Wednesday’s TPS Report: Seamed and Tucked Twofer Dress

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

Max and Cleo - Seamed And Tucked Twofer Dress (Black) - ApparelI really like the look of this “seamed and tucked twofer dress” from Max and Cleo. The scoop neck, the puff sleeves, the simple pencil skirt: all look cute but flattering and professional. I might wear it with an opera-length necklace, and perhaps even a bangle worn high on my forearm (so it doesn’t bang around during the day), as well as fun pumps. It was $148, but is on sale at Zappos today for $103.60 (limited sizes only). Max and Cleo – Seamed And Tucked Twofer Dress (Black) – Apparel

(In fact, Zappos seems to have a ton of office-appropriate Max and Cleo dresses on sale today, including many for under $100. Nice!)

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


Update: And I just noticed that the flash sample sale site RueLaLa also has Max & Cleo dresses marked to $50ish today. Click here if you need an invite.


  1. AnonInfinity :

    EC MD — Good luck today! I’ll be sending good vibes your way all day!

    • Anonymous :

      Ditto! And post back when you know!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Yes, good luck!!

    • Good luck!

    • Francie Nolan :

      Good Luck EC!!!!

    • You are all the best. I was just coming on here to post that I was done, and to be so so so grateful for all your support yesterday. And look what I find. I feel so lucky.

      Things went not disasterously, so I’m now focused on getting on a plane, getting back to my husband and son who I miss terribly and trying to remain calm before I find out, likely tomorrow.

      Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate the good wishes so so much. I will be sure to let you know, pass or fail.

      • I’m glad it went well! My husband will be in your position in a couple of years, and I hope he can be as calm about it as you are! Great job.

      • We’ll be thinking about you!

  2. I own this and I am quite happy with it. I am on the taller side (5’8″) with longer legs, and this dress is the perfect length for me. I bought it in a 6, but the 6 and the 8 seemed very similar in size to me.
    Fellow Corporettes may want to check their local BCBG outlet for this. That’s where I found it and am fairly certain I paid less than the Zappos price for it. Of course, it’s final sale from the BCBG outlet. So love it or leave it.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      What’s the fabric like? I have a formalwear-type M&C dress from law school – cute, affordable, but the fabric feels and looks very cheap.

      • I don’t think that it looks cheap, but the bottom doesn’t pass for wool, IMO. The top is actually quite nice, though, because it is double layered (?), so it doesn’t look sheer whatsoever.

    • Associette :

      Is BCBG and Max and Cleo the same brand? I really love this dress – it is right up my alley.

    • Rue La La is featuring quite a few Max and Cleo dresses today. A good portion of them are under $50.00

  3. I really love the dress, tho it is a little pricey for what it is at $150. But I can easily wear this to work. Too bad it appears not to be available in any other color than black. I have so many black dresses, tho this is one I can continue to wear out after work when I go out. Does anyone know if this is available elsewhere in Charcoal Grey or Taupe?

    • i’m so sure.

    • Honey Bear :

      I agree Susan – I adore the dress but definitely don’t think it’s worth even the sale price. I would pay maybe $50 tops for it (but I do a lot of shopping for work clothes at places like Nordstrom Rack and Filene’s, so not really used to paying a ton for work clothes)

  4. I quite like this dress, but I have a lot of black dresses and even at $100, it’s out of my range, at least for now.

    Question… I recently started working in Boston. I take the T and it’s killing my feet. I had planned to wear my gorgeous and comfortable black high-heeled slides for most of the spring/summer, but standing on the T for 45 minutes is too much for everyday. Does anyone have recommendations for lower-heeled, work-appropriate comfortable shoes? Preferrably, in the $100 or less range. I know that’s a lot to ask, but…

    • Sorry. Forgot to mention that I’m particularly looking for sandals.

      I’ve had a rough week (both at work and with family) and I need a little retail therapy…

      • Why not commute in comfortable ballet flats and switch into your slides once you get into the office?

      • somewherecold :

        Would Dansko sandals be office-appropriate for you? (Not sure if you are looking for a new shoe to wear all day or just for the commute.) Maybe something like: I got a pair of Dansko sandals (not sure if they make the same model still), and they are comfortable for walking and standing, although I wish I got them in black instead of red (not my most practical moment).

    • I commute in DC on Metro. Change shoes at work. I wear cute little Clarks sneaker-flats and can stand easily. Not only that, it keeps the heels in better shape. When I get into the office, I switch to my nice shoes. I have a whole collection of heels under my desk. A lot of people in cities wear commuting shoes!

    • Are you opposed to wearing separate “commuter shoes” and then changing when you get to work? I resisted for a decent amount of time, but given my commute by subway, I gave in 2 years ago, and it was a wonderful call. I keep all my cute work shoes at work to change into, and wear very comfy shoes on the way to/from. My commuter shoes are not sneakers, but either slide-sandals, loafers, or clog-style (depending on the season) with about 2″ heels so they are the right length with both commuter shoes and work pumps. My clogs are Merrill brand, loafers are Cole Haan, and sandals are Bandolino.

      • I’m already carrying extra bags for lunch, etc. And, honestly, there must be a comfortable, low-heeled shoe that I can just wear.

        Right now I’m looking at the David Tate cabo sandal. I’d post a link, but I’m sure this post would end up in limbo.

        • It doesn’t involve anything extra to carry – keep the shoes at the office. Seriously, it’s easy to do a quick change when you get in and it keeps your “nice” work shoes looking good far longer.

          • Honey Bear :

            I agree with what everyone else is saying – right now I have 4 pairs of shoes at work! I just wear comfy shoes to commute in and switch the minute I get to the office. No biggie!

        • I second all of the comments about protecting your shoes, but also, commuter shoes can be safer! Freak thing, but I had a heel get stuck in a groove on an escalator, leading to a nasty head-over-heels fall and assorted injuries that took months to recover. I haven’t commuted in heels since. No reason to when I have a nice big file drawer in my office, full of all my pretty, pristine heels :)

      • This is exactly what I do! I have tons of pairs of shoes under my desk and just switch from my commuter shoes (Danskos, Clarks, Cole Haan, flat mary jane Campers, etc.) when I get into the office. I have about a 15 minute daily walk to work. In the winter I often wear Hunters. I’m so happy to be sparing my nice shoes the commute.

    • Don’t wear the same shoes on your commute that you wear to work. You’ll just wreck them faster. Keep your nice shoes under your desk and wear sneakers or whatever you find comfortable on the train.

      • I also wear commuter shoes and change at work. Bonus: I have a really small apartment but a good-sized office and keeping my shoes at work (11 pairs!) has really freed up space in my closet!

    • I’m also in Boston and was thinking of a similar question this morning! For those of you who wear commuter shoes into work, what do you wear when you go out of the office for lunch/errands during the day? Boston is very “bricky” downtown, so I don’t like to wear nice heels if I have to walk any distance. But changing back into sneakers/clogs/flip flops looks sloppy to me in the middle of the day. Any ideas? Perhaps the answer is to get dressier commuter shoes?

      For Bunkster – check out the DSW in Downtown Crossing. They have tons of loafers/flats/mary janes that could work.

      • I would keep a pair of flats in the office or get flats for commuter shoes.

      • Honey Bear :

        Fiona, I just wear my heels out, but I don’t walk any farther than a few blocks, tops. To be honest, this very issue has prevented me from venturing out farther during the day when I have time, so I am interested to hear what other people have to say . . .

        • i commute in TOMS or these:

          so comfy!

          • I commute in low-profile slip on pumas. I change into heels in the office and keep two pairs of flats- ballet and loafer in my drawer. If I have a long walk at lunch or it’s 8pm and I’m tired of heels, i just slip on flats. Most ever day ends with flats and a pony tails. :)

          • I have a very similar pair of crocs that I keep in my desk drawer for running out during the day or for late in the day when my feet hurt. Mine are the Crocs Lady. They look like black flats but won’t get destroyed.

      • found a peanut :

        I have an extensive collection of shoes at my office, so I have a few ballet flats there in addition to my heels. For commuting I usually wear Sperry boat shoes or Tom’s (they are very comfy even though they don’t look it) or Uggs in the winter. To run out for lunch I change into a pair of ballet flats. My plan involves a lot of shoes but I have a lot of shoes so it works for me.

        I used to wear flip flops for commuting but then I realized that flip flops on the subway = gross.

        • Honey Bear :

          found a peanut, do your pants not drag on the floor when you switch into flats? (assuming you wear heels with the pants)

          • found a peanut :

            I unwittingly answered this question below – I almost always wear skirts to work. I figured out early on that this would be an issue and wearing skirts all the time is my solution (in the winter I wear them with wool tights and honestly it’s warmer than pants). I wear pants maybe 5-10 days out of the year, and they are usually skinny/cropped pants so they work with heels and flats.

      • Fiona, I think the answer is dressier commuter shoes :)

      • I change into my flipflops. A look at women on the street tells me many of them do the same.

      • Not in Boston, but I wear my work shoes when I go out to lunch. I just walk carefully. I typically don’t go far.

        OP: I just counted – 6 pairs of shoes currently “live” under my desk.

      • I buy commuting shoes that would otherwise look passable with my outfit so in case I do need to go somewhere during the day, I have a pair of comfortable walking shoes that don’t look ridiculous. Mostly my commuting shoes consist of pretty ballet flats or flat sandals that are nice/have subtle embellishments/etc.

      • Diana Barry :

        I wear my commuter shoes for errands. I see lots of people doing the same. Since switching to dansko-ish shoes in the winter and sandals in the summer, my commuter shoes are OK to wear out. And in the winter everyone wears boots anyway. :)

    • Okay. It looks like I might have to clarify again.

      I’m in a business casual environment so I don’t have specific work shoes. My awesome high heels are so awesome they are not just for work so I wouldn’t want to leave them there. I wear them to weddings, parties, etc.

      I appreciate your advise on commuter shoes, but I’m not interested, unless they would work as actual shoes.

      I feel like spending some money (but not much) because I’ve had a rough week. I’m looking for cute comfortable low-heeled shoes that I can wear to work. Any suggestions?

      • found a peanut :

        Have you tried the Cole Haan Nike Air collection? I have a pair of 2″ ones that are super comfortable.

      • Bunkster, look at Naturalizer. They have lots of possibilities under $100. They will def. work in a relaxed business setting. I got a pair of sandals there last summer I would never have tried on, based on a friend’s rec. They looked frumpy by themselves, but actually looked cute once on the foot.

        Sort of similar to these (and these come in many other nice colors):

        Besides that, there are a lot of Cole Haan shoes on sale at 6pm dot com today. Lucky sizes only, and not all comfortable, but may be worth checking out.

        • somewherecold :

          I often have that feeling when I go into Aerosoles (i.e. better than I expect, and comfy), so you might want to look there, too.

          • Ditto on Aerosoles – I am a big fan.

          • Third Aerosoles – lots of comfortable shoes and sandals and their clearance section is pretty big. I had to stop visiting the store because I’d always find something awesome for $30-$40.

        • I also recommend Naturalizer. I bought this pair: to wear to my brother’s wedding, and wore them straight out of the box to the wedding where I stood for quite a long time (bridesmaid), danced, did a Conga line, and only took them off for the after-party because I went back to my hotel room and changed into something more casual that didn’t require heels.

          I also have a pair of Naturalizer heeled-sandals from a few years ago (can’t find online anymore) that are quite comfy too, and a pair of sneakerish Mary Janes that I wandered all over Europe in, so the brand is a win for me. (Admittedly they are not the most stylish, but I’ve decided that a little comfort is worth the sacrifice.) I don’t have any specific style recs for you for slides or sandals, but I would recommend browsing Endless or Zappos. They both do free shipping (both ways) and are super quick, so you could have some options on your doorstep in a day or two!

          Good luck!

      • I agree on Naturalizer. I wore these to a meeting about 3/4 of a mile uphill from my office on Monday and didn’t feel a twinge in my feet (which I realize isn’t impressive for a lot of women but I’m very much a flats girl when I’m doing any kind of walking at all, so it was for me.)

        • Third for Naturalizer – until recently I was working as an engineer in a factory setting so had to dress both “business casual” and factory/safety appropriate. I had lots of ~2.5″ Naturalizer heeled loafers that I could wear all day and do a lot of walking in.

      • lostintranslation :

        Totally in the same situation as you this week!! (Casual work environment and looking for retail therapy through cute but comfy sandals)

        I’ve been covetting these:, but I haven’t gotten to try them yet. I’ve had good experiences with Dr. Scholl in the past, but they might be too high heeled or casual for you.

        Hope whatever shoes you get make you feel a little better!

        • Naturalizer shoes are much cuter and trendier than they used to be. I have great pair of casual sandals that are about three inches high. I wear them for going out on the weekends all the time.

      • I just googled Cole Haan wedges and came up with a cute peep-toe black patent leather low wedge named “Air Darleen” for $120 — it is on sale at Nordstrom (orig. 178). I’d link to it, but Nordie’s links just sent people to their home page lately. If Cole Haan suits your foot shape, they are super comfy (especially the Air line).

      • Aerosoles, Me Too, Indigo by Clarks, Miz Mooz. It may be foot-specific, but I found a brand called BC Shoes (on endless) that fit me well and are kind of funky and comfortable. Also Seychelles. Some of these might be too casual for your office, but it’s a starting point. I’ve found Aerosoles, Me Too, and the occasional Indigo at DSW, the rest I get from Endless.

      • I love these from Life Stride:
        They are flats with a small heel. I have them in navy blue and gray/silver. I was in Boston one day with them and a meeting ran over and I was going to miss the last bus home. I ran over a mile in them (with an injured ankle) and my feet weren’t sore the next day and the shoes have no visible wear from the run. I wear them all the time now.

      • Since you are looking to spend less than $100, I recommend you check out the Aerosoles store. Their style quotient has really gone up over the last couple of years and the shoes are definitely comfortable. Full retail is around $60 – $70 for most styles.

        I love the Cole Haan Airs too, but they’re well over $100.

      • Thanks, everyone, for your advice. I’m looking at 2 Aerosole pairs:

        And these are my awesome high-heels. Athena Alexander shoes are really comfortable, but I don’t like the look of her lower-heeled options:

    • Honey Bear :

      Follow up question to Bunkster’s question:
      Any recommendations for comfortable commuter shoes that are not flats? I’m still wearing uggs right now to commute in (sadly I’m also still wearing my winter coat in May!) but not sure what I will do this summer. I can’t wear flats b/c then my pants will drag on the floor, as they are hemmed to the appropriate length for wearing heels.

      • found a peanut :

        this issue (the pants dragging) is why I almost exclusively wear skirts. Skirts are one length and never drag on the floor.

      • I would get some cute wedges with a bit a platform in the front.
        Maybe espadrilles?

        Depending on your style preferences, you could try Naturalizer, Kork Ease (maybe not for everyone, but I love my hippie shoes :)), Cole Haan (forget what it’s called, but they make a cute office appropriate wedge shoe).

        Or, you could do what I do and spent the bulk of your summer in skirts and dresses.

        • Honey Bear :

          Wedges, I like that idea. Hopefully I can find something that works for me this summer. Our office is just SO COLD year round, so not sure that I want to do skirts and dresses all summer, and I refuse to wear pantyhose. Thanks, AIMS :)

      • Binder clips. Or those specially-made pants clips that people have linked to here before.

      • Wear wedges. I sometimes will wear my wedges all day, but they are good to wear to work and then switch to regular heels.

      • I like the Rieker Federicas for a style I can walk miles in but still looks like a dress shoe. This year they have lots more colors and variations, too. I just got the new gray ones from Zappos.

        A recommendation to everyone, check out the barking dog shoes blog. I find it an invaluable resource for truly comfortable shoes that are not hideously ugly.

      • So I ended up combining suggestions. I got Aerosoles Citizen wedges. Honeybear, these might work for you.

        In my casual work environment, I can wear them on the T and at work. I got them for $35 from Shoebuy. I used a combination of coupons, etc. And I got free shipping. They’ve already arrived and they’re awesome. And, for some reason, I got a free striped tote with them(???)

    • Cole Haan air wedges ma work for your commute. Here are two options marked down at

    • My comment is stuck in moderation so I’m trying with shorter links this time. Neimanmarcus has a couple pairs of cole haan air wedges marked down. For commuting, I like these open-toed nude wedges:
      and these closed-toe gray wedges:

      • I have the Cole Haan Air Bria in black with black patent trim. They generally work with my pants hemmed for 2-3 inch heels, and are super-comfy to boot.

  5. Love this dress! Great staple for the wardrobe!

  6. I love the dress, but I’ve had sizing issues with Max and Cleo. I recently bought a dress not too long ago in a size 8 (I’m a size 6) online and it was TINY and sized short (the waist was at my boobs). I am 5’7″ so that was a no go… I gave it to my 4’11” mother who is a size 2 PETITE.

  7. Threadjack!

    Can anyone recommend a good recruiter/headhunter in the DC area? I’m an attorney with 4 years of experience looking to transition out of private practice and potentially out of the law altogether. Any recommendations would be much appreciated!

    • I was *very* happy with Matthew Schwartz of Mestel when I lateraled between firms, and I had a friend in another firms’ legal recruiting office tell me they really like and respect him there. I don’t know what his experience is regarding the type of move you’re looking to make, but I would trust him to give a recommendation if it’s not his area of expertise. And he was honestly very helpful to me just in career counseling when I was trying to decide where to move to.

    • Anon for this :

      I worked with an excellent recruiter in DC this winter, whom I would be happy to recommend if you are interested in lateraling to another firm (she got me some great interviews, but then a gov’t opportunity came through for me and I took that; I later referred her to a friend whom she placed very quickly), but in my experience *most* recruiters specialize in private practice. What are you looking to transition into? Or do you not know, and are looking for a recruiter/headhunter to help you brainstorm and present options?

    • Former BigLaw DC :

      When I worked in BigLaw in DC last year, I received numerous calls from David Carrie ( They were the only headhunter that reached out to me consistently, and I thought the opportunities they sent me were interesting (mostly at law firms though). I didn’t follow up with them so I don’t know how they are to work with, but the people who contacted me from there were very nice and professional.

  8. Speaking of shoes (in reference to the above post about commuting shoes)…I saw these:

    and couldn’t resist buying. I’m working as an SA at a business casual law firm this summer. Think I could pull these off for work, or are they too casual/trendy?

    • found a peanut :

      it will really depend on your office. in some offices, especially during the summer, these will be fine. in others, not so much. scope it out for a week or two and then make a decision.

      • Honey Bear :

        anon, since you’re going to be a summer associate, if you have any doubt or quesiton at all about your attire, err on the side of being conservative. No one can fault you for that. However, I do think these are very cute and I would wear them to work (I am a junior associate at a law firm).

    • The scalloping details make them very anthro-esque IMO, and just too “much” for most business environments. I’d only wear them on a “no serious business” day, with pants that covered most of the shoe, and still feel a little marginal. East Coast biglaw, business casual, midlevel, FWIW.

    • Those shoes are GORGEOUS. Good find!

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      I am a lawyer in a fairly conservative DC law firm. I would totally wear these to work. If I had any reservation, I would just pair them with pants.

      I tried to purchase these, but they don’t have my size!

    • I think they’re too casual to wear with suits but are appropriate with business casual clothing.

    • I think they’re great. If you wear them with conservative dress pants, they should be fine. (I.e., cover up most of the shoes.)

    • Diana Barry :

      I think they are fine for work depending on your office. I would prob wear with pants.

  9. Maternity leave question (law firms): Does your firm pro-rate your target billables in conjunction with your leave? Are you still eligible for a bonus that year? What is your leave policy (paid or unpaid? can you add on unpaid? how many weeks?)?

    I appreciate any replies!

    • I work for a Biglaw firm in a major city. My firm annualized my billables for the year that I took maternity leave, so I still received a bonus that year. My bonus was based on my annualized hours for the target year, prorated for the time that I took for unpaid leave. I received 18 weeks paid, tacked on 2 weeks of vacation, and took another 6 weeks unpaid (about six months total). My annualized hours were above target, so my bonus was the target bonus times (10.5 months / 12 months). My firm was very generous in this respect (although balancing work/life afterwards was a completely different story).

    • Fashion Faux Pas :

      I’m in a SoCal office of a large law firm. We get 12 weeks paid maternity leave and can add on unpaid time (I’m not sure how much, but one associate just returned after taking around six months of maternity leave). Our billing target is prorated for maternity leave, but the formula is a bit off, such that taking additional days of maternity leave is actually better for the bonus than working those days. I’m hoping HR doesn’t fix this glitch before I take maternity leave in the fall. An associate is eligible for a bonus for the year in which she takes maternity leave, provided she meets her prorated billing target.

      • My firm pays 12 weeks, but we don’t accrue vacation so that’s it. We are allowed to take more time unpaid, with the length varying from person to person on a case by case basis (depending on department, seniority, and other factors, many of which are a mystery). I took a total of 5 months – I could have taken more with job security but couldn’t afford it personally.

        Our bonuses are pro-rated but not by any mathematical formula. This is also somewhat of a mystery. I guess I will find out in December. I am guessing I will get about 1/2 of my normal bonus or maybe a little less. Once again, at my firm this is really case by case. If they don’t want you to quit, they will give you a decent enough bonus to appease you. If they don’t care if you stay or go, they’d give a goose egg. But we don’t have published bonus rates like some other firms.

        Just for background, I’m in SoCal in a Big(ish)Law firm. Same pay scale as BigLaw, worse bonuses.

    • Yes, firm pro-rates hours requirement and yes, you are still eligible for bonus. I took 3 months – 2 months paid leave, 4 weeks vacation (I had accrued a bunch of vacation). Smaller firm (but still covered by FMLA).

  10. Fish Out of Water :

    Threadjack! Does anyone have recommendations for attorneys in the Minneapolis area that specialize in international contracts and/or frequently work with small businesses? TIA!

  11. I am the poster from the other day who was asking about a return to Cole Haan outside the 30 day returns window. Someone had requested an update, so here it is. I wound up getting store credit in the amount I paid. The manager said that they normally just give store credit for the current sale price of the item, but the difference in this case was not very big since I had originally gotten a 25% discount on the bag, so he just gave me the full amount that I paid back. So not the best result, but not the worst. In the future though, if I think there is a chance I will need to return, I will be buying from Nordstrom or Zappos so that I don’t have this issue.

  12. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    PSA: If anyone is looking for a nice white flare for the summer check these out ( I just got them and love them. They are nice and bright, the fabric has a good amount of stretch to it, and the flare is wide enough to cover almost all the shoe. The only downfall is the rise is really low, but that can easily be camouflaged. Plus, only $20.

  13. Am I the only one that feels that puff sleeves aren’t the most professional look? If you’re younger they strike me as little girl-ish and if you’re older, they come across to me as trying too hard to look like you’re younger.

    • I agree with you, IA_Eng. This is one trend that I will be glad to see fade away.

    • That’s the first thing that popped into my head, too.

    • Me too. I also don’t really like the high-waist trend either. It accentuates my low-stomach pooch (as opposed to my higher-stomach pooch). (The low-stomach pooch is the one that people point to when they think I may be pregnant.)

    • I loved puffed sleeves because I have narrow shoulders. I don’t think they look girlish always, but on this dress I see what you mean. If I wear puffed sleeves, I prefer them to be on blouses.

    • I don’t mind a very small puff, but usually avoid them for work anyway because they don’t work well with the ever-necessary A/C-protection cardigan. (I’m willing to do the turtleneck-under thing in the winter with some dresses, but not in summer!)

    • associate :

      I’m with you. I think the dress looks very young, as do all the dresses on that site. I’m 28, and it’s not the look I’m going for from a professional standpoint.

  14. I remember there were posts about a week ago about sunglasses and I just wanted to let everyone know I just got a pair of Lilly Pulitzer polarized (yay!) sunglasses for $50- originally $250 from Filene’s Basement yesterday. They had a HUGE selection if anyone else is still on the lookout.

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