Tuesday’s TPS Report: Etiquette Dress

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

Trina Turk ‘Etiquette’ DressWe’re liking this lovely sheath dress from Trina Turk today, available in white and yellow.  We lurve the yellow — perhaps with a navy or gray blazer to make it a bit less blindingly bright.  It’s also available in white, which should be much easier to integrate into your working wardrobe.  It’s $248 at Nordstrom.  Trina Turk ‘Etiquette’ Dress

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. Unless you ask otherwise, we’ll refer to you by your first initial.



  1. Awww man… I was just trying to stop shopping for a while, but I loooove this one. This may be too tempting to pass up. Anybody know how Trina Turk sizing is?

    • pretty standard…I am the same size in Trink Turk that I am in Banana & Ann Taylor.

  2. LOVE IT!

  3. LOVE IT! I was thinking today how I needed a new summer dress.

  4. Lovely … if I weren’t pg it would be on my credit card by now!

  5. I’m not a fan of low backs for work.

    • That problem is easily solved by a jacket or cardigan, though.

      • This is an adorable dress. But regardless of whether or not the back is low, I don’t think the shoulders and the cut are work appropriate, unless worn with a cardigan.

        And I still think some of this falls under “just because it’s a cute dressy outfit doesn’t mean it’s a work-appropriate outfit.” This says bridal shower or summer afternoon wedding to me. It’s very pretty, but I continue to be puzzled by the belief that anything dressy is therefore work-appropriate.

        • I agree. I’m getting tired of clothes that can only be worn to the office if I buy something else to cover them up.

          • It’s great if you are doing something after work other than going home, though. Just remove the jacket and voila.

  6. I love this!! Of course, yellow is a terrible color for me, but in white this would be fabulous. Great find!!!

  7. Love this! What color shoes would you wear to work with a yellow dress? For going out I would wear gold strappy sandals but that wouldn’t be appropriate for my office. Tan or nude heals?

    • I think a nude pump would totally work. I’m trying to be more brave with my color choices … this is step one!

    • I think it would be awesome with navy spectator heels.

    • I think any neutral but black (which would be too harsh and would make me think I looked like a bumblebee).

    • I probably wouldn’t use either of those since I hate tan/nude, but I think a nice brown, gray, or even navy could work. I think they’d also look great with most neutral metallics- gold, silver, bronze.

    • I’d go with a nude or brown pump. Navy might be an interesting choice if you used a navy cardigan or navy accesories (like a navy bangle, necklace with dark blue, scarf with navy & yellow accents).

      • BTW, I wasn’t suggesting that you wear all those accessories at once – just for clarification so no one would think I bumped my fashion noggin. LOL

  8. Beautiful color but the low back means that you could never wear it alone to work. Then again, it probably would be better to wear a blazer over it anyway.

  9. Aww man, I love it, but alas I am a poor student.

  10. Legally Brunette :

    Beautiful, beautiful color. Love it.

    Off topic question specifically to my pear/triangle/hershey’s kiss shaped friends,

    Have any of you figured out an exercise plan that effectively targets and minimizes your hip/saddle bag region? I’m a small pear, about a size 0/2 on top and a size 6 on the bottom. I’m not trying to lose weight (if anything, when I lose weight, it seems to just make my top half even smaller), but rather, to look more proportionate. I use weights to bulk up my upper body, jump rope, and do some ab exercises, but I cannot seem to get rid of the saddle bags no matter how hard I try.

    I would love to wear sheath dresses like the one featured here but my hips always look too wide relative to the rest of my body. Any tips?

    • Swimming is the only exercise I’ve found that is great for evening out a pear shape–you use your hips to turn and kick and get a good workout. You don’t get buff–just more streamlined. As a bonus, your tricepts also get really toned and your shoulders get stronger, which = better posture and also sort of tends to balance out the top w/ the bottom.

    • There’s not really anything you can do to target certain regions. People are programmed to gain weight in certain areas. I am about the same sizes as you on top and bottom and the only way the bottom goes down is if I lose weight overall. Just working out does nothing other than make the leg/hip areas toned but the same size.

    • Running is the only thing that helped my saddlebag and back of the thigh cellulite. Probably because it helped all over.

    • I’ve found pilates to be a great workout. It makes my body look longer and leaner in general. While a lot of the emphasis in pilates is on the abs and the back, the class I take also incorporates quite a bit of hips, butts, and legs, as well as upper body things that would tone up the upper body ( pilates push-ups anybody? ugghh!).

    • I went on a low-carb diet and my life time plague of cellulite and saddlebags sort of melted away. I’m not sure if it was just weight loss that took care of it, or specifically the low-carb part, but I’m glad the lumpedy bumps are gone.

    • I’m also pear-shaped — I’ve been amazed at what the stair-master can do!

      • Legally Brunette :

        Thanks so much to everyone for all of the helpful comments. I love the idea of swimming but am a very novice swimmer. Running and stairmaster also seems to make me bulk up for some reason, but fast walking does not. The pilates suggestion is a very good one — I have always thought about trying it and now I will think more seriously about it. As for a low carb diet, that’s very difficult for me because I’m vegetarian and there is only so much protein that I can eat and stay full. I tried the South Beach diet a few years ago and stopped all carbs for the first week. I was a complete wreck and ended up going crazy on carbs after that week. All of these comments just go to show that different things work for everyone!

        With respect to targeting certain areas of the body, it seems like everyone has a different opinion about this. I have friends who are personal trainers who insist you can target areas, where as others say the exact opposite. It’s hard to know what is right.

        Thanks again ladies, this blog is so helpful.

  11. Any links to blazers that would be great with this dress?

  12. Glad swimming works for you, Anon, but I was an All-American distance swimmer back in the day, and it did nothing for my legs. But man do I still have the shoulder mass to show for it. Granted, you’re probably not training the way I was, and of course two people doing the same workouts aren’t necessarily going to have the same body, but swimming and I are not friends anymore.

    Legally B: first, there’s no such thing as spot-reduction. Repeat after me: there is no such thing as spot-reduction. Athletes and trainers know that, but if you read women’s (and even men’s) magazines, you may be convinced otherwise. Don’t believe it.

    Second, don’t be afraid of resistance and strength training. Doing a variety of squats (on two legs, working up to single leg) and lunges (side, front, back) with light or no weight pays dividends in glute, hamstring, quad strength, and core. Don’t neglect these large muscle groups because you’re afraid to “bulk up”–you probably won’t. You may find that by activating these muscles a few times a week, you’ll naturally recruit them to do more work in your non-workout life and you may start to feel more balanced, steady, and solid.

    Third, aerobic exercise is also crucial, but spinning your wheels on a gym machine (I’m thinking of the loathsome elliptical) isn’t necessarily the best workout for anybody. Jump rope in intervals once or twice a week. Try dance classes, any kind of dance classes, if you want to move in new ways and develop a new awareness of your body. Try Pilates and yoga for strength, balance, and mindfulness. Remember that posture can make the average woman look 10-20 pounds lighter. Or heavier. And there’s a lot to be said for muscle confusion, so vary your routine and try new things often.

    Sorry for the long post, but good luck.

    • I agree that you can’t tell your body where to burn the fat off–you just have to keep moving. Re: swimming: I am certainly no all-american, but if you don’t feel like your legs are getting a workout, do more drills with the kickboard. Doing a couple laps of a flutter kick and and couple of laps of a breaststroke kick has really helped me in the butt/thigh area. I was a runner before, and swimming has helped with toning all the smaller muscles that don’t seem to get much use with running, and w/o all the wear and tear on the joints.
      I didn’t swim when I was younger, but it seems like most women with “swimmer’s shoulders” swam while they were growing up and it had a greater effect on their development. As an adult, you don’t have the still-growing frame, and probably not the practice time it would take to have to worry too much about your shoulders bulking up.

  13. I really like this dress! (Can’t afford it, but that’s a non-issue). Question – do you think it’s too low in the back to wear a bra and know the band won’t show? I can’t really tell from that angle…

  14. ClerkChic :

    I. want. this. so. much. I saw it in the store last weekened, and wanted it then…and Corporette isn’t helping! ;-)

  15. I saw the aqua version in person at Nordstrom yesterday, and I think it is worth noting the fabric is a ponte-like cottony material…which ruled this out as a work dress for me because it seemed too casual up close and because I could buy something more versatile and tailored at this price point. I do love Trina Turk though.

  16. This is not a work dress for a law office environment, and can’t be turned into a work dress by putting on a jacket or a sweater. This spring, for once, there are some really cute work dresses in military styles with brass buttons and a bit of sleeve. These look great in dark colors or in shades of tan. Go for it.

    • It’s been well-established on this blog that you can’t make accurate sweeping generalizations like that. I’m in BigLaw in NYC, and (with a cardigan or jacket) this dress would be perfectly appropriate in my office.

      • I agree with B. In my office this would be totally fine with a cardigan or jacket.

    • I agree with B and eem, but would still like to see the other dresses you are referring to, if you have specific ones in mind. Link, please!

  17. Ann Taylor is having a spring sale– 25% off 2 full price items or 40% off 3 full price items. I bought the Tropical Wool suit (jacket, pants, and skirt) in black for $277 with shipping. I’m wearing the pants today (Signature Tropical Wool Trousers) and love them so much that I had to order the same suit in the ground pepper color. The suit fits perfectly (very true to size), and it feels great on! Not sure how long the sale will last, but if you’re thinking about a new suit, you can’t beat the price and quality! (Their pumps are fabulous too– a bit higher than I’m used to, but they’re somehow very comfortable.)

    • I also found a 30% coupon code on retailmenot.com for orders over $150. I got $100 off their sharkskin (whatever that is) suit with it, whihc is exciting.

  18. just tried on this dress at bloomingdales during lunch – they have it in pink and black. really cute on, but i’m going to order one size bigger than I normally wear because it was tight in the thigh area. could be because i have a big tush :).

  19. This dress is beautiful… I wouldn’t wear it to work because my office culture doesn’t really run to bright colors, but out to dinner or on vacation (minus the price tag)… ooh et la!

  20. FYI…Bloomingdale’s is having friends and family next week. 30% off with very few restrictions. I think I’ll wait and grab this dress for the gazillion wedding showers I have to attend this spring. I could get away with it at the office, but probably only in the summer when things are a little more relaxed.

  21. I tried this dress (in pink/fuschia) on at Nordstrom on Saturday and found the sizing to run small. Sadly, the dress did not fit me properly even when I went up a size – was a bit snug across the hips. Also, I am tall, so I found that the insert/band at the waist didn’t hit me at the right spot). Very cute dress, though!

  22. Three words describe how I’m feeling about this dress: gotta.have.it!

  23. I want it!

  24. I also love the Trina Turk “ain’t misbehaving” dress. It’s lace, so far more casual than this one so probably not appropriate for many of you to wear to work. I’m a lawyer and my office is very casual if we are not meeting with clients, so I would be able to wear this dress on a Friday with a blazer or cardigan.


  25. cute.. but then again I echo the sentiments of all the other poor students who couldn’t afford it anyway!

  26. housecounsel :

    Love the dress.

    This will probably be an unpopular suggestion for a solution to the pear shape/sheath dress problem, but I took care of that problem for good a few years back with a little bit of lipo on the saddlebags. I’ve never regretted it for a second.

    • @housecounsel – Did it hurt? Must admit, the thought has crossed my mind… ;-D

    • This has crossed my mind too. How much did it cost and have the saddlebags “come back” at all?

      I know everyone isn’t a fan of plastic surgery, but I had a rhinoplasty several years ago and it was one of the best decisions I made — I am 100% more confident and secure with myself and ironically, spend a lot less time thinking about my appearance that I used to. If this worked for you, more power to you.

    • I lost 75 pounds last year…which took me from a size 18 to a 4/6… but at the end of the day, I would still love to nip/tuck/and lift various parts of my body… so I totally understand! After so much work, its a little anticlimactic to still have sagging breasts, chubby hips (in relation to my waistline), and curvy thighs… the size went down but my shape stayed the same!

  27. This dress is SO pretty!

  28. housecounsel :

    OK, I had lipo of the saddlebags and “love handles” at the same time as a lift and augmentation (avoiding the use of the b-word in hopes that the post doesn’t get caught up waiting for moderation). The total cost was $15,000. The pain was minimal. I had the surgery on a Wednesday and was back to work Monday.

    Even after I gained weight (had another baby and had a hard time taking off the pounds), the saddlebags didn’t come back. I remained very proportional and could still wear sheath dresses – just in a larger size!

    Anon, I had rhinoplasty too, a few years before the body work, and like you, I think plastic surgery can be the opposite of vanity if it means you don’t obsess about your appearance anymore.

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