Black ties and faux pas

Cher in 1988We’re not sure why WSJ has this story *now*, given that black tie season is over (isn’t it?) but today they have a great article on why businesswomen need to be very, very careful in choosing an evening gown.

It’s not just a matter of image; sometimes, there can be real trouble. Lisa Goldstein, an attorney and founder of consulting firm Rainmaker Trainers in Philadelphia, says that during a client dinner with spouses, a head of a law firm was propositioned by her male client and his wife. The client “suggested that they swing together,” says Ms. Goldstein, who was informally consulted on how to recover the professional-client relationship. The lawyer felt that her revealing evening dress had set the wrong tone, sending “signals that were misinterpreted,” says Ms. Goldstein.

Ye-ow. We’ve seen some truly bad outfits at various black ties, and can remember more than a few personal gaffes ourselves (after the jump)

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Friday’s TPS Report

Anthropologie ShirtHere’s a fun and slightly different t-shirt to wear underneath a suit jacket or cardigan. We’d wear it with a white or black camisole underneath, at least the first time it’s worn — we’ve been burned by Anthropologie before. We think the square neckline would look perfect with a nice pair of pearls, or even a tasteful pendant necklace.

Thursday’s TPS Report

ladies cufflinksWe used to buy those tiny fabric knots to wear with the French-cuffed shirts we got at Thomas Pink, until a friend who’d made a move to a more relaxed lifestyle sold us her cufflink stash: beautiful, feminine cufflinks she’d collected over the years that turned out to be 200x easier to get through the darned holes. These cuffs were so beautiful AND so much easier to work with that we are never going back to those tiny fabric knots (for $10, too!) again. Today’s item of lust is Vivre’s collection of cufflinks. We’re fond of the clear rock crystal/jade combo, but we do note that they have them in rose quartz (which, in times past, was thought to increase one’s chances of finding love) and lapis lazuli (sometimes thought to be a stone of great power).

Well, well – sale at Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brother 4-ply Loro Piana cashmere sweaterIf well-made, conservative clothes is what you’re looking for, Brooks Brothers is always a safe place to go. Nothing there is earth-shattering, and it’s relentlessly preppy, but nothing there is going to offend anyone. There’s a number of great basics in the “Clearance” section (including a $300 4-ply Loro Piana cashmere sweater marked down to $111 after discount, hello!) and some great shoes. Use code “Friend56” at checkout for 25% off your entire order.

Wednesday’s TPS Report

One of the things we’ll be doing on this site is looking at one piece of office-appropriate clothing each day, in a range of prices. Mondays will be sky’s-the-limit; Fridays will be “trying to get out of debt to quit.” Today’s find is a beautiful David Meister sheath dress in a happy blue. It’s knee-length, which is appropriate. When you buy it you shouldn’t buy it too tight — this thing will hug your body. I think it would be great paired with a khaki-colored jacket, or a navy or black cardigan. (Definitely cover the arms at the office, though — sleeveless is not appropriate unless the air conditioning is malfunctioning!

She looks a bit uncertain on those heels...

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