Kat’s Favorite Suits of 2013

Best Women's Suits of 2013 | CorporetteIn keeping with the theme of yearly look-backs, these are some of my favorites suits recommended here this year…  (Each picture links back to the original post… and of course, don’t forget to check out The Corporette Guide to Basic Women’s Suiting.  Here were our roundup of favorite suits from 2012 and 2010.)

Readers, which were your favorite suits recommended in 2013? Any favorites from the commenting threads?

BLACK Saks Fifth Avenue Tropical Wool Suit Jacket BOSS Black ‘Jeisa’ Wool Jacket The Limited Reverse-Lapel Jacket Grace Elements Jacket, Single-Button Ponte-Knit Blazer
Ann Taylor Two Button Tweed Jacket The Limited Hook-Front Suit Jacket Donna Karan Draped Lapel Jacket, Black Elie Tahari Martina Leather-Trim Jacket
Classiques Entier® ‘Zola’ Tweed Suit Nanette Lepore Stardust Jacket Gucci Wool Jacket with Jaguar Print Collar The Limited Red Suit

Comments

  1. I’m actually curious about what suits people have that travel the best? (e.g., avoid wrinkles, versatile so can pack less, doesn’t take up too much room) I have a few conferences coming up and none of mine wow me travel-wise so I’m on the hunt.

    Also, happy almost-New-Year all! FYI we’re doing a travel-ready resolution on our site if anyone wants to join in.

    • My older Theory suits have held up well, travel well and at most need a bit of steam (from the shower) upon arrival at the hotel. I can’t say the same about the newer ones. I feel as if their quality as gone way down in recent years – the fabric feels different/cheaper, the construction quality is off, the buttons, zippers, etc. feel cheap. It’s disappointing because it was one brand I had come to count on – I knew my size, could order online when I found a good price.

    • I have an AT wool crepe suit from 2006 or so that is beyond awesome for travel. It just does not wrinkle. The crepe is very heavy. I think it was a fancy suit that I hacked a bow off of (back of jacket, maybe)? But I have never seen anything in this world like it (if I did, I would enter Level 5 Hoarder mode).

    • ChicagoLiz :

      If Misook is not too matronly for your tastes, they are excellent travel suits because they don’t wrinkle, are machine-washable, and pack down small. The styles tend to be boxy (and the sizing runs large), so they are pretty comfortable for traveling. The fabric is Not Found in Nature and they will never be your very best, sharpest suit, but if you can’t afford a St John suit (which are also amazing travel suits because they don’t wrinkle), they’ll do.

    • For travel, I like Issey Miyake, a Japanese line known for its exotic colourful pleats but which usually carries a handful of beautifully-cut navy or black jackets every season. These jackets incorporate the famous pleats, often with great little details, a scarf effect, a restrained ruffle. With the addition of tailored trousers, they read as a conventional-enough season-less suit to a non-fashion eye. They pack perfectly (just roll ‘em up), are very easy to maintain, are very comfortable and easy to fit, thanks to the stretchy effect of the pleats.

      You want the main line (‘Fete’ I think) for professional wear, not the diffusion line (‘Pleats Please’). Expect to pay designer prices, although the weak yen makes them a tad more affordable these days.

  2. Any recommendations for a nice, silky knee length or above robe? Maybe in a pretty pattern? I bought one from the gap that I love the shape of but the quality isn’t great.

  3. Threadjack, ladies. Need an advice on how to cope and what to do. Husband and I are evidently heading for a divorce. We have 3 young kids, 7 and under. On top of that, my job is in huge jeopardy. What do I need to think of? It just all sucks so much I want to run away from all the problems…

    • I’m so sorry to hear that. My first piece of advice would be to consult a good divorce attorney. Even if you’re not ready to proceed, they’ll let you know what you need to do to protect yourself in the meantime. In terms of coping, go easy on yourself right now. Now is not the time to worry about being perfect. Do whatever you can to shore up the job situation and be there for your kids, but seriously, serve frozen meals/PB&J/hamburger helper/etc. Don’t worry about having a spotless house. Just do what needs to be done and let everything else slide. Tell any family/friends who can be there for you (and also so they know not to lean on you right now). Best of luck.

      • Paying it Forward :

        Some helpful person on this site suggested looking into my employers EAS. This was so helpful! I found a therapist and it really helped. Also, you can talk to a therapist 24/7 and get free consultations from divorce attorneys. I felt much better when I knew what I could do. Good luck!

    • No advice but hugs and rawrs.

    • Anonymous :

      When I felt like my marriage was really headed that way, I read Project: Happily Ever After. I felt it was hugely helpful in so many ways (and there’s even a 10-step-guide at the end). Ultimately, DH & I were able to patch things up. If there are no objectively horrible problems (e.g., abuse, cheating, etc.), I would encourage you to read the book. Either way, huge hugs because that sucks so much.

      • Anonymous :

        PS. You can read quite a bit for free on A m a z o n if you’d like to check it out before buying it or finding it at your library.

      • Thanks! I am checking out the book right now. No abuse or cheating (yet), just an ultimate breakdown in communication and respect for each other!

        • Baconpancakes :

          Ach, I imagine that would make you feel so frustrated because there’s nothing “wrong” you can easily point to. Best of luck, and many hugs, whatever you decide to do.

    • Anonymous :

      This blog also has some good practical tips from someone who has been through it.

      http://happyhausfrau.blogspot.com/2010/06/what-to-do-when-your-husband-leaves-you.html

    • Hang in there. No advice, but others seem to have good posts.

      • Anonymous :

        I read the hausfrau blog (parts one and two) and from 8 years down the road, let me just back up every word of both of her posts. The second (more serious) one is critical.

  4. Heels with stacked (not covered) heel :

    I am a serial ruiner of heels where the leather covers the heel. So, I’d like to find some heels where the heel is just stacked wood (or woodlike material). No / minimal platforms.

    Does this still exist?

  5. Need help deciding on apartment.... :

    So, I live in DC with fiance and dog. Expensive neighborhood, but nice because we don’t have to own a car (I walk, he bikes, we live equidistant to our respective workplaces). 1 bedroom, no laundry, for $1,500/month. We aren’t going to buy because we plan to leave the area in 2-4 years. We are hoping to start trying to have a kid, and absolutely don’t want to have one in our current apartment. Options:

    1. Stay in the current place until I’m actually pregnant, if it happens, or until we go crazy with the no laundry and the *really* tight space. We’ll save money on lower rent. Put off buying a car until we have a kid.

    2. Rent near a metro in northern Virginia–likely around $2,000 a month for a two bedroom with laundry, so we’d be able to fit a kid and stay for the rest of the duration of our time in DC. We’d have to buy a car right away because while I could take the metro, my fiance works strange hours and would have to commute by car. Would save roughly $3,000 a year with lower income taxes, but would be paying $6,000-ish more a year in rent, plus car costs. Also, wouldn’t be as nice/convenient/wonderful as current neighborhood.

    3. Rent a larger place in current neighborhood–likely around $2,000 a month for a two bedroom with laundry if we get lucky and are able to snap up an amazing place that was just listed. We could then wait to buy a car until I get pregnant, if it happens. But we’d have the same (high) income taxes as well as pay $6,000-ish more a year in rent. But we’d have laundry! And another bedroom!

    As you can tell, I’m leaning toward #3. But #1 is probably the more fiscally prudent option. Or #2? I’d love to hear you ladies weigh in. If it matters, the difference between paying $1,500 and $2,000 a month in rent is about 22% of after-tax income vs. 29% of after-tax income–so not a negligible amount.

    • Manhattanite :

      I did option #1 in NYC. The key is when your lease rolls over. Our lease rolled over just as I got pregnant and so we had to stay with the same management company to avoid about $5k in penalties for breaking our lease. FWIW, I wasn’t ready to commit to a move until I actually got pregnant because you never know how long it will take and, in NYC, the difference in our rent between the 1- and 2-bdrm is $1600/mo.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1, I would keep your current place as long as possible.

        • +2. Speaking from experience. Don’t move until it’s absolutely necessary.

          • +3. Even after you get pregnant you have some time — the baby is supposed to sleep in your room with you for 3-7 months after birth to prevent SIDS (and other reasons I’m sure), and it’ll likely take you at least 6-12 months after the kid is born to catch your breath and figure out which way is up again anyway. I’d stay put now.

          • Yes, don’t move as soon as you are pg. That was our mistake, because the day after we moved I found out I would miscarry. So we were stuck with more room than we ever needed, a more expensive place, and the location was way less convenient. We made the best of it, but I do wish we had stayed put longer.

            That being said, the rental market in our city wasn’t crazy like it seems to be in DC, so I’m not sure how to factor that into everything.

      • Wildkitten :

        I live in #1 and save enough money that its always worthwhile, for now.

    • Well, what’s the timeframe here? Are you going to wait until after you are married to start trying? Unless you are worried about a high penalty to break your lease/lack of inventory, I’d wait until you are actually pregnant to move. That will still give you 9 months to sort this out.

    • Need help deciding on apartment.... :

      We are actually getting married next month, and are going to start trying immediately. And our lease right now is month-to-month. I just assumed we’d do option #1 (because I don’t know if/when I’ll get pregnant), and then option #2 if/when I get pregant, but option #3 came up and it’s actually a really good deal. Inventory for 2 bedrooms at or below $2,000 is practically unheard-of in our neighborhood). So I am tempted…but on the other hand, it is a lot of rent. 9 months plus who knows how long of trying = 1-2 years of increased rent when it’s not necessary.

      • Depending on your neighborhood, it could be that the deal is actually too good to be true – be sure to check in with others in that building, get an inspection, etc to make sure you aren’t missing out on a particular reason the apartment is below market.

        (I’m sure you are being prudent, but one apt in a friend’s building is much cheaper than the rest in the building because – surprise! – it has water leaks on a pretty regular basis.)

    • If you’re terribly unhappy (and I mean really really unhappy), move! With an upcoming wedding and pregnancy, I would definitely recommend saving your money and staying put though. Also, consider taking a long weekend (MLK Jr. Day weekend, perhaps?) to try to deep clean and/or make your home more convenient — do things like add shelves, find a piece of furniture for that awkward corner in your apartment, donate clothes, get a storage unit for out-of-season clothes or gear (like ski/golf gear). Consider painting your bathroom. Buy curtains. Instead of lamenting that your bag & coat always end up on the kitchen table, make them easier to put away — put a hook on the back of your front door. Get a new medicine cabinet so that you have more storage space in the bathroom. Spend some time at the Container Store (or the DC equivalent) and think about what would really help your current apartment be livable for another year! Anyway, these are all just ideas if you decide to stay!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Wow, $1500 in a nice neighborhood for an actual 1-bedroom? Not a studio? That’s fantastic. That said, $2000 for a 2-bedroom is also absurdly low. I’d get the 2-bedroom, but that’s because I’m an out-of-town-guest host at least once a month, and I’m getting tired of sleeping on the inexorably deflating air mattress in the living room.

      However, if you honestly look at your lifestyle and admit that you wouldn’t USE the 2nd bedroom more than 3-4 times a year except as an extra place to stash your junk, I would hold off. $6,000 is a lot of money! You could keep it in a CD and get ready to throw it in a 529 plan for your child the minute he or she is born!

      • That’s my reaction, too. If you can get that $2k 2-br and would use it, go for it. If not, I would do #1 and keep an eye out for bigger places in your area once you have a better idea of baby-time frame, since you’re month-to-month in your current place.

        What are you going to do about parking, once you get a car? Are you comfortable with street parking in your neighborhood? If you found a rental in your neighborhood with parking, you could sublease the spot until you had a car and needed it.

        I know people like NoVa and MoCo isn’t the same, but I am so much happier living in DC (versus MoCo) and walking to work and just being closer to everything. Also, if you move out to NoVa, will you have to get a dogwalker because the commute is longer?

      • Anonymous :

        This is totally tangential, but re: the 529 comment–I don’t believe you have to wait to start a 529 until the child is born. You just need *a* beneficiary, which can be yourself. Then you change it to the child when the child is born. If you are never able to have children, you can use the money yourself for education, or name a niece/nephew/other family member as beneficiary. I wouldn’t sink tens of thousands in one prior to having children, but it’s also nice to research which plan you want to go with and be able to get it set up before the baby craziness and then do the easier step of changing the beneficiary once things settle down.

        • Ciao, pues :

          Do you have resources you can suggest for learning more about 529 plans? we’re expecting a baby soon and plan to open one when s/he arrives, but know next to nothing about how they work. Is there a good tutorial or something on the subject?

          • @ Ciao, pues: 529 plans are state-specific, so usually your state website will have info on how to get started learning about it.

          • You can use your state’s plan (you might get a tax deduction) or choose a plan from another state. Some states don’t have great plans in terms of investment options and fees so you may be better off choosing one of the top plans from other states. The site www savingforcollege com (replace spaces with .) seems to have a good breakdown of the specifics for each state’s plans and any in-state benefits, as well as a lot of 529 information and resources.

    • Also in DC :

      A 2 bedroom with laundry for $2K a month in downtown DC??? TAKE IT! TAKE IT NOW!

      In all seriousness, if $2K is your budget, that might be your only option for a 2-bedroom with laundry. Metro-accessible NOVA neighborhoods are not as cheap as you seem to believe. If you do manage to find something out here at that price, it’s going to be way out in Fairfax, where your fiance’s car commute to DC will be all kinds of horrible. If that unicorn apartment doesn’t work out for whatever reason, and $2k is your absolute upper limit, you may do just as well to stay put.

      • Also in DC :

        Just saw that you also have a dog. There is a 0% chance you’ll find something for $2K near a metro in Nova. Maybe you could spend the $2K to get to a nicer, bigger 1-bedroom or 1-bedroom + den with laundry? Seems like laundry would be a huge quality of life issue with a baby, so might be worth it.

      • I don’t know – I live in North Old Town (15 minute walk from the Braddock Rd metro stop) for $2k/month for a 2 bed/1 bath with laundry and found plenty of things in the $2000-2200 price range when I was looking last month. Just none in “fancy” new-construction large buildings in that price range.

        • Also in DC :

          Good point, if you only need 1 bathroom $2K wouldn’t be quite as unreasonable. Definitely not new construction, like you said, and probably more of a hike to the metro, but not impossible.

      • Need help deciding on apartment.... :

        Ack! I know! This is my dilemma. In response to Baconpancakes and rosie, we totally don’t need a second bedroom now (actually, the laundry part is the most tempting), but will definitely want one if we have a kid, so out of town family can actually visit. And I really don’t want to move out of DC proper, if at all possible…I love my commute and my neighborhood.

        I am thinking one of the reasons the $2k apartment is cheap is (1) no parking; (2) no outside space; and (3) the kitchen is (laughably) small. And it’s a little dated.

        And I absolutely refuse to have a kid in the apartment we are in now. It’s fine for us, but walking 4 flights of stairs for laundry would be even more of a pain. Plus, it’s an old apartment building, with a kind of musty bathroom that is prone to mold and peeling paint. Fine for us adults, but I would worry about an infant/baby/toddler.

        I sound like I’m trying to justify the $2k apartment…

        • Wildkitten :

          I live in an affordable, convenient, dog friendly DC apartment. Email me Wildkittenr 3 t t 3 at google mail. I hope to move when I can buy but until then my building has more value than cost, and saves enough per month to make future cost worthwhile. Sounds like you might be in the same boat, i’m happy to talk it through,

  6. Another Kat :

    Two questions: I read petite style blogs (Alterations Needed, Extra Petite) because I can’t find any tall blogs that feature regular, inspiring, work appropriate outfits. Suggestions?

    Second, I am loving the J. Cr*w English tweed Schoolboy Blazer Alterations Needed featured this morning. Anything similar at different stores that comes in a tall? Or, opinions on the value/quality of j. Cr*w blazers in the various materials they offer (cross hatch linen, wool Flannel, standard wool)? I’m looking for a classic length blazer (no shrunken hipbone length) in a pattern or texture (casual office). 6′, size 4-6. Would love suggestions for less expensive options.

  7. Mary Ann Singleton :

    A friend and her baby are both sick, and I want to drop off some homemade food for her (food that can be eaten immediately or frozen). Any recommendations for something hearty, healthy and freezer friendly?

  8. Jessica Glitter :

    Dear first trimester nausea…please go away.
    In other news, my office is freezing (Texans don’t know what to do when it is below 40 outside) so today I am wearing uggs around my office in an act of protest (although I sadly slip my heels back on every time I have to walk down the hall…)

    • Wildkitten :

      No personal experience but Amazon speaks well of these with 1st 1/3 nausea: http://www.honeystinger.com/organic-energy-chews.html

    • Seabands helped me. As did sour candy and constant very small snacks

      • Hard Jolly Rancher candies worked amazing for me. As long as I had one in my mouth I wasn’t queasy. Of course, I will never be able to eat another my whole life without being reminded of that nausea, but it was totally worth it.

        Also, vitamin B6 really, really helped too. During my last pg I was mild to moderately nauseous for the whole time except for 4-6 weeks toward the end of the 2nd tri (hope that doesn’t scare you) and the B6 was amazing. Takes 2-3 days after you start taking it to kick in, but brought down the nausea to manageable levels so I could function.

    • Nothing, even Zofran, took it away but the Zofran plus constantly snacking on oyster crackers and “keep it down” tea by Anna Naturals kept me from actually vomiting most of the time. And at 13.5 weeks, I really did start feeling better. I was pretty much done with it and miserable by 12 weeks (crying calls to my mother and husband) and my work performance really suffered, but thankfully I really did turn a corner at 13.5 weeks.

  9. Threadjack! I am a junior/mid level associate, and I have been working with a paralegal who is seriously starting to grate on my nerves. This is our first time working together, as I am a lateral and haven’t been at the firm for a year yet, but this paralegal has been with the firm for a very long time (I think 10+ years). If it matters, we are in different cities so we’ve been working over the phone/email. I swear, I am a very considerate, friendly, and polite person, always saying please and thank you and generally having a positive demeanor. But time and time again, this paralegal (who is a man, if it matters) seems to be having problems doing things I ask him to do. For example, he saved a bunch of docs to the system once, and I asked him to name them in a certain way, and he gave me attitude about it and explained to me essentially why it was a waste of time. For the most recent situation, I asked him to copy opposing counsel on an email he sent to a third party vendor (because we just had a call with opposing counsel and they requested that we copy them on this email and we said fine) and paralegal calls me and says, oh well I don’t normally do that, I first send an email to [third party vendor] and wait for them to respond before I send it to opposing counsel. And I’m like ok, well we told them that we would copy them and we want them to be aware of any issues that we have, and he snaps back at me WELL THERE AREN’T ANY ISSUES. I mean, ladies am I overreacting here? Like I said I have tried to be really nice to this guy, but I am starting to feel like he has some problem with me. Any suggestions on how to handle? Thanks in advance!!!

    • Eh, I’d probably let the naming the documents go. Isn’t this something you could re-assign to an admin. if it is a really time consuming way of naming/organizing them? At least in my firm, paralegals don’t have administrative support. So if I give them some administrative task, it eats their billable time because they can’t hand it off. How is the rest of his work for you? If it is good and he is getting the big picture right, are these little issues worth it?
      For the email, I’d just say “please re-send forward to copy opposing counsel” No real explanation as to why needed.

      • Not sure about the OP, but naming convention is a big deal for me – there’s a specific way I want documents named to make them easier to find in our DMS – and it’s far easier if the person saving them does it when first saving, instead of having to send someone back to fix it afterwards.

        • It’s definitely fact specific. If I ask someone to name a file “Ltr to Cbackson dated 12-31-13″ I am not going to micro manage if they name it “12-31-13 Ltr to Cbackson” I can still find the file. I will complain if it is just “Cbackson ltr” or “12-31-13 ltr”.

      • Same here. If I take the time to specify a particular naming convention, there’s a good reason. I’m amazed at the garbage names I see in our DMS and have no idea how those people find their docs the next time they need them.

        • OP here – and yes! I mean, this paralegal was naming documents by literally just a number “1”; “2”; etc and I said, can you please name them as the name of the document (i mean hello common sense?!)

    • Yay! I am finally back on my OWN MacBook Air, and onley have to go into work for a little bit tomorrow b/c it is NEW YEARS EVE, and Myrna and I am goeing to have our own Party–at her apartement. She invited a few peeople from work, includeing Sam (I warned her to tell him to keep his weenie in his pant’s), so she passed that along to him. We are planning a quiet celabration (she bought us a bottel of champayne to celabrate my Partner status–yay!) and when I come back, the manageing partner said that I am getting a NEW chair — it is ERGONOMIC — dad negotieated it for me b/c the old one was from the 1940’s and it’s past owners had worn out the fabric in the seat over the last 70 year’s and it smelled musty — FOOEY!

      Anyway, as for the OP, I want to say that you are NOT over reacting to this Paralegal. Men get very pushy, especialy when you are more CREDENTIEALED then they are– you are a lawyer and he is a paralegal. Alot different! He is jelous of your status and is markeing his teritory, like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant. Do NOT let him pee on your case’s–make sure he know’s that YOU are the lawyer, and that as the LAWYER, YOU are in charge. It does NOT matter that he does things different (mabye) with other’s but with you, he is to follow YOUR direction. You can be sure that if thing’s get messed up, he will be the FIRST one to throw you under the bus. So watch out! That is what hapened to me when I was a summer intern. The senior lawyer blamed ME when he lost the file’s. All I did was make a copy of some file’s hand he lost it and blamed me. DOUBEL FOOEY! As a result, I did NOT get a job offer, but mabye that is good b/c I would have been in DC still, and would have worked for the GOVERMENT! I am glad I had to come back to NYC and bump into the manageing partner, b/c here it is a few year’s later and I am a partner!!!!! (as of Wednesday, that is).

      I will fill in the hive soon about Myrtle Beach and this guy Clem. I am not even sure what Clem stand’s for — Clementine? Whatever. He wanted me to have sex with him. TRIPEL FOOEY b/c I am not even sure he knew my name — He kept calling me Eileen! Myrna thought he was cute but I know He was a looser! FOOEY!

    • Stop being nice, and pick your battles. I agree with mascot that the naming convention issue should be dropped, unless it is absolutely crucial to avoiding some catastrophe down the line. As for the email, I also agree to tell him just to send it, without a lot of back and forth. This is something you are committed to, so stop discussing it and make sure it gets done.

      This guy may dislike you for a hundred reasons, and really, he is not obligated to like you or be nice to you. You are both obligated to do what is best for the firm and your client, and if being nice isn’t helping accomplish that, just be direct and clear about the things that absolutely must get done. If he starts to respond with, “Well, I think this is a bad idea because x, y, and z,” you respond with, “Great. This still has to happen, though.” And in turn, don’t bust his chops over things that aren’t worth dealing with the blowback. He has a number of years of experience on you, and sometimes he will be right about what is worth [his/yours/everyone's] limited time.

    • Wildkitten :

      Check Ask a Manager logs. Is he accomplishing the task better than you ask, so his viewpoint has value? Or are you expressing your needs and he’s ignoring your requested result? AMA does well explaining that your job as manager is to expect results but not micromanage process.

      And stop being nice – Monte is spot on, above. Does the paralegal work with other (possibly female?) attorneys? Do they have great systems that work well for their jobs and you can learn from? You could ask them, or ask the paralegal.

    • Just a little update…..there’s a partner in my group (and in my office location – as I stated before, this paralegal is in another office location) who I trust and have a great rapport with so I confided in him about this situation and asked for advice. He said I should keep emotions out (which is so true, I was just SO heated and annoyed) and stick to the facts, i.e. if paralegal doesn’t do what I ask him to do, then email him and cc the partner who is working on this deal and ask him if he can’t do X task then please find someone who can.

      I had a little moment of victory when paralegal emailed me and the partner on the deal and told me in the email that I shouldn’t have put something on the checklist and that he was going to remove it, and then partner responded and said no we need that, keep it on. Thanks for listening to me vent, ladies, it was just SO frustrating but I know I need to take a chill pill and at least partner is potentially alerted to the fact that this paralegal has authority problems.

  10. Hey all, just wanted to share something fun. These Blue Q socks are a fave gift among my girlfriends this year: http://www.blueq.com/socks/

    The profane ones were the favorites. Nordie’s carries some of the ones that don’t include profanity. We plan on wearing them with boots when we go back to work. ;)

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