Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Herringbone Jersey Dress

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

Armani Collezioni Herringbone Jersey DressLove, love, love this herringbone jersey dress from Armani Collezioni. Love the feminine silhouette with a “masculine” pattern, and I think the scoopneck, sleeves, inverted pleats, and concealed back zipper (huzzah!) are perfect for the office. It’s $745 at Saks Fifth Avenue.  Herringbone Jersey Dress

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



  1. $745? Not for me, thanks. I prefer $74.50 at Loehman’s, where I can find similar (tho not identical) dresses to wear.

    If I came home with this and told my husband I paid that much, he would chop up all of my credit cards!

  2. Diana Barry :

    Very nice! But why must Saks not state the length of the dress in the description? It is too short for me as featured on the model, but if the model is 6 feet tall, it might work. Sigh.

    BTW, belated congrats to Kat for the Forbes top 100 website listing!

    • found a peanut :

      You really think this is too short on the model? It hits her right at the top of the kneecap. If you factor in the fact that she is probably 5’10” and wearing a size 0 or 2, this should be fine for the office.

      I LOVE this dress. Sleeves, pinstripes, what is sure to be a great fit. Perfect. But even me, with my spendy ways, cannot afford $745 on a dress. I am extremely envious/jealous of the person who can!

      • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

        I don’t think this is knee length on the model; but thanks to years of Catholic school, a skirt is knee length for me if it will touch the floor when I’m kneeling.

      • I also think this is too short on the model. To me, it looks like this dress hits a few inches above the knee, rather than at the kneecap.

        • Diana Barry :

          Ditto – it is not at the kneecap, but a few inches above. Maybe we should have another defining-lengths post! :)

        • found a peanut :

          you’ve all just convinced me that every skirt I wear is too short for the office :(

          • South of Houston :

            found a peanut- I am with you! I think some of the posters above are being overly conservative here. I think that skirt is maybe an inch above the top of the kneecap, perfectly office appropriate (especially since it’s in a fabric with more give and will thus not ride up a lot while sitting). Don’t throw out your skirts just yet!

  3. That is gorgeous!!!! Great Splurge Monday!

  4. Love the dress, although the waist looks long to me.

    Wardrobe advice question: The university I attended for law school is holding a networking cocktail hour for undergraduate students tomorrow night to meet with university alums in our city. I’ve been invited to attend. As a networkee instead of a networker (if that makes sense? I mean to convey that I would be someone the students would be talking to about jobs instead of someone seeking a job), would it be appropriate to wear a wrap dress? I’d like to avoid a suit in the 90+ degree heat if possible…but want to avoid looking like one of the students and be respectful of the student job seekers.

    • Is there a dress code indicated on the invitation? If not, my general take on these events is that I should wear the same sort of clothing I wear to the office, since I’m going as a representative of my employer. I go to recruiting events a few times a year and I generally do not wear a suit.

      If the invitation says business attire required, however, you should at least wear a jacket. Otherwise, some student may think “oh, business attire doesn’t mean a suit, so I don’t have to wear one next time.”

    • I agree with Eponine. I go to these things a lot as a law student and employers generally wear whatever they wore to work. I see anything from full suits to jeans – a wrap dress would work great.

      PS – amazing dress! I hope other designers find it as “inspiring” as I do :)

    • anonymous :

      A nice wrap dress and a necklace would work. A jacket might help.

      Will people be wearing name cards of some kind? Could you indicate your status on that somehow?

  5. lostintranslation :

    Earbud threadjack!
    What seems like my 40th pair of Apple earbuds broke this moorning. Does anyone have recs for replacements that are better + why you think they are superior to the Apple ones?


    • Go to B&H, if your in NY City. They have a complete supply of earbuds and headsets and if you want one with a microphone, their the best!

    • Bang and Olufsen. The best (in my humble opinion).
      Not cheap, but they don’t break, and if they do — save your receipt — they will replace them. The sound is phenomenal.

      • I should point out though that Apple will give you free new headphones if you bring in your broken ones. So if you don’t mind the bother of going there . . . .

        • Good to know.

        • lostintranslation :

          How does this work? Are their certain conditions for how they broke? Do I need a receipt? I did some googling, but only found a recall for a specific problem with ipod shuffles.

          • I just go in, say that I have an ipod and apple care and the headphones have broken for no reason. They give me a new pair every time. I don’t know if this is something they advertise, but I have never been refused.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I have three-year old Bose earbuds – they are fantastic. Great, full sound, and comfortable whether hanging out or working out, unlike the apple earbuds for me. They have three sizes of ear bud covers with each pair, so you can find the size that fits your ear best.

      That dress is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, Kat.

      • Ballerina Girl :

        Maybe I freakishly small ears, but even the small Bose ones would always fall out for me.

      • I LOVE my Bose earbuds. Very comfortable for hours at work or on a plane, and they come with a little lasso to stabilize them for working out.

    • I have JLab (brand) JBuds (style). You can get them on Amazon or any electronics store. I like that the silicone pads come in different sizes, so you can get smaller or larger ones as needed to fit your ears well. I’ve had them for a couple years and I’m happy with them.

      • I had JLab JBuds and loved them — the fit was great, sound quality was excellent, and they were a pretty good price (got them on Amazon). I also got them for my siblings as part of their Christmas presents.

        However, while using them to watch a movie on a plane one of them shorted out. I heard this weird little zapping noise and then one bud was dead and there was a very slight electrical odor.

        I don’t know if I had a defective pair (this was after 6+ months of use), or if something was wonky with the the seat’s power — probably the latter (though that’s a scary thought! Let’s blame it on the ear buds…).

    • MaggieLizer :

      I upgraded to Klipsch not long ago and I couldn’t be happier with them. The sound quality is fantastic and they come with a nice little carrying case so the wires don’t get tangled. Here’s the CNET review: http://tinyurl.com/3nxtktp.

      • I have the Klipsch earbuds and I LOVE them. Having the volume/phone control is extremely handy (the Mac buds hurt my ears and I can’t wear them for more than 10 minutes or so) and they don’t hurt my ears at all. In fact, my husband just stole my pair and I just bought a replacement pair of these today.

      • Klipsch and Shure both make great products.

        And lostintranslation, I think you’ll find *any*thing is better than the standard-issue Apple earbuds.

        • lostintranslation :

          Exactly! But I have had a pair of Panasonic ones that were dirt cheap and even crappier than the Apple ones. I was thinking if I’m spending money than NOT Apple Headphones, but the idea of getting free replacement headphones is appealing as well.

  6. Early threadjack – does anyone have suggestions on how to make a closet smell nice? I share a big walk-in closet with my S.O., and it has the faint smell of “boy.” (Not to an overwhelming degree, but just enough that I’d rather it smell like fabric sheets or lavender). Does anyone have any products or techniques that they swear by? TIA!

    • Does your closet have good ventilation? A lot of times the problem is that there is no vent or that the closet is a bit humid. Your best bet may be to get damp-rid or to run a fan facing out of the closet a few times a week to try to get some air running through. If you don’t have guests over, it’s good to leave the closet open during the day as well.

    • Keep the closet door open. And try a dryer sheet on a hanger in various locations. I have used a fragrance diffuser on the top shelf as well.

    • Also, do not throw sweaty shoes or clothes in the closet right away. Let them air out/dry out a bit first.

    • somewherecold :

      I think the previous suggestions about keeping things aired out are great. If you actually want to add scent, I have used these little paper envelopes that have fragrance in them from Bed Bath and Beyond before. I just taped one to the wall one each end of the closet (I didn’t open the envelopes or anything), and that made it smell nice when I poked my head in to look for things, but it didn’t make my clothes smell like the fragrance. I also like the Method circle scent diffusers (they are plastic circles and you put 1-2 scent cartridges in at a time), which I used to find at Target.

    • When I was in The Container Store the other day, there was a guy there buying and raving about “lava rocks” as odor killers. I did not see the exact product he purchased, and a search of the web suggests there are a few different products that use these. He was quite effusive.

  7. Love the pattern, not crazy about the pleats, at least on my frame.

    Threadjack, career edition: Are there any real-estate corporettes out there? My husband recently floated the idea of pursuing a career in it. He didn’t finish college, and has worked as a retail manager most of his life (which he is *Excellent* at, but would like to leave because it’s kind of a crappy job). He’s smart, really good with people, and really good with details- by which I mean knowing the features of something and explaining the benefits of them to a customer/client.

    Money is not a big issue, but is always nice. Flexibility and normal work hours of some sort is key- now he has to work evenings 2-4 times a week, and alternating entire (open to close) weekends, which is miserable. I’m sure that he’d still have some of that in real estate, as he worked around clients’ schedules, but my thinking (tell me if I’m wrong) is that he’d have more freedom to set his own limits. Is this a valid career option, or is the market still so dead that it’s not worth pursuing at all? (I’m completely open to other possible suggestions as well! He’d just like to get out of retail in less time than it would take him to finish up his degree (at least 2 more years for a BS).

    • Well, you can often set your own hours, but if you want to have clients, you’d have to plan to work every weekend and many evenings, since that’s when people look for real estate. If the hours in retail aren’t working for him, real estate is definitely not the place to go instead, in my personal experience.

    • The market for real estate is still really bad, and there is a huge oversaturation of agents/brokers. Also, much of your weekend is spent with clients, and weeknights can easily be spent with clients as well. Sure, he has the “flexibility” to do what he wants, but if you dont show clients homes when they want to be shown, then you may not get the sale and you wont be very successful. Given your description above, this does not seem like a great option.

      • Anonymous :

        More than a few real estate agents have switched into selling new cars because the money and hours are better.

    • I can’t speak to how viable a career real estate is in this economy, but from what I’ve seen it has the opposite of flexible and normal work hours. A lot of nights and weekends (that’s typically when clients are not working and have time to go see properties), and if the market is booming then a lot of “this property came on the market an hour ago and we need to go see it right now because it’ll be gone by tonight.” You can probably control your hours a little more than if you’re scheduled for a certain shift, but it’s a competitive business and the realtors I know don’t feel like they can schedule around what would be most convenient for them.

      That’s not to say he shouldn’t go for it if it’s something he would love to do — I know someone who recently became a realtor and is outselling the rest of her office by a huge margin (and not minding the crazy hours) because she really loves the job and is suited for it. But if you’re looking to go into it because you think it’ll be better hours than retail, I wouldn’t recommend it.

    • That’s pretty much what I was afraid of. We’re just floating around a lot of ideas right now. Thanks for the advice, everyone!

      • If he’s really good at retail, is he on track to be regional manager, district manager, etc? Some of these positions pay really well and are much more 9 to 5, since you’re not personally responsible for managing any one store.

  8. Equity's Darling :

    Love the dress! A lot.

    I wish I had $745 lying around (plus shipping/taxes/duty…).

  9. Threadjack –

    What would you wear if you were going to a bridal shower followed by a bachlorette party on the same day, with no opportunity to change (other than maybe shoes/jewelry, but then I’d have to carry them)?

    Also, what is the gifting etiquette for an engagement party if the wedding is about 6 months later? The bride is a peer and a friend, and I’m not in the wedding party.

    This is all in NYC/NJ/LI, if that matters. TIA!

    • Is this for the same woman? The answer will be different if it’s for two different friends instead of one.

    • found a peanut :

      Don’t know about the clothing situation, but if there is an engagement party I think you should give a $50 gift for the engagement and at least $100 per person (so at least $200 if you’re going with a date) for the wedding. If there’s no party I don’t give an engagement gift unless it’s a very close friend. The amount varies widely but if you are in the metro NY area $100 a person is standard. If you are sure that the wedding is a casual, laid-back affair maybe you can give less, but if it is at night, or includes a sit-down dinner, or is at some sort of venue, $100 a person is right.

      • See, this is what I don’t get about engagement parties. Why should people feel entitled to get extra gifts if they throw one? Often times I feel like that’s the sole purpose for throwing the party. I don’t think there’s any min/max to what you spend at a wedding either. It should be based on your budget and how close you are with the bride/groom. If you are a close, in-town friend and have a lot of money to spend, then by all means spend $300. If you are a poor grad student coming in from California and only have $25 left for a gift, then spend that amount.

        • And I’m uncomfortable with the idea that we should base our wedding gifts on how much people spend on parties and, for that matter, weddings. We’re not compensating our friends for their hospitality – we’re celebrating people setting up a new life together. A young couple that doesn’t have the money for an engagement party (or a fancy wedding) doesn’t “deserve” less in presents from their friends because of it; if anything, they probably are more in need of typical wedding gift-type items than more established, well-off folks.

          • I don’t think anyone said anything here about giving a gift based on what someone spends. I read Found a Peanut’s post to refer to what is customery in the area. And, I would agree that in the NY tri-state area, about $50 for an engagement party and about $100/pp for the wedding is customary. That’s not to say required! And, that also does not necessarily correlate to what someone spent “per head,” as in the NY area, that cost is often more like $200/pp. Obviously, people should give what they are comfortable with, even if that’s $25. And, obviously, people who have weddings that require travel take that into account. And, yes, generally, speaking you should give gift from the heart, which is why I try to only go to weddings of people I actually care about.

            But I think a lot of people also just want to know what the “norm” is, for better or worse, and I thought Found a Peanut’s response to be very fitting in that regard. The OP is going to the wedding of a colleague, not just a friend — in that situation, I would play it safe and go with something in that “average” range.

            As to my own response to OP — when the engagement party is 6 months away, you are usually supposed to give a gift if you go (and, no, you don’t have to, but it’s considered polite if you do go). I usually give something small from the registry or a gift card to the store the couple registered at or, if no registry yet, some place like Crate & Barrel.

        • found a peanut :

          bringing a gift to a party is just being polite. If you are going to a party where you will be fed and entertained, you should bring a gift. The same goes for a dinner party – it is customary to bring a bottle of wine if someone is having you over for dinner.

          And obviously no one should go into debt or spend beyond their means for a wedding or engagement gift. I would never think poorly of a friend who I know didn’t have a lot and skimped on my wedding gift. But if you are not that person, and you are going to a nicer, sit-down wedding reception in the metro NY area, then it is customary to give $100 per person. You can rail against how ridiculous that custom is and refuse to follow it, but that’s what it is.

          • Your guidelines would make sense if the engaged couple were hosting their own party, but I’ve never heard of an engagement party hosted by the couple themselves.

        • Re: “Why should people feel entitled to get extra gifts if they throw one?”
          IMO, it’s in poor taste to throw yourself a party and give the party a title that implies gift-giving. Usually friends or family members of the engaged couple throw the associated parties – engagement parties, bachelor/ette parties, showers etc. That may be a generational or regional POV, though. For example, I didn’t, and would not, throw myself a “housewarming party”. Instead, I would just invite friends over for an “open house” and hostess a party.
          The few engagement parties I have been to, most people brought small gifts of booze or something similarly casual and a card.
          As for the price of a gift in general, I have always believed you give what you can afford and you ought to show up with a gift to showers, weddings, etc.

      • I understand that some of you feel weddings and engagement parties are too expensive to attend, but found a peanut was talking about what’s customary, and from that standpoint, she’s right. I also believe it’s customary to choose something from the wedding registry for an engagement party gift. You would spend less on this gift than the actual wedding gift.

        Gifts are also expected at bachelorette parties, but there is usually a theme to help you out.

        I love weddings and am always excited to be invited to one, but I know it’s going to set me back several hundred dollars, all told.

    • I’d go with dark jeans, fancy heels, a silky/sparkly/dressy top and a blazer with turned up cuffs. You can take off the blazer for the evening portion to look more club/bar appropriate. Keep the jewelry minimal for the shower, and add some sparkle and more dramatic makeup for the party.
      Gifts are definitely not required for engagement parties, but cards are always nice – especially if you write a nice message about the couple. If you would like to give something I’d suggest a nice bottle of champagne (you can find lovely bottles in the $30-$40) range.

    • I have had the same situation (in the midwest) and have gotten away with a cute shirt dress for both the shower and b’lette party.

      I never give engagement gifts unless it’s a VERY close friend and even then it is usually just a bottle of champagne or the Game of Life.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would wear a dress that can dress up/down with flats to the shower. Bring heels in purse, stash flats for bachelorette party.

      Engagement party – I would do under 50, maybe 30 bucks or so.

    • anon in CA :

      I saw a guideline once that suggested if you were going to do multiple presents for one couple/friend, spend 20% on the engagement gift, 20% on a shower gift, and 60% on the wedding present.

    • I’ve never done anything beyond flowers for an engagement party. I’ve recently been to a couple and many people didn’t bring anything, but a majority either brought flowers or a nice bottle of wine. There were literally no other gifts – everyone who brought a gift bought flowers or wine.

      For the bridal shower/bachelorette, I’d wear a little black dress. This is the kind of thing they’re made for.

  10. In addition to really liking the dress, I really like how the Saks website shows the model moving in the dress. That’s a great feature!

  11. I would have worn this, back in the day, with a loose blazer over it, sleeves pushed up, to counteract any excessive tightness in the look.

  12. i saw another poster with a phone question in the weekend open thread, so i thought i’d ask my question here as well!

    i’m planning on traveling to europe often in the next year to visit my partner. in the US, i use an AT&T iphone. does it make more financial sense to get a pay-as-you-go phone (a smartphone would be ideal – but i have no idea if you can use the same phone in different countries in europe), or to pay AT&T extra for the ability to use my iphone internationally on the months that i plan on traveling?

    • I checked into the per-minute charges with AT&T’s international plans are still not that reasonable, and you have to pay the additional subscription fee. I know when I lived in the UK a few years ago they had Skype PAYG phones where you could get an insane amount of minutes for not too much money that you could use anywhere with WiFi, and then there was the per minute charge for the regular minutes. Keep in mind that you base rate is still going to be limited to whatever country you’re in and that international roaming rates will still apply for PAYG. If you’re only spending a week or so in each country, it’s not worth it to get PAYG in one country.

      • maybe i should have clarified! i don’t plan on using the phone to talk on the phone very much, so per-minute charges are less important to me than the cost of texting/email/data.

        • I’ve used my iphone (also AT&T) when traveling abroad in much the way that it sounds like you’re going to use it. I’ve set up whatever the international plan feature is that gets you slightly less ridiculous per minute charges (forget what it’s called, but very easy to find on the website), which I’ve done by getting in touch with a rep, since they can usually set it for the exact dates you’ll be abroad instead of having you pay for multiple months of it. In addition, I usually pre-buy a chunk of data to use, which makes it affordable. I’ve had good luck looking up my current usage and then using that to estimate the amount I’ll need while I’m away. With those two things I’ve found that my data usage remains reasonable and I have voice as a viable option if I need it for small amounts of time.

        • Turn off 3G Connection :

          If you turn off the 3G connection and use the phone to access the internet and send/receive email only when you are in a free wireless network (coffee shop, the house next door whose range includes the corner of your living room, etc), then you can be online for free.

          • Turn off 3G Connection :


            Enable 3g – OFF
            Data Roaming – OFF

    • lostintranslation :

      Since you didn’t specify which country in Europe, it’s a little hard to give advice. If you have an unlocked smartphone already (iPhone or otherwise), I would definitely go with a prepaid card. Since unlocked smartphones tend to be pretty expensive, it would need to be cheaper than the cost of using your US phone while abroad. You also shouldn’t need multiple phones for different countries, but you might have to check with your provider to make sure that your sim is unlocked for travel (happened with my old phone). I’m only familiar with the phone stuff in Central Europe so ymmv!

      • primarily the UK but possibly france/spain/etc. as well – travel plans are not yet set so i was trying to figure out how to get the most flexibility for my dollar!

    • Anonymous :

      I was told/sold that my ATT iphone would work in France… it didn’t. Had to use skype, which worked, but only when could find a hotspot– the roaming info (net vs. phone) fees are Nutty expensive there.

    • I don’t know how much AT&T’s international fees are, but I usually just buy a cheap pay-as-you-go phone when I get somewhere (which is what I’m planning to do when I go to the UK in a couple of weeks). If you have an unlocked cell phone, you can always just buy a sim chip when you get to Europe, but I’ve heard unlocking iphones is a huge pain. I researched this a couple of days ago for a non-iphone and found several people saying AT&T will actually unlock most of their phones for good customers (there are requirements, but I don’t know what), but not iphones.

    • When I was in South Africa, I bought a pay-as-you-go phone to make outgoing calls and send outgoing texts. Incoming texts on my AT&T phone were free (or subject to whatever text plan you have here in the US). So my H would text my ATT phone from his ATT phone, I would reply on my go-phone and then make calls to him on my go-phone. He had to get the international plan, though, because taking calls from my go-phone charged him a TON without it, and was still pretty pricey with the plan. It was annoying to keep track of two phones, but it was worth it for me.

    • If you are just going to use the phone while in Europe and not in the US, based on my experience in the UK I would just buy a super cheap phone there and get pay as you go. Even better, your partner could buy one himself that anyone visiting him could use – this is what I did while living in the UK and it ended up being very useful for my guests.

  13. I love this dress. LOVE. Wish I had an extra $800 laying around, and I would totally get it. Definitely will be on the lookout for something similar! Great find Kat.

  14. I like all aspects of the dress except the scoop neck – I am extraordinarily flat chested, so unfortunately I cannot wear scoops nicely – but would make a nice work piece on an otherwise-built person!

  15. Anon for this :

    Corporettes, I could use some advice – how do you know whether to throw your hat in the ring for a new job if you weren’t actually looking for one?

    Some background: I currently work at a government agency, doing work that is mostly ok but not what I’d really prefer to be doing. I haven’t practiced in my preferred area of law for about a year and a half now, since my choice at the time was between this position and unemployment. I currently have a 60-mile round trip commute, and moving closer to work is not an option for a number of reasons. However, because I work for the government, my law school helps me pay back my student loans (a not inconsiderable amount), and when we marry, my fiance will be eligible for free tuition at the state university he currently attends.

    In the local legal newspaper today, I noticed that a small suburban firm has posted an ad seeking an associate in my preferred area of law. I’m already somewhat familiar with this firm, since one of the name partners is related by marriage to my fiance’s family. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting the partner directly, but know his son quite well. Working at this firm would allow me to go back to the area of law I’m really interested in, and it would cut my commute in half. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea what they pay, so I don’t know whether the salary would be enough to compensate for the loss of my student loan assistance. Given the type of firm, I strongly suspect that it wouldn’t.

    Is it worth sending in my resume, just for kicks? If so, to whom should I send it – the partner I’m sort of related to, or the attorney listed in the ad?

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