Suit of the Week – Donna Karan

Donna Karan Belted Stretch-Wool Jacket & Pencil SkirtFor 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.

Graphics aside (it’s like they’re trying to sell a black suit in a darkened room! what the heck?), we like what we CAN see of this great suit from Donna Karan.  Love the jacket’s off-shoulder collar and high belt, and the contour seams of the pencil skirt strike us as flattering (even if they might require an underlayer of Spanx).  The jacket (Donna Karan Collection Belted Stretch-Wool Jacket) is $1,495, and the skirt (Donna Karan Collection Pencil Skirt) is $550, both available at Bergdorf Goodman.

Donna Karan Belted Stretch-Wool Jacket & Pencil Skirt Donna Karan Belted Stretch-Wool Jacket & Pencil Skirt


Wednesday’s TPS Report: Wrap Dress with Cummerbund

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

DKNY Wrap Dress with CummerbundWe noticed this DKNY dress a few weeks ago, and it seems fitting for the first day of September (even if it is still ridiculously hot).  We like the long sleeves and the high wrapped neckline; we also like the “cummerbund.”  The pleats look lovely on the skirt, and we’re always a fan of a jersey dress.  It’s $160 at Shopbop.    DKNY Wrap Dress with Cummerbund

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


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?)

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