Thursday’s TPS Report: Maggy London Starburst Ponte Knit Dress

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

This strikes us as a great fall dress.  It’s past Labor Day, so the deep purple color is perfect for the season.  The sleeves aren’t too long or short for the sometimes-hot-sometimes-freezing weather, and the neckline and cut is flattering.  Love it.  It’s $98 at Nordstrom’s, in regular and petites, 0-16. Maggy London Starburst Ponte Knit Dress
If you’ve recently seen a great work piece you’d like to recommend to the readers, please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line. Unless you ask otherwise, we’ll refer to you by your first initial.


  1. Me likey . . . but is this too tight for work?

    • Yes. Esp when viewed from the back (see photo on Nordstrom site). Also too short. Great color though!

      • agreed. very cute. but not work-appropriate. at all.

      • I trie d this on at Nordstroms this weekend; I’m 5’6″ and it definitely was not too short — I would have had to had it hemmed to make it hit at my knees. That being said, it was clingy in a way that I wouldn’t want to wear. It’s made of a substantial thick knit, and if you weren’t as lumpy as I am, it could have looked nice.

  2. I’d want to try it on. I often think that this brand looks attractive, but too sexy for work. Love the color, but I’m not sure about the “starburst” part. Might be fabulous, though, and you could always try sizing up for a fit that’s less tight. It’s a “slips on over the head” style, so you’ll get a lot of latitude in sizing, I think. The price is right for ponte knit, too.

    I think it’s a sure bet that this would be plenty long on me to be appropriate for work. But I’m 5’4″, so length is not one of the things that I worry about much.

    Overall, totally worth trying on!

  3. Woman of Color :

    There would be a great deal of backside action in this dress. However, very cute. Perhaps it could be paired with a long (gray) cardigan, and belt. You could then go out with the ladies afterward – sans the cardigan.

  4. Cute, but too short. Also too tight. However, I notice when zooming in on the model’s shoulder that it is too small for her, slightly – might they have put her in a too-small size for the photo??

    On another note, could anyone recommend a website that gives tips for a 2-minute face? I am very low-maintenance, work in the northeast (so not much makeup on people here generally as compared to the south, especially) but I feel like I should be polishing up my look more. Suggestions?

    • My 5-minute face is:

      *powder blush (subtle shade)
      *translucent powder
      *lipstick or gloss (subtle shade)
      *eyeliner (top only)

    • I am a bit of a tomboy and very low-maintenance, so my makeup is minimal, but I think appropriate. I have decent skin, so while I do use a moisturizer every day (Olay), I don’t use concealer or foundation unless I need to. Following the moisturizer, I put on a touch of blush to avoid looking like a zombie after late nights as the office, eyeshadow, and my newest discovery its Burt’s Bees lip shimmer, which is basically chapstick with color! The best thing is that the color is not “hello, I’m wearing lipstick,” but is instead, “hey, my lips have color… and I don’t look like a zombie….” I’m pretty pasty (rocking what I call my northern European tan), and go with the caramel, guava or rhubarb color. Because the color is not overpowering, I don’t have to worry about checking whether I put it on neatly or whether I put on too much.

    • I’m a huge fan of the mineral make-up (MMU) trend and, after using Sheer Cover awhile, found a great indie cosmetics company to order from online — My routine: moisturize after showering and get hair started drying for a few minutes while moisturizer sinks in. Now that I have rosacea, I have to spend a bit more time on my face to cover the redness, but generally speaking, I do a quick dusting of MMU, blush, pencil eyeliner, a little eye shadow, brow filler and mascara, and I’m good to go. Definitely no more than 5 minutes; 30 minutes from shower to doorway. Check out and for reviews of all brands.

      • Watch “What Not to Wear on TLC”. The makeup artist shows low maintenance women how to put on a 2-minute face. My favorite trick of hers is her three dot eye trick…highlight the inner corners, the outer corners, and the top of the brow bone. Then, add mascara…

    • I’m pretty minimalist since I tend to breakout and have fairly sensitive skin/eyes. I just stick to a tinted moisturizer, some concealer if necessary, mascara, sometimes eyeliner, and a lip gloss.

    • I got a Trish McEvoy makeover at Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue this summer. I got a small compact with four shadows–lilac glaze for sweeping on lids, heather for crease, bronze for liner and tawny for brow filler. I got a bronzer for the blush. I use either a quick dab of mineral powder or Revlon Beyond Natural Foundation, depending on the humidity, and then use my good brushes to sweep on the rest and top it off with mascara. Two minutes tops with practice–the single compact makes it so easy, and the pricey Trish stuff is the best I’ve used in 35 years of wearing makeup for looking natural quickly, yet wearing all day.

    • My “face” is less than 2-minutes.

      – Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with SPF (worth the price, and I’m cheap)
      – subtle powder blush
      – light neutral shadow on brow line
      – darker neutral shadow on lower lid to crease
      – eye liner on top lid
      – mascara
      – gloss or lipstick. I’ll second the recommendation for Burt’s Bees shimmer. I like the very light colors (there is one that has a white cap than is not really any color at all, just shimmer). The best thing about it is that it’s not sticky like most gloss — it feels very much like chapstick. I also like Dior’s Addict gloss in shade 317, which is also a light colored neutral gloss.

  5. love the color, but agree that starbursts across the rear are a little much for work. but the gray cardigan/belt idea would totally work and make it a good day-to-night option. thanks for the info in the comments, was not sure what size to order but will probably order up a little.

    btw, there’s free shipping at saks right now. just noticed that they give you a code when you visit the website, looks like it’s good for all of september.

  6. Nice dress. Not good for executives.

  7. Cute dress but not for work. You would totally have to try it on as the starburst pattern could cut across the left breast in a strange way. You certainly don’t want to draw unneeded attention to your left breast because it is scrunched between the pattern of the starburst.

  8. One quick question:
    Is it appropriate to wear slingbacks in the fall and winter? I work in healthcare so I have much more latitude in my wardrobe than you lawyer gals. I wear slingbacks during the spring and summer and they are totally appropriate to my setting. Growing up in the south it was generally considered taboo to wear them after Labor Day but I don’t think that is the case anymore. I live in Colorado so I wear boots much of the winter but can I still wear my slingback/closed toe pumps?

    • I live in Seattle and I think slingbacks are fine all year round. I think this is one of those seasonal rules along the lines of don’t wear white after Labor Day that really doesn’t carry much weight these days.

    • I think the “rules” were even originally supposed to be about actual weather, not calendar days. If it’s warm enough, sure. If not, I wouldn’t. Snow seeping in is weird.

      The Duchess of York caught flak years ago for wearing white before Memorial Day over here and folks in the know defended her because it was hot weather.

    • Slingbacks are fine in the fall these days. There are some very cute ones out there in suede, which really is a cool weather material. I would avoid them in the winter , though– there is nothing worse than wet feet!

      • I love my slingbacks and wear them year-round, pretty much regardless of the weather. I’m in the Midwest, and we know from snow – even so, I can’t give up my slingbacks for months and months!

  9. The dress fits the skinnier model SO much better that I think sizing up could make a huge difference. But definitely a piece you’d have to try on. I think it’d be really flattering on me because I have almost no waist. But for an hour glass woman … maybe too sexy.

  10. LOVE IT. I’m in the midst of a grueling fitness program, and if this dress is still around when I’m done it’s MINE.
    Thanks for the link!

  11. Delta Sierra :

    The clothing on photographers’ models is FULL of pins applied to the back of the garment by assistants. By the time the pinners are done, it ‘fits’ the model perfectly, but doesn’t necessarily bear much resemblance to how the dress would fit a real person.

  12. They currently have this dress at the Marshall’s near my house. I think it is $40.
    As for slingbacks – at my office (fairly conservative legal, always getting dress code memos) you can wear slingback or open toe. Never both.

  13. At my conservative office, slingbacks are ok (with stockings) and open toe are never ok.

  14. The thing with that type of dress (cut and fabric) is that it MUST be tried on. For one thing, skirts and dresses are often much longer on real people than on the models (I believe they are either hemmed or they find a tall person).

    I love slingbacks. After all, Chanel wore them!

  15. I love slingbacks too. I don’t want to discuss whether they are acceptable in an office as we’ve done that frequently. I want to know if, in an environment where they are appropriate, is it taboo to wear them in the fall and winter. Thanks for your input.

    • I think they are fine all year – as long as your feet don’t get too cold! And would probably avoid if there’s a lot of snow around, just because getting weather in your shoe is icky.

      If you’ll be wearing them with hose for the first time, do a test walk… I can’t keep a slingback on my heel with hose on no matter how well the strap fits when bare-legged, and nothing is more irritating than having to keep fixing it or having your shoe flapping around all day.

    • of course this also assumes the shoe looks wintery enough – a light colored shoe may look too summery to wear year round regardless of slingback/not. I’d stick to darker browns/black or suede.

  16. Why are so many dresses so short? Office appropriate dresses, especially ones that also come in petites, need to be 40.” I will not buy them otherwise, nor will many women over 5’6″ or so.

  17. Cute dress. But I wear my skirts/dresses longer (covering the knees at minimum).

  18. L- I second the recommendation to check out “What Not To Wear” for a 2 to 5 minute face. LP- I totally agree about Burt’s Bees. I would add that I wear them in trial b/c one (un-advertised) property they have is long-lasting, moisturizing color. LA- I have several products I rely upon for rosacea– including a moisturizer I have used for 10-plus years. It’s from England- I can give you the name. As for slingbacks in Fall//Winter- yes, I say. Magazines even show sandals or open-toe shoes with tights these days, so slingbacks seem like the least of it…

    • AC – Yes, please do divulge the identity of your rosacea finds! I have redness/broken blood vessels; fortunately no bumps or breakouts. Laser treatments have been disappointing and expensive. I switch around moisturizers depending on the season. In Hotlanta, a light moisturizer (w/SPF) is usually enough for me most of the year. My dermatologist said that drugstore brands like Basic are fine, though I’ve spent money on the super expensive (like La Prairie – yikes!) as well and everything in between. Can’t take anything with Retinol or other acids as they are too irritating. I’ve found that not all moisturizers are compatible with mineral make-up.

      Ashley – great comment re What Not to Wear. I saw that Carmindy has her own makeup line now (I think I saw it at Target).

      Slingbacks — good nearly year round in Atlanta’s mild climate and good thru fall most other climates I think. They look wrong to me in the dead of winter however, no matter the color, hose, etc.

      • Gah! I just Googled “my” product and all the links said discontinued. Here it is, maybe you can find it on eBay or Amazon:
        It is called “Fade-Out Facial Redness Remedy with Vitamin K.” This happened once before, and they “re-formulatd” and came back on the market so I am trying not to panic. I have a tiny stockpile but I haven’t lived without this in 10 years so I don’t know what to do. . .

      • Kathleen Miller :

        Metrocream and MetroGel are prescription Rosacea treatments (metronidizole). I have had good results with Metrocream, which I wear under mineral makeup. (I also find it helpful to avoid red wine.)

        • Thanks, AC and Kathleen! I’ve got the prescription gel, but didn’t use it while I was trying to conceive. Now that I’m not, I’ll give it a try again, though I hadn’t seen much result during the brief time I was using it; maybe I didn’t give it enough time before. Good to know that it works with MMU. Wine of any kind is sometimes a trigger for me as well (it even makes my ears red and hot), so I don’t ever drink it in business settings, sticking instead to one vodka tonic, followed by soda the rest of the night. I thought it might be the sulfites in wine, but even the non-sulfite ones can make my skin flush. Ugh.

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