Coffee Break: One-Button Knit A-Line Coat

Vera Wang One-Button Knit A-Line Coat | CorporetteOooh: I love this knit A-line coat from Vera Wang Outerwear, which looks professional but feminine. That doesn’t sound like much to write home about, but finding a feminine, flattering coat that looks good on top of other stuff can be difficult — this coat, for example (which also comes in plus sizes), is amazing, but would probably only look good on top of skin-tight clothing like leggings. Anyhoo: love the Vera Wang coat, and at $450, it isn’t even that bad as far as coats go. Vera Wang Outerwear One-Button Knit A-Line Coat

Here are a lower-priced option and a plus-size alternative.


  1. TO Lawyer :

    That Halogen coat in the purple is gorgeous!

  2. Moonstone :

    Does anyone want to talk me out of staying at The Buccaneer on St. Croix (US Virgin Islands) in January? I plan to book it tomorrow, so I am just looking for — what’s the opposite of a personal recommendation? — I guess a personal “hell-no” if you’ve stayed there and had a bad experience. Thanks.

    • I stayed there about ten years ago for a week- it was lovely! (Sorry not to have a horror story)

    • Miss Behaved :

      I have really good friends who live there and own a restaurant. I stayed in a very small cheap hotel when I went to their wedding down there.

      He was a chef at the Buccaneer. They had their wedding at another lovely resort. I’ll see if I can find the name. The place they own is called The Bistro.

    • So, so jealous…hope you like rum punch!

  3. Anonymous :

    I was just invited to a gala tomorrow night, with the theme of “Big Tent/Night Circus”.

    It’s a pretty fashion-ey event. I have no idea what to wear. None at all. Help!

    • I have no idea. I’m just picturing a bunch of people milling around dressed like Effie Trinket.

    • If it’s an annual gala – I would go to the hosting organization’s webs!te. They may have pictures from last year’s event. If not, call the event coordinator and ask.

    • Wear dressy clothes that are warm b/c you may be in a tent which is chilled. The manageing partner said I smell today like krill oil? What is that? Is this good or bad? Help!

    • Anything with big stripes will evoke the circus for a more literal interpretation. Personally, I’d go for bright colors, sequins, etc. If you have a wardrobe orphan that is a little too outré for your normal life this is the time to wear it! Have fun!

    • Unitard and heavy makeup. (just kidding)

    • Have you read the book The Night Circus? I’d do something black or white with a pop of red.

    • Anyone see the movie “Two Weeks Notice”? There’s a scene at a circus-themed fancy benefit that might give you ideas- there may be a clip on youtube.

      • Anonymous :

        That movie is objectively terrible but I love it. As I recall, in that scene she wore a goooorgeous black & white ballgown with a red clown nose.

    • I’ve been to 2 parties/benefits where there are circus performers. It is not as cool and more weird than you’d think. I’ve decided I will avoid these kind of parties from now on. They just don’t fit into my tolerance for weirdness.

  4. shopping challenge :

    Hopefully not a difficult one. I’m looking for a leather jacket that I can throw on for the walk to work (biglaw) or over weekend wear. Something classic, since I’m hoping it will last a few years. The one wrinkle is that I am busty — size 6/8, but a G or H cup. A-lines do not work on me, and often crewnecks don’t either. What I’m looking for is something that nips in at the waist, either actually or just visually. Black not required, but would prefer a versatile neutral. Up to $500, but obviously less is better.


    • I have an all saints jacket that is incredible that I have worn for years. Do you have one in your city to try on?

    • Something with a minimal peplum could work. The ponte sides in this jacket would also help fit you and it’s only $210:

  5. Love this coat. Can picture the Duchess of Cambridge wearing it:)

    • Agree. Love. I would buy this in a second if I needed a new winter coat.

  6. I need a rug. I have low standards, am cheap, and have no time. It needs to be in the vicinity of 5×7 (bigger is OK but can’t be bigger than 9×9). Color is flexible, it’s going in a totally neutral room.

    Primary goal is to keep floor from being FREEZING; it’s currently hardwood. We do have pets, so super light and/or impossible to vacuum are dealbreakers. <$500 and the cheaper the better; if it is truely a stop-gap, i'd like to keep it under $200 if that's even possible.

    Suggestions? Where can I look?

    • Anonymous :

      I got a jute rug online at Target that was around that size for $175. We have pets and it does not seem to show pet hair and is easy to vacuum.

      • I was in target this weekend and the selection was really lousy. I didn’t think about online though!

      • I have a similar rug, but mine is a jute/chenille blend. It is impermeable to two small hairy messy dogs who every once in a while have an accident…! On the other hand, I had one from target that was jute only–same look, but all jute (or sisal?)–and it was AWFUL. Dog pee plus that rug = terrible obvious bright stains, and the rug went into the garbage only 4 months after it came in the door (because it can’t be washed or cleaned).

    • I’ve gotten all my rugs on Overstock.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I recently got a NuLoom rug on overstock that is all wool and very thick and it was like $200 for a 5×8. The only downside is that it has been shedding a lot, but that may be typical for new rugs.

      • eastbaybanker :

        Second NuLoom rugs from Overstock. Good quality wool, reasonable prices.

    • LilyStudent :

      I just got a rug from the Urban Outfitters sale – it was 30 euros (around $40 maybe?) including postage, which is pretty good for a 5×7 – link in comment.

      • LilyStudent :

        Here’s the link – it’s more expensive in the US, surprisingly.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Target. Maybe even Walmart.

      • We got rugs from Walmart and get compliments on them All.The.Time. and we don’t give a s#!+ about the rugs so who cares re: kids, stains, crumbs, bumps, etc. ~10 years and it’s gone.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      We got our rug from Wayfair. They have a ton of options and you can sort by price. I think ours was in your price range and it’s a Safaveih brand. A lot of the products have free 2-day shipping.

    • Lady Tetra :

      IKEA has a large selection of rugs ranging from $50 to $500, depending on the quality, materials and size you’re looking for. I’d head over to a store and just look at what they have to get some ideas.

    • wondering :

      Look for Pottery Barn (and even in their kid & teen catalogs) on sale. I have a wool rug from them that’s about 15 years old and it’s still good.

    • We have several rugs from Lowe’s that are holding up well to dogs and a child. We’ve used a steam carpet cleaner on them with good results too. They aren’t going to be heirlooms by any means, but are a good quality/price for a 5-10 year rug.

    • lucy stone :

      All but one rug in our house is from L.L. Bean or Lowe’s.


    • Rogue Banker :

      If you live in a city with The Dump in it (www dot thedump dot com) they have been my go-to for discounted furnishings. Haven’t done rugs from them yet, but their furniture is usually 20-30% below list price (floor models, discontinued styles, etc). Worth a look if you have one near you.

    • Craigslist

      • Ikea or Bed Bath and Beyond if there is one near you. I’ve purchased at least 2 decent sized rugs from BBB for under $100 and you can probably save an additional 20% off using a coupon. Or try Home Depot. I recently got a great shag rug in beige 10 X 8 (?) for less than $300. Or if you want to be done with it online, check out apartment therapy dot com / best-bargain-buys-10-stylish-rugs-for-under-500-203248 from earlier this year.

    • cavity maker :


      • Senior Attorney :

        I’ve gotten several rugs at Costco and been very happy with them. Selection is quite limited but if they have what you want, you’re in business!

    • World Market. I have two smaller rugs from there and I love both of them.

    • If you go to a flooring store, one that sells carpet, you can get a bound-edge remnant cheap.

    • No idea why my comment has been eaten, twice. Try the Caspian line from Oriental Weavers, available at Rugs Direct or Rugs USA. Indoor-outdoor, so washable, but a a reasonably soft if not plush loop, more comfortable and warm than jute styles. We have two, they’ve held up great in a house full of cats and dogs.

      I’ll try to attach a link to an example in a separate post.

    • Ollie’s! I purchased an 8’x10′ for $99 there.

    • In House Lobbyist :

      I bought two of these rugs on Amazon and love them. They were much better quality than I expected and UPS hauled them to my front door because they are very heavy. I got the 8×10 in black. They are very soft on your feet and my only problem is that my dogs have taken to them as well.

      Black Traditional Isfahan Wool Persian Area Rugs

    • Red Beagle :

      3 dogs in the house, hardwood floors. We buy a $150-$200 8×12 rug at Home Depot about every 3 months or so for the living room; washable runners in the hall for $30 or so at Bed Bath & Beyond. At that price, they are essentially disposable and they have a nice selection. Ikea is also an option for cheap rugs.

  7. Home Decorators Collection catalog.

  8. I couldn’t bear the chill this morning and wore hose with sensible shoes. I feel like Frumpy Frumperson. Tights would have been too much black with the outfit I had on. Need to go home, put on my mom jeans, and rethink my mental lookbook so that the tights I’ll have on tomorrow don’t make me the Office Goth.

    • The Duchess of Cambridge begs to differ with your assessment of sheer hose.

      • I am loving how it smooths me out and has eliminated footies for the day. But I’m just not rocking them like she does. Maybe I need some LK Bennett shoes or something from Reiss?

        • I will say that I think it requires a level of polish/tailoring in the rest of the outfit to avoid frumpiness. I wear hose daily (I wear skirts/dresses exclusively at work) and all of my skirts/dresses are pencil/straight. I’ve tried a-line and pleated styles before, but then if you add hose, I end up looking like a 14 year old girl at a piano recital.

          • LilyStudent :

            I can see that. I loved wearing hose over my summer internship, because it made me feel really put-together. They worked better with my pencil skirts than with my flared skirt, though, unless I was incredibly careful to make the rest of the outfit look sleek.

          • Hildegarde :

            As a fellow daily hose wearer in the Fall and Spring, I agree with Anon at 3:55.

        • I think its also that the Duchess wears hose that are extremely expensive and extremely shere – whereas the ones you get at more reasonable prices can be thicker and thus look a bit more matronly.

          I really like Hanes Ultra Sheer as a cost effective option that still gives me that totally sheer, nearly invisible look I like.

          • Anonymous :

            She wears Marks and Spenser no slip grip ones pretty often for daytime.

            I think it’s also that she has killer legs.

          • She also wears her skirts at exactly the right length, and often very high heels. So there’s little in the way of frump factor there.

          • She’s also impeccably tailored, which is harder to do without a bottomless wardrobe budget and people to consult.

    • I’m Office Goth for the day! Black dress, tights, knee high boots, and trench. My scarf is a daring cream and black print ;)

    • I ordered a pair of nude fishnet stockings that someone here recommended as a less frumpy alternative to sheer. They’ve arrived and, unfortunately, I can’t see wearing them to work. Do people really wear these w/ business formal (or casual) clothes?

  9. oil in houston :

    oooohhhhh, pretty! sadly am pregnant and not getting any clothes this year for myself :(

  10. I moved to the mid-west from the mid-atlantic this year. Do I need to invest in a down coat? I drive to work but do enjoy taking my dog f0r a walk, etc. Thanks!

    • Maddie Ross :

      I can’t comment on whether you “need” one, but I lurve my down coat so much. I wear it way more than I should (to work and everything) even though I drive most everywhere and live in the south.

    • Jumpingjack :

      Where in the midwest? I lived in St. Louis and it got cold cold cold. I definitely needed a good winter coat there. But I’m also a giant wimp when it comes to cold/snow/ice.

      • I’ve lived (in the winter) in California, St. Louis, DC, New York City, and Chicago. Chicago is the only place I’ve needed a down coat. Outside of California, St. Louis and DC needed a wool coat, New York might have needed a down coat a few days a year, but not worth spending the money/frump on it. But in Chicago, a down coat is a must.

      • + 1. When my husband first moved to Chicago, he had only a peacoat, and as a result basically didn’t go outside that whole first winter. I, a lifelong Chicagoan, eventually taught him how to get through a Chicago winter: down coat, scarf, hat/earmuffs, gloves, and waterproof boots! I only wear a peacoat if I’m going somewhere fancy (not work) and will be driving there.

    • You definitely don’t “need” one, at least depending on where you are. I lived in Michigan for 6 years (3 without a car) and never had a down coat. I had a variety of 100% wool, cashmere blend and thinsulate lined coats (J Crew) that kept me warm with proper layering and accessories. Whether you want to get one is up to you.

    • It really depends on where in the Midwest. And it really depends on the winter. I’d say hold out until you see the weather getting too cold for the outerwear you already have. Though, if you are going to have a number of days below freezing (20s and under) then, I’d least be sure to have a warm (wool or ski jacket) that covers your bum. And hat and mittens.

    • Sort of depends on what you’re defining as mid-Atlantic – but I’d say in most DC/VA/MD winters, you’d be okay with a wool coat or like a Northface-type non-down jacket (like a ski coat or something.)

      But down never hurt anybody, especially if you are accustomed to warmer climes.

    • Totally depends. Northern Minnesota is a lot different than southern Illinois.

      Also depends on how cold you run. Are you the person who’s always freezing when all around you are perfectly fine? Yeah, get the warm coat.

    • Meg Murry :

      In northern Ohio I actually wound up just wearing a fleece or fall jacket for most of the winter when I was going back and forth to work and just dashing across parking lots – I got way overheated on my long commute wearing anything warmer. For a walk beyond running to your front yard or back with the dog though, you probably want something warmer – longer coats that cover your butt definely help, although I don’t find down totally necessary.
      Hat, gloves, scarf, warm socks and boots are as important, if not more important that the coat warmth.

      • +100 to your last point. I moved from the deep South to the upper midwest 4 years ago. Spending $60 on ugly, sensible, wind-proof gloves seemed insane at the time, but all the winter accessories (scarves, hats, gloves) are SO important. As a tip, if you have smaller hands and/or feet, look in the children’s section for gloves (I’m a child’s M in North Face gloves, which are exactly the same styles $20-30 cheaper) and winter boots (my Sorels are a youth 2, I wear a women’s 5-5.5; my friend wears a youth 4 as a women’s 7.5).

        If you are in Chicago-MN-Dakotas area, make sure you get a coat with a windproof layer. The wind can cut right through fleece and wool.

    • Anonymous :

      Welcome to the mid-west. Good that you are thinking about outerwear now.
      Check out Lands End – they have down, wool, and my favorite Prima-loft (which is synthentic and not so puffy). I think they have a sale going on now.
      You can sort by warm,warmer, warmest – I’d focus on the warmer/warmest category.
      Also, don’t forget shoes – I have their all weather zip shoes (bought several years ago) and they work for me as they are easy to get on and off.
      One other thing – base layers. I like Cuddle Duds

    • You either need down OR natural fibers. I have down for my midwestern city because I’m too poor for fancy wool/cashmere blended coats.

  11. What to do in Winnipeg? :

    I have a day to spend in Winnipeg… where are the fun spots to visit? Good restaurants?

    • Very Important Question: what time of year are you going?

      I haven’t spent much time in Winnipeg but there was a commenter on here from Winnipeg…don’t know if she is still around.

      What I do know is that anytime after about November 1, you are likely to want to stay indoors.

      Sadly, the last time I was in Winnipeg I felt there was very little to recommend it apart from arguably Canada’s best ballet company. Apologies to those who know more about it than me and who do have things to recommend.

    • I’ve never been to Winnipeg but the Canadian Museum for Human Rights just opened and is probably worth a visit.

  12. Getting my hair cut this weekend. I’ve basically had the same cut for about ten years (yikes!) — collar-bone length, side-part, layers — except that I added side-swept bangs about three years ago. I’m not necessarily looking to change but just want to make sure I’m not getting too dated looking. Is that style timeless, or do I need to update? If I need to update, suggestions? (My hair is fine and curly-ish, but I typically blow it out straight. My face is a bit on the long side.) TIA!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I had similar hair and my stylist updated it by cutting it to just above my shoulders with longer layers in the front than the back. For years I had done longer in back shorter in front. I still insisted on a couple face framing shorter layers but the look was a lot more sleek in modern than my old one.

  13. the Vera Wang coat is 20% off (discount applied in cart)

  14. Boots question :

    Could I wear these boots with skirts/dresses, or would that just look weird?

    • I think it would look weird, myself.

    • I was going to say no at first but I think they might work with shorter skirts and dresses, knee length or slightly above. Wear with dark colored tights to create a long line for the legs. Still this look seems more on the casual side to me so it may or may not work depending on the occasion. Also I thought you could wear them with maxi skirts and dresses, again layer with tights for warmth. Prefer low or no heel for these in case the hem gets caught in the heel say when walking down the stairs….

      Alternative: Get the Aquatalia by Marvin Fetch boot. This has a bit of a heel and I just love their look! I think those would work well with both skirts , dresses, and pants.

    • no.

    • Anonymous :


    • Nope.

  15. I oversee a smallish (five-person) staff and we’re all very close. We’ve weathered some big professional storms and successes together, and our departmental culture is supportive, collaborative, accountable, etc.

    That said, we have a colleague whose significantly-older husband had a stroke a few weeks ago. She was out for a week when it first happened, and is now working reduced hours (roughly .75%) while she juggles his medical issues. Her husband is currently in a hospital-based rehab program but is expected to come home in a few weeks — although doctors have told her he’ll never be the same again. There is also a chance he may end up in a nursing home, either temporarily or long-term. She finds herself unexpectedly out of the office probably once every six days or so due to an episode or development, usually of the negative variety.

    My heart is breaking for my employee — she’s amazing, upbeat, and a joy to work with. Everyone in our office wants to help her (and her situation is complicated by the fact that she doesn’t have a good external support system — just a handful of close friends and no reliable family members to speak of).

    Other than food and alleviating workload: what can I/we do for her? What would you want if you were visiting someone in the hospital every afternoon and evening? I know empathy goes a long way, but I’m casting about for other ideas and would love to hear anything you can think of!

    • How about a tote bag for the hospital? Snacks, hand lotion, tissues, a refillable water bottle, crossword/game book, notepad and pen for talks with the medical staff, slipper socks, light reading. If she is technologically oriented, add in an amazon or itunes gift card.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Know your employee. My colleague is probably on the extreme end of normal on this but when his wife was terminal he just wanted to be dealt with 100% professionally in the office. He didn’t want people asking about her or lightening his work load. He just wanted to be excused when he wasn’t here and treated normally when he was. He also worked extra long hours (I think as a distraction and to get out of the house for awhile) and he particularly did not like people telling him he should “go home.” Just let her know you/others are available to cover as needed, to take the time she needs, and that you are thinking of her but won’t be checking in constantly so she can have her space at work to work.

      • Seconded. When my mother was terminal work was a real refuge. I was overwhelmed with emotion at the time and more cut and dried interactions gave me a break from grieving.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree with Blonde Lawyer that it really depends on the employee. I just dealt with something similar so maybe some of these ideas will be helpful: 1) You can set up a meal sign-up through mealtrain dot com. You enter participants’ email addresses, the dates meals are needed, a good drop-off time, and the employee’s food preferences, and participants sign up for a date and enter what they’ll bring. 2) A first aid pick-me-up kit with nice teas, vitamin C, tissues, and hand sanitizer. 3) Again, know your employee, but anything with a little personal touch. When my friend’s husband died, her secretary had some flowers he had just sent her dried and placed in a shadowbox. If you have any nice pictures of them from a company event, it might be nice to have one framed for her.

    • I personally went through something similar.

      I agree, work was a refuge. However, the very best thing was knowing that when I did have to leave unexpectedly, my colleagues just picked up the slack and took care of things. It was a huge comfort knowing that I was only dealing with the crisis in my personal life and not have to juggle work-related complications when I was out of the office.

    • Oh gosh I thought this question was going in a completely different direction. I think you are doing great just by being compassionate and caring.

  16. Gail the Goldfish :

    What’s a small “hope you feel better, congrats on being pregnant” present I can send a friend suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum? Can’t send food because of the whole nausea and vomiting thing, and I don’t want to send flowers in case scents trigger it. (no, my friend is not Kate Middleton).

    • Maybe a book or amazon gift card to buy a movie or shows to watch. Might help provide some distraction. Also maybe a comfy robe or blanket now that the weather is changing (depending on where she is located).

    • If she’s bedrest or hospitalized, books and/or magazines.

    • anon-oh-no :

      I had this. and honestly there is nothing that can really help right now (and books/magazines were not that useful because I was too sick to read them — think about trying to read when you are super hungover).

      That said, something to look forward to and let her know you are thinking about her would be nice. the comfy blanket idea is not bad — or a pregnancy pillow.

    • Anonymous :

      Stuffed animal to cuddle?

    • Gail the Goldfish :


    • How about something like the SoftHeat Mind & Body Neck and Shoulder Wrap (giving a specific name because I can’t find more general search terms for what I’m thinking of; not a brand recommendation) and an eye mask? Maybe even a white noise machine.

    • I’m in my first trimester and have been feeling terrible and spending all my free time on the couch or in bed. I’m so bored with sitting around watching Netflix but don’t have the energy to go out. So I would send some activity your friend would enjoy — a good book, a book of crosswords or sudokus, a game, supplies for knitting or a craft she enjoys, etc.

  17. I just got an offer for a dream job and I am so excited! It’s more money, more of the work that I like, and all around the right move for me. However, I am dreading giving my notice. I absolutely love my boss and it will be extremely hard to tell her I’m leaving. She is supportive, protective, generous, and all around is a fantastic person to work for. She even gave me her old golf clubs. Lately she has gone out of her way to advocate for me to her boss, who is extremely difficult to deal with. Therefore I feel guilty for even thinking about leaving. Please, calm me down and reassure me that business is business and I am not a douchebag for doing what’s best for me.

    • You’re fine. If your boss is as great as you say, she’ll be happy for you (even though she’ll have the hassle of hiring a replacement).

      • Agree. Also if your boss is as great as you say, she’ll be pleased to have acquired a good contact at your new employer.

    • Went through the same thing (she even lobbied for me to get a 2x bonus while I was out interviewing, unbeknownst me to at the time). But, it’s business at the end of the day, and my wonderful, supportive, amazing boss was all of those things because she was also a seasoned professional. I know that when she was younger in her career, she put herself first. That’s how I got comfortable with making the leap. I promise she’ll understand.

    • Anonymous :

      I just want to give you some advice that someone gave to me and I did not take. Yes, the other commenters are probably right that she will be a seasoned professional and take it gracefully. When I left my first job, I was in your shoes, and giving notice was easy as pie and I’m still close with my former boss.

      But please prepare yourself for the possibility that she might not react well. When giving notice, you should always prepare for the absolute worst scenario you can think of. At my last job, I too had a lovely, supportive boss who I was very close with. But when I left, it went terribly. She yelled, she cried, she tried to sabotage my new position. I was completely taken aback, and didn’t know how to react.

      In certian industries, and in certain jobs, people take departures personally. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst so you don’t get blindsided.

    • Try saying, “I know you’ll be happy for me, but I am sad that I’m leaving to go do….”. This way you’re literally telling her how you want her to react. It might not help, but it might.

  18. We are looking to remodel our house in the Bay Area, and I was wondering if anyone could give me a gut check on costs (total and price/sq feet). We have a relatively typical bay area house, 3br 2 ba, and I would like to add 1 or 2 more bedrooms (or a family room) and another bathroom. We have not decided whether to go up or just add to the back. Thanks in advance!

    • Check the Bay Area forum on Redfin. I recall a good rule of thumb being somewhere between $200-$300 per square foot in construction costs.

    • I didn’t add on but a kitchen gut renovation in SF was 80K and that wasn’t going super high end. That said, my understanding is the more you do, the “cheaper” it is. Best way to find out is just to talk to contractors. So much depends on your home, what gets found when the walls come down. Also additions can require crazy permits and that process can be expensive.

  19. I have a blind date with a guy that I am super-excited about tomorrow. How can I avoid being a spaz but also signal that I’m interested? How do I tell if he’s into me? I feel like THE LAMEST 13 year old right now. Ugh.

    • West Coast :

      If you like him, end by putting the ball in his court. “I had a great time, text/call/email if you want to go to dinner again. It keeps things easy and makes expectations clear for him.

  20. Partial solar eclipse right now! Link to live feed to come..

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