Sheer, Strappy Camisoles — Are They a Don’t?

We were a bit flummoxed when we got this e-mail:

I am an attorney and I just recently bought a super cute camisole from JCrew to go with a new light summer suit. The problem is, I don’t know what to wear underneath it because it is a little sheer. I assume I will be wearing my suit jacket over the camisole the whole time, but I’m still a little nervous about just wearing it plain. I was looking at nude colored shaping camisoles, but I am really clueless when it comes to that stuff. Any ideas?

OK.  Let’s assume the reader bought a darker color of the camisole, and not a flesh-colored one, and is still having second thoughts about how to wear it by itself.  Here’s our $.02:  There are many things this camisole is great for. Layering beneath a v-neck cardigan. Layering beneath a dress that is a little too low-cut. Layering beneath a — well, anything.  It’s a nice fabric that will feel nice against your skin. We would even say that this camisole is great for a blazer that you’re going to keep buttoned up (although, lazy as we are, we prefer to wear a t-shirt beneath a blazer like that because anything with sleeves will help you keep it clean and odor-free between drycleanings).   However — we have a problem envisioning a way to wear this as a blouse that wouldn’t make people in the hallway think, “Wait, did she forget to put on a top today?” Here are some general problems that we see with this that we would avoid, in general, for office wear:

  1. Sheer
  2. Spaghetti straps
  3. A back that is so low-cut it’s unclear if your bra will be peeking out of the top of it (let’s assume that the front is, or can be adjusted to be, high-cut enough)

On a summer day, without concern for the spaghetti straps, we might advise you to buy a second, identical camisole from J.Crew and wear it under the first to make it more opaque without adding too many competing straps.  But for work?  We think this piece works best as a layering piece for the office.  But: that’s just our $.02.  Readers, what do you say?

Thursday’s TPS Report: High-Waisted Pleated Skirt

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

We’re liking this bright, cheerful skirt from Calvin Klein.  The key to wearing this sort of uber-feminine pieces for the office, we think, is to pair them with a structured top — a blazer, a wrapped cardigan, or even a crisp blouse.  We’d look for a white or black top to compliment the skirt, but we might also experiment with navy (to compliment the orange) or even brown.  The skirt is $69 at Bloomingdale’s (which is having a sale right now, offering $25 off for every $250 you spend, through 5/16).   Calvin Klein High-Waisted Pleated Skirt

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Suit of the Week

iconiconFor 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.

We nearly chose this skirt for this morning’s TPS, until we realized it was part of a suit set — and what a lovely suit set it is.  We like the little unusual details, like the pintucks on the skirt, the wrap on the jacket, and off center buttons on the wide waistband of the pants.  The jacket (Classiques Entier ‘Pin Dot Stripe’ Jacket) is $268, and the skirt (Classiques Entier ‘Pin Dot Stripe’ Skirt) is $148. Pants (not pictured) are also available (Classiques Entier ‘Madison – Pin Dot Stripe’ Pants) for $158.  All pieces available at Nordstrom, in sizes 0-16.

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Wednesday’s TPS Report: ‘Rica’ sleeveless wrap dress

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

Today we are liking this jersey wrap dress from JB by Julie Brown.  (Is it Downtown Julie Brown?  We will have to Google when we have a moment and report back.)  In any event, we like the small, ornate print — it is called “shannon tile,” but at first look we thought it was an interesting chain-link pattern.  Either way:  love the color, love the length, and think it would be a great basic for the summer with a white shrunken blazer on top.  It’s $119 at Bluefly in S, M, and L (was $198).  ‘Rica’ sleeveless wrap dress

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Coffee Break: Glass Beads Necklace

I received this necklace as a gift last Christmas from my mother-in-law, and it has quickly become a staple in my wardrobe — both for when I’m wearing all black, as well as when I’m wearing a color that I want a bit of contrast with (such as the coral AK Anne Klein jacket I’m wearing here). The amazing thing to me is how many compliments I get on it, from people in all walks of life — I’ve received at least a dozen on this specific piece. I finally tracked down where it came from and thought I’d post — it’s available for $59 from Acorn Online.  Glass Beads Necklace
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Red, Pink, Nude — What’s Your Power Lip?

power lipstick.indexedReader E sent us this interesting query…

Increasingly, I see ladies in all situations and events wearing pink or lip-colored lipstick. Seems like the days of Revlon’s Volcanic Red or Love That Red are now only in the print magazines. Or perhaps only when the lady is actually wearing red clothing (oh, that’s really dated, matching the lipstick to clothing). What says Corporette?

A few months ago we attended a conference and were shocked — shocked, we tell you — to see how many of the women speaking on the panels were wearing red lips. They looked great, don’t get us wrong — but we couldn’t fathom how they trusted a red lipstick enough to keep it on for a whole hour and a half of speaking.  Pictured: red lips isolated in white, originally uploaded to Flickr by TaniaSaiz.

It seems like there are a few pros, as well as cons, to the red lip. [Read more…]