Thursday’s TPS Report: Merino Wool Paisley-Print Cardigan

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.
Picture 3Call us crazy, but we really like this merino wool cardigan. The paisley seems interesting in an old-timey kind of way, and the dark colors make the pattern more subdued. We like the price, too: was $94, now $52 at Lord & Taylor. Merino Wool Paisley-Print Cardigan

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. Hmmm… I’m not quite feeling it. I think the shape or color scheme (while definitely appropriate for fall!) may just look more –mature– than I’d like… It’s one I’d want to see in person.

    • Ditto @mkm. While I adore paisley, this particular item is just too “mature”-looking for me. Perhaps it would look better in person.

  2. Anonymous :

    In the immortal words of Bridget Jones: “Great. I was wearing a carpet.”

  3. Is it me or does this pic make the model look demented?

  4. This will go really well with all the ugly shoes you post!

    • Wow. If you consistently don’t like the suggestions, why are you reading this blog?

      • Yes, that comment was uncalled for.

        • Because the shoes on this blog are pretty consistently ugly. I shouldn’t read a blog because I don’t like the shoes posted?

          If I were wearing any of the shoes on here, or that sweater, I’d want a friend to tell me it was bad. Just consider me your honest friend.

          • I think the better way to go about it is to post a specific comment with respect to a certain shoe and then request something you might like to see instead. Just making blanket statements that a whole category is terrible isn’t going to help C post shoes you might like to see.

            I do agree with others that the styling of this sweater is way off. As it is in this picture, it looks really dowdy and awful. However, if buttoned on a slightly older model paired with a nice sheath dress/tailored skirt, it might look good.

          • The thing is, a lot of the recommendations lately have been way off. Like that weird Anthropologie sweater last week, or that nylon bag from several weeks ago that was sort of like a carry-on (but not). I keep hoping the suggestions will get better, because I have major clothing needs but little time or energy to shop. I have been thinking that maybe I’m not this blog’s target consumer, or that this site has a short reader life cycle, or something. I don’t know, but it’s not working for me much lately. Darn!

          • I agree on the shoes gererally – they are typically too casual or funky for my office (and not to my personal taste for outside the office, either), usually because there’s several “fashionable”/different elements to them as compared to a standard black pump – round toe, different leather patterns, bold colors… too much going on.

            I would like to see more flats and heels that, like the goal of other clothing on this blog, are classic enough to not attract negative attention, but more interesting than a pair of tasseled pumps from brooks bros.

    • Wow! It’s sad that you don’t like any of the shoes here. Oh well, that being said, I simply can’t wait to visit your website. I’m sure you’ll do a much better job than Corporette. Oh, wait! You ARE creating your own site, aren’t you? Or are you simply being a critic and not offering any new options or suggestions? If you’re being such an “honest friend”, why don’t you give us all a sneak peek at your fabulous fashion sense? I’d love to see what you consider nice shoes…

      • la péagoise :

        the problem with posting really “classic” shoes and clothes is that… they all look “classic” i.e., the SAME. so yeah, it’s not going to be 3402378923 pairs of black pumps with nothing different except… what? the heel height? the toe? meh.

        keep it up, corporette. if all i was interested in was a classic black suit and classic black pumps (maybe shake it up with grey OOH!) then i wouldn’t need to read a blog. i know that stuff already.

        • Yes, I could browse a catalog if I wanted straight up corporoid.

          and I can see where the sweater could work with different styling. The model does look demented.

    • My mother gave me two critical pieces of advice that I still follow to this day. One: Think before you speak because you never know how your words can affect someone else. And two: If you don’t have anything nice to say, it’s better not to say anything at all. I know pass these informational nuggets onto you Amy. Use them well young grasshopper.

  5. The model does look like she may eat your brains for sport…

  6. Hmm, seems a little bit too granny for me. I would have to see it in person.

  7. Hard to judge based on the picture. I think the model (who does look a little – intense) is possibly the precisely wrong age to be wearing this… younger, and the old-fashioned would read more stylish, older, and the “mature” feel would suit her better.

  8. umm, ok, you’re crazy!

  9. this sweater is hideous.

  10. Nice print, but that cut/neckline is just not flattering.

  11. That is downright geriatric. And I agree, the shoes posted here are heinous 99% of the time. I read the blog for the dresses and suits. Not the shoes.

  12. I like how diplomatic mkm was in her post.

  13. I’m 27 and I would wear it. But I’d pair it with things to make it look younger. I adore old lady paisley turned young and fresh. That’s what fashion is all about!

  14. I think I like the sweater, but the styling is horrible. Where are the styling suggestions?! I love the suggestions about how to wear the different pieces you post here. But, I do have to agree about the shoes.

  15. My first reaction to this was – AWFUL. That said, I think it could be saved. I like pairing “traditional” or “mature” clothes, with contrasting or modern accessories. So with this I’d wear a wide belt with a “rock” or modern feel, something along these lines:
    Or something like this (though I’d prefer all leather):
    I think the contrasting styles would make the look interesting and save this sweater, which on its own, remains awful IMO.

  16. I could like the sweater. Depends how it was worn. I think the problem is all these photos from dept. stores. More web-friendly sites have images of clothes without people in them…

  17. I like the sweater. I think it would look great with a crisp, white blouse underneath and a leather belt around the waist. I do agree that the picture is odd.

  18. Styling suggestions – what about over a rich plum dress, belted atop it? Or black dress with plum shoes?

    Let’s all remember the old adage:

    You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

    Lighten up on the comments, we’re all capable women and pick and choose from what’s offered. Here’s kudos to Corporette for providing the forum and time spent sussing out items.

  19. Granny! Hate it!

  20. Delta Sierra :

    My theory: it’s getting really hard to find nice clothes without spending a bundle. C is doing a noble job of trying to keep the prices down on the selections, and is running up against the fact that clothing prices are rising. Let’s face it, people, a $200 skirt just ain’t what it used to be. In fact, a $200 skirt is now a $300 skirt.

  21. I am generally a fan of the printed cardigan, but the cut on this one seems off, too large and boxy. In my experience, the closer fitting, the better. JCrew usually has some fun printed cardigans each season (I have a couple from years past), and Tory Burch has some great ones, though they seem over priced to me. Nice quality, but I wait for the sales. I just can’t justify $300 on a non-cashmere sweater.

    I agree with the earlier poster who suggested that even with its boxy cut, this could be saved by a chic wide belt over a shift dress.

  22. anonymous :

    I love the colors and the fitted sleeves. I never look at the models, but try to imagine the clothes on me as I would wear them. I can find something pleasing in almost everything Corporette suggests, and I need all of the help I can get narrowing down the wide range of options available. Corporette also inspires me to wear things that I would not think of myself, and helps prevent the fashion blahs caused by wearing the same outfits over and over again. Besides, Corporette is just plain fun. Thanks Corporette!

  23. Paisley has never been mine thing, but I think the demented model is just making it worse. How can Lord & Taylor/Nordstrom’s/etc. do such a bad job with their pictures? It always amazes me.

    Also, seriously people, we can’t all agree on stuff and its fun to read the debate about the clothes in the comments to a point–I don’t think we all have to blindly agree Corporette–but it all you are going to do is come on here and say “everything on this site is awful” … please don’t waste your time.

  24. housecounsel :

    I was about to say “total Grandma,” but Pam’s and dr’s styling ideas above made me think that there might be a bit of potential here.

    Don’t trash Corporette. We can all find boring gray suits and black pumps without help. I rely on Corporette to suggest DIFFERENT that are still appropriate. I don’t need or expect to like everything.

  25. Suggestion for C or anyone else with good styling ideas for TPS Report pieces: go to Polyvore and style the outfit then post how you would wear it! General ideas and links to accessories are nice, but seeing it all together can be a big help too.

  26. defending Amy :

    OK, I absolutely love this site so this comment is not intended as any form of criticism of Corporette and or her style choices. But seriously, guys, I don’t think Amy’s comment was particularly offensive–actually I thought it was kind of funny. Some people need to lighten up! We obviously don’t want this site to devolve into an above the law comment thread, but I also don’t think we need to sugarcoat every single comment.

    As for the comments making it seem audacious to express dislike without suggesting an alternative: I know I personally read this page daily for the very reason that I don’t know how/where to find work-appropriate fashion. If I didn’t like the shoes, or the suits, or whatever, it certainly wouldn’t be because I had something better in mind. I really don’t think it’s hypocritical for us readers–who do not profess to be experts about fashion–to have a reaction to a particular item and yet not have a suggestion as to how to do it better.

    Anyway, all I’m saying is I like reading the comments because people do disagree. If someone has a strong opinion–positive, negative, or negative to the point that it evokes a blunt response :) –I want to know before I go purchase. It’s not that helpful to us fashionably-challenged to just read comments from the “yes-men.”

    • Yeah, not everyone has to agree, but there is a way to communicate disagreement without the straight up bitchy comment. It may be the sort of thing a friend may be able to say to a friend…but people here don’t actually know each other, so you just come across as catty when you make a comment like Amy did.

      But realistically, as this blog gets more popular, C will have to put up with the anonymous haters. That’s the way this goes, I guess.

      • defending Amy :

        Nobody got upset at all the comments directed at the model–“demented”; “eat your brains”; etc. That seems quite a bit worse to me. Just saying. I’m done now. :)

  27. dr — Fantastic suggestion on how to wear the cardigan. Your post is a great example of how this site works really well.

  28. I have a strong aversion to paisley so I would not wear this cardigan. But I love purple, cardigans and patterns so I can see it looking nice on someone. I think it would look better on a blond/fair complexion.

    Just curious what you all think of this sweater from Ann Taylor:

    Pretty or too frumpy for a 25 year old? I try to avoid bows normally – does that extra material look like a bow?