Wednesday’s TPS Report: Apres Tennis Stripe Blazer

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

Yoana Baraschi Women's Apres Tennis Stripe BlazerSo here’s the funny thing: I was going to recommend this blazer for a “splurge” a few months ago, but misfiled it (I have systems, people) until a few days ago. So imagine my delight when what was once a $366 splurge is now down to a very affordable $104 splurge. Hooray! I like the gray and the stripes, the fitted look, the functional pockets, and the 70% markdown. Was $366, now marked to $104 on Amazon. Yoana Baraschi Women’s Apres Tennis Stripe Blazer

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  1. Ooh, love the stripes!

    • Me too. Most striped blazers make me want to go “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlej–” but I kind of like this one.

    • i am crushing on this jacket like crazy!! i haven’t really been drawn to striped jackets before, but somehow, this one, with the solid section on the shoulders is just killin me!

  2. Diana Barry :

    I don’t like this – it just looks ‘meh’ to me.

    Can we talk for a second about “The End of Men”? There was an adapted excerpt in this month’s Elle and it talks about how women can’t be too timid, can’t be too ‘nice girl’, can’t complain about being treated unfairly, but also can’t be too aggressive or straight-talking (bc then people, men and women, will think of you as a b*tch). If you are negotiating, you have to come up with a script – Sheryl Sandberg’s example is, “You realize you are hiring me to run the business development team, so you want me to be a good negotiator. Well, here goes. I am about to negotiate.” Sandberg also says that “you have to put your ego aside and play by the rules so you can get to the top and change things”.

    I find this depressing and sad. I don’t think that advising women to “play by the rules” is the right solution. Wouldn’t it be much better if we CHANGED THE RULES? Ugh.

    • I don’t know; I think that we (and by we, I mean everyone, not just women) should always be examining the rules and figuring out independantly whether they work or not. If they are good rules, then play by them and insist that others do as well. If they are bad rules, then change them. And, of course, as Ms. Sandberg pointed out, it’s pretty hard to change rules from the bottom – you often do have to get to a position of power first. But I don’t like the idea that, if women are in charge, that somehow means that things are different now across the board, as if “women” are automatically different and separate from “men.”

      I have been dying to read the Hannah Rosin book “End of Men”. We should have a (this site) book club to discuss it! (I honestly have no idea how that would work, but doesn’t it sound fun?)

      • Diana Barry :

        Well, yes – I don’t agree either that men and women should be pitted against each other.

        In reference to the “rules”, I just meant the “rule” cited above – that women can’t be too nice and can’t be too aggressive and women can’t be this, that, and the other thing. I think that “women can’t be XYZ” is a BAD RULE and we should get rid of it.

        • I think that, by showing that she was negotiating well, she was changing that rule, though.

          • Diana Barry :

            I disagree; I think that she had to negotiate in such a way as to not violate the rule that “women can’t be XYZ” – she had to walk the razor-thin line between “too nice” and “too b*tchy” in order to get the desired result. Not really changing the rule IMO.

          • Diana, what would you have had her do differently, that would have been likely to give her as positive of an outcome?

          • I am wondering if Diana’s point is that if each woman negotiating solely focuses on a positive outcome *for herself* under the current rules (not too nice, not too abrasive), then collectively, the rule is enforced and re-legitimized.

            I think real change comes at a cost, to individuals, often. Look at what happened to a lot of Civil Rights leaders– they sacrificed a lot of personal gain for the betterment of the group. But that tends to happen when things are at their absolute rock-bottom worst.

            It’s harder to maintain that kind of group-minded momentum when there’s some (but not enough) progress that there’s far more to lose on the personal level.

      • But really these are not rules but norms, and are therefore harder to analyse or modify.

    • I don’t buy it. I hate this idea that seems to be pitting men and women against one another. Maybe this is overly idealistic but why does it have to be one over another? And why is it an item of note that women are choosing not to get married unless they know their partner will actually be an equal partner? Shouldn’t it work that way for both genders?

      I haven’t read the book so I don’t have much more to say, but something about this just rubs me the wrong way. I’m totally in for a [this site] book club!

      • It’s an item of note because a lot of women used to not think of this, and then they’d hit the wall when they had kids. Either the marriage or the career would give out because they married someone unsupportive. Being married to someone unsupportive isn’t great, but the fissures get highlighted and pressured when kids enter the picture.

        As for men, men have different remarriage patterns and prospects, and if they’re married to someone unsupportive, the cultural norm is to seek refuge by burying themselves in work and/or have an affair and replace the first wife with a 2nd or 3rd as long as he has the means to pay for her upkeep.

        • I’m frequently surprised to hear of smart, ambitious women who marry unsupportive men. It just makes no sense to me, but it seems very common (my frequently dispensed advise here is that you shouldn’t limit your pool to men who “equal” you in education level).

          The men’s side is a little bit different – the complained of wife is (complained to be) a golddigger, lazy and doesn’t want to pitch in, withholds sex, disparages husband constantly, etc., but it’s still there. And my response is still “Well, why’d you marry that person?”

          • Yes, your response is equally applicable.

            However, with the work-life-family balance thing, the men with the so-called lazy golddigger wife still has someone to delegate primary childcare responsibiltiies to. Even if she’s not particularly great as a parent, she’s at least there to pick up the kid, sort of tend to basic stuff around the house or, demand a nanny and housekeeper to do so.

            The women with unsupportive husbands either don’t feel comfortable hiring outside help, or their husbands won’t even manage a school pick up or doctor’s appointment.

            So, net net, the men who’ve chosen poorly in terms of their spouses, still come out ahead in that he still isn’t trying to do both the day-job and the bulk of the household and childcare chores.

          • From the time I was a child, my dad drilled into both me and my brother the importance of “the deal.” That’s what he called the negotiation between husband and wife regarding career priorities. His point was, essentially, that you can’t let societal mores determine how career balance will work in your family – you have to work them out between the two of you, and you have to do it explicitly because each of your assumptions about whose career will come first may be different.

            Part of the deal for my parents was that my dad, who had a very high-prestige but much more flexible job, would take on the majority of childcare responsibilities once we were school age, because my mom’s lower-status job (teaching school) was highly inflexible.

          • @cbackson

            Your parents are awesome. Good advice there.

            Btw, every time I see your name, I think of that Winnie the Pooh story where Owl thinks Christopher Robin has gone off with a Spotted or Herbaceous Backson. :-)

    • I have to say, I think I have to read the actual book. I read a couple reviews of the book and it sounded horrible and very women vs. men and oversimplified. But then I heard the author on an interview the other day and everything she said made so much sense. So, I think possibly the articles and reviews are just not getting it. I have decided i need to read the book before i can form a complete opinion. ;o)

    • I haven’t read it, so ignore everything I say, but the title makes me angry. And not just because I’m a misandrist who’s waging war on the War on Men.

      • I read excerpts of it in The Atlantic over the past year. Hanna Rosin is a frequent contributor. There’s just times that she makes these declarative, blanket statments, and I am sitting there, scratching my head, thinking “Whaaa?”. But….I think it’s good that she’s starting the conversation–there’s never enough discussion of the role of women and feminism and moving things forward, in my opinion. I do find her abrasive and controversion, but…she’s stirring the pot in a good way, even if I don’t like her soup.

    • I need a MAN in my life to marry and be a father figure. Great temple here on West Side of Nashville. I have to be here all week! FOOEY!

  3. I hate this with the red, I mean, like, violently hate it. But I think that it would look really good paired with a blue shirt instead.

    • Same. Maybe it’s my monitor, but the red dulls the blue and makes it look almost gray. In other words, love the jacket – just not a fan of the styling.

      Also, I love when I resist buying something only to find it on sale later. Much better than waiting for something to go on sale and then missing out on it… :(

    • I didn’t realize this was a grey jacket rather than blue … a) I don’t pay enough attention b) I agree about he red dulling the blue

    • Yeah I just . . . this is taking the Breton/Marinière trend too far for me.

  4. Threadjack for an update and new question.

    So, after 8 hours, 2 malls, 19 stores, and 40+ dresses, I finally found some options and chose one (links to follow). First, do you ladies think my choice is too form fitted? If not, what type of shoes should I pair with it? It is a mermaid/trumpet style that is hemmed perfectly for flats. Can I wear some pewter or silver flats to a black tie event? If yes, where can I find some dressy enough for an event like this?

    Thanks for the advice ladies.

    • Winner (in navy):

      First Runner Up (in navy or eggplant or black):

      Second Runner Up (in aqua):

    • Sorry for the double post, trying to get the links out of moderation.

      Winner (in navy):

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        Beautiful. That is a really, really nice dress. I don’t think it is too form-fitted, and anyway it’s balanced out by the higher neck and sleeves. I found just a few flats in silver/pewter upon a very, very quick search. I’ll post separately with the links. (I.e., yes, I think you can totally do that!)

        • Brooklyn, Esq. :

          Not so sure about these, but what the heck:

      • Love dress #1!!!

      • lucy stone :

        I like it a lot! I am not tall enough to pull it off but would love it on somebody who could. :)

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I love the dress! I think it was a good choice! Personally, I would do flat, metallic dressy sandals instead of ballet flats, but that’s just my preference in general (closer to barefoot, the better!)

    • Sorry for the double post, trying to get the links out of moderation.

      First Runner Up (in navy or eggplant or black):

      • This was my favorite – love the top part. Since it’s a little shorter than the others, though, (and fairly light up top), I think it would look much better with strappy sandals (I’d go with something like silver, satin, or maybe a glitter if you want to be cheeky) like the model has on than flats, which might look too heavy.

    • Sorry for the double post, trying to get the links out of moderation.

      Second Runner Up (in aqua):

    • Ooooooohhhh, nice choice. I don’t think it’s too form fitted.

    • Love what you wound up with! Gorgeous. I think you’re ok in flats if the tip of them (all that will show anyway) looks otherwise like a formal shoe.

      • Flats for me :

        Yes, as long as they are dressy (satin or similar) I think flats are perfectly fine.

      • It’s lovely! I agree that a shiny flat (or even a strappy flat sandal) would be fine.

    • You know, I was going to suggest Dillard’s yesterday. I love the Cold Shoulder Gown. Not too form fitted at all. And I think you could definitely wear dressy flats. I would try DSW or Dillard’s for those. Awesome choice!

    • Nine West ThisMoment flats in silver or gold.
      Lovely dresses!

  5. Ooh – if I hadn’t just bought a navy striped blazer from BR I would be all over this. Weird story – was wearing my lovely new blazer last week and a woman in the elevator exclaimed how much she liked it and then started tugging on my elbow to feel the fabric! People have lost all sense of personal space.

  6. Diana Barry :

    Sorry for another post – does anyone have a BR coupon code that they would be willing to share? I have my eye on a blazer…

    • You have probably already seen this, but there is a 12 hour sale today – 30% off on orders between 9am and 9pm. I think it’s BR12HOURS, but it should pop up when you click on the site.

  7. Legally Brunette :

    Can someone recommend non-black maternity pants for work? I have two pairs of black pants that I pretty much wear all the time and am getting sick of it. Looking for gray or brown. I’m not crazy about the fit of the Gap pants, and the Pea in the Pod pants I tried on were $125! Any other ideas? I’m somewhat of a pear shape, and bootcut or flare usually looks best on me.

    • The LOFT website has a pair in Cabernet that look nice. I think they’d work with a lot of colors, actually. You have my sympathies; finding maternity pants for work is SUCH a pain and they’re usually only offered in black and some hideous khaki shade.

    • I like the LOFT maternity pants. I have two pairs I bought this summer, one black one linen. They fit my pear shape pretty true to size and the quality is decent enough. I had already bought and returned a pair of GAP maternity pants that I thought felt terrible and cheap. Both have held up reasonably well through weekly wearings so far, though the linen ones will have to be retired when I totally transition to fall (it’s still in the high 70s here so I’m extending my summer wardrobe slightly)

    • I got some from JC Penney in charcoal gray about a year and a half ago. When I just checked their website I couldn’t find them, but if you have a B&M store near you, you could try there. I really liked them, and they’re not that expensive. Of course, the quality isn’t great, but it made me feel better that they were ok quality and cheap instead of ok quality and expensive! Good luck. It drove me crazy that there weren’t more/better professional looking maternity options that didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

    • I got a pair of gray ones from Motherhood Maternity that I’ve worn several times and am happy with. Not the most high quality (no lining or anything), but better than the Target ones, and they were (IIRC) around $30 to $35.

    • a passion for fashion :

      i got to tell you, i felt the same way about the pea in the pod pants, but they are so far beyond better compared to the other options out there that it is worth it. i finally bought a pair at the end of my first pregnancy when i just couldnt handle it anymore and then bought two more for #2. Spend less money on tops, but you can literally live in a pair of grey and a pair of black slack at work for the whole pregnancy.

    • Google Three Seasons Maternity. They are often sold at regional department stores, like Belk. I had two pairs of black and one gray. They were by far my favorite maternity item. I think they also usually have khakis too. Best part, relatively inexpensive at like $40.

    • DC Association :

      If you’re a size 10 or 12 pre-maternity and short (5’3″ ish) then I have a maternity wardrobe for you! I am also a pear so the pants are all boot-cut or straight or whatever. There are a few pairs of pants…I think I have a grey tweed, brown pinstripe…and more. I just got them back from a friend who was borrowing them and they’re in a bin in my basement. let me know if you are interested. I’m in DC (obvi) and can ship them if you like.

      Not sure you’ll even see this since it is now afternoon and I am just reading this morning’s thread.

  8. For those who can wear knee-high boots with skirts to work, how do we feel about these?

    If it matters I am petite with fairly muscular legs. But they do fit me (i.e. didn’t need wide calf in this case). They hit just below my kneecap. They are slightly clunkier than I expected, but due to my build I’m afraid most boots make me feel a little clunky. Knee-high boots are a wardrobe necessity for me, though–just wondering if these are the wrong solution.

    • lucy stone :

      I like them, but I feel like they might work much better with jeans than a skirt.

    • I love them! I am also not too tall with muscular legs. I think they are very pretty and definitely not on the too dominatrix side of things, which I think is the main goal to avoid in knee high boots at work. I would seriously think about them if I didn’t already have two pairs of flat brown boots.

    • Monday — I think these look lovely — but I guess I have a question for you and all the other ladies on here who are larger then average of calf (oh hai). I’ve tried on lots of boots out there in the world and when I find those that fit around my apparently larger then average calves, they are practically baggy around my ankles. Not a good look in leather. And I really don’t like when they have some sort of fabric stretchy material to make them fit (though, even then they frequently don’t fit).

      So, how have large of calf women fixed this problem? One of my friends had custom leather boots made for her, but somehow I don’t think that’s quite in the budget right now for me.

      • This large of calf woman has made an attitude adjustment and does not mind accordion ankles anymore. I don’t think anyone really notices these details.

      • I do not have this issue with this particular pair, but I know what you mean and have had it in the past. I agree that “deal/ignore” is kind of the only solution I’ve ever found. Sorry.

      • I figure there has to be some give around the ankles, or else you’d sort of have to lurch around like Frankenstein. But yeah, the bone right above my ankle bone is very small, so boots have always bagged a bit there. I ignore it.

      • Sugar Magnolia :

        I have tried on many pairs of boots, but never purchased for this very reason. I thought that they looked unattractive because the “accordion” part gave me thick ankles. Not a good look.

        However, I have entirely missed out on wearing boots as a result.

        My other pet peeve is ladies who wear heeled boots with a baggy top portion that combined with big calves/legs makes them look like a pirate when worn with skinny jeans.

      • Cowboy boots. They tend to have more give in the calf than riding boots without having extra room in the ankle. But then I live in a state where cowboy boots are incredibly socially acceptable, as long as they are dressy. Other than that I’m out of ideas.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I think they’re pretty, but if you feel like they’re too clunky, you might look for something without the snap-down flap feature on the back, which adds volume.

      • I was thinking the same thing, and here’s an alternative:

        However, the lower height in back is very comfortable–frees up your knees, easier for sitting with legs crossed…I have some boot experience, I guess…

    • I can see these boots with jeans/cords or an A-line midi skirt, but in my opinion they are too clunky and tall to wear with a pencil skirt.

    • Oh what are you doing to me? I have a pair of Corso Como boots in black and I LOVE them and wear them all the time. To me, the only “clunky” part of these is the exposed sole – I ended up with a pair that didn’t have that edge and I think it makes them a little sleeker. But these are so pretty, and I would definitely wear them to work.

    • I like them a lot. Reading through the comments, I guess I’m not sure what feels “clunky” about them to you– it seems as though we all have different ideas of what makes a boot clunky! I was going to say that I often find flat boots slightly clunky, and feel like they don’t look quite as nice with skirts. If that doesn’t bother you here, though, I say go for it!

      • I agree – I think the boots are really lovely, and apart from them being basically flat, I don’t see anything that could make them clunky. (And I mostly wear flat-ish boots. I can’t manage most heels, and in the sort of weather I usually wear boots in, you want better grip anyway.)

    • I love those! Are they comfortable? How big are your calves? I am also of larger than average calf — I need at least a 16″ circumference.

      • Nordstrom customer service told me they are 15 3/4″ in circumference, but they do have 2 stretchy panels. They -might- fit you, and then stretch from there. Yes, they are comfortable. The leather is on the stiff side, but due to the slouch threat I think it’s kind of an advantage.

    • I have these boots and only wear skirts…and I think they look great! If it’s wrong…I don’t want to be right :)

  9. lucy stone :

    I’m wearing a wrap cardigan today and can’t get it to stay wrapped. What is the secret? Do I really have to safety pin this thing?

    • Hmm…is there an internal tie (like on a bathrobe)? That’s usually the secret to my wrap success…

    • Don’t own one, but if you really can’t get it to work I’d recommend a brooch over a safety pin!

    • are you suffering from what I have deemed the “belted curtains” curse? My cardigans with a tie waist inevitably migrate to hang straight down my sides. Helpful ladies suggested having a tailor sew in some small snaps, though I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet :)

      • lucy stone :

        YES THIS. It doesn’t have the internal tie and it keeps coming apart, which is not really the look I am going for here.

  10. Advice needed..

    I serve on the board of a non profit and another woman whom I have never met but donates her professional services to our organization works in a career that I am very interested in. I’d like to offer to take her to lunch to discuss her career path but I am not sure how to approach her. She doesn’t attend our organization’s meetings. Should I send her an email and mention our connection through the board or should I ask someone else to introduce me to her. The only reason I am hesitant to ask someone to introduce me is that I don’t want it to get around that I am considering a career change as there are other board members that are affiliated with my current employer.

    • ..typing from iphone – sorry for the errors!

    • have you checked linkedin to see if you have any other connections that could introduce you? I always find that effective.

    • If she’s under mid-40’s, I would say that an email is perfectly fine. But if she’s older, I might try to see if someone could discreetly introduce, or consider a phone call instead.

  11. I just need to vent about LOFT this morning. I placed an order last night at 9PM and thought I was being all slick as I used a 25% coupon I had as a card holder. At 7AM I receive an email that everything I ordered is now 40% off. And of course when I called customer no service when it opened at 8AM they will not give me a price adjustment.They wouldn’t even cancel my order. I am so disappointed and annoyed over $15.

    • Did you tell them you were going to return the whole lot of it if they didn’t give you the price adjust?

      • I did indeed :(

        • Ugh, that is so annoying. Can you call back and hope for a more-helpful CSR? Or, if your credit card can tolerate it, can you just re-order everything at 40% off and then return the lesser-discounted batch?

          • eastbaybanker :

            Yup, that’s the workaround. I recently had to do the same thing with a BR order.

            I find that you get worse service with an online order than an in-store purchase. The folks at the 800 number have absolutely no power to do anthing. If the initial purchase is at a store, the store manager has some discretion to adjust prices.

    • customer service has been terrible at LOFT lately. they lost me as a customer about a month ago

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’ve also given up on LOFT. It’s because their clothing quality has gotten so poor, but it doesn’t suprise me that their CS is low quality too.

      A shame, really. I like their designs and their fit is perfect for me. :(

  12. Cute jacket. I bought a similar one at Target for $25 (!).

    • How was the fit since it’s juniors? I’m thinking about buying it but they don’t have a large (I’m usually between large and medium). Would an X-large work?

      • I’ll be looking for this answer, too. I like the Target jacket better, but I’m not sure how a juniors cut would fit my XXL frame. :)

      • Maddie Ross :

        The jacket is NOT junior-sized at all. I’m a pretty standard 6 in blazers (occasionally a 4) and bought a medium since it’s juniors. I am swimming in it and the sleeves are too long, but can’t really be rolled. I would definitely err on the side of going smaller.

        • Oh well, XL is all that’s available. Thanks for saving me the hassle of returning!

  13. so, i am on a fruitless search for a new bag. any recommendations for a non-leather, but good quality brand?

    • I’ve heard good things about Hobo International. I believe they make leather products as well, but they do have a non-leather line. Some examples from zappos (though perhaps not work appropriate, many places carry the brand):!/hobo-women-handbags/COjWARCS1wE6AqEQUgKZBMABAeICBRgBAgoH.zso

    • Not sure what you have in mind, but there are some Etsy sellers who make gorgeous felted/boiled wool and tweed bags.

      etsy [dot] com / shop / fuzzylogicfelt

      etsy [dot] com / shop / breagha

      etsy [dot] com / shop / sketchbook

      If you’re wary of Etsy, Carga makes beautiful things (I have a great felted wool briefcase/messenger bag).

      • I have a pattern for a very easy felted wool tote that I have made many times. Even someone who is a beginner knitter could make it.

      • Wow, those Breagha bags are gorgeous.

    • I have a couple of great faux-leather bags from Wilson’s Leather, and I love them.

    • Do you mean a work bag? I don’t have a work bag/tote from this company but I like Aldo for non-leather purses. I’ve got a small red faux leather Aldo purse (trimmed with black and tan so I figure it goes with everything) that is apparently not made anymore but that looks very rich, I think — I get tons of compliments on it.

      I did a quick look at Zappos and they have some nice-looking totes, link to an example to follow.

  14. Whats with the new cupcake ads that look like boobs?

  15. Wedding Dresses? :

    Question for the frugal married ladies! Where did you buy your weddings dress? I plan to get married in Spring (!!!) and need to start investigating wedding dresses. However, I’m really not interested in spending thousands of dollars on a dress I will only wear once. Besides David’s Bridal, where can I get a relatively inexpensive wedding dress?

    If it helps, I’m a size 4 and I don’t need a giant princess dress.

    • If you like simpler styles, I love the JCrew wedding collection. So pretty. You might also try looking for used dresses?

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      I bought a dress for $99 from a small town bridal store that had a “sale” rack of dresses from previous seasons. My dress was at least 3 seasons “out of date” but it was the only one I liked. I would have paid a lot more for it, and almost fell over when I found out just how inexpensive it was.

      The dresses at David’s Bridal are cheap, and look it. You are much better off buying elsewhere. Look into rural/small town bridal stores, which are more likely to carry non-designer looks that are inexpensive. Also consider that you can have a TON of alternations to a dress, to make it look very different from the “off the rack” style.

    • I bought mine from Saks 5th. It wasn’t classified as bridal, just a special occasion dress that happened to be white. Most department stores have a few such dresses. There are also several used wedding dress sites that you can find through google, but I found those to be filled mostly with designer dresses that still cost more than I wanted to spend.

    • Congrats! I’ll just echo what CBM said: try searching for special occasion dresses in white/off-white/whatever color you want. Often there are great dresses that would be beautiful wedding dresses (especially if you don’t want princess poof anyway) that are priced much cheaper than they would be in a wedding section.

    • layered bob :

      J.Crew! Love their dresses. Look for sales. Then hit up Etsy for a beaded or floral sash, get a lovely veil (if you want) and kicky shoes.

    • When I got married I found a local boutique who sold prior season dresses at discounted prices. Since I didn’t care if my dress was last year’s design I got a great deal on my dress. Not sure what boutiques do with last year’s stock in the days of internet shopping, though.

    • Another vote for J Crew! And more good things about J Crew: you can order a bunch of dresses in your actual street size, have them arrive in a few days, try them on at home (or at a friend’s house, which is what I did), and return the ones you don’t like to a J Crew store. No bridal salon nonsense, no “try on this $4000 dress in a completely wrong size and decide if you like it.” They are the best.

    • Nordstrom, but from the evening section, not the bridal salon. I bought (online) and returned about 10 dresses over the course of a couple months from Saks, Bluefly, Bloomingdales, and Nordstrom. The winner was a $350 Tadashi Shoji that was white and wedding-y without being too bridal. Loved it!
      Lots of department stores are now collecting dresses into “wedding” categories even though they’re not by traditional wedding brands/ designers. Makes browsing even easier than it was when I did it, when I thought I was being really clever:)

    • Wedding Dresses? :

      Thanks for the input! I’m going to hunt for local boutiques that sell prior season dresses. I don’t care what season my dress is at all. I’ll also check out J.Crew and Saks. I knew I could count on you ladies!

      • Not sure if you’re still watching this thread, but what part of the country do you live in? In NYC, there are several boutiques that will make a custom dress for reasonable prices. I got married in a knee-length red silk chiffon over charmeuse custom c*cktail dress, but there were much more traditional options. I think I spent ~$400 for a dress that fit me perfectly and has been re-worn for several occasions!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I found my dress in a magazine and it turned out to be a “cheap” name brand. It was only sold in bridal shops in lower income cities in my area. The name brand is Da Vinci and I LOVED my dress. I don’t think it looked cheap at all.

    • Got mine at Saks 5th Ave during a clearance and with a friend’s associate discount. (She worked there at the time, she put it on her credit card, used her discount and I wrote her out a check then and there for the amount.)

      It was originally listed at $6000 (LOL). Then “marked down” to $3000 (BWAHAHAHA), and then double marked down to $1500, and then with the clearance + associate discount, I paid $770 for it. It was a gorgeous wedding gown, but I still felt like it was more money than I should have spent (even though I was well under my budget for the dress and for the entire wedding.)

      Now, I see some of the BHLDN gowns and crack up that they’re charging upwards of $1K on so many of them. Worse that some of the J.Crew stuff is $1-$4K, and they seem like the worst of both worlds– plain dresses with froufrou prices. If you want plain dresses for the streamlined elegant look, as others have said, there are better places to go. If you want froufrou prices, at least get yourself a froufrou fun dress for it instead of yet another colunnar cowlneck thing that’s massproduced.

      • An example of why I hate J.Crew’s dresses for the bride (their bridesmaid/party dresses are fine by me):

        $2300, REALLY? For this boring, generic, strapless number that I’ve seen everywhere else, and done better by lesser retailers?

        • layered bob :

          I hear you, but they’re not all like that – mind was simple and columnar with great lines for $150.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Preownedweddingdresses[dot]com. That’s where mine (which was used once) came from :).

    • Spent $1200 on a dress from Jenny Yoo and loved it!

      Also, I did look at non-wedding, but white dresses at Nordstrom and had a very good experience (just not the “one.”)

      J. Crew was also very helpful, but I found their dresses to lack sufficient structure — basically, I would have had to wear spanks all day to make it work, and that just wasn’t going to happen for me!

      Beware the mean/pushy bridal shop clerks–don’t buy their swill! You can look gorgeous on your wedding day without breaking the bank!

    • I got mine on ebay for $300 (even though it was an A-line with tons of lace). Bridal shops often list samples of dresses which have been discontinued by the designer, and many of them are like new (or actually new, if like mine they ordered the sample *right* before it was discontinued).

    • lucy stone :

      I got a Dolly Couture dress. They have a bunch of samples online right now for 200-300 and I think there were some left in your size. My best friend got hers at a bridal shop but got a bridesmaid’s dress in ivory, which saved her thousands over the bridal one she wanted that looked the exact same.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I bought a sample. I found that sample quality varied dramatically across salons. The high-end salon where I bought mine must have more turnover, because my dress was flawless as were their other samples. I got a $3k Jenny Lee for $800. I then sold it online for $500. I spent nearly $200 in alterations, since I’m smaller than most/all samples, but I had a beutiful dress for less than $500.

    • Check out I think it is owned by anthropology. More on a whimsical side.

      Also, if you’re looking for a simpler dress knee length dress, look for cocktail dresses that come in white.

  16. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Ladies – suggestions for restaurants/bars in Miami? Staying in South Beach with a girlfriend for a week and we would like to eat nice food (can be expensive-ish) and drink in nice places and then go dance the night away.

    Any ideas welcome!

    • hellskitchen :

      May I ask you for suggestions on where to stay in Miami? I am also going there with a girlfriend for a weekend getaway in Oct but have no clue about neighborhoods. Is South Beach the best area to be in?

    • OLA is wonderful! Highly recommended.

    • DC Association :

      Michy’s – this is Michelle Bernstein’s place who has been on top chef as a mentor. FAB.
      Michael’s Food and Drink (something similar to that, but starts with “MIchael’s”)

  17. Ladies – I’m a very new reader and was wondering if anyone actually buys the clothes posted here. I love the choices Kat offers, but I sometimes wonder about the price. For instance, there is an almost-identical blazer to this right now at the local Ross store for $15. I understand that a good chunk of readers make 6 figures, but I’m curious as to others.

    • A lot of people buy the items, other use them as inspiration. Also, during the week the prices go down. So monday will be expensive, and friday is frugal friday, usually under $50

    • I don’t. Ever, really. Sometimes, when it’s Frugal Friday, I’ll seriously consider it. But I’ll be totally honest: I come here almost entirely for the comments. I enjoy Kat’s presentation of pieces I might not think of, and I do think I’ve gotten ideas from looking at them, but it’s rare that I even like one of them enough to consider buying, let alone that I could afford to buy if I wanted. Of course, it’s easier for me to decline the pieces, too, because I am plus-size or very near plus-size, and almost none of these pieces come in a size large enough for me.

    • Some do, some don’t. Some just come for inspiration and then find pieces else. You’ll also notice that Monday’s are the expensive splurge day, and that the price of the item tends to decline during the week to the “Frugal Friday” piece.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I don’t often buy the featured item but I buy things other commenters link to all the time. Most of my wardrobe is somehow enabled by this site.

      • +1. The hive has hooked me on Nordstrom’s, and I’ve followed way too many links for the health of my budget.

        • Totally agree. I have only bought one thing that Kat has recommended, but got hooked on Nordstrom’s, even though we don’t have one here. Ordered from NAS this year and have ordered other things (mostly shoes). And I’ve ordered items that other commenters have recommended and I’ve ordered from Kanye East’s Etsy shop.

      • This exactly. The Hive has some awesome finds. I probably would have never found/bought “the Skirt” without hearing such glowing phrase on this site.

    • MaggieLizer :

      The frequency of the high-priced featured items can be a bit misleading. I don’t think anyone is buying two $100+ pieces a day, regardless of income. And if you are, marry me. Now that I’m a few years into my career and have enough clothes to get me through each season, I can focus on quality over quantity. This site gives me enough of a variety that, when once in a blue moon I decide I’m going to drop $100+ on one thing, I have the time and options to really think it over and feel like I’ve made an informed purchase.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think that we have cleaned out the entire stock of some of Kat’s picks before, especially really cute dresses from Target on Fridays. I can’t remember if I’ve ever bought any of the items, but I definitely have used them as inspiration.

    • I’ve been reading for about 2.5 years I think and I’ve bought maybe 4 or 5 featured items I think. But I’ve probably bought 20 things on the recommendation of other commenters, not to mention the things I’ve bought because of inspiration from the site.

      But, there’s also a philosophical issue about shopping here. You can say “I would never spend that much on this jacket” but in response someone could say “but spending $100 on a blazer that will hold up over a period makes more sense then spending $15 on one that will fall apart makes sense.” But…I think the bigger problem is spending this much on something “trendy” that won’t last for more than this season, but if you think this would be a piece that would be central to your wardrobe, then its not a bad choice to spend more. Shrug.

    • Keep in mind that the quality of this jacket is probably going to be much better than that of a similar jacket at Target or Ross.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I think I’ve purchased maybe two items that have been recommended. I don’t have to wear suits to work, I don’t wear heels over 2.5″ out of bed, and my taste is a more boring/classic than a lot of the recs. Polka dotted calf hair pumps? Scary! I also think I’m a little too young for some favored brands (Elie Tahari, Lafayette), and a lot of items are gorgeous but out of my league until the student loans are paid off.

  18. Muddy Buddy :

    First trial was a success (kind of). We won, but got less than we hoped for. I think I’ll still count it as a victory, though.

    I got to examine one witness, cross examine another, and argue jury instructions. I was also going to oppose a directed verdict motion, but I was so intimidating that the judge denied it without argument.

    I learned a TON and had a lot of fun, so I guess those are the most important things!

  19. I didn’t see this posted already (sorry if I missed it):

    25% off at J. Crew and free shipping! I haven’t tested the code but the e-mail reads like this works on full-price items, not just the usual sale codes.

    The code is STYLE25.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      And there’s a Super 120s skirt in light gray for $29.99 . Plus 25% off. I don’t know how or why, but SOLD.

      • Anonymous :

        Not only that, there is a Super 120s blazer on sale as well. You can get the blazer and skirt for around $110, with the promotion!

  20. board member :

    I had a humbling young person/old person and poor/well off culture shock moment today. I (poor young person catagory) am on a board with a well established, well off, older man. He told me he would take care of something we are getting for our fundraiser. I just had a total doofus moment when I told him I’d bring him a check to reimburse him, and he told me that he meant take care of it *financially*…. I just all of a sudden realized that what was going through my mind when I told him I’d bring him a check was, “Omg! it’s over $100! That’s sooo expensive. Obviously he needs to be reimbursed.” But $100 is just a drop in the bucket to him. I hope that someday I can be as successful and as generous as he is.

    As rough as it is sometimes to work for a not for profit and to serve on the board of another not for profit, one of the most humbling and wonderful things about it is seeing the incredible level of generosity of some people. I post here regularly under another name, but I just wanted to anonymously thank any of you who donate to NFPs.

    • This is awesome. I’m glad you posted this.

      +1 for you

      +10 for this donor

      +100 for humanity. :-)

    • karenpadi :

      The best way to thank him is to pay it forward for another poor young person when you can afford it. :-)

    • eastbaybanker :

      Love this. I hope that all of us aspiring to do well also aspire to do good. :-)

  21. Really need a vacation! :

    I know I’ve seen positive reviews for Turks and Caicos on here before, and I’m finally headed there in a few weeks for a much needed vacation with my hubby. Any recommendations for restaurants, things to do, etc.?

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