Suit of the Week: Tahari

purple skirt suitFor 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 for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

I’m not gonna lie: this is a bold, bold suit. But I’m kind of digging it — particularly for a bold woman, at least worn as a suit. I think most women will find the skirt and jacket, as separates, to be workhorses — pair them with neutrals to tone that saturated purple down, or have some fun by adding a pop of green, cobalt, or red. There’s a huge price range on this, I think based on inventory — the size 18, for example, is $89, but Amazon tells me there are only 2 left in stock. The suit is $89-$210 at Amazon, sizes 4-18. Tahari ASL Women’s Ron Skirt Suit

Here’s a version that comes in plus sizes, and, just FYI, TheRealReal has a similar Chanel skirt suit (size 8 only) on sale for $715, plus an extra 25% off with code SUPER. (Actually, they have a pretty killer selection of vintage suits in all sorts of lucky sizes — take a look.)



  1. Tailoring advice :

    I have recently gained muscle in my upper arms, and my slim-fitting suit jackets are now too tight. Is this something a tailor can fix?

    • Anonymous :

      If there is a seam to open up, maybe, but unlikely.

    • Anonymous :

      If it’s the shoulder, sometimes you can rip open the seam and take out the batting/padding that is supposed to shape the shoulders. If your shoulders are broad enough, you don’t need it for shape and it’ll give you slightly more room.

      • Tailoring advice :

        No, it’s actually just the sleeves that are now too tight/narrow.

        • Anonymous :

          If they are a nicer brand, then they may be a seam allowance if you’re lucky. If you’re getting your jackets from, say, Banana Republic, then you’er out of luck.

          • Anonymous :

            I’d say even the nicer brands are unlikely, since I don’t know if the sleeve is something that is normally tailored. Back seams or side seams, sure. The back seam on pants, sure. but sleeves are a different story.

            Sleeve circumference can have a pretty direct effect on the size of the armhole, so there are going to be more constraints than the normal alteration.

        • Welcome to my world. I wish it were due to muscle but it’s not, but yeah, a lot of sleeves are cut very narrow and it sucks.

          • I should add that the best option is to buy up until you hit a size that fits your arms then have the rest tailored down. Or just live with slightly looser shirts and jackets.

    • Anonymous :

      This happened to me (thanks yoga) and my tailor had no luck adjusting them. Same happened with my slim fit button down shirts, and I’ve had no luck replacing though – apparently to be slim in the body also means spaghetti arms. I now live in ponte dresses.

      • This! A million times this. Also for my flatt butt now being toned and taking up more fabric. Hiss.

  2. Squeaky Shoes :

    I have a new pair of Tory Burch flats in the quilted leather that are driving me crazy because they squeak non-stop. They are so loud that I feel like I’m disturbing everyone when I walk down the hall. I haven’t had this experience before with any other shoes (or with previous Tory Burch shoes). Any tips for fixing this?

    • Anonymous :

      Moisturize the inside

    • My advice is the opposite of moisturizing. Try powder.

      First put some powder in the shoe and wear it a bit and see if the squeak goes away.

      If that doesn’t work, peel up some or all of the insole and put powder under it. Sometimes you can tell whether the squeak is coming from the front or the back of the shoe (usually the back) so let that guide you. It may take a while for the powder to work its way to where it needs to be so give it a day.

      The above two have always worked for me.

    • If neither powder nor moisturizer work, it might be time to bring out your big gun! Try placing WD – 40 on a Q-tip and carefully applying it along the inside seam of the squeaky area.

  3. I’m about to book a trip to Aruba for mid-April. Has anyone been that time of year- any concerns about the weather? I’ve heard it can get windy, especially if you aren’t staying in one of the high-rise resorts. And has anyone ever stayed at Manchebo resort?
    Also, any suggestions for a 4-day weekend trip in early March for me and a girlfriend- I’m coming from the east coast, she’s coming from the west coast.

    • The wind is no joke- friends went during that timeframe and mostly hunkered down by the pool (which was protected by the high rise-as-wind block) rather than lounging on the beach, because it was windy enough to stir up sand and also make it really annoying to read magazines (wind made it hard to turn pages/irritating flapping corners where their hands didn’t reach).

      Nashville/Memphis? NOLA? Miami (obviously a longer flight for your friend, but perhaps actually more convenient thanks to the number of options)?

      • yikes. I’m hesitant to shell out so much money if its going to be super windy. Are there other similar Caribbean destinations (similarly priced) where wind is not as much of a concern?

        • I would think islands that are further northwest (maybe Jamaica?) would be less susceptible – for further anecdata, I went to Turks & Caicos in April and had several super windy days.

      • The wind in Aruba is insane. We also spent limited time on the beach as it felt like we were getting sandblasted.

    • lefty lawyer :

      Aruba is windy year-round (I lived there). However, it is more of a problem on some parts of the beach than others, due to the configuration. I haven’t been there in many years, so don’t remember if the Manchego is one of the problem locations. Aruba’s climate is the same all year, rarely rains, and it is outside the hurricane zone.

  4. DC Mom anon :

    Has anyone here exercised with the November Project? They have groups nationwide.
    I am in DC and have always wanted to join, but I haven’t worked out in over a year and am not sure that I will be able to hang. anyone want to give me a kick in the pants?

    • I haven’t done the November Project workout, but I am in a running group whose core members work out with them. It sounds like a really intense workout, to be honest, and I think that unless you have the type of personality where you prefer just to be thrown into something and commit 100%, the whole social-media shaming thing if you don’t show up would be a turn off. But it could work if you’re the type of person that really thrives on the community and accountability aspect of working out.

      I’m super familiar with the DC workout scene if you have other interests – happy to give recs!

    • lucy stone :

      I have a sorority sister who started with the group and lost a ton of weight. I don’t think she had the best fitness level when she started but she seemed to love it.

    • boston anon :

      I’ve done a few sessions in Boston where it all started- really chipper people and high-impact, cardio focused (like a lot of stair sprints) workout sessions. Really effective but I would have been nervous starting had I not been in reasonably good running shape. I range between out of shape (140 lbs at 5’2) and pretty fit (125 at 5’2) depending on time of year thanks to my habit of stress eating and my work schedule. I feel really comfortable at November Project workouts when in shape and not as much so when out of shape, also because at least in the Boston workouts some of them might be team based.

  5. DC Mom anon :

    Thanks, Emmer! Do you know of any other group workouts (preferably free) that meet up in the city?
    I tried to get in touch with a group called Know Your Fitness, but they have not been responsive. I really enjoy working out with other people (I am not a good runner, though) and I like the community aspect – I just want to be able to keep up.

    • Nearly all of my experience in the “free” category has been with running, unfortunately (although you don’t say whether you like running, just that you’re not good at it – there are plenty of beginner’s running groups if you do actually enjoy it!).I have been to some free or sliding scale yoga classes, which seem to have a bunch of regulars – they are listed in the link below. A lot of the athletic stores like Lululemon and Athleta have free classes every week too, though I don’t know how many are regulars. This looks like a good roundup of free classes:

    • Wildkitten :

      They have free yoga at the libraries, and the city rec centers are free this year.

  6. Any suggestions for reading glasses? Bonus if I can get a cheap eye exam too since insurance doesn’t cover optical care. I’m in D.C.

    • Don’t skimp on this! Eye health is so much more than your reading prescription. Make an optometrist appointment ASAP.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – Are you sure your regular health insurance doesn’t cover an eye exam as preventative care? Might not cover glasses or contacts, but my Health Partners plan definitely covered the eye exam.

    • Wildkitten :


    • I get my contacts and glasses from America’s Best near Farragut North. They do a good job for me and you can buy a plan from them that give you free eye exams and a discount on glasses and contacts for the life of the plan – three years I think. The plan is not expensive and they will try hard to work with whatever your budget is. My contacts cost $50/box and they offered to work through finding a cheaper brand for me.

      • Another great option. Thanks.

      • America’s best had dubious ethics. They try to upsell you on tests that you don’t need and if you want your prescription, or worse want it and don’t want to buy glasses there, they will illegally refuse to give it to you and you will need to cause a scene to get it. They also once told me in college that they wouldn’t let me take my contact prescription with me because what if it was wrong, only their (apparently incompetent) doctors could adjust it…. I had been wearing contacts for over a decade at that point and I was leaving for the semester and not coming back anyways. I am not a dramatic person but they truly have some kind of unethical/illegal company policy and it really rubs me the wrong way. Beware if you go there, do not let them refuse you your prescriptions.

  7. Paging Former or Current Federal Clerks :

    After you clerk for a year, do you automatically move up a grade or step on the pay scale? I.e. do you automatically make more after you’ve had a year of experience? Or are other factors involved aside from experience? Thanks in advance!

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      I moved up a step but not a grade (so a raise of a couple thousand dollars) after my first year. It was based solely on tenure; there was no element of other factors.

    • I clerked after working at a firm for about 11 months. Once I hit one full year of experience, so about a month into my clerkship, I moved from a JSP-11 to a JSP-12. (About a 10K jump, so worth asking about). All I did was tell my judge that I thought I was eligible and he had to request it. I think I also had to prove I had the full year of experience which I did with my first pay stub from my firm job. It seemed pretty pro-forma, but I do think if the budget is tight in your circuit/district it might not be possible to get a raise.

      • Paging Former or Current Federal Clerks :

        This is super helpful, thank you. I too worked at a firm for ten months before clerking, and also clerked at the state level for a year before that. So I came in as a JSP 12. But I’ve been clerking for >6 months now, so based on what happened to you, I may already be eligible to move up to JSP 13? Who knew.

        Thank you both for your responses!

        • Traditionalist :

          I think the one-year experience rule is only to move from JSP-11 to JSP-12, but I could be mistaken. It also depends on whether or not you’re barred, years of federal service, and whether the judge has other staff at a certain level. (IIRC, judges are only allowed one clerk at JSP-14, but it sounds like you’d be lower than that.) At any rate, worth asking about — it’s complicated enough that your judge/JA might not know and/or an administrative person might just make an assumption without checking into your specific details. You might also try calling the courts’ administrative office (AO) in DC.

          Also, don’t wait to ask! A clerk in my courthouse was supposed to move up but her judge was new and didn’t know, so she missed out on several months at JSP-14 (thousands of dollars!). Her judge was super apologetic but said it would literally take an act of Congress to authorize back pay in that situation.

          Good luck!

          • Wow very helpful–yes, looking at the chart, a grade bump would be a 14k bump per year! Definitely worth asking. I’ve fired off an email to HR, so we shall see. Thanks for the rec on calling the AO; I may need to go that route.

  8. Anonattorney :

    Oh, I don’t like this suit. Those sleeves. Those buttons. I think the whole thing looks really really dated. I mean, it makes the 20 year-old model look like she’s playing dress-up in her granny’s suit. Not a fan.

    • Looks like the colorful suits we used to wear in the 1990s, and not in a good way.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I used to wear suits like that all the time back in the day. So I kind of love it.

      Which, I guess, means that I should step away from it…

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