Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Embellished Silk-Georgette Blouse

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. This week’s guest posts are from one of my best friends since college, who we’ll call Auntie M – read more about her below. Welcome to Corporette, Auntie M! – Kat

Matthew Williamson Embellished Silk-Georgette BlouseOooh, I am just loving this pretty — oh, so pretty! — blouse from Matthew Williamson. I generally love beading, and I think the beaded shoulders here add a beautiful weight to this blouse, both literally and figuratively. The beading, along with the buttons on the sleeves, keep the shirt from becoming too flowy. I like the neutral color palette as well, which keeps the design from becoming overwhelming. First, I would absolutely ignore the styling suggestions on this website — no gold-sequined high-waisted shorts for me, thank you! Instead, I would pair it with high-waisted, wide-leg black wool trousers and classic black slim-heel pumps or black patent leather flats. I may also pair it with navy pants or skirt, and/or purple shoes, but I would really want the blouse to be the standout for the day so I would choose other non-distracting accessories to wear. Finally, to be safe and ensure full-coverage, I would also wear a nude-for-me camisole underneath, just in case the blouse magically becomes see-through in natural light. Matthew Williamson Embellished Silk-Georgette Blouse

Guest blogger Auntie M is an attorney who left litigation to work in her family’s legal services business. Sometimes she misses the world of litigation but her nostalgia fades pretty quickly when she is choosing between wearing her peep-toe shoes, capri pants, or skirt-sans-pantyhose in the morning. She believes that one’s handbags should never match one’s shoes (too matchy), that button-down shirts are quite possibly the work of the Devil, and that burgundy/wine is the best neutral color out there today.  She is currently on the hunt for the perfect pair of T-strap pumps.

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


  1. I like it very much. I would feel quite fabulous wearing that.

    Question: When you are the one being honored at a shower, is there a rule of thumb about how much you should spend on the hostess gifts? I’m assuming it depends on the size of the shower?

    • Diana Barry :

      I don’t think so – I think you should just give whatever is comfortable for you. For my wedding and baby showers, I sent a nice flower/gift basket after the fact, and spent about $75.

      I also love this blouse!

    • I don’t think there’s a rule of thumb – at least not that I am aware of. For the many many many showers that I have hosted in the past few years, I received hostess gifts from a thoughtful thank you card ranging up to a tangible gift worth probably about $35-50.

      For showers that have been held in my honor, I have usually done a thoughtful thank you note plus something in the $20 range for each of the hostesses.

    • I have hosted a few showers and never gotten anything more than a thank-you card. It never occurred to me to expect a gift other than the typical hostess gifts people bring to events (wine, etc), and normally at a shower people bring gifts for the showeree, not the hostess. I would consider the showeree to be my guest of honor, and don’t think the guest of honor should give me a gift.

      I think a thank-you card is all that’s expected.

    • I would say it depends on a number of things, including size of shower and your budget. My wedding shower was thrown by TEN women, so nice flowers or gifts in the $50-75 range was totally impossible for me. I ended up personally going to each one with a nice bottle of wine($20ish) and a handwritten thank you, plus thanking them in person. There’s no way I could have afforded more.

    • Just this weekend, my daughter and I did some silver polishing, and my favorite piece to polish was a little silverplate keepsake box a good friend gave me after I hosted her baby shower. It was probably not expensive (back when silver wasn’t expensive!) but I still love it and will always keep it. My daughter (10) was fascinated with the story.

  2. Oh wow. I love this blouse!!!

    It’s also a nice touch to include the bio of the guest poster – she obviously has good taste since she chose this beautiful item for today’s TPS!

  3. Absolutely beautiful. I want it! Going to commence hunting for a more affordable version now…

  4. For work? Really? Pas chez nous.

    • I would definitely not wear this to work – but for an evening out or a formal event I would absolutely wear it.

    • Yeah maybe to a work holiday party but not in the office for me.

  5. MaggieLizer :

    At first I thought that outfit was a romper and I was confused and horrified. I checked my calendar to make sure it wasnt April Fool’s.

    In other news… how is everyone faring after the storm? Are you ladies working in the office, at home, or in the yard (to clean up)? I was kind of hoping for a hurrication, but no such luck for me.

    • Ooh. Hurrication, I like it. I was, too. I was actually kinda hoping a tree might fall on my car and then I couldn’t come in. It’s 10 years old. It wouldn’t be that much of a loss.

      I spent last week on the Cape – actual vacation. Yesterday my friends and I gathered at another friend’s house. It’s on a point. We watched the storm. Huge waves and wind up to 70 mph, but no real damage. We lost power around 1 and it never came back. I drove up to Boston this morning and the power still wasn’t on. But we didn’t get much rain at all. The sun actually came out several times. So basically just surf, wind, some surge and a few lost branches.

    • Diana Barry :

      We lost power for a few hours, but that was all – only little branches down, no big ones. I am going to call our landscapers to see if they can do a hurricane cleanup. :)

    • In a landlocked section of Queens: It rained and the winds were fairly impressive, but the power never even flickered. The only problem was I needed bread yesterday and that wasn’t happening.

      I am, however, working from home today. I could have gotten in, the subway’s running, but there’s nothing I have going on today that can’t be done from the couch. Plus, most of the company is based in the UK, and they have a holiday today anyway, so I’ll likely be doing some minimal work for our German office and watching tv.

    • Spent the weekend at home at NYC. No lost power, not much damage (I think a tree on my corner lost a branch, others, though, didn’t even lose their leaves). I actually slept through most of the heavy rain. At work now, alas subway service was restored, so no day off as I had hoped… But at least I got a cozy weekend in out of the whole deal and got to curl up with a good book for a few uninterrupted hours.

    • Little Lurker :

      My East Coast family is safe, sound, and with almost no damage, but 5ish miles from my parents’ home (not NY), the river has overrun its banks and the streets are some 5-6 feet deep in water…

    • my worst damage was a kitten bite on my foot from where my friend’s kitten attacked me in the middle of the night while I was evacuated to her apartment (apparently feet under a sheet=kitten playtoy…). The only damage in my zone-A neighborhood in Queens that I could see was one downed tree. I don’t even think the water topped the pier.

      • kz, you’re lucky you didn’t hang a limb off the bed. For cats, feet under sheet might be a kitten playtoy, but a hanging limb is a plain swatting target.

    • Lostintranslation :

      Yes way. It’s my MC Hammer Romper, but for daytime (I have one where the top half is black for the evening).

    • Most people at my work place in Virginia don’t have power in their homes, and some of their outages are expected to last several days. I’m lucky to live in an area that has power.

  6. Pas chez nous aussi. Moi, je le deteste!

  7. It reads very “evening” to me, and a little grandmother-ish (if you have a fabulous grandma). This is certainly not a middle-of-the-road piece, you either love-it or hate-it. Love the guest bio!

    Was stopping in Target the other day for some workout clothes, and this caught my eye. Is it too “there’s that skirt from Target”? I can’t tell if I’ll hate it after a few wears, but it’s so cheap right now.


    • really cute skirt!

    • I really, really like this skirt. Surprisingly, I have a Merona skirt that I think looks identifiably “Target,” but I get compliments on it every single time I wear it. I might have to go look for this one.

    • That is a fabulous skirt! It would definitely be memorable, but it would also be very versatile. For the price, I say buy it.

    • I bet you would end up getting a ton of wear out of that. Cute.

    • Very cute and versatile. I may have to take a Target trip to look for this myself.

  8. Not for work of course, but damn, I am coveting those shorts.

  9. I just need to give a general shoutout to all of you doing the business casual commute in Philadelphia. I’ve been here for about a month, and I don’t think I’ve seen even one Corporette-looking woman around town who didn’t look fantastic! Fits, colors, shoe parings–you’ve got it all, with class to spare.

    • Phillyite :

      As a resident of Philly, your post made by day. I actually think that people tend to dress very casually for work, but maybe that’s because I work in govt? At any rate, thank you! I would like to think that I am fashionable yet very professional.

  10. Congratulations to Kat and Hubby, and welcome to the world, Jack!

    How could I have missed reading that announcement before?!

  11. In response to all those threads we’ve had asking if it would be ok to wear chanel, louboutin, hermes, etc… to work: apparently, yes, ppl care.


    • I’m behind on the Twitter thing, can you please explain what’s going on in that comment? Or, who is actually commenting there? Is it a woman commenting to a younger associate, i.e. Skirt to Associate? Or is it an elevator guy who overhead something?

      Am slow – need to catch up with all the technology out there. Oy vey – sorry!

    • 1. I would never wear Hermes as a belt. It definitely has hot associate written all over that look, not what you want when your goal is the corner office.
      2. What’s an ED?
      3. That twitter feed is hysterical!

      • ED, i assume is Executive Director.

      • My work blocks twitter. Can someone fill in the blanks?
        Also, Hermes as a belt as in an Hermes belt? Or an Hermes scarf as belt? If the latter, would you wear any silk scarf as a belt, ever?
        FWIW, I once wore a pink Hermes scarf as a belt to a — gasp — job interview! With an otherwise very conservative outfit to liven it up a bit (black suit, white button down, red round coral beads necklace). This was before I was reading Corporette and would haven “known better”. And guess what? I totally got the job!

        • Anonymous :

          “Known better”? Really? I don’t think that’s a Corporette tenet, or an assumed no-no by the hive here or anywhere. To put that in the ‘never, I’d die, how ignorant!’ category is pretentious and affected, forced.

          • Yikes Anonymous! Interview advice has often been discussed on Corporette and the advice has always been to stick to a conservative outfit and forgo making a fashion statement. I think that’s probably what AIMS was saying.

      • What’s wrong with a scarf as a belt? Not that I have ever done it myself, but that is mainly bc I am too lazy in the mornings to be that creative. If I saw it on someone else, I’d think it was fabulous.

      • Diana Barry :

        That is just about the funniest twitter feed I’ve seen!

    • re - the twitter feed :

      GS Elevator is an anonymous twitter feed that reports on things allegedly said in elevators or around the office at Goldman Sachs. (Like Gossip Girl for bankers.)

      It was two women talking – a “skirt” from London (unknown how senior) and a “hot associate”. The hot associate was wearing an Hermes scarf as a belt.

      And for everyone who thinks that Hermes Scarf As Belt is totally fine, just keep in mind that Goldman Sachs is one of the more (most?) conservative, elitist banks out there, so their take on appropriate attire is bound to reflect that.

      • Always a NYer :

        I love how you explained the GS Elevator twitter feed, Gossip Girl for bankers =) Why didn’t I connect that on my own? I’ll admit this here but that show is one of my guilty pleasures, I <3 Ed Westwick's bone structure, LOL. But I would never let the people I work with know I watch that show. Any others secretly love that show?

      • Anonymous :

        Caring that much (or much at all) about what other people wear is creepy.

  12. Little Lurker :

    Absolutely fabulous, and the styling suggestions are excellent. Please feature Auntie M lots more!

  13. AccountingNerd :

    Threadjack! As auditors, we must let management know if we apply for a job at any state agency because of the independence impairment. We are to let them know right after applying, even if we don’t get an interview. I don’t like my job and really want to apply for another one I found, but I really really don’t want to tell my boss! I’m up for a promotion soon and don’t want to make him upset, especially if I don’t get the job. He’s very company-loyalty minded. So, if I apply, how do I tell him? I think I could get away with calling, instead of talking in person because we are in different buildings at the moment. But, I don’t know the right words to say! Help! Thanks in advance. :)

    • 1. Is there a company form/template you could use?
      2. Is there a company policy that says exactly to whom you have to say what when?
      3. Could you tell someone else in management (HR? Internal Audit?) so that they can make sure you are OK re conflicts but your boss doesn’t need to know and then worry “about your loyalty” (hate the idea that applying elsewhere means you aren’t loyal).

      • AccountingNerd :

        Yes, company policy is that you must tell your manager immediately and update your statement of independence. I guess managers have to know because they schedule the audits and who is on them. There’s no getting around it. So what should I tell him? Should I just be direct and tell him that I applied for another job and need to update the indepencement statement. Or should I be apologetic? Should I give a reason? Say that I’d like to see what my options are and get some different experience? I need to make the call by this afternoon and might have a panic attack before then.

        • Do you have to tell him the reason why you need to update the independence statement? Can you just tell him you have a conflict at X Agency and leave it at that (or fudge a little on the details)?

    • Can you frame it in terms of wanting responsibilities that you would also have with your promotion? Don’t threaten to leave, but give the idea that what you’re *really* interested is an internal promotion.

      • AccountingNerd :

        The position is completely different than anything I could ever do at my current job. And since my boss and I discussed a possibility of a promotion at the end of the year, he will only assume that I hate my job. I guess I’m just hesitant because I feel like even though I’m qualifed for the new position, so many other people will be interviewing and I probably have little chance of getting the offer. And, I’m in a small town and have been searching for a year, and this is the best thing that’s become available. Am I just being a chicken?

        • You have a right :

          You have a right to feel out the market and look at other jobs. And you have no obligation to explain any more than you must according to company policy.

          I would just tell him that you have submitted an application at XYZ company. Then STOP TALKING. Count the three. Ignore the banging that is your increased heartbeat. Look him in the eye. If he has questions, answer them only to the extent he asks out loud and you must respond. Your “safe harbor” can be: “I really like [current company] and especially working with you. I do think I need to know what the market is in other companies.” And then STOP TALKING and wait to see if he asks anything else. You are not the first person to apply for a job. And you are doing so in complete good faith.

  14. I’ve been working for a large corporation for about a year. They know that I plan to work for them for 2-3 years and then go on to b-school. I studied public policy and am committed to going back into international nonprofit work, something my manager and employer know about me. I worked for a fairly well known/important NGO as an intern in the past, before this job.

    This NGO has called me and is begging for me to come back and help as a consultant for 2-3 months due to some organizational trauma. I really want to, mainly because i care about the work, and also because it would give me a chance to move to europe for a bit and also would give me an in with this organization again, and help me reinstate my credentials in the field.

    The thing is — is it even worth asking my current employer for a 2 month Leave of Absense to go help this organization? i would definitely be back. But in this climate… i don’t know. Thoughts? I need to get back to the organization really soon, so I would have to talk to my manager ASAP.

    • Does your company have a pro bono policy or do they support this non-profit financially? They might be willing to “lend” you to them. I don’t think that taking a leave of absence from a full-time position for a paid consultancy is normal unless it’s super prestigious (think White House appointment), and asking for one would probably raise eyebrows.

  15. found a peanut :

    Review of the Talbots dress Kat recommended a few weeks ago (this one: https://corporette.com/2011/08/03/wednesdays-tps-report-ruched-bodice-dress/)

    I ordered it in small in the Bordeaux color (I am normally a 6/8). The color is beautiful. But the material is VERY thin – I was expecting maybe more of a ponte knit or material similar to the DvF wrap dress material, but this was more of a thin jersey that you would wear on the weekends. So that was a disappointment.

    The fit was another disappointment. You know those buildings that look beautiful from the front but the developer had to save money somewhere so the back is plain? That’s what happened here. The front is very nice, nipped-in waist, etc., but the back is…nothing. It’s not fitted at all, so it fell in a straight line from my shoulders to my knees, with my butt poking out. The dress needed darts or seams or SOMETHING in the back so it didn’t look like you were wearing a thin jersey sack, but there was nothing, so that’s what it looked like.

    Needless to say, it’s going back.

    • Thanks for the review. I’ve been considering ordering it (in black) but was concerned about the fabric. Wanted to check it out in the store but apparently it’s an online only item. I was hoping it would be more of a heavier weight knit too.

  16. Makeup Junkie :

    Threadjack review:
    I bought a few of the Lands End Canvas Heritage Cardigan a couple of weeks ago.
    I got them in Small and they were quite large. I was swimming in them! They seemed pretty shapeless too, and were as thin as the cardigans I got from Old Navy a couple of years ago (that are still going strong, and have a small curve in the waist so the fit is a lot more flattering).
    Very disappointing, so I returned them to a local Sears. Even more disappointing is that I got a gift card from Lands End in the mail instead of a refund on my credit card, so now I have to figure out how to spend it.

    • You should have gotten a refund – LE guarantees refunds, no questions asked. Somebody at Sears messed up. Contact LE’s customer service via their chat function on the website and I’m sure they’ll fix it for you.

    • Maddie Ross :

      That’s so funny, because I have four of these cardigans and love them. I would put the quality of them up with the quality of the J.Crew jackie cardigans (at least of late). You’re right that they don’t nip in at the waist, but I don’t think they explanation of photos indicate that they do. They are a very classic (if slightly boxy) shape. Mine have held up well for a year now. My only complaint about them is that all but a few colors have whiteish/clear buttons and I would prefer they matched the color of the cardigan better. That said, when they are on sale for $19.99 + some add’l percent off your whole order, I think you cannot go wrong. I’m a total LE Canvas girl though and big supporter. Have also had really really good luck with returns and refunds.

      • I agree with your review. It’s also not a difficult or expensive improvement to buy nicer buttons and replace the ones they come with. I did this a couple weeks ago, and for ~$5 it makes a huge difference.

      • Anonymous :

        I love mine. Get lots of compliments. Hey, to each their own!

    • If it was a first time order, the gift card might have been a thank you?

      If you returned it to Sears, I would think they would do a return to the credit card on the spot…

  17. ChristinaMD :

    Threadjack: I apologize if this posted twice: I waited to see if it was in moderation, but it had given me a posting too quickly warning (which was odd, as it was my first post all day).

    Does anyone have any recommendations for Internal Medicine or General Practioner doctors in DC or Montgomery County? I recently relocated to the area, & do not have any recs (and am not particularly enamoured of my previous doctor to ask her for a rec). I’d prefer to avoid VA (so as to avoid the beltway).
    Thank you!

    • Highly recommend the internal medicine practice (and all the practices really) at GW Medical Faculty Associates – gwdocs dot com.

    • Primary Care at Foxhall – in NW DC, by American University.

  18. The blouse would be lovely for evening functions but the shorts are utterly hideous.

  19. S in Chicago :

    Just wanted report in on another disappointing Boden order. I think I just have to admit that my shape doesn’t jive with the cut of their clothes.

    I bought a lovely tweed coat in gray and black. The pattern and fabric were just beautiful, but the fit was horrendous. I’m often between a size 14 and 16. I was absolutely swimming in the 14 except for the shoulders. I’m worried if I went to a 12, then my arms would be much too tight and the seem wouldn’t fall right. (I’ve never had that be an issue–tightness around the chest maybe, but not arms.) The length of the sleeves was just awful, too–they were practically brushing my knuckles. Also, I would by no means deem it a winter coat the way the description reads. For Chicago, I imagine I wouldn’t get use past November. Definitely a fall-spring weight.


    Also ordered a navy and rose striped cardigan http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Knitwear/Cardigans/WK649-PNK/Womens-Navy-Rosy-Melange-Stripe-Favourite-Crew-Neck-Cardigan.html . It ws definitely more of a hot pink (still OK by me). But again, the fit was wonky. Short and boxy. Add the stripe factor over my D chest, and it was downright laughable.

    I think this is my last Boden purchase. The clothes always look so unique and they seem well made. Just doesn’t work. Sigh.

    • S in Chicago :

      Oh–and I’m 5′ 9 just to give you a feel for how crazy long the arms were.

    • Has anyone tried their new petite line?

      • Yes. Love. It really works for me b/c I’ve found that the regular Boden line tends towards a long torso and the petite line shortens the torso. And it makes the hemline fall to the right place (just above the knee) on me. I returned a blazer in the petite line not b/c of the fit, but b/c I ended up not loving the color/embellishments.

  20. Does anyone have either of these tops from Boden and have any comments on their fit/quality? I have the hardest time figuring out my size in Boden and I hate paying to ship returns:



    • I have the first one. It fits me true to my Boden size. I think it works best belted or tucked in, as the reviews suggest. I have always found Boden quality to be very good, but am not totally in love with the fit of this blouse. I could not have gone down a size (shoulders, hips) but it feels like the middle has fabric to spare. Hope this helps.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve found the site reviews on Boden to be incredibly helpful for figuring out sizes. And I don’t have these tops but generally have to go up a size in Boden tops to fit my bust (38D).

  21. I think it’s a little too flashy for my office, but I’m jealous of the girl who gets to wear it in hers! :)

  22. Can someone recommend a dentist in DC? Thank you

    • Capitol Hill Dental – chdg dot net. Can’t say enough about them, have been using them for 6+ years. Love Dr. Thomson. They have several techs so it’s always easy to get an appt.

    • Dr. Al Cheek on Massachusetts Ave NW. He doesn’t take insurance but his rates are fantastic.

  23. Did anyone get the new Talbots catalog? The wrap coat they show in camel is gorgeous – it looks just like a (much) more expensive Max Mara coat I tried on last year. Has anyone seen the coat in person, or would it be too soon for it to be in stores?

    We’re just getting into our summer here in San Francisco, but I thought maybe East Coast stores stocked warm items a little earlier.

    • Here’s a link to the coat online


    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      I just saw that this weekend (after I made out like a bandit at Border’s going out of business sale!) and it is just as (if not more) gorgeous in person. I didn’t do any touching or trying because I had my boyfriend with me, but oh boy did I want to.

    • I don’t understand wrap coats. Do they actually work to keep you warm? I’m very cold sensitive and when I look at them, they make me feel chilly.

    • Beautiful coat. I have a camelhair calf length coat. I never wear it because the length seems awkward. Any thoughts on having it hemmed and suggestions on length?

  24. Kady, I’m not in one of the coldest areas of the country, clearly, but they do keep me warm enough.

    It’s kind of like a bathrobe. (and that also happens to be the challenge of wearing them.) Do you find bathrobes not warm enough?

  25. Anyone get the email that Nordstrom has FREE shipping and FREE shipping on returns with NO minimum purchase (not the $200 limit they had before)? This looks like a new policy that will go on indefinitely, not just for today.

    Totally amazed by this news. And finding it extremely dangerous as well. :)

  26. The blouse is definitely simple, but beautiful and elegant. However, once again, it is not really for everyone. To me, it seems more toward a slim person especially for women who have long legs. It would appear more divine on them. It is absolutely for a dinner party or going to an evening concert. I certainly would give the designer an A+. Great job.