Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Velvet Blazer

Barbara Bui Velvet Blazer | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Ha cha cha. I nearly included some velvet blazers in my roundup of wintry blazers, but ultimately decided not to — although I can’t stop thinking about this bright, saturated velvet blazer. Something about it looks really rich yet classic at the same time. Love it. It’s $1115 at Bloomingdale’s. Barbara Bui Velvet Blazer

Here is a more affordable option available in six colors — in regular, petite, plus, and petite plus sizes.

Update Dec. 2015: Like this look? See more Barbara Bui here, or see a few particular favorites below. 

Shop More Bui Blazers:

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. I’m a PhD candidate thinking about applying for management consulting jobs. Some firms indicate that they’re open to (or even prefer) 2 page resumes from PhDs, and others don’t specify. I’m working on a 1 and 2 page version, but what should I assume for those that don’t address this at all? Or is this something I am expected to ascertain via networking between now and application time? For reference, I’m planning to apply next year.

    • Are they asking for a resume or a CV? It’s normal for a CV to be longer.

    • Meg Murry :

      Did you take some time off to work before getting your PhD, or did you go straight through? Or did you do a program that had internships, etc? Do you have a long list of publications?

      I recently went to a 2 page resume, but I got some good advice – make sure the majority of your qualifications are on page 1, preferably toward the top of page 1, so that if someone didn’t read page 2 (or is only skimming by that point) you still appear as qualified.

      It is a list of publications that pushed you into a second page, or does your overall work experience span 2 pages?

      • I have work experience but no publications. 2 pages makes me look better (research experience and leadership type things) but I should be able to fit everything critical on one.

        Some ask for a resume and others ask for either. I’m hesitant to give a CV because I don’t have publications and haven’t presented at a lot of workshops the way most academics do because I have been working full-time concurrently with my education

        • Academic here :

          Then I’d probably put it into one page.

          If they asked for a CV, then maybe you could get away with it…. But I would hesitate to lengthen your resume for research experience and leadership type things (vague?), especially since the key things that make an academic CV is longer for are things you may not be including (publications, awards, teaching/lectures, committees etc..)

          They will ask you about your research experience. So simplify here.

          • I often go for a jam-packed single page because it makes it look like all your awesome things couldn’t fit. Better that than a page and a half and ‘what else does she have to offer?’ in my head. (I could be totally off point though)

        • I’m in pharma and we all do CVs even though I’ve never published anything.

          • Interesting. What do you put on a CV that’s different from a resume if not publications?

          • But you’re in pharma. Not management consulting.

          • It’s been a while since I had my resume out but we have to update our CV every year. They put languages and classes and awards and things like that on. *shrug*

            Anonymous, I understand that management consulting is not the same thing as pharma (or is it? Perhaps she will be consulting at a pharma shop). However, the point of my comment is that if a company asks for a CV, it’s best to provide a CV even if you haven’t published anything yet.

    • Thanks all. If I do a 1 page resume, I can’t fit awards on the page in a separate section, but I can work them into the relevant section (undergrad, work, etc) Is that okay or should I be worried about those being missed?

      • Anon Worker Bee :

        I work at a smaller IT/management consulting firm and I have never paid attention to the Awards section when interviewing candidates, in part because I have no way of knowing if the awards are prestigious/special or not. But this may be different if you are applying to one of the major firms or the award is well-known.

      • I think that’s fine. I rarely see separate award sections.

        I would also strongly recommend a 1 page resume if you have no publications. I’m in management consulting (and review resumes) and I’d be pretty annoyed at a 2 page resume for a relatively entry-level person, if there is no relevant research. One of the key skills in management consulting is to be concise and boil everything down to only the essential, and a long resume does not reflect that skill.

    • This isn’t what you asked, but my husband was a PhD who went into management consulting for several years, and was very unhappy. He felt that many firms look down on PhDs and he felt stigmatized for not having a MBA (notwithstanding that he has a PhD in a hard science from an Ivy League). I would just make sure that speak to as many PhDs at the firms to get a sense of how welcoming the environment is for PhDs. My sense is that McKinsey is a good environment for PhDs, but some of the others, not so much. Good luck.

      • Thanks for your input, and I’ll be sure to look out for this as I speak with people. Do you have any particular info on which ones you expect to be less welcoming to PhDs?

        • I also hear good things about McKinsey for PhDs – I have several friends who went that route, and seem happy.

        • lost academic :

          If he’s open to other kinds of consulting, I’d check other firms – it depends on his background. I was in engineering consulting before I did my PhD and just went back to it, focusing on environmental work, and a PhD is very positive here.

        • I don’t know each of the firms well enough, but I know that McKinsey is particularly good. Booz Allen, not so much. Once you get an offer, make sure that you ask to speak to several PhDs and really drill them about the culture of the firm (for example, are there senior level principals/partners that are PhDs?) and how receptive the environment is for PhDs in general.

          • Anonymous :

            I wouldn’t really consider Booz Allen to be management consulting, though.

            I think the reason that PhDs have some issues in management consulting is that what made them great students does not make them great consultants. Even for people who transition in from industry there are issues.

            It’s not for the lack of intelligence, but inability to adapt quickly, lack of efficiency in excel and ppt, and absence of business acumen, the combination of which make for a very tough transition.

    • anon for this :

      OP, I have a science Ph.D.,went through the management consulting application cycle. and got offers from 2 of the big 3 firms. (Ended up going a different direction though, so I can’t help with advice about working there). I’d be happy to send you a copy of the resume I used for those applications, if you promise to keep it strictly confidential. Just post an email address and I’ll send when I get a chance.

    • It seems like most PhDs who go this route tend to be in the hard sciences- wondering if anyone has particular advice for a social science PhD who has done a bit of quantitative work?

    • anon for this :

      1 pg resume – when you are applying for a consulting position at a big 3 Firm, you will be compared against candidates with MBAs and lots of meaningful work / volunteer experiences. If you truly have some amazing awards, tighten up the rest of your resume and/or put the award under the relevant position. Nobody wants to read that second page and unless you have a really unusual background, you probably don’t have more to put on a resume than a MBA candidate that will be submitting a 1pg resume.

      For context- I currently work at one of the top 3 Firms (had an offer at another top 3 Firm) and also have a PhD background.

  2. This jacket :

    Do people buy 4-figure velvet jackets? I get that it’s a good wardrobe piece for winter parties and such. But I could probably find something that would do at Marshall’s, etc. A St. John jacket might be more practical / useable (and I never thought I’d say that, ever).

    • PinkKeyboard :

      Insanely wealthy people? That seems very pricey for an infrequently worn piece.

    • Wildkitten :

      I love this and am seriously considering buying the Talbots option, which is $129, and I usually spend $250 on a work suit jacket/blazer. So I think the people who would spend $1115 on it are probably the people who spend $2k on a regular suit jacket/blazer.

      • Wildkitten :

        What color should I get? Black? Green? I also really want purple and hot pink but suspect those would be less functional.

    • Like my mom used to always say, if people didn’t buy it, they wouldn’t be making it. Not in my budget but there are certainly wealthy people with a completely different definition of expensive.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, sure. People buy expensive clothes. It’s a thing. If you usually wear $1000 suits you prob don’t buy a festive blazer at Marshall’s.

      • Maybe? Maybe not.

        Most of the people I know who wear St. John go to the St. John outlet or buy on consignment. They might also shop at Marshalls.

        IDK people who pay retail for that, but I know a lot of fans on a budget.

        • Wildkitten :

          But if you know people buying St. J on consignment then someone has to be first buying it full price and consigning it, you just don’t know those people. (Neither do I.)

          • I think some people buy St. John and Akris the way I buy from Target: non-long-term pieces bought without much thought b/c the stakes are so low. I don’t know them, but am happy they exist.

            Now, can that person please binge-buy some DVF in a size 8 and let me know when/where you consign it?

    • Yes, I know people who spend this kind of money on clothing. They tend to buy fewer things and wear them longer. The women I know who do this tend to come from more upper crust families, but the money they’re spending today is money they’ve earned through their own hard work.

      And then there are the trophy wives. I don’t really know any of those!

  3. Pet pushback :

    My parents are visiting in a few weeks, and my mother sprang on me last night that she wants to bring their lap-sized dog. I have never owned a dog (cat only) and want to get a sense of whether it makes sense for me to push back on this idea because so far, I think it’s ridiculous. They are flying across the country, coast to coast, for 4 days. I think they should board the dog. I always get a catsitter, but my understanding is that dogs are usually fine being boarded, right?

    I have 2 lines of reasoning on this. First, it seems cruel to stress out the dog with two 6 hour flights for 4 days only. According to my mother (who has never flown with the dog), he’ll be fine as long as she’s around. Second, it means that we’ll spend the whole time they’re here trying to work around the dog. My apartment doesn’t allow dogs, so he’d have to stay crated in a hotel room most of the day. We live in a big city, so attractions/restaurants are not super dog-friendly. I think my mother is being selfish by saying that she can’t bear to leave the dog for 4 days (even she admits that the dog would be fine with it).

    • It depends on the dog. Some get super stressed at kennels if they aren’t used to other dogs, are very dependent on their owner, etc. I had one dog who would not eat while in the kennel (at all). After 3 days the kennel called my family and said they were concerned she would starve if we didn’t come get her.

      A lot of dogs don’t mind being on the plane (especially if they are in the cabin rather than cargo). If they like their crate and have a nice chew or bone,t hey’re often quite happy.

      I think this is up to your mom–it’d be one thing if she was staying at your home, but since she’s getting a hotel, it’s her decision whether or not she wants her dog with her.

      • Wildkitten :

        Yeah – I don’t think you get to tell your mom what to do with her dog. If she asks your opinion you can tell her that you don’t think your town would be dog-friendly, but you can’t order her around.

        Is she coming from a warm-weather place to a place with seasons? My big city is really dog friendly during patio-drinking season, but less so in winter. So if she lives in San Diego and is visiting you in Minneapolis that might be a factor she isn’t considering.

      • Clementine :

        Sorry that this happens to your pup! My sister’s dog doesn’t really like to be around other dogs, so instead she has a pet sitter/dog walker come when she has to go out of town. They were able to ‘test run’ having the dog walked and fed by this sitter before she left him alone.

        It’s one on one time for the dog and not too much more than a kennel.

        • Yeah, we ended up using a home-sitter on the few times we had to leave her alone after that one starvation trip. Typically she came with us and we spent a lot of time at dog friendly hotels (oh the La Quinta rewards I racked up!)

    • Clementine :

      No, you are not being ridiculous. Your mom totally is (and I say this as a woman who has a framed picture of her dog on her desk more prominently than the one of her and her spouse on their wedding day….)

      12 hours on a plane for a human is rough. Plus, the dog will have to be alone (please note that most pet-friendly hotels have a policy that dogs can’t be left unattended in rooms)?? Might I suggest a few talking points:

      -Focus on how you’re concerned it will be stressful for the dog. ’12 hours of travel plus having to stay in a hotel just sound like it will be really rough on poor little Scooter.’
      -Apologize that your building is strictly no-dogs ‘Yeah, I know, they’re really really strict about it, so unfortunately it’s a no-go.’ (Do not waiver on this one EVER.)
      -Suggest an alternative ‘Hey, I hear there are these great ‘bed and biscuits’ that are like mini-spas for dogs. Wouldn’t that be a fun adventure for Scooter!’

    • If your mother has never traveled with her dog before, she has no idea if the dog will be okay on the flight. Has she checked with the airline find out the rules for traveling with a dog? Since your apartment doesn’t allow dogs, that would be the biggest reason for her not to bring the dog. Is she willing to pay for any damage the dog may cause?

      Also, my cats are not used to having dogs around. One of them growls when she sees the dog next door outside. It would be incredibly stressful for my cats to have a dog around. It seems to me like you’d spend most of your time dealing with the dog rather than spending time with your mom.

      • Pet pushback :

        One upside is that she is actually not staying with me. They would be in a hotel. She wouldn’t stay with me anyway, but there’s no way I would even let the dog visit because my condo board would go ballistic, but more importantly, my cat would be terrified. I am definitely worried about how the dog would handle a plane though, and having the 6 hour trip as the “test” trip doesn’t seem like a good idea.

        • Ah okay. Sorry, I missed that she would be staying at a hotel. I agree, having a long flight like that as a test just doesn’t seem like a good idea. Still, I feel like your mom would be worried about the dog being at the hotel. It’s not the same as leaving the dog at home in familiar surroundings. I like Clementine’s idea about suggesting an alternative and hopefully “fun” option for the dog. Or if boarding isn’t an option, has she considered hiring a pet sitter?

        • This is not your business though. It might be more courteous of your mom to the other passengers on the plane if she first brought her dog on a shorter “test” flight, so if it barks the whole way, it’s less obnoxious. But since you won’t be on the flight with the dog, it’s not your circus, not your monkeys.
          (Also, fwiw, unless you have reason to believe the dog will be a bad traveler or can’t hold it’s bladder for seven-eight hours, I don’t think a six hour flight for a dog’s first flight is a big deal at all. I travel regularly with my dog and the stressful part is going through security and being in the airport with all the hustle and bustle. Dogs sleep on the actual flight and most adult dogs don’t have any problems on planes).

          • Senior Attorney :

            +1 for “not your business.” Unless she asks your opinion, I think you should stay out of it.

        • I’m surprised that the hotel would allow the dog to be there unaccompanied. I once had to travel with my beagle (we drove, and for many reasons it wasn’t possible to leave her at home to be boarded), and the hotel we were staying at did not allow pets to be unaccompanied in rooms.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I don’t think it’s a good idea, but I also don’t think you can do much more than tell your mom that. It’s her dog and her hotel room.

      • I agree with this. My answer would be different if your mom was insisting on staying with you, but she has her own hotel room. It’s up to her how much she wants to stress the dog out. Yes, it could make the visit annoying and somewhat inconvenient, but generally, most dogs can be crated for 7 – 8 hours with no problem. Is it ideal that the dog has fly having never flown bedore and stay crated up in a hotel room while you all have your visit, no. But it’s not up to you. Voice your concerns once and then let your mom make her own decision about it. If the visit ends up being a disaster, you can point that out next time your mom suggests bringing the dog with her.

    • Has she checked with the airline to see if she can bring the dog as an in-cabin pet and what that cost is? At $250 roundtrip, it’s probably more expensive than boarding. Also, the dog will be stuck in a carrier for the whole time inside the airport on top of flight times.

    • This is just my experience, but our dog has extreme separation anxiety. She cries when we leave the house to go to work or dinner. She might not die being boarded for four days but she would be absolutely miserable. On the other hand, she is a fantastic traveler and sleeps for the whole flight and doesn’t mind all the people and noises in the airports because we are there with her to calm her. We always take her with us on short domestic trips (even though the roundtrip ticket is $250, which is way more than boarding) because it is clearly so much better for her. She clearly doesn’t mind traveling and always wags her tail frantically when we bring out her carrier (which we only use on plane flights). So don’t assume traveling for four days is the worst option for dog.

      But if your mom acknowledges she is just doing it for herself and not for the dog, then I think it’s fine to tell her you’d prefer the dog not come. But I disagree with comments above. I would emphasize the inconvenience to you and her, *not* the stress to the dog. We take our dog on 6 hour (each way) plane flights for a weekend all the time, and she’s happy as a clam. If someone told me “please don’t do that, it’s stressful for the dog” I would roll my eyes and think “they don’t know my dog.” If on the other hand someone told me, “please don’t bring the dog, my apartment doesn’t allow them and it will be inconvenient,” I would make other arrangements for the dog.

      If she does insist on bringing the dog, you can visit her in the hotel and it should be fine to leave the dog in the hotel for a few hours at a time to go to dinner and such. Which city do you live in? Most big cities have a good number of dog-friendly restaurants, although if you’re in the Northeast or Midwest it may be too cold to sit outside.

      • My concern was that the mom has never traveled with the dog on a plane, so she has no idea how the dog will do. If the dog travels like a champ and mom is getting her own hotel room, I wouldn’t see a need to say anything.

        • Yes, but at some point it becomes a situation of needing to let adults make mistakes and not controlling everything. Assuming that this is a housebroken, adult dog, and the OP’s mom isn’t going to do something like drug the dog without checking with her vet, the dog is not in danger.

    • My comment appears to have been eaten, so sorry if this duplicates, but check out rover dot com – it’s in-house dogsitting for much less than a kennel. Everyone has ratings, and you can meet the sitter beforehand, so it might make your mom feel better than leaving him in a kennel.

    • Pet pushback :

      Thanks, everyone! I appreciate all the comments about how dogs handle planes. I think I was projecting my own cat’s experience, which is she can’t even take a 5 minute drive without freaking out, vomiting, panting, and generally looking like she’s about to have a heart attack. I will outline some of the drawbacks to my mother about the accommodations (took a quick look and the only pet-friendly option near me is the super-luxury hotel) and let her decide.

    • Anonymous :

      This is what I think:

      Your parents were coming to spend time with you. Now they are bringing that stupid and likely annoying dog that is going to cut in on your fun and your time together. [It is a dog here — it could be “Mom’s New Boyfriend” or “Your Brother’s New GF,” all to the same end]. They should have respected the invitation.

      Is you Dad sensible? Can you call him and say that you are looking forward to spending time with them and that the dog will just make it hard in such a short window? Like, daughter > dog (at least for this once)?

      The big picture would bother me so much more than these smaller points people have made that are pet-logistics related. Your heart hurts, no?

      • Anonymous :

        You are clearly not a dog owner. A dog is an animal. It’s not like mom’s new boyfriend or brother’s new girlfriend, who are presumably responsible adults who can take care of themselves for a weekend without their partner. The dog depends on OP’s mom for survival and she has made a commitment to care for it. Sure, she can board it, but maybe she doesn’t want to because she knows there are no good boarding places near here or that the dog would be extremely unhappy being boarded. She’s responsible for its care, and she has made the decision that the best care for it is bringing it along, when she’s staying in her own hotel room. That should be the end of the discussion as far as the daughter is concerned. If the idea of seeing an animal in your parents hotel room when you they are there visiting with you freaks you out so much that you have to frame it as “daughter vs. dog,” you need to do some serious thinking about how self-centered you are.

        • Anonymous :

          Disagree. Elevate the dog to full personhood (and make them say a frail elderly parent who truly depends on another for round-the-clock-care). The parents should have said “can I bring X? we really can’t leave X at home” except that wouldn’t really be true, would it? If they truly couldn’t leave X at home, they shouldn’t have come (or just should have sent Dad on the visit).

          Intervene with Dad — is he rational? Or will he give you a shoulder to cry on?

    • I don’t envy your situation – yes, your mom does know the dog best but she’s only seeing the upside of bringing the dog, not all of the complications that might arise. Even aside from the plane travel – if the dog will only be fine ‘if she’s around,’ will it whine all day while being crated in the hotel while you and your mom try to go do stuff? What is your mom going to do if she gets kicked out of the hotel because her dog cries whenever she leaves? Does she try to move in with you ‘just for a couple of days’ at that point?

  4. What did you wear last time that you went to a winter wedding? Not just type of dress, but colors, accessories, leg covering, shoes, wrap, outerwear? Assume traditional church wedding, but not especially formal (no dress code stated). I’ve got one coming up and I can never seem to figure out something that’s dressy enough, appropriately warm, and doesn’t look somber. I know that “no black” is sometimes considered an outdated rule, but I still prefer it for weddings. (I realize that “a solid colored non-black dress” is part of the answer, but I’m looking for examples and how to accessorize.)

    • For winter weddings, I usually due a navy dress with gold or silver heels, simple accessories (maybe a small silver or gold drop earring). I’ll have a pashmina in gray/ silver if it’s a Church wedding, and wear an opera coat.

      I usually do bare legs because I’m a rebel and hate hose.

      • Wait, who owns an opera coat? (I’m not even positive what that is.) I think I’d expect Edith Wharton to appear at my elbow if I were wearing an opera coat.

        • lost academic :

          It’s a longer coat that you (can) wear when you’re wearing an evening gown that’s floor length. Wraps often not enough, and other coats aren’t sufficiently formal/don’t work at all given the length of that style dress. I’ve avoided owning one thus far even though I have at least one function requiring such a dress a year – they’ve always been in the summer.

          • Oh. I own one of those. (Just never knew the name. It was just “that long coat I have”.)

        • Darling, I do. I inherited it from my mother who got a great deal on it and used to wear it to the symphony. I’m wearing it this weekend to a black-tie wedding.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I mean, I know its not winter yet but this is what I wore to a (cold) fall wedding, I’d likely do the same to a winter wedding.

      Long sleeved fit and flare burgundy lace dress
      Gold statement necklace
      Opaque black tights
      Patent black heels
      Normal winter coat
      Black clutch

      • This is similar to what I wore to a wedding two weekends ago when a serious cold snap hit my area. I had a printed dress with a cardigan over top, statement necklace, black tights, black heels. Pretty much what I would have worn had the wedding been in the summer or not been as cold, but winterized.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I have a dark purple fit and flare dress that has a bit of a fancy fabric – it looks like jacquard I think. I usually wear that with tights depending on the formality but I would probably skip tights if the wedding was more formal. If I wore tights, I would wear it with “shooties” and perhaps a wrap because it’s sleeveless.

      For outerwear, I would just wear my normal fall/winter coat (a wool peacoat type-jacket).

    • Diana Barry :

      If I must wear hose (ugh) I do nude hose and closed toe heels (I have some nice black glitter ones), thick pashmina, fancy cardigan, and full-length wool coat. I also have a glitter clutch.

    • I just bought a navy and black dress, thick jacquard fabric with a very subtle sheen, short cap sleeves with a cutout back. It didn’t photograph as navy as I hoped it would, but in person it looks fine. I wore it with black tights and some black suede close-toe t-strap pumps to a “cocktail” dress code wedding in boston this weekend. I had a black cardigan that I ended up wearing most of the reception, but I’m looking for a wine-colored wrap or something for future winter events. Normal black coat.

      • http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446811347 picture of the dress.

    • Cocktail dress in plum, sleeveless, sheer black hose, black heels, with a black wool coat and a bright pink scarf which I left on for a few minutes after I arrived at the church and immediately gave to the coat check at the reception. I also have a black shimmery wrap that I tend to take to winter weddings just in case but try to leave it off because I hate hiding a pretty dress.

    • Well, I was pregnant and it was black-tie, so I did wear black because it was what I had — black maxi dress (close enough to black tie), sparkly gold cardigan, gold belt, sparkly shoes (no hose because of length of dress), dangly rhinestone drop earrings. And a big down coat.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      The last Winter wedding I attended was black-tie optional. I wore a black gown, rhinestone accessories, a black satin wrap, silver heels, and a black faux fur. I felt fabulous.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Last winter wedding I attended I wore a dressy midcalf-length full skirt in black satin with big red roses on it, black cashmere turtleneck sweater, statement necklace, black pashmina, black tights. Oh, and one black patent ballet flat and one orthopedic boot for my broken ankle. ;)

    • A knee-length navy, deep green, or purple dress in a formal fabric with either a black faux-fur stole or a black knee-length wrap coat (the stole is far more fun, but if it’s very cold, I’ll wear the coat) with CZ cluster earrings and either a statement necklace or bracelet. Unless it’s extremely cold, I’d probably wear my pewter metallic pumps without hose. Have fun!

    • I have a wedding in 3 weeks and I’m wearing a knee-length black velvet sequined dress with elbow-length sleeves plus emerald green suede shoes with sheer hose plus onyx stud earrings, but no other accessories as my dress already has sleeves so I won’t be cold and already has sequins so I will be sparkly.

      To my last winter wedding I wore a knee-length navy satin ruched dress plus a grey wool/silk wrap, plus grey suede shoes with sheer hose plus pearl bracelet and stud earrings.

  5. Sydney Bristow :

    Can anyone comment on the quality of Coach leather handbags? I have trouble separating the brand from all the high school students who carried the logo bags when I was growing up but I really like the look of one of the leather ones.

    Actually, I’ve narrowed my search down to 3 bags. I’d love reviews if anyone has one of them. Particularly about quality since this will be the first handbag I’ve ever bought that is over $100.

    Coach Crosby Carryall (this is my favorite)
    Coach Stanton Caryall (I don’t like the pebbled leather as much as smooth but I like the longer handles)
    Kate Spade Small Elissa

    • I have a pebbled leather Coach handbag that looks like the Stanton (not sure exactly what model – I got it on sale on the factory outlet webs*te), and I am so pleased with the quality. I abuse my bags terribly and it still looks like new 2 years in. I’d definitely recommend the webs*te – I think you give your email, and they have huge sales (like more than 50% off) every few months that you have to be registered for.

      • They’re amazing quality. I adore mine. It’s about seven billion times better quality than the Tory Burch or Rebecca Minkoff bags I have.

        • Agreed. Really well made, they replaced my bag with an identical new one the one time I had an issue.

        • Agree, completely! I’ve had a large leather coach bag for over 5 years and it still looks exactly the same.

          My Tory Burch and Rebecca Minkoff barely made it a year before showing signs of wear.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Also, Coach’s warranty is pretty great. I had a 8+ year old tote where the leather wore out (it was sort of like leather covered piping at the bottom edge of the bag, so it frequently rubbed against things). I contacted Coach and they had me send the bag to them so they could evaluate whether they could fix it. When they determined that they could not fix it they sent me a coupon for 50% off a new bag.

      • I work in a store that sells Coach, so maybe I’m biased, ( we also sell Michael Kors and Brahmin) but I think the all leather bags are high quality. I have several that look as good as new, especially a saffiano leather tote that I use most of the time.

    • I have a couple of Coach bags (variety of sizes and leathers). They have held up well and I haven’t had issues with torn linings, cracked handles, etc. Mine all have zippers or foldover magnetic closures and those haven’t worn out. Bonus points for putting “feet” on the bottom of the bags.

    • From my knowledge Coach was actually known for their quality leather bags before they started splattering their logo everywhere (I’m not going to lie, I rocked that look in high school) and as others have said have a great warranty so go for it! Also I think they are actually going away from the logo look and from the website seem to have some great leather bags with a simple barely noticeably small metal logo (with Coach in cursive or something like that) or no logo at all.

    • I have my bags from the 1980s (leather). I almost wish they didn’t last so long. Maybe it’s retro-trendy? I’ve got an awesome mini-bucket bag that I may let my daughter use as her first bag.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I like all of my Coach bags and you don’t have to get something that is covered in logos. I hate anything that has me as a walking advertisement (Michael Kors, Tory Burch, etc) but I think Coach is much better than bags in a comparable price range.

    • I have a leather Coach bag that I have used almost daily for at least 5 years. I occasionally have switched it out for something different, but it really is my primary purse and it still looks new. I don’t really do anything special to take care of it either.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Ok you all have totally sold me. Now I just have to pick between the two. Thanks for all the feedback!

  6. Diana Barry :

    Dude! I went to BR this weekend and got an awesome deal: forest green cocoon coat, original price $298, for $36!!! And burgundy tweed blazer, original price $158, for $40! I was stoked. :)

  7. Kat – my comments are disappearing. No moderation notice or anything, just not showing up.

    • That means they’re in moderation. It used to say when that happened, but now they just don’t show up. And it’s kind of crazy what triggers moderation now (like the word s!te).

  8. Warby Parker Glassess :

    I need new glasses and am considering Warby Parker mainly because its incredibly cheap (AND includes the lenses) compared to regular glasses from Lens Crafters, etc. (even with my insurance I think it would be cheaper). I plan on going to the Georgetown store sometime in the next couple of weeks to try some on in person because of course the ones I am interested in don’t have the at home try on option. For those of you that have them, are they good quality/worth it?

    Also I have a pretty round face so if anyone has any recommendations on which styles look best for my face shape that I would appreciate it! Right now I have “cat eye” style from Ann Klein.

    • Wildkitten :

      WP is great. I loved everything about my experience buying from them and I loved the glasses I received. I actually loved the try-on-at-home better than in the store. I could have a glass of wine and photograph my face in all the glasses and let my friends and family comment on their favorites. Four stars.

    • I’ve done the at home try-on and they seemed like great quality (sadly a bit too big for my face). I’ve also ordered from Lensway and was quite impressed with the price. I was replacing a pair of Ralph Lauren frames which had been stolen so I didn’t need to try them on in advance so YMMV. They were about half the price I paid at Lenscrafters.

    • WP is amazing. Cannot recommend highly enough. Will never buy glasses anywhere else.

    • This is nuts, I could’ve written this post! I’ll also be heading to Georgetown in the next few weeks to try on…My eye doctor only sells insanely expensive frames. It’ll be cheaper to pay out of pocket with Warby parker than buy glasses (with insurance) at my eye doctor’s. Although I’m going to get an itemized receipt from WP and try to get reimbursed.

    • I love the quality and price of WP glasses, but as someone with a smaller face, most of the styles didn’t work for me – the huge hipster glasses take up my entire face! I did find a style that worked for me though – I have kind of a square-ish face, and the smaller square framed ones look great.

    • Love my warbys. So much less expensive and so much more on-trend than glasses from the local optician. A+

      • Also, I suffer from Tiny Face and got the Uptons. I don’t think they’re at all overwhelming, although some of the more hipstery frames were a little too Jenna-Lyons -cool for my office.

    • Another pro-WP person here. I have three pairs, even though I barely need one pair (I only wear at night). Most eyeglass places will do the adjustments for you once you get them and I have found the prices are hard to beat for the on trend styles at the WP quality level.

  9. Just FYI, for those who have been asking about cold weather gear recently, 6 PM has a bunch of last year’s North Face coats for around 50% off (men and women).

  10. I live in a cold climate and am looking for a new winter coat for my work commute. Does anyone have a recommendation for a down coat that looks presentable with a skirt and tall boots? I’m tired of being cold. Budget of around $200 but could go higher for the perfect coat.

    • LL bean Warmest down coat. It’s long so your legs don’t free, and even in negative 10, it kept me snug (though tears froze to my bare face)

    • Not in your price range, but I have seen them on sale for not much over $200 in the past: any of the Patagonia 3-in-1 options (Tres, Vosque, Stormdrift). Or Duete if you don’t want to be able to zip out the liner. Great quality, sleek, and if you get the 3-in-1 options, the outer coat works for spring/fall. I wear an older version of the Vosque through the winter in a Chicago-level climate, and it’s great. It’s currently $28o in some sizes at 6pm.com. If you don’t mind something that looks like a down coat, the Fiona is $209, but something with the extra windproof layer is really going to be both warmer and sleeker.

    • AlwaysCold :

      Checkout Land’s end “Women’s Commuter Long Down Coat”. It is slightly above your budget at $239 but there is 30% off code on the website with free shipping. I have this coat for past two winters and it is fantastic for bitter cold Chicago winters. I don’t drive to work, so have to wait at bus stops and walk a few blocks in -20-30F with windchill and this is the only coat I found to be warm enough for such days. It is long enough it really cover a lot of your legs and the hoodie is great for windy days. Also make sure to get really good gloves, I find my fingers get terribly cold in a short time.

    • Also try Eddie Bauer. They have Petites and Talls and I have been incredibly impressed with the quality of their down. Land’s End also has some cute coats too. All coats should be on sale about now…LE was 30% off this weekend, EB was the same.

    • lawsuited :

      Land’s End down commuter parka. I love mine so unbelievably much. It looks completely respectable with workwear. I got mine during a 30% off outerwear sale and it was less then $200. Although if I knew how much I would love it I would have happily paid twice that.

    • thanks all!

  11. Can we talk about shoe wardrobes? I live in Florida – so I drive everywhere. I have an unfortunate 15 minute walk from our employee parking garage to my building, so work shoes definitely need to be comfortable. And we are a very business casual environment.

    If you were starting fresh, what shoes would you buy? Mainly for work / weekend casual wear.

    • Brook Brothers 2″ block heel pumps. Comfortable and stable enough for actual walking.

      Also, the CH Air Tali (maybe they’re just “Tali” now) wedges. Great walking shoe.

      Clogs for days when you wear pants (know your office though).

    • In Florida? I would do that walk in flip flops and change into my work shoes in the office.

    • Is there a way you can leave shoes at your desk? I would wear commuter flats for this and then change once inside. That way your nice shoes will last longer and you’ll be able to wear nicer shoes and look more pulled together all day.

    • Anonymous :

      I would jump on this opportunity to get driving shoes!

  12. Can someone recommend a nice-looking raincoat with a hood? I need to chase my daughter around in the rain sometimes (it does not stop her from wanting to go outside) and holding an umbrella isn’t practical. So I’d like a hood, but I’m also an hour-shape, so something more fitted that keeps me from looking boxy? Up to $200 for budget (happy to spend less!).
    Thank you all!

    • Boden rainy day mac. It comes in both fun patterns & solids, has a hood, and has some shape to it. I get compliments almost every time I wear mine.

    • I have a lululemon rain coat – it’s amazing.

    • Eddie Bauer (sorry to be all EB rah-rah today) has some really cute, modern looking raincoats. I just got one that’s insulated and it’s perfect for when it’s cold and rainy here in Boston. And they carry a lot of sizes. Big fan.

      • This looks just like what I had in mind!

      • Second this — i have the EB girl-on-the-go raincoat with the removeable liner. bought it last year after looking for a long time for a raincoat that was actually waterproof and had a hood. inner liner is quite cozy — i’ve worn it down to around freezing and it is fine. hood has hidden drawcords. highly recommended.

    • I have this one from REI and I’ve been really happy with it. My only complaint is that the sleeves are a little tight, so layering isn’t always possible.

  13. Just wanted to thank everyone who weighed in with kind words over the weekend regarding my pup. It really helps to hear that I’m not alone in my response – and it also helps to hear that even though I could only give him four weeks of a happy life that those four weeks mattered. Thank you, so much.

    • Aw. Just catching up, but I am so sorry for your loss. Pets are members of the family. And being a newer member doesn’t change the fact that you opened your heart and fell hard. Please give yourself time and space to grieve, and you will know when you are ready to love another dog again. Hugs. It is PERFECTLY normal to cry about this.

  14. New Associate :

    Hive — I have to do headshots for my new (law firm) job and I want to wear an hermes scarf I got as a graduation present. But is it too colorful for a lawyer headshot? Maybe like under the suit collar?

    • My first instinct is that you do you.

      My personal instinct (as a Hermes lover) is no. You will wind up being That First Year With The Scarf. I think a headshot ideally conveys that you are not some weird crazy person (no visible fangs or horns) but is otherwise straight, corporate vanilla. Pearls, maybe? Plus, scarves can go rogue — you may not get many chances to update this and it’s best to have something that you’ll be able to have out there for 3-5 years or however long your firm’s rotation is.

      • Diana Barry :

        Agreed. Don’t wear anything that stands out. Go with a solid color (darker) blouse and a non-statement necklace/earrings, but no scarf.

  15. Engagement gift? :

    Engagement gift for a friend in NYC? I don’t live in the city so I have no idea what vendor to use. Candy? Flowers? Something else? Anyone have a favorite engagement gift they received?

  16. We bought a house! Closing at the end of November, inspection to happen sometime later this week, yada yada, but I’m so excited. It’s our first house and it’s in a WONDERFUL neighborhood.

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