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 KG asks:Hi TCFKAG! I'm in my mid-twenties and have been thinking about trying to create a more cohesive personal style lately. So far my shopping style is haphazard and I just buy what I like. My closet isn't bad, it's just not memorable. I'm trying to go about this by selecting a fashion icon (Jackie O) and trying to go from there. But I get a block when I'm actually shopping. What I really would love is a list of 5-10 modern Jackie O must-haves to get me started on building an awesome wardrobe. The details: Size: generally size small/2/27. I'm a skinny hourglass. Price Range: Lower is always better. Max prices would be $30ish for shirts, 100ish for pants, 75-100ish for dresses, $50-150 on shoes. But I love to fall in love and goggle at out of reach clothes too, so don't feel too limited. Hair color/skin tone: Super pale skin, brown hair Event: Everyday work and weekend clothes. I work in a pretty casual industry, so I don't need suits or really formal stuff. Shoes: Size 9.5, and definitely partial to flats.Hey! Look - I'm back. Sorry for the longer than expected delay in return. I got back from a PHENOMENAL vacation (go here to see photos) and then I got very, very, very sick. So my return to the world of vicarious shopping and blogging was delayed. But here I am and your question tickled my fancy. It also gives me a chance to expound for just a bit on a topic that has come up several times on Corporette and just generally in work environments I've been in in the past (but which doesn't necessarily apply entirely to your question). I have absolutely no problem with people having a defined personal style; in fact, I think its a great way (though not the only way) to guide your wardrobe and your closet into a cohesive unit - thus allowing the set of clothes you own to work well together as separates and saving you both time and money in the morning. But, with any style choice, you have to walk a fine line in the workplace. With the Jackie O inspiration, frankly, it would look incredibly odd for a twenty-something to be walking around right now wearing pill-box hats and chanel suits. And as with one of my recent posts, people who are more "goth" or edgy in their personal style have to find a way to reign that in for work. But I don't think this just applies to "out there" stylistic choices. If your style is "preppy" for example, a fairly well accepted style choice in the work place, I still don't think you can buy your entire work wardrobe from Lilly Pulitzer or LaCrosse. And if you're into fashion and really like getting dressed up and looking trendy, I would think twice about wearing an Akris suit everyday to a more casual business casual firm, no matter how awesome you would look, because the edginess would likely throw off your superiors. What am I trying to say? With any style-inspiration, its all about taking that inspiration and working elements of it into a modern business or business casual wardrobe. No matter how loyal you are to the "look", you have to remember that your work wardrobe is *not* about expressing personal identity (with, of course, the exception of dressing to match the gender you identify with) - its about looking professional and pulled together. But there's also no reason that has to be boring. Hence the meeting in the middle. So just remember, you want to be remembered as the woman who filed a kick-ass Motion to Dismiss or solved the network problems that had been plaguing the office for months; that is what your office identity should be. You do *not* want to be "Jackie O girl" or "Mad Men girl" or "goth girl." Your style should be a secondary identity but not a primary one. If you pull that off, then you have achieved greatness my friend. NOW! Moving on to the actual meat (and FUN) of the question.I guess the first question is .... what did Jackie O wear? Of course her style changed somewhat throughout her life, but she was known for clean lines, classic styles, simple colors, collarless blazers, and in her early years a-line skirts. She was a style icon of her time and always looked pretty amazing. She was also very New Englandy (is that a word....it is now) - trending, especially later in life, towards a sort of maritime look in her casual wear. Now, I have to admit up front a STRONG affection for Jackie - and frankly the whole Kennedy clan. I'm from New England (in fact a large chunk of my family is from Newport, RI) and I'm Irish-Catholic. What does that mean? That means that there were pictures of JFK and Bobby Kennedy up in all of my elderly relatives houses next to the pope. They were a very big deal for Irish-Americans in the 50s and 60s and it may be hard to understand now, but Jackie was their princess. My now deceased great-uncle went to JFK and Jackie's wedding, just so he could see them come out of the church and shoot a picture - the resulting picture (she looking pretty startled) was one of his most treasured possessions. But really - how could you not love them? (By the way, that's a rhetorical question, I am well aware of the reasons that JFK was problematic.)
So - given this is my first post back AND its Jackie O, I'm going to do a slightly different format. I'm going to post a picture of her that caught my eye - trending from the more business formal to the more casual - and then I will post more modern items that I think would do a good job of recreating a similar look - without making it look like you were playing 1950s or 1970s dress-up (I will be doing various J.O. eras - she had fabulous style in all of them.) So lets get started!
So - the Chanel suit with the pill box hat is, of course, a classic. Its practically iconic. But I also think its pretty dated for a young attorney at this stage of your career (and I'm just going to assume point blank you're not wearing pill box hats to work.) I also think its critically important that you get something that highlight the waist a bit more and is, frankly, a bit more flattering. But I have some ideas about suits that might give the same effect but without the stiffer, throw-back vibe.
| |Front zip moto in coral from the Limited
($49.99 also in yellow - I honestly think in your case that separates are the best way to go, since you don't need a full suit. You can get the vague look with a bit more modern flair.)
| |TopShop Fleck Bouclé Jacket at Nordstroms
($150 - a bit above what I imagine you'd want to pay for a blazer - but otherwise I think its perf. Its cute and modern and I love the color - and if you can get past the horrendous styling on the model it would be great for work (especially with gray.)
| |Bouclé Jacket at Mango Outlet
($79.99 on-sale - I think this blazer is cool and may fit a bit more with her later style - more in the seventies look - but I really like it. Especially if you tried something a little interesting and paired it with a black turtleneck, for example.)
So - other than the unfortunate Chanel suit - one thing Jackie was very good about was picking dresses that emphasized her natural waist. Now - I'm not sure where your waist is precisely, but I'm going to assume for the purposes of this exercise that, like her, you had a fairly mid-range natural waist (which was great for her - it seems to have allowed her to wear things that hit everywhere from just below the rib-cage to almost a dropped waist....the lucky duck.) So here I'll be showing a few work appropriate dresses that have nicely defined natural waists - but would also work as essentially a business casual suit separate with a blazer thrown over them (perhaps one of the blazers above - who knows.) For that reason, I'm sticking mostly with the neutrals here, black, gray, and navy.
So, there may not be universal agreement on this, but I think Jackie's 70s style was absolutely fantastic. She didn't fall prey to some of the more hideous excesses of the period, but instead stuck with her figure flattering, chic look - but added a little more flair and a little more.....disco....for lack of a better term. Take this look for example. 50s and 60s Jackie would never have rocked a super swag, collar popped trench coat and corresponding trousers. And yet she looks fabulous. Also...I think she's the only reason that sometimes I think that very sparing use of the turtleneck in your wardrobe is absolutely a go (see e.g. with the Mango Blazer above.) But generally, what I would take away from this picture, is the power of a well tailored pair of straight leg (or slightly boot cut) trousers, a fitted blouse or short, and an awesome trench coat.
Now, I will acknowledge, it is essentially an exercise in futility recommending pants blind over the internet because of simple size preferences, fit preferences, and the magic "it" that is impossible to capture via the world wide web. But take this from Jackie O - you should want your pants to fit - and don't trust catalogues as a judge for how pants fit - if you have lines pulling across the front forming that sort of spider shape across your pelvis (you know the one) they're too small. If when you sit down, they ride up and show your whole sock, they're probably too short. If when you walk, you trip over them, they're too long. And if they dig into your stomach and make you uncomfortable, they're too small. My best tip - buy the size that fits your thighs, hips, and stomach....the rest can be altered (and get a Nordies debit or credit card so you can get some free alterations too.) Okay...moving on, here we go.
| |Seasonless Straight Leg Pant at White House Black Market
($88 - I know I just said how I wasn't going to recommend pants - but I like the look of these - they're a bit different than all the other "straight" or "wide" leg pants. Might be worth a gander at this price. Readers - has anyone worn or purchased these?)
| |Silk Chiffon Houndstooth Blouse from Brooks Brothers
($91.20 - in trying to figure out what the modern equivalent to the turtleneck would be - I bet it would be something like this blouse. Its formal, but with a pattern and a bow to keep it interesting. In fact, Jackie liked neck bows as seen here
, so you'd be keeping it on theme.)
| |Mark New York Asymmetrical Zip Front Belted Trench Coat from the Bon Ton
($140 - so I'm going with a bright color on this trench because sometimes we forget that Jackie was actually *really* fashionable. She wasn't just demure and proper; she was one of the first First Ladies who was young enough to be a "fashion icon." Yes her style seems a bit prim now, but she was cool
back then, so a Jackie O inspired wardrobe doesn't have to be all prim all the time. Is all I'm saying.
The Kennedys as I assume many of you know are Cape Codders - they have a huge house on the cape and most of the kids grow up there and spend a lot of their time there in the summer. I'm not sure what Jackie's relationship with Newport was, but I think she also spent a fair amount of time on the beach in the summer. After JFK died, she married a yacht dude (I won't pretend to know what he did.) Basically, her casual wear definitely had a fancy maritime theme. Three elements that really defined her look were her cropped pants, her scarfs (traditional square ones, I think), which she would wear on her head or around her neck, and her flats (not pictured above as she's wandering around barefoot....like a peasant...or Britney Spears during her breakdown. But in other pictures it appears for flats she favors a box toe or a slight point with a buckle or other minimalist decoration on the toe box and either flat or a low square heel. We won't discuss in too much detail her taste in heels, we'll chalk it up to the era.) As such, I'll focus on these three items for "casual wear" assuming - probably rightfully - that you have t-shirts or blouses that you can wear that will go nicely with these items.
| |Caslon Chino Ankle Pants from Nordstroms
($34.80 - so, the Halogen brand cropped pant
which comes in a variety of cuts and fabrics gets great reviews at Nordies, but I think I like these chinos a bit better. The cuff gives them a little more of a relaxed flare, while still keeping them looking good - plus I love this navy color - though they come in like 20 colors.)
| |Slightly Curvy Perfect Twill Ankle Pants from Eddie Bauer
($39.99 - if you are considering a more formal cropped pant - I think these Eddie Bauers might be a good fit for you. They are mostly fairly straight, with the pressed seam in the front, but the slightly curvy cut will fit your slim hour-glass shape better. I wish they came in more colors though...I feel like the whole point of cropped pants is fun colors; I'm almost sure of it. For ones that maybe aren't as curvy friendly but come in WAY more fun colors, check out the Hampton fit cropped pants at BR
| |Linen Straight Leg Pant from C&C California
($48.99 - so these are a bit off the radar - but for a modern "oh, you know, I'm just running from the beach to my yoga class to coffee and I just threw this look together" pant - I really am drawn to these. They look amazingly comfortable and yet way more stylish than most similar pants. At least worth a look - especially if paired with an appropriately "just thrown together" tunic and some jewelry.)
| |Vintage Christian Dior Paisley Silk Scarf from American Apparel
($50 - I may or may not be having a stroke right now, since I'm willingly listing an item from AMERICAN APPAREL - but this scarf is SO PRETTY and is allegedly vintage Dior. Either way, I love teal, I LOVE paisley, and it would go amazingly with the color palette we've been building so far [always an important consideration when adding new items and accessories.])
| |Vintage Waves Square Silk Scarf from Lord and Taylor
($30.44 - I love this bright yellow, it would really take a lot of gray and navy and even black outfits into summer with just a tie of a scarf. Plus this is a color I know Jackie favored [at least in the color pictures I saw of her] and I just think its lovely. This particular scarf would go especially well with say a gray or navy dress as a way to add some interest without needing to add layers in the heat of the summer. Plus its a great price for silk!)
| |Harmony close toe flat in dafodil from Sole Society
($59.95 - I have to tell you, I LOVE these, and I'm thinking of getting them for myself. And they feel like exactly what an updated Jackie O casual flat would be. You have the box toe and the buckle on the toe box and yet the color and the patent really scream fun. Plus the yellow will add some pop to otherwise neutral weekend or casual [or work] attire. These are kind of amazing....I might be personally in love though I recognize they are not everyone's cup of tea.)
| |Sesto Meucci Exedra Flat from 6PM
($96.99 - so based on pictures of her actual shoes - these may be the most similar to Jackie O's casual flats that I could see on the current popular shoe market. Which, is kind of funny, because this sort of vaguely male style flat is totally back in style right now. And these would be insanely comfortable [they also come in tan] but they are not as cute and adorable as one might hope. I have no idea if it was a Jackie O thing or a that period thing, but there ya go. She did wear more dressy flats for formal occasions (based on the pictures at least.)
So, we have come to the end of our epic journey....the Little Black Dress. Perhaps not as famous for her choice of a LBD as, say, Audrey Hepburn, our First Lady in question sure knew how to make one work. I especially like the one in the above picture - completely appropriate for the wife of the President and yet stunning none the less (though I think in the modern day we'd ramp up the jewelry and the shoes just a bit.) The bottom two dresses are different. The one on the left is presumably still during the Presidency and it is a more formal event. But I like the deeper dip in the neckline. You can see her jewelry and her toned arms. This is Jackie O outside a boatneck! Huzzah! On the right is something entirely different. This is later in life (probably in the 70s - a google image back search couldn't turn up an origin) but her tastes have matured and she has been freed to be more sexy and fashion forward. Despite all that, and in the middle of the fashion....adventures that were the 70s.....she still looks classy and timeless. She could turn up to a gallery opening today in any of these looks and look in place - and in the end, isn't that the goal? (Well not always, but sometimes. Probably not with Lady Gagas meat dress.)
| |T by Tadashi Off the Shoulder Bandage Dress at Nordstroms
($138 - also available in red and blue - this dress is presented in honor of Ms. O's sexy later years. Because having Jackie O as your style icon doesn't mean being prim and proper forever.... sometimes it means off the shoulder bandage dresses. That's what we are remembering with this dress. ;-].)
| |David Meister Illusion Top Cocktail Dress at Neiman Marcus
($161 - I like this dress a lot - I feel like its classy with just a bit of sex appeal, just like Jackie. It would be great for a formal work cocktail party type thing or as a guest as a wedding. Its screaming for dangly earrings, bangles, and brightly colored shoes [and possibly an opera length necklace, if it doesn't mess with the effect of the neckline.])
| |Bridge V-Neck Dress in Black from Reiss
($240 - also available in red - I feel like this picture likely does not do this dress justice. But it is the ideal sheath dress for fancy occasions, the perfect blank slate on which to build your jewelry and shoes and hair and make-up; with the up-side being that you can wear it to work as well. Also if you click through you'll see the back dips down just a little, which I really like as a detail. To bad the picture is so terrible.)
| |Kate Spade New York Lorelei Dress in "black/clotted" at Piperlime
($248 - okay my budget is all out of control on these....look at them as long term goals? Sorry. But I love the checkered design on this one and the pockets and the classic shape. I also think it would be wildly flattering on someone with a slightly curvy figure [I say that as someone with a slightly but not super curvy figure....if that makes sense.])
| |JS Collection Peek-a-boo lace Cap Sleeve Fit and Flare Dress at Edressme
($270 - so I was trying to avoid lace, mostly because I feel like we're all going to look back at this period in 10 years and wonder if there was something in the water that made us all have a lace fetish, but everything else about the cut, the shape, and the fit of this dress is lovely...so here ya go.)
| |Carmen Marc Valvo Crepe Bottom Cocktail Dress at Bergdorg Goodman
($226 - so - I won't lie, this is only available in a size 6 - but I just think its lovely so I'm sharing it anyway. If any of my other readers are a size 6 and are looking to add something in the same style to their wardrobe, this might be a good match for you!)
So that's all she wrote folks. Did I miss any clear "Jackie O" necessary wardrobe elements? If so, give Reader KG a heads up in the comments! And I'm glad to be back - I missed you all!! Look forward to hear from all of you going forward over the next few days/weeks. And since I couldn't share ALL the amazing photos of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis I found during the making of this post, I will leave you with just a few more (clearly its too bad I don't have the picture of her looking shocked/terrified from when my great-uncle jumped out and took her picture on her wedding day.....)
A Corporette reader, Lost in the Racks, asked:Big dinner coming up SATURDAY NIGHT [emphasis mine] with SO and his firm (900+ employees). No idea what to wear. He’s wearing very dark grey pinstripe Hugo Boss European cut suit. I need to look amazing – first time to a work function with him. I’m 5’10″ and usually a size 12 – curvy (38DD). Help?So, LitR, I'm sort of letting you jump the line here because it sounds like your event is tomorrow? If that isn't true and its next Saturday - well - you're still a bit pressed for time but you could order from SOME online retailers (Zappos, Amazon, on-line only Nordstrom's dresses). But for the sake of this post I'm sticking to "things that I think are available at most malls in America" but simultaneously "still look fabulous enough that you won't look like you bought it the day before." I assume you volunteered your husband's suit to describe level of dressiness and not a matching issue - since almost everything in the world goes with gray - but I'll try not to clash (and if you need to, you can always buy him a new coordinating but not too matchy-matchy tie.) Or better yet, let the guys in the men's section of a department store or suit store do it - they are much better at it than us mere mortals.So I'm going to add some styling and possibly actual shoe and jewelry advice, because in the end what makes an outfit for an event like this sometimes isn't the dress but rather how you accessorize. Also, on a final note, I know most people would head straight to the "LBD" section for this one - and that's fine - but I think some color would be great for this. I mean, its a middle of the summer party and *you* don't have to be conservative to avoid "embarrassing" yourself in front of your bosses - you just have to be appropriate, if the difference is clear. So I'm going to suggest some color but I'd definitely suggest you look at my "wedding guest black dress" post (which has both LBDs and non-LBDs), my "teal" cocktail and work dress and my "little red dress" post from before for other ideas. Many of those dresses, especially the Nordies ones, may be available at your local mall - but I'd call ahead to check. Now moving on to some ideas specialized just for you.
| |Ivy & Blu for Maggy Boutique at Nordstroms ($168 - the reviews are mixed, but you'd be trying it on first. Its available in your size at 2 of the 4 stores near my house so I figure you have decent odds of it being available near you. I think a fun floral would be great for a summer work party because well its summer. I'd keep everything else simple, nude or gray heels, maybe a silver or gold bangle, pendant necklace and maybe even just stud earrings.) | |Cascade Hem Sleeveless Dress in palm frond from Ann Taylor ($79.99 - so I would normally not recommend asymmetrical hemlines, I just usually don't like them, but something about the execution of this one works for me. Plus the color is great, I like the top, the price is right, and its available in-store in lots of locations. So it might be worth a try-on at least. Most reviews are good - saying its flattering and a nice length for the taller set.) | |Textured Cotton Sundress in polka dot from WHBM ($160 - WHBM has this fun polka dot dress - they also have a couple great striped dresses. If you're hitting a mall, I'd hit them up first. They're one of my must stops when taking my friends dress shopping and they are always amazed by how much they like the dresses and how flattering they are...including both x-shaped and fairly short to tiny, thin, and tall. So they have variety.)
| |Tadashi Shoji Lace & Tulle Cocktail Dress at Nordstroms ($298 - you'll have to check store availability - this is a repeat for me from the teal post - but I just love it. A more modern take on the lace trend, a beautiful teal, looks long enough that should work for a 5' 8" person, wide shoulder straps and high neck should hold the girls, and the ribbon detailing at the waist line should help emphasize a variety of natural waist lines. Also comes in a lovely cantaloupe color. Maybe worth the splurge since it would be a great dress for weddings and such?) | |Banded Drop-Waist Dress in black at WHBM ($160 - if I was you and looking for a little black dress for this, I might seriously consider this one. It has 11 reviews and a 5 out of 5 - with lots of reviews saying it looks great on curvier figures. I think it would really work well with your assets [as they say in the boob trade lol] and the banded section through the bodice and stomach looks forgiving but while still having a nice a-line twirly skirt at the bottom. Yes, I'm a grown-woman who likes twirly skirts and I'm proud. A pair of red pumps and a bright red lip with some great jewelry and this would be a great "guest at a company party" look.
| |Colorblocked Pleated Sleeveless Dress in tropical jade at Ann Taylor ($148 - this dress practically SCREAMS summer at me and if this color flatters you it might be perfect. Add a long necklace or pendant, some nude or metallic sandals, and maybe that bangle she's wearing and it's a great look. A nice mix of formal and fun. I'd bring a cardigan or wrap though. | |Etched Leaf Wrap Dress at Talbots ($109.00 - available in all sizes and should be in store - I think a lot of wrap dresses might be too casual for this event, but since this one has a pattern, a very nice one in my opinion, it dresses it up enough that I think it works. Again with a bit of extra jewelry and nice shoes and you've got a good look; plus wrap dresses are just SO flattering and look so good on bustier women.) | |Adrianna Papell Jersey and Taffeta dress at Nordstroms ($178 - I wanted to include one dress that was really a more formal "event" dress - unfortunately this one isn't available in stores near me but you should check with the stores near you. Or look for something with a similar wide-v-neck and fit and flare skirt - which I think would be a great formal dress shape for you.)
| |Side bow dress in bright red at The Limited ($79.90 - possibly with an additional 50% off - the sale is difficult to understand. There is also a black version of this dress and this is called red though on my screen it looks orange. Either way, the Limited is getting great props everywhere for its new resurgence so I'd definitely check it out for a mall option for a dress. [Oh and I secretly hop this is orange - I love orange.]) | |Adrianna Papell Sleeveless Beaded Tulip Hem at Macy's ($199 - this is a brand new Papell as far as I can tell, at least I've never seen it, so I'm throwing it up here just because I like to keep people informed - I'm not actually sure you could get it in time for your party LitR (sorry). Its definitely an interesting dress, I love the fish tail ruching, but not so sure about the beaded neckline - would have to see in person I guess. I am a HUGE fan of burgundy though - so they've got me there.)
And Now Just a Few Accessories Suggestions ... Because of Reasons
Okay LitR - that's what I got for you tonight. I hope you find something that makes you look and feel incredible (without making you wear your grandparent's clothes). But really, just have fun and take advantage of what I hope is an open bar. The goal here is just to look nice enough that you fit in - the nice thing about going to your husband's work events and not, say, your own is there's no one to impress. :-)
P.S. To the other Corporettes who are hopefully now reading this blog instead of just the tumblr (or nothing before). There is a tab on the top of the page entitled "Vicarious Shopping Questions" where you can submit your questions directly and they won't get lost in the shuffle of a Weekend Thread that gets out of hand and I just forget or lose them (which happens sometimes!)
Also, if you haven't been reading the blog at all, you may have missed the announcement that I have started a PERSONAL SHOPPING SERVICE through TCFKAG Shops. You can click on the tab at the top of the page logically titled "Personal Shopping" to learn all about it - but the upshot is if you have a particularly complicated or involved question - or would like help with something like restyling your whole wardrobe or picking out a new wardrobe after significant weight loss....something like that, you should consider hiring me as a personal shopper. I'm fairly cheap as these things go and it will be a more interactive, on-line process via e-mail or video chat (if you prefer). Or, if you live in the Boston/Greater New England area - it might even be in person. So take a look see at the info and submit from that form if you are interested!!!
Okay - that's all the announcements. Hope you like the dress ideas and happy shopping. Other readers - I know Reader LitR has to go buy these items at the store, but if you are going to buy any of them - I'd be super touched if you bought them through the link on the website because when people buy things through my links I make a little money which is both cool and I get adorably excited about it (think $10 per, like week, and you'll understand why its adorable.) Gosh - REALLY, really checking off now. :-)
So - you all know I like to sometimes pick an item out and then find alternative, cheaper, versions of that item. Well, this time I was looking at L.K. Bennett, a brand that I (like most Americans probably) discovered because of the Duchess of Cambridge, and found actually two items that were beautiful enough to make me want to hunt for them. So here they are.
So - lets get to the shopping for alternatives. My main goals will be, for the dress, finding nicely constructed dresses that have differently colored tops and bottoms (I like that look because I think it makes it look like you are wearing a blouse and skirt but more sleek and without the risk of the shirt coming untucked and looks great under a blazer.) On the skirt, I'll be looking for a-line skirts with pretty patterns like this, but I think pleats will be a plus only, since I know only some people like pleats. SO LETS DO THIS THING!
| |Mango Two-Tone Pleated Dress at Amazon
($79 - I love that a black and white option, though I hope the skirt is longer on non models. Note the pleated satin panels on the top. I would wear it with a contrasting blazer, maybe in cobalt? And then with gray or nude shoes. A good look for the office, I think.
Can we also talk about these shoes and how much I NEED them in my life?
Eliza J Sleeveless Color Block Dress at Amazon
($138 - I like the pleated a-line skirt and that the belt creates a clear delineation and gives the waist definition. I think this would be good for work with a cardi or blazer and GREAT for outdoor summer events, like company "picnics" or clam bakes."
I will note about these first alternatives, that I did find in my hunt some absolutely beautiful options from some designer lines, like L'Agence
, St. John Collection
, Kate Spade New York
, and LotusGrace
(this last one was in the post until the very very last moment when I found that Calvin Klein one - but I still love it so check it out.) I didn't include these dresses though - and I generally don't include many designer options - because my goal is to find affordable (or more affordable anyway) versions of the things I'm inspired by. That goal isn't met by posting $500 dresses. No matter how much I love them. Now on to the skirts!
| || |Floral Pleated Skirt multi-colored from Jones New York
($59 - I like that the floral print on this isn't too literal, the length is great for work and looks like it might be long enough to work for even taller readers and it comes in petite as well. And the price is nice too. Jones NY also had a couple other A-Line skirts, and for my animal print loving readers ... you know who you are - check out this one
Finally - this row is just a few other things I like from L.K. Bennett. Just because, they had so many, many options.
| |Olivia Silk Graphic Print Scarf - Ocean Blue
($161 - you ALL know how I feel about scarves and this one, oh my god, I just...I'm platzing. Also comes in coral/orange print. More than I spend on scarves but grilled cheesus is this gorgeous.)
| |Cap-sleeve silk dress in champagne print
($312 - this is actually essentially the same pattern as the skirt above and this is the sold out champagne print (lovely isn't it) - the navy is available as well!)
I am including both of these shoes: the Floral Print Heels
($365) and the Malibu Metallic Leather Peep-Toe Sandal
($277) because I think they'd make great wedding shoes. I've gotten many wedding shoe questions in the past and both of these would be beautiful options for that...or for any special occasion really.
So that's all they wrote folks ... and in the immortal words of Veronica Mars:
"I'd be the best rich person. I'd be the perfect combination of frivolous and sensible. Money is wasted on the wealthy."
Happy shopping everyone and Happy Friday to boot.
Its been awhile since I did a polka dot post - and those were mostly darker shades. Well, Ann Taylor inspired me today to do a post on summery polka dot prints.
The scarf is the Retro Dot Border Silk Scarf in guava
($68) - its made of silk, which I like, and I love the color combo for spring or summer. Or even for fall or winter to add a pop of color. The skirt is the Summer Cotton Stretch Dot Pencil Skirt
in guava also ($88) and of course you KNOW I like it. Now on to the slightly more complicated question - I think I even like the full outfit
together - though it might be a bit too much pink for work for me. A wise friend recommended a green polka dot skirt instead on the bottom and I think that would be brilliant. Either way - here are a bunch of polka dot items in bright colors for spring and summer (and just for whenever you're in the mood for bright colors.) I'm also doing a mix of casual wear, work wear, and even cocktail dresses - for all your various polka dot needs. ;-)