Suit of the Week

For 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.

albert niponWe know, we know: not everyone here is a size four. But if you ARE, then it is your lucky day, because that is the only size left available for this week’s Suit of the Week. (We normally don’t like to be so exclusive, but, hello, the suit was gorgeous and the only one even slightly interesting this week.) This lovely Albert Nipon suit in the almost-neutral color of raisin has clean, flattering lines — in fact, it is so clean that we can even let the tonal trim pass, despite the fact that it might be interpreted as frilly on any other suit. And the discounts, ye gods! It was marked at $380 at Neiman Marcus, but is now marked at $152. Take another 25% off at checkout, and it comes down to $114. Lovely.  Albert Nipon Pleated Suit

P.S. Please try to ignore the small furry handbag the model is carrying.

Wedneday’s TPS Report: Tracy Reese Sculpted Skirt

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

iconWell, this is something you don’t see every day — a perfectly shaped skirt that is both flirty and classic at the same time. We’re loving the sculpted shape, and the fact that it’s washable. We’d wear it with the highest heels we could passably walk in, and a fitted top with clean lines. It’s available for pre-order at Nordstrom’s for $125. Tracy Reese Sculpted Skirt

If you’ve recently seen a great work piece you’d like to recommend to the readers, please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.

Poll of the Week: Should Anyone Wear an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini To An Office Function?

This came up a while back and we wanted to postpone until it was actually warm enough to go swimming, but here is a question for the ages: if your conservative office has a pool party, boating trip, or something else where swimsuits would otherwise be appropriate, what do you wear? Particularly in light of the British scandal over some Speedo photos, we wondered what the masses thought.

For our $.02… it’s hard to answer this from a meta level, actually, because every part of our brain screams FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT WEAR A SWIM SUIT AMONG COLLEAGUES.  While on vacation amongst people you don’t know, it’s almost like being alone — no one can really judge, and so many people wear a swimsuit inappropriately (too small, too loose, too burnt to a crisp, etc) that it’s hard to single any one person out as The Worst Offender Of All Time at a public beach. However, change the group to fifty people who you vaguely know by name or reputation alone, and that “no judgments” rule changes big time. So, for our two cents, we’d wear a sundress or the most sun-dressy cover-up we could find, and leave the water to private vacations.

As we’ve demonstrated, this question is inevitably tied to personal body issues — but the more interesting question may not be what you would do, but what you think others should do.  So please answer as if you’re advising a little sister who has no body issues.


Tuesday’s TPS Report: Cole Haan Sabra Canvas Box Tote

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

iconWhat a great summer bag!  The straw-colored canvas, the snappy kelly green leather — le sigh.  It’s a great price at eBags at the moment, too — now $199 (was $350). Cole Haan Sabra Canvas Box Tote

Update: eBags has another 20% off sale going on right now — it’s valid sitewide, which should include this bag. Wild Wednesday: Extra 20% OFF at

If you’ve recently seen a great work piece you’d like to recommend to the readers, please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.

The Hunt: Beige-colored Pumps

2017 Update: Check out our latest roundup of nude-for-you heels!

We all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Yes, everyone knows that you can get Manolo or Cole Haan nude beige pumps — but if those don’t work for you for some reason (too expensive, too high), here are some other options on the market at the moment…

Type Z – KC 2 (Camel Leather) – Footwear
, $75 at Zappos (1.5″ heel)
Type Z - KC 2 (Camel Leather) - Footwear
BCBGirls - Freud (New Cream Puff) - Footwear

BCBGirls – Freud (New Cream Puff) – Footwear
, $89 at Zappos (3″ heel)
Johnston & Murphy’s Julia Mary Jane Pump, now $109 (was $228)

Updates: We’ve been tied up all day and are just getting a chance to address the controversy over our use of the word “nude.” We sincerely apologize to anyone we’ve offended.

Reader Mail Roundup

Today’s reader mail has to do with office-appropriate jewelry…

I noticed that you said, “We’d wear it with a white cardigan or a cropped jacket, and maybe one or two long, simple necklaces” in a recent post. You, as usual, are accurately tuned into to what I’m thinking. Please help! Where can I find fun, simple jewelry that’s appropriate for the work place? I feel as though I wear the old standbys (pearls) or a gold necklace every day I throw on a necklace. I usually wear pearl or Tiffany silver ball studs for earrings—but what other earrings would be okay? I’m a summer associate at a medium-size firm and I’d like to show my personality, but still be appropriate. I’m looking for inexpensive jewelry, but am willing to spend more if it’s a piece that will last a long time in my wardrobe. Usually, I grab a piece or two from Ann Taylor or Banana Republic’s sale bin, but lately nothing has really excited me. Do you have pieces that a girl can’t live without?

We recently ran an open thread on this that might be helpful to you. For us, our standbys are huggy earrings (we can’t stand earrings with posts). For the long necklaces we mentioned, we’ve bought things in the past from Maria Chavez and really loved them. From her current collection, we’d suggest something like the 950-S, pictured at right (available at for $275). For our $.02, we’d rather buy one piece that’s made of real material (sterling silver, gold, gemstones) rather than buy 10 pieces that you get at a bargain store — but that’s a very personal preference. Etsy can also be a great resource for jewelry; we’ve also been eyeing the collection at Erin Gallagher recently.

Readers, anything to add that you didn’t say in the open thread?

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