Suit of the Week: Brooks Brothers

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 was intrigued to see this navy pinstripe suit because it features Brooks Brothers’ signature BrooksCool fabric, which can be awesome in a couple of ways: If you need to wear a wool suit in the middle of summer and you don’t want to melt, if you tend to run warm, or, for older women, if you’re having hot flashes. This fabric is water-repellent and crease-resistant, making it ideal for travel, too. I also like the grosgrain detail on the inside and the seam binding. It’s just a gorgeous, typically well-made Brooks Brothers suit. The jacket (Pinstripe BrooksCool® Two-Button Jacket) is $398, the pants (Pinstripe High-Waisted BrooksCool® Pants) are $298, and the skirt (not pictured) is $198.

Here’s a more affordable navy pinstripe suit, and a black pinstripe, and here’s a plus-size option.

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gorgeous navy pants suit in travel-friendly fabric


  1. Can anyone recommend a career counselor who can work remotely and is reasonably priced?

    -attorney in “flyover” country

    • My old law school dean of students is an executive coach who works with lawyers. I haven’t hired her (yet) but she was awesome as a dean of students and I just talked with her about career things last month. The coaching aspect took a minute to get used to (it’s different than counseling) but I felt so much better after I talked with her. I’m working right now on following through on the things I need to do before I hire her but she hasn’t pushed me at all to hire her — just to get my arse in gear. She’s in Chicago but I talked with her on the phone. Maybe it was just because I’ve known her a long time but talking to her felt natural and I felt much less stressed. I don’t know what her official coaching email address is but I just used her old school one and that works — amgardn [at] I don’t know what her rates are now — she said they’ll go up after she’s certified which will be soon but it might not be yet, and because she said I didn’t need to hire anyone yet until I do some other things I need to get done first.

      • Also . . . Amy said if it was weird for me to work with her, she recommended but said the woman has been ill. It looks like the company is still suspended, but that could also be an option for you.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      I had a wonderful consultation (via phone) with David Behrend at I hadn’t hired him yet because I haven’t wanted to spend the money, but if not for that, I would.

    • I’m working right now with a business development coach. Marianne Trost at I’m having a great experience, and it is really helping me direct my energies and pushing me to take the steps I need to move to the next level of my career.

    • Jackie at Endeavor Legal Consulting is great!

    • Michael Melcher’s book is terrific and I know he does remote coaching. He might be on the expensive side, though.

  2. cat socks :

    I’ll be in downtown Denver next week for work, staying near the convention center. Any recommendations for food/drink or things to do when I get in on Sunday afternoon? I open to all types of food and like craft cocktails. I’ve been there before but it was over 10 years ago so any new suggestions would be great. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      We loved Panzano and The Kitchen, both easy walks from the convention center. Or ride the 16th Street free bus to The Kitchen.

  3. Wintery Bridal Shower Looks :

    Reposting from morning’s thread:

    Saturday I am attending a cousin’s baby shower in PA. Sunday the same group is hosting a bridal brunch for me after church services. What do I wear? (It’s going to be high of 50s-60s.) Conservative crowd.

    • Anonymous :

      Whatever you wear to church that morning – sundress and a cardigan/sweater for warmth. My [rare] church clothes are of the same ilk as what I would wear to a shower.

      • Anonymous :

        +1, and think spring, not winter. Obviously, dress for the weather in terms of what’s needed to keep you warm, but I’d do it in brighter spring colors, rather than darker winter colors.

  4. Q on Repuglicans :

    They can’t ALL support ending internet provider privacy. They can’t ALL support ending funding for PP. They can’t ALL be ok with reinstating use of banned pesticides. They can’t ALL have been ok with tax cuts for the wealthy. They can’t all be ok with the ‘leadership team’s’ Russian connections and general corruption.

    What explains all of this? Maybe I am naïve.

    • Greed.

    • We have some staffers on this Board who can probably explain much better, but party loyalty means a lot. Whether you voted with leadership can affect anything from which committees you serve on, to whether you can get funding for a project for your district, to whether your pet-project amendment will be considered, to how much money the Committee will give to your campaign. There are times when a principled stand against leadership may be the right thing to do (and lots of Republican members refused to vote for the health care bill), but congresspeople have to weigh the costs of going against leadership against any perceived benefit (will it be effective? will their constituents really care in 2 years?)

      • Oh, plus their loyalty to people and companies who donate to their campaigns and PACs.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Which, I guess, is the same as Anon at 2:23’s answer above.

      • Does party loyalty mean more for Republicans than it does for Democrats? I think I read a while ago that they have higher expectations about towing the party line, but obviously I have no idea if that’s true.

        • I don’t know, but I wonder if authoritarian culture and respect for hierarchy plays a role. Religious conservatives who are loyal to the Republican party praise “obedience” and Biblical patriarchy, and–on the opposite side of the spectrum from the religious right/traditional family values side of the party–there is a lot of concern with hierarchy and respecting whoever has the most power/money/sex appeal.

  5. Gail the Goldfish :

    My 10-year college reunion is this weekend, and I need fashion help. We have a party one evening where the dress code is “casual elegant attire.” Anyone want to take a stab at what that means and what I should wear, since those terms seem pretty contradictory to me.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’d take a look at the venue and see if that gives you any hints. Maybe you can find photos of other events that have been held there?

    • I don’t know what it means, but I’d probably wear dress that’s not all the way to cocktail dress or a skirt and nice top and heels, but pants and a nice top would work too. Wear or bring a dressier cardigan if it’s chilly.

    • I’d wear some sort of dress. A nicer looking (even hemmed) shirt dress comes to mind. Or even a jersey material dress that is less casual cut. Dress pants and a fun top would probably be fine too. I would just stay away from jeans and shorts.

      I’m actually kind of happy to think that there are several options in my own wardrobe that come to mind. This has never really happened to me before as I’m typically baffled by what to wear to events. I feel like a real adult. Have fun at your reunion!

    • Anonymous :

      Not a suit and tie/cocktail dress, but not grubby jeans or atheleisure wear. Something in between.

      Dark denim with a nice top and cute, comfortable shoes.
      Pencil skirt and sweater

  6. Anonymous :

    Does anyone else feel like their roles have been reversed when it comes to gardening? I feel like I’m the typical man who basically wants to get the gardening done fairly fast and efficiently, and my husband is much more like a typical woman and takes his time gardening. Am I the only one out there who feels like this?

    • Yes. DH likes to go all slow and affectionate. He’s very attentive and romantic, which is odd because that’s not really how he is/seems outside the bedroom. Of course I like this, but I’d like it once in a while. I’d rather just get to it, enjoy it, and move on. He also likes to snuggle for a LOT longer afterward than I would prefer. Also I like it a little dirtier.

    • I think the bigger question is whether that bothers you, not what the traditional role is; I suspect that it will change a few times over your life as you enter different phases (e.g. if you’re exhausted from chasing kids all day, maybe you want less time in this department?). Is it impacting your relationship negatively? Is there a reason you don’t want extended intimacy that way? Maybe explore that a bit.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree with this. Right now, I am always tired and also paranoid that one of the children will wake up and interrupt us and so I just want to finish quickly. It bothers my husband a little but, but he is also just happy we do it as often as we do even if its quick. I try send the kids to their grandma’s house every now and then so we can have uninterrupted time and we both end up enjoying that.

    • I don’t think the attitudes you’re describing are at all typical; they’re stereotypical. There’s a big difference.

  7. Accounting :

    Question for accountants – I’m thinking about going back to school to get a masters in accounting. I did my undergrad in accounting but ended up working in a different field for the past 10 years. Now I’m ready for a change. If I do this, I would do a full time, one year program. I’m also trying for a baby, and if that works out I would have a young baby by the time I would start the program. Is that a bad idea? Starting a family and changing careers seems like a lot to deal with at the same time, but otherwise one or the other would have to wait for several years and I’m not sure that’s a great option either.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Not an accountant, but I had my baby when I was in law school and it worked out great for me. I didn’t have to go to work full time until he was past the tiny-baby stage and that was a blessing. Also it was more flexible than working.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve learned there is hardly ever a “good” time career-wise to have a baby, so I say go for it if you are ready, and embrace the chaos.

    • A Masters of Accountancy is very challenging, but probably not significantly from most other technical grad programs. So it would be hard, yes, but doable. However, I’d spend a lot of time thinking about your intended career path post Masters before you pursue it. If you are looking to do a traditional accounting career in public accounting, that will be horrible with a small child because the hours are extreme and last for years (as opposed to a one year program).

      Why didn’t you go into accounting after your undergrad, and what did you do instead? If you went into a related field (some sort of financial analysis for example) you might be able to transition your job without the program, and only pursue that route is you decided to become a CPA.

    • What are you looking to do with your accounting degree? IME, the masters degree isn’t going to help any more than the undergraduate degree that you already have. You’ll be starting at the bottom of the food chain with either unless you can leverage your existing skill set as relevant.

    • I’m an accountant and not sure why you would do a masters if you have an undergrad – where I am they are the same thing but the masters is more focused. If you aren’t CPA qualified then work towards that (unless for time reasons you need the masters to start CPA). Think about what type of role you want to do as once you’ve got the professional qualifications it’s experience that counts, and there are pathways in where you can work while studying

  8. Marshmallow :

    Nice suit, but it would be really great if retailers would stop styling suits with sandals. Kthx.

    And the pants are too short for heels, yes? If not, I’m doing pants wrong.

    • I think they’re too short for that width at the ankle. That’s how I wear skinnier pants though.

      • Marshmallow :

        Agreed. I wear skinny pants at the ankle too. These look too short for bootcuts/trouser pants.

  9. Nice suit. Maybe the model wouldn’t be so angry if she had remembered to wash her hair this morning.

  10. Am I crazy for buy a wedding dress from Nordstrom for less than $300 for my first wedding/PPD? I am in LOOOOOVE with this dress, but I feel like I’m robbing my friends/family of the Say Yes to the Dress experience (not important to me, but is to them)

    • Wildkitten :

      Not crazy. Buy it. Still get it tailored to be perfect perfect perfect but buy it.

      • Anonforthis :

        +1. I picked a long gown I loved that wasn’t a wedding gown, spent about $ 300 on it, and never regretted it.

    • Do it! It’s not at all crazy, and there are so many wedding and wedding adjacent activities that experiencing them all in the “right” way (according to other people, of course) takes way too much time and effort. Your friends and family can bond over picking out flowers or cake or a venue or throwing a pre-wedding tea or designing programs or picking out invitations or choosing a menu or …

      I love the dress, by the way.

    • That dress is GORGEOUS. I can speak from experience here–I did exactly this for my wedding a few months ago (right down to the designer, price, and silhouette) and didn’t regret it at all. I felt so elegant and loved being able to actually move around unencumbered during the wedding and reception. And who doesn’t love “saving” on the dress so you can be spendy (or not) elsewhere?
      Maybe you could have a Say Yes to the Cake, or flowers, or something, moment instead?

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      If for some reason you really want the dress shopping experience, Nordstrom stores usually have a nice little bridal salon area.

  11. LOVE the suit. Unfortunately, it seems that the Brooks Brothers is already sold out of the jacket…

  12. Two wedding questions:

    Let’s say you are inviting colleagues to your wedding. You would invite more of them (happily – not out of duty) but originally your list was larger due to international guests. Once the responses start coming in, you have more room. Would you invite those guests? If so, how? I don’t think they would be “ugh, I’m B-list” but understand that you can’t invite the whole office – also they are older and seem non-dramatic about these things.

    Let’s also say that the boss’s boss of your spouse-to-be purchased something for you for your registry. Just like me, some of my fiance’s colleagues were invited, but there was a huge chunk of the international guest list that was up in the air. His boss is invited as are several other colleagues our age, but I’ve just learned that his boss’s boss sent us something from our registry. She is not as ‘distant’ as her title; I have met her and spoken to her at a few company events.

    We are of the “more the merrier” mindset and would be happy to see these people and celebrate with them but don’t want to make it seem like they are b-list to us. We would have invited them but for it getting out of control and it suddenly being a 500 person wedding. Both of us have very schmoozey, very friendly workplaces and industries, where coworkers send Christmas cards and have BBQs and even invite each other to their beach houses.

    (About 75% of my family lives overseas and while we *had* to invite them, it was anyone’s guess how many could come. Maybe we should just explain this and invite them and say we’d be happy to celebrate with them and if not, dinner some other time?)

    • Ahhh it seems like this should be normal and happy but expect people to take offense if you go this route.

    • I would just invite them. I think people are often not so worried about B-listing as they are glad to be invited, especially since family is international. Or you could say something about how tricky it is to try to send out invites with so many international relatives but now that you have that contingent squared away, you are excited to get to include more of the local people whose presence you always hoped to be able to include on your special day. If people are truly decent and love you enough to be worthy of their per plate cost, they shouldn’t be mad or judgy about your invite process!

      • Oh, perfect! Thank you. Yes, I am guessing they won’t be offended – after all, she bought us a gift! And knowing her, I don’t think it was in a snarky way to be invited but in a gracious and kind way.

        (And yeah, I know you can’t please everyone when it comes to weddings, but since this will be a direct conversation as opposed to a letter in the mail, I wanted to get the phrasing right.)

        • Anonymous :

          Super super rude. These people were not important enough to you to be a priority. No one likes to be told they are second tier.

          Especially especially don’t bend the rules with professional colleagues.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      Was there a first wave of invites to closer colleagues? If not, the second wave probably don’t need to know they are ‘second wave’; a wedding is a big logistical affair and sometimes it takes a while to pull together guest lists and send out invitations. I think in their shoes I would be happy to be invited and celebrate your special day with you!

    • I would go ahead & invite them. In general, when I know that I’m one of a few at work who’s invited to something personal (like a wedding, or any other celebration really), I would never go blabbing about that to my other co-workers. I might talk to someone else I knew was invited already, but that’s about it. This is all to say, I don’t think people ever know they’re on the b-list unless you hint at it or tell them as much. For that reason, I wouldn’t mention the international declines. And personally, I’m always flattered to be included in someone’s wedding – I know numbers are tough and if I’m C-list, that’s a-okay, I know how it goes.

    • Anonymous :

      No, that’s B-listing, and it’s rude. Do not especially invite boss’s boss now- clearly b-listing. Your FI should send a thank you note asap.

    • Anonymous :

      I am generally not super strict about fussy etiqu e t te rules, but I think B-listing is unspeakably rude. The only scenario under which I think this is remotely acceptable is if no colleagues were invited in the first round, because then they may not know they were B-list. But if some colleagues made the first cut, you should not send later invites to anyone else at work.

      FWIW, we received many wedding gifts from people who weren’t invited but who looked up our registry online. It’s pretty common and you shouldn’t feel guilty. They obviously weren’t offended about not being invited, or they wouldn’t have sent a gift. Most people are pretty understanding of the fact that everyone has a budget and can only invite a certain number of people and wouldn’t be hurt about not being invited to a wedding unless it was a family member of very close friend getting married. If I were your fiance’s boss’s boss, I would not be at all offended about the lack of invite, but I would be a little put off by receiving a B-list invite after sending a gift (if nothing else, because I would fear my gift guilted you into inviting me).

    • I’ve been a B-list invite before (I know because the RSVP date on the invite was like, 2 days after it arrived) and I didn’t mind one bit. It was nice to be included!

      Obviously this is a minority viewpoint so you may want to tread carefully, especially with bosses.

  13. Anonymous :

    This is such a first world problem but I’m super annoyed with my cleaning service. I was working until almost midnight last night so I was already cranky this morning. A couple of minutes after I got out of the shower around 7:30 am, I heard strange noises like someone was coming into the house. I was still freaking [email protected] at the time so of course I was terrified and frantic to find clothes, glasses, etc. Turns out it was the cleaning service. They were previously instructed to not show up before 10 am (just in case) after they barged in at 8:30 am one day when I had gotten home from work at 4.

    I know that sometimes my hours skew a little late but this is ridiculous. I don’t know anyone who would welcome having the cleaning people come in at 7:30. Why is this even a thing unless you’ve specifically OK’ed them coming at that time?

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