Suit of the Week (and Deal Alert): Ann Taylor

ann taylor semi-annual saleFor 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 for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

Ann Taylor’s semi-annual sale is on, and even I’m kind of blown away at some of the prices. The major (MAJOR) caveat is that there are mostly lucky sizes only — and they’re doing that annoying thing where half the things say “sold out” only after you click on them. (Why?!) Still: there are big deals to be had if you’re in the mood to hunt, ladies. This suit, for example, looks great.  The jacket (Fringe Trim Tweed Jacket) was $189, then marked to $119, and with the additional 50% off, it comes down to $60.  The skirt (Tweed Pencil Skirt) was $89, was then marked to $54, and then comes down to $26. (Let’s not discuss the matching high-waisted shorts.)

Some other picks from the sale, pictured below:

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Wednesday’s Workwear Report: ‘Nocturnal’ Tweed Blazer

Black-and-White Tweed Blazer: Truth & Pride 'Nocturnal' Tweed BlazerOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I go back and forth on this blazer.  On the one hand, it’s vaguely reminiscent of that scene in Clueless — but I think she’s actually wearing a Chanel jacket there, which, hey, is always something aspirational. This one is far, far more affordable than a Chanel jacket, though, and becomes even more affordable with the sale.  it was $268, but comes down to $160.  I’d wear it as styled, with white and black — I might swap out a pale pink blouse in summer, or swap for a dark burgundy pencil skirt in winter, but otherwise, I think white and black is the way to go here.  Truth & Pride ‘Nocturnal’ Tweed Blazer

Here’s a lower-priced option; two plus-size options are here and here.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


Coffee Break: Panama Leather Shoulder Tote

black leather work toteOoooh: nice. Sure, sure, I mostly like it because of that blue lining — but it’s a nice looking, lightweight bag. (It actually reminds me of a slightly more fancy version of Everlane’s leather tote, which is also very nice but definitely very plain.) The pictured bag has a flat base, and I like that the exterior zippered pocket is large enough for most tablets. It’s $345 at Nordstrom, available in black and light brown. Rebecca Minkoff ‘Panama’ Leather Shoulder Tote

Here’s a lower-priced tote.

(Fun question: Do you prefer leather or nylon for work totes and interview totes? Why? We’re gearing up for a Hunt on totes for work so I thought I’d ask…)


Splurge Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Knitted Top Cardigan

Gray Wool Cardigan: Peserico Knitted Top Cardigan Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.  

Welcome back, ladies! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was intrigued to see the Italian workwear brand Peserico at Saks recently — it’s apparently been around for 50 years and is “synonymous for quality pants and skirts designed for women who value a sophisticated elegance.” This cardigan does have a simple, sophisticated elegance about it. It’s $525 at Saks — but it looks like there are lucky sizes and colors over at Yoox for $258, as well as other styles. Peserico Knitted Top Cardigan

Here’s a lower-priced alternative and a plus-size option in  black and gray.

Psst: do note that Boden just added an additional 10% off all sale items with code 4V6C — discounts are now up to 60% off.  Happy shopping!

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Tailored Shift Dress in Lightweight Wool

Gray Work Dress: J.Crew Factory Tailored Shift Dress in Lightweight Wool Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Reader K wrote in to recommend this dress, noting: “Thanks for your site — it’s a great resource! I just wanted to say, don’t forget about J. Crew Factory for budget options. I have purchased several pencil skirts from there, and recently got a great pair of nude kitten heels and a wool sheath dress I’m very happy with.” Aw, thank you for the compliments, K! The dress looks gorgeous, and I like all four of the colors it comes in. It was $128 at full price but is marked to $69.99 today (final sale); it’s available in sizes 00-18. Right now at J.Crew Factory you can also get an extra 15% off your purchase and extra 50% off clearance with code HAPPYSALE, meaning the dress comes down to $35. J.Crew Factory Tailored Shift Dress in Lightweight Wool

Shout out to the commenters for putting a name to this sheath dress — it really does look like the Emmaleigh dress from a few years ago. You can see it pictured on a model in this old sheath dress roundup (it’s the pink one near the bottom).

Here’s an option in petite and plus sizes.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


Coffee Break: ‘Paradise’ Croc Embossed Suede & Leather Satchel

Blue & Black Handbag: AllSaints 'Paradise' Croc Embossed Suede & Leather SatchelI don’t know which I’m more excited about: to see shoulder bags coming back in style, or to realize that Nordstrom carries the brand AllSaints, at least as far as bags are concerned. This boxy black/blue shoulder bag looks perfect — functional but interesting, and the tighter shoulder strap makes it look just a bit more fresh. It’s $278 at Nordstrom. AllSaints ‘Paradise’ Croc Embossed Suede & Leather Satchel

Here’s a lower-priced option on clearance.