Reader CT asked: Another Corporette reader (although I never comment, just lurk!) here! I'm a journalist who normally wears pretty conservative outfits. However, I'm obsessed with quirky shoes and would love to get tips on low to medium-heeled shoes I can wear outside of work. I own several pairs of Poetic License flats and love that brand. I love patterns, metallics, glitter snakeskin, polka dots and different textures. Price range: max $200. Any ideas? Many thanks in advance!
Hey CT! This is definitely a question I couldn't resist. I have to say that I tend to go with more simplistic shoes - mostly because they go with more outfits - but I LOVE quirky, patterned shoes as a way to add fun to a conservative outfit or for outside work. I will suggest a variety of fun shoes - and will try to find at least a few that I think will work for both work AND play. And for those I will also suggest work outfits that I think will go well with the shoes (either toning them down or coordinating with them in a way that brings them into the working world.) That way you can have your cake and wear them to work as well!
| |Isaac Mizrahi New York Jenniferle slingbacks at Zappos
($87.99 - These shoes would be fun for weddings or fancy nights out with your significant other [or date nights with NOT SO significant others.] I like that they are close toed but sling backed - making them useful for those of us who tend to wear panty-hose even with our fancy dresses. And since they are still relatively conservative, they'd be a great way to add flair for a work cocktail party or afterwork event.
| |Funtasma by Please Women's College 04 Mary Jane Pump at Amazon
($15.99 - if you follow my tumblr
- which you totally should - you may know that I actually own these shoes. I'm totally enjoying the tartan trend lately and I figured, even if I only wore these shoes a couple of times, the price was certainly no bar. They are actually pretty cute and not wildly uncomfortable. So...tartan shoes....yay!
| |Jacquard Faux Leather Waist Pencil Skirt at the Limited
($69.95 before 50% off sale - I like the subtle jacquard pattern on this skirt, plus the leather waistband which is current without being TOO current. The purple would look great with both the gray pumps and the black and cream striped shirt. Together they'd make a chic but still conservative outfit.)
Jeffrey Campbell 'Bridges' Pump at Nordstroms
($119.95 - the perfect mix of a conservative color and fabric with a fun shape and a little snakeskin mixed in to assuage your funky soul. With this outfit I think you'd look professional and awesome, all at once - and the relatively low heel means they may well be comfortable. Gray is my personal favorite for work pumps because it goes with EVERYTHING, but this shoe also comes in navy blue, burgundy, and black.)
| |Camber A-Line Skirt by BCBG Max Azaria
($110.60 - Houndstooth goes great with cobalt blue and I wanted to recommend something a little different than the typical pencil skirt (not that there's anything wrong with that - I wear them all the time). This a-line ponte skirt looks great for work - its a reasonable length and the a-line is noticeable without being too flouncy.)
Isaac Mizrahi Joy Houndstooth Pumps at Lord and Taylor
($140 - I love houndstooth and love that its back in fashion - and I especially love this pump - that its got a bit of the driving shoe/menswear look going on but the heel and the pump design keeps it quite feminine. With jeans or a cute skirt it would be great for weekends, but it would also be a great "statement" shoe for work wear as well.)
| || |Dolce Vita 'Kadyn' Pump at Nordstroms
($178.95 - definitely more of a "going out" shoe than a "going out to the grocery store" shoe - but whoo boy - can you imagine this with a little black dress. Or skinny jeans that are short enough for them to show and a silk black blouse. Or a black pencil skirt, a purple shirt, and a leather jacket. Yes. I think I like them A LOT.)
| |Sofft 'Valletta' Pump at Nordstroms
($69.90 - POLKA DOTS - really need I say more? A cute, vintage style peep-toe pump with pink and black polka-dots. The reviews are quite good (the worst review is "I wish it were navy and pink," which I agree with but consider fairly minor.) A cute, comfortable shoe for indoor events in the winter or outdoor events in the spring and fall.)
| |Instantly Slimming Three-Quarter Sleeved Dress at White House Black Market
($112 - so everyone should have that "go to" little black dress for work cocktail parties and date nights and just - generally. WHBM has become my go to for all my LBD needs - they have dresses in all shapes (a-line, bodycon, dropped waist, etc. but I like this one especially for work. If only they carried plus sizes as well.)
Nervous System 'Dichotomous' Stainless Steel Pendant Necklace at Amazon
($40 - this necklace, which is modeled off the leaf of a gingko tree, would be nice simple, almost quiet accessory with this outfit. Since I think for a work event I'd keep my accessories pretty neutral (maybe add some silver or mixed metal bangles) but otherwise keep it rather simple.)
Sam Edelman 'Othello' Pump at Nordstroms
($129.95 - so this is not really a 'wear to work' pump - but this would be a perfect 'wear to work' events pump. It would go with basically all of your cocktail dresses, unless your cocktail dress was bright gold, but they are a fun alternative to the more 'normal' neutral cocktail options of black, nude for you, or ... well ... black.)
| |Color Blocked v-neck Sweater Dress from Ann Taylor
($109 - I love this simple, yet pretty, burgundy sweater dress from Ann Taylor. I think for a business casual workplace this would be a great way to add some color. Add a nice necklace and perhaps a belt and you have a simple dress that is complete for the office.)
Lodis Accessories Burton Way Wide Covered Buckle Waist Belt at Zappos
($53 - I like this belt with this outfit - I think the sweater dress could really use belting on a lot of us who look best with a bit of waist definition and the green adds another color to the mix that grounds the outfit and keeps it in neutral territory. I really like this combo all together.)
Isaac Mizrahi 'Perry' Pump at Nordstroms
($139.95 - this is definitely a fun, bright shoe that would adapt beautifully to the work week. Not only would it go great with all things black because of the black on the buckle, but it would also go really well with gray and navy. I also think, though, that this would be a nice way to work in a couple other jewel tones into your wardrobe - like burgundy and emerald green, since these shoes would look great with both. This shoe is so seasonally appropriate, it might actually be MADE of fall.)
| |Gabriella Rocha 'Shelby 3' T-Strap pumps in Teal patent leather at 6PM
($21.99 - also available in a pretty sweet looking purple patent leather, I think these pumps would be great with an a-line skirt or dress on the weekend for going to casual but slightly dressy events or even for events that involve more walking since they look pretty comfortable with the stacked heel.)
| |Ivanka Trump 'Ilyssa' Pump at Nordstroms
($125.90 - this is maybe not the most fall/winter appropriate colors - but I love the oxford detailing on this shoe and the colors are undeniably fun. Its a different take on a classic shoe; and definitely something I'd wear to both work and weekend events.)
| |Miz Mooz 'Coco' Bootie at Zappos ($139.95 - for a weekend shoe, this bootie might be just the fun, sensible shoe you are looking for. I love the color - the bright cobalt really would be a fun way to add some vibrancy to an outfit, and the stacked heel looks quite sensible. Plus the ruched leather and prominent buttons look just fun.)
A pregnant graduate student took time from growing a HUMAN to ask: I need a baby shower outfit! Baby shower is going to be November 17 on the Northeast and I'll be 6 months pregnant. I'm really tall and usually wear a size 4 (just add a football). I'd loooooove to wear sneakers, I have maternity jeans, but I have a feeling this might be a dress occasion. Help?
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS to you and ALL the soon to be new moms who read this blog. I'm actually going to be throwing a shower that same weekend so I'll be thinking of you in spirit. So, let me also start by disabusing you of one notion RIGHT off the bat - its YOUR shower and you can dress as you want to. But, I will agree, that most Northeastern baby showers I've been to tend to be somewhere between kind of church wear and cocktail wear. But, as the mommy to be (and a SIX month pregnant mommy to be) you get a lot of lee-way. So I will go two routes here - I will recommend some dresses that I think are adorable and would look good styled with either sneakers or supportive flats (maybe I can find you some good flats too?) And I will also find a couple of dressy maternity blouses that would take a pair of jeans and dress them up enough to make them baby shower ready - especially with some fun jewelry and a nice manicure and hair do (every pregnant mommy should have an excuse to primp.) So let's get started, shall we?
Dresses with sneakers or flats
| |Easy Jersey Dress at Boden Maternity
($148) - I love Boden for tall readers because their dresses tend to be longer than average - I also LOVE this fun pattern and this "easy" jersey dress that I think could be a go-to both for the rest of your pregnancy and for the post-partum weight loss period. Its just so pretty. They have lots of dresses, both in their maternity line
(I adore that maxi - but wonder if its too springy) and even in their non-maternity line
(I own this and the a-line skirt is so generous and the length so long it just might work for you.)
| |Nom Maternity 'Sophie' Ruched Dress at Nordstroms
($96 - I really, really like the idea of this particular dress for you. First, it is designed to be a midi-dress for women of average height, meaning it will likely be of "normal" length for you. The ruching around the stomach area takes a sheath dress and makes it flattering. The reviews suggest it is a nice, comfortable basic dress that can be dress up [say with a cool Geo blazer like the one below] or down [maybe with a camel colored cardigan....just saying.] This would be a nice piece to have throughout your entire pregnancy, not just for the shower - which makes it a two thumbs up in my book.)
| |Merona Maternity Long Sleeve Ponte Dress - Black and Cream at Target
($22.99 - so if we're being honest with ourselves, there's a pretty good chance that this dress would be short enough on you that you would need leggings with it to make it "appropriate." Though you could decide not to care. But I loved the chevrons and its trendy and cool, unlike many maternity outfits that seem not to care too much about being cool in the interest of being exclusively flattering. This does both. Plus - knowing where you're located - black and white is the way to be mommy-o.)
| |Liz Lange for Target Flutter Maxi Dress from Target
($13.98 - all sizes available - I love LOVE the idea of a maxi dress for this event for you. It's easy, you don't have to worry too much about length [if its a bit too short, no one will care, really] and you can throw a cardigan or a jacket on over it if its not heavy enough. This purple dress is my favorite, but Target also has a nice maxi by Merona right now as well
. The Merona dress comes in a bunch of colors and both of these have good reviews. If one doesn't have a tie or thin belt to go under the boobs, I would add one - it really helps with definition. Nude for you flats or something cool and graphic would be great with these. Or sneakers - sneakers are awesome.)
| |Colorblock Striped Dress at Gap Maternity
($59.95 - I'm sort of in love with the colorblocking of two grays with icy mint on this dress - in non-maternity I would absolutely want it. No question. I'm not sure about length and how it would work on a particularly tall person and never having been six months pregnant, I'm not sure if this style is too fitted for the size of your belly at that point. But if it could work, I feel like this dress would look lovely. Especially with nude or black flats and perhaps the beige sweater I feature below if you get too cold.)
| |Women's Sueded Stud Ballet Flat from Old Navy
($15.99 - so, one of the tricks for buying shoes for this little event [if you decide to do so] may be admitting that these shoes may simply not outlast the pregnancy [or even the event] because your larger than average feet right now will stretch them out. So, why go for the HIGHEST quality when you can get adorable shoes at Old Navy for $16?)
| |Corso Como Famenka Flats from Nordstroms
($59.50 - Nordies now has a section for "flats under $60 and these are amongst the most well reviewed flats in the bunch. They also come in black, cobalt, mint green, and this nude. So they go with almost all the dresses I recommended. So if you decide to go with flats instead of sneakers, Corsos might not be a terrible choice.)
| |Purple floral statement necklace from GemPearls on Etsy
($35 - Despite the fact that this has nothing really to do with this post, I came across this necklace the other day and thought it was lovely. So in case anyone who reads this blog is on the hunt for an interesting floral statement necklace - here you go. Though do read the reviews as this seller ships from China.)
The Shirts for Jeans
| || |Liz Lange for Target Maternity Elbow Rolled Sleeve Top
($34.99 - I love the look of this top and I think it would look great with jeans and a pair of sneakers - and perhaps a long pendant necklace and bracelets - for a shower. One proviso, the reviews suggest that it runs quite large, so I'd order a size down. Or better yet, try it on in person if you can. But between the color, the fabric, and the length of the shirt being great for a tall person - I really think it might be worth a try. Though if you'd like something more fitted, I also like this top from Liz Lange for Target
as well - it would be a great base piece to go under a nice blazer and to wear with a statement necklace.)
| |Boden Henley Strip Tunic
($88 - I think this maternity tunic would look great with maternity skinny jeans and Keds or flats [and perhaps a knit blazer or sweater over it] or with leggings as an alternative. Its casual sure, but the color is pretty and green is super in. I'd dress it up with a gold or bronze opera length necklace and some dangly but funky earrings. Quick note on Boden, when I bought things there a few weeks ago, there was a 15% off and free shipping coupon on Retailmenot - make sure to google and see if there is a coupon available WHENEVER you shop Boden.
| |Maternity Blazer in Geo with Contrast Lapel by ASOS Maternity
($48.05 - this is, by far, my favorite single item I've posted on this post. I LOVE IT. With a simple black dress or a black maxi dress (perhaps the Merona one) or the jeans and a white top as shown here - this would take any outfit and make it fun and funky and totally shower ready. Seriously, I would wear the HELL out of this throughout my pregnancy and perhaps afterwards...and do you think it comes in non-maternity versions? [Note, its a little heard to tell, but the pattern is in blue and black together - not just black - that's why I like it SO much.] Oh and its a machine washable poly. I think the pearl blue version of this ASOS maternity maxi
would be an interesting dress to wear under this blazer..)
| |Eversoft Open Front Cardigan from Gap Maternity
($49.95 - a bit of a splurge for maternity wear, but I see no reason you couldn't continue to wear this cardigan long after the baby is born. As I've mentioned several of these items would look good with a layering item and I think this camel is the perfect late fall, early winter color to go with many of the jewel tones. Though if you would prefer a brighter, white cardigan
, this Old Navy option is pretty great too and a bit cheaper or this fleece tie belt cardigan
for pure comfort. This cardigan comes in heather gray as well.)
So that's all she wrote for tonight ladies. So readers who have actually BEEN pregnant, did I get things rights? Am I being absurd? Have you got any tips for our OP? PLEASE leave some comments in the comment section! Having never been pregnant or bought a single maternity wear piece, I feel this is not my area of expertise, but I did the best I could! Hope it helped Pregnant Grad Student!!
Gail the Goldfish (my favorite goldfish) gurgles: I'm going to a wedding in Chicago in early November and realized since I've been wearing the same dress to every wedding I've been to for the past 3 years, it might be time for something new. The ceremony is mid-afternoon, reception starts early evening at a pretty fancy venue. Dress isn't specified, so I'm guessing cocktail? I'm pear-shaped, about a 2 on top and 4/6 on bottom, would prefer to keep it under $150 or $200. Greens and blues are favorite colors (I'm very pale). I'm a big fan of the 1920s/art deco look, so bonus points if you can find something that looks Great Gatsby-inspired but not a costume, even if it's just an accessory.
Fall has become the new, hot wedding season (sorry June, you're out, October is IN.) I know this because *I* got married in October, thinking naively that it would be LESS popular - ha - was I proved wrong. Of course, since fall foods, fall colors, and fall weather are all my favorites, I was still fairly pleased with my decision. That being the case, Gail - I strongly doubt you are the only reader of this fine blog going to a wedding or three in the very near future. And though I handled wedding guest dress styling recently, I haven't done a dress post yet for this fall. What an omission! So here's what we're doing in this post - some of these dresses will be specifically for your request [i.e. Gatsby inspired dresses for a fancy evening wedding in Chicago].* I also assume that, if not specified otherwise, this wedding is likely fancy cocktail attire. And some others will be intended for more general appeal - in a range of dressiness. I will try to specify which ones are meant for you, but hopefully you will be able to figure it out. :-)
*When I say that I'm assuming the dress should be a dress for an evening wedding, I generally assume the dress you wear should jive with the time the reception starts and not the ceremony. As a Catholic, my ceremony was several hours before my reception (which was a dinner reception) - and most Catholic ceremonies will be the same way - because there are Saturday evening masses that conflict with having an evening ceremony in a church (and all Catholics have to get married in a church.) Hence what we fondly refer to as the "Catholic gap."
Now moving on from my little digression and on to the dresses!
| |Eliza J Beaded Satin One Shoulder at Nordstroms
($148 - I usually do not like satin at all, but something about this red satin number really does it for me, I think its the ruching [which seems insanely flattering] combined with the beading and the interesting back makes this dress very appealing. Plus the color is beautiful.)
| |T by Tadashi Off the Shoulder Bandage Dress at Nordstroms
($138 - I've recommended this here before, but I think this simple, off the shoulder bandage dress would make a great wedding guest dress. Probably its biggest drawback would be that it would make many traditional bras difficult, but a strapless bra really isn't that hard to come by, now is it? It comes in several great colors, including this royal blue.)
| |David Meister Ruched-Front Cocktail Dress from Neiman Marcus
($142 - This green dress would likely be really flattering on a pear shape. It might be a wee bit casual for your wedding Gail, but with the appropriate shoes and blinged out jewelry (I'm thinking gold gold gold) I think it would work - the lace on the back is a nice touch. Plus the green is lovely and its a killer deal.)
| |Lauren by Ralph Lauren One Shoulder Gown in Cottage Plum at Bloomingdales
($180 - This is got really for you GtG, but for my readers who have formal weddings to attend, but don't want to break the bank to do so, I love this Ralph Lauren gown. It's simple and sleek, but still special enough to work for a black tie event. And the purple will make it stand out from the sea of black. Add a belt and you really have something interesting.)
| |Vince Camuto Faux Leather Detail Sheath Dress at Nordstroms
($178 - this dress may be veering a bit towards work for a wedding, but with appropriate accessories I think it can be directed back towards wedding. I also think its a truly spectacular fall color and [as on the model] would look great on a very pale person. Paired with other jewel tones and gold jewelry it would look really beautiful.)
| |Aqua Dress - Angelina Beaded Tank in black and silver at Bloomindales
($158 - I like this tank dress with the shiny teardrop design for the Gatsby type theme you wanted [though I haven't seen the actual movie.] There are a couple of concerns; it may be a bit short depending on your preference and you might get cold, but a wrap should help with that. There is
also a grey and gunmetal version, but I worry that it is too close to white for a wedding. I would pair this with some colored accessories, maybe, to bring some interest to the dress - but I'm not sure what colors quite yet. I've seen some other version of this same dress, like this one for instance
, that are much cheaper - but they also tend to LOOK much cheaper. I like that this one looks to be high quality and classy.)
| |French Connection Dress, Lily Jaquard at Bloomingdales
($228 - though with the sales at Bloomies right now, you should be able to get it for under $200. I think this dress, which is in many ways utterly modern, also flirts with the shape and attitude of the 20s-era Gatsby dresses with the lower neckline and the feeling of a slightly slinkier tank dress. I might just be imagining that, but I also just think its very pretty and would be a great go-to dress for many types of events. It would also go great with tons of accessories. There are lots of similar dresses out there, but this is my favorite I think. If you would like to see some of the similar dresses, follow this link to the "google shopping" search
for this dress - which shows similar dresses at other retailers.)
| |Tadashi Shoji V-Neck Trim Fit and Flare Dress at Nordstroms
($198 - this dress, or ones very much like it
all have great reviews at Nordies and strike me as a great dress to wear to lots of weddings and events for years to come [a little special and interesting but unlikely to become dated.] This is one of my favorites though because of the v-neck line instead of the boat neckline that many of them have. I also LOVE this one - but it is tragically well out of the budget.
| |Ivy & Blu for Maggy Boutique Pleated Jersey Fit and Flare Dress at Nordstroms
($148 - for those of my readers looking for a simple, go to cocktail dress for networking events or weddings that hits the middle on the dressiness level, this dress might be perfect. It comes in the three hottest colors this season (and three of my favorite colors for that matter): fuchsia ("acai"), "bright purple", and turquoise. I bet it will also go on sale though - if you wait long enough (though popular sizes may go quick.))
| |Pim + Larkin Embroidered Shift Dress on Piperlime
($69 - I like this shift dress and I think it could be dressed up enough with blingy jewelry, either in silver or gold [or better yet - copper or bronze] to work for any cocktail-type wedding. My only hesitation for you GtG is that I'm not sure how shift dresses work for pear shaped women? But it is very pretty.)
| |Diane von Furstenburg Raquel Knit Sheath Dress at Nordstroms
($175 - I sort of love that this dress [also available in navy blue and black] is like the ultimate blank slate. You could add basically any accessories to this dress (belt, long necklace, short necklace, layered necklaces, crazy shoes, bracelets, literally anything) and it would work. Or you could add minimal accessories and it would be clean lines for a low-key cocktail affair. Throw a leather jacket and moto-boots over it and your ready for a night on the town with the girls.)
| |Tadashi Shoji Mixed Media Fit & Flare Dress at Nordstroms
($348 - this dress is tragically well out of your budget GtG, but I am putting it up here for any of my other readers who might be looking for a little black dress with a different take [whose budget can handle this.] I actually love the cap shoulder and back detailing of this dress and, while I usually don't love lace, I think its very well done here. If I had the budget, I'd definitely want to check it out.)
| |Calvin Klein Pleated Dress at Piperlime
($128 - I like this vertical black and white striped dress (it looks a little blurry when small, but when you make it bigger, it looks less headache inducing.) You very rarely see vertical lines so this is unique and fun. Probably flattering as well!)
| || |Ark & Co. Paisley Dress at Piperlime
($79 - this has turned into the black and white print row - but I regret nothing. I think a pretty black and white print dress is a great alternative to the little black dress we all have in our closets. This paisley dress is lovely and I don't know why but I just LOVE a good paisley. Is this something that is passed in utero from our mothers? I don't know - because I'm not even sure my mother LIKES paisley...)
So Gail, and everyone else, I hope those ideas appeal to you! Do you have a "wedding uniform" you wear to every wedding? How often do you update it? Have you bought any dresses this fall for weddings? If so which ones? Leave a comment in the comments below!
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 Sammy Mo asks: Hi, I'm looking for jewelry in silver with pinkish stones/beads to go with clothing in the pink-peach color family. This color suits me really well and I'd like some delicate jewelry that I could wear to work with it. Not too "out there" as I work in a somewhat professional field, though I don't do suits very often. I also don't like paying a lot for fake stuff, so prefer to have silver or gold in the jewelry, maybe with a pink agate or some such stone? Dark hair and medium tone skin (several shades lighter than my hair so high contrast). Bonus points for (1) durable (ok for frequent use, overnight wear sometimes if I forget to take it off), (2) optional matching earrings, (3) comfortable - hate those chains that catch on hair or dig into your neck. Budget in the $100 range but flexible for good stuff, and extra for earrings etc. Thanks!
So, a couple comments on jewelry before I dive in.
| |K. Amato Ombre Triple Beaded Necklace at Simply Soles
($88 - this may be a bit pricey for what is, essentially, three strands of glass beads in a few colors but I like the different color combinations - I think it would be fun and mix and match with a lot of different outfits. For a necklace with so many colors, I bet it would be surprisingly neutral.)
| |Pink agate necklace and earrings from LovebyLily on Etsy
($20.00 - this agate necklace is a beautiful shade of pink, so beautiful that I'm seriously considering ordering it. The chain is the silver you prefer and the earrings are lovely. The price is good [almost too good] but her reviews are excellent. She may be a newer store. Perhaps converse with her a bit before ordering.)
| |Michael Kors 'Seaside Luxe' Beaded Necklace at Nordstroms
($65.35 - again, possibly a bit expensive for what it is - this necklace looks very simple from a distance [other than the fun pink shade] but up close the beads are very pretty and the "pave crystal station" is a nice touch. There's no picture of it on a model so I'm not sure how long it is, so that's a shame.)
| || |Statement of the Art Necklace in Blush from ModCloth
($49.99 - I can't testify to quality from ModCloth - but I think this necklace is pretty fun [as are those earrings, but they aren't included.] This would look fabulous with peach or pink - but also with tan or black or navy or green or god almost anything. These are the sneaky pieces that you buy thinking "when will I wear it" and then end up wearing all the time.)
| |Blue opal with mixed rubies and pearls from Gewgaws on Etsy
($126 but with discount for Corporette readers - Kanye East from Corporette has several beautiful necklaces
in her store that include pink necklaces, but I love this blue opal necklace to death and think it would provide a great contrast to your pink/peach clothing [with the rubies and pearls providing the appropriate matching.] And I should note that I have bought or received as gifts several Kanye necklaces, including this one
which we designed together, and they have all been amazing quality and are central parts of my jewelry collection.)
| |Rebecca Minkoff Long Pave Moon Pendant Necklace on Rose Gold Chain at Shopbop
($98 - I know you like silver or gold but this rose gold paired with a pave pendant is a lovely long pendant - which is both a trendy now but classic in its own way. While I think this would be lovely with a pink or peach outfit, it would also be a lovely dramatic piece with a little black dress or a navy blue silk blouse - something darker.)
| |Peach sunstone and rose gold pyrite necklace
(top) and red jasper necklace
(bottom) So, the top necklace is my *actual* recommendation for you, I think its a lovely mix of peach and rose gold. Its different but lovely and relatively simple. It could be dressed up for a cocktail party or wedding or dressed down for work. The bottom is mostly just for fun, but I think it would look amazing with pink - I love mixing deep reds with pink as a way to mix things up. Give it a think!)
| |Hot pink agate pendant necklace set in silver at BellaDonna Jewelry Co. on Etsy
($20 - this one is just fun. There are a TON of versions of hot pink or fuchsia agate pendants on Etsy but I like that this one is (a) finished rather than rough, which I think makes it look more polished for work and (b) set in a teardrop setting, which makes it look unique. It also combines pink with silver, which is rarer than you would think. Its fun but still professional - a nice balance.)
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!
So, I haven't done a shoe post in awhile (yeah, yeah, I know - I haven't done ANY posts in awhile - no backtalk from the peanut gallery) and, quite frankly, I'm in the mood to do a post about shoes. Glorious shoes. Fun shoes. Some may be work appropriate and some may not. We'll see. There really isn't a theme to this post other than this...I like shoes. And I bet you do too. And its fall and everyone likes to get new shoes in the fall! So here we go.
| |Bold Plaid Flats from F21
($16.80 - Tartan is the pattern of the season and you can afford to add just a bit to your wardrobe with these flats! Who knows about quality (or arch support for that matter) but the truth is, when buying flats in a pattern like this, you really don't expect them to last much more than a season, do you?)
| |Heeled Brogue Oxfords from Boden
($168 - I've seen a lot of high heeled oxfords since the trend started, but these are some of my favorites. Available in this shade and in a darker brown and black, the chunky heel (very on trend) would also be insanely comfortable I would think.)
| |LK Bennett Sybila Pump at Nordstroms
($194.98 - more a head's up than anything else - but for those of you who love LK Bennetts, several of the more classic shapes, including this perfect work/interview shoe, are on a pretty good sale right now at Nordies. FYI)
| |Respectit Ankle Boots in Burgundy at Steve Madden
($149.96 - regular readers of my blog probably know that booties and ankle boots aren't really my thing - but these almost win me over. I *love* the color of the leather and the gold hardware is kick ass. I think with a pair of skinny jeans and a blazer for weekends this would be a great fall look.)
| |Ted Baker London Neevo Pump from Nordstroms
($169.95 - this pump mixes two of the biggest trends for the season - emerald green and suede- but without looking ridiculous (and I like the little dash of gold thrown in.) It also comes in a lovely purple that I'm sure Kat from the 'rette would love, orange, and red. Might be worth checking out if youc an handle the 4" heel.)
| |See by Chloé 'Summer' Pump at Nordstroms
($176.98 - the descriptor is probably right that this pump is more summery, but you just don't see that many pumps in this vibrant yellow color. And I love the brown toe cap as a nice contrast. And the stacked heel would make it much more comfortable.)
| |Trotters 'Opal' Pump at Nordstroms
($72.98 - saw this while looking for other things and it struck me that it might be a great "nude for me" shoe for women who need a darker shade of nude than many nude shoes are. So I thought I'd throw it up here.
| |Printed Pointed Toe Pump from the Express
($47.94 - yes - THAT Express. I can make no claims to knowledge about quality - but this geo print was so cute I had to feature it. Again - the heel is pretty high, so it may be only for the brave of foot. What do designers have against a 3" heel?)
Okay folks...that's it. Literally its just a bunch of shoes I like that I found around the internets. Add more in the comments if you've found shoes recently that you're really into. I'm always looking for ideas! What do you think? Do any of these appeal to you?
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! :-)
Frequent reader and all around awesome human CBackson submitted this request:
So I'm heading to a gala in NYC in early fall. It's black tie, and although I know that frequently means cocktail (and I'm willing to think about cocktail), I'd love to wear a long dress. The problem? Everything I see looks too bridesmaid-y, too prom-y, or too old (like, beads everywhere). I'm 32, and although I dress in a fairly classic style, I'm thinking something modern would be a fun change for me. I'm a fair-skinned blonde, on the short side, and slim-bordering-on-skinny (I'm a size 2/4, with a fairly boyish figure). I would LOVE to get something that wasn't black. Other than that, I'm open to all kinds of craziness (except maybe animal prints; girl's gotta draw a line). I was thinking $400 max, but would go higher for something timeless.
So, there's something I have to confess to you - my dear readers - there is almost nothing I like more than shopping for gowns, especially for other people (so I don't have to pay for them.) So of course this request from my beloved C. Backson is right up my alley. I'll try to give you a variety of different looks from different designers and in different price points but, for the interested, I've become more and more drawn to the Tadashi Shoji dresses I've seen at Nordstroms and other stores on-line lately. T.S. seems to design dresses that are classic while still having a little modern edge or something that makes it just a bit different. So there's a better than average chance that a couple of those will sneak there way in here. But I'll make sure to mix it up. :-)
As for the dresses themselves, I think generally something with a fairly slim fit will look great on you. First of all, you should take advantage of what sounds like a lovely, slim figure. But in addition, since generally there's a mix of cocktail length and full-length dresses at these sorts of events, you may be more comfortable in a dress without too much poof. But that certainly doesn't mean your dress can't have some pizazz. Okay! Now on to the recommendations!
Alice + Olivia Open Back Embroidered Maxi Dress at Net a Porter
($395 - from the front this dress looks like a pretty simple lace/embroidered gown, but turn it around and its DAMN sexy. And honestly, even the lace has a little something sexy about it. Plus, I actually like high necklines like this on dresses because it creates a wonderful base for jewelry. This red would be a lovely color for fall.)ML by Monique Lhullier Crisscross Chiffon Gown in emerald at Nordstroms
($298 - what drew me to this dress, first and foremost, is the color. I think if you want to stand out that a kelly green gown is really the way to go. Plus, the cut would be flattering on almost anybody and since you're relatively flat of chest I don't think you have to worry about the crisscross neckline [which I think adds some much needed interest to the gown.] I would consider the possibility of adding a belt at the waist, but that might drag it into the bridesmaid looks, so perhaps just gold or silver jewelry? Or, if you can find it, navy goes wonderfully with this shade of green so navy and gold jewelry would look fabulous.)Nicole Miller Printed Wrap Bodice Gown at Neiman Marcus
($208 - I'm not always one for prints on gowns, but I'm sort of drawn to this one for some reason, perhaps because its not *too* busy, you know? Also, I like that the cut is relatively simple - though I would add some color in the accessories I think. Heads up though - the only size left is a 4 which I know is the upper end of your size range - but I wanted to throw it out there anyway.)
Notte by Marchesa at the Outnet
($394.50 - I think I have recommended this dress to someone before but it remains one of, if not actually, my favorite formal gowns that I've seen floating around out there [though I think when I first saw it was in navy but this lovely coral would do wonders for you.] And sizes 2 and 4 are the only sizes left! The gold embellishments add just enough interest to make the dress interesting but otherwise it is a very simple cut. It is not too grand for the type of event you're going to, but you could wear it to basically anything requiring a formal gown. Basically, I love this dress - though I realize that other opinions may vary.)Tadashi Shoji Portrait Collar Pleated Mesh Gown at Nordstroms
($298 - so I know I have also suggested this dress on this blog before [and to you on the 'rette when you first floated this question], plus its basically black, but it is also one of my favorite formal gowns that I've seen in years so I can't help putting it out there as a serious option. I think the elaborate collar would add a little something at the bust area and the underlay of cream keeps it from being traditional black. Either way - this may be more my taste than yours but I wanted to include it anyway.)
Twobirds Convertible Maxi Dress in Deep Ocean at ShopBop
($310 - technically a bridesmaid dress, but its a lovely color. I'm not sure what to do with the different ways you can wear it, but I like the one shoulder design and the color would look awesome with what I think your coloring is. This is a simple but yet lovely dress and the pleats add a little something special. Definitely something to consider. I'd style it with purple and gold shoes and jewelry - perhaps go with a slight peacock look.)Tadashi Shoji One Shoulder Illusion Gown at Nordstroms
($368 - going back to red and Tadashi, if you want something a bit more form fitting and in the almost mermaid category, I don't think you can go wrong with this dress. It has the best elements of a bandage dress, but the illusion striping at the bottom and the neckline add interest and enough pizzazz that you'll be making a statement. But not the sort of statement you *don't* want to make. Actually, I really like this dress a lot, but don't think I have the figure to quite pull it off - it sounds like you might though! There is a similar, non-one-shouldered in cobalt
that is also lovely if that tickles your fancy.)Kay Unger gold silk and metallic lace overlay party dress at Bluefly
($347 - so this last one I'm recommending in case you decide to go with a cocktail length dress because, quite frankly, it is a FABULOUS cocktail dress and when else do you have an excuse to wear a gold silk and lace cocktail dress except at a formal gala like this? Plus, lucky you, only your size is left. So I'm throwing it out there as an idea, as a counter-balance to what I hope you found were helpful gown ideas.)
So okay! I hope you found these ideas helpful!! I know it was fun finding them for you. Write back when you pick something if you need help picking jewelry and/or shoes (because you know what a BURDEN it is for me to vicariously shop for jewelry or shoes.) But no matter what, let me know what you go with! I have to live through my friends and internet friends who get to go to grand galas since I spend most nights at home in pajamas. So have fun! Don't partake too heavily in the open bar. And show off that dress girl, because no matter what you pick, I know you'll look fierce. Happy Shopping and may the Odds be Ever in Your Favor.