Thursday’s TPS Report: Sparkle & Fade Pleated Silk Tee

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

Urban Outfitters isn’t in our usual hit list for the TPS report, we’ll admit, but today we are liking this slouchy, stripey silk blouse from Sparkle & Fade.  We’d wear it with a black pencil skirt, a long opera-length necklace, and perhaps a pair of flats with just a bit of a point to the toe — maybe in a color, otherwise just a black or skin-toned shoe.  We like the “hair up” look with the boatnecked neckline, for whatever reason, so we’re also seeing it with a low, slightly messy bun for the workday. The top is $54 at Urban Outfitters (sizes XS-L). Sparkle & Fade Pleated Silk Tee

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Suit of the Week

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iconFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

Today we’re liking this light brown suiting from Tahari, which has just enough linen to make it great for summer, but enough other fabrics to make us hope it won’t be a wrinkled mess after an hour of wearing it. We like the interesting double-layered look to the jacket, as well as the topstitching detail. The jacket (Tahari ASL Exclusively for Bloomingdale’s Jade Cross-Weave Jacket) is $168, and the pants (Tahari ASL Exclusively for Bloomingdale’s Lila Cross-Weave Straight-Leg Pants) are $138. (We are also undecided on whether this sheath dress matches the set or not (Tahari ASL Exclusively for Bloomingdale’s “Helen” Belted Sheath Dressicon) — we’ll have to check and get back to you.)

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Previously, on Corporette…

corp-square-logo-2-aug08 This time last year, here’s what was on our minds…

and — in May 2008 —

Wednesday’s TPS Report: Seamed sheath dress

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

Banana Republic Seamed sheath dressGreat basic dress from Banana Republic.  Sleeves?  Check.  Office-appropriate length?  Check.  No cleavage?  Check.  We like the seaming, and — why, hello, it’s hand-washable.  We also like that it comes in regulars, petites, and talls, in both toasted almond (pictured) and black.  We think the opera-length necklace is key here — it adds a vertical element, as well as some interest to an otherwise very basic dress.  It’s $130, in sizes 00-16.  Banana Republic Seamed sheath dress

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Wear and Tear on Heels

how to save your heelsReader A, living out West, writes in with a question that kind of boggles the mind…

I wonder if you could do a post about wear & tear on shoes. I recently started my career as an associate at a lawfirm. I am on my 4th month and have gone through two pairs of black pumps. I do at least 1/2 mile of walking downtown to and from court everyday–sidewalk, brick, asphalt. I live on a dirt road & when I pick up my son from his grandmother’s house, I have to walk through gravel. Needless to say, my heels don’t last long. The obvious answer is to get the heels fixed at a tailor, but there really isn’t a conveniently located tailor. So, even if I am going to get them fixed, I may have to wear them for awhile before I can get there.

Wow — we’ve heard of people who wear their shoes hard, but reader A has them beat. I t seems like there are two things going on: first, the walk to and from court — and second, the dirt road/gravel and so forth. We’d like to take gravel out of the picture for your high heel pumps (how do you even do it?) — what you need is a commuting shoe. Obviously, you don’t want to go whole-hog on the cowboy boots (although, hey, they are jokingly referred to as s#$! -kickers for a reason) but Frye makes a number of boots (as well as some hard-working shoes) that can look great with both pants or skirts.   We might even suggest looking into Doc Martens or the like — you just want a black shoe or boot that won’t be noticed beneath your regular suit pants, but can take a gravel-dirt road experience.  If money is an issue, even just plain black sneakers (like those from Sketchers) would be a good option for commuting shoes (and, unlike our other suggestions, they’re lightweight enough to toss in a plastic bag and toss in your tote bag if you need to carry your commuting shoes with you instead of just kicking them off under your desk).

Now, in terms of sidewalk, brick, asphalt — shoes do need regular maintenance. We suggest finding a shoe guy (there must be one near the courthouse — isn’t there a shoe shine stand, at the very least?  Try asking the proprietor of the shoe shine stand if he or she does other maintenance.)  We’ve noticed a big difference when we’ve had the heels and soles of shoes replaced with rubber soles — more comfortable to walk on, less skidding, and they wear much better.  In fact, at the end of every season you should do an assessment of your shoes — does the leather need to be conditioned?  Does the suede need to be brushed or otherwise cared for?  Is the leather holding up?  How are the soles doing?  It doesn’t require a weekly trip to a shoe guy, but once a season goes a long way.

Readers, what kind of maintenance do you do on your shoes?  Do you have any suggestions for grueling walking circumstances like Reader A?

Pictured: My fancy new boots, originally uploaded to Flickr by Hillary H.

Coffee Break: Samanta Women’s Nancie Pump

Samanta Women's Nancie Pump We’re liking this lovely pump from Samanta, a brand that we’ve never heard of before but apparently focuses on “stylish footwear with unique comfort features.”  (And they come in sizes as large as 13!)  The “Nancie” pump strikes us as a great basic — the slightly rounded/slightly pointy toe is a perennial classic, and the closed toe means you can get away with it even at the most conservative offices.  Lovely.  It’s $199 at Endless.com in black, red, and brown.   Samanta Women’s Nancie Pump

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