Thursday’s TPS Report: ‘Heartland’ Tweed Sheath Dress

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

Halogen® 'Heartland' Tweed Sheath DressNordstrom has a number of great dresses marked down to the $60 range, including this attractive tweed sheath dress, perfect for cold weather.  We’d pair it with a bright emerald or royal blue cardigan for a more casual fall day, or perhaps a winter white blazer and dark tights for a more wintery day.  Lovely.  It was $118, now $59 (sizes 6-16 still available). Halogen ‘Heartland’ Tweed Sheath Dress

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  1. Anonymous :

    I bought this dress during the sale and ended up returning it. Although I loved the pictures online, it most definitely did not work on my 5’2 frame- I looked like I’d been swallowed up by fabric. Guess that will force me back into the petite department for good!

  2. AnonAnonAnon :

    Love the dress, but I have to admit, I’m in the mood for fall weather clothes. No more sleeveless for me!

    Threadjack (sorry so early): While rushing out the door, I grabbed the wrong suit jacket today! I’m doing an internship with a judge, but I shouldn’t see the judge (or anyone) today. I should just work at my desk, alone. I’m wearing a button down and dress pants. The jacket is a size 14 and I now wear a size 8/10. Do I just not wear the jacket or wear it and hope no one will notice that 1. it swallows me whole and 2. it’s a different fabric/shade from my pants? No more rushing out the door without putting on my suit jacket. I can’t believe I did this.

    • How about wearing it over your shoulders but not putting your arms in the sleeves? Won’t help the fabric issue, but at least would disguise the shape, and if you’re sitting at your desk people won’t see much of your pants anyway.

    • Anonymous :

      I would just hang it on the back of your chair so that people will just assume you were warm and took it off to get your work done. They won’t look closely at the fabric or size, but you’ll still look like you came to work prepared.

      • A-non-lawyer :

        I concur!

        • Ditto. We all used to do this when clerking for my judge. In fact, my co-clerk quit wearing suits in the middle of the year (except when she had to be in court), and our judge never noticed.

    • Anonymous :

      That stinks, but definitely isn’t the worst that could have happened. Once I went to work wearing a pencil skirt not realizing that the back zipper had broken and was like a giant peephole in the back. Another time my dress ripped up the back at work, exposing my entire butt, and I didn’t notice until after a meeting of associates.

      I would just keep the jacket off, unless a jacket-required situation arises, and then put it on and ignore the fact that it’s too bit. Assuming you normally dress well, nobody will care. If you are anywhere that it’s pouring like where I am, even less of an issue. Rainy day blahs. =)

      • Oh no! Those stories are awful – how did you react to the dress ripping? I am sure you were stronger than I would be…I would hide in a corner for the rest of the day and wish for my mommy!

    • I agree with the advice, have the jacket near but not on and you will be fine. A few years ago I had the same shoes in both black and navy, and looked down one day and saw I was nicely wearing one shoe of each color. Don’t feel bad, people all around you are probably wearing things that don’t quite match and you’ve never noticed.

    • I agree with the put it over the back of your chair advice.

      And to make you feel better – when I traveled to interview for the clerkship (I actually got), I grabbed the wrong skirt for my suit when I packed. So, paired with my brand new Banana suit jacket, I had a very old, very casual esprit skirt. Luckily I had recently purchased the suit so I was able to run to a nearby BR and get another skirt . . . and then I always had two skirts and the pants for that suit! Now, I always check for matching suits when I travel!

      • This summer at my internship I grabbed the wrong jacket, and it was a day with a department meeting! I had a black skirt and a charcoal jacket, hopefully it didn’t look that terrible. I still cringe when I think about it. It happens! If you are not going to see anyone just leave it on the back of the chair, I think every man in my office did this when they were in their office.

        • Does anyone ever purposefully wear different color jackets with skirts. My office is business casual, but the partners wish we were back to full-on business. I always see on tv or in catalogs mixing and matching – maybe a 3/4 sleeve light gray jacket with a dark gray or black pencil skirt. To me it looks nice, but in the real world is this taboo? I remember seeing some movie with Cameron Diaz & Ashton Kutcher and she was dressed in a light gray jacket and dark pants or a skirt. I looooved it. Is there a way this translates into business casual? Maybe mixing and matching jackets and bottoms that aren’t formal suit pieces?

          • Anonymous :

            I use to work in a business dress office and would often wear a jacket that was a different color from my pants or skirt.

          • I don’t see anything wrong with a charcoal blazer and black skirt/pants. I think pairing different colors in blazers and pants/skirts (so long as it looks deliberate) is finer for business casual or even formal. I wore two different shades of brown pants and jacket today and didn’t care…I think it looked fine even then.

    • you could also try rolling up the sleeves if you have to throw it on: boyfriend blazers are trendy right now, and are supposed to be oversized.

    • also, to make you feel better, i once in winter forgot to grab my blazer at all and just put on my coat. couldn’t figure out why i was so chilly until i got to work and realized i had no suit jacket on. the shirt i was wearing was sort of a cami style that was popular at the time, which was fine under a suit, but definitely NOT ok to wear alone to work in the winter. i had to throw my coat back on and trudge out to buy a cardigan.

    • AnonAnonAnon :

      Thanks, everyone! I feel a bit casual not wearing the jacket, but I haven’t seen anyone. So glad the judge is out today; he believes in very formal business attire.

      • Yeah, I once wore two different colored shoes (same stlyle, blue and black) to a job interview!!! Horrible!! I got the job. I just looked at their eyes and hoped they would not notice.

        • ha, i showed up to work like that once. i was wearing black tights too so the navy shoe REALLY stuck out.

      • Oh, honey, I was just scrolling down to see what everyone said and looking for where to put my story or wearing two different shoes….to court. eek, but Lobbyist’s is the best.ever story of that!

        Don’t even give the jacket thing a second thought. Also, if you have a place to hang stuff, consider keeping a very neutral color (black, gray, camel – whatever is likely to complement most of the rest of your skirts/trousers) jacket or nice cardi on a hanger in the office for *just such occasions.* It’s bailed me more than once when I forgot/mixed up/spilled/wadded up in backseat and kids sat on and wrinkled beyond wearing my suit jacket :).

        • Yeah, a nice gray cardigan has been my best friend for those moments! I always keep one in the office just in case!

    • govvie girl :

      And for even more fun memories, I still remember the day in college when I rushed out of my dark room for my 8 a.m. class (roommies still sleeping), glanced down in the daylight at my Keds- and saw I had thrown one pink and one white Ked on. I laugh now, but… just mortified at the time.

    • I agree. Leave it on the back of the chair. When I interned, my judge was also very formal, but it seemed that as long as you had a jacket with you, that was enough.

      This morning I was also rushing out the door, managed to match my suit pants and jacket, but locked myself out of my apartment, car keys and all! So I spent an hour sitting on my front steps reviewing documents in my suit and waiting for someone to let me in. Its just one of those days I guess.

    • Preggo Angie :

      It’s 95 degrees where I’m at, so this dress is entirely appropriate. I really hope we have a Fall this year…

    • I recently ran out of the house and completely forgot my suit jacket. It wouldn’t have been as much of an issue if I wasn’t in trial and doing a closing argument that day. My husband saved me and brought the jacket to me a couple minutes before court started.

  3. Parisienne :

    How can a sleeveless low neck dress be perfect for a cool day or even okay for a cool day? Suppose men went around sleeveless on a cool day – wouldn’t we think that looked dumb? Yesterday in federal court the clerk was wearing a low cut tight almost-sleeveless dress. She was a very cute girl, and did not look bad, but still I said to myself – wouldn’t she look a lot better in a plain shirt and skirt? It was a hot day, but the courthouse is of course air conditioned, and everyone else in the room – except the jury – was wearing a jacket, and we were all just fine. So….there is a new trend of sleeveless dresses, and who does it benefit except the manufacturer of the dress who saves on a lot of fabric by eliminating the sleeves!

    • Anonymous :

      I like sleeveless dresses A LOT and for all seasons. I find them very versatile. I can wear many things over them to keep myself warm – different blazers, sweaters, even a short sleeved cardigan for warmer days when I don’t want my arms exposed. This winter, I may even try putting a turtleneck or button-down underneath my sleeveless sheaths.

      • i'm nobody :

        same here. a third of my work wardrobe seems to be sheath dresses these days. Apart from the versatility with blazers or cardigans, they’re easier for me to fit into. Do you know how hard it is to find sleeves that are long enough when you’re over 5’10”?

        that aside, do you really think the featured dress has a low neckline? I think it’s fine.

      • Funny, I am 100% opposite. I am so tired of seeing only sleeveless dresses. Some of us are more flattered by cap or 3/4 sleeve dresses, and they really are often a lot more interesting than a plain sheath and cardigan. If I buy a sleeveless dresss, I will be freezing in my office (which is refrigerated, basically), and so I now need to have a cardigan to wear with it. Why not just buy one item? But, it takes all kinds, sleeveless and sleeved!

      • divaliscious11 :

        Anon- I wear a very thin turtlenecks under my sheaths in the winter!

      • Totally agree! Love sleeveless dresses, I am always hot and like the option to layer and unfortunately I can’t stand the way capsleeves look on me!!

    • i think you answered your own question in that “it was a hot day.” as someone who walks to work, even if it is fifty degrees, i know that it is easy to break a sweat. the sleeveless dress allows me to get to work without having to deal with the sweating issue. i have since stopped purchasing long sleeve dresses for this reason. i find that sleeveless dresses are very versatile, not to mention comfortable. i’d opt for such a dress over a skirt-shirt combo any day.

    • I LOVE sleeveless dresses for their versatility as others have said – I’m also a fan of layering under the dress with either a button up or turtleneck in the fall/winter. Dresses are just so much more comfortable and forgiving.

    • I will put a thin silk (or other type) of sweater underneath to add warmth. I think it usually looks quite good as long as the neckline of the sweater complements the dress. Sleeveless dresses are a lot easier to alter. When you add in sleeves, you often have to rip off the sleeves if you need to take it in.

      • Anonymous K :

        Agreed. I do a sweater, a button-down, a turtleneck, etc. under my dresses at my business casual office. I think it looks quite good. I am a big fan of layering and I actually find that certain types/lengths of sleeves don’t layer well, so I sometimes prefer sleeveless dresses.

    • divaliscious11 :

      I am wearing a sleeveless dress today, and its a cool fall day in Chicago. I have a cardigan, which I just removed because it is too warm in the office. Almost no one really looks better in a plain shirt and a plain skirt, and I suspect they certainly don’t feel better. I bet the clerk looked great, and felt great too!
      I hardly think sheath dresses, or sleeveless dresses are a new trend. I have a picture of my mom wearing one, pregnant with me from the 60’s…..

    • I prefer sleeveless year round, because they are more versatile.

  4. Re the “it’s sleeveless, so it can’t be for cool weather” comments — this dress is made of a cool-weather-appropriate fabric (tweed) and is designed to require a cardigan or blazer, or a thin turtleneck underneath. Whether you are annoyed at the designer for skimping on material or not, please don’t think Kat (or anyone, I think) is recommending going bare-armed to the office in 50 degree weather!

    • This seems weird to me though. Why have a winter-appropriate fabric in a non-winter-appropriate cut? It just seems incongruous.

      • I like them because I can make several different looks out of the same dress — winter dresses with sleeves are much harder to wear sweaters over and not be either too hot or too lumpy.

  5. This is cute, but it seems really short to me. I don’t think it will work at all with my long legs/short torso combo.

  6. The length is 37.5″–looks shorter on the model, but if the measurements are accurate, it should be work-appropriate (at least for me, and I’m 5’8″). Just bought it, so I’ll report back.

    Nice pick, Kat!

    • I bought this dress during the semi-annual sale. length definitely work appropriate (I’m 5’5″). Fabric is slightly itchy is the only downside I’ve found. I’m an hourglass figure and the dress works very well for my figure. definitely not too low cut.

  7. Good morning midway Corporettes! What should I pack to visit my in-laws in the Twin Cities this weekend? We will be mostly inside doing family stuff, like dinners and movies, but the will be one nice cocktail event. It seems like it’s pretty cold already. Help this Cali native out!

    • I was in the Twin Cities a couple of weeks ago and it was chilly, probably colder now, but I was comfortable in a light quilted jacket, jeans and a cardigan. Hope it helps!

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler : will allow you to look at the weather for any city (you enter the zip code) ten days in advance.

    • minnesota :

      Layers. It will be in the fifties. In general, I’ll be wearing jeans or cords, a long-sleeved shirt, and a light jacket or light scarf. Great time to visit.

  8. Love it. Think it wood look a little odd with a white blazer and dark tights, though.

    If you click through to the site, there really are a ton of great work dresses in the under $70 range – thanks for the tip!

    • Also, and I’m not plus sized so I can’t speak for size options or quality, but from scrolling through there appear to be a lot of (cute) plus size dresses!

    • Wow, I just realized my hideous typo – I really do know the difference between “would” and “wood.” Yikes.

  9. Electrologist :

    I like the dress, not a good cut for my figure though.

    Can anyone recommend a great electrologist in Philadelphia (not laser hair removal)? Looking for someone in the city, not the burbs. Any recommendations would be appreciated! I can’t seem to find any reviews online.

  10. Another case of photoshopping gone very wrong…

    • ??? I don’t see what you’re talking about here. The model looks lovely.

      • You don’t see a very unnatural angle in her waist?

        • i see. so when ann taylor fired their airbrusher after the brouhaha, he (clearly not a she!) managed to land a job at nordstrom!

        • i'm nobody :

          let’s not rush to post-production judgment! maybe this model simply had her lower ribs removed?

        • It actually appears to me that, because he hips are shifted, the unnatural angle is actually the natural result of that position. You aren’t looking at her wait head-on, you’re seeing her from an angle and her back is slightly arched.

          • It’s still a little too sharp to be just her position – bodies curve; they don’t form iscosceles triangles.

            It just bothers me that these models, who are already gorgeous and skinny, are being slimmed down even further for unknown reasons.

          • It appears to me to look that way as well. I’ve seen that look before in yoga class, so it’s definitely not “unnatural” in that it’s not possible.

          • Good grief, clearly I failed to proofread. That should be “her” and “waist.” Oops.

    • govvie girl :

      That or freaky, painful corsets are back….? Yes, definitely an attack of the retouch. On a more “thoughtful” note, I’m much more aware of the photoshopping presence when looking online now, and it’s helpful to the subconscious thoughts that flit through.

      • Her waist appears to be the same width as her head. Definitely photo shopped.

  11. I too am eager for dresses with sleeves. I smiled about the wrong jacket. I raced out of the house one day to get my little guy to the orthopod on time. I sat through the entire doctor’s appointment, visited at length with the doc, and then the nurse. I get out side and realize for the first time that I am wearing black pants and a navy blazer (same brand, same style) with a red/stripe blouse. Either black or blue would have gone with the red shirt, but not like I had it. I looked like a bad committee decision. Good reminder to look in the mirror EVERY day.

  12. surrounded by lawyers :

    Holy torrents! Anyone else in the DC area wishing she could have worked from home today?

    • Anonymous K :

      Yes! I commute by metro and/or bus and I was fine (except for the one wet arm) walking to and waiting for the bus, but getting on was another story. A lot of people get on at my stop and I can never gauge when to close my umbrella!

    • Yes! Between keeping track of my raincoat, my umbrella, and my lunch on the shuttle to work this morning, I forgot my purse. With my… shall we say… less than integrated employer, I hold very little hope of getting it back before the end of the day :-(

      • Confused. Did you forget your purse at home? Or did you leave it on the shuttle?

        What do you mean by “less than integrated employer”?

        Dense here I guess.

        • I guess I was so stressed out over losing my purse, I didn’t explain myself very well! I left my purse on the shuttle, which goes from the metro to my workplace. The government agency I work for is so bad at internal communication that the last time I left something on the shuttle, it took me nearly two weeks to get it back.

          • govvie girl :

            MPC, I think you must work in the cube next to me. Related vent: We just tried to join a videoteleconference hosted by someone else -“subordinate” organization- and, even though we asked for an agenda and indicated our intent to join, they did not add our site. Same site ID used regularly for these, and same person at the “host” unit running it. Because we did not follow the instructions to the letter this time, the person did not add our site. Cannot stand that robotic mentality. OK, I feel better now. :)

    • govvie girl :

      Yes. ..very glad I don’t live or work in Old Town. But I do work on the other side of the Potomac and hopefully won’t hear any calls for sandbagging.

    • In D.C., and working from home. Very snug in my home office, wearing yoga pants and a denim shirt. :-)

      • I’m jealous C! I’ve settled in to my office with a cup of hot tea and my pashmina wrap – the closest I can get to home at this point.

  13. Threadjack: last time I purchased bras, the department store convinced me that I needed a special detergent called “Ovacion” or something like that — they said it was better for delicate fabric than Woolite and would help my bras to maintain their shape. Not wanting to destroy the ridiculously-expensive bras, I purchased a bottle at a whopping $13. It doesn’t require a lot to get them clean, so it’s not as expensive as it sounds, but I’m wondering – is this stuff really superior? Does anyone else use it or recommend anything better for protecting delicates?

    • Anonymous K :

      I’ve used several different things: the Nordstrom brand delicates cleaner (they don’t seem to always stock it, but when they do, it’s in the delicates section), the Victoria’s Secret detergent (my favorite thing about this is the scent), and good old Dreft (the baby detergent). I honestly didn’t notice any difference among these three products. Right now I’m using the Victoria’s Secret stuff for any delicates I handwash (bras, some slips, etc.) and Dreft for delicates I machine wash (panties, other slips, camis, etc.) I gues, like you, I am honestly curious if using something expensive makes a difference (the VS stuff is pretty pricey).

      • that VS stuff was great: sadly, they don’t make it any more!

        • Anonymous K :

          They didn’t make it for a while, but they brought it back. I bought it at the store in Union Station (DC) about a month ago.

          • REALLY??? i’ll have to go out to a store! they’re not carrying it online . . .

    • I have heard that Woolite is really not good for bras. I was told that even handwashing with Tide is better than Woolite. This is interesting.

    • I throw my bras and other “delicates” in with my normal wash, with normal detergent. When they finally go, it’s because the elastic no longer has much stretch (after 2+ years), not because of a fabric issue. Then again, I don’t have insanely expensive bras – I usually buy them at those outlet underwear places.

    • govvie girl :

      Wonder what Consumer Reports says about it- they’ve got such great testing.