Suit of the Week: Don’t You Dare, by Nanette Lepore

Another week, another suit! This week’s suit is by Nanette Lepore. We’ve actually had wildly different reactions to this suit: the first time we saw it we thought, oh, hell yes — but then we saw it again and thought it was a bit fug. Now we’re thinking it’s fabulous but perhaps only on very tall girls? O, confusion. Things we like: that rich-looking knit blazer with the button details on the hip pockets and cuffs, the ruched sleeves, and the belt detail at back. Things we’re unsure of: the skirt and it’s ruffles. Jury’s still out on the knit itself, too. What’s your vote? It’s available at ShopBop — the jacket is $395, and the skirt is available for $205. Nanette Lepore Don’t You Dare Jacket; Nanette Lepore As I Please Skirt

Nanette Lepore Don't You Dare Jacket

Poll results: Nude pantyhose for interviews, but no real requirements on buttoning

Erin Callan wore nude pantyhose with her suit... so should you!

Erin Callan wore nude pantyhose with her suit... so should you!

Last week we asked two poll questions, so we thought we’d take give you guys a break from all the onerous button-pushing and give you updates on how the polls went.

It turns out we were 100% wrong about wearing off-black pantyhose to interviews — which just goes to show, you can make a major fashion faux pas and still end up with a good gig. In fact, in our poll on pantyhose colors, 66% of you said nude pantyhose was the way to go, 20% of you said no pantyhose at all was needed for an interview (!!! we’re trying to figure out if this is the pants-wearing contingent? the California contingent? the Gen Y contingent?) and a mere 12% said anything in the black family was appropriate. Looking back, we should have seen the writing on the wall when the WSJ had its big story on Erin Callan, “Lehman’s Straight Shooter” (which then morphed into big debates about her choice of shoesyes, seriously (props to Ms. JD for calling it a “hoary conversation“). (And, if you weren’t following along, she got demoted soon after, although we’ve heard no connection between her footwear or pantyhose choices.) Commenters gave shout-outs to higher-end brands (Spanx, Victoria’s Secret’s thigh-highs, DKNY sheers, Calvin Klein sheers, Donna Karan nudes, Ann Taylor pantyhose) as well as drugstore brands (L’eggs Sheer Elegance Control Top, Hanes pantyhose, Jockey pantyhose, and “Berkshires in bulk” for interviewing).

Regarding our poll regarding whether women should button their coats to stand and unbutton them to sit — you guys are pretty evenly divided. Which, really, means it’s anyone’s call regarding whether to unbutton your suit or not. 53% of you said that yes, sometimes, suits should be buttoned (that includes the 8% of you who said this should absolutely be done); another 45% of you said that women didn’t have to do that. (Which, we’ve realized, does not add up to 100% — perhaps it’s time to find a new polling widget?)

Missed an earlier poll? Take ’em here…

Tuesday’s TPS Report: Diane von Furstenberg Nueva Jacket

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. We begin the week in splurge mode, with our most expensive suggestions, and wind our way to Friday, where a less expensive item of clothing might be just what you need to make it to the weekend.

short sleeved vintage jacket dvfWow. Wow, wow. We know we’ve said before that we’re not big fans of the short-sleeved jacket, but this is so stunning we might have to break that little rule. We love so many things about this jacket — the seaming along the front and back, the buttons, the faux-belt, the flared “tail” of the jacket, and the sleeves, God, the sleeves. The color is amazing, also. We’d wear this piece as we head into autumn and the office air conditioners finally take a break; we’d also wear it well on into winter with a thin gray long-sleeved t-shirt beneath it, or a white turtleneck, or a black anything, really. (Oooh, or green. Or purple. Or a yellow/gold if we were really feeling daring.) Sigh. Available at Shopbop for $345. Diane von Furstenberg Nueva Jacket

The Hunt: Interview Tote Bags

Sure, 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.

This week, we were inspired by a question from a reader:

Hi gals – thanks for the great blog, I’ve come to rely on it as I prepare for fall law firm interviews! Thanks for all the timely posts. I have a slight emergency – would it be possible for you to do a post on appropriate interview handbags? I’m looking for a structured bag in a lower price range (i.e., ideally less than $200) but still professional and nice enough to make a good impression. Also – I stupidly bought a dark gray pinstripe suit and a dark brown suit – no chance there’s some kind of bag that would look good with both, right? If not, I’m looking for both a black and a brown bag, so suggestions for either would be GREATLY APPRECIATED! I don’t know how you find all the great sales and styles that you do, but I’m always impressed! Thanks in advance -Amy

For interviews, we’ve always taken tote bags. You can get these in a range of prices — from affordable to break-the-bank — but they’re all kind of the same. Keep in mind that nylon ones will wear less well (but in the beginning it’s fine) whereas the leather ones will be heavier once fully loaded (less pliable, also). [Read more…]

Weekly Roundup

Liking these posts? Follow Corporette on Twitter — this is the edited version of what we’re reading! (We also Tweet if we hear about a good sale.)

– The Glass Hammer profiles the top women venture capitalists — and they seem to love the healthcare industry! (Photo of top female venture capitalist, Annette Campbell-White, from Forbes’s article of the top 100…)

– The Cool Girl’s Guide to Surviving Business Travel [Marie Claire]

– Still Wondering: Where are the Women MBAs? [WSJ] (And: how can we get them to come play on the site?)

– Why can’t we have Sara Blakely’s closet? (And her uber-successful company, Spanx?) [WSJ]

– Fashionista had two great debates this week: First: Do you still covet classy items even if celebu-idiots wear them? Second: Would you wear a knock-off? [Our answers: 1) Yes — some classics just can’t be sullied, and 2) Not knowingly (nor would we feature one on this site)]

– Finally: You can now send a tree instead of flowers. So cool! [NY Mag]

Yet ANOTHER poll: Should women unbutton their suits to sit?

should-women-button-their-suitsShould women unbutton their suits’ blazer buttons to sit? Given all the discussion whirling about interviews, we though we’d take another poll, because we’re really not sure of this answer, either.

Should women button their jackets when standing, and unbutton them when sitting? We’re aware it’s proper form for men to do this, but have always been unclear for women. Our thoughts: some women’s suits aren’t meant to be unbuttoned, and some are (including the suit pictured above, BOSS Black ‘Janna’ Wool Blazer) — because of that it’s probably more preference than etiquette. We would suggest that if you go with suits in the latter group, though, that you follow the rules men follow, and a) don’t button the bottom button, and b) be aware of how it drapes when you sit — if it looks dumb, unbutton it.


We’ve done extensive research on this (fine, we checked Wikipedia and a few books lying around the office) and didn’t find an answer.

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