Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Stretch Wool Gabardine Dress

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

Ports 1961 Stretch Wool Gabardine Dress
iconAh, holiday sales.  It was this time, just a few years ago that the Saks sale was so good that people whispered the company was going bankrupt.  That hasn’t seemed to have happened, but the Saks sale is still quite good — particularly for a splurge.  I’m liking this stretch wool dress from Ports 1961 — it’s designer and interesting without being too far out there.  Was $595, now $357 — at Saks. Ports 1961 Stretch Wool Gabardine Dress

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



  1. Gap discounts? :


    I’m trying to get a pair of pants in petite (= only available online) and I haven’t received any online promotions recently. Does anyone have any unused-and-won’t-be-used discount codes to share? (I have four distinct coupons but they’re all redeemable in-store only, and their Customer Service people say there’s no way to convert them, which is super annoying.)

    • I heard that Gap will be having a 40% discount this Wednesday, so you may want to wait until then. I’m not sure if it’s only in store or online.

    • Its 10% off today for cyber monday, unfortunately you just missed all the big deals this weekend.

    • Gap has free shipping on orders over $50 right now, and 20% off with code CYBER20.

      • Oh, and if you go in a store and ask, they may be able to get the item shipped to the store so you can use your coupons.

    • govvie girl :

      I have a Talbots discount, 25% plus free shipping in store, catalog & online, through today only. Offer code 030510312.

  2. I really liked this from the front but the back is unfortunate.

  3. Agreed. But a dress like this has its place in a wardrobe – if you do things like going to an art gallery opening in a major city…..for a historian this piece has an interesting 1940’s vibe.

    • Yeah, dresses like this make me want to abandon my staid legal career and become a … I was going to say a high-powered career woman in a creative field, but then I’d be working too hard to enjoy it, so … become a self-made lady of luxury with the money and time to do things like attend gallery openings and hip parties and luncheons. Oh, and work out more often than I do so I’d look fabulous in the hip dresses. :)

    • chic chick :

      This dress is sort of in between corporate and artsy, but I don’t think it would fit perfectly into the wardrobe of a woman working in either of those environments. I thought this dress had definite corporate potential until I looked at the hideous back. If I were going to an art gallery opening, I’d opt for something more colorful than a dress with both gray and black in it.

  4. Quickjack: I bought the grape Chuck Taylors featured in the weekend open thread from DSW. I’ve had Converse Jack Purcells before, but not Chucks, and was pleasantly surprised that the Chucks have more arch support than the Jack Purcells. But then I wore the Chucks on a two-mile post-turkey walk and was disappointed in how much my feet hurt afterward. So like my Jack Purcells, they’ll be good for zipping around town running errands but not good for sustained forward walking. Sigh; at least the grape color is gorgeous.

  5. Threadjack –

    Any corporettes out there had babies in their mid- 20s? My husband and I are 25, married almost 2 years, together for 7. We are just starting trying to conceive, and feel like freaks among people we know – everyone is still in the “pregnancy=abortion” stage, even the married ones! Please tell me I am not alone??

    • Had mine at 25 and 29, in the early and middle stages of my Ph.D. program. There are lots of younger moms who are interesting, well-educated, funny, and eager for company – I formed some deep and lasting friendships in the trenches of infant care. My advice is to start scouting for a few stores that seem to cater to non-affluent moms, like resale stores and attachment-parenting places (all of which will vary in target market according to your locale, of course!) And there are lots of web communities with a variety of mothers and mothers-to-be – my favorite is mothering.com.

      Good luck on your journey! :)

    • You’re not alone. I’m just a tad bit older than you. Yes, most of my friends (even the married ones) are still in the no-babies-stage, but I do have a handful of friends who have had babies in the recent past.
      I don’t know your work/school situation, but I think the reason many of my married friends aren’t having kids just yet is that alot of them are lawyers and have only recently graduated and gotten jobs.

    • Definitely not alone. And it doesn’t hurt to start trying early. I’m 28 and we’re almost two years into trying to have a baby. You never know how long it will take. (This, of course, isn’t intended to knock anyone that choses to wait. It’s such a personal choice).

    • Anonymous :

      Well, that was the intent :) We started trying when I was 26 (husband was 32) and it took us two years to conceive; I had my son when I was just barely 29. There are a lot of good, compelling health-related reasons to have kids before 30 if you can. Not judging anyone’s choices, just saying there is research out there. I also have to say that I don’t think being younger is a disadvantage at all when you consider how much energy it takes to chase kids around. :)

      I was the first of my group of friends to get married, I was 22. I am not religious or otherwise externally-motivated to marry young and so it was a shock to a lot of people. I endured a lot of not-so-subtle judgment about that from my friends, who kept telling me I was settling down too early and should spend more time being wild and crazy, rather than get married. While I was certainly into having good times as much as the next person, I was (and still am) madly in love with my husband, knew he was going to be a fantastic husband, and knew this was the person I wanted to be married to, even if the timing was not precisely as I had pictured it. We would all like to meet the exact right person for us at the exact right time we want to settle down, but it doesn’t always happen (the same way babies don’t always come along at the exact right time people think they “should”). In my case I chose the person over the timing, which my friends found unfathomable. I imagine that you are probably in the midst of the same type of people, who are responsibility-averse at this stage in their lives, which is fine for them and perfectly normal, but hard to deal with when you don’t feel the same way.

      While I would never say getting married at 22 is the best idea for everyone, it worked out for me and my husband. While I would say having a baby at 26 isn’t for everyone, if you feel you are ready and you are bringing that baby into the world with an open heart and enthusiasm – well, that’s much more than most babies have. What you’ll find is that once you have a child you will meet other people who have children (and different life priorities) that you may become better friends with. Not saying you need to ditch the old friends, but shifts happen. In my case, I drifted away from some of my friends when I got married, reconnected when THEY got married, drifted away a little more when I had a kid, and am now reconnecting now that they have kids.

      I totally agree with Anon 12:15’s suggestion about seeking out non-typical-for-your-group places (both IRL and online) to connect with other would-be moms who are closer to your age. There are a ton of them out there, believe me – in my online pregnancy due date group, easily 40% were in their early-t0-mid 20s. If you feel this is the right choice for you, believe me, that is the only thing that really matters. Good luck. :)

      • Your story sounds so much like mine. I got married two weeks before my 22nd birthday and here we are 10+ years and 3 kids later. I had my babies at 25, 27 and 30, starting at the tail end of law school. I wouldn’t change a thing, though I was definitely the first of my friends to get married and have kids.

        To the OP, it may feel a little lonely at first, but (1) you don’t have to lose your unmarried and/or childless kids – you’ll be a valuable asset to them once they start having kids of their own because you’ll have the experience with babies and (2) you will make new friends who have kids the same age as your kids, especially once your kids start school, which happens sooner than you’d think. Do what feels right for you and your husband.

      • Anon, 2:42 you and I are like the same person (except that my husband is the same age as me).


    • govvie girl :

      Great that you are ready to start a family but sorry for you that there aren’t more common circumstances in your peer group. That said, I wish more folks with unintentional pregnancies would consider adoption.

      • Govvie girl, I completely agree. I’ve said since I was a teenager that if I got pregnant and couldn’t raise the baby, I would have it and give it to someone who could – probably a nice gay or transgender couple that would have trouble adopting otherwise.

    • I had my son when I was 25. I got pregnant (planned) in my last semester of law school and had him in October. I started working a few months after he was born. I am now pregnant again and this baby will be born right before I turn 28.

      My husband’s parents were older, especially his dad and he kind of felt like he missed out on some things with them, so it was important to him to have kids while he was younger. (We are the exact same age…only a day apart, lol.) His dad died while my husband was still in college.

      Although much of it has to do with how well you take care of yourself–you can’t stop getting older! (Like my dad at 58 is much different than his dad was at 58. My dad is very active and in shape and his dad was feeling the effects of many years of drinking, etc…)

    • I just had my first 6 months ago, 5 days after I turned 27. Most of my friends are either single or newly married w/o kids, but I’ve made more friends now who also have young children. You’re not a freak! You’re entering a different world now, but it’s not wholly cut off from your “former life.” And you may not have many friends who have babies yet, but hey, someone has to be first. It seems like after we announced we were expecting, a lot of our friends followed suit! Good luck!

    • I just had my first baby at 33. All of my friends had babies either in high school (at 16 years old) or had them starting in their 20’s. It seems like everyone is surprised that I waited so long as I am somehow “too old” to just be starting a family. I waited until I was ready, which to me was knowing that I can raise a baby on my own if it comes down to that.

      Babies are funny because it is never the right time to have one, but it is somehow always the right time to have one.

      • Mille, you nailed it. You’re never “ready” to become a parent–emotionally, financially, career-wise… So in some ways, there’s little reason to wait: no matter when you have a kid, you’ll start out completely clueless and unprepared, and you’ll figure it out as you go. At least when you’re younger you have a little more energy to chase the kid around and a little more mental flexibility to learn. I was upset when I learned I was having a kid before I exactly intended to, but in retrospect, there was no better time. And hey, who wants to be attending little league games at the age of 45?

    • Thanks to everyone who responded. I hope you guys are right and that once I have a baby I’m able to make some new friends who are parents themselves.

  6. Anyone know who was chosen for a Bristow fellowship? Selections were made last week. I received my ding in the mail a few days ago. :) Oh well.

    • Sorry to hear that! But if you were even in the running for a Bristow – that’s something to be proud of in of itself!

  7. Just bought this dress — does anyone have it and do you like it?


    • it looks beautiful – please share any thoughts when you get it!

      • Wondering :

        Thanks! Will do. I bought it yesterday when they had a 30% off sale plus free shipping, so it was a good deal I think. I’ve never bought anything from Boden before, but their clothes look so fun and work appropriate.

        • i got my first boden dress (for a wedding) recently and i love it. really nice quality. can’t wait to try out some of their work options.

  8. AnonAnonAnon :

    Wow, this model is painfully photoshopped. Certainly does make me want the dress.

  9. To the poster who wants to start a family in her mid 20s – is there any reason you can’t make friends who aren’t the exact same age as you? I ask because I had my baby at 36 (husband was 45) but my best friend now had her first baby at 25. So we’re more than 10 years apart in age but we find we have plenty in common and we’re great friends. Age is just a number. I’m 39 now and I seriously don’t feel any older than I did when I was 16. :)

    • Actually, I do have some friends who are different ages than me, but all the older ones (entirely by coincidence) have all decided not to have children at all! I appreciate the thought though, I’m certainly not restricting my friends to those born in the year of the Ox :)

      • I am pro-choice, but the pregnancy=abortion equation is almost sickening to me for a married couple in their twenties. Please have a baby, or two! It will change your life so much, that you won’t imagine having the same questions in a few years. Friends will come, and you won’t have time for them anyway. You will be happy to watch a movie on the couch on a Friday night! My son was born when I was 33 and I wish I could have had more but it didn’t happen.

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