Thursday’s TPS Report: Phoebe Lace Print Cardigan

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

Banana Republic Phoebe lace print cardiganThis strikes me as a great follow up to our discussion last week about lace at the office, because I love the look of this lace-print cardigan from Banana Republic, currently on sale. It’s a simple, classic shape, and can really be worn year-round if temperature permits. I do wish it were silk rather than cotton, but ah well. It was $79.50, now marked to $49.99 — all sizes still available in regular and petites, but only XS available in tall. Banana Republic Phoebe lace print cardigan

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.



  1. What is WITH the birth control glasses? Worst. trend. ever.

    (OK, not as bad as sheer rompers. But still.)

    • Birth control glasses? lol Rompers are only ok as a beach cover up, but I still wouldn’t buy one.

      • You guys beat me to it. The glasses are AWFUL.

        • I like the glasses! Maybe not this exact pair, but similar ones, for sure.

          Also like the cardigan. My only issue is that it’s BR and lately everything similar that I have gotten there starts to pill after one wearing.

          • Oh man, here too! I have been avoiding buying things there because of the horrible pilling factor.

          • AnonInfinity :

            I like the glasses too! I wish that style looked good on me, but I think my eyes are too small or something. They make me look like a weirdo and not a cool weirdo.

          • Yeah, these glasses are a lot like mine! Maybe if I wore them every day I wouldn’t need a backup method? :P

          • Seconded.

            Is it me, or do cotton sweaters in general pill more quickly (as in the first wearing) as compared to those of silk, lycra, rayon…etc.? I also find that the cotton ones (even w/Woolite or Downy) come out stiffer from the wash (without using the dryer).

          • I think chunky, intentionally uncool (therefore cool) eyeglasses only work if you are under 35 and otherwise attractive. Rompers, by contrast, look stupid and terrible on everyone.

          • Same here with the BR sweaters pilling. Just bought a great yellow long cashmere cardigan from there, which I love except for the pilling. That means that they are using the shorter, cheaper fibers, right? I think I read that once in an article about difference cashmere qualities.

        • Those glasses scream “i’m a hipster who lives on my mommy and daddy’s yuppy money but I’m cool.” Uggh. everytime I see them I just think of some spoiled brat living in Williamsburg who thinks they’re hardcore cause they are in Brooklyn. It’s soo pathetic it’s laughable.

        • I agree. How true is it that “men never make passes at girls who wear THESE glasses”….. Of course, once they take these ugly glasses off, men would be all over us!

    • Hilarious blog that frequently references birth control glasses:

      • I LOVE that blog. But I think the term “birth control glasses” originated with the Army.

        • lostintranslation :

          A friend at the Naval Academy had to wear horrible standard issue glasses during the summer before they started classes and called them “birth control glasses” too.

          As someone with really bad eyesight, trendy types with thick glasses really rub me the wrong way, because they seem like the same kind of people who picked on the kids wearing un-optional thick glasses in grade school (moi). Especially if I see them from a distance on the sidewalk and realize from close up that the frames don’t even have lenses in them!!!

          • found a peanut :

            I think if you ever met someone who was wearing these glasses ironically, they are exactly the people who were picked on in elementary school. Or maybe I just only know people who were the pickees, never the pickers…

          • i wear these glasses about half the time (contacts the other half) but would like to point out that i’ve been blind as a bat and wearing glasses since the age of 4:

          • @zelda: thanks for the link! I’ve been looking for something similar to that for a while….yay!

          • I was picked on as a child for my glasses (oh they were so horrible), yet it has not stopped me from wearing these BCGs today (I usually wear contacts now):

          • @k – i’m glad! they are pretty large so you should try them on in person if possible. i favor larger glasses because my vision is so bad that w/ smaller frames i have no peripheral vision – but they do look sort of dramatic on.

          • “Birth Control Glasses” is definitely a military thing. Army standard issue glasses in the 80s and 90s were these godawful translucent brown things. The official name was “Tactical Eye Devices” (TEDs, which is funny in itself) but everybody called them BCGs.

          • @found a peanut I respectfully disagree.. the people I see wearing them are part of the most judgmental group.. maybe they were the pickees but now they have become these self important, obnoxious, pretentious people that pick on “regular” people. different than the jocks/head cheerleaders in looks, but same in attitude

      • Another blog that features these glasses a lot :)

    • Original Lola :

      I think it’s a hipster “ugly chic” thing. I saw this trend described as “I’m so beautiful that even with the ugliest possible glasses/shoes/bag/whatever, I’m still more beautiful than you.”

      • Yeah its a hipster thing. I think of it as “oh you corporate drone, you wouldn’t even understand how cool these glasses are since I am doing it ironically” even though every single hipster has them!!!

    • Ha-BCGs….that’s what we called it in the Air Force. Exactly! Anything super ugly that would drive the guys away is “birth control…x” And of course, reverse for the guys. But especially for the guys, the look is not complete without the birth control watch- a huge nerdy one with a calculator on it or something. Sorry…you just made me laugh.

  2. Very cute. I love print cardigans, and have 3 in different prints that I occasionally wear to work on non-court days. They are much cooler than jackets in the spring/summer. Thinking about getting this one, but I already have a black and cream print cardigan that I’m actually wearing today.

    • I just received this for a birthday gift! I didn’t have any print cardigans, but I like this one. I’m worried about the pilling factor, but it looks better quality than those weird-seamed cardigans BR was putting out for a while.

      Any styling suggestions for prints? Would this look weird under a suit?

      • I’d wear it with a pair of black slacks or a pencil skirt, buttoned up over a cami (or jsut about any color) with a skinny belt, also just about any color, and maybe a short strand of pearls.

      • I usually wear mine with black pants or pencil skirt, and skinny black belt. I think you could wear it layered under a suit, maybe with the top couple of buttons undone and a camisole? More of a casual look.

  3. Does anyone know a good jewelry repair shop in NYC? I broke a gold chain on one of my necklaces yesterday, and I’m really hoping I can get it fixed (though it’s made up of teeny tiny links, so I’m a little doubtful. But they had to make it somehow in the first place, right, so maybe it’s fixable?)

    • Any jewelry store should be able to fix it. However, before they fix it, show them what the pendant you’ve been wearing on it looks like. It may be that the pendant is too heavy for the chain, and you need a stronger chain.

    • Second this request! Want to restring a pearl necklace into a bracelet.

    • somewherecold :

      I got one necklace fixed and one shortened at the Jewel Boutique (I think this is the name). It’s on Broadway a few blocks up from the 96th street stop on the east side of the street. I thought they did a good job, but I agree with Eponine that most stores should be able to do it, I picked that store because it was around where I was living at the time.

      • Anon for This :

        We must have been neighbors. That’s the place next to Hunan Balcony, right? I wondered if they were good since I need a set of pearls restrung.

    • Royal Jewel
      32 west 48th st.
      212 997 1571

      Highly recommended.

    • Rissin’s Jewelry Clinic at 10 w. 47th St., ste 902 in the Diamond District. A husband-and-wife team in a tiny shoebox office who have been working together for decades. He does the repairs, her specialty is restringing pearls. I took about 10 different pieces that all had different issues to them a couple years ago and the grand total for a perfect job on everything was very reasonable. Highly recommend, and one of those businesses that is VERY quintessential NYC.

    • thanks, all!

    • Original Lola :

      Would a jeweler be able to fix a necklace that was hung on a string? I had one that broke last night and I am heartbroken. It was really cheap, from JC Penney, but I absolutely loved it, and it matched every single outfit, and I wore it probably twice a week. It’s one long string (turns out on thread), and small-ish beads. I haven’t found anything like it.

      • Yes. They just re-string and put a new clasp on. I get this done all the time.

        • Original Lola :

          Really!? This is fantastic news. How much would it cost?

          • It’ll vary depending on the material (cord, silk, leather, etc.) but you shouldn’t pay more than $10 for a simple re-stringing, or $20-30 to re-string knotted pearls.

            I say this as someone who does this as a side job (and because I know what’s involved and therefore what it should cost, not because I’m shilling.)

      • You could fix it yourself at one of those stores that sells beads and other stuff for making jewelry – either a specialized store, or a craft store like Joanne’s.

    • It’s definitely fixable, although the precise fix depends on a number of things. Depending on the link size and the metal involved, any jeweler will be able to cut and solder the chain. If it’s a precious metal, try to get it soldered rather than replaced–silver, gold, and platinum prices are sky high these days.

      Another option is to replace the chain, which is also very easy to do. I suggest you do some homework in advance so you don’t overpay for replacement chain, if it comes to that.

      • Yea, I looked at replacement chain prices, and they all seemed super high (it’s gold), so I’m really hoping it can be fixed. It’s a really tiny delicate chain, though, and I’m nervous I’m just going to break it again (I was pulling a hoodie off and caught the chain with my hand–this wasn’t a massive amount of force), so maybe I should look into something more substantial…

        • You should be able to get very nice filled gold or vermeil chain in the $20-30 range for 18 inches. Filled and vermeil are, basically, cousins of plated gold; they all involve gold being layered over base metal (or sterling silver, in the case of vermeil) but the processes differ, and there’s more gold in filled or vermeil than plated.

          A very fine (1-2 mm link) solid 14k gold chain will probably set you back at least $100. Delicate chains are almost always machine made (you could do it by hand, but it’s very labor-intensive) but I think any jeweler with the right equipment could repair a break (or even add an embellishment, depending on the design and location of the break). You’ve gotten some good recommendations above, and I’m sure you’ll luck out eventually. I would offer to do it for you if I were still in NY full time, but I’m sure you’ll find someone locally.

  4. This is cute, but I find that I just don’t purchase print cardigans; I’m not sure why. A vesigal commitment to the 1980’s-edition Preppy Handbook? But I’m glad we’re talking about lace again. I had been (silently) opposed to the idea of lace at the office, but yesterday I saw a judge – not in robes – wearing an olive-green lace skirt with a black liner and it looked fantastic: feminine and current and interesting without being lingerie-like in the slightest. I want one! Has anyone seen that in the stores?

    • I think Talbots had a skirt like that. Agree that it was gorgeous. Unfortunately, they don’t have it online anymore, and their stores seem to rotate inventory pretty quickly. I think it’s from the past fall season.

      • Yes – it was navy w/green lining and a black w/grey lining. Lovely. The also had one with a larger, more textural black-on-black. You might try their outlet/clearance stores. I have both and love them.

        • @bizzy: also look at ebay — there are a lot of sellers who deal in recent talbots merchandise.

          • Thanks, K, thanks Shrink and AIMS, too! Bummer about the skirt, but I will hunt on ebay and elsewhere.

  5. Does anyone have experience with suits from Talbots, particularly in petite sizing? I’m wondering about the quality/fit/etc. I’m considering getting this in gray:

    • FWIW, Talbots is having a sale today only – 30% off select full-priced merchandise valid online only between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM your time 4/7/11 in all U.S. time zones. Use promo code APRIL at checkout.

      I’ve only purchased one jacket from them – which was a petite – and I’m happy with it. It’s one of a few stores that carries a petite line so I’d say go for it.

    • I have a suit in Talbots seasonless wool (although mine was the exact opposite, “tall” sized). The jacket was true to size for me and the quality is wonderful. It’s my favorite classic “court suit.”

      Like AL noted, they’re always running a sale on something, so never buy pieces full priced there.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Are the suit pants lined?

        • I only have skirt suits from them, but I don’t think any of their pants are lined.

        • No. Used to be, but not anymore.

          I have this suit, and it’s one of my favorites. The jacket is very flattering, and the fabric is great. The construction of the pants is crap though. The last three pairs of Talbots pants I’ve bought have fallen apart at a seam within 3 wears. After I sew them back together myself (probably badly–I’m NOT a seamstress), they are fine. So, it’s clearly a construction issue. It’s to the point that, although I used to buy all my suits there, I don’t buy pants from them anymore. It’s quite ridiculous for $100+ pants to fall apart.

    • I’ve bought several suiting items at Talbots, though not in that fabric. I’m very pleased with the quality (have owned for over two years through many wears and at least a few dry cleanings, still looks pretty new) and the sizing is true to size (though I’m too fatty for my talbots pants right now…le sigh).

      Just do me a favor…if you get that jacket, do not wear it with the color popped and the sleeves pushed up! Please and thank you. ;-)

      • Seattleite :

        Or with sandals that have lucite heels.

        • Someone who was sworn in at the same time as me last month was wearing a suit with black pumps and clear lucite heels.

      • I’m really tired of seeing suit jackets with the sleeves pushed up on all the stores’ websites. Does anyone really wear them that way? Looks silly.

    • I am 5’2” and the petite suit pants fit me without hemming (wearing with 2-3 inch heels). Talbots is one fo the few places where I can usually find pants that don’t need hemming. HOWEVER, I did once have an issue with one of their suits, in navy. It was wool but also had a small amount of spandex in it, and after a few dry cleanings, little pieces of the spandex, which was white, started to peek out. So every time I wanted to wear it, I would have to pick a bunch of these tiny white strands out of the fabric before putting it on. I’m sure it wasn’t that noticeable to others, but it really drove me nuts. I do have a dark brown suit from there now that does not seem to have the same issue.

    • North Shore :

      I’m also 5’2″ and buy a lot at Talbots because the petite sizing fits me well. I usually wear a 6 petite in jackets at other stores, but 4 petite at Talbots. Sign up for their mailing list or check around on the Internet for coupons and sales. I was looking at their trouser jeans last week and wanted to try them on; at the store they found my size in the basement for half off the price that was on the Internet. Not sure what’s up with that, but I guess stores and the Internet may have different sales going on.

  6. H&M related threadjack: While wandering around midtown waiting for my train, I went to H&M and was stunned by their Glamour collection. They have gorgeous maxi dresses – sleeveless, short sleeves, long sleeved, strapless, etc. I also saw 100% silk blouses that were really nice. I was actually considering dropping $70 on something from H&M! I still might, trying to convince myself not to but there’s this full-sleeved orange dress that I can’t stop thinking of…..

    I always thought I didn’t like the store, but thinking back on how much I love the sheath dresses I got from there and considering these maxi dresses, I may have to revisit my opinion. Something that I also really like is that they’ve been using the same fabric for a variety of clothes: shorts, pants, tanks, shirts/blouses, dresses that short, long, with a variety of sleeves. You always look at something and wish it was shorter/longer/sleeved/sleeveless/etc and H&M really is catering to that with their printed clothing. You can even make up your own American salwar kameez if you wanted to, lol.

    • Ru, thank you for this! I’m looking for a sleeved maxi dress (not easy!) and will now be checking out H&M after work!

    • I find that H&M really varies store to store. For instance, I love the one on 5th and 51st in NY, but I went into one at a mall on Long Island and I couldn’t find so much as a tee-shirt that didn’t feel/look terrible. Same with their store on East 86th — I went in there a few times and always came out unimpressed, then stumbled into one in Soho and left with a shopping bag full of stuff. Weird!

      • I agree, the 51st and 5th store is great. I also love the store on 34th and 6th/Bway, near VS, while the one on 34th and 7th is awful, terrible, no good and very bad.

    • Ru, how is an Indian salwar kameez differ from an American one? I just returned from India and the latest trend is wearing a kurti top with tight leggings. It’s a cute look.

      • I meant creating a “salwar kameez” out of American clothing – buying ready-made pants and dresses of the same fabric that aren’t intended to be worn together.

    • Original Lola :

      H&M really stands for “hit & miss” for me. I have a few good quality pieces from there that I’ve gotten over the years, but you really have to wade through a bunch of clothing meant for high schoolers (in my opinion) to get to the business stuff.

      The Seattle store has some good business clothing, but it’s in a room in the back of the store. (Or it did, last time I was in there.)

  7. Someone wrote an earlier request for info on powders with SPF. I don’t have a recommendation, but just wanted to caution that I remember reading something from Paula Begoun’s book that a powder with SPF was more marketing hype than anything else. She said that the amount of powder you actually have to wear to get the adequate amount of SPF was a TON, and no one in their right mind would actually wear that much powder. You’re probably better off wearing a moisturizer with a higher amount of SPF.

    • That makes sense. I fell for the marketing gimmick, and am very happy with my Origins mineral powder, which has SPF. If anyone still wants a recommendation, there’s one. But yeah, I also wear moisturizer with SPF and that’s probably where my real protection is coming from.

    • Along the same lines, my dermatologist said that one generally doesn’t even wear enough liquid or creme foundation (unless ones slops it on) to make the SPF count, so it’s best to wear an actual sunscreen underneath or use an SPF moisturizer. I was somewhat surprised so thought I should share.

    • Original Lola :

      That’s what I’ve heard from my derm, too. Powder SPF really seems like it would be ineffective to me.

      • Although I had a philosophy powder with zinc and it kept from getting burnt while surfing better than anything liquid based… :)

  8. NYC/Philly? :

    Threadjack: what are your thoughts on living in NYC and working in Philly, if I won’t have to be there in person every day? I could probably do 3-4 days a week, and taper off to less after a few months. I’m getting conflicting opinions from friends. Interested in comments on the time and cost of commuting. I would not be driving. TIA!

    • I don’t have experience doing so, but it’s fairly easy if you’re taking Amtrak from Penn Station to 30th Street Station in Philly. I think the Acela is only an hour, and the regular Amtrak train is an hour and change. I would not recommend taking NJ transit (as in, to Trenton, then Septa to 30th St. Station).

      Aside from the train expense, the only annoying part that I can think of is that 30th Street Station is kind of far from a lot of businesses, so you may need to take a cab to/from the office depending on the location of your job.

      But, realistically, I think it’s doable. It’s no further than some people who live the NYC-suburbs commute into NYC. It’s really only 1-1.5 hours, max.

      • Have you checked the acela timetables in detail? They don’t run very late into the evening, maybe 7:30 at the latest? If you expect to have to work late hours, or even want to have cocktails/dinner with co-workers it would be annoying to have to take the local train because you missed the last express.
        Also know that the acela trains share the tracks with the NJ transit trains and can (and do) get slowed down by accidents/issues with those lines. When the commute works, its about 1-1.5 hours, but the train lines were horrible this past winter and can have serious weather related delays.
        You might want to look into the cost of a car/car rentals for those days when the train systems aren’t being cooperative.

    • That sonds BRUTAL. I grew up in a suburb of Philly and live in NYC now. I do the commute for holidays. I dont think people realize how an 1.5 hours on a train is an awful commute. You have to wait for the train if you get there at later hours (I’m a lawyer so getting stuck at the office until 9pm and then missing a train/having to wait for the next train 45 minutes later is not uncommon for me); get to the train ( unless you live a block from Penn, that’ll involve subway or bus); pay for the train (train is long if you dont take an express, expensive if you do); why live in NYC which is WAY more expensive than Philly if you can live and work in Philly??

      To me it sounds ridiculous. But best of luck to those who do it.

    • Honestly, I think it would be difficult. I live in NYC and love it, but it is not the easiest city to get around in, so you also have to factor in the time/stress of getting to Penn Station before/after taking Amtrak or NJ Transit and I think the whole thing would be pretty exhausting.

      • I agree. I live in Philly and the area around 30th street station is very congested during rush hour, so you may waste time (upward of 20 minutes) in a cab getting out and into the station. And while the Acela is fast, it is also VERY expensive. Unless your company is willing to pay for your transportation, I’m not sure I would do this commute.

    • Amtrak is probably the only way to go. NJ Transit/Septa from 30th St to Penn Station is over 2-2 1/2 hours. Driving is about 2, depending on traffic. Megabus/Boltbus are 2hrs on the dot or sometimes 10 minutes earlier.

      That’s a rough commute but you could probably do it for a short period of time. How far are you from the stations?

      It’s a shame you’re not doing NYC salary on Philly cost of living :)

      • NYC/Philly? :

        My office is 5-6 blocks from the station in Philly, but my home is in Brooklyn. Not ideal, sounds like. Thanks for all the responses so far, and I’d still welcome more.

        • I live in New York now but went to grad school in Philly. Some of my fellow classmates did the commute because their SO’s lived in NY, so they just came in for 3-4 days of class, or sometimes crashed with friends for a night or two. It’s definitely doable (NYC-Philly is an hour or so depending on the train, and you’re aware of how long it takes from Brooklyn to Penn) but it can get EXPENSIVE. Acela tickets are over $100 each but there are regional rails for $45 and only an extra 15 minutes or so (10% off for AAA members!). I’m not sure about monthly tickets or anything. Maybe a pied a tierre might be an option for you? Look at the math for only making 1 round trip a week with a studio apartment or something, instead of the extra however many train rides (if you are thinking Acela it will add up fast). NJ Transit to Septa is also an option (which I’ve done in my frugal grad student days) but it’s a lot longer, with transfers, and no bathroom – for the just in case. And you couldn’t pay me enough to sit in traffic on that route in rush hour multiple times a week in terms of buses/cars.

          Bottom line – doable time wise but expensive. Depends on how good the job/opportunity is and if it’s worth it to you. Good luck!!

          • NYC/Philly? :

            Thanks, r! I’m definitely taking the gig, the question is just whether to get a place in Philly, apart from DH, and go back for long weekends, rather than commute. Sounds like I should probably suck it up and get a place.

          • If you end up in Philly, I have a good friend who’s significant other lives in Philly and she’s in NYC–they visit every single weekend, and alternate who goes where. (I think they just use BoltBus) So while certainly not ideal, it’s an option.

          • Plus – if you’re used to NYC prices, you’d be really surprised how far even 1000 can go in Philly (one year I lived in a doorman building with a gym and everything, 1100 for a decent sized studio, utilities and tv and everything included!)

    • I personally would not do this commute, even if it wasn’t 5 days a week. My significant other used to commute to Baltimore via Amtrak from Philadelphia (about 4 years ago), and the monthly ticket was over a thousand dollars. Beyond the prohibitive expense of the train, the trains were constantly late or delayed, and he couldn’t handle the stress of spending four hours a day commuting. You might find (like we did) that you would have to wake up so early in the morning, and arrive home so late, that you wouldn’t see much of your husband anyway during the week. In Philadelphia, it’s really easy and relatively inexpensive (at least compared to NY) to live downtown (within walking distance of 30th Street or a short subway ride away), so I would recommend giving it a try, even if it is only for a short while!

    • NE Corridor Junkie :

      Absolutely not. This is not feasible. It’s about 70-90 minutes on the NJ transit from Trenton (farthest down you can go) to NYC. Into 30th street adds another 20-30 minutes, if the trains are on time. On Amtrak, it will be about 1.5-2 hours, even on the Acela, IF the trains are running on time. I commute more or less every weekend between DC and Philly and a) it’s expensive as H*LL (it’s about $600 for 5 round trips, and there is an awkward time limit), b) it’s unreliable (so many Amtraks get so easily delayed/canceled/rerouted, so just because a train is scheduled doesn’t mean you or it will leave on time), and c) I’ve done 2-2.5 hour commutes and they are horrific. That’s FIVE hours of your day commuting. Do you know how much of a time waster that is? And honestly, with all the expensive tickets/eating out from being delayed/last minute changes to tickets/etc., it might actually be cheaper for you to live in Philly. For us, it’s actually cheaper for me to rent down in DC, commute in DC, etc. etc., than an Amtrak monthly unlimited pass (not kidding). Don’t take this decision lightly. It’s not easy and it’s not worth it.

    • My mom used to do the commute the other direction (Philly to NY) and she found it pretty brutal – but this was before Acela. I was recently home in Philly and we did a day trip to NY. It was easily doable, but I can’t imagine doing it on a daily basis.

      • Anon because... :

        …DH and I did this for 2 years and it nearly led to divorce.

        It is tough tough tough on a marriage.

        And then getting used to having your own space for 4 out of 7 nights, it is tough to go back.

  9. somewherecold :

    I have a BB threadjack prompted by yesterday’s suit post. Do Brooks Brothers outlets have the same quality items as regular BBs, or are they not as well made? Last time I was at the outlet, I tried on a sheath dress that didn’t fit well, so I was wondering if I might do better at BB, or if the stuff is pretty similar.

    • The BB women’s outlet tends to have both reg. past season BB stuff and their special outlet only line. The outlet only line is called 346. It’s clearly marked on the labels.

      I have gotten great “real” stuff there, which makes it worth the trip for me. As concerns the outlet line, it’s hit or miss, in my experience. I got 2 great pairs of 346 pants — 100% wool, wore well, only issue is the lining tore pretty easily on both. This seems to be a common problem with their outlet lines for both men & women — lining and small details like that are not as high quality as the reg line.

      Sizing can also be a tad inconsistent. I also bought a pair of heels, and the heel broke off on one shoe — but this was after about 6 months, and after I literally trapped it in a sidewalk grate. I was disappointed but I am not sure if I wasn’t also responsible. The leather quality was very nice, and they were as comfy as reg. BB heels. They were also $60 so I felt okay about the heel thing.

      One piece of advice: only go to a stand alone women’s BB store. The ones that share space with mens usually have a very limited selection and it’s mostly outlet line only.

    • I got a fab BB trench from the outlet at Franklin Mills (PA) last summer for $50. I saw mostly the regular line there.

    • The outlets are hit or miss but I usually find something great. I bought a tweed skirt suit recently at the outlet (not 346) for about $130.

    • somewherecold :

      Thanks for these responses! That’s really helpful to know about the 346 line.

    • BB 346, I think, is just as good quality as the regular line. I have gotten some great suits, lined separates, and silk blouses for amazingly reduced prices. My last great find was a burnt-umber, 100% silk, floaty mock-neck blouse. It’s beautiful. I cost $19. I can’t even get a cruddy jersey top at Old Navy for that.

  10. so i’ve been seeing the commercials for the olay under eye brush thing for dark circles – has anyone used it? i have epic dark circles and literally nothing works.

    if the olay thing is terrible, does anyone else have suggestions?

    • i will add to my question that i’m not entirely sure what it is. concealer? magic cocktail to make circles just go away? no idea.

    • Ooooh, I haven’t seen the commercials, but I’m def. interested in this topic. Signed,

      – Dark Circles From Birth

      • I used to hate my dark circles, and feel like nothing worked on them. Now they are in check. FWIW, here are all the things I use–I don’t dare to mess with any part of my routine, but I also don’t know which is working, or in what kind of combination with the others!

        –Nude-tone shimmer both above my eyes (below brow) and below my eyes. I use “halo effect” from Origins right now, but a lot of products work fine. The concept is more to reflect light than to cover anything up.
        –Powder over the shimmer, under eye but not over eye.
        –Aveda Green Science eye cream, morning and night.
        –Various heavier-weight moisturizers, all over face.
        –Drinking coffee. Seriously, when I started, the situation improved. I have one shot of espresso every day. I know some eye products have caffeine in them, so that might be a better way to go (or another option if you’re already coffee drinkers).

        • Original Lola :

          Origins has a line right now that’s got a lot of caffeine in it.

          • I am a big fan. It’s called eye-zing or something like that. Orange jar. Caffeine & ginseng. It makes a difference. I use it in the a.m., and if I put on concealer, I dab a bit on top for a nice finish — the light reflecting particles in it make the concealer look brighter/more natural.

      • Speaking as another hereditary dark undereye sufferer (my MIL always told me I looked tired and my standard line was that her son was keeping me up too late at night), I’ve used RoC Multi-Corexxion Eye Treatment with some improvement. But I rely on Dermablend Cover Creme and setting powder (yes, it’s the stuff people use to cover birthmarks). At 50, I’m not wild about using powder under my eyes, but it is preferable to looking like I’ve been punched out.

    • Have you tried Bobbi Brown’s correcter and concealer? I wouldn’t call my dark circles “epic” but the BB stuff really does the trick. For caucasian women, the correcter is a pinker tone to counteract the blueishness of dark circles and then you layer a more yellowish concealer on top and a little bit of powder in the color of the concealer. When looking close in the mirror I can still see wrinkles under there (which I’m too young for, gosh darn it!) but the color looks very natural.

  11. HipsterChic? :

    I can’t focus on the cardigan because those glasses are HORRIBLE.

    I understand that substaintial frames are ‘in’ now, but at least try to find some that look good on the model?

    • They scream trust fund kid living off his parents dime without a job in Williamsburg. For the life of me why would you want to associate with that group of people? The yuppies who think they aren’t yuppies are the worst.

  12. Sale alert: Lands End has a Friends and Family sale starting today through Monday – 30% off EVERYTHING plus free shipping. Some great deals…..
    Promo code RETAIL30, PIN 8915.

    • Does it work on Canvas?

    • I just chatted with customer service, and they said it does not apply to Canvas. I think the free shipping still works though.

      • Free shipping for Canvas only works if you also order stuff from the standard LE line (I learned the hard way…)

        • I ordered from both the standard line and canvas and my order was combined – I received both free shipping and 30% off. Plenty of t-shirts for under $5 in the regular LE line, order one of those and I’d assume you’re good to go with canvas as well!

          • OK – sorry. Did not read the fine print on my postcard. It DOES exclude Canvas – so sorry to mislead. But your shipping will be free if you order something from the regular LE line because orders are combined.

    • Thanks! Now have $400 in my shopping basket. . . but some of it is in multiple sizes so it will be returned! (she said defensively).

  13. quick poll from the hive: we’re having a debate in my office about when it’s appropriate to wear white pants. I think after memorial day, the others say easter. what do you all think?

    • Red sox better win this time :

      Likely regional. Whenever it gets warm enough! In the south (florida, hawaii, LA) probably year-round.

      I don’t wear white until it is quite warm out *and* dry, so that the pants wouldn’t get dirty/wet, usually May around here.

      • Anony non :

        A similar question- I have a pale lavender skirt suit that I was going to wear (in Chicago) for an internal meeting next week with a black silk shell and black tights. I was hoping the black would help it straddle the awkward is it/isn’t it spring yet weather we’re having. Any thoughts? Should I stick to a black skirt suit instead?

        • Anonymous :

          i think the color is ok, even here in chicago, but the black tights with pale lavender is a bit awkward. maybe nude stockings would work better

        • Or gray tights, perhaps?

          • grey with lavender might be too “eastery” if the grey is light – but i think a lightly patterned black or dark gray tight would look great!

    • It’s regional. I’d say whenever the weather is consistently sunny and over 75 degrees or so.

    • easter

    • I think it’s more about the weather than anything else. I think in Florida now it’s totally fine to be wearing white or other summer items (seersucker).

    • I’ve never been on for rules like that, so I say it’s based on weather- I’d say it’s appropriate when it’s appropriate to wear sandels and short sleeves outside.

    • I think the rules change by region, but I think it’s related to the temperature. Back home in the South, I always heard easter, but that’s probably because by easter (even when it’s early), it’s already 80 degrees. Up north, I’d say memorial day, by which point it still won’t be 80 degrees here. (Speaking of, what is with this winter? It will. not. let. go. The complete lack of spring-like weather is killing me).

      • Me too! Spring is usually my favorite time of year. I moved from Virginia to NY last year, so the regional change plus this god-awful never-ending cold is driving me to distraction. When oh when can I break out the spring clothes?

        At this rate, it had better be summer until at least Thanksgiving, or I will not be happy.

        I second wearing white as soon as it’s warm, rather than adhering to some arbitrary date.

        • Oh that’s the worst part–it’s not how cold it gets up here, but how ungodly long it stays cold! It starts getting cold in October and stays that way until like mid-to-late May (Though I recognize my definition of “cold” is severely skewed from growing up in a place where it only snowed once every seven years). In an effort to get me to move back closer to home, my dad likes to call me every couple of days and go “It’s 75 and sunny down here. I think I may have to break out the shorts and sunscreen–how’s the weather up there?” This winter has seemed particularly long, though. Maybe it was the unusually large amounts of snow.

        • It’s cold in VA lately too (at least in NoVA).

    • This very topic was addressed at a luncheon I attended here in Texas yesterday. The personal shopper/style consultant speaker said white pants and dresses (including eyelet) are fine to wear before Easter, but white shoes should be reserved for after Easter/before Labor Day. Of course, it’s 80 degrees and sunny here today, so that may make a difference.

    • I wore cream colored pants about 3 weeks ago because we had an unusually warm day. I saw some co-workers wearing them in mid-winter with jewel-toned tops. I don’t think there is a rule- so long as you dress them in accordance with the season, I don’t think it matters when you wear them.

      • Well, there is a difference between winter white (which tends to be creamier) and white for the summer, which tends to be brighter/crisper.

  14. Seattleite :

    I’d go with weather more than dates. Date-oriented clothing rules always make me cringe; I remember the stories of 19th-century missionaries sewing themselves into long johns from October to April. In the Southern hemisphere.

    • Yeah, and in Seattle, where I’m often in wool socks in June, dates meant for milder climates definitely don’t provide much guidance…

      • Yeah, people are still wearing velvet blazers at night and it doesn’t really look funny.

        • I cracked and started wearing my spring clothes – I’ve even gone tights-less – because I just can’t handle my winter wardrobe of black/grey skirts & dresses and black/grey tights for another month.

          That said, I’m getting awesome deals from sales on “winter” running clothes that I’ll still be able to wear for 2-3 months…

      • I’m just praying that Portland’s summer starts sometime earlier than July 15 this year…last year was almost unbearable.

        • cubedweller :

          Hi ‘j’ – I’m moving to Portland this summer from the East Coast. Would love to hear your feedback on what constitutes appropriate business attire in Portland. My friend there says that no one wears suits, which makes me kind of sad since it’s so easy for me to throw one on in the morning.

  15. Anon in Canada :

    I’ve been reading the great advice from Kat and the Corporette hive for a while but this is my first post.

    I’m travelling to Washington, D.C. for four days next week (first trip there!)and I was hoping to do some maternity clothes shopping while I’m there (first pregnancy so I have nothing yet). My small east coast Canadian city only has only maternity clothes shop so I’m really looking to build the fundamentals of a maternity wardrobe for a business casual govt law office. Any and all advice on where to shop would be greatly appreciated. I’m hoping to get one black pant suit and one grey pant suit but beyond that, mostly business casual. I would also be open to maternity consignment shops – if such places exist. If it makes a difference in terms of fit for different brand recommendations- I’m 5’10” and about 150lbs (at 3 mths preg.). Thanks in advance.

    • Tysons Corner is a huge mall in Virginia. I know they have 1 maternity store, but they have tons of stores, so I’m sure you’d be able to find stuff.

      You can’t take the metro directly there, but if you have a car it’s not hard to get there.

    • I’ve never been pregnant but have heard that JC Penney has decent, affordable maternity clothes. Also H&M for more casual clothing. Tysons is huge and will probably have the most options for shopping.

      Have fun!

      • They do! I’m 17 weeks pregnant and 6′ tall so I knew finding maternity pants that are long enough would be a challenge. I got two pairs of dress pants from JC Penney’s maternity section that were long lengths but had cuffs, so I just had a tailor take the cuffs out and they are long enough for me to wear with heels. I think they were only around $30 each and the quality seems decent enough.

    • The blog Capitol Hill Barbie had a posting on maternity clothing – It’s not totally specific to DC but we do have a lot of these stores.

      In terms of areas in DC, the mega mall is Tyson’s Corner, which can be a bit overwhelming, but you do need a car, as CW says. Areas Metro accessible include: Pentagon City Mall has some decent options – anchored by a Nordstroms and Macys. Or Friendship Heights/Chevy Chase area, anchored by Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Lord and Taylor, and Saks Fifth Ave.

    • If you won’t have access to a car, there’s a mall right by the Pentagon City metro (also a Marshalls, or maybe it was TJ Maxx, and Nordstrom Rack). It’s not as big as Tyson’s Corner, but may have something.

  16. Waiting forever... :

    Threadjack. Want to share situation: Big law dream job interview almost two months ago. Seemed to go well. Without giving away too much, there have been various follow up communications initiated by both sides every few weeks but still waiting…. and waiting…. I assume they are still interviewing and I’m on a “maybe” list. Any thoughts on how long this can possibly last? I know there is not much to do but wait (at this point, I think I’ve used up my follow ups opportunities at least for a while) – just curious on any possible length estimations or advice.

    • Anonymous :

      If it was almost two months ago, then I am sorry to say that I don’t think you’ll be getting the job. There are lots of applicants these days and employers can afford to be extra choosy, so they are likely taking their time to find the “perfect” candidate for them.

    • Anonymous :

      NEVER call biglaw your dream job. That’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever read.

  17. Threadjack-What are people’s thoughts on nailpolish at the office (specifically, Big Law)? Assuming it’s a nice manicure (not chipped, etc), are dark colors ever ok? Obviously, no neon blue glitter type stuff, but like a dark red/burgundy? I’m going to be a summer associate at a big firm this summer, and I usually love nail polish, but I don’t want to wear anything inappropriate.

    • I think dark colors are hard to keep nice when you’re typing all the time. I usually wear those on my toes and do a lighter color on my fingers. That way if it chips a little, it’s no biggie.

    • I think dark colors are fine.

    • Red sox better win this time :

      No problem.

      Side note – I wore BRIGHT turquoise nail polish one week as a summer associate in biglaw. I cringe at my former self!!!

    • I wear dark colors all the time, and am in fact wearing a very dark red/burgundy right now. As long as it’s neat, I think it’s fine. I would stay away from brights or glitter.

    • Anonymous :

      I work biglaw and wear dark colors (think navy, dark grey) all the time. i have short nails. It goes with my style. I get them manicured. I also occasionally do the hot pinks, reds, etc. At christmas time I did 2 weeks of green. Anything other than flourescent colors would work in my office.

    • It’s fine. Just treat it as any other accessory – moderation is key. Don’t wear bright nail polish with long nails and a ton of jewelry and a hot pink cardigan and purple tights, you know?

    • In addition to what others have said, I’d consider your coloring. My office culture doesn’t care about nail color, so I alternate between my favorite dark blue-red (like the red of the Miami Heat’s away uniforms) and whatever “fun” color I feel like mixing it up with. I’m a dark-skinned Asian, and on me dark red lips and nails are barely noticeable (I keep my nails very short.) But I tried a lavender nail polish a few months ago and felt like my nails were Easter eggs you could see from across the street.

      tldr: if the color flatters you, go for it. I don’t work in biglaw though.

    • If you’re going to wear a dark color, I would keep your nails on the shorter side.

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