Archives for August 2010

Coffee Break: Gaige Pumps

Sofft - Gaige (Black Cracked Suede)We are loving these shoes from Sofft as a vintagey alternative to a regular pump. The super high vamp makes them very walkable, but we think the way the vamp dips down will be more attractive than, say, a Mary Jane or t-strap shoe. For some reason, we’re seeing them with a swingy A-line skirt. They’re $109 at Zappos in “cracked suede” (pictured) and regular black leather (Sofft – Gaige (Black Cracked Suede) – Footwear); while Macy’s has the same shoe in a red and gray suede (Sofft Shoes, Gaige Pumps Women’s Shoes).

When and How To Wear Hats

Kate Hepburn, "Bringing Up Baby"Reader E writes to us with a request for an accessories post on hats:

I would love to see a post on how to wear hats, not winter hats, but some of the more structured 50’s-esque hats that seem to be everywhere. I imagine they aren’t appropriate for a conservative office environment but where exactly are they okay to where? Only outside? I love these hats and would like to incorporate them into my wardrobe but I’m just not sure how.

To be honest, whenever I think of hats I think of one of my favorite movies, “Bringing Up Baby,” in which Kate Hepburn wears a lot of, um, interesting hats. Oh, and I think of that show “Blossom,” also. But let’s not let my mild dislike of hats (except for comic relief) stand in our way.

That said — some of my friends look great in hats, and celebrities do seem to wear them a lot.  The key to wearing them does seem to be integrating them into your outfit as an essential component.  This isn’t going to be like a purse that you can wear with everything — you have to think about your outfit’s proportions, and colors, and the general “statement” you hope to make with it (as well as whether the hat looks attractive on you given your facial features in general).  You may want to start with a cowboy hat or a fedora, as those seem to be the styles I see most — and then work your way up to something a bit more unique or with vintage appeal.  Another popular look these days is the headband-so-large-it-could-be-a-hat, similar to the peacock one below — that might also be a dip your toe into the waters of headwear.

Volcom - Frankie Fedora (Black) - Hats

Volcom - Frankie Fedora (Black) - Hats, available at Zappos for $38

Raffia Crochet Cowboy Hat

Raffia Crochet Cowboy Hat, available at for $49 (was $50)

Peacock Feather Headband with Polka Dots and White Goose Feathers

Peacock Feather Headband with Polka Dots and White Goose Feathers, available at Etsy from seller intothelookinglass for $12.50.

As for WHEN, I would limit wearing a hat to your off hours — I doubt I’d bring one anywhere near an office (but maybe that’s just me?).  I seem to see them a lot when worn at parties and BBQs, or Sunday brunch kind of events — where you’re still casual, but want your outfit to look deliberate.

Readers, what are your thoughts on hats? How do you wear them, or choose one that fits best with your style and face? Would you ever wear one anywhere near the office (not counting winter hats)?

Tuesday’s TPS Report: Jayden Pants

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

Elie Tahari Jayden PantsCall us pants obsessed, but we love the way these pants look — and camel is supposedly a big trend for fall. We love the darts at the back, and the twill.  (There is a suit jacket as well, but be warned: it’s a double-breasted slouchy jacket, which can be a very hard look to pull off.)  The pants are $248 at ShopBop (with very limited sizes right now, for some reason). Elie Tahari Jayden Pants

Update: Zappos seems to have a few more sizes (but marked at $252).  Elie Tahari – Jayden Pant (Alpaca) – Apparel

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


The Hunt: Charcoal Trousers

Michael Kors Jaryn Wide-Leg PantsSure, 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.

So it turns out that if you’re looking for a pair of lightweight, charcoal gray pants (not heather gray, not tweed) — then you have extremely limited options.

Gap Modern boot pants Gap’s new line of pants (with lots of different fits) all come in a lovely charcoal gray.  We like the modern boot for $59.50 — available in regular, tall, and petite, with varying inseams as well.  They’re $59.50 at Gap Modern boot pants
Banana Republic Petite Logan fit wide-leg puppytooth pant The “Gap” family tree seems to be up on their grays, because we also like the tiny houndstooth check on these new “Logan” pants — it’s a stretch wool blend that comes in both short and regular. They’re $79.50 at Banana Republic.   Banana Republic Petite Logan fit wide-leg puppytooth pant
Falling Folds Pants This nice-looking pair from Anthropologie is machine washable, and we like that the pockets aren’t on a diagonal.  The waistband detailing is interesting, also — we could see it being great for women who have small waists.  The pants are $118 at Anthropologie. Falling Folds Pants
Max Studio FLARED TROUSERSThese flared trousers from Max Studio have a nice herringbone texture, and promise to offer “maximum tush-flattery.”  The fact that they’re on sale is a nice bonus, as well — they were $198, now $148 at FLARED TROUSERS-6-BLACK
Theory 'Max C - Tailor' Pants We know, we know — these Theory “Max C – Tailor” pants are classics.  We think the “front slant pockets” are pretty flattering, and we like the slightly flared legs.  They’re $245 at Nordstrom. Theory ‘Max C – Tailor’ Pants
Michael Kors Jaryn Wide-Leg PantsWe can’t put our finger exactly on what it is about these Michael Kors pants, but they really do seem to be a bit more “money” than the rest. Is it the rise? The precise color of “charcoal sapphire” wool? Whatever it is, we like ’em. They’re $750 at Bergdorf Goodman. Jaryn Wide-Leg Pants

Readers, what are your go-to spots for nice-fitting trousers? Have you found any great charcoal trousers lately? (And: why are all pant pictures on the Internet so hideous?)

Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Dot-pattern silk-chiffon shirt

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

Jason Wu Dot-pattern silk-chiffon shirtWe like this playful navy and white blouse from Jason Wu — under a simple black suit (ooh, or a white suit) it would be fabulous.  (Plus, the pockets give you extra coverage if you decide to wear it with nothing below it, as worn on the runway.  (Although for work, we’d probably try it with a dark camisole beneath it.)  It’s $595 at Dot-pattern silk-chiffon shirt

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


Weekend Open Thread

Kate Spade - Marli Too (Black Patent) - FootwearSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

So when I read about the Kate Spade “Halle” wedge shoe in the NY Times, I was convinced it would be sold out — but sought to find another wedge shoe for you guys for the Weekend Open Thread. It turns out I was half right — good luck finding the Halle shoe anywhere — but here is another remarkably similar shoe from Kate Spade. High comfort ratings? Check. 3″ wedge heel? Check. Cute look in general? Check, check. It’s available in black, camel, and navy patent leather at Zappos Couture for $298. Kate Spade – Marli Too (Black Patent) – Footwear

(Readers — what are your favorite wedge shoes? And hey, whoever has any other “shoe secrets,” fess up! You’re among friends.)