Suit of the Week: Alice + Olivia

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.

Maybe they’re ’70s inspired, but I don’t care — I really like the wide trousers that are showing up more and more with suits.  With this Alice+Olivia suit I love the simple black, as well as the fact that both pieces are the jacket is lined.  Love the fuschia blouse that it’s styled with, as well.  The jacket (Alice + Olivia “Melina” Fitted Blazer) is $396, and the pants (Alice + Olivia “Eric” Pants) are $286.

Alice + Olivia “Melina” Fitted Blazer Alice + Olivia “Eric” Pants



  1. As a person who carries all her weight in the hip & thigh area, I am so relieved the wide leg pants are coming back in style! Sooooo flattering for my body type.

  2. This much for 100% polyester?

    • And unlined to boot!

      • Maddie Ross :

        It says lined in Kat’s piece, and on the website, but I’m a little wary of the sizes being XS-L, as opposed to numbered sizes. That said, it is gorgeous. It if it was only in my price-range, I’d be buying right now!

        • The jacket is lined, but the pants are unlined. Combined with the sizing you pointed out, I think I’d be better off with a Tahari ASL for $90 at TJ Maxx.

    • Alias Terry :

      Deal breaker. Along with the baggy looking pleats.

  3. As someone who is…err, “stacked,” I find that these things so rarely look good on me, even when common knowledge insists otherwise. I’ll have to try this one on – maybe the proportions are the magic kind where the thigh/hip region is not super tight.

  4. The Alice + Olivia jacket Kat posted yesterday is calling–no screaming–my name. Did anyone take the plunge and buy? Is shipping outrageous? Any insights on sizing?

    • That site’s shipping is always $25, I believe. They overnight everything so you get it right away.

      I went back and looked at it again today, too! It is a gorgeous jacket. Haven’t taken the plunge yet.

      • I keep looking at it too, but haven’t caved as of yet :)

      • I just checked it out again and made it all the way to the shopping bag this time, which shows that they’ve changed their shipping options! I swear it used to be no options, just $25 overnight shipping. Now you can do $12.50 for 3 to 5 day shipping or $20 for 1 to 2 day shipping.

    • I love it also. I’m super disappointed it tops out at a size 10 apparently.

      Has anyone ordered from that brand? Do you know if the L is true to a size 10?

  5. Monday (ex- surrounded by lawyers) :

    5’3″ with curves. Wide leg flared pants are a three-alarm disaster on me.

    Lately this blog has been reading like an encyclopedia of styles I cannot get away with! I don’t say so every time because I’d be a broken record. But I enjoy it because it’s kind of like going shopping with a friend of a totally different body type, or reading a high-end fashion magazine. Fewer temptations to buy, but lots of pretty things to look at!

  6. So. Done. With. School. :

    Wide Leg = interesing and flattering, particularly on a leggy woman.
    Pleats = unacceptable on almost everyone.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I agree with your sentiments on these pants, but more importantly, I LOVE YOUR NAME. And I sooooooo agree.

      When will you be finished? I have 86 days.

      • So. Done. With. School. :

        I have 81! I keep telling myself…I can do almost anything for 80 days…I got through 1L after all!

        • AnonInfinity :

          I have to give myself pep talks, too. “AnonInfinity, you’ve been at this point in the semester SO MANY TIMES in your life… You have made it through each time… If you just hang on, you will graduate.”

          There are still moments where I am convinced that if the registrar told me that I had to go 87 days, I would go completely postal and drop out, though. I am just so ready to end the school phase of my life and get on with it.

    • Leggy, I guess :

      My favorite pair of pants is actually wide legged with pleats, so they do work on some people!

  7. I think the pleats actually look good on the model. You’d need a pretty flat tummy to pull that off. But I just can’t get behind the ultra-wide-below-the-knee but kind of fitted above the knee look of these. Reminds me too much of Saturday Night Fever.

  8. John Travalota has these pants. In white.

    • Agreed. I have long legs and like wearing heels, but these look like bell bottoms even on the model. Pleated bell bottoms.

  9. Tired Squared :

    I love that suit. Now I just need to lose my “winter weight” in order to find a cheaper version somewhere and pull it off!

  10. Sorry for the threadjack, but is it improper to collect a bonus immediately before leaving your job? If the bonus is for work done Jan to Dec but isn’t paid out until the very end of March, is it okay to collect it and still leave immediately afterward? Is it stupid to give notice before the check is in your hand?


    • Anne Shirley :

      Totally normal. Give notice after the check has cleared!

    • People do this all the time. You earned your bonus, you should receive it. I think it is safest to wait until you have the money to give your notice.

    • It’s fine to collect the check and run – happens every year at my law firm. You put in the hours and earned the check, you should get the money.

      I don’t know about giving notice before you get the check – is there someone in HR you could ask about your company’s policy on bonus payouts after notice has been given? I certainly wouldn’t give notice before bonuses have been decided.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Don’t give notice until you get paid. Even when bonuses have already been decided, nothing is for sure until the money is in your account. Not unusual in the least to give notice immediately after the bonus check clears – several of my coworkers did that this year.

    • This is done all the time. A bonus isn’t an advance, its delayed compensation. You did the work – take the money, then give the notice.

  11. I have a thread-jack question:

    For those of you who pumped at work, did you tell your secretary or other attorneys you work with (err, or whoever you work with) your general pumping schedule? I have not but am wondering if I should. I do have a lock on my door, but whenever I pump and get a knock at the door, it’s so alarming and I jump every time. I telling people won’t eliminate unwanted door knocks, but it may help cut down on them. Also, I don’t say a word. Not sure if this is more awkward than quickly saying I’m busy or not.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • An attorney at my firm used to hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign from her door handle while she pumped in her office. The hanging sign looked like it came with her pump set (it had a teddy bear or something on it), just like what you would use at a hotel. You could probably use a “Do Not Disturb” from a hotel, and people would get the hint just as easily. Especially if you’ve told the people who need to know about what’s likely to be going on behind that closed door, I don’t think that it would too rude, and actually, I think people would appreciate avoiding an awkward silence from behind your door when they knock.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        The women in my firm just print out a regular piece of paper that says in 28pt DO NOT DISTURB and taped it to their doors at eye level. Our office doors don’t have locks, but in our office culture, a shut door with that sign is for pumping and other 100% do not disturb times.

    • Makeup Junkie :

      Does your office not have a lactation station? Or some kind of resting room (not the bathroom) where you can go do it? Most big firms and corporations have some sort of facility for that.

      • But why use a lactation station if you have a private office? I pumped in my office both for the convenience (no hauling stuff around) and because I could keep working for those 20 minutes.

    • Attorneys in my office have used a handwritten “Do Not Disturb – Pumping” sign. It works. :)

      • Thanks! (And sorry for the original typo.)

        Makeup Junkie,

        Yes, I work in a big firm and we do have a lactation room specifically for pumping mothers. BUT, that’s on a different floor from me and it is 1000 times more convenient for me to pump in my own office. My firm installed a lock on my door and I got myself a mini-fridge so I can just keep my milk there. I love being able to pump and work at my desk/computer so I don’t waste precious billing time. I really don’t want to use our lactation room, but that’s a good suggestion.

        I’m just nervous about the sign because I’m admittedly a bit embarrassed about the big mucky muck partners nearby and their reactions. Lame, I know, but I can’t help it.

    • A friend worked in an office with windows – when she was pumping, she would put a piece of cardboard over the window so people couldn’t see into her office. Everyone knew what it meant, and nobody would knock while the cardboard was up. Can you come up with some similar “sign” that isn’t so obvious? I mean, a sock on the door handle might be too college, but something along those lines?

    • I made a sign that said “Please Do Not Disturb” and had clipart pictures of an oil derrick, a hand-operated water pump, and a bicycle pump on it. Did the trick. Never got walked in on once.

    • Anonymous :

      I haven’t pumped at work, but everyone I know who has done so puts up a do not disturb sign. No one minds – but I don’t work at the kind of place people would be uncomfortable with the idea of a woman breastfeeding or pumping. (Actually one coworker doesn’t mind if her close female coworkers are in the office while she’s pumping.) If you don’t want it to be quite so obvious, just lock the door and pretend you’re not in there if someone knocks. Ask your secretary to tell visitors you’re not available. And I think it’s absolutely fine to ask your secretary to be aware of your pumping schedule and keep folks away so you don’t have to remind her every time – just make sure that, if she’s ever breastfeeding, you go out of your way to be helpful with her pumping schedule too.

      • I just lock my door and don’t answer when pumping. By now people know what it means (this is my 2nd kid and I’ve been pumping at work for like 2 yrs total now!). I would get your secretary to cover for you, if you can, as above. :)

    • I don’t think I ever put up signs or told anyone my pumping schedule — my door locked and people were generally aware of what I was doing. Then again, people in my group were much more likely to call or email than swing by so the chances of someone knocking unexpectedly were slim.

  12. Threadjack –

    How do you decide what to take when you have competing job offers? I am a 2L sitting on two offers for summer internships. I’d be thrilled with either and can’t decide. Neither is particularly more prestigious or more convenient, and neither pays. I had a good rapport with the interviewers (who would be my supervisors) at both places, and both seem like great places to work. Ideas?

    (btw, I’m THRILLED to be fortunate enough to have this problem, and I hope everyone still looking finds something soon!)

    • (oh and I plan to ask the other if I can intern there in the fall…)

      • AnonInfinity :

        Can you do that before making a final decision? If Place A would allow a fall internship and Place B would not, then the decision would be easy. Place B for the summer, Place A for the fall.

        • That’s a brilliant idea. Any suggestions on how to phrase the question diplomatically?

          • AnonInfinity :

            I’d probably say something along the lines of, “I really loved our interview and thought your firm is a good fit. I am fortunate enough to have multiple job offers, and I really want to be able to work with you. Would it be possible for me to come during the fall rather than the summer?”

            I have said something similar and have found employers to be extremely accommodating (not sure what field you are in… I am in law school). The ones that did not allow for fall internships were honest and did not seem put off by the question at all. When Place A told me that they didn’t do fall internships, I told them that I still needed a couple of days to think about the offer. Luckily Place B did allow for that, and I got to work at both. Places are expecting that you will be looking at multiple sources for jobs.

          • I’m glad to hear you were able to pull that off. Despite having a rather long resume I’ve always lucked out in getting offered my first choice job first and not having to deal with this, but this time I don’t have a clear first choice… I appreciate all the advice – Thanks! :)

    • AnonInfinity :


      Are they in different areas of law? You could use that as a determining factor.

      Another suggestion is to talk to your career placement office or a trusted professor. When I had the same problem, I talked with my favorite professor (and also the one I’ve had the most classes with), and he really helped me figure out which place would be best for my personality and my goals. I took his advice and it was 100% the right decision for me.

    • So. Done. With. School. :

      I was in the same position as a 2L, and I didn’t think about interning at a firm because I was hoping that my 2L summer would result in an offer that I could use to work part time during my 3L year (which it did).

      I asked a number of attorneys in the community, my law school’s professional development center, etc. I looked at the practice areas, representative clients, etc., and decided I had more areas that I’d be excited to grow into at the firm I picked. Ultimately, I went with my gut. I liked the “feel” of the firm that I selected – I liked it’s offices, furniture, receptionist, etc. I’ve never looked back!

      • I guess I should have been more clear – I’m in public interest and both positions are public interest that don’t hire entry level attorneys. Thanks though. Congrats with being almost done!!!

    • Congrats! I was in this situation about a month ago and was talking to an attorney for advice. She said she bet I already knew what I wanted but wasn’t ready to admit it to myself… and she was right.

      If that’s not you, pretend for 1 day that you’ve accepted Position A. Then on the next day pretend you’ve accepted Position B. By the end of the second day, you’ll know.

      Another thing that helped me was recognizing that because both of the organizations were prestigious and the work was exciting, I couldn’t go wrong. Either way I am opening up doors for myself, not closing them. And it’s only 3 months.

    • In my area, it’s not uncommon for law students to spend the first 6 weeks of the summer with one firm, and the last 6 weeks with a second firm. Would they allow something like that?

      • No, both are public interest and don’t allow split summers. Good idea though :)

        • somewherecold :

          Would they allow a split summer if you interned with them during the fall, too? Maybe 7 weeks at the first, 5-6 weeks + fall internship at the second? I had a public interest employer say that would be ok for me to do, although I ended up splitting between two other places instead.

          • I’m not sure what the benefit of that would be, as opposed to doing one in the summer and one in the fall? I think I’d rather have a couple of weeks off in August to get started on the 3L job search and catch up on life before school starts up again. Thanks for the thought though!

      • We routinely have summer interns, and they stay all summer. We had one recently who split a summer with us and another firm. I found it really weird. A full summer (10 weeks or so) is barely enough time to get up to speed. Certainly 5 weeks was not. I’m not sure what she got out of working with us – offers went to the people who stayed the entire summer, not to her, and none of us really got to know her well enough to be good networking resources or references.

        • Highly recommend a fall or spring internship, also, for exactly these reasons. Also, in this job market, you need more than 2 summers-worth on your resume.

    • Janie —

      I definitely second the idea of asking to intern in the fall. Faced with the same issue, I did that two years ago, and found to my delight that the fall semester experience was even better than I’d imagined. The reason: the organization, without a workforce of summer interns, had a lot of work that still needed doing, and as a result, I was given more experience and autonomy than I otherwise would have been. If either of your offers would permit you to intern in the fall (I’d be very surprised if they weren’t!), you might consider which place you’d prefer to have greater responsibility during your time there…


      • *surprised if they weren’t willing, that is.

        Apologies for the many grammatical errors in my post! It’s late and I’m tired. :)

  13. theirway11 :

    Threadjack! A relative of mine was offered a position with a large corporation in Seoul. Does anyone here have any personal experience with living/working in Seoul? I won’t be going but figured I would gather some information from the communities to which I have access (like corporette!) to help them prepare. We are not Asian so there is little/no familiarity with the culture and language. Stories ranging from life in the city to corporate culture to…well, anything would be much appreciated.

    • I’ve never worked there but I visited and had friends that worked there (but as English teachers, not corporate). Seoul is an amazing city, very clean, nice, western, etc but also cheap if you are getting paid American caliber money. Great springboard for travel elsewhere in Asia. The food is amazing. Everyone speaks English, but Korean isn’t that hard to pick up once you figure out the alphabet. Everyone I met living there loved it, many of them ended up staying more than one year or leaving and returning. Personally, I’d jump at the opportunity.

    • I heard that Seoul is very similar to most major metropolitan cities in Japan. It might be difficult to find information about what it’s like to work in a corporate environment in Korea because most online resources are for English teachers. However, the teaching community is a good place to get tips on living abroad. The Daily Kimchi looks like a good blog- check out the top posts on the left side

    • My latina friend just spent 4 years teaching English in Seoul. She doesn’t look the least bit Asian in either face or figure, and went with no Korean speaking ability at all. She still doesn’t speak much Korean, but now loves Korean culture and especially food. She had a GREAT time, and found a large community of expats and locals that she will be friends with for years to come.

  14. Does nobody else feel it awkward to have pant legs so wide they cover your shoes? I’m sorry, but that just looks ridiculous and clown-like to me. Sure, a little bit of a flare or a wider leg can look great to balance some people/shapes out, but the covered-shoe look just seems like a recipie for tripping and/or makes it seem like you bought pants that were way too big and just didn’t care.

    • I agree.

      Plus that style only seems to work on the super-tall folks. For petite folks like me, it’s a fashion nightmare. Can you imagine a pair of pants engulfing your entire bottom half?

      • I hear you. I’m 5’8” and I still feel swamped when I try on a pair!

      • Honestly I feel this wide of a leg looks awkward on everybody. Again, a little flare/a little bit of a wide leg can be perfect on the right shape, but sorry, if the pants are so wide they are covering. your. shoes. get a different pair of pants. This ‘look’ is way too “little girl playing dress up with an old suit from a trunk, engulfed in pants eating her legs” or worse yet, 90s intern.

    • Alias Terry :

      Wow, I never was able to nail why that look bugged me but you are spot on – it is the clown on stilts look.

    • Frump, yes! I thought of this when I was watching the SAG awards (love me some award-show fashion) and Julie Bowen was wearing that Malandrino jumpsuit, which I know was kind of panned, but I really liked (something different for a change!) EXCEPT that the pants were so long and wide that she no feet. If she had sported some (visible) kickass heels, I think it would have been awesome.

  15. Palazzo pants!

  16. Alias Terry :

    After thinking about this I have to ask is this a good investment?

    This is extremely of the moment. By this time next year, this will be dated looking.

    So is it really worth $682?

    Hypothetically, if you were to wear it once a week, for one year, it would cost you over $13 per wear, not including dry cleaning (taxes, shipping, etc.). And if you wear it less than once a week, your cost per wear goes up.

    This does not look like a good investment to me.

  17. Personally, dresses are always the easiest to throw on in the mornings. A black work dress is always de rigeur for me.

    I have to say though, that I’m loving the wide pants look here!

  18. Great find!

    I’ve been looking for a new black suit for weeks. I’ve been trying to avoid buying yet another Theory suit, but I’m not quite ready to spring for the Jil Sander suit I really want. This is a nice compromise — still affordable, but just a bit more interesting than a basic black suit.

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