Due to work, health, and life, I have not had time to update this blog for quite sometime. You all may have guessed this already, but wanted to make it official. If you still have questions about fashion, styling, jewelry, or work etiquette, please feel free to submit a question at my Tumblr
. And because I can't leave you with nothing
, here's some of the fall/winter shoes, coats, and jackets that have really stood out for me.
Jessica Simpson Campsonne Pump at Lord & Taylor
Kors by Michael Kors Mavis Cut Out Pumps at Lord & Taylor
Classiques Entier 'Stella' a-line dress in tweed at Nordstroms. I just bought this dress a couple of weeks ago; it was love at first site! (Note: I paid full price for this dress, that's how much I loved it. But I just looked and it is now 40% off - so I'm going to be trying to get a price reduction, I haven't even worn it yet!!) Check back on my Tumblr later today to see if I'm doing my "I saved almost $100 bucks" happy dance.
I don't believe in love at first sight. But if I did, it would be for these shoes. The houndstooth pattern is subtle enough that the shoes can still act as a neural, while bringing more variety to a shoe collection gathering too may black pumps.
Marc Jacobs Mary Janes look like they'd be hella comforable. I bet you could walk a marathon in these. Because there are relatively few sizes left, but as a result its a smoking deal.
This Classiques jacket/blazer (is that a jlazet or something) was hanging quite near the above dress in the store. I l.o.v.e. burgundies for the fall and winter - they work very well for my coloring. And I think throwing this jacket on over the dress would be an awesome, fun, and a little funky option for a dressy business casual office.
Marc Fisher Hold Me Tote in cement. Michael Kors is using a very similar shade of gray this season, but this bag costs substantially less. I also like the included wristlet. In my experience, pewter and other shades of gray are actually much more versatile than just black. And its a less harsh color.
The Everlane Twill Snap backpack in red. On a very good sale right now and I've got to say; there comes a point in every adult's life when they decide (or their shoulders or back decides for them) that they need to start carrying a backpack. And this one is lovely *and* has padded straps, many of this type of bag don't.
NOW FOR THE "ASPIRATIONAL" SECTION OF THE POST
"I 'd be the best rich person. Seriously, I'd be the perfect balance
of sensible and frivolous. Money is wasted on the rich."
St. John's collection Tubular Box Knit Flared Dress. Admittedly, there are not too many sizes available on this one, but you might fit one of the other beautiful St. John's dresses at Nordstroms. There are some other beautiful St. John's dresses on sale right now at Nordies, though none of them are less than $500. Oh well.
Salvatore Ferragamo patent leather d'orsay pumps. I bought a pair of Ferragamo shoes last year at the Union Square Nordstrom's Rack and they are amazing. Shockingly comfortable for having small heels and pointy toes. Though if you're picking up your very first pair of Ferragamo heels (or any designer really), you might be better off getting classic black or brown leather.
If I have to tell you what brand these are, I wonder what you're doing here. Just kidding. Christian Louboutin t-strap pumps in Burgundy. I feel like this is the designer version of the cute burgundy Mary Janes I linked above.
Everybody loves a simple camel hair winter trench. But I like that this Cinzia Rocca Due has enough interesting features that it feels fresh without being so trendy that you'd have to replace it in three years. My only wish is that it had a belt, because I think it would look like a potato sack on me. But I'd have to see.
And that's all she wrote for today folks. But I think I'm finally feeling motivated to start doing some more vicarious shopping, so drop some ideas in the ask box above (or if you submit or ask on my Tumblr, I'll transfer the question here.
So tell me dear readers, what are YOUR favorite new item of clothing for the season. Its a toss up for me between a Cole Haan burgundy flared winter coat (which I can't find an exact picture of) and these knee-high boots from Børn.
Burberry Wool Blend Stand Collar Coat - this is the closest version to my Cole Haan coat that I got for my birthday from Mr. TCFKAG, but I like mine better actually (somewhere someone gasped and clutched their pearls.
My new Crown by Børn boots - which are basically exactly like my last set of boots (though a little more brown) because after three or four years of really hard use, I managed to mess up the zipper so many times that the cobbler actually got mad at me when I came back to get them fixed!
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 Gail the Goldfish solicits:Hi! I'm looking for a basic medium-grey wool or wool-blend suit. Think lawyer interview suit. I've tried the usual suspects of Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and Talbot's, and everyone's jackets are just too long right now. The leading contender is the J.Crew super 120s 1035 jacket and pencil skirt in heather flannel grey, but it's still on the long side, so before I pull the trigger, maybe you can find something I'm missing. I'd like to keep it under $350 for jacket/skirt, and if it had a pants option as well, that'd be a bonus. I'm a 0/2 on top and 4/6 (usually a 6 lately) on bottom, so separates are a must. Thanks!So first, if I may, a picture of the main contender. (For reasons that escape me - J-Crew doesn't seem to have taken a picture of the 120s pencil skirt on the model in the heather grey....but I'm sure you can envision it in all of its heather grey glory.)
So - basic interview suits. They are an essential wardrobe staple for anyone going into a "business"-like or law field (my friends in academia tell me they get buy just fine without them...I can't quite get my mind around that fact.) Now, I think suiting is one of the few places where women could take some sartorial lessons from our X-chromosome deficient brethren; generally as men move up in the world and start buying nicer suits, they also start getting those suits tailored as a matter of course. Yes there *are* men's off-the-rack suits, but even Men's Suits departments at stores like JC Penney have a tailoring department. So while I think the ideal would be for us to find The Suit that fits our body perfectly and makes us look trim and fitted in a comfortable suit, we might be better off finding a really nice suit that comes close and then getting it tailored so that it goes all the way. Does that make sense?
Okay - moving on. What I am getting from your question is that you are probably short of waist/torso and that you are finding that the popular brand suits, as epitomized by this J-Crew suit, are simply too long these days. Well, you are preaching to the choir sister. I made the mistake of buying one Ann Taylor suit that was too long in the torso and, needless to say, I never wear it because I feel like I'm wearing my mom's suit or something. (And I know I could just see my above rant about tailoring....but I have since acquired nicer suits so...) So - I am going to collect a few of my favorite places to find suits for people with slightly shorter torsos or with a more fitted blazer. One tip - some of these may be over the $350 retail - but they often go on sale - or you should hit up the outlets (the Brooks Brother's outlet brand is actually great and two of my interview suits comes from there.)
I'll start with Brooks Brothers (my favorite suiting - bar none - which has a few items that might work for you.)
But - they are making it more than a little difficult for me to do my job - because all their pencil skirts are sold out on-line (bet they have them in-store though. Would be worth a call.Wool Two-Button Jacket at Brooks Brothers
($159.20 - I like that its still a full length jacket - not actively cropped - but it sits high enough on the waist that it won't make a short person look, well, super short. Nice construction as well.)Wool One-Button Jacket from Brooks Brothers
($159.20 - a nice, shorter waisted option. There is also a two-button wool jacket not available in your size on the website - but if you went into the store they might be able to track one down for you.)Lambswool Blazer in navy from Brooks Brothers
($139.20 - not at all what you were looking for - but I own this blazer - or a similar earlier version and it is the BEST purchase I've made in years. It is amazing for work or weekends and I love it so much. I should buy three more.)
So as I said above, these options all come from the primary Brooks Brothers brand of suiting. But if you live near a BB outlet, I would go check out their outlet suits, they are made specifically for the outlet and so are cheaper (and I guess lower quality) - but I've never had any issues with them. Definitely at least worth a look see.
Another place I would look for suits is Nordstroms, especially the Classiques Entier suits at Nordstroms. I especially like Nordies for this because, if you purchase from them and have (or open) a Nordies debit or credit card, you get a certain amount of tailoring for free. Here are a few of the suits there I like best.
Classiques Entier Speckled Weave Jacket
and Pencil Skirt
at Nordstroms ($160.80 and $94.80 - though this jacket has a slightly different peplum cut, I think its still conservative enough to be considered an "interview" suit and would be quite flattering on someone who was short waisted - especially if you have a bit of an x-shape.)Classiques Entier Platine Weave Jacket
and Pencil Skirt
at Nordstroms ($160.80 and $94.80 - more traditional suit shape, but I like that its nipped in nicely at the waist and the light gray color would be very flattering for a lot of people.)Halogen Pinstripe Suit Jacket
in navy at Nordstroms ($70.80 and $41.40 - I'll confess, I know nothing about the Halogen suiting line - but the price is so good on this suit that I thought I'd throw it out there in case you were interested in giving a deal a chance.)
Another few options for other places where you might find good fits are:
Anne Klein Blazer and Pencil Skirt in gray at Macy's
($150 - Anne Klein has several nice, simple suits at Macy's - not 100% sure about quality but they look like decent interview suits and they come in separates.)Platinum Washable Wool Jacket (2-button) in navy at Jones NY
($229 - see matching skirt here
.)Boss Black Juicy 6 Jacket
($356.98 - above budget - but maybe keep an eye on it if it goes on sale at the Annual Sale - because its a lovely suit and seems to really fit your needs.)
Okay! That's enough suits for this morning. What do people think? Where do you get your interview suits? I know I've left out some obvious choices (Theory) - but I did it on purpose - those don't work as well for the shorter and stumpier amongst us. But feel free to share what the taller and willowier like too. We clothe everyone around these parts. :-) Happy shopping and may interviewing ever be in your favor.