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!!!
Reader AW of the longer and wider than average feet wrote back to ask
: Hi TCFKAG, Thanks for helping me with my wide flats request. I noticed that you mentioned that you love navy and berry colors. Those are my base/accent colors too! Would you mind sharing some of your personal favorites? Accessories would be fun too! Sorry for all the ?'s... I wore a military uniform for 10 years and I am slowly trying to build a quality casual/work wardrobe. PS- too shy to share your blog on Facebook, but I did show your blog to my ma and I am thrilled that she is learning to navigate the internet by looking at your blog.So - I'm totally happy to do this - within reason. I can't post pictures of everything in my wardrobe because (a) that'd be insane and (b) mostly because of a. What I am going to do instead is post my favorite go-to items (mostly work though I'll possibly through in a few casual items) - I'll try to find the originals on-line if they are still available for purchase, but if not, I'll find the closest item I can. A couple of provisos, though my personal style has improved dramatically in the past three years or so, I am still far from the most fashionable person in the world (or even in the 10 mile radius around my house.) In fact, I never thought much at all about my wardrobe until I began reading Corporette. It was there that I learned a great deal about the importance of fit, of finding my true waistline and understanding what clothes work with that, and of the impression made on others when certain faux pas are made or when you just generally represent yourself sloppily, and it was also on Corporette that I learned a great deal about how certain contrasting colors complement each other - and learned that I had a good instinct for those types of questions. I also discovered that I had a special talent for what I do here - internet shopping for others when given almost any parameters. This was quite the surprise since nothing in my background or in my personal style would suggest having these skills or having the eye to select the best looking or best quality items if I did find them. [Think these skills sound great and would you like a personalized exposure to my method and some back and forth on results - enter the contest and you will be entered in a raffle just for that. As for my workplace style, I dress to be business appropriate for that office, but with just enough color and flare to give the impression that I have enough self-confidence and dymanism to escape the "office wardrobe" of slacks or a skirt, a button down shirt, or a shell and a cardigan every day. I came to this idea somewhat organically, but if you pay attention long enough to pictures of most powerful female politicians, business people, or non-profit management, they are rarely dressed in just black, gray, or navy. So what I'm saying is - there's a reason this is a shopping blog and not a "fashion" blog where I take pictures of my daily wardrobe (well, that and I'm an attorney hunting for a job...so I guard my internet presence.) Finally, before we get started....HELLO AW'S MOM!!!! Welcome to the crazy world of my mind and the slightly strange hobby that has rescued my budget by allowing me to shop for other people rather than myself. Now on to the clothes!
Silk Shell from Ann Taylor in Plum Brandy ($44 - but not available anymore - see also Ponte Peplum Shell
at AT Loft ($44.50 -
| |Draycott Skirt
from in navy at Boden ($52.80 for this option - prices vary based on color. Fabric is stretchy and soft but utterly professional. I love it.)
Pewter pumps from Bella-Vita
Zappos ($89.95 - two shades of gray) and Cole Haan
at Amazon ($147.48 - very lucky sizes only). I love my pewter shoes, wear them daily basically.
| |Lambswool Navy Blue Blazer at Brooks Brothers
($139.20 - This is on-sale and an pretty damn good deal for BB. I have a very similar blazer to this (linings different) from a couple of years ago. I LOVE it and wear it sometimes 4 days a week. In fact, I kind of want to order this too so I can lessen the load on the first one, plus...POLKA DOTS. Here is a link
to another good looking navy blazer - but I think its in suiting material so less easy to pair with different color bottoms in suiting fabrics..)
| |Signature Silk Dots Shirt from C. Wonder
($128 - so, I have a lovely silk polka-dot button down shirt from Land's End Canvas maybe two or three years ago (?) that was a Corporette recommendation. So its obviously not on sale anymore, but this C. Wonder shirt is similar and I love coral and coral-like pinks in spring and summer. If you want something in red or navy though, I'd check out these great options at Boden.
Nic + Zoe Red Ponte Sheath Dress (no longer available) I just recently saw this Land's End dress
that is VERY similar. The radish or cobalt would both be great with Navy.
Tina Silk Blouse with multi dot print from Pendleton (no longer available - but see the Pendleton blouse I posted below.)
| || |Halogen Seamed Pencil Skirt in Red Beauty from Nordstroms
($41.40 - it seems almost silly to put this up here - but they are the most basic building block of my wardrobe. I don't actually own this color; I own black, slate gray, fuchsia, and cobalt blue. But this color looks pretty on the screen, so I might just add it to my collection!
THINGS I DON'T OWN BUT THAT I WOULD BUY IN A HOT MINUTE
Striped Knit Boat Neck Dress in navy at Banana Republic ($109.99 lucky sizes only on-line but other sizes may be in-store.)
| |Floral Print Blouse from Zara
($49.90 - just think with the navy blazer - might need to have a hook-and-eye closure added on the neckline to raise it a bit.)
| |Capped Sleeve A-Line Dress in sea glass at Talbots
($109 - could wait for it to go on sale since it almost certainly will. I'm including this because I love the sleeves and the waist definition. I also think you should consider pairing this shade of blue with all of the navy in your wardrobe, its a beautiful combo. Add in gold, green, or yellow jewelry and you have a showstopper.)
| |Andrea Tunic at Pendleton
($128 - available in Misses, Petite, and Plus sizes. I like that its a tunic so you can wear it belted as shown or tucked in and I love the pattern and I've been thrilled with the quality of my Pendleton purchase. My only tip would be to keep an eye on it and see if it goes on sale, I got my silk blouse from Pendleton for $29.99. So...maybe don't pay full price?
FUNNY EDITOR'S NOTE:
For my readers who also read Corporette (i.e. a sizable majority of you, I believe, I just saw this suit
at Brooks Brothers while looking for something else and it appears they've also gotten into the long suit jacket "trend" (that I had no idea was coming back.) This one is a MUCH more appropriate office length and I like the light gray color more. It is practically screaming for a belt though. (I'm still not completely sold on this look - despite the fact that Ally McBeal was on television during my formative years and thus influenced my perception of "workplace wear" AND the Cake song "Short Skirt Long Jacket"
that would be stuck in my head all day and make me feel like a BAMF wherever I went.SERIOUS EDITOR'S NOTE:
As you can see, I tried out a new format today. What do you think? Does it work and can you associate the links and notes more easily with the pictures or does it break up the flow too much? Any comments you could give me would be so helpful! Leave it in the comments below and I'll love you forever and ever!
So there you have it people, my sense of style...or else, some snapshot of my sense of style. Noticeably absent are the Captain America pajama pants and my LL Bean sweatshirt robe that I spend an inordinate amount of time in. But we all have our vices, mine just happens to be superhero pajamas. There's nothing wrong with that!
Reader SZ asks:I love your recommendations on Corporette. Up to a swimsuit challenge? I'm going on a beach vacation (yay!) which requires swimsuit shopping (boo!) I'm looking for something cute and on-trend but practical enough to play with my kids. I'm tall so I prefer tankinis (no bikinis for me since the kids.) Relevant facts: 5'10" so most 1-pieces are too short (and "long torso" suits usually look like grandma-wear) I'm generally slim but with post-baby pooch and muffin top. Super self-conscious about this. B/C cup I'd normally go for something like this: J-Crew Pintuck Bandeau Tankini, but I need to find something that won't fall down or (maybe even worse) fly/float up to reveal my mid-section when I'm playing and swimming. I also like prints but it seems like the more updatedl prints are all in bikinis - double boo. Price up to $200 - I'm desperate! Thanks!
Its still kind of cold, rainy and gross outside here in lovely New England, but the first signs of summer are hitting...in my ask box! So, I have a few favorite places to look for swim suits, Lands End and Athleta. So I'll point you to a few favorites there. I think these particular stores will be good matches for you because they sell more athletic suits, meaning they will be less prone to pulling up or otherwise being a pain in the but to swim in. So let's do this thing.
Bombay Bra Cup Twistini Tankini at Athleta
($76 - comes in two colors and two designs, has built in cup in a variety of sizes, and comes in tall size as well.)
Sara Bra Cup Halter Tankini at Athleta
($72 - this is quite like the one you like from J-crew, but it comes in a tall size and with a built in cup and with a variety of colors.)Space Dye Kata One Piece at Athleta
($79 - another tall sized one-piece and this one is down right sexy. I like it!)
Okay - those are just a smattering of my favorites at Athleta - you should check it out. I love their suits.
So these are my favorites at my two favorite swimsuit stores. Some other places to check out are REI, LL Bean, and Target. Speedo, the competitive swim suit brand, also sells some tankinis
that are pretty good and would likely not ride up if you want to check those out as well.
Hope this helps! Have a great vacation - and hope the swim suit problems fade into the background of an otherwise awesome trip. :-)
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 B sent in this fun prompt:Your blog is wonderful! I need a new dress for my husband's law school graduation (on May 10) and found THE perfect dress: Kate Spade New York Brent Linen Sheath Dress Except it's not perfect: (a) it's too expensive (i'd like to spend under $200) and (b) it's not available yet. I'd be willing to spend more for the perfect item. Here's what I'm looking for:
- something in cobalt blue (this dress has more of a purple undertone in it, which also works well)
- probably a sheath as I don't like A-lines and need something that's not strapless; sleeves would be a plus
- a nice fabric (linen, silk or something textured; I tend not to like jersey or ponte)
- a size 6 (maybe 8 if it runs small)I realize this all makes me sound super picky :-) Thanks in advance, TCFKAG!
First of all - you're not even close to picky. Your requests are entirely reasonable. Second of all, that dress is beautiful. Seriously. Nice choice. But I understand wanting something a bit more affordable - so let's work on that why don't we? So, here's the Kate Spade dress in question, for those who are shopping along at home.
I am a big fan. BIG. Moving on. I don't think you are picky, but probably the hardest part is matching your price range to your fabric preferences. But we can do it! I've found a few options. See below.
My first suggestion is this very pretty "Summer Shift" from Boden - which is always a go-to for me when looking for natural fabric dresses. This particular dress is 98% cotton (100% cotton lining) and I think that would breath very nicely for summer. This print I'm suggesting has purple and grey elements as well as red and white and I think it would be lovely in person. There are also other navy blue options available. See the all here. One warning though - there is an exposed zipper on this one - if that's not your cup of tea. Summer Shift dress in Multi Painterly at Boden-USA ($148)
The second dress (which I've included two pictures of, the front and the back since the back was so pretty) is a Muse Dot Jacquard Fitted Sheath Dress from Neiman Marcus Last Call. I love the shape on this, I think it would be wonderfully flattering, and you know me - I love a good polka dot. Plus I love the little cut out in the back, I think its super cute. This one is also cotton, though with an acetate lining. But I think its still a good option. And the price isn't half bad either.Muse Dot Jacquard Fitted Sheath Dress at Neiman Marcus Last Call
The third dress is this lovely Paisley printed v-neck sheath from Anne Klein. I really like this one - I think it would be really flattering and comfortable. It is also cotton (so got for summer I guess, lol) - but it looks quite nice. Also I love those shoes, but that's neither here nor there.Paisley Print Sheath Dress from Anne Klein ($138)
The next one is a little tough, but is the Magaschoni Pleated Sheath Dress from Neiman Marcus. Its really pretty and quite elegant (and the color's beautiful) - its also a screaming deal. Unfortunately only the size 8 is left - but sometimes the foreign design items run small. Might be worth a try.Magaschoni Pleated Sheath Dress from Neiman Marcus
The last one is the Elie Tahari "Ginny Dress" - I like the colors in the pattern and the price is quite nice. It is also a silk/elastene blend. Also if you want a good laugh, I suggest watching the model walk in it at the Saks' website, its hilarious. Elie Tahari Ginny Dress at Saks Fifth Avenue
The last three are three I have included for you, or more likely for my other readers, that are generally in the same style or family of your preferred dresses but don't meet your needs for one reason or another. But I like them so I wanted to throw them up here. So its my blog and I do what I want. ;-)Kay Unger New York Ruffle Neck Sheath Dress in canary yellow at Neiman Marcus
($230).Magaschoni "Strapless Gown with Embroidered BDC" in red at Neiman Marcus
($205 - the back of this dress is SO pretty - also available in black.)Patterned Linen Shirred Sheath Dress at Land's End
(now $64.97 and POCKETS!)
Okay Reader B - let me know if any of those hit the mark! And readers - leave a comment if you have any other ideas!! Happy shopping and may the odds be ever in your favor. (Oh - and Reader B - congratulate your husband on his law school graduation from us here at TCFKAG Shops...and I'm sorry in advance for the misery you are going to experience this summer as the loved one of a bar studier. Oh so sorry.)