Suit of the Week: Theory …(and, the Differences Between the Different Gabes)

Theory-different-gabesFor 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.

OK. I don’t know if I’m the only one who has been confused by Theory lately, but there have been so.many.tweaks to staples in their line, with minimum changes to the name of the style.  Their staple suiting pieces have, at least in recent years, been the Gabe (blazer), Golda (skirt), Max (bootcut pants), Emery (wider trousers), Betty (sheath dress).  Let’s take the blazer for example — first it was just the Gabe blazer. Then it was the Gabe B. blazer.  Then it was the Gabe B.2 blazer.  Now it’s the Custom Gabe Blazer.  I saw this “Urban Gabe Blazer” at Last Call and my head exploded — was this a new diffusion line?  So I called the store to see if they could give me some insight.  It’s actually pretty simple:  all of the old Gabe blazers are obsolete and not being produced any more (including the one pictured below, which is why it’s on sale).  The newest version is the Custom Gabe, which has a wider lapel and is more structured through the bodice.  “Urban” is the name for the fabric that went with one of the previous versions (the Gabe B.2 I believe); the current fabric they’re using is named Edition.  (“Tailor” is another fabric name you may recognize, which I believe went with Gabe B.) The new fabric is a similar wool blend, but has a bit more stretch and feels a bit softer.)  Some of the old product pages still exist on Nordstrom, so I’ve taken screenshots of them all here for comparison purposes if you bought one in the past, liked it, and are trying to stock up on sale online (Gabe B., Gabe B.2, Custom Gabe).

In the MEANTIME, yes, Last Call has a pretty good price on an older version.  The jacket (Gabe B 2 Urban One-Button Blazer) is $299, formerly $375; the pants (Max 2 Urban Bootcut Trousers) are $199, down from $275.  Additionally, there’s a less traditional blazer, also in the Urban fabric (Theory Lanai Urban Open-Front Blazer), was $375, now $279.  Last Call has all three in both black and oatmeal.

Plus size readers, please discuss: what is the classic black suiting that comes in plus sizes, and is thought of along similar lines? What is your go-to brand? I could link to a similar black suit for a plus-size comp, but I’m more interested in the discussion — is there a brand or suit that has a similar Hall of Fame status?

Theory suiting


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Suit of the Week: Theory

Theory Shinna BlazerFor 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.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t think I’ve seen the “Shinna” blazer from Theory before. Theory suits in general are great (this one is wool and lined), but on the Shinna blazer I like the slightly wide vents at back and the topstitched darts on the front. The jacket (Theory Shinna Blazer) is $395, and the skirt (Theory Tenida Skirt) is $200. (Oh, and I can’t let those shoes go without mention — I know Acne is a hot brand right now, but: yuck. Not my cup of tea at all.)

Theory Shinna BlazerTheory Tenida Skirt

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Tuesday’s TPS Report: Theory ‘Tyrnina’ Dot Top

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

Theory ‘Tyrnina’ Dot TopLooooove this top for work. It’s smart and chic, but feminine. The back zip means there are no gaping buttons on this blouse, and the high neckline is always appropriate for work. It’s a sheer silk with a touch of stretch, so I’d wear a white camisole under it (not nude). I’d wear it with a navy pencil skirt, perhaps with a fitted cardigan on top in a fun color — a violet or yellow, perhaps. It’s $255 at Nordstrom. Theory ‘Tyrnina’ Dot Top


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

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Suit of the Week: Theory

Theory 'Dorian - Dialogue' JacketiconFor 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.

This is a lovely suit — at least in theory (no pun intended, honest!). The boucle knit has an interesting striated look, and the leather trim on the pockets and sleeves adds a lot. I even like the boxy fit to the jacket, and think it looks lovely as a separate (as shown here). The skirt, sadly, is where we get to the “theory” part — why is it so short? Who, exactly, do they think is buying this piece? (And why is “dialog” spelled differently in the name?) Odd, odd — but perhaps for a woman with shorter legs this suit would be perfect. The jacket (Theory ‘Dorian – Dialogue’ Jacket) is $465, and the skirt (Theory ‘Francia – Dialog’ Boucle Skirt) is $245, both available at Nordstrom.

Theory 'Dorian - Dialogue' JacketTheory 'Francia - Dialog' Bouclé Skirt

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Suit of the Week: Theory’s Strategy

Theory 'Kiersten K - Strategy' JacketiconFor 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.

LOVE this Theory suit — the clean lines, the salt and pepper fabric, even the little details like the full lining and the three-quarter-length sleeves.  The jacket (Theory ‘Kiersten K – Strategy’ Jacketicon) is $355, and the skirt (Theory ‘Joanie K – Strategy’ Skirticon) is $200 (both available for pre-order at Nordstrom).

Theory 'Kiersten K - Strategy' Jacket
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Theory 'Joanie K - Strategy' Skirt
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Wednesday’s TPS Report: ‘Kenola – Windowpane’ Shirt

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

Today we’re liking this classic button front from Theory.  We love the light blue windowpane, as well as the slightly wide collar.  We’d wear it with a white camisole beneath it, though — the description notes it’s “slightly sheer.”  It’s on sale at Nordstrom — was $190, now $113, available in sizes petite, small, large, and XL.   Theory ‘Kenola – Windowpane’ Shirt

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Incidentally — we will be a bit busy this week (traveling today, helping to run a conference on Thurs. and Fri., and appearing in MN for an AK Anne Klein appearance on Sat.) so comment moderation may be a bit slower than usual. We’ll do our best!