Suit of the Week: Michael Kors

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

I know there are rules regarding winter white — do such rules exist for winter “nude”? (Their word choice, not mine.) I’m not sure, as I don’t think I’ve seen a nude-colored suit before, but this one has caught my eye for a few weeks now. (In fact, I just went through the archives to make sure I hadn’t posted it already!) It’s a really refreshing color — it’s got more pink in it than regular beige suits, and it somehow ends up looking more youthful than white. Can we collectively pray that the “halter bodysuit” it’s shown with is not a new trend — let’s just say I wouldn’t advise you to take off your jacket at any point during the workday. The jacket (Michael Kors Wool Crepe Jacket) is $1695, and the pants (Michael Kors Crepe Agyness Pants) are $895, available at Saks.



  1. Something seems off about those pants. Maybe it’s because they are so tight on the model, but it doesn’t scream “professional” to me. But I like the overall look of the suit, sans skin tight “nude” pants.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      To echo what Amelia said, I’ve been meaning to ask the Hive about this for a while – are pants supposed to have horizontal lines across the thighs and crotch like those suit pants?? I HATE those lines. To me, it looks like both arrows pointing at that area, which I do not want, and like the pants are too small because the fabric is pulling across the hips. I think pants should lay FLAT when standing, but maybe I am delusional? I always seem to get those lines on pants, so I’ve pretty much given up wearing pants because I can’t figure out why pants do that on me, unlike skirts which always seem to fit. I thought maybe it was my pear shape and relatively thick legs for my size, but that model ain’t no pear, and her legs are not thicker than normal for her size. My hypothesis has failed.

      So, do you all think those pants fit her? Do your pants make those lines? What causes those lines? How can I make those lines go away??

      • No, if pants crease like that, they’re too small. Have you tried buying a size up and having the waist taken in? I once did that with good results.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I do buy pants a size or two up from my skirt/dress size, to try to avoid those lines, but then I just end up with pants that are huge in the waist but still have lines, or are so big that they want to fall down. This pants situation makes me feel like something is wrong with me. A tailor may be the solution, but I’m afraid to spend a ton of money altering pants, only to still have those lines and now non-returnable pants.

          • I think you are going to get some smiling regardless. They might crease in a bit when you sit, and then don’t fall out when you stand up. I also think its going to be hard to get rid of them completely given that so many pants have a lower rise (sit at the hips instead of the waist) that hip area of the pants HAS to be a bit tighter, so so your pants aren’t falling down all day. Also, lighter weight fabrics are going to pull more heavier fabrics will, so nicer, lighter weight pants are going to be more prone.

            So – in my opinion, its an ideal, but not always attainable goal. Much like VPL – its a key as to whether your pants fit or not, but I’m not going to go commando (or thong) just to get rid of it if all other indicators say that my pants fit.

          • SFBA – There is NOTHING wrong with you!! Many women have much smaller waists than hips, that’s just how we are shaped! Frankly, I found life to be a lot easier once I realized that I’d pretty much have to have most of my pants taken in (relatively small waist + dancer’s thighs and butt = pants do not fit). I just look for pants on sale then fork over the $25-$30 to have the waist taken in. I must say, the pants I have tailored this way make my [email protected]@ look awesome.

            Not sure about the lines, I think they might also just be wrinkles from sitting down, not always an indication that pants are so ill-fitting. Most of us are not mannequins or models, as long as clothing is not egregiously tight (or loose) we really need to cut ourselves some slack.

          • I have that issue too. I go up a size and it’s just sagging with the exact same lines. I think the reality is that those of us with more ample thighs are just going to have this problem regardless. I’ve had some ultra saggy pants that still had the lines and I think once you get to that point, the alterations get to look more and more awkward. Since I’m in Florida, heavy pants year round just aren’t feasible, and when I wear cotton skirts or pants in the summer wrinkles are just inevitable from sitting.

      • This happens to me too as I have a bit of junk in my trunk. The one size up thing works. Any lines, whether on skirts or pants, indicated ill fit in my mind.

      • Diana Barry :

        No, the lines (I think Stacy and Clinton called them “smiling” lines once) mean the pants are too small. Size up!

      • Isn’t Michael Kors always criticizing lines like that on Project Runway??

      • Something about this suit screams “porn star.” Could be the aforementioned cameltoe. Ick

    • due to the color of the fabric and the evident seam, all I see is camel toe in that picture – very unprofessional. I checked the store website, and this is not evident in the other pictures; but very unappealing here.

      • Oh ick – camel toe. That’s unfortunate.

      • AnonInfinity :

        I didn’t notice until you pointed it out. Now I can’t unsee it! Seems like this is one the photoshop folks should have caught…

    • Something seems off about the jacket as well. Does her torso seem really disproportionatly long to the size of her head?

  2. Sorry to threadjack again–but I have a potentially urgent garment care question!

    I have a tropical wool skirt with absolutely no structure to it–it’s just an elastic band and fitted wool fabric. (Yep, it clings and I never wear it to work.) The tag says machine wash gently and then dry flat. Having done this for the first time, I’m finding the fabric will no longer lay flat. It’s slanting to one side or the other and creating a bubble effect on the bottom (because there is no hem or even any seam, the fabric just folds back on itself–but no longer does so in a flat manner.)

    This skirt was fairly expensive and I love it and wear it all the time, so I’m dedicated to getting it back to normal! But can I? What did I do wrong? How can I fix it? Any ideas?

    • given that its a wool skirt, it should be treated just like nice wool sweater when laid flat to dry – when laying flat to dry, gently tug and move the skirt back into the proper shape and configuration so that it dries that way. Wool fiber has crimp, and thus memory, and can be ‘reshaped’ after being washed. so, I suggest putting the skirt on a small soak and spin cycle, and then reshape it for drying.

      good luck.

      • Littlest Attorney :

        Ditto the above advice. I’m not sure you need a whole soak and spin cycle – you might be able to get away with heavily spritzing it with water from a spray bottle until it was damp and then reshaping it. For the seams you could try a very light iron on the wool setting (even through a dish cloth if you are very conerned) to get the seam to lay flat again.

    • To shape a woolen piece after you’ve finished it, you put a damp towel over it then run a hot iron lightly over it (not pressing). The iron drives the steam into the wool fibres and relaxes them. Then you either shape it or pin it into the shape you want. Maybe that would work?

    • Thanks all.

    • It sounds like the skirt is bias-cut, which makes sense when you say it’s elastic waist yet clingy. I think you have to try to iron it without pulling across the diagonal of the fabric (or in other words, iron on the diagonal of the skirt) but you might want to google “ironing bias cut” or similar phrases to find expert help, probably from a blog or website dedicated to sewing.

  3. That color would make me look like something washed up on a beach, but I’m sure it’s flattering to some of us. If it did look good on me, I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing it in the winter.

  4. Littlest Attorney :

    Dumb question about skinny jeans, to which I should probably already know the answer but don’t.

    I bought skinny jeans, finally. They are made out of normal jean material (same fabric content exactly as my normal bootleg jeans). Do I have to wear a tunic top over them for them to be considered jeans. (They fit fractionally tighter through the thigh and tush than my normal jeans, but its not like they are painted on or anything.)

    I really don’t want to be one of those people wearing something that doesn’t qualify as pants without a suitable top, but skinny jeans seem like pants to me. Am I wrong?


    • AnonInfinity :

      Skinny jeans are pants. Wear whatever length top you feel comfortable in! I normally wear something looser so that I don’t feel like all of my clothes are painted on.

      • Agreed. Skinny jeans – made out of denim, not jeggings – are fine to wear with whatever top you like. However, I always try to follow the “tight on the bottom, loose on the top” or “tight on the top, looser on the bottom” rule. Covering the tush while wearing skinny jeans is, IMO, a personal choice.

        • And remember, when in doubt refer to the “Am I wearing pants?” chart:

      • Same here. The first few times I wore skinny jeans I did wear a longer, tush-covering top. Generally I wear a loose top that at least comes down to the pockets/past the waist.

        I’m now trying to be a little more creative in the shoe department — so far it’s been flats or knee-length boots.

    • Nope! Skinny jeans are pants and can be worn with whatever top you want. The “not pants” is only for jeggings, which are denim coloured but otherwise feel like stretchy leggings.

      • Littlest Attorney :

        Oh good, I am so glad skinny jeans are pants. I do tend to wear longer tops (to the top of the back pockets on jeans) generally so hopefully that looks right. Time to look for some more blousy type tops though to wear with them.

    • For people clarifying between jeggings and skinny jeans, where would you classify the Old Navy denim leggings? I bought a pair after so many people raved about them, and they’re much thicker than denim-colored leggings I’ve seen. I would almost consider them real jeans and not feel the need to wear a long top (although I always do out of paranoia).

      • AnonInfinity :

        I’m not familiar with those particular ones, but any time the packaging says “leggings,” I’d wear a long top to be safe. If you bend all the way over, does your underwear show (lines or through the fabric)? Is there the possibility of a camel toe? Is the waistband elastic? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” I would not consider them pants.

      • If they call themselves leggings, they are not pants. If its stretch knit fabric that is cut so that it is tight (as opposed to loose like sweat pants) then they are leggings.

        • Anonamouse :

          If you’re talking about the Rockstar jeans – which I believe are called jeans by the company (but are a little stretchier than regular jeans so I refer to them as “jeggings”), I think it’s safe to wear regular tops with them. I do.

      • clueless summer associate :

        The rockstar jeans or jeggings or whatever, I think are fine with a regular top. I usually wear a longer top (like mid-butt) but not a tunic or anything. They have a fly and regular waistband and therefore seem enough like jeans to me.

  5. Two questions:

    1. Does this look like a (law firm) work-appropriate dress?

    2. Has anyone tried on the plus-size Louben skirts at Nordstrom, and if so, what did you think about the quality/fabric/fit? I’m looking at the knee-length panel skirt and possibly also the pencil skirt.

    Thank you!

    • Totally work appropriate!

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think the dress looks great if you wear a cami under it to hide the cleavage!

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I want to say yes, but will only do so if there is no sheen to the dress. If it tends to shine, then I would probably not wear it to work.

    • I have tried on the Louben panel skirt at a store. It’s quite bootylicious – curves under the rear. I wear a 14/16 in misses, and tried on a 14W in this skirt and the fit was just right. It was cute and I almooooost bought it. But I wasn’t sure what to wear with it, because I’d definitely want to wear it with something that covers my rear and I thought that would ruin the look of the skirt.

      Construction was good, fabric was typical synthetic suiting fabric, which I don’t love, but is everywhere.

    • 1) Yes. Great dress.

      2) Yes — I thought Louben skirt and jacket were great. Fit was fantastic and the fabric was lovely. I would’ve bought it, except it was more $$ than I wanted to spend at the time ( I bought the Kenneth Cole pantsuit instead:

    • Thanks, ladies – this is so helpful!

    • Accountress Queen of Costumes :

      Yes to the dress, but the fabric is so cheap in person.

  6. update from yesterday re: health insurance woes…

    In short, it continues. Today my doctor contacted me to let me know he was working on the letter to see if I could get my meds covered. However, he looked into my insurance, and it basically won’t cover anything until I hit a 5 digit deductible. I have never heard of this happening! Argh!

    • Is there a single payer plan you can get to help with prescription costs? Do you have to use the health insurance you company provides, or have you shopped around to see if there are better options in the individual market?

      • Yeah, I am definitely going to have to look into better options. This has just been such a pain to deal with. Grr!

        • I don’t know how much your medication is out-of-pocket, but if you decide to buy it, it’s worth calling around to different pharmacies. (I didn’t see your post yesterday, and I don’t have time at this exact moment to go find it, so I don’t know how expensive you’re talking here.)

          I had a medication that my insurance covered for three months and then refused to cover anymore, which was totally silly since it’s a medicine which generally is taken for at least a year to get results. The price with no insurance coverage was $250/month at a national pharmacy chain. I casually mentioned this to my doctor at a follow-up appointment, after paying for it for 3 months, and he was shocked. He called three locally owned pharmacies in the area, and they all charged $30/month. This just happened recently, so I haven’t yet had a chance to go back to the national pharmacy chain to ask about the huge difference in price. So it might be worth calling around to find the best deal. I had always simply assumed that medications had one standardized cost, but apparently I was wrong!

          Good luck – I know that medical insurance issues are unbelievably frustrating.

        • Anonymous :

          If the prescriptions are brand name, and there are no generics available, there are discounts and rebates available from the drug manufacturers you might be able to take advantage of. In California, there is the California RX card that you can print instantly online. There might be similar cards in other states.

    • karenpadi :

      I have a high deductible plan too. I take a generic prescription daily that is not covered and is $40/month at the national chains.

      My insurance co has a mail-order service that fills the prescription in 3-month blocks for about $20/mo.

      If you have an HSA, use it. It’s not like a flex account where the money is gone if it’s not spent, so save it up.

    • 5 digit? Your deductible is over $10,000? That seems basically inconceivable to me. Perhaps you misunderstood?

      You should be able to get a copy of your insurance policy from the benefits people at your company, or on the insurer’s website. It really behooves the policy holder to understand her coverage, rather than rely on others to interpret it for you.

      If you have a high deductible, you should be able to open an HSA in order to have tax savings on your medical expenses.

  7. Speaking of winter white . . . I somewhat recently acquired got a pair of super cute white sweater tights with the twisted (but flat) cable knit. However, I have yet to find a way to style them (weird thing to base an outfit around, I know, but I am very much a tights-wearer).

    It seems like two things happen when I try to wear them — they either make me look super matronly, or like I’m trying to be a little girl (especially when paired with dark shoes). Also, it may look like I just have really pale legs.

    What color skirt/dress? What color shoes? Any idea?

    • These sound beautiful, but do remind me of holidays when I would wear my white tights paired with patent leather mary janes. I would wear them with boots to avoid the little girl look.

      • I loved wearing my white cable tights with my patent mary janes and velvet holiday dress as a girl! I, too, would wear yours with boots and a longer skirt, so that the tights only show at your knees. I would wear a lighter colored skirt so that there’s less contrast with your tights, thereby lessenign the chance that you appear to have really pale legs.

      • I agree – if you must wear these, then you want the least amount of white showing. A lighter brown tweed skirt with camel knee-high boots.

        Otherwise, white tights are generally a no. Sorry.

    • I think cable knit tights look great with a tweed skirt and heeled Oxfords or spectator pumps.

    • The only way to style white tights is not to wear them. Unless you’re under age 16 or wearing a school uniform, they’re a don’t. There is no way to dress them up and make them look adult. Can you exchange them for colored tights?

  8. OK, so I had to ask my lady-parts doctor some personal questions, but of course, they’re only open when I’m at work, and I know that I can just close the door, but the mere possibility that someone might hear me bugged the heck out of me, so I was hesitant. (It’s nothing big, and it turned out they were stupid questions, which I suspected anyway, but they were still things that I just didn’t want to share at work right now.) Went to the doc’s website and found that they have an “ask a nurse” function, where you can type in your question and contact info and someone will get back to you. So, I thought that would be great, and gave out my personal (non-work email address).

    20 minutes later, I get a phone call from the nurse, who makes me recount my entire question out-loud, over the phone, which I did, in hushed tones, euphamisms, and while facing the back corner of my office. Oy!

    • That sucks, but really try to find a way to make that call to your doctor directly. She/he knows a lot more about your medical history and would likely know more about the substance of your question. Don’t let a little embarrassment put your health at risk!

      Good luck!

    • Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. I have crohns and during a particularly bad flare, I was working as an intern in a cube outside the partner’s offices. There was no private room I could hide out in to talk. I could go out on the busy city street and let strangers hear the conversation but that was about the extent of the privacy I could get. I had weekly phone check ins with my doc who could only do them during business hours. His office wouldn’t let him accept email even though he wanted to. I told him I was at work in a public space and begged him to ask me leading questions so that I could just say “yes or no.” It practically turned into a game. I managed to have weekly conversations about my bowel movements without saying anything incriminating. Luckily he was a patient good sport.

      • Former 3L :

        I’m a big fan of the on-the-street medical conversation. The privacy of the crowd! You just have to look out for co-workers out on a smoke-break.

    • Oh that’s frustrating! At my office we’re all in cubicles and it’s so quiet we have conversations with people 4 or 5 cubicles down without leaving our desks. I make all embarassing calls on my cell from the sidewalk outside the building. It’s far from ideal, but it’s something.

      • Anonymous :

        I used to make calls from the sidewalk as well, but it’s surprisingly noisy with road traffic! Now, I make them from my car in the parking lot.

  9. AnonInfinity :

    Wednesday afternoon threadjack — How much time each week do you devote to keeping up with developments in your field? Has that amount of time increased, decreased, or stayed the same throughout your career.

    I am a new attorney, and I feel like I should be much more informed about recent cases. I only read the ones that folks in my office circulate as especially important for one reason or the other. I’m not sure how to fit it all in while trying to get the hang of everything else.

    • I tend to read a practice-specific blog that covers major cases in my field. Usually this happens over coffee in the morning or afternoon. I’ve been pretty bad about it lately. Thanks for the reminder!

    • State employee :

      The circulation system in my office is pretty good- our communications department is really up on the latest developments that are newsworthy.

      The main issue I have is that I work for a state government agency that is closely tied to a federal program, and no one bothers to learn anything about the federal program. Someone from up above will suggest a change to our program based on a regulatory change in the federal program, but people in my department just think it’s out of the blue.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you subscribed to daily updates in your practice area? My firm is tax-heavy and being subscribed to the BNA daily tax updates means that I worry less about missing major developments in certain areas of tax law.

      When I first started working, I had your same concerns, but found that reading updates isn’t that useful until you’ve actually been practicing a year or so. At that point, you’ve had enough experience to relate to the issues and know why the issues are newsworthy. Also, you can’t possibly know everything all the time, so I think being reasonably aware of the current status of the law, and subscribing to services that regularly send updates is sufficient. It’s hard enough to acclimate to practice, but it’s almost impossible to know what’s relevant until you’ve had some experience.

      Once you figure out where your niche is, you can read more into the area…but usually that happens because your client has an issue that you need to resolve!

    • I subscribe to daily updates, which I read daily. I attend conferences or panel discussions on average once a month.

  10. Oh goody, an even worse trend than see-through blouses — backless shirts. Because nothing screams professional like a bare back. Honestly what are these designers thinking?

    Having said that, I think I would like to check this suit out in person. Just because.

  11. Research, Not Law :

    I love the color. It would look great with my complexion, and I would happily wear it year-round.

    Even putting the issues discussed above (with which I agree), I don’t think the cut would be flattering for me. The lapels and pants cut don’t scream “accommodating to curvy figures.”

    • I also love the color. But I have the same issue as you – if it doesn’t even flatter that model’s hips, there’s no way it’ll look good on size 14 me.

  12. Threadjack:
    I have to pull an unexpectedly long week (for school related reasons as well as something that was sprung on me at the last minute). I’ve only gotten a few hours of sleep so far this week, and it isn’t looking good for sleep through Friday afternoon. Normally I would just deal, but I have an interview Friday morning with a law firm I would really love to work for this coming summer and would prefer not to look like a zombie.

    What do you ladies think is the best drugstore concealer for undereye bags? (CVS is right next door to me – Ulta is do-able as well but only if its really worth my time to make the longer trip.) Do you have any other tips or tricks for appearing refreshed and well rested when really you haven’t slept much in several days?

    • I like the maybelline 24 hour concealer, I don’t really have bags though just some darkness under the eyes.

    • Put vaseline under your eye and on your lid when you go to sleep. Your regular eye cream when you wake up (or some cold cucumber slices for 5 minutes).
      Concealer (I use Maybelline Fit Me, but my bags are small)

      You should be good to go :)

    • I heard the preparation H works well to reduce the puffiness, so you might try that in combination with a concealer. I use Neutrogena concealer but I can’t remember the name of it.

    • Drink coffee. Also, make sure you’re hydrated and fed. Eat food and drink water. Don’t drink too much coffee, you don’t want to be jittery. But if you’ve eaten properly, then a cup or two shouldn’t make you jittery.

      Make sure you eat breakfast! A real breakfast, with protein. And a real dinner the night before. Nutrition is super important when you’re not sleeping well. And hydrate. The more water the better. (But make sure to use the bathroom before your interview, so you’re comfortable in there.)

      And if you’re not sleeping much, remember to take some extra immune-system boosters, like Airborne or Vitamin C or whatever you believe works for you. For me, lack of sleep almost always means I’ll get sick in about a week.

      Remember to carve time out for yourself after this particular crisis & interview are over. You will need to recharge.

  13. A consultant :

    Threadjack….any advice on hiring a personal assistant/executive assistant? I NEED ONE!!!

  14. Probably wouldn’t go for the no shirt look with only the blow-in-the-breeze scarf separating this corporate interviewee from a Victoria Secret model, but otherwise…love the interview suit!