Wednesday’s TPS Report: Black Origami Jersey ‘Melanie’ Belted V-neck Dress

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

JB by Julie Brown black origami jersey ‘Melanie’ belted v-neck dressI stared at this one a long time this morning: is it a great fall dress on sale, or can it work for spring also? The green is just a shade or two too dark for a true springy dress, but I still think I’d wear it in spring, probably with nude-for-me heels, bare legs, and a light-colored necklace (pearls or perhaps a shiny gold). Either way, I like the shape of the dress, the interesting print, and the sale: was $208, now $125 at Bluefly (lots of sizes still left as of this morning). JB by Julie Brown black origami jersey ‘Melanie’ belted v-neck dress

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


  1. Does anyone have comments as to quality of this brand? I saw a few dresses by Julie Brown shopping last weekend but was turned off because they seemed to be 100% poly (not entirely opposed to poly, but I’d prefer silk or cotton for >$100).

    • Every time I have worn a polyester dress like this with sleeves, I end up regretting it. Not to get all TMI, but I feel like my armpits just cannot handle this. So totally agree that for $100, I want something a bit more natural.
      Plus, the print strikes me as something that would get tiresome after a couple of wears.

  2. The pattern is a bit too schizophrenic for my taste. I get that its supposed to be grass and a hill on the bottom (I think), but to me it ends up looking more like random patterned strips attached to the bottom than a cohesive design.

    • I love the idea, but I feel like something about the pattern is slightly off, but I can’t figure out what exactly. I feel like maybe the color combined with the kind of harsh straight lines is the issue for me. Referencing fresh jd below, I think I’d like it more if it were a little more kimono-like.

    • skippy pea :

      I know!
      And at that row of flower across the shoulders on tha back? – way to frame/ draw attention to shoulders and broaden them at the same time.

      I wish the print was a bit more abstract since I like all the colors.

    • Anonymous :

      Schizophrenic? Are there retarded dresses as well?

      • Probably a waste of time to try to get into an anonymous internet argument, but “schizophrenic” has a well-recognized and official definition as “a state characterized by the coexistence of contradictory or incompatible elements” which is completely separate from the psychiatric condition.

      • A Google image search for “retarded dress” reveals that yes, yes there are.

        • Anonymous :

          World English Dictionary
          schizophrenic (ˌskɪtsəʊˈfrɛnɪk)

          — adj
          1. exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia
          2. informal , offensive experiencing or maintaining contradictory attitudes, emotions, etc

          — n
          3. a schizophrenic person

          usage It is preferable to refer to a person as someone with a diagnosis of schizophrenia rather than as a schizophrenic . The general use of the word to mean ‘contradictory’ is also best avoided. Suitable alternatives are contradictory , inconsistent , incoherent

  3. A bit too reminiscent of a kimono print for my tastes.

  4. I like this. I’m not familiar with the brand either, but looks they have some high-necked styles too, which I like for daytime (not that this one is a particularly deep V, I just can never tell online where it would fall on me and I am trying to limit the number of cami-required pieces I have).

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I have a cami in pretty much every color of the rainbow, so I feel your pain. They take up quite a bit of space in my dresser.

      • One great organizing idea for camis — buy a “belt hanger” to go in your closet and hang the camis by the straps off the little hooks. Takes up way less space than folding them, and makes it easy to find what you are looking for in the morning.

        • This is a great idea – thanks! Just this morning, I was digging through my drawer, “where is a white one? where is it? for real, what did I do with it?” It would certainly save me time. Also, here’s a PSA – I love Flexees camis. I own shapewear from Spanx and Lipo in a Box, but Flexees are great for shaping and smoothing purposes under blouses and cardigans, and the ones I own come up high enough to serve as a cami. I’ve purchased them at Nordstrom Rack and Kohls.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          That is a great idea, but my little NY closet doesn’t have any space. I do store them in rainbow order in my drawer so I can find the color I need, which I find helpful. I’m a bit neurotic about how my clothes are stored so I can always find what I am looking for.

  5. loving marlowe :

    I’m having a great clothes day and just have to share. I’m wearing my new Marlowe dress today and am feeling fantastic in it! (also wearing it with my new nude-for-me pumps and am loving those too!) Marlowe is a splurge for sure, but if you can catch them at their end of the season sale (which is still quite pricy), its well worth the money. I now have 3 Marlowe dresses (all purchased on sale) and I feel amazing whenever I wear one.

    • Where did you buy your dresses? Just did a quick search on Marlowe and found this site:

      Love the clothes there (ESPECIALLY the “Wilder dress”), but I’m always hesitant to buy in British pounds.

      • Anon in Ny :

        Wow, looove the dresses on the LK Bennett site. Also a bit reluctant to order in pounds, so curious if anyone has any places to buy the brand in the US?

        • The clothes are incredible. Too bad shipping to the U.S. is so expensive!

        • BLOOMINGDALES! I just saw an LKB concession there this past weekend. I absolutely LOVED LKB while in the UK and would happily buy 85% of everything in the shops, most of the time, if I could. As far as I know, Bloomingdales just started stocking LKB and thus might not be in every store, but you could call around and see if any of your local stores carry the line.

          • Yes! I picked up a gorgeous grey pinstriped sheath made out of that lightweight tropical wool type ‘suit’ material and it’s amazing for work!

      • loving marlowe : is their website. They only have stores here in Chicago, in SF, and Toranto. I’m not sure the website you list is the same marlowe, though it does also have cute stuff

        • Anon in Ny :

          It looks like my hotel for my April Chicago trip isn’t terribly far from the shopping on N. Michigan Ave – I may have to hit up Marlowe while I’m out there!

        • Oh yeah, looks like it’s different.

        • I looooooove those. Wow! Will have to stop by there if I am ever in those cities!!!

        • Looks really nice. I’m in Chicago, will have to stop in sometime. Thanks for the rec.

  6. Interesting dress. Rather cute, IMHO. Would be nice to know what the “weight” on this fabric is, since it’s unlined. Some poly is super-high quality and tightly woven with a hint of spandex (David Meister), other poly is scratchy and looks and feels, well, cheap. Also would be nice to see how it looks on a person, rather than a mannequin…. (Bluefly, pay some models! Your price aren’t even that cheap. Gah!). Aside: Kat, for how hard you work to find cute, interesting pieces for us every morning! We are a *tough* crowd to please, no doubt! ;-)

  7. Agree on the Bluefly model thing, especially when far less “high end” sites can manage it. (I mean, a $15 shirt at Target usually gets a human model, but Bluefly can’t?)

    • I’m annoyed by this also. Wonder if they think “perfection” of mannequin makes clothes look better? At least they added comments/reviews recently.

      I ordered a Julie Brown wrap dress from Bluefly and wore for first time last week. I think it is super flattering, and I’m not sure if it was the fit and fabric or what, but it was so light and comfortable that I felt like I had pajamas on all day.

  8. Real Prop SOS :

    Off -topic: Hi, posted this last night but without too much luck so trying again –though great thanks to the helpful commentor that alerted me to the proper geography of my question!

    Can anyone recommend a real estate person/firm in Savannah, GA? I need to sell a property there and am very, very far away, so am hoping to find someone trustworthy and competent, with whom I can work with long distance. Thanks so much for any info in advance!!!

  9. Wanting to Move :

    Threadjack. This question is sort of related to the Changes post from last week, but I need some encouragement/ideas. I am a fourth year litigation associate at an IP boutique in a very cold midwestern city who basically hates her job. My husband and I are desparate to move. We both dislike the city that we live in, and our family and friends live far away. To boot, we recently had a baby and realized that we would like to be closer to family and friends for some much needed support that we do not get in our current city. I would like to move in-house, but I know that it is tough to do with only four years of experience. I am the breadwinner, so we cannot move until I find a job. I have alerted my contacts to the fact that I am looking for something new, but it is difficult because neither the husband or I come from families with lawyers, etc. Any tips for getting a job when you have a job and/or not hating the city/job so much?

    • Is there anyone from your firm who has moved in-house? Or anyone in the litigation ‘section’ of your bar association, etc., who is in-house now? I would see if you can make contacts that are in-house, and ask how they found their positions, and go from there.

    • Cross Country :

      Does anyone have tips specifically on cross-country job searches? I feel like I’m a known quantity in my own city (i.e, I’m involved and a good networker), but I’m thinking of moving back east, and I have absolutely no idea how to go about finding work somewhere else. Any ideas?

      • I would start with alumni from your law school/other grad school/college in the area. Then, maybe anyone else you can find a connection with … alumni from your employer? People in a similar industry if you’re in a small industry? Ask people you currently know if they have any contacts in the new city?

        • Cross Country :

          That’s a great idea. I hadn’t even thought of alumni networking… Thanks.

    • Dammit Janet :

      Going in-house to a client of the firm is a common route too. I recommend doing some sleuthing into the clients you work with to see if there may be opportunities on the horizon. Though this may not help much if they’re all in the same cold midwestern city! Good luck.

    • I recommend looking at the job postings for companies you like in cities you like, and also considering firm jobs in those cities, too. I went in-house and seriously, it was not the panacea I thought it would be. I got sick of the 2-hour long meetings, doing powerpoint presentations (yup, law school was so not helpful for that one), lack of admin support, company politics, and most of all, lack of upward mobility. I am at a mid-sized firm now and love it. You can go to a firm in a city you like and go in-house from there – or just stay at that firm, too. You have more options than you think.

  10. Need Some Serious Help :

    Hey ladies, I’m a regular poster but I need some Serious Help. Here’s the sitch: my uncle is abused by his wife. She is verbally abusive and sometimes physically abusive. She forces him to stay awake at nights (one recent episode: he came home from an endoscopy which I had to drive him to and from and she kept him out of their bedroom and forced him to stay up all night). She routinely removes cash, credit cards and ID from his wallet and hides his keys when he comes from work. She has also hidden all of his paperwork (passport, certificates, etc). They have a 5-year-old son. She holds my uncle in place by saying that if he ever does anything to leave her, she will cut/punch herself and call the cops, accusing him of hurting her. There’s something very off with her but she’s very cunning – she is as sweet as pie in front of most people.

    My question to all of you lawyer is: what can my uncle do? He wants to get a divorce but he doesn’t know how to proceed without enraging her. We were thinking of maybe getting a mental health warrant for his wife, or maybe even a restraining order but we’re not sure what to do. I know I’m going to sound really dumb but what can I tell him when he’s asking me how should he file for divorce? Are there pro-bono divorce lawyers? How can he reasonably claim abuse when there’s no proof of it? We’re in NYS, if that would affect your answer.

    Please help! Thanks in advance for any help or resources you can send my way.

    • Anonymous :

      There are pro bono family law lawyers at most legal services organizations. One of my best friends from law school works as a family law lawyer for legal services, in fact. She would handle this type of case. Your uncle’s situation isn’t the norm, but it’s not unheard of or uncommon. He should contact legal aid and get a lawyer; the lawyer will know how he should proceed.

      • This. Before I started my current job a few weeks ago I was volunteering with the local legal aid office. At the very minimum they should be able to provide your uncle with the necessary paperwork he would need to file for a divorce pro se and get an injunction. When I volunteered, I worked specifically with DV victims filing for injunctions against their abusers. I can’t say for certain if they’ll provide your uncle with representation during a divorce case (I didn’t work with the family law section and we only assisted the DV victims with filing paperwork and did not provide actually representation during the injunction hearings), but they should be able to point him in the direction of where he can get representation he can afford.

    • I worked in a domestic violence clinic helping people make “safety plans” to get away from and/or protect themselves from their abusers (leaving is not *always* the safest option, at least not right away). He should find a local “domestic violence advocate,” maybe by calling the national hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233), or google his state hotline.

      An advocate should be able to connect him with local resources and inform him about local laws that can protect him. Maybe even help him get new copies of his passport, etc. An advocate may be able to talk to him about safe but creative ways of gathering evidence. An advocate should also be able to connect him with legal aid in his area for his specific issues; there are attorneys who offer reduced rates or pro bono for cases of abuse. Frankly, since he is a man with no physical injuries, this wil be a little more challenging. However, I know from my training that there is growing awareness and acceptance in the advocacy community of the fact that men can be and are abused.

      The key thing to know is that when someone is being abused, statistically the most dangerous time is when they try to leave. That’s why it’s important to have a safety plan. Hope this is helpful; your uncle will be in my thoughts.

      • This. Please have him start with a domestic violence advocacy group. They have experience dealing with abusive people and will be able to help him set up an escape plan. Filing for divorce can be the most dangerous thing an abused person does, it can send the abuser over the edge. So he MUST make a plan.

        He also needs to think about his son. Will he leave son with wife? Is the child safe??

        • Need Some Serious Help :

          My uncle definitely wants his son away from his wife. The child is safe but he thinks the way he grew up is normal. It’s heartbreaking, and just knowing what goes on in that household is devastating. I’ll definitely keep you all posted – I’m sure I’ll run into more questions soon.

    • The NY courts website have a lot of resources & info.
      Go to
      The NY Courts website is

      I think one of the things he has to think about is trying to get full time custody of the child. I am not sure how that works, but a lot of times family court has pro bono/volunteer services for that sort of thing.

    • Third the suggestion for a domestic violence advocacy org. They may also be able to help him find pro bono legal assistance.

      What is VERY important is that he sit down and document, as much as he can, what is going on. Look, its no secret to anyone working DV that men are treated very differently in these proceedings then women (sometimes for good reasons that aren’t really pertinent to this discussion). But, any DV advocacy org worth their salt knows that (a) there are abused men out there and (b) that these can be dangerous situations. But, the more proof and documentation he can have the better. If nothing else, it will help him collect his thoughts so that he can tell a coherent and consistent story to a judge, which is extremely important in these scenarios.

      Finally, he should also document (again as best he can) her threats to make false reports and such. He needs to know that if/when he goes to file a restraining order, the odds are very good that she will file a dueling restraining order. And many judges choose to “resolve” this problem by just granting both (which is not fair, but is the reality).

      Anyway, sounds like a really sucky situation, but one that an advocate can help him with. If nothing else, helping him develop a safety plan will be extremely important.

      Good luck!

      • Why would it be bad to grant both restraining orders? Besides the fact that he clearly needs his more than she needs hers against him… but if she isn’t allowed to contact him, must stay 100+ feet away, whatever, then why would it be bad for him to have to do the same thing?

        I’m just curious about this.

        For the record, I agree with the advice to contact a DV group immediately, and legal services, both of whom will be trained to help him. And documenting everything is great advice, too.

        • Anne Shirley :

          Because having a restraining order against you carries stigma. It implies you have done something to deserve it, and it may be used as ammunition later in the divorce process.

          • Also, if she breaks the restraining order, it will become a he said-she said on who broke the terms of the order.

        • Wouldn’t it be a he-said she-said even if there were only one restraining order in place (i.e., against her)? And would it be really used as ammunition if both sides had them? Any argument that the other person is abusive would be pretty easily countered as hypocritical.

    • Need Some Serious Help :

      Thank you all so much for your help. I really had no clue where to start looking and will definitely look into the advocacy groups. Thanks again.

  11. Hope I don’t get in trouble for self-promotion, but after researching a bunch of hair removal options (including the tips on epilators from the comments here!) I put together this post on at-home hair removal options:

    Thought it might be helpful!

  12. Does anyone out there have a great travel laptop bag? I have been using my company-issued bag for over a year. It’s huge and completely overkill – I really need something lighter and cuter. I am looking for something that is durable and femine (but not, you know, TOO feminine). I would really like one that has a back-strap for attaching to my carry-on and a thick shoulder strap that won’t dig in to my shoulder. I know that this bag is out there!! Any specific bag or company recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    • These are pricey but nice. I’ve had mine for years, and it’s held up well.

    • Anonymous :

      I love my timbuktu, it’s indestructible and you can pick your own colors. Not very feminine, and it’s on the casual side, but I like it …

    • Anonymous :

      I have one from Franklin and Covey that I really like. It has held up well and strikes me as very feminine and also professional. I don’t think they make the one I have anymore, but they have a good selection of similarly nice-looking bags.

  13. Ballerina girl :

    Another career advice question (sorry, it’s been a rough few months): I am at the end of a very long job process with Job A and they just called to tell me they’d be checking my references, that if that worked out well and they decided that I would be the one to get the offer (unclear whether there are still other candidates, but looks like there may not be) they would call me, hash out the details and then, when I gave the green light, talk to my current boss for his reference. While this isn’t ideal, I am still generally okay with this, in theory.

    Job B, however, has also been in the running for quite some time. I used to work there a few years back and am inside candidate for a position. Friday they told me they wanted me to come in for a formal interview next week, but I still haven’t heard about the details.

    If given the choice, I’d want Job B over Job A, though they’re both great.

    Should I contact Job B at this point and say that Job A is checking my references and when can I expect to do the interview for Job B? Or is that too presumptuous? Lastly, one of the references Job A is contacting currently works for Job B (was my supervisor years back).

    Sorry for all the questions but I could use some guidance!

    • I wouldn’t tell Job B anything about Job A until there’s something more solid to present. You didn’t say that if Job A made you an offer you’d have to take it on the spot. So I’d wait until you’ve hashed out details with Job A (I’m assuming this means potential start dates, salary, etc.), because that seems like the point at which you have the offer. THEN let Job B know that you have this offer. I’d also let Job B know that they are your first choice.

      • Ballerina girl :

        The only problem is that they’re dragging their feet on scheduling interviews. I know it’s weird to try to prod them along but the woman in charge of this whole process has been advocating for me to get the job and I think would push things along if she knew.

        • I still wouldn’t say anything until you’ve reached the point that you feel comfortable saying, “I have an offer for Job A.” Otherwise, you should just defer to the hiring schedule they’re setting for themselves at Job B. I know it’s frustrating, but that’s my take. Others may disagree!

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been in the same position twice. I would tell the person scheduling interviews at Job B that you are a finalist for another position, but are extremely interested in the position with Job B. Let them know that, in order to avoid a time conflict with the other position, it would be ideal if you could interview with Job B as soon as possible. Let them work out the details; if they’re really interested in you they won’t want to lose you to the other company.

  14. on work bags- just got 2 great ones in dark brown and black from a Wilson’s store at an outlet mall (Potomac Mills near DC). been looking forever, finally found good combo of what needed. under $100 each.

    • I got a beautiful red one from the Wilson’s outlet in Long Island – also under $100 and totally fits my needs. Love it.

  15. Does anyone recommend a particular book on dealing with a loss of a loved one, specifically the loss of a child? Looking to buy such a book for a friend whose daughter passed away suddenly. There are a tons of books out there, so I would love a specific recommendation. My friend is of a spiritual bent, so a book that talks about God, spirituality, etc. would be good, although not necessary.

    • I have heard good things about Philip Yancey’s books, Where is God When it Hurts? and Disappointment with God. I’ve read another one of his books (What’s so Amazing about Grace?), and it is the very best religious book I’ve ever read. I appreciate that he digs deep and never offers simple, bumper sticker answers of “let go and let God,” or “you really are too blessed to be stressed.” Those trite responses can particularly sting someone like your friend who is hurting so much. Also, my mom has a copy of Streams in the Desert, and a quick search on Amazon shows there is a Streams in the Desert: Hope for Hurting Hearts. This was originally published in the 1920s by a woman whose husband was terminally ill. I hope this helps you.

      • Definitely agree with the Philip Yancy suggestion. I read Disappointment with God about a year after my mother died. I grabbed it on a whim at the local Border’s because the title hit the nail on the head as to exactly how I was feeling. It really helped me deal with my grief and look at losing her and my feelings towards God in a different way. I have yet to read Where is God When it Hurts?, but I hope to eventually.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s well-known enough to be a cliche now, but When Bad Things Happen to Good People is truly a great book on the topic. The rabbi who wrote it was watching his son die slowly of an illness. I’d highly recommend it for your friend.

    • Several friends have recommended highly Pema Chodron’s “When Things Fall Apart.” (Have not yet read it myself, though.) It’s definitely spiritual, but from a Buddhist rather than Christian perspective.

  16. Would it be ok to wear black leather wedges with a skirt suit to a formal legal society meeting (3 days long) full of federal judges?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think that wedges generally look slightly more casual than standard pumps, but if the shoe is otherwise conservative (no buckles, sparkly things, contrasting stitching, straps, etc), then I’d think you would be fine.

    • Yes

    • Two cents :

      No, definitely not. If your feet can’t handle pumps, try wearing a kitten heel. Wedges are too casual for this crowd.

    • soulfusion :

      It depends on the wedge – as long as it is a professional looking black wedge, then yes. I don’t understand why it wouldn’t be acceptable. I just attended (and spoke at) a conference that included a number of judges and the only pair of shoes I wore were the Kate Spade black patent wedges. The only reason I questioned my choice was I wore a navy suit and mixing navy and black took courage for me (although I had many Corporette voices in my head saying “wear them with purpose” so I think I pulled them off well!).

    • I think they’d have to be particularly professional wedges.

      Or you’d have to be soulfusion and rock them. :)

      But I wouldn’t risk it as a 3L. Invest in some comfy professional heels (low, thick/stacked heels).

    • Anonymous :

      Enjoy the FedSoc conference! I didn’t even wear a suit one year. You’ll be fine in the skirt suit with wedges. Have fun!

  17. To Ru: I loved the red ones!! But I have a fun shiny red suitcase (Dash Brookstone) and thought that would look ridiculous for business travel together. Maybe another year though I’ll get one just for office use. Now things are too hectic to be switching bags all the time.

  18. Tired Squared :

    I recognize that this is spam, but seriously … NECK liposuction?!

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