Bargain Friday’s TPS Report: Ponte Split Neck Dress

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

Merona Ponte Split Neck DressTarget has so many cute office-appropriate dresses right now that we actually had trouble deciding which we wanted to link to today.  Ultimately, we’re going with this split-neck one because we think it would be the most universally flattering.  It’s definitely a casual dress at base, but accessories will go a long way towards changing the vibe of the dress — worn with a blazer and pumps will make it feel more dressed up, while it would also feel at home with sandals and a beach tote.  It’s $25 at Target. Merona® Women’s Ponte Split Neck Dress – Black
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. Love it. I recently got lined, zip-up tank dress at Target, something I’ve been trying to find for years. I also got a couple of very cute pleat-neck dresses and a couple of other things – and the best part is I spent under $100 for everything. Thanks for featuring such a great affordable choice!

  2. There must be something in the air because I was just looking on for casual dresses last night. Target has a very nice selection this season. Good choice!

  3. Cute! I do love Target, but haven’t gotten too many of their clothes. Will have to check this out.

  4. I love that Target features models who aren’t so thin. Makes me believe that you don’t have to be a size 0 to look good in this dress. (Of course, I do not think there’s anything wrong with wearing a size 0–my mom and sister wear that size. It’s just nice to see models wearing other sizes too.)

  5. Just bought this dress… another adorable $24.99 dress, a casual sweater and sandals… with the free shipping over $25 and another discount they randomly gave me… the whole order for 4 things = $76!!!!!!

    Thanks for the tip… great stuff.

    • I think the random discount you’re referring to is a 15% discount they’re running for the Merona line through tomorrow.
      Dress is adorable, might go to the store to check it out!

  6. Target does have cute clothes, but I was soo disappointed with a cardigan I bought there last spring. Completely lost its shape after the first wash, and it started pilling and looking see-through (it was ivory and light weight, but initially wasn’t see-through). Just last night I gave up and put it in the donate pile.

    Speaking of cardigans (kind of a tangent – sorry), can anyone recommend brands that hold up well? I have one cardigan from Ann Taylor that has been great for three years, but another from AT that lost its shape after one year. Thinking of trying out LL Bean’s Canvas heritage cardigan based on reviews on here recently. Any thoughts on Boden cardigans?

    • LL Bean holds up well but I would recommend not putting it in the dryer. The Heritage cardigan is exactly the same as another cardigan that is in the regular Lands End section of the website, if you want a wider selection of colors.

    • I have one from Old Navy that has held up surprisingly well. I don’t know if this is typical of their cardigans, but I am very pleased with the one I have, and I’m considering going back for more based on this great experience.

      • I’m also had good experiences with Old Navy’s quality — generally speaking I wash all my dark clothes with woolite dark, and they hold up better and longer

      • I’ve had the opposite experience with Old Navy. Even if I wash items in cold with Woollite on the delicate cycle (and I never put anything in the dryer except towels), the items have still faded and lost their shape after only a couple of washes. I stopped buying their stuff a few seasons ago, though, so maybe things have changed?

        I have the same experience with Target’s stuff, generally, so I only buy things like camis that I’ll wear under things there.

        • I’ve had great experiences with Target but horrible with old navy. Most shirts I buy seem to unravel at the hem after only 3-4 washes.

    • Can’t beat Talbots for great cardigans. Their silk/cotton blend is fabulous – great drape, comfy & looks great. A bit pricy full price but they have great sales all the time.

    • I bought two pima cotton cardigans recently from Lands’ End and am super-happy with the quality, fit, and price.

  7. I love the target Ponte dresses but they do not do well in the washer and dryer! My favorite got covered in pills. I will try handwashing next time. Also, love the J. Crew Jackie cardigans. They hold their shape well and have a classic cut.

  8. Woman of Color :

    Maybe its just me, but I often go to Target after seeing a cute dress on a friend, and they say that they purchased it there. When I go there to try it on, it always ends up looking cheap and shapeless. Additionally, the price of some of the items from top designers that make lines for Target, I think is a bit expensive (considering that its Target). I could get the same designer’s original line for the same price, or even less at a good sale at Nordtrom, Lord & Taylor, or Off 5th. Anyone else have this issue with Target clothing?

    • I agree about the prices at times… I just can’t see myself spending $50 on an article of clothing at Target. That said, I love Target’s swimwear – low priced, cute, and with swimsuits I’m not really loking for quality – Even the most expensive swimsuit will experience dry rot after swimming in chlorinated water all summer.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I agree. I bought two Target dresses online after seeing all of the great reviews here and was disappointed. They were both really cheap and unflattering. I think the key is to go to the store and try the clothes on. Unfortunately, the Target nearest to me is run down and there isn’t usually a good selection of dresses there.

    • I think Target is great for pear shapes, honestly. I am short with wide hips, and Target clothes are perfect for me. I have an interview skirt suit from Target, and it just looks perfect on me because it’s narrow at the waist and wide at the hips. Target is the only place I can buy stuff and not have to get it tailored.

  9. I am not a huge fan of Target. I feel like I am the only person who dislikes the mega-chain. To me, their clothes and accessories sure cost less, but look cheap. That being said, I would definitely buy and wear this dress! Cute pick. At $50.00, even if I only wear it twice, it’s justified.

    Also Vogue featured a great pink, frilly ‘Zac Posen for Target’ dress (this month? the issue w/ Mrs. Giselle Brady on the cover). I am in love with it and might break my personal “anti-target strike” this weekend and go check it out. Probably not office appropriate, but I love it for date-night. (I will spare those of you who care, but it’s not on Target’s site – I checked.)

  10. I’m loving the Merona Fit Solutions dress I bought at Target a few weeks ago. It has a suck-you-in lining, which smooths everything out and makes the dress very flattering.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I bought that dress and returned it. I actually felt that the lining part made my stomach look even more poofy! :)

  11. I do think it’s great that you can buy things online (and with free shipping) and return them to your local target store if they don’t fit. My local store doesn’t carry much Merona.. this way I can enjoy it.

    I do think they quality is great for my teenager… she lives in their v-neck t-shirts, cardigans and bikinis. You can’t beat those prices for a teenager.

  12. LegallyBlonde :

    I am bored with black dresses, but am thinking about getting this in the red. Cute for the weekends–any way I could make the red version work appropriate? Maybe on Fridays with a cardi?

    • I’m thinking about getting it in the white (something about a white dress in summer). Don’t think I would try wearing the white to work, but the red maybe. Possibly with a black cardigan, simple black heels or flats, and classic jewelry?

  13. I happen to be sitting at my desk wearing a $25. Target dress. But I think it is cheap looking, although adorable. It is Friday, and I am wearing this dress over matching leggings, because worn alone it would look like 2 cents. These Target dresses are a nice little impulase purchase, by not something to build your wardrobe with.

  14. Still wondering what to wear to work to look professional and stlyish? Ask a stylist like me, by checking out my website or follow me on twitter SMSstylefeed.

  15. maine susan :

    Its always good to have a plain black dress available for funerals. This one would be great if you were sitting in a church or standing in a cemetery when its 85 degrees or more outside. Worth the price to have in your closet “just in case.”

  16. I’ve got a couple of the Merona ponte dresses (scoop neck, I think they’re like $13 online right now?) and they make decent go-to dresses. I can dress them up or down and I feel ok about wearing them to the office (on a regular around-the-office kind of day). Super comfortable, easy to care for, and ok quality. Couldn’t beat the price! That said, not everything is as convincing– some things look like they cost $13, which isn’t so much my idea of a good time ;)

    I miss the Isaac Mizrahi line dearly. The number of well-made, structured casual/summer blazers, shirts, etc. I had were great!

    And I just realized I’m wearing a Merona argyle sweater right now. Ha, I guess I do love me some Tarzhay!

    • Me too, yay for Tar-zhay!
      I miss the Isaac Mizrahi stuff, it was great.

  17. The thing that concerns me about the price point of Target clothes, particularly the “designer” lines, is how they get the prices down so low, besides using cheaper materials. I fear that it’s because of child labor or other unfair labor practices in the manufacturing countries. Since I haven’t yet researched and confirmed or denied this, I’ve stayed away. But it’s something that gives me pause every time I see clothes that seem too good to be true. That said, I do not exhaustively research the origins of every piece of clothing I buy—so maybe I have some kind of unconscious bias against the big-box stores.

    • Delta Sierra :

      I feel the same way. That low price has to be achieved somehow, corners had to be cut somewhere. Apart from abusive labor practices, there’s pesticide-use in growing the fiber if it’s cotton, linen, etc. Toxic dyes. All adding to my personal decision to buy better stuff, and less of it. I figure, you do what you can.

    • Clothes really dont cost that much to make! It’s all in the markup.

  18. housecounsel :

    I love Target and their super-inexpensive dresses, but would never put them in the washer or dryer. I dry-clean everything, cheap or expensive.

    But now AEK’s child-labor post has me all stressed out . . .

  19. I have this dress in three colors. It’s cute, decent quality but nothing stunning. Then again, I bought it on sale last summer for around $15/ea after coupons, sales, etc. It’s relatively forgiving and has held up OK with washing. Only thing is, it feels a bit short … and I’m 5’4 to start. So flats or low sandals only, high heels would emphasize the shortness too much for me.

  20. Does anybody else feel the two button thingies at the neck (top of the V neckline) look like two eyes staring at you? I like the dress, but the two button thingies give me (a lot of) pause.
    Corporette, what were your other choices of Target dresses? I’m looking through the website to find something as flattering that does not have the buttons.

    • Those buttons are new! Take a look in the clearance section; Target had this exact same dress earlier with a belt, without the buttons.

work fashion blog press mentions