Wednesday’s TPS Report: Origami Detail Dress

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

ORIGAMI DETAIL DRESS-ASST-HEATHER CHARCOAL/WOODI am loving the origami details on this ponte knit dress from Max Studio. The details here all seem designed to both flatter as well as comfort — the empire waist, the belled sleeves, the looseish straight skirt — lovely. I’d wear it with simple pumps (with, perhaps, a wrap on standby) for a casual day at the office.  The dress is $118 at Max Studio (which has a number of good basics on sale right now). ORIGAMI DETAIL DRESS-ASST-HEATHER CHARCOAL/WOOD

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  1. I have actually developed a large collection of Max Studio dresses – both summer beach dresses and warmer winter dresses like this one. They are simple and perfect for work or casual weekend events. You can usually find great Max Studio dresses at Nordstrom Rack for around $30-$50.

    • How have yours held up?
      I bought a blue one this summer & the synthetic material is already showing a little pilling, etc. I like the idea of a simple casual dress for work, etc., but concerned about the quality.

      • surrounded by lawyers :

        My own ambiguous results: I have a summer work blouse from Max Studio that I wore and machine washed constantly, and it has held up just like new. Meanwhile, I also had a summer dress, seemingly of the same fabric, that I wore and washed much less often, and yet it pilled immediately. Go figure. I guess I’d say just don’t pay full price! (As I did for the dress, but not the blouse. Guess which one I have given away!)

        • Thanks! I will keep that in mind — that way, if it holds up & I get it for a bargain, it’s a double bonus :)

          • surrounded by lawyers :

            PS, you totally called it on the Donegal schoolboy blazer from J. Crew. I ordered my usual size and even found it a little roomy–though still flattering. Thanks!

          • So glad it worked out!

    • Agreed – and these dresses are often at Ross/TJ Maxx, too. Hope to try this one on if it moves to a lower-priced venue!

  2. This is cute — I like the origami detail as well as the fact that there are sleeves! But I do wish that stores would include measurements on how long the hem is so that we know in advance whether the dress would be too short for us. Nordstrom is great about always doing that.

    • Ditto!!! It is too short on the model for work, so I am not sure if it would work on me…

  3. Threadjack.
    So I am not a “royal watcher” but with all the hoopla about Prince William’s engagement, I have read a little bit about his fiance, and came across this quote from an article about her short-lived job at Jigsaw in the UK:

    “Then she rang me up one day and said: ‘Could I come and talk to you about work?’ She genuinely wanted a job but she needed an element of flexibility to continue the relationship with a very high-profile man and a life that she can’t dictate. She’s going to be dictated to when she’s needed and not needed…Belle and Kate’s working relationship ended last November when Kate quit her job, saying she needed “some time to herself”. There were no hard feelings and Belle would never criticise Kate for not wanting a full-time job. She saw first hand the demands made on her – she jokes that her own girls would never want to be a royal girlfriend.”

    This made me sad, that a young woman would not pursue a career because she was dating a royal and needed to be at his beck and call. I mean, I guess it paid off in a way, because they are getting married. But what if the prince had decided to drop her like a bad habit and marry someone else? And what about the idea of having something for yourself, outside of this famous relationship? I know Kate’s rich because of her family, but I know several extremely wealthy women who have family money and have still pursued careers anyway, because they were driven to succeed in their own right.

    Anyway – struck me as odd. Would any Corporetters here have made the same choice as Kate Middleton?

    • I started to write that I wouldn’t, but then I realized that it’s really hard to say. I would certainly, if necessary for some reason, give up my career if it was a choice between that and my husband. (Although I certainly wouldn’t just bow down if he asked that of me, not that he would.) She’s in a very unique situation; he can’t just not be prince (while in most of our relationships, we’re more on equal footing about what who can give up what), and if she loves him like I love my husband, I can certainly see why she would do that.

      Also, we don’t really know that that career was her dream. As the wife/fiance of such a wealthy and powerful man, she may be able to do something that she really, really cares about, such as starting a foundation/charitable organization/etc. based on something important to her, and be extraordinarily successful.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t know how this could be characterized as “sad.” We have strangely elevated having a job over having a life. If they are committed to each other, they will have a fabulous life. It’s not really any different from someone who’s married to a CEO or a high powered lawyer or a surgeon or any other dedicated professional, just on a different scale. If one partner is that tied into a demanding career, requires travel, long hours, etc, the other person generally has to adapt in order to have any semblance of a manageable lifestyle/home life. This is a reality we don’t want to admit. I work hard and make more money than my husband, but I’ve given up certain career advances in order to spend more time with my children, run our household and maintain our social lives. I don’t regret it, why would I, this is the life I want, but maybe others think it’s “sad”? Doing something productive is great, having a job? not always so much fun.

        • ballerina girl :

          Well, making choices to strike a better balance while still pursuing a career you enjoy is different than just abandoning all career hopes in general. Which is also fine if you don’t care to have a career. I don’t think careers are for everyone–if you work just to pay the bills and then you don’t have to pay the bills, you’ve hit the jackpot. But if you want to have a career and feel like you can’t because of your circumstance, that’s not a good thing. Of course, the “circumstance” could make it worth it for you. (and to be clear, I’m not talking about the “you” I’m replying to here)

          If it’s just that your husband wants to have his career and you give up yours for his, then yes, I think that’s a bit sad (not in the “pathetic” sense, just in the “sad” sense) because why should his dreams win over yours?

          In the case of the Royals, I think it’s circumstance beyond their control. Kate can’t work the way others do anymore–but hopefully she’ll find something meaningful she can do in that capacity. Great opportunity there.

    • In a hot second. If he dumps you, publish a tell-all book and live on that, or just threaten to do so and take a hefty settlement in exchange for an agreement not to publish. Of course, if I was as wealthy as Kate Middleton, my answer would probably be very different, but would I give up striving and saving and worrying about my future to fly all over the world as an insanely wealthy man’s girlfriend? Yes. Yes I would.

      • I would never publish a tell-all or threaten to do so in exchange for money.
        We all have our own standards, but to me that’s incredibly tacky. People break up. It happens.

        As to the original question, it doesn’t make me sad at all. She is a young woman who made the decision that she wanted to enjoy a relationship where she might be asked to fly to some exotic locale for a ball or whatever on any given week. I don’t think her choice to enjoy that lifestyle is all that much different from someone else’s choice to work part time so they can have kids or whatever else. Besides, it’s not like she was throwing away her future — we should all be so lucky as to have the kinds of networking opportunities she did.

        • It is indeed tacky, in poor taste, oh so declasse, etc. etc. That’s kind of the point – not everyone feels secure enough that they can afford not to do such things. In fact, most people would throw damn near all of their standards out the window for even a chance at such massive, massive wealth, and I tend to disbelieve those who say otherwise, or at least envy them for their obvious financial security.

          • I don’t think that a one time tell-all gets you the kind of financial security that is worth throwing away all your morals for.
            I am not so financially secure that I couldn’t use the money. I just prefer to think of myself as a person who wouldn’t do something like that just for the money and/or some petty revenge. Maybe I am in the naive minority. But if that’s the case, I feel really bad for all these famous men & women who date knowing that if they break up with someone, all their intimate details will end up in some throw-away best seller or Hello magazine. How depressing. No wonder these relationships don’t usually work out.

          • Chicago S :

            All you have to do is watch reality tv, a lot of people will stoop pretty low for 15 minutes of fame.

          • Being polite to the obscenely rich doesn’t really constitute “all my morals,” or even any of them really. I understand and appreciate your point of view, but mine has little sympathy for famous men and women.

        • Veronica — I am a little confused. To say “Being polite to the obscenely rich doesn’t really constitute “all my morals,” or even any of them really” seems to presuppose the fact that the only reason one enters into a relationship with someone who is rich or famous is for personal gain. I guess I wouldn’t date someone just because they were X, so if it didn’t work out, I wouldn’t see it as anything different from any other break-up, and I wouldn’t go out of my way to hurt any “regular” ex-bf, so why do it just b/c the person happens to have money?

          • I would certainly refrain if I liked the person and didn’t want to cause them pain, AND if that liking significantly outweighed my financial need, sure, but not because it was tacky. We’re talking about giving up a career for one’s relationship, and in the context of non-Kate people, that actually means something. I wouldn’t date someone just because they were X either, but if I (again, very much unlike Kate and her ilk) gave up a great deal of autonomy and future financial security to do so, I would most certainly expect something in return and would feel justified getting it in any way available. Basically, only the rich can afford not to be tacky, which is really what tacky means. And that’s not particularly fair. Sorry if I’m unclear – this is really difficult to explain adequately given space and time limitations.

          • Anonymous :

            I think it would be easy to explain – if it made any sense at all.

            Seriously? You “most certainly expect something in return and would feel justified getting it in any way available?” Man, your poor boyfriend/fiance/husband. Life is a series of risks and gambles. Nothing is for certain, and the only thing you can control is yourself and how you respond to life’s curveballs and challenges.

    • I’m not sure I would have made the same choice. But, how many of us have made choice about what job offer to accept because of where your husband worked and could more easily find work? How many of us choose jobs based on the maternity leave policy?

      I am nto saying there is a right or wrong answer here. But, that we all make choices and we all have priorities. In Ms. Middleton’s life, her relationshp with Prince William was a priority over her job. At least she tried to work, not just date him. Even after she left Jigsaw, she worked for her parents’ business Party Pieces. Which if she weren’t waiting for a Royal Engagement, everyone would have thought was great she was getting into the family business (after all the Middleton parents won’t live forever). Instead she got labeled “Waity Katy” and criticized for 1) not having a real job or 2) not doing charity work.

      Ms. Middleton has a rough road ahead of her. But, I think she has a good head on her shoulders and some idea of what she is getting herself into. Good luck to them both.

      On a personal note, I teared up when Prince William said he gave her Diana’s engagement ring so that his mother would have a “presence” at the wedding. So sad she won’t be there for the wedding. Her kids were her world.

    • surrounded by lawyers :

      I would never have made a choice like this, though I respect anyone’s decisions on such matters, from real people to celebrities.

      Work has always been a passion for me, such that I will not compromise it. Relationships/marriage/family simply have to be compatible. This doesn’t mean all the sacrifices happen in my personal life, but it does mean that if I gave up an opportunity I wanted in order to be a girlfriend/wife/mother, I would be so sad about having done so that I would then be a much inferior girlfriend/wife/mother. That would not be fair to anyone involved.

      Again, I want to emphasize that this is just for me, and that I don’t have any opinions on other people’s choices. I think it’s just all about knowing what you want, and what you will want in the future, so you honor yourself and the people you love and make sure that your goals in life can exist alongside each other.

    • I wouldn’t, but my reluctance would be less about sacrificing my career – because I think that the opportunities she’ll have in that position can be equally exciting, interesting and important – and more about the endless, grinding public scrutiny. I’d be terribly suited to it. But for someone who can learn to deal with it, I think it’s a choice that makes a lot of sense.

    • Another Sarah :

      I was reading somewhere, or saw on TV, that even though Kate is very intelligent and smart, she’s just not a career woman. The presenter/author speculated that even if she wasn’t dating/about to be engaged to William, she would still be working at a place like Jigsaw (maybe putting in a bit more effort, but whatevs) or for her parents. That doesn’t mean she is the kind of woman who went to college to get her MRS degree, she just isn’t into the whole career > just a job thing. Which is cool. Kate will also be the very first princess/queen, in the history of Britain, with a college degree.

      If Prince Harry called me up and said, “Hey, Sarah, let’s get married. Catch: you can’t take that Bar Exam,” I would probably laugh into the phone. But I would start negotiating so that I’m able to take the exam, get my license, and THEN get the legal equivalent of Kate’s job/do pro bono stuff. The way I kinda see it, Kate as POW is kinda like a First Lady; we don’t expect First Ladies to keep their careers going while their husbands are campaigning or in the White House. And we don’t fault them for leaving their careers either to follow their husband and, essentially go from running a company to running a household. :-)

      • And to be fair, it seems to go both ways – Queen Elizabeth’s husband isn’t exactly holding down a regular job either.

      • I recognize that Waity Katy was being followed by the press, etc and maintaining a normal life while dating a prince is impossible in the UK. However, I wish she returned to college (keeping her options open) or did something productive like charity work instead of being a hanger on and going on vacation all the time.

        I guess now she will finally do charitable work and of course produce an heir.

        • Anonymous :

          Here’s my take:

          If a 28 year old woman went to college, studied Art History, graduated, worked for a clothing company for a few years, and then worked for her family’s successful business for a few years, NO ONE would say that she had wasted her time and/or wasn’t being serious. She’s 28. Yes, her romantic situation is highly different from anything I’m guessing any Corporette has encountered personally, but still…the only reason people are saying that she didn’t do enough, and is giving up now, is because she’s marrying a royal. Delete “HRH Prince William” and substitute “a doctor,” “a lawyer,” or any other man whose professional salary afforded her the luxury of not working, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    • Love can play havoc with what you thought your priorities were – I plan to move to the UK with my partner even though frankly I don’t want to, because his feelings on the topic are stronger than mine are.

    • And if she’d had a career outside the family business, we’d be saying that it is a shame that that she decided to throw it away to marry into The Firm. Just look at Letizia, Princess of Asturias, who had a pretty successful career as a reporter prior to marriage – and now she’s essentially without any solid work of her own compared to back then. Princess Mathilde of Belgium has a Masters in Speech therapy, and worked as a speech therapist when she met her husband. Princess Maxima of the Netherlands worked in investment banking in NY before marrying her husband.

      These women who marry into royal families do have immense opportunities to do good, spotlight charities, and so on, but the majority of what they do, don’t necessarily require Masters degrees or any work experience prior to marriage.

      I think what Kate Middleton has done prior to yesterday, (apart from getting involved with Prince William and developing a relationship with him) mean little in the long term. It is what she does after the marriage, which charities she involves herself with, how hard she works, which will determine the end result.

      After all, if a single mother, with connection to the party scene in Oslo, and deemed to be the end of the Norwegian monarchy, can marry into the royal family – settle down to the point where she publishes a collection of psalms that mean a lot to her, involves herself in the fight against AIDS/HIV, and keeps taking college classes to further educate herself, then surely there is hope after marriage for a 28 year old university graduate in the UK…

      • I am pleased to know I am not the only Royal watcher of the Brits and Europeans. Mostly through Hello Magazine!

        • L from Oz :

          I live in Europe, so it’s fractionally more excusable, but it’s also nice to know I’m not the only one. (I come by my habit honestly – I used to drink in the pub in Sydney when Frederick met Mary, although I clearly picked the wrong places to go out during the Olympics…)

          And yes, I’m really rather fond of the Norwegian royals.

          • I’m also in Europe (in Norway, actually), and what I find is that with things like this – it’s really everywhere, so it might pop up in conversation with totally random people. With the recent engagement it was a mix between “Oh, he’s off the market, darn it.” and “What’s she thinking of, giving up her privacy like that?”

    • Big Firm Lawyer :

      Well, most people make some sort of sacrifice while in relationships. Sacrificing a career doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me, as I head off for another 12-hour day.

    • Kate never was asked to give up a career that she had already invested in. She started dating William in college and was already familiar with what that would mean by the time she entered the workforce. Also, as an Art History major, it’s doubtful that she was career-oriented from the get-go (I am speaking as an English major who had no idea what I wanted to do full-time after I finished college).

      Personally, I think that it is wonderful that she had a chance to work. She (and William) took their time figuring out what their relationship would be like in the real world, or as real as a Royal gets, and are now taking the next step as adults.

    • I think she is pursuing a career–being a member of the royal family is a very demanding and public job. She will fulfill a lot of ceremonial and formal roles, and I am sure that many of the events she will have to attend will not be all that interesting or glamorous. Part of marrying the man she loves is selecting a role as a public servant (albeit a wealthy one) and surely was an important consideration for her.

    • I would not personally have done it simply because my life situation would not have allowed it. I simply do not have the family money or connections to help me survive while only working part-time at a non-career-track job, nor to help me recover if the relationship did not work out. If I’d had that cushion? Yes, I’d have done it so long as I felt the relationship was one that was healthy for me and moving along.

    • skippy pea :

      Why? What is bothering so much about the decision?
      I htought the whole point of being a human being and/or a woman is to make decision that you feel are “right” for you at that point in time.

      Why do you think that going after a career is so much more important than being able to see your man whenever you want? If you think that your career comes above al else, then you have the freedom to pursue it. Kate took the other take on the situation and yayy for her. We should not criticize her decision simply because we do not like it.

      I agree that such a decision would have been imprudent for the ordinary woman- doing it for another ordinary guy who could drop her in a new york minute. But this is not your typical situation now is it?

      I also like to remind myself that my so called career – no matter how high flying it is- is still a job – a means to an end. Really- I am not curing cancer at the end of the day or anything like that.
      For me, there are other more important things that I need to do with my limited time on this earth and if I had the luxury of following my man or following my other dreams without regard to a career, I would be doing exactly what Kate is doing.

      Beyond that – I fail to see why everyone is sooooo obsessed about the royal family!

      Could. anymore. IRRELEVANT?

      The way some carry on about the royal family or about being a royal seems downright abhorrent in today’s mertocratic, egalitarian world.

      Thank God I do not live in U.K. But I find it ridiculous that Canada still proudly claims the Queen as titular head.

      • Anonymous :

        Totally agree. Strange how work has been elevated over life. I feel like we have forgotten how to live in the U.S. Did anyone see the article about Dutch women? I’m not sure how it all works if you don’t have a high-earning spouse, but I think they have a sense of balance that we don’t. They lead rich, full lives including work while we… work.

      • Amen.

    • I think the FLOTUS analogy seems most on point. Its not just marrying someone wealthy – she’s essentially marrying an institution. And I think its a lot more than just flying around the world to balls. She is someone who already has all the money she will likely ever need, and has willingly subjected herself to a pretty harsh media spotlight for the rest of her life. I don’t think its a position that is compatible with an outside career, and if she made that choice with her eyes open, more power to her.

    • Charlotte was right :

      Whether it’s from a fire-breathing dragon or just a boring BigLaw job, it appears women really do just want to be rescued.

      Shocked by these responses. Especially on this blog. It appears feminism really is dead.

      • Isn’t the essence of feminism the ability to choose? Wasn’t that was the original fight for, the ability to choose to work wherever one desired, to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, housewife, scientist, waitress or whatever, without a man or institution saying “No you can’t, that is not proper.” The world needs female supreme court justices, it needs female nurses, and it needs stay at home moms. My mother was a stay at home mom, something I would never want to be. But I can’t imagine my childhood any other way and I grateful for the strength it took to be a stay at home mom and to give up some of the luxuries that come with working. I will be a lawyer, and I hope if I have a daughter she will be grateful for the sacrifices I made working to provide for her. And whether she wants to be a princess or the President, she’ll know that feminism that came before my time gave her that choice. And if she wants to be a princess, I hope she doesn’t run into someone using “feminism” to say no you can’t be a princess, thats not proper.

  4. Thoughts on this sweater coat? Really like the style, not sure about the double color.

    • lawyerette :

      Not a fan personally based on the double color thing too …

    • I like it. I have an ombre sweater that goes from magenta to purple to almost-black burgundy, and it looks really flattering on in my opinion & I have gotten tons of compliments on it every time I wear it. Somehow, mine also makes me feel more festive when I wear (at work retirement events, holiday parties, etc.) & yet it’s still just a basic comfy sweater.

    • I like it! The double color is gradual and soberish, and that burgundy/magenta shade is my fave.

    • I like the almost-ombre coloring, especially as these colors are rich and not too bright. However, I think the 3/4 length sleeves look silly with a longer sweater.

    • oh, I really like it. Pretty.

  5. The Times says Google has a new fashion site.

    The Times article is here:

    Fashion site is here:

    I’m wondering what people think. I tried to do the slideshow/quiz thing and lost patience because nothing was really my style and I felt fashion-backward….

    Also, Banana 40% code if you buy full-priced outerwear: BRPOWER. (The email I got says sale is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time; not sure if it varies by shipping zone or what, but I am on the east coast.)

    • I’ve been playing around with it today. I wish that you had more control over what the storefront would look like. I like to play with Polyvore more for that reason. It was fun to procrastinate for a bit though.

    • LOVE boutiques. admittedly, i’m pretty big into google and all its offerings, so i was biased towards embracing boutiques from the start. but, for me? wonderful.

      the slideshow thing DOES have a skip/not my style button to choose if neither one is your style. and it’s not that you would wear that EXACT outfit, but rather which is more something you like.

      yesterday, i thought my search for new boots was over. the one style/color i could find that i actually liked didn’t come in the right size. however, a few minutes shopping on, and i’ve already got another pair ordered. BAM.

      originally, too, i’d thought that i’d use boutiques for browsing when i wasn’t sure exactly what i wanted but wanted to buy something. but shopping for something specific is just as wonderful as general browsing.

      i’m a fan.

  6. Talbots dress :

    This dress from Talbots is gorgeous, but a lot of folks have said that their dresses are very boxy. I’m an hourglass shape. Has anyone purchased this dress and have comments? It’s web only.

    • lawyerette :

      Talbots quality is amazing IMO and even if the dress is a little boxy, it looks like the type of thing that would cost $15 for a tailor to fix, tops. It’s hard for things to be perfect off-the-rack, especially for hourglass figures.

      • I am normally a 4/6 in banana, but I was swimming even in an XS Petite dress from Talbots, (which I ordered online too).

        • lawyerette :

          oh wow, I normally am the same in Talbots as in Banana, at least in everything I have tried from them.

          • I am the about the same in pants and most tops as between BR and Talbots, but with dresses I have had the same experience as fresh jd.

    • divaliscious11 :

      I have that dress in my basket… I love Talbot’s dresses. I am tall and curvy and don’t find most of them boxy, especially if they are knit. The more structured dresses can be a little bit boxy, but easily fixed by a quick nipping at the waistline.

      I plan on wearing it with knee high black suede mid heel boots! Annoyed I got busy during the last 30% off dresses sales…

      • Talbots dress :

        Good to know, thanks. I bought one dress online from Talbots that was super boxy so I have shied away from anything else. But this dress is gorgeous and I agree that spending a bit of money on tailoring in the event that it is boxy is no big deal.

    • Hard to imagine that one being “boxy,” given how it fits the slender model. Of course, it could be pinned in the back.

      The dress is lovely; I really like the detailing at the neck and the neutral grey is very flattering. I wish I could wear merino wool against my skin!

  7. Parisienne :

    This dress with the slit neckline and bust detailing is not for work. Actually in this part of the country wearing dresses to work is sort of rare.

    • lawyerette :

      What part of the country is that? In Boston biglaw, dresses are very common, although I think the one featured would only be for a Friday casual day (and showing no cleavage, which really depends on the person)

      • Ditto (I am in Boston too), and I agree that this dress is a bit too casual for days other than Friday.

      • I’m in D.C. and I’m with you ladies. This is more of a casual Friday dress (or perhaps a dress for when Congress is in recess). Dresses are very common for work here, though.

    • divaliscious11 :

      I’m in the Midwest, and admittedly in-house, but assuming the dress is knee length, I could wear this to work. I’d probably only do so in summer because I don’t really like how light weight jersey works with tights, but I absolutely could wear it.

  8. Oh wow, I LOVE this dress. The detailing, the color, the sleeve length which for me balances the peekaboo neckline. Yes, not for work. And I would have to wear a bodyshaper underneath it. Still, I see a trip to Nordstrom Rack in my future.

  9. This dress to me is the perfect solution for casual Fridays (assuming length is appropriate) in professional offices (law, etc), especially worn with boots and tights. Great find.

  10. Black Friday :

    I know that Kat will post something about the Black Friday sales next week, but I’d love to start the conversation earlier! Has anyone heard of any great BF clothing deals for this year? And does Nordstrom participate in BF (not Nordstrom Rack, which I believe does participate in BF)?


  11. I recently purchased a brown knit dress that’s similar to this, minus the split neckline and shorter hemlength. Question: what color tights would you wear with it? I’ve worn it with black tights and black suede knee-high boots, and that seemed okay. Also have done black tights and leopard print pumps. Tried dark brown tights but they seem a little “matchy.” Can’t do the bare-legged thing in the fall/winter.

    • surrounded by lawyers :

      This is largely ridiculed, but I wear nude stockings all the time. If you just pick the right tone for your skin, they are not noticeable–and neither is a run, if you get one mid-day and can’t change.

      • Lana Lang :

        I’m with you here, in fact almost all the women in my office wear nude tights rather than any other shade. They only look rubbish if (1) they are too thick and opaque and/or (2) they are not the right shade for your skin tone.

      • I agree, on nude stockings as well. I like tights, but I feel very casual/trendy/young in them- in other words, not a bit unprofessional or inappropriate, but not the most professional I could be, if that makes sense.

        If I want to wear a skirt with brown boots, I usually wear hose, unless it’s very warm.

    • I think brown tights/brown boots would be perfect fine, not too matchy. Or, brown boots and tights with a great pattern too them.

      • OMG. “perfectly” and “to,” not “perfect,” and “too.” Ugh.

    • Nude Tights :

      I hate the feel of regular hose/stockings, but I wear nude tights. Three years ago I searched everywhere for them and it finally dawned on me to get dance tights! They are somewhat hard to find, but most cities (even smaller ones) have at least one store that sells dance uniforms, shoes, etc. and you can find the tights there. FWIW, I’m not referring to the overly shiny ones, just regular, matte, skin color dance tights. A bonus is that they last way longer than any other tights I’ve found. I actually bought several pairs of black dance tights, as well, after discovering how much I like my nude ones.

      • Nude Tights :

        FWIW, these are the kind of tights I’m referring to:

        The downside is that they don’t come in many colors so if one of the few “nudes” doesn’t match your skintone, you’re out of luck.

        • I have never worn or seen nude tights–do you just pick a color that looks closest to your skin tone? Do you wear them the same as tights, or as a stocking substitute?

      • I am a little baffled by your saying that these are “good tights”. I always imagined dance tights (as a figure skater) were “bad tights”. I’m pretty sure even if they match your skin they makes your legs look weird.

        • Nude Tights :

          I guess we just have differing opinions. I’ve found that mine last forever, match my skin tone perfectly, and are thicker than other tights-which is nice for dealing with harsh Chicago winters. My legs certainly don’t look weird in them and I’ve had people I don’t even know (as well as people I do know) ask me where I got them before since they want to get some themselves.

          I’m pretty sure everyone’s legs look different in different things, so I’m not sure why you would be so certain they make my legs “look weird.” Downright baffling.

      • i'm nobody :

        fwiw, you’ll probably find better prices at

    • If you can get away with it at your workplace, I would go with brown boots and a bright-colored tight (fuschia, teal, maybe a purple?). Only a little bit of the tights will show since you will be wearing boots, so it won’t be too much brightness, I don’t think. Otherwise, I would do brown, or nude pantyhose as suggested above. A thicker brown tight would obviously keep you warmer though.

    • Brown boots and cream tights can be a nice fall look.

      • Anonymous :

        ugh, guys, please don’t do the nude tights. not trying to be rude but no.

        • New Flash :

          News Flash: If you have to say you’re not trying to be rude, you probably are, in fact, being rude. What do you have against nude tights on others? I wear them from time-to-time and always have lots of (20-something, stylish) women ask where I got them because they are looking for some themselves and they are so hard to find!

          • I’m not the original nude-tights-disliker, but to me they look like (1) ice skating tights or (2) support hose. And having worn support hose myself following a surgery, I know firsthand just how fugly they are :(

        • I assume this was a misplaced reply? If it’s not clear, cream is different than nude even if you’re very pale.

    • How about olive or dark purple tights with a black shoe/boot (assuming you can find either color)? I might try navy too.

  12. Threadjack: I need some new foundation. Features I want: easy to apply (bonus for no applicator required), easy to match, light to medium coverage, oil free. I had some SmartShades stuff but left it in my purse on the floorboard of my car (near the heater) and it turned bright orange (yikes!!). Prefer something I can buy at a drugstore vs. trekking out to the mall or a specialty store. Suggestions?

    • Expounding on the easy to apply: This is the foundation I keep in my purse for applying in the car with the visor mirror before running into a meeting, etc. Damp sponges not likely to be available.

      • In terms of easy to apply drugstore brand — I have had good luck with Almay before. I think it was a “sport” foundation. Very blendable, not too light or heavy & didn’t look like you were wearing anything.

    • AnonAnonAnon :

      Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer.

    • I’ve always stuck with Maybelline. I really like their matte mouse collection in the little tub. It’s easy to apply and blends in.

  13. Threadjack: Does anyone have a recommendation for a shoe repair place in Chicago? Several pairs of my shoes are in need of some serious TLC. Thanks!

    • I had a purse repaired at a shop just south of Fullerton and Clark on the east side of the street. It was a pretty simple repair (stiching had come undone) but they did a good job. You can’t see the difference between the side they fixed and unrepaired side. Maybe try them with one pair of shoes and see how it goes? (I don’t remember the name of the store, but google probably can.)

    • Oh! I just called Saks the other day for their recommendation. Apparently all of the Mich Ave stores use Brooks Shoe Repair, at 29 E Madison (312) 372 2504 (happened to still have this on a post-it on my desk). I haven’t been in yet, but I called and it sounded really promising. They are open Saturdays, too.

  14. I tried that Talbots dress on in the store (so maybe it’s not really online only?) The fit was fine- it’s a nice substantial fabric and cut well. But the detailing on the neck flummoxed me – I couldn’t see a jacket or cardigan working with it. And I want the ability to layer if needed, so I didn’t buy it.

  15. Forestgirl :

    Threadjack: I’m thinking about using a tinted moisturizer rather than my current mineral foundation. Why do people like the tinted moisturizer rather than a light foundation, and what brand to people use? Thanks!

    • Try Estee Lauder:

      This is its tinted moisturizer which will — through the miracle of science! — match itself to your skintone. I use this over my moisturizer and top it with powder. I’ve been using this stuff for 6 or seven years now and swear by it….I took a break from it do the the “mineral makeup” thing, but could never get the same amount of coverage from the minerals that I get with this (and it’s not a lot of coverage, but my face is definitely more “finished”). HTH.

    • I like Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. It has SPF 20.

    • I think tinted moisturizer is easier so people may prefer it to a light foundation.
      I also know some people who prefer using a tinted moisturizer b/c it makes them feel like they “need” less makeup (i.e., it’s more low maintenance, natural seeming).
      I have had mixed luck w/it myself b/c tinted moisturizer tends to come in less shades and so has the potential to match less & thus be more noticeable. I have heard good things about L.M. I would not recomend Benefit — it looked very fake on me. Cover girl used to have a great one, too, but I haven’t seen it lately.

      • I found the CoverGirl one on yesterday for less than $6. The LM one sounds tempting, but at $45/oz, I’ll try CG first.

    • i'm nobody :

      cosign the Laura Mercier recommendation. Bobbi Brown’s tinted moisturizing balm is wonderful, too.

    • I use Clinique. I use tinted moiosturizer because I don’t need “coverage” so much as to even out my skin tone a little bit. I use a light under eye concealer, tinted moisturizer, and then set it with a loose powder. The end – takes 90 seconds.

    • Love tinted moisturizer. I use one by Olay, I think it’s SPF 15. It’s sheer enough that you can just sort of smear it on which makes it a lot easier to work with than foundation.

  16. L from Oz :

    Another voice for Laura Mercier. Very good stuff. As to why – I have pretty clear skin, and don’t want to slather on lots of foundation. Happily, LM does a suitably ghost shade for me as well.

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