Wednesday’s TPS Report: Ponte knit bateau neck dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.
Picture 3Today we’re liking this simple knee-length dress from Talbots. We’d wear an opera-length necklace with it (or perhaps a scarf wrapped once around our neck) and tall leather or suede boots.  (And we’d skip the belt — it is not doing the model any favors.)  The black dress is full price at $149, but the red and gray versions are on sale for $74.  Available in regular, women’s sizes, and petites.  Ponte knit bateau neck dress

If you’ve recently seen a great work piece you’d like to recommend to the readers, please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line. Unless you ask otherwise, we’ll refer to you by your first initial.

We mentioned this on Facebook, but thought we’d mention it here also — Boden USA has tons of great discounts, but it seems like most pieces only have a few sizes left.



  1. Hm, I think this is one of those dresses that you really have to try on first. On the model this just looks frumpy and shapeless, but on someone curvy this could look nice.

    • I purchased a dress in this material for a wedding expecting to be able to wear it in professional settings to really get my money’s worth, but on my shape (classic hourglass) it is a strictly after hours dress.

  2. Oh, and someone on this board asked a few days ago about sizing at the Limited. I bought several items online and am not happy with any of them — I think the sizing is more true to size (not vanity sizing), which is fine, but the tops I bought have a “sheen” texture to them and emphasize every lump and bump!

    • Am I the only one who thinks the Limited is more for women just starting their career- like early 20s? I bought a lot of my work clothes there when I first came out of college and was about 20lbs lighter, but now the shape of the clothes doesn’t really work on me.

      I am not sure about this dress. I was initially wary of ponte knit dresses, but tried on one of the Nordstrom ones featured on here a few months ago and was shocked at how great it looked. I think I would need a belt to pull this one off, but one that fell at my true waistline and not saggy/decorative like it is here.

      • I wonder that myself. I’m fairly thin but the small looked awful on me and I think even the medium would look odd. I think the Limited is probably best for young women with very straight/non-curvy figures.

        • I think of The Limited as being for junior high and high school girls. I actually worked there in high school, and at least at that point in time, that was who shopped there. I haven’t been there in years, though.

        • I agree; I shopped there a ton in middle school and high school; haven’t been there in ages. I am 27.

          • they redid their image. lots of ok (including wool) suits for cheap. you just have to be careful what you buy, because you can successfully look trashy in their clothes too. not the best quality but sure beats old navy and sister store express (which is where the high school girls hang out now, from what i can gather).

          • Yes, I do think you have to be careful at the limited, but as a very thin person (but too tall for petite sizing at better stores like Banana and J.Crew), it’s one of the only places suits fit without having to get taken in. I’m in my late 20s, and while I wouldn’t wear most things from The Limited, I occasionally find an acceptable item; and many of their suits (I think there is a wider selection online) are quite nice and affordable – wouldn’t wear them in court, but look fine on an average day in the office. It’s the only suit I can get in a size 0 that doesn’t need to be taken in.

  3. I actually LOVE this dress! Too bad all my extra cash is on hold for Christmas presents!

  4. I like it!! The length is nice. I’m very tall and it is difficult to find dresses that fall at just the right length for me. This looks like it would.

    Great find! I will be grabbing up a red one.

  5. Black is now on sale too. I love too that it’s available in petite, misses, and women’s sizes.

    • I don’t think black is on sale. Click the black color and then try clicking a size. All of the black dresses are still full price, from what I can see.

  6. I think it’s really cute but agree it would have to be tried on. Unfortunately I suspect it might end up looking like a sack on me, as I am neither tall nor curvy. Would probably hit in the dreaded calf zone.

  7. Love this dress – very few sizes left :(

  8. Love this dress (and love it with the belt!).

  9. On a short person (I am 5’1”) where do you think the hem on a dress of this style should fall? Would just below the knee be too long? At knee, just above knee? Do you think it would change depending how you wear it? (Classic with heels and pearls maybe, or with a trendy scarf and boots?)

    I get everything hemmed… but just curious what you ladies all think is the correct length for someone of my height! Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      there is petite

    • They have this dress in petite.

    • I’m also fairly short and I stay away from below the knee whenever possible – I think it makes me look shorter and a little like I’m dressing up in my mom’s clothes. (Of course, I also look young for my age and am the youngest at my firm as it is, so that does not help.)

      • I think just below the knee is fine, and just above is okay, too. It’s about proportion and as long as the proportions are okay, you’re not going to look bad. Nothing should ever hit you at the knee exactly.

  10. I have a comment unrelated to the dress. I just bought a pair of new boots and they squeak when I walk. I really like them, but they are really annoying since they squeak all the time! Any suggestions on how to get them to stop squeaking?

    • I don’t know a home remedy, but what about trying a cobbler? I love my cobbler. He’s extended the life of SO MANY of my favorite shoes…

  11. Like this! Agree that the belt is terrible, though.

  12. Cute =)

  13. There are lots of dresses on sale at Talbots at the moment … wish I had money to spend!

  14. Does anyone know how Boden’s sizes run? It says that all sizes are UK sizes, what does that mean? I love how colorful their clothes are and I’m dying to wear something other than gray, black, or navy.

    • You need to look at the size conversion chart. A UK size 10 is roughly a US size 4. After the conversion, I have found Boden runs fairly true to size. If a particular item runs big or small, they usually note that on the website. I think they even list exact measurements if you click on the right spot.

    • I typically wear a 0 or 2 in pants and a 4 in jackets, and I am, er, top heavy and on the short side. I find that Boden’s 10R fits me just fine although some of the hems on dresses are a little long (just below the knee).

      • I wear an 8 and get the Boden 12L since I am tall (5.8). I wish they had tall in their jackets too, since the jacket sleeves tend to be just a smidge short.

    • The best thing to do is to read the comments – which for some reason I can’t find today. Are they there? Where did they go??? The clothes tend to run bigger then the size charts imply – today I am actually wearing the brodensbury blazer in a ten and the double layer jersey dress in an 8. They fit perfectly – and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them – for comparison I am normally a 4 at J. Crew or a 42 at Benetton.

    • It’s always 4 numbers in the difference. (I remember visiting Boston a lot, going to Filene’s and being constantly irritated by the large sign outside the changing rooms saying it was 2 numbers in the difference!)

      I’m a 10 in Ireland – we use UK sizes – and always a 6 in America.

  15. Anyone have recommendations on a great pair of black pants for work? I’ve worn my Express Editor Pants for years now and feel ready for an upgrade. I’m looking for a tailored fit in a non-tweed. Thanks!

    • depends on your body shape, probably – i’m hourglass, and currently loving my banana republic jackson wide-legged pants. they have lightweight wool ones that are fully lined that fit me perfectly (i’m a size 10).

      • I like BB seasonless wool (it’s called 437 wool or some other 3 digit number, followed by ‘wool’) . . .
        Have 2 different pairs – one cuffed, one not — love both (check the sales & outlets if you want to be fiscally prudent). They’re well made and very comfy, but look classic and I feel like I could wear them for the next 80 years, style & quality wise.

        • AIMS – is BB stand for Brooks Brothers? I couldn’t find anything called that on their website.

      • I love the Jackson fit too! I have both casual and dress slacks in that cut and they fit wonderfully.

      • I love the Banana Republic 215 Martin trouser pant (, but looking at the BR site now, it looks like the Jackson fit is better for those curvier on the bottom (which is what pear means, right?). I’m unfortunately as uncurvy as they get, but I guess I can at least vouch for the quality of BR pants as an everyday black pant – these are my favorite. They are fully lined, but they do have to be dry-cleaned, so I do have other black pants that I can wash at home. But I always feel best in these!

        • Oooh though I will admit that I have used Dryel at home on my BR pants, and they come out looking perfectly fine!

    • Good point — I’m a pear shape, size 6 in pants usually.

      • I’m also a pear. The ATL Julie fit is also good for pears, but you may also have luck with the Ann fit.

        • Thanks for all of the recommendations ladies! I am going to try the Jackson fit at BR, I think I may have tried the Martin fit last time and it looked terrible on me.

  16. housecounsel :

    Really? Is it time to upgrade from my Editor pants? But they fit SO WELL!

    • LOL — I know, the Editor Pant is usually great but I’ve noticed that it’s a bit slim in my thigh area and is probably no longer as flattering as it once was. Believe me, I have spent a LOT of time in those pants though, it’s a good value overall.

  17. BEAUTIFUL dress. Makes me wish I weren’t a redhead and could wear the red version.

  18. I like the dress. I would wear it to work with low black rounded heels or black rounded boots, gold bangle bracelet and without the belt.

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