Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Black Label Cashmere-Blend Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. Many thanks to this week’s TPS guest poster, Road Warriorette!

Black Label Cashmere-Blend DressTwo things are important to me when deciding on a splurge: How fabulous is it? And, can I wear it until I wear it out? I think this cashmere sweater dress from Ralph Lauren Black Label answers a resounding “Yes!” to both questions. It is so, so fabulous in a classic, timeless way. Sweater dresses in general are very easy to travel with, as they are super comfy and pack well. And what could be cuddlier during rainy fall weather? This grey dress would look spectacular with a statement necklace and colored heels, maybe teal or cognac, or even boots. (Top it with a boyfriend blazer if you’re concerned about cling.) As a bonus, this particular dress is designed in a way that could be worn under a skirt for a sleek tucked in look. Note: I would size up to avoid the va-voom factor. It’s $855, available in Grey Melange and Navy, in sizes XS-XL. Black Label Cashmere-Blend Dress

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.
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Thursday’s TPS Report: Bella Cashmere Mix Jumper

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

Reiss Bella CASHMERE MIX JUMPER LIGHT KHAKI Cashmere sweaters are probably not on your mind right now, but summer is a great time to get things like this on sale. Today I’m loving this cashmere sweater from Reiss (which actually has some great sales going on right now). The pattern is a bit fun without being over the top, and a cotton cashmere mix is great for early fall and late spring. I’d keep the outfit neutral for the office, wearing a black or white collared shirt beneath the sweater and a simple pencil skirt, perhaps accessorized with a long silver necklace. It was $175, now $87 (note that it’s also available in solid colors such as royal blue and cream). Reiss Bella CASHMERE MIX JUMPER


Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.

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Thursday’s TPS Report: Ribbed Coverup Sweater

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

Ribbed Coverup SweatericonI’ve seen a lot of waterfall/cascade cardigans, but none have reminded me of a blazer quite as much as this one does — perhaps it’s all of the shawl collars we’ve seen on blazers of late?  Either way, I like the look of the sweater, and it sounds wonderfully soft with its “infusion” of angora and cashmere.  Oooh, and it even looks cute belted.  It’s $98 at White House|Black Market in sizes XXS-XXL. Ribbed Coverup Sweater
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Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.

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Tuesday’s TPS Report: Les Halles Sweater

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

Milly Les Halles SweaterThe ascot/bow seems to be coming back in a big way, and this cashmere and wool sweater shows it off in a really classic way. Love the ribbed panels and slim fit, and love the details — the slight pouf to the shoulders, the ribbed trimming — fabulous. It’s $245 at Neiman Marcus.  Les Halles Sweater


Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.

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Tuesday’s TPS Report: Collared Cashmere Cardigan

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

Collared Cashmere CardiganNeiman Marcus seems to have a ton of great cashmere on sale right now for deep discounts — and even though it’s still a splurge, we love this gray cardigan.  The shawl collar is interesting without being distracting, and the whole sweater has almost a blazer-like quality to it.  We’d wear it with simple trousers and, perhaps, a tank or tee with a bold pattern or color.  The cardigan was $425, now $245 — available in gray and brown at Neiman Marcus. Collared Cashmere Cardigan


Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.

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The Corporette Guide to Cardigans

2015 Update: Check out our new and improved guide to cardigans for work

Someone recently wrote to us, flummoxed over how to wear a cardigan. We looove cardigans, particularly in the summer, and so we thought we’d do a quick and dirty guide to cardigans…

cardigans for work.indexed1. Banded. These cardigans have some banding at the bottom and (usually) on the sleeves, which makes their shape a bit blousy or boxy. They can come with a matching shell for a twinset look, or be worn by themselves with, for example, a button-front shirt or blouse, or a nice tank or tee (such as the cardi pictured, Neon cotton bling-button cardigan, available at JCrew.com for $49). Because these kinds of cardis have their own shape, they’re less than ideal for wearing with dresses, and, for our $.02, best with pants. If the twinset is very boxy (think a more Jackie O cut), then they can be worn over your shoulders, almost like a cape (we’re still searching for a good picture). Other examples: Patterson J. Kincaid ‘Luanna’ Cardigan (available at Nordstrom for $88), Banana Republic Long sleeve silk-back cardigan ($70), or Old Navy Womens Pointelle-Trim Cardigans ($26.59).
cardigans for work 2.indexed2. Normal — not banded. For our $.02, these are the “normal” cardigans we stock up on — they hit at mid-hip, and should be fitted to be somewhat tight to your body (we prefer silk sweaters because they keep their shape better than cotton, but polyester blends can also be good).  They  may come as a v-neck, a split-neck, a scoopneck, or a crewneck. They’re often sold as twinsets (such as the Talbots set pictured, Refined cardigan sweater ($69) — also look for brands like August Silk at spots like Filene’s and TJ Maxx), but the cardigan can be worn with dresses, skirts, and pants. If you button the cardigan it can be worn as a sweater by itself (tip: wear a cami beneath it in case the buttons gape), worn under a blazer, or even belted. Worn open, they can be layered on top of tees, tanks, or button-front shirts. Michelle Obama’s closed some of her cardigans with a brooch, which can be a great way to add personality. These cardigans are perfect in the summer because they’re so versatile and are super easy to transport — just button the top button and the bottom button, and wear it over your shoulders while commuting. (This is easier if the sleeves are full, not three-quarter length.) They’re great to add contrasting color, to mute a loud pattern in a dress or blouse, or add a color to a drab ensemble. While they don’t add a lot of authority the way a blazer does, they do add warmth, and are a perfectly acceptable look for the office.  Other examples: Miu Miu Cashmere and silk-blend cardigan (available at Net-A-Porter.com for $450), Cashmere Georgette Trim Cardigan (available at Anne Klein for $118), Pink Tartan Pima Cotton Cable Knit Cardigan (available at SmartBargains for $56), or Old Navy Womens Floral-Print Cardigans ($26.50).
cardigans for work 33. Structured, shrunken. This is one of our favorite kinds of cardigans: the structured cardigan that might look a little shrunken.  These are almost like a blazer, but made out of a sweater material instead — they still convey authority, but in a friendly way.  We love to wear ours with dresses or skirts (A-line or straight), or with wide trousers.  (On the weekends, we love to wear them with a longish, untucked top and jeans.)  These are best kept at the office or worn on a day when the temperature is going to be pretty constant — they can be a pain to transport because they’re too bulky to put in your bag, and they’re really not intended for wearing over your shoulders.  Pictured: Merino Wool Full Milano Jacket, available at Brooks Brothers for $144 (was $288).  Other examples: T by Alexander Wang Knit Blazer (available at Nordstrom for $165), Quotation: 525 America Silver Button Knit Jacket (available at Bloomingdale’s for $59).
cardigans for office4. Boyfriend cardi. This is also one of our favorites — these are long cardigans that might look or feel a bit like a doctor’s coat.  Depending on your outfit, they can be great paired with low-volume bottoms like straight pants, pencil skirts, and simple sheaths.  We like pairing them with a long necklace, as well.  A note on belts — these may come with a belt, which, if you don’t like belts, you can just tie behind the sweater (this also gives it a more “nipped in” look than the sweater may have otherwise). If you prefer belts, though, a skinny belt or a wide belt can work with these kinds of sweaters.  Pictured: MARC BY MARC JACOBS ‘Ainslie’ Cardigan (available at Nordstrom for $198). Other examples: Marc by Marc Jacobs Wushishi Sweater (available at ShopBop for $160 (was $228)), Tory Burch ‘Simone’ Merino Wool Cardigan (available at Nordstrom for $225).
cardigans for office 55. Draped  cardi. These are looser, and have more volume than a boyfriend cardi, but are just as long.  These might be a little too casual for some offices (at least, worn open), but they can have a great, bloused look when paired with a wide belt.  Because there’s so much volume with the cardigan, you want to keep your other pieces as sleek as possible. Pictured: Rebecca Taylor Waterfall Cardigan(available at ShopBop for $350).   Other examples: Flyaway Cardigan (available at Anne Klein for $66 (was $89), Open Front Cardigan (available at Ann Taylor for $68).
cardigans for work 66. The Shrug. This is the other major kind of sweater that, we think, every woman should have in her closet: the shrug.  These aren’t great for the office, if only because they’re so great for after hours.  These are short, cropped sweaters that, in theory, only cover your arms and your shoulders.  Because your back can be exposed (depending on the cut of your dress and the cardigan), they can be a little sexy — it’s also a nice way to take a simple sheath dress to an after-dinner party, by adding a slightly fancy shrug (check out Brianna Beaded Crochet Shrug, available at Saks for $396). Pictured: Open Front Cardigan (available at Anne Klein for $51). Another example: DKNY Linen Shrug (available at ShopBop for $125).

Okay, ladies — those are our 6 must-have cardigans and how we wear them. What are yours? Did we miss any major ones?
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