Thursday’s TPS Report: Printed kelsey ruffle top

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

We are seeing a so many ruffled blouses this season!  We actually like JCrew’s take on it — the ruffles are high enough that it’s a collar effect and keeps the focus on your face, without adding any volume to the bust area.  We also like the cute indigo dot print.  It’s $98 at Printed kelsey ruffle top



  1. I like the idea of a shirt like this that looks like a blouse when worn under a suit and transitions to casual once you take the jacket off, but this particular top seems too low-cut – it looks like the model has it buttoned all or almost all the way up, and I can see half her right breast. Also I’m not sure about a sleeveless top because then I feel like I cannot take off my jacket or cardigan while in the office.

    Hijack: Does anyone have any recommendations for affordable (under $50) pencil skirts that are A. lined and B. available in colors other than black?

    • Ann Taylor Loft has some really cute and apparently high-quality items just released. Here’s a pencil skirt, lined, for $59.50 that comes in white, cream and black. Cream&defaultSizeType=Regular

      I have a few of their other pencil skirts and am very happy with them. Today I am wearing this one, for $49.50: Grey&defaultSizeType=Regular

      • Sorry, that first one comes in NAVY, cream and white (not black).

        • Thanks! There is an ATL right by my house and they don’t have any pencils right now – guess I should have looked online!

    • On a similar note, anyone have recommendations for pencil skirts on the longer side? I’m talking 25-26 inches in length. Most skirts I find these days are around 22 inches and that hits me a few inches above my knee :( which is too short for me.

      • Talbots skirts tend to run longer, so you may want to check there. I am not sure they are quite as long as you want, but it probably depends on the cut.

      • Yes, Classique Entier pencil skirts at Nordstrom. I’m 5’5 and they usually go to the middle or even bottom of my knee cap. They are also really really great for women who have some hips. They are pricey but look online, most everything goes on sale at some point.

      • The Grace Elements line. Both Macy’s and Belk Department Store (If you have one in your area) carry them. I’m over 6ft and they come to my knees, which is rare; they normally stop 2 inches above.

    • I actually really like the basic pencil skirts at The Limited. They’re all fully lined, fit well, go right in the wash, etc. :

      I have a few in plain gray, brown, black, and with a subtle pattern, and have been happy with all of them. They’re not on particularly wonderful sale right now, but periodically The Limited marks them all down, and there are great coupons on now that should help. Good luck!

    • I’ve seen this top in person and it buttons all the way to the top. The model has at least two buttons undone.

  2. Shirt isn’t low cut. If you zoom in, you can see that it’s unbuttoned at her bra and that there are buttons above.

  3. real life pics here…

    • super helpful! thanks

      • I’m glad – I love that blog for seeing how things look outside of the magazine shots. Has really helped me target my internet purchases. And Gigi actually answers her email if you have any questions! She’s very sweet.

    • anon - chi :

      Huh. That is a LOT less cute in real life than it is on the model, IMHO. Sounds like Gigi felt the same way.

  4. Hate the shorts with this blouse. The blouse may be ok (although the ruffles seem to be a bit overwhelming), but I just can’t get past the shorts.

    • I found the shorts distracting too. They look like workout shorts, and they just don’t go with the blouse.
      I love the blouse though – this would look great under a suit.

  5. If you are capable of ironing this type of shirt so that all the ruffles fall perfectly where they are supposed to, you’re a better woman than me!

    • Forget an iron, I’d just take a steamer to those ruffles. Like the blouse though.

    • Delta Sierra :

      The ironing: seriously. Also, I can’t see the cut-in shoulders at work. I want to be able to take my jacket/cardie off if I get hot. Also want not to have to spend half my morning fixing my bra straps so they wouldn’t show. I just don’t see this for work at all.

  6. I like it!

    954, I would just wear it a few times and then take it to the dry cleaner. :)

    • The shirt is washable silk and it washes beautifully, including the ruffles. I air dry mine and lightly steam the body and its good to go.

      I’m not always so pleased with JC’s silk shirts. They can be fussy to maintain (think ruffled Victoria) and often require dry-cleaning. This one has been a pleasant surprise.

  7. I own a past season’s version of this top and I love it! Always get compliments on it …

  8. I am sooo tired of this blouse. It seemed like a year ago at this time you would always see 1 person in your office wearing it.

    • Yes, and I’ve always thought it looks a bit like a clown collar besides, I think because there’s so much ruffle action at the shoulder.

      • I do very much like the pattern on this iteration though, how the dots seem to form waves.

    • Delta Sierra :

      Was in TJMaxx yesterday and they had a boatload of blouses very similar to this.

      They had a lot of Michael for Michael Kors, too, nice stuff, some good buys to be had.

  9. I love me some ruffles! Great pick.

  10. I love this one. It would go well with several of my suits. Almost all silks are washable, and I am sure this would be.

    • It is. All of my J.Crew silk tops are washed on delicate in a garment bag, air dried, and steamed. Works well.

      • Can you (or anyone!) recommend a steamer? This seems like it would be an easy fix to some of my unexpected early morning wrinkle-dilemmas.

        • I have this one:

          Love it–have had mine for about 5 years. Spend the money, it’s worth it.

        • Legally Blonde :

          I use a conair upright. It cost me $50-$75 (I don’t recall exactly) from Bed Bath and Beyond and has worked great.

  11. Woman of Color :

    I saw this in the store yesterday, and was floored by the price. The material looks and feels very cheap. The quality of J.Crew has gone way down since I first starting wearing them while attending boarding school (a long, long time ago).

    • True. Over the last few seasons, a lot of their silks have been ultra-sheer. I’ve returned several blouses and dresses for this reason. One of my most unfortunate purchases was a lovely (in photos, at least) toile print silk sundress that can’t be worn without a full slip. Originally over $300 and I got it on final sale for a fraction of that. It’s spending the rest of its life at the back of my closet.

      The tailoring of J. Crew’s blouses has been really disappointing. I prefer something with a bit of a waist or darts, but all of these ruffled blouses shaped like bags are too short to tuck in, and do nothing for my figure.

      • Jojo – if it still has the tags on it, try taking it back to the store. I’ve returned several items recently that were final sale because they were completely see-through and the listing did not even indicate that they were sheer or semi-sheer. I was very polite, explained that I would not have purchased the items if they had been described as sheer or semi-sheer (they were not), and they offered me a full refund. Worth a shot.

      • I agree re: too short to tuck in. Their t-shirts are a nice length, but I had a blouse on the other day – “the perfect shirt” I think? – and I couldn’t raise my arms bc it kept coming untucked!

  12. Makes me think of of Queen Elizabeth (the first one) if she decided to go camping… Have to disagree with Corporette on this one – too much ruffles (ruffles make whatever they’re on look bigger, so if you’re flat chested maybe this is a good look… I’m not, so this is not for me),

    is anyone else tired of ruffles yet?? They’re too distinctive to wear more than a few times during the season, and trying to fit all that volume under a suit jacket sounds more daunting than its worth

    • Yes–I am tired of ruffles. I think they’re cute, but they’ve become so common EVERYWHERE that I know that in six or eight months, they are going to show up in the “OUT” column of a magazine and all ruffles will be banished to the back of my closet. And I too hate ironing the ruffles…what a chore.

  13. H&M has inexpensive decent lined pencil skirts. I have one. Looks fancier than a casual outfit; wouldn’t wear it to a high-power day, but it works well.

  14. thanks for the info on those steamers – have been wondering if they really work. had an old hand-held one awhile ago that used to spit water all over my silk and so gave up on them. my iron has an upright steam function, but it is heavy.

    on skirts, I stopped in at both Ann Taylor Loft (again) and Banana Republic (for the first time) after all the rave reviews here, as I just never thought they had work appropriate clothes. But all of their skirts seem short. maybe it is just me – I am not tall (5’6″) and generally wear a size 8 or 10 in skirts, but am long-waisted w/ short legs. I think somehow that throws the proportions off because I have a hard time finding skirts that hit at the knee. most are above the knee, and trust me, no one wants to see that. does anyone else have this problem? or a solution? (and don’t even get me started about trying to find skirts OR pants if you have a relatively smaller waist and big hips!)

    • We have the same body type, except I’m 2″ shorter and if I shop in regulars instead of petites skirts hit me in the right place (even though I wear petites in everything else). Maybe you could try shopping for skirts in the tall section?

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