’ve told him that it bothers me when he refers to it that way but he continues to do it. I don’t know why it bothers me, but it does. I realize as far as problems go, this one is miniscule. Anyone have similar experiences?

    • That would bother me so much. Tell him again.

      • Would irritate me too :

        I can understand using “I” instead of “We” in a professional setting where one doesn’t want to sound cutesy or couply. But when talking to one’s father-in-law, just use the first person plural. The “I” would enrage me.

        • I often say “I” or “mine”, etc, in conversation because “we” does sound too coupley to me most of the time (the “we do this,” “we like that” thing really annoys me because it makes it seem as though there is no difference of opinion or individuation of thought processes/actions). I’ve never thought about whether this would irritate my SO, I guess I’ll have to ask him!

    • I’ve had this discussion many times with my SO, but I’m always the “guilty” party. I refer to our apartment, for example, as “my apartment.” It’s no slight intended. I just view “my” as a subset of “our.” In other words, everything that is ours is also, by definition mine. When I correct myself, it doesn’t seem to make it better because he then views it as some kind of admission. I would assume that no ill will was intended. Personally, I wish that was one of those battles he didn’t pick with me.

      • Same here. For us, EVERYTHING is shared. So I usually use “my” in conversation, even though I am usually referring to something that is ours. Anything that is mine, I also view as being “his.” (My house, my bed, my bank account, but also his house, his bed, his bank account.) But it still bothers my husband when I say “my” instead of “our,” so I try to use “ours” and “we” when I am thinking about it.

      • I also work with someone frequently who is upset when I use “we” rather than “I.” At work, though, the context can be sticky. If I’ve discussed a matter specifically with my colleague (who is above me), I say “We recommend . . .” But if we haven’t specifically discussed the matter, even if we’ve worked on something very similar before, I’m more comfortable saying “I recommend . . .” and copying colleague. That way, if I get it wrong, it is on me. But colleague always wants me to use “we.” I suppose I shouldn’t let it bother me because he supervises me, but I am constantly proofing my emails to make sure I used the proper “we” or “I.” Sometimes I just give up and use passive voice to avoid the whole thing. (I know, I know, it is usually bad grammar to use passive voice.)

    • Well…I have a similar verbal tick that drives my husband absolutely crazy. When something needs to be done around the house, like heavy yard work or a big box moved (imagine something that under our division of labor I definitely won’t be doing) I will frequently say, I think “we” should do XYZ. We both mean I mean I think *you* should do XYZ. I’ve been trying to change it, but its really, really hard.

      So yes — tell him it bothers you and ask him to try to change it. Explain to him that it reinforces the sense that somehow the man controls the money and that you don’t contribute and that that bothers you (especially when he represents that to other people.) But if he slips up, also try to understand that some verbal ticks are really, really hard to change. Like…really really hard.

      And publicly, I apologize to my husband. And I really think *we* need to clean the gutters this weekend. ;-)

      • We might be the same person because I do the exact same thing. “We need to take out the garbage tonight.” It drives my husband crazy. I think I subconsciously say it that way because it seems less like nagging when theoretically we could *both* do it!

        As to the OP, I would remind him. Again. And explain how it makes you feel. But I would try not to take offense at it if he has a hard time changing his language. It may be a verbal tic that he doesn’t notice and, ultimately, as long as he acts in a way that doesn’t offend you, that’s the bottom line.

        • I do this, too, and I’m pretty sure it’s for the same reason–I imagine in my head that it sounds less like nagging.

          I would remind him again that it bothers you. Acknowledge that you know he doesn’t mean anything by it, and you just want what he’s saying to match what he means.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            I do this, too. Somehow, my DH does not interpret “we need to take out the garbage” as any different than “you need to take out the garbage.” Still can qualify as nagging. Dang it.

          • I go for the semi-passive aggressive “tomorrow is garbage day.”

            Usually though it’s “oh shoot! The garbage man is here” and whoever is most dressed goes racing out to stop him and toss our trash in. We live in a bear heavy area therefore cannot put trash out at night.

          • Oh…EC MD…in our house its frequently….oh CRAP, the trash man is here. And nobody is dressed and they’re long gone before we can get out there.

            I wish we had middle of the day pick up. I miss that about our old place.

      • I agree with TCFKAG that it might help to explain to him why it bothers you so much. IMO, it’s a completely legitimate beef. Does he only do it about financial things? Or does he invite people over to “our house”?

        You didn’t mention this, but how much are you involved in the financial stuff yourself? Could he be seeing this as his area because he’s the one making the decisions about buying municipal bonds, etc.?

        I also struggle with how to remind SO to do chores. My mom always used questions on me and dad. “Do you want to take out the trash?” When I was a teenager, I would always say, “No, I don’t want to.” But now I know that it wasn’t a question.

    • layered bob :

      I do the same thing as your husband. Also drives my husband nuts. I consciously try to use “we,” “us,” and “ours” but “I,” “me,” and “mine” seem to always slip out. No advice, because I definitely view our property as ours, and don’t mean to annoy my husband, but keep doing it when I’m not super careful. /shrug. sorry.

      • MissJackson :

        I have a tendency to do this, too, and every time I catch myself I cringe. I really do think of it as “our” so I don’t know why I say “my”! Anyway, I think if you keep correcting him every time it happens, he will probably notice it more and make an effort to stop. That said, I still slip up now and again, so go easy on him!

    • No, but it would drive me crazy too! Maybe you need to start correcting him when he does it, rather than later – you would know best which person he wouldn’t be TOO embarrassed to get called out in front of, but to make enough of an impression to stick. You’d also know best the right kind of comment to make – whether just speaking up to say “you mean ‘our’” vs. trying to make a little comment (“wow, guess I can quit working if you can afford all that with your paycheck!”)

      • Please don’t start doing this in public. Nothing will make everyone more uncomfortable than if you start taking what is honestly a minor marital dispute in the grand scheme of things (I mean, nothing suggests he actually excludes her from the financial decisions or treats the money as his and his alone) and start making it public for all the world to see. Oh, and at least with my husband, this would just make him dig in his heels. He’d probably be like … “WELL, my IS a subset of ours so TECHNICALLY I’m not wrong.” and it would become a thing.

        • I agree that making a huge deal of it will be counterproductive – hence the suggestion to choose the moment / other person wisely, vs., for example, loudly correcting him in front of a group, in a way that makes it obvious that it’s an ongoing “issue” between you. I would be wary of just increasing frequency/intensity of the comments at home, lest I turn into a nag. If he’s unconsciously doing it, a small comment may be the only way for him to realize (as an extreme example of this, the SATC episode where Char has to confront the guy in bed…).

          I guess I’m lucky that I do think this is a big enough issue to try to fix. Even though everything may be perfectly equal in terms of control over money at home, it would really bother me if my DH consistently gave this more old fashioned impression.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            “What a coincidence! My mortgage rate is also 4.375!”
            The trick is that the two of you need to discuss beforehand where he agrees that it ‘s valid that you’re annoyed and that he’ll try to catch himself next time. what’s important is that he validate your feelings, not that he have a perfect track record on the my/ours front.

            Similar pet peeve: “we” are having a baby but only “I” am pregnant. If a man says “we’re” pregnant, it drives me nuts!

          • Okay…I retract and amend my earlier argument to acknowledge that LadyEnginerd’s response is hecka funny. Sort of like when I say “we should take out the trash” and my husband says “Yes, lets *we* do that.”

          • LadyEnginerd, that is exactly the kind of comment I was talking about – but couldn’t think of to write. Love it!

          • See, I prefer the man to say that “we’re” pregnant. It implies that raising the child is a team thing, and that his life is about to change drastically, too. Sure, I’m the one with the physical aspect of the pregnancy, but he has to deal with my emotional ups and downs, reduced work schedule, etc.

    • I tend to say my dogs, my house, my child, even though all of these things are very much “ours” DH does the same thing sometimes. It’s just a weird habit and not a reflection on the state of our union or our being equals. I think you ask him to be more aware that he is saying that and it bothers you. It may not stop completely, but it might lessen.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I always say “my cat” and “my dog” in front of my husband and he thinks it is hysterical since I refer to everything else as “ours.” He usually responds with “oh, since they are yours now, make sure you are home by 5 to let her out (since that falls on him b/c of his nice work hours.)

    • I’ve refered to OUR father as MY father — in front of my brother.

      • My sister and I call our parents “Your Father” or “Your Mother” when they do something that irritates us. No one wants to claim them then.

        • We do that allll the time… we also do it in regards to each other- as in “Your brother took the last lacrosse stick to the park and lost it”
          It’s incredibly amusing

      • My brother does that. It’s like he forget that he’s my dad, too.

      • Oh yeah, I’ve done that to my brother more times than I can count. He always kind of pauses and is like…Ummmmm.

      • YESS!! My sister does this all the time and it drives me crazy!! “My dad said…” ummm yes, he’s my dad too!

    • This would drive me NUTS. I would find it disrespectful even though I’m sure he doesn’t mean it to be. No advice but just wanted to say I totally get why it would bother you.

    • What a DOOSH!

    • If you are part of the conversation, I would say, “Wow, that is exactly what I did with my money, too” or “What a coincidence, that is my mortgage rate, too!”

      Petty, I know…but it would make me feel better :)

  10. I think this is too cutesy but I can see how it could work for some women. I’d wear it with a very simle black shift to tone down the girliness.

  11. It’s cute, I just bought it. If you use code 17360 you get an additional $10 off.

  12. a passion for fashion :

    I have this in tan, along with the matching skirt and slacks. its really cute on, though i really only like the jacket with the slacks as a suit. its a little much with the skirt, which also has a lottle flounce in the back. All three pieces look cure as seperates too, and I particularly like AIMS styling suggesting for the black shift dress above.

  13. In-House Europe :

    Man, ‘rettes, did you buy all of the J. Crew Ludlum suits from yesterday? I was soo tempted to buy it and even pay the extra shipping fees to Europe (LOVE the longer jacket!!! so much better for my apple-y shape) but the jacket was sold out in all sizes over 2! Boo…

    Ah well, I was going to try to stop shopping online so much anyway…

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I am REALLY tempted to buy it, but have been trying to save money as well. I think I am going to go use my student discount and get it from the store….

  14. Blonde Lawyer :

    Birth control threadjack -

    Someone posted once that their pharmacy no longer carried tri-sprintec (generic Ortho-tri-cyclen) and they had to switch to another generic of Ortho which caused them to spot. Well my pharmacy did the same thing and it took me 2 months to realize it but the new generic was making me nauseous all the time. So my pharmacy was able to special order me tri-sprintec for awhile but just informed me they can’t any more. So I’ve been back on the other generic for one day now and am already nauseous again.

    The pharmacist thinks I’m nuts b/c he swears they are the exact same drug, just different names but obviously something in it is causing me a problem. Another pharmacist at the same place is much more sympathetic and said that this happens sometimes. I’m calling my insurance company to see if they can find the good generic and if not if they will cover name brand with a letter from my doc that I can’t take the bad generic.

    Just curious if anyone else is having a problem with this new generic and if anyone knows why we can’t get tri-sprintec anymore.

    • I still get tri – sprintec…i was on another generic (for a low dose) that they do not make anymore, but then they switched me to tri sprintec. I picked up my most recent pack this weeekend, no problem. I live in Northern VA and go to a wegmans pharmacy in Fairfax…so if you live anywhere in that area, or anywhere close to a wegmans, they still carry/have that….It does exist though, and i actually asked the pharmacist about it this weekend, as i wanted to see how much it would cost sans insurance (i’m job switching) and we got into a chat about how it’s the cheapest generic BC pill and she made no mention of them discontiniung. so that’s not terribly helpful, i know, but i guess it’s my way of saying that you should hunt for it/make your pharmacy order it, because it exists and i’ve had no problem getting it, and call wegmans if you live anywhere where they have locations. good luck!!!

    • Do your benefits include mail-order prescriptions? Maybe you can get your preferred bcp that way.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Looking into. After getting disconnected from my insurance company’s retail pharmacy 5 times I called the medical benefits number instead. Halfway through talking w/ a benefit rep they had a fire alarm go off and had to evacuate the building, ending the call. Seriously. Is it April Fools Day??

    • This happened to me with a different generic. My solution was to have my doc write the prescription for the generic rx and write “dispense as written” so that the pharmacy wouldn’t substitute. They still tried, but they have to honor the prescription as written if the drug is available.

      • bellafortuna :

        THIS. My mom does this with some of her pills. She’s allergic to the fillers in many drugs so getting the specific one matters, even if it’s generic.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’ve had this happen too. I finally went back on the brand name and just paid more. Have you tried switching pharmacies?

      • 2nd looking into switching pharmacies. You can always call ahead before you transfer the prescription and ask whether they carry the specific generic you’re looking for.

    • Different generics just have to have the same effectiveness (I’ve seen the term bioavailability used), but that doesn’t mean they’re identical in every way. I personally can’t take tri-sprintec because it gives me yeast infections every.damn.month, but I’m fine with the non-generic. So trust your body on this one.

    • I don’t think they can actually legally be the exact same composition even generics. So it is completely possible that there’s something different or they use a different coating (seriously pill coatings can mean the difference between fine/sick to my stomach). I have my doctor write me an rx for the brand name and just insist that they fill it that way. Costs me $30 bucks more a month but it beats feeling like crap.

  15. I posted this a little late in the day yesterday (thanks for the recs)… but I still haven’t yet found the right one. I’m looking for a perfect-to-wear-to-all-the-summer-cookout/events dress. I just bought this great straw and blue wide-brimmed hat that I’d like to go with the dress I’m imagining in my mind. Ideally I am looking for a tank style darker blue knit dress around knee length that I can dress up with some fun jewelery or just throw a chambray shirt over. I don’t want spaghetti straps. I don’t want something too tight to be comfortable but I don’t want it to be shapeless either. I’d like to spend under $100 but will go a little higher if it’s perfect. For reference I am a size 2/4 and about 5’9. I’d prefer something not super short but not matronly either! I guess I am looking for something with a little visual interest, cut not embellishments. I’d really appreciate any help. TIA!

    Read more: http://corporette.com/2012/05/30/suit-of-the-week-j-crew-3/#ixzz1wSVjPFeo

  16. I posted this a little late in the day yesterday (thanks for the recs)… but I still haven’t yet found the right one. I’m looking for a perfect-to-wear-to-all-the-summer-cookout/events dress. I just bought this great straw and blue wide-brimmed hat that I’d like to go with the dress I’m imagining in my mind. Ideally I am looking for a tank style darker blue knit dress around knee length that I can dress up with some fun jewelery or just throw a chambray shirt over. I don’t want spaghetti straps. I don’t want something too tight to be comfortable but I don’t want it to be shapeless either. I’d like to spend under $100 but will go a little higher if it’s perfect. For reference I am a size 2/4 and about 5’9. I’d prefer something not super short but not matronly either! I guess I am looking for something with a little visual interest, cut not embellishments. I’d really appreciate any help. TIA!

  17. Hey peoples – thank you for your very compassionate responses to my post yesterday. The support is helping me a lot.

    • I was wondering how you were doing — please keep us updated (of course, I mean this in a non-intrusive, non-bossy-Auntie way)!

    • Ru, I just went back to read your thread from yesterday. I’m from a Judeo-Christian background, but my husband and I are friends with a couple who are orig from Tamil Nadu and are Muslim. Though their marriage was arranged, when my friend tells it, it sounds like a love story. The right person, the right time and now, ten years on, very happy. I wish for the same happiness for you!

    • best of luck Ru! I just caught up on your thread now. My only piece of advice is that feeling “meh” is not how you would want to start a lifelong commitment, so you did the right thing and since only you know how you feel, sticking to your guns will be an uphill battle. but feelings are feelings, and you’re allowed to have time. good luck! Ps – i hate matchmaking aunties.

    • We found you a good man. Now marry him!

      (Sorry, I didn’t want you to get too disoriented here.)

  18. just Karen :

    Thank you Merabella for finding that Steve Madden tote on Tuesday – I posted a request for shopping help and promptly got slammed by work and forgot about it. That tote looks awesome, and I love that it comes in lots of colors. I was planning on getting black, but what do people think about cobalt blue as an everyday work bag? I would need for it to be okay to take to court, but I’m there once a week or less. I’m wondering if it would be like red in terms of that magical bag that works with both black and brown… My only concern with the bag is that the straps seem thin, and I tend to weigh my bag down and have the straps break – but maybe Nordstrom’s fabulous return policy would have me covered on that?
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/steven-by-steve-madden-france-leather-tote/3235892?origin=category&fashionColor=NEON%20ORANGE&resultback=1140&cm_ven=Linkshare&cm_cat=partner&cm_pla=10&cm_ite=1&siteId=TnL5HPStwNw-VEeE4CVcmGM.OO23Xd2CCA

    • I loved that bag so much I even contemplated getting one for myself…

      I think that the cobalt blue is acceptable. I would say it is similar to red in that it goes with everything, but I don’t work in law so I may be wrong in that department. I also liked the mustard yellow for spring.

      The straps do seem rather thin, but the reviews on Nordstrom’s website made it seem like it held up pretty well.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I also love this bag. And I think that blue bags are very versatile – you are right, it would work with both black and brown. I think it’s okay to take to court–even federal court—because it’s not something you are wearing when you standing up and address the judge. Of course, local norms/customs may vary.

    • You could return it because the karma felt wrong when you had a seance with it and Nordstroms would happily say okay — so yes, if the straps break I think you’re covered.

      • I recently experienced the awesomeness of their customer service – I brought a bra last year that I never wore and meant to return but majorly procrastinated on (it was the same exact one as another I had that wasn’t comfortable). Brought it back with the receipt, which she never even glanced at and processed the return. I didn’t even the credit card anymore so she just gave me cash. I was dumbfounded – I was absolutely expecting the 3rd degree.

  19. After having a little bit of a hissy fit trying to get dressed this morning (it felt like middle school all over again, I had NOTHING to wear to work), I’m realizing I need some summer wardrobe intervention and don’t have the time/energy/patience to actually do my own hard core shopping.

    So, personal shopper it is — I was thinking Nordstroms, I struggle with shopping there on my own, but I think that’s because the things I like are scattered around the store and I need to get over my cheapness on spending a certain amount on individual pieces. I really think I’d be more comfortable saying my budget is $X, I’d like what could be about Y-number of business casual outfits that can be put together from various pieces.

    So, I ask the hive, what’s a reasonable budget and number of pieces/outfits to start off with? Any tips on how to approach this?

    Thanks!

    • A few tips in no particular order:

      (1) Do you have a Nordstrom’s Rack near you? You can get a lot of the same items/quality for much better deals there.
      (2) I think rather than saying I want Y number of outfits, I would break it down to I want Y number of skirts, Y number of pants, Y number of tops, and y number of sweaters/jackets. And then pick general color families that you like best. Then give them a budget and acknowledge you might not get it all that day, but you’d like to see where you can get.
      (3) Remember that you do NOT have to buy everything they bring you. Or even everything you like. Its okay to think about things or to wait for them to go on sale. Or to come back another day. They view this as a relationship business and hope that if they do a good job today you’ll come back and refer friends, so even if you’re not a huge commission the first time you may be the next time. Don’t feel guilty!

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’m struggling with the same thing. i’m planning to really gut my closet this weekend – i’ve been through it a couple times and have pulled a bunch of stuff to donate already, but even so, i keep having the same “UGH NOTHING TO WEAR” moment at least 2-3x/week. my plan is to pull out all of the stuff that i keep leaving in there but never wearing and sort of inventory things to assess where i am, and then set a number of pieces and a budget from there. i think i have maybe 10 good outfits worth of stuff that could become a lot more if i just bought more tops – and had someone else pick them for me so i don’t end up with 87 white t-shirts.

    • As for the wardrobe planning aspect, check out the viviennefiles – she has lost of travel wardrobe capsules, and other types of capsules that would be a good starting point for deciding what you need.

      For me, I try to have a running list of items I need to complete outfits, especially at the beginning of seasons. You know, the things you think of as you stare at your closet “If only I had x to wear with y and z, I’d have a great outfit”. Make a list & shop your list.

    • I did this – I used a personal shopper at Nordstrom. I used her for the first time when I was taking a business trip to a much warmer and more humid summer climate than San Francisco (NY and NJ) and I knew that I’d be outside quite a bit. I had nothing to wear.

      I wanted pieces that would be fine for hot weather, but also OK for me to layer and wear here. I had a budget of $500. I spent more, but that’s mainly because she brought me a pair of heels to try on with everything, and I loved them so much I bought them.

      She was so great at finding everything for me. She had a room ready to go with some pieces when I got there (we had spoken on the phone) and she then took me out on the floor to see if anything else appealed to me. Then we had a major trying-on session, and a couple of times she ran out and got me another size or a different style, once she saw how things were looking on me.

      My favorite thing was when I tried on things that I thought looked OK, she would sometimes disagree. As a result, I feel like I got some good advice about what styles truly suit me. For instance, this was the beginning of the era of the shrunken blazer, and because I’m tall, she said it that style just looks like I couldn’t find a jacket that fit me. I’ve taken that to heart ever since.

      I went back to her for the NAS and spent even more on winter clothes (which I prefer.)

      I actually like shopping so I stopped using her as much, but I still use all the advice she gave me.

      Overall, I highly recommend it.

      • Oh – by the way, I can’t remember the number of pieces I got. But we made outfits that I could mix and match for my long trip.

        • Hi Mamabear, did you go to SF or Walnut Creek Nordies? I like the one in WC better, but if you had a good experience in SF, I might go there… Thanks!

      • Rickshaw Girl :

        Any chance you’d be willing to share your shopper’s name? It sounds like she’s great – and I’ve been meaning to try this for ages, but hesitating partly because I’m afraid of ending up with someone unhelpful or condescending and it’s easier just to keep wearing the same old frump…. Which I realize makes no sense at all, but there you are. In any event, thanks for the success story, which may just get me to finally make that phone call…

        • I used Rosalie. I’m not sure she’s currently working at Nordstrom, though. She’s a full time instructor at the Fashion Institute and Nordstrom was a part-time gig for her. It has been a couple of years.

          Honestly, I think you’d have great luck with anyone, given the great Nordstrom customer service. When I made my first appointment, I called and described my requirements (work wear, not social) and my size (tall, 14/16) and I thought they’d pair me with someone who looks like me. But Rosalie is thin and tiny and she did a great job anyway!

  20. MissJackson :

    To the AnonForThis who posted late last night re: making an appointment for therapy to deal with an alcoholic father:

    Can you update us and let us know that you’ve made this very important phone call? Sending lots of good internet vibes to you!

    • Anonymous :

      Not her but love you for this and love Corporette for this.

      I’ve had to make that call– those calls. If you’re reading, OP, know you are receiving good vibes from all over today.

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