Reader Unicorn and Pixies asked: Looking for black long sleeved Dolman shirt / sweater to wear to work (big law). Like to spend under $100. I'm usually a s or m. Thank you!
Dolman tops and sweaters are a bit of a hot button issue on Corporette for some reason; many readers dislike dolman sleeves with a passion. I don't mind them - I have larger than average upper arms and find that fitted sleeves sometimes make my arms look a bit...sausage like. Dolman sleeves can be a great relaxed alternative look for sleeves. But the challenge, of course, for work is making sure that a sometimes slouchy look is polished enough for the workplace. But I'm going to find you some awesome options U&P!!
And - since this is a bit of a simple question, but I still wanted to help U&P out - I decided to do a combo post. I'll post the black long sleeved dolman shirts and sweaters - but also fun fall accessories I've seen that might go well with it - especially scarves, jewelry, belts, perhaps a vest or two, whatever catches my fancy! Its been awhile since I've done an accessories post and fall is my favorite accessories season - you can layer, you can wear all my favorite jewel tones [and mix them up in jewelry and clothes], and purses and bags come in lovely shades of leather. So this post will be a little bit for you U&P and a little bit of TCFKAG's ideas for fall accessories. Hope you all enjoy it!
| |Dolman Sleeved Cowl top from Coldwater Creek
($59.96-69.95 - the cowl neck top on this shirt makes it fairly unique from most other dolman sleeved shirts, which tend to be boat neck or wide v-necks. Coldwater has lots of dolman options, including this one
and this one
that may work for you. And for those reading along at home, many of these items come in plus sizes as well and in other colors, including a gorgeous eggplant for the shirt above.)
| |Graphic Print Wool Scarf from Norstroms
($59 - with emerald green [and frankly all greens] so trendy right now, its a great time to add some green accessories to your wardrobe. I especially like this scarf because it mixes the green with the navy blue [mixing of jewel tones] but also adds in the yellow which brightens the scarf and will allow it to transition into a spring wardrobe smoothly. Scarf also available in other colors. This similar graphical scarf is cool too
| |Ann Taylor Loft Banded Dolman Tee
($29.50 - I know many of my readers [honestly myself included] have largely sworn off the Loft because of quality issues, but this simple dolman tee is a cotton-wool blend, the banded waistline makes it a bit more formal and the short sleeve dolman look makes it a great layering item. It has great reviews and comes in awesome colors. Might be worth a try at that price.)
| |Halogen Scoop Back Ruched Dolman Top at Nordstroms
($44 - I REALLY like this simple dolman top from Nordstroms [the scooped back is not dramatically low]. The ruched waist gives it a fitted look, but the dolman sleeves keep it loose and comfortable through the chest, shoulder, and bicep areas for those of you with muscles or me with the arms de sausage. ;-) It comes in a variety of lovely colors and in regular and petite sizes.)
| |White House Black Market Easy Dolman Tee
($38 - WHBM is becoming one of my go to stores for work clothes, which is sort of shocking, and I think this shirt is a good example of why. It would be excellent for layering under suit jackets or cardigans - its a cotton-modal blend which gives it a silkier, slightly dressier appearance. I'm not sure about wearing it entirely on its own, especially at Big Law, but as a layering piece this is a great option.)
| |Halogen Dolman Sleeved Tunic from Nordstroms
($64 - another great dolman top that comes in great, great colors - including this black. What you can't really see in the black picture is that there's a pit of a pronounced seam up the center of the sweater and sleeves at the waist - adding interest. May verge on too casual for a big law office, but wanted to share anyway.)
| |Latico Leathers Cross-Body bag at Amazon
($76.49 - at over 60% off this cross-body tote is a pretty great deal for real leather. The single review on Amazon is good and the chestnut color looks lovely. There's a picture giving scale against a human and its not quite as large as the out of context picture would suggest - it would be a great weekend or travel purse, or for work if you don't have to carry a laptop or files on a regular basis. I personally love cross-body purses and this is a lovely one with clean lines.)
| |Trouvé hi-low v-neck dolman sweater at Nordstroms
($68 - I wanted to make sure you had a true sweater option and I like this relatively simple Trouvé option. The hi-low hemline is barely noticeable and its short enough at the waist to be easily worn tucked in or not, which makes it versatile; pair with short collar or long pendant necklace for great effect.)
| |Michael by Michael Kors 'Slim Runway' Bracelet Watch at Nordstroms
($180 - This is definitely a splurge item - but it is also a beautiful, simple, and yet utterly sexy watch. The black and gold is certainly on trend right now, but there's nothing about this watch that wouldn't be stylish forever. Plus, for those women who don't want a metallic watch there are just so few
options and this is the cream of the crop. This hits just the right balance of edgy, trendy, but yet eternal. I kind of love it.)
| |Dex Jaquard Draped Front Cardigan at Piperlime
($78 - this cardigan, which has a fun jaquard pattern on the back, is the slouchy sweater you could wear all fall and never get sick of. Pair it with jeans, knee high boots, a black t-shirt, and a long pendant necklace, and maybe a cute hat if that's your thing and you've basically built the perfect fall outfit for the weekend. Also a great option for people whose offices are experimenting with how cold you can keep the human body and still get productive work from them.)
| |Women's scoop neck 3/4 sleeve dolman top at Old Navy
($14.00 - this may be more casual than you are looking for [and the reviews are only so-so, it looks like you may want to order a size up and/or even order a tall if you are "normal" height] but at $14 it might be worth at least checking out.)
| |Marru Matte Silk Top at Piperlime
($208 - so obviously this is a splurge item [that I would perhaps stalk until it goes on sale anyway] but I love this style of silk top with simple pleating down the front. Its perfect for work, can be worn under blazers, on its own, with suits, and is surprisingly versatile on the weekends. Comes in other colors as well.)
| |Wyatt Blue and Black Contrast Stripe Jersey Dolman Top at Bluefly ($44.79 - so I know you said black, but I like this bold blue and black striped dolman top so much that I thought I'd recommend it anyway. With a pair of simple black slacks and an opera length necklace - this would be a fun Friday look for work and a great weekend shirt.)
| |Neiman Marcus Chestnut Zip-Top Basketweave Tote at Neiman Marcus Last Call
($47.50 - chestnut is a beautiful color for fall; it just seems to jive with many of the seasonal colors of oranges and burgundy and green and other jewel tones. Plus this bag seems like a killer steal - a lovely zip-top tote in a cool basketweave for over 50% off. Definitely worth a look see.)
| |DV by Dolce Vita 'Sandie' Boot at Nordstroms
($79.90 - this boot is a fun combination of the moto-boot that is so in right now and the combat boot, that is coming back with the 90s trend [which if I see it called 'vintage' 90s one more time, I might scream.] It comes in a variety of colors and I think it would be great with skinny jeans tucked in or with boot cut jeans. For those from northern climes, it would also transition nicely into early winter when rain, sleet, and snow become a daily problem.)
| |Leopard Print on Oversized Scarf at ASOS
($18.56 - ASOS has lots of fun accessories but I especially like this leopard print one. It would go well if you have a black or a brown jacket [or actually if you have one of those military green jackets or a burgundy jacket - or possibly any color - leopard is like a sneaky neutral.] Its a great size but still is a light enough fabric that you won't be dying of heat exhaustion October from wearing it.)
| |Kate 'Spectator' Pump from Talbots
($149 - Talbots shoes are surprisingly high quality - I have a pair of gray heels from there that I have worn several times a week for several years at this point and they've held up beautifully. This is the first pair of gray heels I've seen that tempt me to finally replace my beloved heels. I like the simple extra detailing (a little interesting without being distracting) the pointed toe and the chunky heel - which is trendy AND comfortable, my favorite combination.)
| |Standout Layered Necklace in silver from Forever 21
($8.80 - F21 has a variety of takes on this style of necklace, but I like this version in silver. You rarely see this style of chain Y necklace in silver (its frequently gold) and I like this darker almost gunmetal silver for a cooler, slightly more edgy look for fall. It also looks great in gold though, and frankly for this price you can probably afford both! I love F21 jewelry, its hard to have buyers remorse when nothing costs more than $10.)
| |Metal Haven by Kendall & Kylie Wing Earrings at Nordstroms
($6.98 - its not often that I feature something from the junior's section of Nordies...or something from what I think is the little Kardashian's line of jewelry (I guess)? But these are cute - I think in the appropriately styled outfit they could fit for work, but really I think they'd be awesome for the weekend. I'm actually envisioning them with the bracelet next to them and perhaps with those awesome DV boots above - you'd look super bad ass...but classily bad ass.)
| |Cara Wide Woven Leather Bracelet at Nordstrom's Rack
($14.97 - my favorite thing about the current leather trend is there are lots of women's accessories out there right now that walk the edge of kind of "badass tough" while still being pretty and well-made. I think this bracelet is a great example of that. Paired with a nice pair of jeans, some cool moto boots, and a black dolman shirt (perhaps...just for example), this bracelet would be a fun way to add some of the leather trend to an outfit without going full on leather all the time. Not sure I'd wear it to work in a business casual work environment, but if you work in a creative field you might be able to pull it off.
So there you have it dear readers. some ideas for U&P for black dolman tops AND a sense of where my mind is at this fall. The answer....EVERYWHERE. I'm loving the trends this season, especially the leather, the various types of metallic jewelry, and the jewel tones abounding in every direction. I find myself wanting ALL THE THINGS so I'm really having to exercise some self-control.
So what about you readers? What fall items are you most excited about? Have you made any purchases lately that you are just in love with? If so leave a comment below - I love to hear from you!
Reader DancingLonghorn queried: Hi! I am a regular Corporette reader. I need to buy a dress for wearing as a wedding guest to weddings both this Fall and next Spring. I like this dress: Helene Dress in liquid jersey. The problem I am having is color. I like both the imperial blue and the crushed berry. I think that the crushed berry would look better on my coloring (and I wear a lot of clothing in that color), but I am worried that it will be difficult to style for a Spring or Summer wedding. What do you think? Do you have any ideas for styling that color for Spring or Summer?First of all, for those playing along at home, this is the dress from J-Crew that DancingLonghorn wants to buy.
My first reaction is that I much prefer the crushed berry to the imperial blue in this case. Generally, I love a good navy as much as the next girl (or even substantially more than the next girl) but I think this navy looks a bit washed out. In contrast, the crushed berry/burgundy is a warm, saturated tone that would be flattering on many skin tones.
Now - to answer your real question - I absolutely think the burgundy can work for both fall and spring - in fact, this shade of burgundy functions as a neutral in my wardrobe along with black, gray, and navy. Different accessories will completely change the look and ensure that the dress is seasonally appropriate for both events. So - for this post - I will put together a collection of accessories, one for fall and one for spring that I think would work well with this dress. Obviously you don't need all of them - but you could consider getting a couple of them (or items like them) to allow the dress to transition smoothly from season to season.
Accessories for the Fall Wedding
| |Natural Copper Earrings by sophisticatedjunkie on Etsy
($23 - these earrings come from a very cool Etsy store. I love the way they've used the copper and its natural color to give it a teal and brown color scheme; it gives it a colorful look but without undermining the rustic feel. Base metals - like copper (or bronze, gunmetal, etc.) are in right now and really read fall to me.)
| |House of Harlow 1960 Serene Serpentine Collar Necklace at Zappos
($75 - this necklace is a bit pricy but its also really cool and really unique. I think the brown is an ideal neutral allowing maximum flexibility with your other accessories. [Note: its called a collar necklace but it isn't a choker or otherwise hit at the collar - not sure why its called that.])
| |Mixed Metal Bangle Set at Ann Taylor Loft
($29.50 - in terms of bracelets for this outfit, I'm keeping it a bit simple. There are tons of mixed metal bangle sets out there but this one has a nice variety and selection. [BTW ASOS has a set
of mixed metal bangles that are literally called vintage 90s bangles
- when did the 90s become vintage?]
| || |Nine West Women's Flax Pump in Blue/Green Suede at Amazon
($69 - I like the idea of mixing teal and burgundy for a fall wedding this year since mixed jewel tones are so in right now. Plus, this pump would be a great addition to any work wardrobe, making it a two-fer. If the teal doesn't do it for you - you could also go with a navy shoe and work the teal in with the jewelry, as shown above, and have the shoes match the wrap. [Or, in the reverse, you could pick a teal wrap to match the shoes, either way really works.])
| |Touch of Nina Beaded Peacock Clutch at Loehmann's
($69.99 - plus an extra 25% off right now. Whenever I recommend teal for an outfit, I always think that peacock accessories should get worked in somehow. This is definitely no exception. This clutch comes in both a black beaded pattern and this white pattern, but in this case I prefer the white. Not only because its gorgeous but also because it can then be used for both the fall and spring weddings easily [and, I predict, many times in between.])
Accessories for the Spring Wedding
| |Giani Bernini 24k Gold over sterling silver earrings at Macy's
($59 - so, there are other, cheaper gold or "gold" jewelry on sale at Macy's right now (not to mention the rest of the internet) but I particularly like these. They are delicate and would also be work appropriate and great for use year round for non-wedding events. I think it goes great with the orange/coral necklace I recommended to the right [or the brown necklace I recommended above for that matter.])
| || |Blu-Bijoux Gold and Coral Stones Stretch Cuff Bracelet at Max & Chloe
($21 - note that this is final sale - so, obviously it is a bit hard to recommend jewelry on-line when you can't tell if the two pieces will match. These may be very different shades or they might match closely. Either way - I like the idea of coral or orange jewelry with the burgundy. I don't think it all has to match exactly as long as its not TOO far off.)
| |Linen Blend Wrap in Gold Artisan from Nordstroms
($28 - you could - of course - use the navy or gray wrap from above for both weddings - but why give up the chance to buy an awesome second golden linen scarf? There's no reason. But seriously, this scarf would be lovely for a spring wedding and throughout the spring.)
| |Nine West Beutie Pump at Macy's
($69.99 - really I think any neutral shoe of your choice would work with this outfit - but I like this pump from Nine West, which could be used either as a "nude for you" or as almost a white shoe rather than nude if its too light for you. Other neutral or light shoes might work too, like a light yellow, or gray, or navy blue, or even the teal shoes from the fall wedding if you want to be frugal.)
So there you go, two completely different outfits to go with one dress. By using these different color schemes and accessories (or something like this) you will evoke entirely different seasons even with burgundy as the same base color. So go forth and party. And let me know if you like what you see! What do you think readers? Do you have a set wedding "uniform" that you wear regardless of season? How do you keep it updated as the seasons pass?
So - I got a question over on my Tumblr
about fall/spring jackets. That question was fairly specific, i.e. fall/spring jackets with a hood that could be purchased in or shipped to Canada. But I found some great options and saw some other great options, so I thought I'd do a post here for all my American readers who might be in the market for a new fall/spring jacket of their very own.
| |Sam Edelman 'Kit' Asymmetrical Wool Blend Coat at Nordstroms
($178 - This jacket might be a nice alternative to the 'field' jackets that are everywhere right now for someone looking for a more professional look since it has the same olive shade with a more graceful, dramatic cut. Also a great coat if you happen to cos-play as an LOTR elf at all, or just happen to think you are one.)
| |Betsy Johnson Collarless Animal Print Coat at Nordstroms
($109.99 - This is one of those coats that I'm not 100% sold on when buttoned, but I think looks really cute when unbuttoned - which I guess isn't the BEST feature in a coat. But, overall, I think for someone looking for a more adventurous coat this might be a nice option - the print is tempered by the traditional colors and cut.)
| |Elie Tahari Marla wrap coat at Neiman Marcus
($195 - this wool blend wrap is an exclusive NM item. I think its a really beautiful and unique jacket, though it may definitely appeal more to my older readers. Its also a secret ninja jacket; the shawl collar converts to a hood.)
| |Guess Asymmetrical Textured Wool Blend and Faux Leather Coat at Nordstroms
($198 - Leather sleeves are EVERYWHERE right now but this is one of my favorite versions of it [though this navy blue Michael Kors one
is awesome too.] I think the burgundy pairs well with the black rather than clashing with it the way khaki can. Leather and wool also go great together. Biggest problem with this is that between the sleeves and the zipper, its going to be dated quickly, but hey - when it comes to trends - you might as well go big or go home, right? Also, this may be more of a late fall/winter coat, depending on the weight. If you like the idea of interesting sleeves, but aren't ready to commit to full on leather sleeves, you might like this Guess jacket with studded sleeves
also at Nordies.)
| |Club Monaco Emma Trench Coat at ShopBop
($298 - a classic trench coat is always a great way to go in the spring and fall, especially if you don't like switching between a ton of coats. This double breasted look with a belt is a classic menswear style with slight adaptations for women, but you wouldn't have to worry about it ever being dated. The little flair at the bottom does give it just a touch of personality. Note: for those who prefer a single breasted trench, I've always liked the look of this Ellen Tracy
. And for a double breasted option that's more affordable, this London Fog jacket
is nice - though a bit less refined looking.)
| |Fit and Flare Coat by ASOS Curve
($109.69 - ASOS Curve has a bunch of cute coats right now, but I like this trench. Its girly in a way that isn't *too* twee and for women with curves it would be ridiculously flattering. Basically, I think that if peplum works on you, than this is the trench coat for you.)
| || |Corduroy-Trimmed Quilted Coat from Ralph Laure
($219 - these fitted, quilted coats are great spring/fall jackets because they provide a bit of warmth but aren't too heavy and are still waterproof. This version is also in a nice, not too aggressive tartan, which is the pattern of the season. But, this particular tartan and jacket are both so classic that you could wear it for years to come and not look out of place.)
| |Calvin Klein Colorblock Houndstooth Coat at Nordstroms
($125.98, limited sizes only, so - I realize that this jacket is very similar to the Guess jacket above, but I am a *total* sucker for houndstooth so it had to have its own entry. Plus, I think the lack of leather sleeves will make it more timeless and I like the black side panels which create the illusion of curves without necessitating a belt. Overall, its a really cool jacket.)
| |Penfield Kasson Parka from Madewell
($185 - This is by far one of my favorite parka style fall coats I've seen around this season. First of all, its available in navy, burgundy, and mustard, a/k/a three of the best colors ever. And its just slouchy enough to look extremely comfortable but structured enough that you don't look like you're wearing your older brother's coat. Plus, the hood is lined in a tartan fabric. Basically, this jacket has hit all the right trend notes, but in five years no one will be able to look at and say "oh, you got your jacket it 2013?"
So I think that's it for now gang. What about you dear readers? Have you gotten any jackets recently that you love and want to tell us about? I recently bought an AWESOME leather jacket at Nordies Rack. (This is it
, but mine is oxblood and I got it for a significant discount - actually if you're on the hunt for a leather jacket made of real leather, I'd head to the Rack nearest you and check this jacket out if they still have it. Its awesome.)
Also - as I'm sure you have noticed, I have not been posting here with anything you would call regularity. Work has been hectic and life has been crazy and I've been dropping the ball. I do post quite regularly over at Tumblr, including fairly frequently posting random items I find during my internet shopping perusals. So if you need a TCFKAG fix, head over there
and just check it out (if you can cope with the Avengers and Tom Hiddleston that is.) But I will try to pick back up in my posting here. Sorry for my delinquency and I hope you enjoy this post! Have a splendid weekend. I know I will!
READERS NOTE: before I jump back in....OMG....I'm here. I know. I keep disappearing for prolonged periods. I'm sorry. Its a combination of work, my health, and August being...well....August. Hopefully as fall approaches (my absolute favorite fashion month - bar-none) I will be re-motivated to post much, much more frequently. But in the meantime, I apologize profusely. Now, moving on from self-flagellation...unless you're into that sort of thing...this post IS about leather after all.
Hello TCFKAG! I have followed you on Corporette and have a question for you. I am seriously loving leather pencil skirts for fall, but am overwhelmed by the options. I was wondering if you had any suggestions. I'm looking for black leather, or vegan leather, knee length and pencil skirt. I can't decide if it should be all leather, or with leather accents, or what. I work in a business casual environment, but it's not exactly a creative place and I wear mostly traditional things. This would be a bit of a fashion risk for me, so it has to look super professional! Just leather :) I'm a 4-6 or size 27, I'd like to spend under $200. Thank you!
Wow! Are you the REAL Blair Waldorf. You can tell me, I'll never tell. ;-) xoxo. Anyway, I'm totally with you on the leather pencil skirt train - I like them, I think they look cool and just a touch edgy, but....then....the little birdie on my shoulder that annoyingly reminds me that I'm a *grown-up* with a *grown-up* job rears its ugly head and I wonder. Should I REALLY be trying to make leather pencil skirts work for the office? My concerns are really two-fold. On the one hand, I don't want to look like I am a young professional who can't tell which "fashion" trends ARE appropriate for the office and which aren't (like, I don't care if you wear your formal shorts with heels to as many dates as you want...still don't think they belong in the office.) Plus, from a practical standpoint, I can't help but think that these things are going to be a bitch to clean. So as you can imagine, I've been giving it some thought. In my struggles, I think I've come up with a couple of general rules of thumb (at least for myself)
So with those general guidelines in mind....ON TO THE PICKS.
- If the skirt is black, I think the leather should only be accents, since to me black leather is by its very nature a bit more "tough" even in pencil skirt form,
- If the skirt is another color, it can be all leather - possibly - but it needs to be otherwise very, very traditionally styled,
- Only one piece of leather accented wear per day. At no point should you look like you're dressed up as Biker Lawyer Barbie for the day.
- And finally, do *not* spend too much money on leather workwear. I think its going to become a dated trend quite quickly for most of us and....frankly....I think the cost-prohibitive nature of cleaning them is going to make them impractical pretty quickly.
Worthington Leather Pencil Skirt at JCP
($98.99 - a straightforward black pencil skirt - though the picture looks brown to me. I like it though because, rather than being too tight or too shiny, the seams and zipper dress it down enough for me to make me think that it would be more work appropriate than many others I saw. One note, based on the info on the website, it does appear to be real leather.*
)Vince Camuto Faux Leather Trim Striped Pencil Skirt at Nordstroms
($89 - this skirt falls on the less is more side of the leather camp - but I think the stripes give it some interest as well. It also comes in red and black. I like how the side and waist piping in leather gives just that bit of edge that the less adventurous might be looking for. Paired with either a simple black button down or perhaps a very light, silk deep burgundy button down, I think this would look amazing for fall. Plus emerald and darker greens are SO in this season. But for work, PLEASE do not pair it with high heeled gladiator sandals...just for me okay ladies. :-P)Exact Stretch Studded Trim Pencil Skirt at The Limited
($69.95 - so this skirt obviously takes the idea of leather trim and one ups it by adding studding. I'm not sure how I feel about it other than....intrigued. For a skirt that involves STUDDED LEATHER, its surprisingly lady-like. And the price is right - even if you only wear it on nights out. I don't know - might be worth a look see. Again - everything else would have to be very primly styled - perhaps a gray shell with a black blazer?)
Riverside Colorblocked Pencil Skirt from Ann Taylor
($109 - I have to say - I really LOVE the color of this skirt, this darker merlot is right on trend and would work beautifully to mix with the other on-trend seasonal jewel tones (like eggplant and teal.) I also think the color-blocked side panels serve a practical purpose here - leather can be constricting, but with these side panels you can be allowed greater freedom of movement. And I think the merlot color gives this an overall more refined look. Its definitely one of my favorite for the "full" leather effect out there.) Leather Waist Pencil Skirt from Neiman Marcus Last Call
($69.00 - most sizes still available.
This is a Labor's Day Sale. Okay - I think this is the PERFECT execution of leather in a work skirt - the contrasting color of the leather adds interest and brings attention to it but it remains classy. Plus mixing brown and black is fashion forward without being too aggressive or "weird." You won't scare any of the older employees at your office, but the younger employees will think you're cool. And I like the cut of this skirt for people who don't look good in traditional pencil skirts. A real consideration for people looking for leather accents!! Its even available in most sizes.)
Bailey 44 'She Walk in Beauty' Faux Leather Pencil Skirt at Nordstroms
($196 - so this is at the very top of your price range, which is a bit steep for something that is likely a trendy item - but I *do* love me some navy. Again, much like with the AT skirt above, the side panels would allow for movement but here there is no colorblocking, which I know some would prefer. On the other hand, I actually like the seam on the front of the AT skirt above. I think the differences add up to a taste preference more than anything ... as well as a $100 price difference of course.)Classiques Entier Leather Trim Jacquard Pencil Skirt at Nordstroms
($178 - so, if I had to guess, I would guess that you are going to be seeing SO much jacquard this season that you may get royally sick of it. But I really like this version with leather trim at the hips and pockets. Another example of just a little leather rather than a lot, but jacquard will never go entirely out of style - so I think this skirt might have real staying power, meaning that the price tag might actually be worth it. And Classiques Entier is a fairly decent quality line. Try pairing with a dark emerald green to be so on trend you might explode.)ASOS CURVE Exclusive leather pencil skirt with jersey trim at ASOS
($89.44 - so sorry Blair, this one isn't for you, but I wanted to highlight this for my readers who shop in the women's section. ASOS CURVE has a few cool looking leather skirts right now, but I like this one as a potential work skirt - the color is more neutral than black and if you perhaps go a size up (to avoid too much cling - don't no one want cling at work) I think it could look great. Plus, again, the jersey trip would allow for movement. A nice option! P.S. The skirt also comes in black if you're into that sort of thing.)
*FINAL EDITOR'S NOTE: I haven't specifically addressed it in this post, but the plus side to your budget is that essentially all of these options are faux leather - so your concerns about vegan options are likely moot. In any case where the leather was not faux, I would have noted it.
So dear readers (if I have any left after my prolonged absences) - would you wear these skirts to work? What do you think about leather in the workplace. What does your WORKPLACE think about leather in the workplace. Or am I just really uncool and is leather totally okay. Its okay, you can call me a fuddy-duddy, I go to bed 9:30 most nights. I have embraced my fuddy-duddiness in all its glory. LEAVE NOTES. SEND MESSAGES. I'm happy to be back and need motivation to stay back! :-)
Reader Turkey Traveler asks:
I am traveling to Turkey and Greece this fall. I'm looking for a travel dress I can wear into mosques and Greek Orthodox churches and be respectful. My understanding is that this means below the knee and shoulders covered. I want something packable and not super hot (temperature hot). So far my best find is at lands end but would like more color options--lighter colors (khaki, light blue) because it will still be sunny. Budget is 100 or less. I am 5 foot 6, size 2.
Hey Turkey Traveler! Thanks for the question!! I am so jealous - and I love this question because I love traveling and just went on a big trip out West which involved 2500 miles of driving and mixing up hiking clothes, casual wear, and a little bit of nicer clothes - all of it packed in one carry-on. None of it wrinkling. Two thoughts before I get started - one is that I like to go outside the "traditional" travel and "outdoorsy" wear brands for these sorts of things - there are lots of brands and dresses out there that will work perfectly for this that will be nicely in your price range without having to pay the premium that comes with travel brands. Two - I think you might benefit from a skirt and a couple different wrap tops and or breathable button downs rather than a single dress (given that it will be hot as heck and you might want to switch off the tops) so I'm going to offer you a couple options in that world two.
Indispensable Knit Wrap Dress from LL Bean
($84.50 - comes in several colors, though I like this blue as it would be a great base piece to accessorize with. The description says it hits below the knee and as below average height people [what what], I think we should be able to rely on that. Would probably pack well and be nice and breathable.)ASOS Midi Dress with full skirt and belt from ASOS
($71.27 - I actually own this dress in another color - it is an incredibly light and comfortable cotton, perfect for hot weather, but it can be rolled up and packed in a suitcase and come out pretty much wrinkle free. I'm still super happy with the purchase and it was one of my go-to dresses on my trip. I thought I wouldn't like the midi length on me [I'm 5' 3"] because I thought it would make me look dumpy, but because the skirt is fuller and floaty, it actually looks good.)Women's Regular Split Neck Half Sleeve Terry Dress at Land's End
($59 - this dress looks like it would be extremely comfortable for touring around all-day [it is a "knee length" dress, but I'm thinking if you buy the regular height it will hit below the knee] - and if you add a more structured belt and some jewelry at night, I think it will dress up well for dinner. Plus, it is also a color that will serve as a nice base for a variety of other looks.)
Women's Woven Clip Waist Skirt
in french walnut from Land'd End ($16.99 on-sale - another one where I think you'll have to buy the regular height to get below the knee, but I think this would be a great, light weight neutral skirt for traveling with - it would basically match any top or shoes.)Carla Skirt in white Periwinkle from Dobbin Clothing
($38 on sale - I like the idea of this skirt for this trip - its light, would pack well, hits below the knees but is a-line and would breathe, and the pattern would go with most colors.)Casual Chino Skirt in orange from Boden
($58.50 - okay - so not precisely neutral - but fun! They do come in white, but the orange is going to wear better over the course of a vacation - get dirtier and frankly (I think) scream tourist a little less. Because, is it only me, but do we only become neutral wearing, slaves to matching when we are on vacation?)
Women's Petite Cotton Voile Drop Shoulder Tunic in navy at Land's End
($19.99 - I think this shirt would go well with any of the shirts highlighted above - navy being such a great color - and its a very ambidextrous shirt. You can tuck it in, you can leave it out for a more relaxed look, and since you'd likely wear a tank-top under it, if you wanted to you could carry it in your bag with you just to put on when you needed to go into a church [especially in Greece, I'm unsure about street norms in Turkey with regards to covering one's shoulders.]). Merona Women's Three-Quarter Sleeve Double Layer Tee at Target
($14 - I like this faux-wrap style a lot and the double knit is heavy enough to travel without getting wrinkled but light enough that it will be comfortable in most weather. It can also look dressed up enough for dinners out while still looking in place on the street during the day. It comes in bunches of colors, but I like this purple. A nice option to consider.)
Okay! I hope these options help you out in shopping for your vacation and you find one or two options you like! One more tip before you depart - there's a reason that scarves are very popular in Greece and Turkey even with women who do not cover their hair for religious reasons. You might want to buy a couple scarves (either at home - or even better once you get there!) both for awesome stylistic purposes AND for sun protection. Plus, then you can use the scarf to wrap around your shoulders inside churches and other places of worship and feel extra secure that you are respecting the holy spaces. Win, win, win. And if you happened to find a nice Turkish scarf and wanted to send it to TCFKAG for all her awesome blogging...well...that certainly wouldn't be remiss. ;-) Just kidding. Sort of. HAVE FUN!!!
So - I wanted to do a post about business appropriate work items for people who like to dress with a bit of edge. Now let me be clear, these aren't just for people who are dressing all in black to look more grown up or to be more intimidating. These are people who are, perhaps, goth in their personal style or otherwise like to look tough or edgy in their style. Now - much of what I post here would normally fit the "ladylike" or even "girly" side of the coin. And I'm not going to recommend studded belts or collars for work (which I know you wouldn't wear unless you work in a VERY creative field) - but I'm going to suggest some edgier work wear items to be paired with otherwise neutral items to allow you, my little gothic lovlies, to slip some of your edgy soul into your work wear without scaring the puppy-shirt loving office administrator or the 70-year-old managing partner.
| |Tracy Reese Brocade Pencil Skirt at Neiman Marcus ($90 - so I clicked on this because I liked the skirt but then I liked the sweater with leather sleeves too. I think a brocaded burgundy skirt like this is sort of sneaky edge; a bit vintage but cool if paired with a very modern top - like here with leather. I really like this version; not too much like a couch cushion and a lovely color.) | |Marc New York by Andrew Marc Black Sheath Dress with piping at Nordstroms ($138 - love the piping here - not only would it be great for women with longer or mid-length waists to emphasize their shapes, but it takes a plain black dress and adds interest without making it work inappropriate. Also the shape is a bit different but not crazy. With a cropped jacket in any color this would be great for work.) | |ASOS Pants in Wide Leg in Berry at ASOS ($34.99 - these are maybe questionable, but I love the idea of these with a wide, black leather belt and a black or contrasting shirt and then a long, beaded statement necklace [or the Boden military blazer right below this!]. Usually berry isn't an "edgy" color, but I think the combination of the palazzo cut and hard styling could make this an exciting outfit, you know?)
| |Fitzrovia Jacket in navy with white piping at Boden ($98 - "Military style" blazers are all over the place right now, but I like the piping and color of this one, which keeps it from being *too* casual or military. I think the ones that are military khaki green are too casual and some of the more super structured ones are a little hard to wear for a lot of women who aren't petite - this would look nice on lots of shapes and is nice.) | |Gliding on Style Top at ModCloth ($47.99 - I don't usually love peplum, but if you paired this with a black pencil skirt and a bright colored pendant necklace and fabulous earrings and heels and...god...curvy women would look amazing. Anyway - seriously cool.)
| |Antonio Melanie Rikki Pinstripe Waistcoat at Dillard's ($119 - I am of the opinion that everyone should wear waistcoats. Wear it with a silk blouse and then a looser pair of trousers. Or get the matching pants and have an androgynous day or a colored pencil skirt and show off your butt. Either way, if it fits right, everyone loves a good waistcoat and you can pretend to be Tom Hiddleston or Matt Bomer for the day.) | |Fashion Star Pencil Skirt with Leather Appliques by Daniel Silverstein at Saks Fifth Avenue ($150 - leather skirts are very trendy, but I think leather pencil skirts may not be work appropriate but I think some of the pencil skirts with leather detailing are exceptions. Just a leather waistband though are no fun - this one is FUN. Paired with a burgundy blouse or blazer and black heels - this would be beautiful. I actually wouldn't pair it with a black shirt so that the leather can shine.) | |Cooper & Ella Crochet Trim Blouse in black at Piperlime ($89 - okay there are a million black blouses in the world - but I like the crochet detail on the shoulders of this one - adding a little difference. Also, the soft way it hangs, and the v-neck is a nice cut but isn't too low.)
| |4.collection black and gray printed flare dress at Saks Fifth Avenue ($298 - I hope this dress would be longer on women of average height - but I love that this is an A-line dress but not girly - which they often are. Add a fitted black or gray blazer and maybe a gray leather belt and whatever color shoes your mind can imagine and you've got a great look. Plus this is practically made for dramatic jewelry.) | |Ann Klein Faux Leather Skirt in tan ($49 - limited sizes - I think this is one of the exceptions to the general rule against leather pencil skirts are inappropriate for work because it is so neutral and simple. Another exception are a-line leather skirts, like this one that Banana Republic used to have. I think the key is that the skirts not be too tight, not be black [black being very "biker" for some reason] and that the skirt and styling be as neutral as humanly possible.)
So - what do you think readers - do any of you have an edgier look? Are these things you would wear? What do you think - other than my love of skulls, I'm not particularly edgy (one of my skull scarfs is sea foam green - you can't really consider me to be hard core whatsoever....I find my love of skulls to be generally ironic.) Leave some comments in the comments sections (and if you don't know where that is, click the link in the title and go through to the post's main page and look at the bottom of the screen! Don't worry, your e-mail won't show up.)
Reader Jenny Dictatrix (JD for short) is bedeviled by her search for interesting knit pencil skirts:
Hi TCFKAG, I have been trying to hunt down a knee-length jersey knit skirt for summer that goes a little bit beyond boring basics. I have one in from Target in black and white stripe that I wear all the time, and I'd love to have another option in that same style. My current skirt is slightly full with a fold-over waist, which I like but isn't necessary. Ideally I'd like to find something in cool geometric print - something that reads a little more city than beach, if that makes sense. I looked at Target B&M store, Splendid, American Apparel, and Alternative Apparel with no luck. Any ideas? <3, JennyDictatrix
So - I'm a bit unsure what shape you want - so I'll try to propose a variety of shapes including pencil skirts, a-line skirts, and things more on the drapey side. But I'll definitely go for things with cool geometric patterns or other things that make them look more trendy and not like a swimsuit cover up. So lets get going y'all.
| |Vila Belted Skirt in aquatic blue at ASOS ($15.27 - limited sizes - so I generally hate this "paper bag" belted waistline that this skirt has - but the color was cute enough that I thought I'd share it. Plus, the a-line is nice and it looks comfy. Maybe if you wore a blazer over it, it would hide the waistband?) | || |Milly Camille Pencil Skirt at ShopBop ($150 - normally I would never recommend a jersey, unlined pencil skirt that cost this much - but because of your mention of something graphic, I thought I'd post it. It has a really cool, futuristic graphic feel to it. Mixed with cobalt and black you would look like an astronaut lawyer but in the BEST way possible.)
Okay! Hope one of these works for you. I like some of them, love others of them, and some of them aren't for me. So I bet one of them will work for almost everyone! :-) Yay! I love jersey skirts for summer, there's something nice about a breathable fabric for summer (especially if its heavy enough that it doesn't show every bit of pudge.)
Happy shopping and may the odds be in your favor. Let me know what you buy! Post all about it on tumblr - ha!
Reader ET wrote in a really long time ago and asked:Hi! I'm looking for a nice crochet lace dress, preferably with a fitted waist and short sleeves. There's a lot of lace out there right now but nothing that seems quite right. A contrast with the underlay isn't absolutely necessary, but I don't like all white/cream. Cream lace with black/navy/purple underlay, or some dark lace in general would probably be the ideal. I love the black crochet lace with cream underlay of this dress: Wilfred Quai Dress the only issue it being a bodycon that I struggle to get myself into. It's a bit pricier than what I'd like for something I'm not sure about, but am otherwise willing to pay around that much if it's really perfect. I actually would have liked this Maitland Lace Dress from Anthro okay except that the skirt kind of fell flat. I tried it on and it just didn't do anything for me. I'm typically a size 12 if this helps at all. Sorry if I'm giving too many requirements! Thank you!
Okay, reader ET, I'm really sorry this answer is SO belated - I actually sort of hope you've found your dress already. Or that you've successfully phoned home (I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself, literally...couldn't do it.) Anyway - on the off-chance that you haven't - I think I've seen some good ideas out there for you. But first, for those following along at home, here are the dresses Reader ET sent in as examples.
Click through to see actual dress with black underlay - there was no picture of it on the model.
Both of these dresses are pretty - but nothing is wildly special about them. And I do love when retailers use "body-con" to just mean "really tight" instead of what I think it *should* mean, which is form flattering. Ugh. So lets get started on finding better options.
| |Midi Dress in Crochet Lace from ASOS ($64.49 - so the burgundy in the picture is apparently no longer available (boo), but the black version's details didn't show up well so I went with this picture instead. I like that this is fit and flare, though its sleeveless and not contrasting, and the price is right. I recently bought my first "midi" dress form ASOS and I surprisingly like the length, its fun and "twirly, if that makes sense.) | |Eliza J Lace Cap-Sleeve Dress at Dillard's ($106.80 - available in all sizes - I like the light blue crochet with what looks like a silver lining - its not a pairing you see much. I also like the belt to emphasize the fit and flare. I hope its longer than it seems on this model and I also wish the pictures on Dillard's was better so we could see the details better
| |Elie Tahari Lolly Dress in teal/coral at Elie Tahari ($358 - okay, so obviously this is WAY out of budget, BUT, it is also already on half off and all sizes are available at the Tahari site - so the price may drop further. I also think it fits your needs well and when I saw it, it was so pretty I took a picture of it through the store window at the mall.) For anyone who likes this, Muse has a similar but clearly not as cool version.
| |Sonia Black Lace Bodycon Dress from Reiss ($230 - so this is another "splurge" i.e. out of budget dress - though slightly less dramatically so. But I like many things about it, it has the black over cream overlay that you like. Its bodycon, but from Reiss, so it probably means bodycon as in form flattering. And the detailing at the waist and boob area (for lack of a better term) gives almost the effect of a belted dress without actually wearing, you know, a belt. Perhaps it will go on sale?) | |Graceful Gaiety Dress at ModCloth ($164.99 - I adore this dress and there are only two left, but hey, one is in your size ET. I just think this dress would stand out in the best possible way - its vintage but not dated. And the color would look AMAZING on a wide variety of skin tones. I know its not exactly what you came here looking for - but I want to throw it in the mix.)
| |Ivy & Blu for Maggy Boutique Cotton Lace Dress at Nordstroms ($178 - so its hard to tell from the picture - but the description says this dress is a lighter pink lace overlaid on a brighter pink lining. I bet it would look lovely in person. I like the elbow-length sleeves and I'm a sucker for a boat neck. Also, I think with a structured blazer you could probably wear it to work. An interesting option anyway.) | |Hand Crochet Dress from Boden ($187.60 - this was one of the few truly *crocheted* dresses I could find out there - most just being lace with a crotchet like pattern. This is the navy dress, so you can't really see the details, but click over and zoom in and the detailing in the crochet is beautiful. I know its long sleeved, but the sleeves are fairly lightly knitted so they may stay cool for the summer.) | |Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique sleeveless A-Line dress at Zappos ($169.99 - its really a shame this one is sleeveless because its a really pretty take on this whole contrasting overlay look - the lace/crochet/cutouts are entirely different and the shape is just great. If its not right for you Reader ET, I wonder if other of my readers might like it for summer and spring parties and events ... or Easter Sunday. :-P)
Okay - so those are a lot of options - most of which don't precisely fit your needs but are cute anyway. Let me know if you like them (or if you've already bought something since I'm a slowpoke.) I hope you find something that makes your crochet loving heart go pitter-patter. Good night and good luck.....at the mall. (God I'm such a dork, why do you all come here?)
Reader LK de-lurks and inquires:Hi TCFAKG, I lurk in C'rette, sometimes comment. I need help with wedding attire. I am going to a family wedding in late September in NYC. The wedding itself is held in the Botanical Gardens, and I will also be attending the rehearsal dinner and the Sunday morning brunch (both to be held in Scarsdale). I asked my cousin (groom's sister) for pointers and she replied: "As for dress code. My understanding is that for the wedding itself long (but not poufy) and/or black would be fine but black in general is the norm for New York. I am aiming for dark and below the knee but most probably not to the floor (though I went to a wedding in NYC the same formality last week and there was a lot of floor length even in dark colors so that would be fine). . It's definitely more formal than a little black dress though, but I think even one step up is fine with multiple steps also being ok. For the other events: Friday I am going cocktail and probably black - often the bride wears like white with a pattern though [bride] may not but I would avoid that specifically. Sunday brunch I am going to wear a skirt and flats - like business casual but not so worky. If that makes sense. I don't think the weekend will be very warm, so keep that in mind" Do you have any further insight? any shopping options? Mostly for the wedding itself, I can probably manage the rehearsal and look for something for the brunch. I actually live overseas, but can do online shopping. I am usually a small/4 in AT/BR. Incidentally, I am 5'3", and husband is 6'3", so anything that makes me taller would be appreciated. I have no set budget, but I'd like to spend no more than $300. Thanks! LSo, I'm starting to think I should change the name of my blog to "TCFKAG Shops for Wedding Guest Attire." Just kidding (sort of); who doesn't like shopping for pretty dresses. Here is my quick summation of what you need:
Assuming that summary is right, I'll suggest a few options for all three events (I know you said just the wedding but I don't do things half way in these here parts). And since its my site and I'll do what I want to, I might also offer up some fun shoe and/or accessories ideas. Because I'm awesome like that. So here we go. One last note, since you didn't clarify where you live overseas, I'm mostly sticking with American retailers here - but for future submissions and other readers, I can search on country specific websites (at least for some countries) so you can at least tell me where you're coming from.
- Rehearsal dinner: black or dark colored cocktail dress.
- Wedding: Midi-length or tea-length black or dark colored formal dress - perhaps a long gown if something is awesome.
- Sunday brunch: Fun business casual.
- Overall - lighter fabrics because it may be hotter than hell.
Black one-shouldered draped sleeveless cocktail dress from Calvin Klein
($49.99 - I actually just recommended this to a friend for a wedding this summer, she ordered it and likes it a lot. It so classy and sleek but could totally be glitzed up with red shoes or metallic jewelry. I'm a big fan and am thinking about getting it myself, the price is certainly right.)Petite Seamed Detail Sweetheart Body-Conscious Dress from ASOS
($64.49 - lovely classic shape and I assume at your height you can wear petite sizes - only issue is, based on the picture, it looks like you'll need to get a slip under it.)Calvin Klein Strapless Neon-Trim Dress at Dillard's
($59.40 - another fairly simple yet classy number from CK - though the neon pink adds a twist. Its a cotton/spandex blend, meaning it should breath well in the heat, and you could maybe add interest with a pink wrap. Overall pretty cute - though not sure if Dillard's will ship to you - might have to find it elsewhere!)
Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique Ruched Matte Jersey Dress at Nordstroms
($118.00 - the Suzi Chin line has lots of great dresses for this sort of thing but this is one of my favorites. 56 reviews and it has 4 stars and I just think it looks really flowy and flattering - maybe consider one of the non-black colors...I know, scandalous, but the purple is cute!)Nue by Shani pink and navy two tone cocktail dress from eDressMe
($92.00 - so this is kind of a curveball both because its final sale and because its not really what you described but something about it just called to me, plus eDressMe ships world wide so that's a plus. Only available in a size 6, so may run too big, but sometimes these sorts of dresses run kind of small, so it may even out in the end.)Paper Dolls Mirrored Lace Body-Conscious Dress at ASOS
($98.43 - another color option, I love cobalt and black and think its both super on trend right now but also classic. ASOS ships internationally I believe and I think this dress is fabulous.)
Corso Como Dover Pump at DSW
($109.95 - I feel like red pumps are a great combo with black dresses and the cut-outs at the back of these give them a little interest. I don't know, they're cool.)Ivanka Trump Ariell High Heel Ankle Strap Pumps at Bloomingdales
($105.00 - metallics are my other favorite with black dresses and I'm super into gold right now, so here you go. I also really like black and gold together, like these ones at Piperlime
, but they're only available in limited sizes so I went with the Ivankas instead.)
Adrianna Pappell Short Sleeve Sequin Mesh Gown
($278 - SPARKLES - this row is having non-black dresses because I'm stubborn and because of reasons.)Colorblocked Blanche Dress at Kate Spade New York
($249 - a little whimsical but styled right it'd be great.)Dalia MacPhee Strapless Pleated Ruffle Chiffon Gown
($298 - another repeat but that's because I'm in love with it. The color and shape are gorgeous - though reviews say it runs large.)
Okay - the shoes here really depend on what you buy - but you could wear either of the shoes from above again with most of these. Now - I know you said you had the brunch on lockdown (and I'm sure you do) but I came across a few casual dresses that would be great for it, so I thought I'd pass them along.
Reader ML asks very politely
[since she's Canadian get it],Hi! I've been looking for a pleated tea length or knee length skirt that's really flowy, but with a non-elastic and sort of wide waistband. I'd like something in either black or gray, or a summery colour, maybe a mint or coral or lavender? I would consider a patterned one. I've only been able to find ones with elastic waistbands, and they are not flattering on me. I usually wear a size 10 or 12, and I'm in Canada, so hopefully from a store that either ships here, or is located here. I'd pay up to $150 (including shipping and duties!), though preferably at or below $100. Thanks!So, if you follow my Tumblr, which of course you should, you'll know that I had to do a little independent research for this one on which retailers are actually in Canada and which one's ship to Canada (though I'm going to try to avoid that since I hate buying something and paying most of the cost in shipping.) But, I also found Shopstyle Canada, which might be useful for you ML and my other readers in the friendly land to the north. But - enough about process, I know you just come here for results. So here they are!
Tradition MD Pleaded Skirt in coral from Sears Canada
($34.99 - I like this one! Exactly what you're looking for I think, right in budget, and it comes in black, coral, and turquoise. I might get all three. Attn other readers - comes in plus sizes as well!)Corey Lynn Calter Desi Blocked Midi skirt in purple, rust, coral at Couture Candy
($129.00 - expensive yes, but more interesting than the other ones - comes in another color pattern
as well.)Worthington Accordian Pleated Skirt with contrasting waistband in white at JC Penny
($14 on clearance - so I actually prefer the black version
of this, but the picture on the website the details were hard to see, so I used the white one so you could see it better. For my tall readers, this comes in tall as well.)
ASOS Sleeveless Midi Dress with Pleated Skirt and Belt in green at ASOS
($54.99 - okay I know this is a dress, but its beautiful and has just the skirt you're looking for, comes in green, orange, and navy, and ASOS ships to Canada for free. I'm actually thinking of buying this green one for myself, that's how much I like it.)ASOS Midi Skirt in Pleated Lace at ASOS
($54.30 - okay, this row is basically just my rebel row - but this is so cute I thought I'd share it - available in both coral and navy.)Lauren by Ralph Lauren Colorblock Pleated Skirt at Hudson's Bay
($50.99 - limited sizes available but yours is one of them Reader ML - I'm not sure how I feel about the pleats not being on the sides of this skirt though. A bit odd.)
Okay ML - those are my favorites - hope one of them works for you. Have fun shopping for a lovely pleated confection for all your summer skirt having needs. :-)