Wednesday’s TPS Report: “Julie” Gathered-Waist Dress

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

Antonio Melani "Julie" Gathered-Waist DressDillard’s has a number of cute Antonio Melani dresses marked down to just around $100 (or under), including this simple black and white sheath. I like the high (but flattering) v-neck, as well as the twists at the waist and the contrasting inset panel. The black and white pattern strikes me as the kind of thing that you can wear for years, as well. This dress was $169, now marked to $101.40. Antonio Melani “Julie” Gathered-Waist Dress

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


  1. I like the style of the dress, but not the print – reminds me of some sort of modern art/tire tracks on a dress.

    • Agreed. I am rarely a fan of prints like these, and it’s too bad because so many dresses and shirts (especially the ones featured here) seem to be done in similar motifs.

    • Diana Barry :

      Ditto – the print is hideous.

  2. It’s a nice dress but it looks like the bajillion black and white print dresses out there already. I miss the outrageous and contentious pieces Kat used to post.

    • Agree, sooo many black and white print dresses. I like this one, and many of them recently, but please post more colorful dresses!!

  3. Eh, it’s ok. I do need a new sheath dress this fall, but I think I’m going to save my pennies for a splurge. I really love the Tory Burch one here

    Also, I have no idea how to paste a link, so sorry if it didn’t work!

    • Oh my. That is beautiful!

    • and so anon :

      Pretty dress. It’s no big deal, but in the future if you are concerned that a link will be too long, shorten it by going to a site like

    • Gorgeous.

    • Oh wow. Lovely.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Oh my gosh- I saw that at Holts just yesterday when I was walking through it, and I totally fell in love with it. The colour is amazing in person. The plum looks more purpley in person, in my opinion. And the fabric is really nice too.

    • Lovely dress, but can we talk about the black tights with beige suede shoes? Zoinks!

      • The mustard shoes and black tights make her legs look huge. Horrible styling. Lovely dress though.

  4. What are you wearing? :

    I thought this post was fun last week and am wondering what everyone is wearing today. I’m wearing a grey sheath dress with a black blazer and burgundy pumps. For jewelry I have on gold hoops, a double strand of faux black pearls from the BR Mad Men collection, and my watch.

    • I’m wearing a burnt orange jersey dress with flared sleeves with brown Frye Harness boots and a strand of chocolate pearls.

      Yeah, taking advantage of my company’s lack of a dress code today. :)

    • Not at work today! So I’m wearing a stretchy black dress from Target, silver necklace from etsy, and when I leave the house, J.Crew flip flops and Coach sunglasses.

      • Diana Barry :

        I am working at home today! So I am wearing adidas capris and a ‘team’ t-shirt from one of my organizations.

    • Today’s my day off, so it denim bermudas, a red tshirt, and my chucks. And my white statement watch. I think my shirt clashes with my hair, so I only wear this shirt when I’m not going out.

    • Pink silk dress with ruffles on the skirt and a black silk detail on top (way less princessy than it sounds…), grey cardigan, black belt over the whole thing, and grey leopard print flats. Gold bow shaped pendant, subtle dangling earrings.

      I swear this outfit looks a lot better/more professional than it sounds typed out…

    • My outfit is a bit boring today. J.Crew navy pinstripe pants, burgundy shell, white White+Warren cardigan, Tod’s loafers (love them, can’t live without them!).

      • Square neck, black pinstripe, belted Tahari (the inexpensive Tahari line, bought at the Nordstrom sale) dress and my highest black heels (Franco Sarto, not super comfy). Finding the neck gapes a little when I’m sitting. I guess it will induce good posture.

    • Navy skirt, white shirt with pink slip underneath (not see-through FAOD!), cream INC pumps and pearls.

    • At OCI day 3 today and I am wearing a black skirt suit with a green short sleeved button down (all BR) with small red jewel necklace and earrings (not matching set), black Kenneth Cole pumps and black stockings.

      For those of you who remember from Monday I wore the grey pinstriped pantsuit again yesterday and rocked it out! I think my interviewer Monday just threw me off because we did not connect at all.

    • Light blue, white and peach striped oxford shirt with medium blue pencil skirt. Burnt orange flats , long orange bead necklace and gold stud earrings.

    • Only working half day today; light khaki colored trousers from BR (Martin fit), light purple jersey T-shirt with ruffles on the yoke from Boden, and my favorite Cole Haan brown leather peep toes with a gold bridle detail to dress things up. Usual jewelry — engagement ring, wedding ring, small Elsa Peretti star of David necklace.

    • I’m actually wearing a black/white print Ann Taylor dress. The print is similar to the one above, but the cut is different (high draped/scoop neck, slant pockets). I’m wearing 2″ black/white slides with it.

      Just happy it’s not raining today.

    • Black/white,purple, teal shift dress (jersey) w/ drape neck from travelsmith, purple bell sleeve open knit cardi from Pure, nude for me pumps with black patent trim around opening from CHaan, drop black pearl earrings, gobstopper black pearl (glass) choker length, black leather obi belt wrapped, my prague mesh strap silver watch, my silver bracelet that looks like a chunky mesh, wedding ring.

      How about picking a day of the week and making it a regular posting, Kat? We all seem to love the Corporette version of polyvore ensembles…

    • Navy ponte knit sheath dress (don’t remember label), 3/4 sleeve H&M swing jacket, leopard pumps.

      @shrink, great idea

    • Legal Eagle :

      Wine pencil skirt (Zara), cream colored faux-wrap top (NY & Co), grey three strand large faux pearl necklace (JCrew), emerald earings, 2″ snakeskin heels (Steve Madden), black blazer (BR)

    • grey pants from NY&C, salmonish colored tshirt (but a nice one. I was feeling lazy this morning) from talbot’s, black blazer, black pumps. The necklace is the fun part. silver pendant shaped like a rattlesnake jawbone (it basically looks like a wishbone) by gogo jewelry (www dot gogojewelry dot com). It’s a jewelry designer that casts gold and silver jewelry from molds of animal bones and shells, basically. If I had my pick, I would have gone with the discrete little starfish. However, my mother gave this one to me and she thought “a rattlesnake jawbone suited a lawyer.” I’m not sure what that says about my mother’s opinion of my chosen profession. I think she’s still mourning the fact I dropped pre-med in college.

    • Inadvertent Anthropologie day here: grey jersey top with asymmetrical ruffle on front, grey wool skirt with yellow polka-dots, yellow cardigan, black flats. I call it my Emma Pillsbury look. No clients today, whoopee!

    • Menswear inspired outfit today. Navy pencil skirt, navy and white seersuckerish vest, pink button-down, silver beads necklace and nude flats.

    • Jones New York White cotton 3/4 sleeve jacket with all-over black embrodiery in a floral design, black cotton sateen pants from talbots, pink sleeveless cashmere sweater from Talbots, necklace of oversized pearls, and dressy black sandals.

  5. and so anon :

    I’d have to see this in the store. As usual, I’m wary because it’s polyester, and polyester tends to look cheap, especially prints. It’s also not lined, but I’m not surprised.

    The silhouette is good. It would be great in silk, but, obviously, that would raise the price considerably. But I’d rather buy a fairly classic silk dress on sale than a polyester dress, even at this price.

  6. somewhere(less)cold :

    I just wanted to review some of my Boden sale purchases, inspired by Kat’s recent post.

    I got the Sassy Silk dress that was featured last week in grey in my normal size. I liked it a lot and wanted it to work, but the pleating and fabric at the waist was not flattering at all (too much fabric in front and on the sides). I thought that I might need to belt it when I ordered it, but once I saw it, I didn’t think a belt would help. I’m returning it.

    I got the Spring Shift dress in natural poppy love in the long. The midsection was better, although this dress has pockets, so the extra fabric looked a little more planned. There was a little too much fabric in the lower back area. While I could make this work, the arms were a little tight/constricting, and the color doesn’t do too much for me, so I am returning it.

    Textured Jersey Tee in wave stencil is also getting returned. I liked it until I noticed a weird bunching/pocket of fabric across the chest. Pulling it up or down took care of it, but it wouldn’t stay on it’s own and did not look better with different undergarments.

    The Waterfall Cardigan is pewter worked well for me. I like the weight (silk/linen), the gathering in the back to make it more fitted, and I wear this style a lot.

    • Love your Boden reviews. My Boden order is coming my way as we speak, so perhaps I’ll do a review as well.

      • somewhere(less)cold :

        Thanks, and you should! I am waiting on two more items, but I’m glad I posted about these, because the feedback and fit suggestions are helpful, and I have to decide soon since it’s all subject to the shorter return policy for sale items.

        Oh, and this was my first Boden purchase!

    • I got the Sassy Silk dress in grey as well. I’m between sizes, and usually size up in Boden if I think that a dress might be tight around the hips. The dress fits around my hips, but might be too loose around the waist. I’m concerned that it might be a bit shapeless. I have to try it on again, and see if I can wear it or get the extra fabric around the waist taken in.

    • Didn’t see this before posting — got mine yesterday as well and posted a review below. Wasn’t a hit for me.

    • I have the spring shift in natural poppy and I like it. It’s a nice summer dress.

      • somewhere(less)cold :

        How do you style it? I tried it on with a black blazer, and it looked okay. Is it work-appropriate for you? I’m in a pretty casual part of northern New England now, and it would be fine, but I’m moving down to DC and unsure if it would still be okay for work.

        • I can wear it work, but I’m also in a business casual office in Boston. Actually, in my department, I’m always the most dressed up. I wear it with nude-for-me high heeled slides. If I had a blue cardigan (it’s on my wish list!), I’d wear it with the dress.

    • just Karen :

      I got the grey silk dress as well . If you haven’t tried it with a thin belt, do! It made all the difference in the world for me, and I got a ton of compliments when I wore it. I wore a grey metallic belt last time, but I’m scouting for a thin red one for a pop of color – really I think almost any color would look great with it.

      • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

        Try looking at Target, I got a thin patent red belt that I wear at least twice a week.

  7. I agree that this is a see in person kind of dress. Poly can really go either way.

  8. SF Bay Associate :

    The dress would be great without that silly inset panel.

  9. What do you guys think of satin shoes? Non-black ones.

    Obviously not for work. I was in Bloomingdales the other day and they had a really pretty (and relatively comfy) pair of maroon heels on super sale and I was an inch away from buying them, but just couldn’t help this weird feeling that maybe satin shoes are a bit too . . . bridal party? Old fashioned? Cheap? I don’t know. Honestly, never thought about it before. And, I have a pair of black satin, open toe d’orsay pumps that I often wear to weddings, which I love. I would probably even feel weird being really dressed up and wearing regular black leather shoes, but with color satin — I just don’t know. Would love your sage opinions and thoughts. Curious if there are rules to this that I just don’t know.

    • Oh, fwiw, these were the shoes I almost bought:

      The color was more mauve, not red. And they were on sale for 40% off $39.00.

      • They’re more mauve, not red? Dang, I’ve been looking for a pair of dressy red peeptoes that aren’t patent leather/pleather. Those are gorgeous. I think shoes like these are very lounge-y/cruise-y and probably inappropriate anywhere else. If your formal attire consists of neutral colors, I’d get these shoes to be the statement of your outfit. Actually, even outside of formal attire, I think these shoes could work. Soft/loose black blouse, dark-colored slim fit/skinny jeans, these shoes, clutch, long chain with a pendant and a huge ring and you have your date night outfit.

        I’ve often wondered why the most outrageous shoes pair so well with desi attire. Platform stiletto peeptoe 6″ heels bedecked in glitter and rhinestones belong in a club with a miniskirt but for some reason, pair it with a salwar kameez, and it looks totally appropriate.

        • These might be red, actually. I saw mauve/maroon ones in the actual store, but they were also on sale, so it is possible that it was just a different color (?).

      • Thanks guys — I feel reassured. May stop by Bloomie’s on my way home & see if they still have the maroon ones there on sale. I have a wedding to attend this fall, and I think it will look nice with an otherwise simple navy silk dress.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      I’m not feeling satin shoes. If you already have a pair for going to weddings you’re set. I just can’t think of another situation where maroon satin heels would work. If you’re going to a gala, black satin or silver satin will probably match your dress better than marron. Unless you have something in your closet these would go with, I would skip them.

    • Satin shoes, to me, are very evening/going out. Like I might wear them out to a bar on a Friday night in a city (if I went out to bars and lived in a city) but a) how many times would you actually wear them and b) it also seems like they could get ruined very easily — waterdamaged, stained with other substances, etc. I don’t think they’re necessarily a “don’t” I just think they are very impractical, and too dressy for most occasions.

      • somewhere(less)cold :

        “if I went out to bars and lived in a city”
        Love the parenthetical!

    • For that price, if you know you’ll wear them, I wouldn’t stress too much! That said, I tend to agree that satin shoes have a going-out feel. The only pair I currently own are Kate Spade closed-toe low wedges, which are not only satin but have a floral print. It was kind of an impulse buy, but I felt strongly about them! They bring some interest to a black dress or a jeans/solid shirt casual going out look. It’s true that you have to worry about getting them wet, etc, but I have tried to adopt the philosophy that shoes (like clothes) are for wearing, come what may.

    • dress fanatic :

      I had the dyed to match shoes with my prom dresses eons ago and I just can’t do colored satin without having flashbacks.

    • I think satin is for formalwear. I wouldn’t wear them except to balls, weddings, and other events that take place in the evening and require a gown of some sort.

    • I love wearing all black, with brightly coloured satin shoes….like fuschia, for example. I don’t think there is anything wrong with satin. It is definitely more on the dressy end of things, so I wouldn’t wear them to the mall or when taking my yard clippings to the dump, but I think they are fun and make a statement if they aren’t worn in a matchy way. Go for it!

      • me too, nonny! i also really like wearing bright satin shoes w/ jeans & a plain black top — the high/low j-crew thing.

  10. SF Bay Associate :

    Someone yesterday mentioned that Bloomberg had an article on Nordstrom’s most popular products, including The Skirt. Google is not proving fruitful – does anyone have a link?

    • Maybe this is it?

    • It’s in Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, part of the article on popularity. I don’t think the specific picture is online, but here is the general link:

  11. Fellow Corporettes – Sorry for the early threadjack.

    Pleasant surprise, there is money left for professional development! I would ideally like to work on either my writing (as evidence by this post) or take some “leadership” skills class. I’m relatively young for my field and I could probably use some help in that department (internally more than externally). I’m in DC and not in law. Any helpful courses, seminars, etc?

    • Anonymous :

      Lots of courses over at Agriculture– the Webwriting course was popular w some coworkers.

  12. Hoping you all have suggestions — last summer I was stood up by my friend’s little brother. He was a 1L at the time and I was excited to have coffee with him to talk about my firm. He decided to sleep through the coffee…Now that he’s a 2L he is asking for advice. I am offended but don’t even know how to approach this situation because I am still good friends with his older sister. Should I say something to my friend or her little brother?

    • You don’t mention whether he was apologetic about standing you up, so I assume not. I would politely tell him you’re not available, and privately mention the reason why to your friend. Since she’s the older sister, she’s in a good position to provide some sisterly advice about good manners.

      If it wasn’t a friend’s little brother I would just not even reply to his email. But in this case your friend will probably want to look out for her little brother, so I’d let her know as a favor.

    • I think my response to this situation would likely be a bit harsher than what you’re looking for in order to not offend your friendship. I just can’t fathom any law student standing someone up who has offered to network and discuss their firm.

      I think, the most I would do in your situation, is agree to answer some of his questions over email. I wouldn’t agree to meet with him in person, because frankly, who has time to be stood up again? And if he truly wants advice, then I would warn him against burning bridges. Whether or not he wanted a job with your firm, he may have ruined those chances by missing your appointment last year. Even if there wasn’t a job prospect to begin with, it’s not like he can expect you to jump through hoops for him now.

      • somewhere(less)cold :

        I would also agree to answer some questions via email, and I would probably mention something about how you you are reluctant to schedule anything with or for him (like an intro to a colleague) because him sleeping through your meeting last summer left you with a bad impression of his commitment and level of responsibility.

    • Might be a good opportunity to advise him that missing the first meeting was a problem! I’d start with that (“First off, if you want to make a good impression, missing a meeting is not a good idea. I took time out of my day to meet with you and you never showed…yadayada..”) and then offer him whatever other advice you have to give. It’s also a lesson by example – you remain professional and courteous even though he was a dumbdumb.

    • I think it is a great opportunity to give him a lesson in how his actions can negatively effect his career, either directly or through his sister. Let him know that it is completely inappropriate to stand someone up unless there is a damn good reason (like hospitalization or death!) and he has cost himself an opportunity to learn from you. I try to instill repsonsibility in my teen-aged kid, but a lesson from a stranger/acquaintance is much more powerful!

      I hope his sister kicked his a** last year too! I would be so embarrassed if I helped set up a family member or close friend with an interview and they stood the person up!

  13. Ladies, I hope you can help with a job etiquette question. I just finished an internship. Normally, I would have taken the time to sit down on my last day to discuss my performance with my boss and ask if she would serve as a reference. Unfortunately, in the late morning of my last day, my boss received a call about a family emergency and had to leave. It involved a close family member, who was on the verge of death with a small chance of survival. So she left the office without us having a real conversation.

    I know for a fact that the boss looooved me, wrote me glowing reviews for my internship program, and talked about how great my work was all the time. So I have no doubt that she would be happy to serve as a reference. But I can’t just put her down without officially “asking,” or at least that what I’ve been taught.

    I’ve racked my brain about what to do for the last few days. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to discretely find out what happened with the relative. So what do I do now? I want to extend my condolences or send wishes for the relative’s recovery, but have no idea which is appropriate. I also want to ask to use her as a reference, but it seems awkward. Plus there are my general “thanks for the internship” notes to write. Please help!

    • I’d just call her – say something like “we never got a chance to talk before I left, I hope everything is okay…” She will reveal whatever she is comfortable with, you can offer condolences if appropriate, and then the transition shouldn’t be too difficult.

    • “Dear Boss,

      I hope you’re doing well, and that your (relative) has made a full recovery. You’ve been in my thoughts during the past few days/weeks.

      I really enjoyed my internship and feel like I’ve grown so much professionally because of it. Once you are settled back in at work and have a little free time, could we get coffee or lunch? I would like to see you again, and also to get feedback on my performance in the summer.

      As I’m sure you know, I’ve already begun looking for jobs for next summer. I’m sorry to ask this via email instead of in person, but would it be all right if I use you as a reference?

      Thank you so much for everything, and I hope to see you soon.


    • I don’t know the right answer to this, but one way you could approach it is:
      1) Today, write her an email (I’m assuming that’s a way you would correspond with her). Thank her for her mentoring, the opportunity, etc, and mention the family emergency vaguely “I know you may have other things on your mind right now, please know I am thinking good thoughts for you.” If she responds to your email, I would reply again and ask her to serve as a reference. If she doesn’t respond,

      2) Two weeks from now (assuming you have that kind of time frame) Email her and ask her to serve as a reference, not mentioning the family catastrophe.

      I’m sure the hive mind may have other ideas, but that might be how I would handle it.

    • Thank you so much ladies. I have no idea what I would do without you. I should be writing a thank you note to you guys – I’ve probably learned more from you about professionalism than from all my internships combined.

  14. Reporting back on the Boden dress featured last week (as well as a couple of other Boden dress impulse purchases): I ordered the 4L and 6L of each dress (I’m a 2/4 in Ann Taylor depending on cut and 4/6 in BR), and all of them will be going back. I’m a little over 5’8″/140 athletic build with a long torso. The dresses fit through the shoulders and chest, and the fabric was pretty, but they were “long” rather than “tall” — the torso proportions were way too short, and it seemed like the only alteration from the normal pattern was to add 2″ to the length (meaning that the darts for hips and butt all started about 3″ above my natural waist). I also noticed that the dress was cut very slim through the lower hip/upper thigh, to the point that I’d need to increase the slit in the back for ease of movement if I were going to keep them.

    Hope this helps.

    • somewhere(less)cold :

      I put my review above, and I saw your comment on it, but just wanted to say that I had the same issues with the dress. 5’7”/140 with a long torso (ordered a 6R in one dress and a 6L in another), and the waist and puffy areas from the pleats around the waist just didn’t hit me right.

  15. I know there’s been some debate on this site about leather vs. nonleather handbags for work. What do people think of this one (or MZ Wallace in general)? (Most of her bags are nylon main, leather accent)

    • I have no opinion on the leather/non but that bag is cute. Why are bags so expensive!!?

    • Maybe my mind is just in the gutter but my first reaction upon seeing the bag was that it reminded me of an overstuffed bra. Something about those two zippered pockets on the front, I don’t like it. While I normally prefer leather bags for work, I’ve been looking for a high quality nylon one for when it rains, and this will not be one I look at.

    • Anonymous :

      I Looooooove that. Makes me want it and want to explore the site… Go for it! It wouldn’t be plain and snoozey enough for some people’s offices, but you wouldn’t be looking at it if yours was one such zzzzzzzzy biz. Simple but with some personality and function. Love.

  16. I look at this model, and all I see is Tammy Taylor’s hair. And then I miss Tammy Taylor. And Coach!

  17. Threadjack! I’d love to get some your thoughts on eye cream. I’m running out of mine (organic French brand Yonka) and wasnt that thrilled with it. I have fine lines and dark undereye circles. Puffiness is generally not a problem. I tried a sample of La Mer (can’t remember which one) and wasn’t that impressed, although I’d give it another shot if you gals really think it’s the holy grail. I’m willing to spend $$$ – I just want it to work!

    Thanks in advance!

    • Big fan of Pomega5 eye contouring cream currently – using it in conjunction with Kiehl’s Abyssine eye cream. Haven’t tried La Mer more than a few samples-worth – but liked it. Used to use Olay regenerist – but I think the Kiehl’s works better (and kept having problems with the Olay’s texture – several times it was weirdly thick, maybe poor shelf stability?).

      • Oh – and for particularly dehydrated periods, I’ll use this one. Unless they’ve changed the formula (mine has lasted a really long time), it basically looks like you’ve put Vaseline around your eyes – but it soaks in overnight and does an amazing job.,default,pd.html?start=9&cgid=face-eye

    • After seeing it recommended in Real Simple, a friend told me about ROC’s Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. Been using it for about a year and have really noticed a difference on my fine lines and hellacious hereditary dark undereye circles. A few months ago they came out with “sensitive” version and I’ve been using it. Used in conjunciton with their corresponding night and day moisturizing products, I’ve been impressed with the effects on my 50 year old skin. Love the reasonable price point as well!