Splurge Tuesday’s TPS Report: Wool Amara Blazer

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

Tory Burch Wool Amara BlazerWow. Take notes, ladies: this is how you do a contrast trim blazer. Love the fact that the trim is just on the lapels and pockets, not on the bottom hem of the jacket — and I love the shrunken, feminine fit to the jacket. It’s $450 at Saks Fifth Avenue. Tory Burch Wool Amara Blazer

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Comments

  1. My pants make noise when I walk! ah. anyway to fix it today?

    • I’ve found that my pants making noise depends on the fabri content/texture of the fabric and I’m not sure there’s much that can be done about that. Sorry. :(

      • Senior Attorney :

        Anybody remember the great 90s medical show, “Chicago Hope?” Mandy Patinkin’s (brilliant and tortured) character used to take his pants off when he needed to pace and think, because he couldn’t stand the noise his pants made.

        And yes, I am very very old.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I loved that show. I love anything Mandy Patinkin does.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I heart Mandy so hard! Saw him in concert with Patti Lupone and about died of happiness!!

          • No, *I* love Mandy THE MOST! I think we need to have a Mandy-superfan-off to see who REALLY loves him the most ;o)

            Waiting to get his signature on my program after a concert was the only time i ever completely froze and stumbled and stuttered over someone in my life, it was ridiculous! Plus, he was here in a play in Berkeley last year, SFBA, did you get a chance to see it? It was Uh-Maz-Ing.

        • I remember that show! Oh Mandy Patinkin was great — too bad ER beat it out in the “medical dramas of the 90s” category.

          • This happened with some 80s cartoons. GoBots was great, but then Transformers aired and overwhelmed them in viewership and toy marketshare. Galoob’s Golden Girl & the Guardians of the Gemstone were later overshadowed by the She-Ra dolls and cartoon. Yes, I’m both old and geeky.

  2. I love the look but would appreciate some advice. Is there a good way of explaining why you got a tattoo with an exes name on your butt when you are no longer together? It is too painful to get rid of it but hope the hive can come up with some snappy advice I can use to explain this faux pas!

  3. Oh wow, I love the double trim. Definitely adding to my lust list.

  4. I think I am just not a fan of contrast trim blazers, or at least when there is this much contrast.

    On an unrelated note, can anyone recommend a cream blush with some staying power or is does it just not exist? I want something that looks really natural but stays put for 8 hrs + … Right now I use Benefit’s Benetints and usually gone by lunch time.

  5. Love this look on the model though I’m not sure I could pull it off.

    I’m wearing red and white polka dot nail polish on my toes today and feeling happy whenever I look at my feet. ‘ r e t t e s would probably call it nsfw, but i am a sucker for polka dots!!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I’m one of the more conservative ones here, but I would totally rock polka dot nail polish even if I hypothetically wore open toed shoes to work. Very subtle but makes you happy, and only those way too close to you would notice? Perfect.

    • Is this red nail polish with white polka dots painted on or one of the stick-on appliques? It sounds awesome (and I would totally rock it on my hands too)!

    • I think this sounds awesome and fine for a not too conservative work-place (which I assume it probably is, if open toe shoes are.)

      I kind of wish you’d take a picture of them and then submit them to my tumblr so I could post them in all their glory. :-)

      • :)

        Actually this is my last week of maternity leave plus birthday week so I did this to “cheer myself up” before I get back to work. And it is red nail polish with tiny white dots painted over. Honestly, unless you gaze at my feet,you can’t tell. I work in a biz casual place but my style tends to be, usually, conservative.

        My four year old boy loved it though! Black and white dots next time..his special request.

        • Honey Pillows :

          What do you use for the polka dots? I feel like I’d probably smudge the dots with a regular brush.

          • Amelia Pond :

            I just learned this trick! You use the head of a straight pin. Tap out some polish on a flat surface (I used a plastic bag on the counter) and then dip the flat head of the pin in the polosh. Easy polka dots!

          • Amelia Pond :

            That is supposed to be polish

          • Ha. “Polosh” seems like such an Ellen thing to say ;)

        • academicsocialite :

          I’m back at work this week after mat leave – enjoy your baby/birthday time!

          • Thanks! And I didn’t do the dots myself, got a pedi. But they used some pin-like thing as described above. Maybe y it on one toe nail and see how it comes out if you’re doing it yourself?

    • I think bright/fun nail polish is a perfect indulgence in a conservative office, especially on your toes. The polka dots sound adorable!

    • I would totally rock this pedicure at my business casual office (even though I also dress more on the business side than the casual side). How fun! I also am a sucker for polka dots.

    • That sounds adorable!

  6. Betty White :

    For those in the hive who have taken Zoloft/Sertaline, have you noticed any weight gain? Specifically, I’m wondering if it’s something that’s a slow build. I’ve been on Zoloft for a little over a year now and am up about 5-8 lbs. I don’t know if it’s just getting older or the meds. Any experience in the group? Thanks!

    • I have no experience with a slow gain, but beginning about four months after starting sertraline, I gained 30 lbs in less than three months. Once I stopped the sertraline, the weight gain also stopped and I’ve lost about 10 lbs of what I gained.

      • Not to pry, but what do you do to manage the underlying condition? Did you transition to a different medication?
        I have been on sertraline for a few years and at one time, whilst taking it, lost 25 lbs with diet and exercise. The weight took about 4 years to return.
        I don’t think the weight gain is due to the medication as much as age and lifestyle.

    • Cornellian :

      My roommate did, and it was immediate weight gain, not long term. I wonder if something else would explain your weight gain here.

    • Betty White :

      I’ve upped the dose over the course of the year. Really, it’s not a ton of weight (probably just 5lbs of unexpected gain), and I’ve been at this weight before. This just feels different. I feel like the bulk of it (if you’ll forgive the pun) was from the last six months, which corresponds with upping the dose.

    • I have been on 50mg since January. No weight gain as a result of the medicine. My weight has fluctuated but that is due to being sedentary for several months.

    • I’ve been on sertraline for about a year, and have also noticed a small weight gain of around 5-8 lbs. I’m not sure if it’s the medication, or the fact that my appetite used to disappear when I was really anxious and now I’m no longer anxious. If I start watching what I eat it does seem to come down by a few pounds, but it seems like my “set point” is up by a few pounds since I started taking it.

    • Sertraline is not ‘expected’ to cause weight gain. Perhaps as someone here suggests, it’s because your eating better or just unrelated?

    • I was just reading a weight loss book and it mentioned Zoloft as one medication that can cause weight gain.

  7. Hi – We’re at a bit of a loss as to what to add to our registry. We’ve already gotten the flatware, dishes, towels and sheets we registered for (awesome!) and live in an apartment. Any suggestions of things to register, that don’t take up much space, and are awesome? Thanks! (p.s. I figured this was okay for this site b/c it is sort of shopping related).

    • Oh, we’re set on basic appliances too (again very exciting).

    • Wine glasses, Rabbit corkscrew, Roomba, Dyson vac.

    • pinterest? :

      I think there is a job for Pinterest. A quick search for “wedding registry” revealed these two sites: http://thethingswewouldblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/wedding-registry-101.html
      and http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/weddings/registry-gifts/wedding-registry-checklist-00000000000227/index.html , and I’m sure there are many more :).

    • Are there any kitchen gadgets you could use? What about frames or mirrors (or wall art, depending on where you’re registered)? Also (if you haven’t already), what about registering for second sets of sheets and towels?

    • If you’re open to non-”stuff” options, there are those honeymoon registries, although there are people who find those to be tacky. I’m wondering if there are ways to register for something like a cooking class. My understanding is that wedding gifts were originally intended to both help the couple set up housekeeping and also help them to entertain in their home. A cooking class would certainly fall under the latter. There might also be ways to register for things for date night, like movie tickets or restaurant gift certificates. The old school view might be that these are also tacky (but the old, old school doesn’t like registries at all!).

      • Honey Pillows :

        I’d say to proceed cautiously with the honeymoon registries, though, because some people get really offended by the idea that they’re just forking over cash instead of giving you something you’ll cherish and use every Thanksgiving and think of them every time you use (who actually does that, anyway? It’s a fork, people. I’m appreciative, but I have no idea who gave it to me.).

        There are some honeymoon registries that put prices on individual things ($100 -horseback riding on the beach) that tend to go over well.

    • nice kitchen gadgets – microplane, garlic press, assorted whisks, wooden spoons, cutting boards, etc.

      they take up space, but we registered for the vintage games that come in small wooden boxes, so they sit on a bookshelf instead of being big flat boxes. a few times a year, we pull them out and play Clue or Sorry or Jenga (usually when the power goes out).

    • If you have an Amazon registry, you can register for more unusual, useful stuff that fits you as a couple. We registered for blankets, a fireproof safe, a nice digital camera, board games, wall art, DVDs, a luggage set … the list goes on. In the more traditional realm, I am really glad I registered for the following things that seemed silly at the time: a cookbook holder, a mini food processor/chopper, tupperware, a cutting board with a built-in little dish for peelings/trash, expensive sheets and towels.

      • Honey Pillows :

        I love the Amazon registry idea -and Amazon lets people purchase items from elsewhere and mark them as “purchased,” so you can purchase something at a warehouse sale and not be forced to buy full-price.

    • All of these are really good ideas. Other weird things we registered for are: wooden bowls and a copper bowl we use for center pieces and decoration, platters and plates for serving, a salad serving bowl with nice tongs, a moroccan tangine, a paella pan, a rice cooker, a deep frier (ooh that one is awesome), and every size le creuset casserole pan known to man.

      Some of these do take up space though.

      Another idea, if you’ve really registered for everything you want and have no more space, is to register for charitable donations to a charity or two.

    • A vacuum cleaner. A nice one. Seriously, you’ll love it.

      Also what about furniture to replace old stuff – or decorative items – throw pillows, blankets, lamps, art.

    • just Karen :

      We registered for a ton of hardcover classics on Amazon – we especially love the Everyman’s Library series. People loved buying them for us, and were perfect for people looking to spend @$50 – they could buy us 2-3.

    • Lamps, really good kitchen knives, a power drill, a really good hammer.

    • I think you should add place settings to your flatware. Per an earlier thread, pieces of flatware always seem to go missing.

      Other than that, extra blankets and sheet are things you will always need. If I were in your shoes, I’d get plain white or cream because it keeps your options open for future redecorating.

      • This! Because in 5-10 years when you realize 1/2 your spoons and 1/3 of your forks are lost, the pattern will be discontinued and the cost of 1 spoon then is the cost of 2 full place servings now. My parents bought us an extra set of flatware (4 or 8 place settings) and 4 place settings of our dishes for our 1st Christmas, then offered to store them for us in their basement. At the time I thought it was crazy, but 5 years later I really appreciated it. Or if you can, just extra forks and spoons – somehowwe have a million table knives, but our forks & spoons went awol.

    • My earthy friends had an account on their website where you could put money toward their “new bike” fund and the “honeymoon” fund. I know it’s the same as giving cash but it was nice that I could pay with my credit card and get the points still.

      Also, I have seen where people registered at Lowe’s….or Home Depot. Need tools?

    • Thanks! Great ideas!

  8. anon for this :

    Question for the hive. A man that is separated from his wife and in the process of divorce has started pursuing me (asking me on dates and texting me often). It was a short marriage, we are young, and there are no childen. I feel like this is a gray area. It seems right for him to wait until he is divorced, but if he doesn’t agree, should I refuse him until he is? How far along in this process does a person need to be before you think it’s acceptable to date him?

    • “It seems right for him to wait until he is divorced, but if he doesn’t agree, should I refuse him until he is?”

      Back up. Step #1 is to decide whether you are really, truly comfortable with dating this man before his divorce is finalized. It sounds from your post like the answer is no.

      If he refuses to respect your feelings on this– which are totally reasonable, by the way– and insists on pursuing a relationship before the divorce is finalized, why would you want to date him at all?

      • phillygirlruns :

        herbie just articulated what i was trying to come up with. yes, this is a gray area – depending on the circumstances, it’s not unreasonable for someone in the process of a divorce to date before things are final, and it’s also not unreasonable to not want to touch that kind of thing with a 10 foot pole. but if you’re not comfortable dating him until he’s legally divorced, i don’t understand why he gets a say in that.

      • I meant that more to say, if he thinks it’s fine, how would I know any better than he where he is in the process and whether he is ready to move on? I have discussed this with him very frankly, and he will certainly respect any decision I make.

        • He may THINK he’s fine, but he’s actually not. How long has it been since they actually separated? Also, just because it was a short marriage, doesn’t mean it was a short relationship (seriously, I had a friend who got divorced after 1 year of marriage, when they had dated for 7 years before that).
          But it kinda sounds like YOU have some misgivings about this and that’s really what matters.

    • anoooon for this one! :

      Err strongly on the side of waiting. I didn’t, and could not regret it more. Even best case, if nothing goes wrong and he’s perfectly healed and wonderful, are you going to always feel like it started under a cloud? This is a major red flag for me, though admittedly, I have a lot of baggage around it.

    • Not to be ornery on principle (HA….I’m totally ornery all the time on principle), but just to give things from a different perspective than Herbie’s. Yes, you are entitled to your feelings, and it would be a doosh-move to “insist” on dating someone if they told you they want to wait.

      But, if he truly is separate from his wife and in the process of divorcing her — a divorce can take quite awhile. I know your experience was probably that your divorce was quick — since there were no assets, no children, and probably no huge disputes. But…for example, a partner at my old firm was “divorcing” his ex-wife for over five years because of problems with the court’s initial decision — even though they were long-separated and both in new relationships. So…from his view, waiting until he and his wife are “officially” divorced to start dating again may seem an unnecessary legal barrier to dating. The more important question I would have in dating a man divorcing his wife would be (a) how long they’ve been separated and (b) the reasons for the divorce and (c) what place he’s in now. Not the legal status of the relationship.

      But…that’s just the other side of the coin.

      • I have never been married. I meant his marriage was short and there are no children. Don’t know what difference that might make.

        • Well…I still think the (a), (b), and (c) issues are most important (because to me, there better measures of how “over” the relationship he is then whether he’s legally divorced). But the good news is that if they are young, have relatively few assets, and no children, the divorce *should* progress smoothly and quickly *if* it is uncontested. But those are all big ifs.

          I don’t know, these are all such situational things that its hard to say.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I think it depends on the situation. I have known couples that are 99% divorced. They just don’t yet have the paperwork signed by the judge. For whatever reason, that last step can be a long process in some states. If they have moved out and moved on, the papers are filed, it is non-contested, I don’t really see a moral problem going forward. For some divorced people the marriage was over long before they filed. My friends parents were living “divorced without papers” for 8 years due to some tax issue her dad had. They both had live in SO’s and only finalized the divorce when one of the two wanted to get remarried.

      However, I would have a much larger moral hang up w/ a guy who was newly separated or in a trial separation and just starting the splitting up process.

      • Agree with this. I was separated for 6 months until I could qualify for a no-fault divorce. My ex had moved to another state after 3 months and there was no chance of reconciliation. There are definitely different types of separation.

      • Yep – each situation is different. I had a 6 mo divorce, was moved out, had a property settlement agreement in place and was just waiting to hit the 6 mo mark before my lawyer could file the paperwork.

        WRT to the other point, most marriages are over before they are over and that was my experience as well. I do get your hangup because technically you are still dating a married man, but in my state, when you are separated, you are supposed to live as though you are free and unmarried. I do think you should know where he is in the process, if they have agreed how to split assets, what is left to do, etc. I wouldn’t risk the heartache of getting close to a person only to find out they were “kinda separated and kinda thinking about divorce.” I’d also want to know which side initiated the divorce.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. I was separated from my first husband for something like two years before we finally got the legal part done, but the marriage was O-V-E-R the day we moved into separate housing.

        That said, I didn’t date until I was legally divorced and probably wouldn’t feel great about dating somebody who wasn’t legally divorced, or at the very least actively pursuing the divorce with a judgment in sight.

    • I’ve seen this come out well both ways. A friend refused to date her now 15-year husband until a year after his divorce. I started dating my now six-year husband after his wife moved out but while the divorce was still in progress. Both marriages are strong, healthy, happy. If it matters (you don’t mention her), in both our cases, the former wife is unrelenting in terms of the court process, entangling herself in the new household, demanding more alimony etc. Some of that is because there are kids, which you don’t have, but my point is that you ought to consider her as a factor, but there are ways to work as a team to defend against her chaos.

      Bottom line: it is less about where he is in the technical/legal process and more about where both of you agree you are in the emotional process.

    • I started dating my current husband before my divorce was final. The divorce took over a year to finalize, not because of division of assets but because my ex was dragging his feet on just getting things signed and filed. He had moved out, we never saw or spoke to each other except concerning the divorce and as far as we both were concerned, we were completely over.

      The red flag here is not the legal status of his marriage, in my opinion, but whether you are the rebound girl. My now husband was rightly concerned about that with me, but two kids and fourteen years later, it seems to be working. ;)

      • This, this, this. I started dating a smidge before my divorce was final, and none of those guys had a real chance with me – it was all about trying to feel desirable again (sorry, nice software engineer with the red bike! it was me, not you!). You don’t want to be that girl. And that’s not about timing, it’s about emotional progress.

    • I was in the same situation about six months ago. I decided I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of being with someone who was married and told him so. Honestly, I think it was a mistake. Their marriage was over, I asked him to back off, he did, and I missed out on a relationship with someone who I really, really regret not dating.

  9. phillygirlruns :

    oh wow. love this blazer HARD.

  10. I am number 85 in the library queue for “How to Be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran. My fault for instituting a one in/one out rule for books in the house….but still. Grrrr!

    • I’m #319 of about 450! I’m very careful with buying books because we have enormous amounts to begin with (just bought a new bookcase to hold the overflow). But sometimes it is hard to be patient… I just caved and bought the Hunger Games trilogy because my husband was way too impatient to wait for us to get the 2nd and 3rd from the library.

    • I can commiserate. I’ve tried to limit buying books for space and financial reasons. In the meantime it seems like everything I want to read has a waitlist.

      On the plus side, I’ve found a few good reads by the simple chance they were available, so perhaps the lack of instant gratification has its silver lining :)

    • It’s not even available in my library’s e-book section. I need to join a new library. *rawr*

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My library’s audio books rarely have a waiting list. This is probably b/c people get the CDs, copy them to their computer, and move them to their ipod/phone, etc. and return the disk the same day. You might want to consider this.

    • I bought the book on Friday because of the great reviews, and I have to say, while I like it, I don’t relate to everything it discusses (the huge problem of teeny-tiny underwear), and I don’t find it to be as revelatory or new-wave-of-feminism inducing as some reviewers and commenters have. Maybe this will make the wait easier for you?

    • Honey Pillows :

      Ugh, I’m so impatient, I never wait for the library to get in the books I want, but just give up waiting and stop into B&N on my way home from the metro. But I should… thanks for the reminder.

      Maybe a r e t t e book sharing club? Books everyone wants to read tend to come up a lot, and once someone buys it and reads it, we could send it around?

      • Yes to a book sharing club! Anyone want to donate their copy of How to Be a Woman to launch the pilot program?

        • Honey Pillows :

          I’ve got a copy of the Defining Decade I’d be happy to send around – I know a lot of women have read/are interested in reading that.

  11. Question for you Dr. Who fans.

    I watched the first two episodes of Season 1 this weekend.

    Does it ever get less campy, or is that part of the appeal?

    • Umm…that’s pretty much how it goes. The tone changes a little bit when the actor for the Doctor changes, but…not much.

    • That’s part of the appeal. :-)

    • Campy is part of the appeal.
      BUT – and this is a bit BUT – which season 1 did you watch? Original or the most recent version? I think the original Dr. Who is hard to get into right away for most people who are not familiar with the show or really into the genre. Btw, the most recent one is the one that starts with the blonde woman and the first episode is about dept. store mannequins coming to life.

      • That’s the one I watched. I mean, I’ll add it to my “watch on the elliptical” rotation– it’ll help balance out the grimness of Breaking Bad– but I was curious about what I was in for.

        • Campy but in a good way. So excited for dinosaurs on spaceships!

        • It doesnt so much get better as you start to get sucked in and addicted. It’s definitely fun tv. It’s can also be quite smart and even profound on occasion. Plus am I the only one who finds the doctor kind of attractive?

          • I think he’s a hottie.

          • Tumblr says you are definitely NOT the only one who finds any of the Doctors attractive, trust me on this. :-)

          • Senior Attorney :

            “KIND OF attractive?” Don’t you mean “super sizzling hot in that oh so awesome nerdy British way?”

          • Honey Pillows :

            I thought Eccleston was the bee’s knees until about the third or fourth Tennant episode. *Swoon*

          • Amelia Pond :

            I had a small party to watch the new episode this weekend and there was almost a fist fight about which Doctor is hotter. It’s not just you!

          • Haha, good to know I am not alone!

    • Keep in mind that, in the UK, its a children’s program. Little (and large) lapses in logic must be accepted, as well as cheesy plots and hilarious-looking evil alien/robot things. But if you go into it with a sense of fun (and generally like sci-fi types of shows), it can be truly great entertainment.

    • Honey Pillows :

      It varies with the season, the Doctor, the writers, and the episode. As previously mentioned, once Stephen Moffat starts doing the writing, the episodes get much less camp and much more dark.

      There were some seasons where I started wishing for the camp again, just as a relief from the heart-breaking impossibility of the Doctor’s cold, lonely brilliance, and the terror of the dark recesses of our own fears brought out from beneath the bed.

      The first few Rose/Eccleston episodes are pretty darn camp, though.

      • This. I think I am starting a more serious, dark sequence again and I really like the camp!

        BTW, I skipped the weeping angels episodes in season 5. The “Blink” episode in season 4 still haunts me. My cat thinks I’m such a wuss-I can’t sleep alone since!

  12. Austin Reed :

    Has anyone bought suits from Austin Reed? I have two questions:

    1. The suits themselves: how is the fit? How is the quality?

    2. Customer service: how is the returns process, especially from the US? Their site says that I should receive my package in 10 business days, but that they have to receive my returns within 28 days of my purchase. Taking into account non-business days and the time it takes to mail back to the UK, that means I have just 2-3 days to decide whether to keep the suit. What if I’m not home those 2-3 days, or have a particularly heavy schedule those 2-3 days, etc?

    • I have only bought things in person, so I can only help with 1).

      Their quality is impeccable–they have at least a few royal warrants, so that should give you an idea of their high level of tailoring and craftsmanship. I was at their flagship on Regent Street in May, and I was swooning over how gorgeous everything was. I bought three shirts and tried on a few suits. Did not buy said suits because the arms were too short (I need talls). But I seriously wanted to buy the entire store. And I have some shirts from there from years ago that still look great.

      Also, I am normally a 12-14 (more toward 14 thanks to my enormous ex-swimmer shoulders), and I bought a UK 16 (US12) in everything I bought, so I’d say, at least for shirts, to size down.

      I would be careful buying from them via US, only because you may be subject to customs or duty, which is a lot of $ to pay when you may or may not keep things…just wanted to throw that out there. Their customer service is really lovely, so I am sure you could beg for a few extra days if you need to return stuff.

      Hope this helps.

  13. Nonprofit-ette :

    Since Boden has a great 20% sale going on right now, does anyone have any must-haves from Boden?

    • I really love their cropped cashmere sweaters – lots of great colors!

    • Diana Barry :

      I just got the fall wrap dress and the embellished skirt, and the pretty wool cardigan (or something), and LOVE all of them. Their blazers are also great – I got one of those too and it is my fourth from them.

    • I bought several items recently when they had a similar sale. Of all of them, I love the Emma tunic dress the most. I ordered it in Long so it would cover my knees for the office. I also really like the caramel-colored Notre Dame skirt, but I had to exchange it for a smaller size. I have my eye on (but have not purchased) boots in either navy or “fig” patent. One item I would not recommend is the moleskin blazer. The cut is odd and billowy — not at all flattering. Happy shopping!

  14. Since fall is just around the corner can we talk about what tights to wear with dark brown skirts? I feel black skirts are easy – but there are so many shades of brown that it’s harder. I bought a pair of camel colored tights on the weekend. What are my other options? I don’t want to try and match brown skirt, brown tights, brown shoes – there are too many shades. Oh, and I work in a business casual environment, so I can be a little creative with my legwear.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I like dark gray + brown. If you are open to creativity, I like burgundy with brown too. I would avoid, if possible, wearing white tights because I think they look a little weird.

      Another option is sheer black, if you think that opaque black is too much.

      • Sorry, for some reason I’m feeling really stupid about this, but are your suggestions for tights or shoes? And if they are tights what color shoes do you wear? Could I wear my brown skirt, camel tights & burgundy shoes? With maybe a cream sweater?

        And I totally agree with you on white tights. I have some lighter grey tights, and these camel ones I bought, and I won’t go any lighter than that.

    • Seconding gray and brown. Maybe navy? I also have matched brown tights with texture/pattern to a brown skirt. They’re a little more sheer so if the browns don’t match exactly, it looks okay. I think Capitol Hill Style had a post with an extremely rigorous lesson about matching skirts, tights, and shoes.

      • I went and found this post – she says 2 out of 3 (skirt, tights, shoes) need to match. I think this will be a good rule for me until I start feeling less stupid about brown. Seriously – grey or black – tights & shoes aren’t an issue. And there are lots of colors I like to pair with brown (red, yellow, orange, camel, light blue, etc) but for some reason the shoes/tights thing just gets me stuck!

    • Semi- or sheer dark brown hose would approximate both the shoes and the skirt without being too matchy. I have even gotten away with off-black hose.

    • Gray. What about purple?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I love red with brown.

  15. To Rome With Love :

    I posted a few weeks ago for help planning my Roman holiday and y’all were so knowledgable & helpful, I wanted to update and ask for more advice.
    We booked tickets for mid October, flying into Rome. Where should we go and how should we divide our time? We’ve decided to add Venice to our itenarary (DH works in city planning and is dying to see the canals), so now it’s Rome, Florence, and Venice and 10 days total to do it. For those of you familiar with those cities, how would you divide your time? What’s the best way to travel between them and in what order? We’re thinking train but not sure when to go where. Anything of particular architectural significance not to miss?? Also, are there any festivals or anything else specific not to miss in mid October – we’re flying in on the 15th and leaving on the 25th. Thanks so much in advance!!!!

    • springtime :

      I travelled to those three places in 10 days back in 2010- at around the same time of year as you.

      We spent I think 4/5 days in Rome, 3/4 in Florence, and only 1.5 days in Venice. It worked out well. I find Venice to be way to touristy to spend more than that amount of time. It was nice to see, but there wasn’t much to do there.

      We did a day trip up to the Tuscany region which was lovely. Our time in Rome was split at the start and finish of our trip.

      Google should tell you all of the famous places to hit up. A friend of mine really researched restaurants in advance to find the non-touristy ones. We got some great meals out of that.

    • Russia Repeat :

      We did almost exactly that trip recently. Our ordering was driven somewhat by the flights we could get. We flew into Rome, did two days in the city, then one day driving to/from Pompeii (highly recommended, you could also do this by train via Naples), then one last day in Rome. We took the train to Florence early in the morning, spent the day and moved on to Venice by train the next morning. We had only 9 days, I would definitely add another day in Florence. Then we were in Venice for 3 days.

      October won’t be as crazy tourist high season, but booking at least some museums ahead of time will save you time in line. The Villa Borghese in Rome and the Uffizi in Florence can be particularly tough to get into on the day. We also pre-booked a Colosseum tour and the Doge’s Palace in Venice.

    • I would do….

      3-4 days in Rome.
      4-5 days in Florence and use a couple days to visit Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa.
      2 days in Venice.

      Visit st peter’s first thing in the morning ….google can tell you everything else.
      Enjoy!

      • Agreed. See Venice, but don’t give up a lot of time in Florence and its outskirts (especially) or Rome. A nice way to see the outskirts, if it still exists, is a daytrip by bike. About 15 miles if I recall. Hilly but not terrible (although I was in decent shape).

      • Agree with this schedule. You can train between all of these cities from Rome and go north. It’s about 2 1/2 hours via train between each city, if I remember correctly. You can also do a short 1/2 day in Pisa. On the train to Venice, go all the way into Venezia Santa Lucia, which puts you on the island (you don’t want to the end of the line to be Venice Mestre, which is on the mainland).

        And definitely visit the Sistine Chapel (meaning the Vatican museums) first on the list, as the line will get longer as the day goes on. If you go first thing in the morning, you can walk straight through the Vatican museums and into the Sistine Chapel. Then go visit St. Peters since it is next door.

      • The thing about this schedule is that you’re going to be in transit a lot if you try to fit in day-trips fr Florence as well. I’d say give yourself time to take in the 3 cities you’re already in and save the small towns for a future visit. A big part of what makes an Italian holiday special is people-watching in the large piazza, discovering small beautifully-formed churches and palazzi on your own, finding a favourite coffee bar or enoteca.

    • One way to think about it is chronologically: ancient art and architecture in Rome, late Gothic and early Renaissance in Florence, high Renaissance and Baroque in Rome again, high Baroque and 18th Century in Venice.

      I would suggest trains between cities. Also, Florence is small enough to walk it all, Venice is larger but also on the smaller side and mostly walkable (except for waterways), Rome is manageable but larger, so busses/taxis/subways are good to use.

      Florence:

      Duomo
      Baptistry
      Uffizi museum
      Strozzi Palace
      Spedale degli Innocenti
      Santa Croce church (they have a great leather factory store)

      Rome:

      Forum
      St. Peter’s
      Vatican museum
      Borghese Villa (gardens and Bernini sculptures inside)
      Santa Maria della Vittoria, Bernini’s “St. Teresa in Extasy”
      Food: it may be a little early in the season, but see if any of the pastry shops are serving Monti Bianchi yet (sweetened chestnut paste nestled in a meringue shell with whipped cream on top — heaven!)

      Venice:

      St. Mark’s
      Library of St. Mark
      Santa Salute Church

    • I would land in Rome and get on the train to Florence immediately. I did that and, while exhausting, it’s nice to get to Florence and start the trip there because, in my opinion, Florence seems much cooler before you get to Rome. Some of this will depend on your taste for big cities and your appetite for museums. Florence is fairly small and I feel like 2-3 days is plenty of time unless you’re a really big Renaissance art fan. From there, I’d go to Venice for 1.5 days, then head back to Rome for the remainder of your time. Leave a full day for the Vatican–it was way cooler than I expected art-wise. I also recommend more time in Rome because not only is there a ton to see and do, but it’s an exhausting city so it’s nice to not feel time pressured–well-timed naps are wonderful. I stayed in a Hotel Santa Maria in Trastevere and loved it. It’s tucked away and has a nice little courtyard — great retreat from the city.

      • Oh and be sure to get your tickets to museums (especially the Vatican) online well in advance if you can–will save you tons of time.

    • We did an October Italy trip a few years ago. Same cities, it was great. Train travel was super easy. One of my favorite memories from that trip was the train trip from Venice to Florence. We upgraded to the nicer class of seats, bought picnic supplies and a bottle of wine in the station (cash only) and had an awesome ride down just checking out the scenery. I agree with what other people have said about time in each city and getting online tickets for the big sites.

    • Busting in on this threadjack because I am going to Venice in 2 weeks. Spending about three days there. Any suggestions for places to go and particularly, good places to eat, are most welcome.

      Also, this might be frivolous, but can anyone give me pointers about the weather in Venice in mid September? I can look at the weather websites and see temperatures, but I am wondering if it’s particularly humid, dry, etc. I know that I found low 80s in California to be much cooler than low 80s in DC. I’m basically trying to figure out what to pack.

      Thanks to all!

      • St. Mark’s Square
        St. Mark’s (itself)
        Climb the bell tower in St. Mark’s square (can’t remember the name off hand)
        Doge’s Palace

        Rialto markets (think Merchant of Venice)

        Take the #1 vaporetto (water bus) all the way up the Grand Canal (start at one end and motor all the way to the other end)

      • Good places for food – Calle San Barnaba in Dorsoduro is a narrow alley with a concentration of good trattoria, my recollection is that Quattro Ferri and Furantola (?) are more fish/ seafood and la Bitta is meatier. Also in Dorsoduro, Cantinone Gli Schiavi is a lively and friendly bar with snacks, great for pre-meal drinks. In Cannaregio, Vini da Gigio for carefully-prepared local meat and fish dishes (will probably need a reservation).

        All the above are moderately priced. Venice also has some very high-end seafood places which seem to cater increasingly for an international crowd. Of these, I’ve had good meals at Corte Sconta and Antiche Carampane.

    • I often encourage folks with your kind of schedule to figure out in advance what kind of trip they want (the ‘must sees’ and ‘must dos’). Those 3 locations have pretty compact historical zones which can be readily covered on foot, but they are dense with important historical and cultural stuff, and it is easy to get really overwhelmed once there.

      Have a think early about whether you would be happy just strolling and taking in the wonderful urban design, or if you want to see specific galleries (the Vatican museum or the Uffizi can easily take a whole day), or if you want to make time for markets (usually mornings) or specific restaurants (often makes sense to break for lunch when many sites esp. churches close down anyway).

      If you are into architecture, you could plan walks around the important Baroque structures in Rome and Renaissance ones in Florence – it is a fabulous lesson in design to see in person how the elegant ordered Renaissance facades in Florence blossomed 50 – 100 years later into busy Baroque drama in Rome. In Florence, the ones to look out for are the Pitti palace, the Uffizi, the Ospedale, Michelangelo’s work in the Medici library. In Rome, piazza Navona, piazza del Popolo, piazza Sant Ignazio, the Trevi Fountain. If you have an interest in design, keep an eye out for Bernini’s and Borromini’s small churches which are very dramatic and complex structures crammed onto small sites (Ivo alla Sapienza, Carlo alle Fontane, Andrea del Quirinale – the latter 2 somewhat out of the centro on Quirinale hill).

      It also works quite nicely to plan walks around specific artists – I think you’d take some really special places in Rome, Florence and Venice if you are on the trail for Bernini or Caravaggio, Michelangelo and Tintoretto respectively, since these guys left masterworks in various big and small churches, palaces, squares and civic spaces in their cities.

      Train sounds about right – my recollection is that Rome to Venice maybe a half-day and Rome to Florence 3 hours, and I’m pretty sure you can do Rome-Venice-Florence-Rome or Rome-Florence-Venice-Rome. Check out the Trenitalia website – you should be able to plan itinerary and buy tickets on it.

      Also recommend luggage which you can readily roll and also pick up and carry, in case you have to walk through train stations and up/ down stairs. And some wet-weather gear – October starts to get rainy esp. in Tuscany.

  16. Need some shopping help. My LBD is, sadly, dying after 6+ years of stellar service (seriously, I wear it like weekly, year round). Looking for its replacement. It must be: (1) knee length; (2) black; (3) sleeveless; (4) plain; (5) sheath style; (6) four season wool. It also needs to go from work (with cardigan or jacket ) to evening (with jewelry and pashmina) but I think if it has all the other requirements, the day-to-night Barbie part will just happen. I’d like to spend less than $200 for it, but since I would wear it so much, I think I could justify a higher price if the dress was exactly right. The J Crew Emmaleigh might work but I’d prefer a simpler line (and no pockets). Thoughts?

  17. Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but wanted to ask the hive.

    I’ve been temping at a place for almost a year. They are currently discussing hiring me. I plan on leaving as soon as I can for a variety of professional reasons. If they offer me the job I should take it, right? Even though I plan on leaving in approximately 4 months, if I get another job? I’m thinking yes. The other job is not a sure thing.

  18. Anyone have advice on how to clean a longchamps pliage bag? It’s not filthy gross or anything, just normal daily use.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I second this request!

    • I’ve carefully handwashed mine using dishsoap and avoiding getting any water/soap on the handles. I actually stood in my bathtub to do this, but then I live in an apartment and don’t have a big sink haha. You could also use woolite or some other gentle detergent.

    • I put mine in the washing machine (short delicate cycle, cold water). I have friends that do the same thing.

    • Okay. I’m going to try to clean it sometime this week. I’ll report back.

      • Longchamp’s instructions say to wash using neutral soap and to avoid getting water on the leather handles. You can also spot treat using baby wipes. I’ve done both and my bags still look great.

  19. Mountain Girl :

    I’m curious if I am the only person who doesn’t know how to wear jewel neck sweaters (think the J Crew Jackie). I feel like they flop around and I’m always straightening. I tend to gravitate towards v-neck cardigans because of this but I really need to branch out. How do I keep the silly sweater from flopping all over?

    • Does the neck not lie flat on you? I thought jewel neck sweaters were just a round neck, like a crew. I can’t figure out what there is to flop.

      • Yeah, me neither. I have several Jackie sweaters (love!) and have never had any flopping. Maybe you’re wearing them too large?

      • I think she means a button up jewel neck sweater. When the top button is undone, one side of the placket often droops down because of the weight of the button. I have this problem as well, and would love to hear any suggestions. I’ve tried layering a heavy necklace over the sweater, which works reasonably well, but aside from going to the lengths of fashion tape, I’ve more or less accepted the flopping.

    • I can see the Jackie cardigan flopping if you don’t button it all the way, and that’s not going to change unless you double tape it or something.

      The regular crewneck sweaters (no buttons) don’t really have the capacity to flop.

      • You can tape it into a “lapel” if you want. I do that for fun sometimes, but don’t mind the natural hang when open, either. No one judges others for these things, don’t judge yourself, either. It’s just physics, no big deal. Bet you look lovely.

    • some readers of this site use hollywood fashion tape or similar products.

    • MissJackson :

      This is the reason that I only buy v-neck cardis. I know that the flopping doesn’t bother most people, but it drives me crazy. I also think that v-neck cardigans are more flattering on my figure. Is there a reason that you feel like you really need to branch out?

      • +1 – I never by crew necked anything because it just isn’t flattering on my. V neck cardigans and sweaters are my standbys.

      • Mountain Girl :

        Peer pressure?

      • TurtleWexler :

        Drives me crazy, too. I have a couple jewel- and crewneck cardigans that I like enough to keep, but mainly buy v-necks for exactly the sane reason. They can be hard to find, though, so when I find good ones I stock up!

    • Honey Pillows :

      I find that most round-neck cardigans flop open, thanks to my generously sized Ladies. It’s just simple physics and gravity.

    • What about a vintage sweater guard? Like this, for example: http://www.wwepw.com/2010/01/channeling-emma-nicolles-looks.html

  20. Hey ladies, I had to spend some time away from everything that got me through the Bar for a while (kept having flashbacks), but I’m back and I need help.

    After months of stalking (through Shopping Notes of course) I finally managed to snag this skirt, link to follow, in Mazarine Blue for $16! But now, I need to know what shape top will work best with a skirt like this. I don’t have any sleeveless button downs like in the alternate picture. I’ll take color suggestions as well, if you have them.

    Thanks in advance ladies!

    • Here’s the skirt, http://bit.ly/Q1m7nc.

      To see the color, click the “Woman” tab, that’s the only place where it is left.

      Once again, thanks for any suggestions.

    • Since the comment with the link is still in moderation, it’s the square eyelet skirt with the blue fabric over the pink lining. Until you get up close to the skirt, it actually looks like it could be purple.

      • In the Pink :

        If it’s the small windowpane skirt from Talb@@@@… I wear a tank/sweater top that matches the top layer of the skirt. Then I put on a third color in a solid jacket as I don’t go jacketless in my office. If I have it, a belt over the jacket or cardi that’s one of the skirt colors.

        I have the fuschia with orange underneath. So I wear a black/white/grey top and then layer on a pink jacket/cardi and a pink belt. Because I can’t do orange with my olive skin.

        I have also worn a white printed cardi from boden that had checks on it in the same pink and orange…

        But that’s all shape information. If you wear it with only a blouse, I’d think a straight, simple top or even one with a small peplum.

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