Suit of the Week: Calvin Klein

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 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.

For several years now, designers have seemed to equate autumn with “plaid suit” — and there are a TON of them out there in all price ranges right now. (Here’s a very fashion-y plaid suit from a new brand to me, Lewit, at Nordstrom, for example. This gray/blush combo from Calvin Klein may be more on the boring/classic side, but my hunch is that you’d get a ton of mileage out of both of these pieces as separates — and if you want to wear them together as a suit to be “on trend,” you’re set. The jacket (Checkered Plaid Blazer) is $104, and the skirt (Checkered Knee-Length Skirt) is on sale for $59; they also seem to have a longer topper for petites (which is odd, because as a 5’4″ woman I’m usually suspicious of longer coats, but there you go). Try code FALL for an additional 20% off. (Looks like Saks OFF5TH also has the topper in straight sizes… ooh, and you can clearly see the similarities from this designer Calvin Klein topper that was $3500 but is now $890 at Bergdorf.)

Looking for plus size or petite suit? Talbots has a bunch of glen plaid suiting separates in several size ranges, and Macy’s has a plus size option from Le Suit.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    Love love love this suit. Calvin Klein is one of my favorite brands for everyday suits, they always seem to appear higher quality in person than the price tag suggests and they fit really well on my pear shape. Great pick!

  2. Anonymous :

    If you send a (probably ill-advised) “thinking of you” email to an ex and get an “out of office” message saying he’s checking that email periodically // please contact him at the temporary address (he’s on a year-long teaching sabbatical), do you forward your email to the temporary address or wait and find out what “periodically” means?

    (I’m trying to play it casual – sending it twice doesn’t feel casual). Thanks.

    • Anonymous :

      Nooo don’t forward it!! Unless he’s doing field research in Antarctica, he has regular access to email. He probably just put that message up because he doesn’t want to have to respond to work emails to that address in a timely fashion. If he wants to be in touch, he’ll be in touch.

    • Anonymous :

      I take it this is an ex you want a relationship with again? If so, so much depends on when / how / why you broke it off in the first place — and who did it.

    • I wouldn’t send it twice.

    • Anonymous :

      do not send twice. he’ll see it when he checks and respond if he is interested

    • Anonymous :

      This reminds me of Monica’s “I’m breezy” message from Friends.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEwfSZfz7pw

  3. FIL troubles :

    My husband and I both have PhDs in the same STEM field. Since before our baby daughter was born, my FIL has been saying things about her future career in this field, e.g., she has to win a Nobel Prize in this field or she’ll bring shame to the family. It’s a “joke,” because obviously none of us actually expect she will win a Nobel Prize, but it’s also not a joke, because I believe my FIL really is adamant that our daughter pursue this field and he will put a lot of pressure on her to excel academically in this field and be very nasty to her if she doesn’t want to pursue it or doesn’t excel. He was pretty horrible to my husband when my husband was growing up. I don’t mean that he had high expectations and demanded 100% effort from his kids (my own parents were like that), but more so that he could be unbelievably cruel about “failures” that were a) not failures by any normal definition of the word, and b) not really within my husband’s control. As an example, when my husband got into Dartmouth but not Harvard or Yale as a senior in high school, his father told him he didn’t love him anymore because of the “failure” to get into the best schools. Despite this abuse, my husband turned out incredibly well – in terms of both academic success and also as a person – and now his father takes all the credit for his success (“oh my tough love made him so strong!” etc), but we both agree this isn’t how we want our daughter to be raised. And we are 100% in agreement that we want to support our daughter in whatever passions she wants to pursue, whether it’s our STEM field or something entirely unrelated like creative writing.

    Our daughter is an infant now, so maybe I’m borrowing trouble by worrying about this when she obviously can’t understand anything he’s saying, but I’m curious how you would handle this when you have a child that is old enough to comprehend what the grandparent is saying. Is it enough for the parents to reiterate to the kid that Grandpa is wrong and she can do whatever she wants and we will always love her no matter what? I had a racist grandma growing up and my parents let me be around her but constantly told me why she was wrong, and that turned out fine (I wasn’t psychologically damaged by her and don’t subscribe to any of her hateful views) but I feel like this is a little different because FIL’s words are more targeted at our daughter as opposed to just general “bad views.” I don’t want to possibly expose our daughter to any kind of verbal abuse, but it’s also really important to my husband that his father be in our lives and our daughter’s lives.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t worry about it too much at this point. Longer term, I would treat it like the [email protected] grandma – this person is in our life but their views on xyz are wrong. Draw on the experience you have with that. It’s wrong to view a successful STEM scientist as somehow more successful or better than anyone else. If baby is otherwise surrounded by loving and supportive people, your parents, you and DH, then the one voice of angry grandpa is minimized compared to your DH”s direct experience with him as a Dad.

      The greatest success is a happy life.

      And honestly, the reality is that women do most of the emotional labor in maintaining relationships so if your DH starts to let the relationship drift, I wouldn’t be putting in any effort into maintaining it.

    • Anonymous :

      Ok, this is a slightly different angle, but my dad is very focused on weight and appearance. He always always always commented about my weight or appearance or other people’s weight growing up. A very tiny example, but I had horrible teenage acne and after going to the dermatologist who instructed me to put a “pea sized” amount of whatever skin cream on my face, my dad told me “don’t be afraid of putting it all over your face.” Basically, the message was that to be valued you needed to be thin and pretty. I’m sure a lot of this stuff stemmed from his own insecurities and life experiences, but it was never couched in those sort of lessons. It just made me feel unworthy. He still to this day will occasionally make comments about my appearance (I’m 37), but now my responses in shutting that down are (very) aggressive. He’s also obsessed with his own body (works out daily, and is admittedly in great shape for a man in his 60s).

      When my daughter was born he would make these really weird comments about how she was “long and lean” (she’s an EFFING INFANT). He’s in love with my kid, and my daughter adores him, but I plan to shut that ish down when she gets older. He hasn’t said any body stuff about her lately, but I can fully foresee it becoming an issue when she’s an older kid. But I’m not borrowing trouble.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s obviously really really early but if this starts say when she’s 3 or 4 — like “encouraging” her to play with toys having to do with that area of science or constantly saying — oh you HAVE to be a physicist or whatever. Can’t you shut it down then? Like EVERY SINGLE time he says it can’t you say — or you can be a doctor or engineer or lawyer or anything you want, there are SOOO many choices . . . . Sure it’ll annoy him but it’ll put the message in her ears early that just bc you and her father do the same thing and grandpa wants her to do that same thing, it isn’t required in your family. (Kind of the opposite of some families where it IS required regardless of what the kid thinks, so they start brain washing young of — oh you’ll be a doctor just like daddy and grandpa and uncle John — until the kid thinks that doctor is the only choice; and yes many times this does backfire if the kid gets to college or med school and realizes he’s miserable and only doing it as a family obligation.)

  4. Anyone find themselves anxious and jittery after therapy? I don’t think it’s fit with my therapist because I like her a lot and she’s been really helpful. It’s just a reaction to talking about hard things that I’ve been avoiding for years. Any strategies to mitigate? It makes it hard to focus at work after. And I can’t move my appointments to the end of the day because I get too anxious beforehand if I don’t do them first thing. Sigh.

    • Anonymous :

      Totally normal to feel upset after talking about hard stuff you’d rather avoid. I’d move the appointment to the end of the day and ask the therapist for help on living through the anxiety beforehand.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Hmm so I have mine at the end of my day and then have “quiet alone time” at the boba place to write in my journal/text my friends/not have to interact with anyone if I don’t want to just to decompress.

      Also, my therapist, when we were working on really hard stuff, would always end sessions with really boring and dumb questions like, “what are you doing after this?” “oh well I have to go to the store…” “what do you need to buy?” and then one time when I looked at her like “???” she explained “I like to talk about these mundane things for a minute or two before you leave to get you grounded back in the here and now.” I don’t know if you can ask your therapist to do that, or somehow recreate it on your own…?

  5. Any tips for feeling in control of your life when lots of things are out of your control currently? Many life transitions happening at once and it will settle down in a few weeks but right now I am feeling like a boat without an anchor.

    • Find at least one thing that you can control, and anchor with that. (Just make sure it’s something healthy–not extreme dieting or drinking.) For example, going to the same exercise class or having some other weekly ritual that you know is happening, come h3ll or high water, is good.

      My personal control tactic is using wite-out tape on my calendar so that it never looks messy when things get canceled or changed. It’s a tiny little detail, but I’ve realized it drives me insane when my calendar looks like a maze of scribbles and arrows. I need a clean, organized page to look at when things feel out of control.

  6. CatLadyInTraining :

    I didn’t get a job I really wanted. I had three interviews and was one of four finalists. I HAVE a job and I’m trying to tell myself its all for the best, but it sucks.

    • That sucks! (Having been in that position before, sometimes it is indeed for the best!) Hope you have fun evening plans for today!

  7. The clock is ticking :

    Anyone done egg freezing? Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in the process now. 2 completed cycles yielded 8 eggs. Doing it once more.

      What are your questions / profile?

      • The clock is ticking :

        Just starting the process- 34, single, don’t want to do it on my own yet. Can probably only afford one cycle. I guess I’m just wondering how people handled it emotionally? It’s kinda messing with my head/ I’m def fertile now, I should have a baby now, I don’t have a husband now. Conflicting emotions.

      • Anonymous :

        Putting a lot of pressure on one cycle is tough. Have you done a lot of research on which protocol you’ll use? That makes more of a difference than your doctor, I think, now that I’ve done a few cycles.

        Also, this is science, so nothing goes as planned. My first cycle was supposed to be the right protocol and I was perfect on eating, drinking, caffeine, vitamins, rest – cancelled. My second was tweaked – 1 egg. The third was a big protocol change and I had to fight my RE to try it; mainlined caffeine- yielded more eggs than anyone thought I could. So be prepared for this.

        • The clock is ticking :

          Yeah but each cycle is 10k. I don’t have 30.

          I’ve done no research on anything except choosing the best doctor, who says most of her patients only do one cycle.

          • Anonymous :

            Could be $15k if you need higher levels of drugs, like for Diminishef ovarian reserve. Have you done initial fertility testing for your FsH, afc and amh levels? You want 15-20 eggs for something like a 10/40% chance of one baby. This early testing f can help finding out how realistic it is to get that number in 1 cycle.

            Also, when freezing rggd, you have to pay for the transplant later – a whole new set of costs.

    • I haven’t done egg freezing per se, but I’ve been through multiple rounds of IVF, which requires the same underlying medical procedures, with the addition of fertilizing the eggs and then transferring the embryos back.

      One thing I would just say is that I don’t know how transparent egg freezing clinics are on the attrition rate, so I perhaps have the unfair impression that it can be a bit of a predatory practice for something that gives peace of mind without necessarily giving much long term security.

      You might be surprised at how many eggs you need “in the bank” to feel like you have a comfortable shot at a live birth. I think the general rule of thumb is that you want about 3 chromosomally normal embryos (not eggs) per child you are hoping to have. The drop off from eggs down to “normal” embryos can be astounding, and embryos freeze and thaw more consistently and successfully than eggs. For instance, my first egg retrieval yielded 17 eggs (I responded readily to the drugs), but only 2 normal embryos that were worth implanting — and then both of those embryo transfers failed. That’s totally within the range of a normal outcome, too.

      The actual process (self-administering shots, the minor surgery of retrieval, recovery) is not the most pleasant (and sometimes downright painful), but certainly manageable and generally short term.

      However, I’d encourage you to think a bit about fertilizing the eggs with donor sperm and freezing embryos (potentially in addition to some eggs) if you’re going ahead with the process, which may save you some additional heartbreak down the line. I’d also think you’d want to be really really comfortable with spending the kind of money that is involved on the understanding that it has a pretty low success rate. If that’s no problem for you, then there’s no particular harm. I just hate the notion that this is sold to women as an expensive insurance policy when in reality anything to do with assisted reproductive technology is anything but a guarantee.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – I think the benefits of egg-freezing is over-sold.

      • shamlet96 :

        +1 to all of this. I froze 20 eggs shortly after turning 36. I thought about a second cycle when my engagement broke off at 37, but decided the high attrition rates and the fact that it was actually a pretty shi$&y insurance policy didn’t make it worthwhile, especially since I wasn’t ready to freeze with donor sperm yet. I’m now 39 and TTC with my fiancé. Got pregnant quickly but miscarried – going to try again shortly and if no luck after a few months, I plan to do a fresh cycle or two of IVF.

        Since you can only afford one cycle right now, I’d say just tell your doctor that so he/she can maximize the number of eggs retrieved without giving you OHSS. This is also all highly dependent on your age – at 34, your egg quality is probably still pretty good, so hopefully one cycle will retrieve a good number of high quality eggs for you.

        Happy to discuss the process in greater detail if you email me at shamlet96 at yahoo. A lot of my friends have also gone through the process so I have managed to become fairly knowledgeable about it.

    • I am thinking of this or in vitro, b/c I have NO men lining up to MARRY me, though plenty of guys want to have $ex. I do NOT want men slobbering all over me and then rolling over/off and leaving so I am NOT having any $ex at all. I am fearful that by the time I find a guy who will marry me, I will be to old to have natural childbirth, so that is why I am thinking of INVITRO. If anyone has expereince, please share with the HIVE! YAY!!!!!

  8. a non moose :

    Honeymoon destination recommendations? Some background — we’re honeymooning in August, and our budget is roughly $5K, excluding flights. We’d like to take ~7 days and don’t love sitting on the beach, like cities but not as much as landscapes, do love adventure and the outdoors, and half like roughing it (fiance would camp for our honeymoon, I’d be happy with a little more luxury than that!)

    • Anonymous :

      Maremma in Italy – or glamping in general in Italy.

    • Puddlejumper :

      Scotland
      Norway
      Iceland

      • Anonymous :

        Iceland would be a stretch on that budget. Norway too probably.

        • Puddlejumper :

          Really? How much are you spending on hotels every night? I went to Norway in May and our hotel rooms were all 135- 200 bucks per night. 7 nights x 200 = 1400. That leaves a lot extra for food and adventures if the budget is 5K without flights.

          If you go I recommend doing the Norway in the Nutshell. It made it really easy to plan our trip. I would then rent a car to be able to get more rural and do some camping.

          • Anonymous :

            Oh, I misread it as 5000 including flights. Agree that 5000 excluding flights is definitely doable. August is high season though in Norway and Iceland and prices will be much higher than in May. We struggled to find hotels in Norway under $300 and were not staying in fancy places at all.

      • I just got back from my Scotland honeymoon! I highly recommend it and highly recommend the Rabbies Islay scotch tasting tour we did.

        If you consider staying at the Principal Edinburgh George Street Hotel DO NOT pay the room upgrade charge. The 25 pound/day “sea view” upcharge got us a first floor room directly above the cafe with a view of just the street. It was cafe music all day, drunks on the street all night. And they were snarky when we complained. Everything else about the trip was great, but we ended up wishing we’d stayed at the cheaper hotel we crashed at post-tour before flying out rather than the swankier-looking (but kinda poorly renovated) Principal.

        • I also just came back from Scotland, and I did a Rabbie’s tour, as well–I did the Isle of Skye and Highlands tour, and it was FANTASTIC. Highly recommend it if you go. Scotland isn’t cheap, though! Be prepared for that.

        • In case you check back, I wouldn’t stay on George Street as it is noisy. Nira Caledonia is gorgeous and worth a look, I stayed there for my wedding and it was incredible.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Road trip through Argentina? (This was my dream trip that got postponed due to pregnancy.)

    • Napa Valley/Sonoma? You can do some camping/”glamping” in Northern California and then go enjoy a few days of luxury hotels, spa treatments, and gourmet food and wine. It can get hot in the Valley in August but it’s still beautiful.

    • Canadian Rockies? August would be a great time.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to the Canadian Rockies. Banff is gorgeous and super romantic.
        I hate Europe in August. It’s stifling hot (except in Scandinavia), it’s expensive compared to other times of year and all the Europeans are on vacation that month (in addition to the Americans and Asians that vacation there all summer), so every remotely touristy place is just overrun with crowds. We end up having to take most of our vacations in August or December because of my husband’s work schedule and I’m so jealous of my friends who can go to Europe in April/May or September/October. Those are the best months there.
        Australia would also be great that time of year, although awfully far for 7 days assuming you’re coming from the US. I love NZ but I think at that time of year there’s too much chance of snow interfering with what you want to do.

    • Anonymous :

      Go to Peru and hike in the Andes, either the Inca Trail or Salkantay. Amazing. You will hike with a guide, so it will be not really roughing it (chef, porters) and the scenery, food, history, and the city of Cusco are all fantastic. Very affordable and there are some very nice hotels for your money for when you’re not hiking.

      • I did this trip for my honeymoon and while it’s a fantastic trip, I wouldn’t recommend it for a honeymoon. It’s sleeping on the ground and not showering for 4 days – not very romantic. Better to do it a year in – after a wedding, you need time to relax, not hike up mountains (though I planned my entire wedding and was completely wrecked after, ymmv).

  9. Anonymous :

    I work as a contractor for the U.S. government. I had my performance review this week, which was done by the HR person at my contract staffing firm, but included comments from my direct manager in the governmental entity I work for. The comments verified something I had suspected – my manager doesn’t think I’m that competent, and isn’t impressed by the work I’ve done this year. She and I rarely interact directly – most of my work is done for clients of her department, and so most of my interface is with those clients. (I know it’s complicated; welcome to the wild world of government contracting.) Small comments she’s made this year left me not-very-surprised to see the formal feedback.

    The thing is, my clients and co-workers are really happy with my work, as is my contracting firm. The HR person doing my review told me, “don’t worry about it – your manager has really high, unreasonable standards and we get this kind of feedback on all the people she manages.” But it still stings, and I’m wondering if the smart move isn’t just to look for a new job. Any other contractors here have advice?

    • Who has control over your raises, bonuses, and ability to get a promotion? If it’s this manager, I think you might be hurting yourself long-term if you stick around at this job where she can block your ability to advance.

    • S in Chicago :

      Not a contractor. In addition to great insights from Torin, I’d also ask: Will she be an important reference at some point? Does she control access to the best projects?

      Normally, I would also weigh whether there’s a lot to learn from the individual that will make you more marketable–but since there’s little interaction, I’d weigh whether this vacuum has some level of opportunity cost to you.

  10. Anonymous :

    It sounds like you do good work, are in a good situation, and people are telling you that the manager’s comments are not an issue, because she is this hard on everyone. Are you considering leaving because of the sting of it, or is there a larger issue at stake?

  11. Wedding ideas! :

    Any fun suggestions of wedding themes? Ideally not too gimicky. Wedding is in an outdoor garden in the fall, reception indoors at same place.

    • Anonymous :

      No offense, but isn’t your wedding theme then “outdoor garden in the fall”? What more of “theme” do you need?

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Yea, one of the wedding planners I contacted asked me what my wedding theme was. I informed her my theme was “it’s a wedding.” I think it depends on what you mean by “theme.” Do you mean general feel? In that case, I break weddings down into casual/rustic vs. semi-formal/elegant, and that’s about as far as I go on themes.

      • I hated this question while I was wedding planning (for some reason, a party having a “theme” reminded me of a 6 year old’s birthday party). Our theme, when I needed to describe it that way, ended up being “elegant and sophisticated evening garden party”, as we had an early summer outdoor ceremony and reception in the garden of a historic property. I basically just decided how I wanted our wedding to feel and then described where it was located.

    • Anonymous :

      https://www.reddit.com/r/weddingplanning/comments/6zfw4m/whats_your_wedding_theme/

      • Senior Attorney :

        That was a fun read! There was even somebody else in there who had a parade with a second-line band!

    • Isn’t “wedding” theme enough?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m not going to hate on you.

      I, too, was of the opinion that “wedding” was plenty enough of a theme. But then my then-fiance suggested a peacock theme because we have wild peacocks roaming our neighborhood. And it was really fun and it made it easy to set the color scheme and the graphics on the invitations and so on. And, you know, the green dress…

      You could play up the fall elements with pumpkins and autumn leaves and that would be lovely.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m in moderation for some reason but while I’m waiting for my reply to post, know that there’s one person who understands your question and enjoyed having a theme beyond “wedding.”

    • Puddlejumper :

      We didn’t have a theme or colors. We just picked things we liked. In order to find a wedding planner that “understood our vision” we made two pinterest boards. One: Wedding Stuff We Hate the other: Wedding stuff that we like. It was an easy way for our wedding planner to be like OOOOH you are not into tulle and pink and glitter and more into food.

    • I recommend you indulge in my (secret) guilty pleasure, which is watching My Fair Wedding… which always has a theme based on the couple. It’s so intense and over the top. I can’t get enough.

      There’s a middle ground between that sort of thing and just having ‘wedding’ as a theme, for sure. I’d start by thinking about what’s important to you and your fiance, what inspires you. What types of memories, places and events do you feel speak to you and make you feel comfortable, happy, supported, loved? Both amateur astronomers? Hang twinklelights and classy star-themed decorations everywhere. Pay homage to some type of cultural heritage? Or if you just want something pretty, not so much meaning, think about an aesthetic you like and think of fun ways to incorporate it.

    • Anonymous :

      Please don’t have a wedding “theme.” Choose whatever decor, flowers, food etc., that you want but announcing a theme is super obnoxious, doubly so if you make guests go out of their way to do something to conform to the theme (like dressing a certain way). If you need inspiration for a wedding planner to use in planning, Pinterest works really well.

    • Anonymous :

      I always thought wedding themes were the dumbest thing ever, but then a good friend got married this summer in the path of totality of the solar eclipse and had an eclipse-themed wedding with a break in the middle of the reception to view the total solar eclipse. It was AWESOME. A little inconvenient for guests because it was on a Monday, but she made it clear to everyone invited that she was super understanding if people could not attend. She and the groom are both science nerds and most of the guests were too, so it was a theme that felt natural for the couple and also the majority of the guests at the wedding.

      I also know someone who had a Disney-themed wedding (I didn’t go but apparently there were Disney characters in costume at the reception) and I rolled my eyes HARD at that. So your guests’ reaction probably depends a lot on how much they’re personally connected to it. I was psyched for the solar eclipse and would have traveled to an area with totality regardless of my friends’ wedding; I could not possibly care less about Disney. I’m sure there are people out there that feel the opposite.

      • coffee queen :

        The theme is wedding:

        Are you formal/informal? What touches do you like?

        What is important to you and your fiancé? Do you want serious or fun? or a combination of both?

        My wedding was the traditional in a church, with a formal sit down dinner and then dance which is want we wanted and suited us.

        My brother’s wedding was outside, and then he had a BBQ and he and his bride were roasted by the bridal party. Looking back on it. It was the perfect wedding for them and ours was the perfect wedding for us.

        Honestly, don’t stress and do what you want to do and make it meaningful to you both.

  12. Constant Reader :

    I just tried on that Lewit suit at Nordstrom, and it’s even more avant-garde for a suit than the pictures show — there are giant rows of sleeve cuff buttons and the flare of the pants is pretty pronounced. I kind of loved it but it’s definitely something you’d have to live up to.

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