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 DB asked for light colored summer suits
Now - since this was a question from a personal friend I don't actually have a traditional "question" to put here but the question really got me excited; I am actually going to give her recommendations via e-mail, but the request inspired me to do a post on the subject. When the weather gets warm but you work in a line of work that requires suits everyday (or even just sometimes), nothing beats a summer weight light suit to keep cool but still give off an air of authority and put-togetherness. Though I will note that I personally would not wear a light colored suit to court or to an interview (unless the court was a more casual court - like for example probate - where practitioners are there frequently - it seemed the wardrobe for lawyers was maybe slightly more laid back.) But for meetings or depositions or something a little less formal, they can be a great option.
One last big plus, in my book, is that I think light colored suits can be used as separates MUCH more easily than other suits - I use the jacket from my tan/beige Talbots suit to wear over dresses all the time (see this post from yesterday on Tumblr
) and I find the skirt is great for pairing with other jackets or cardigans because it reads as just a neutral tan skirt (which admittedly most black skirts from suits can as well, the jackets are usually the problem.)
Okay - that was a digression that I didn't mean to take - lets move on to the suits!
| |Factory linen suiting blazer in pearl at J-Crew Factory ($111 - most sizes still available - this is the odd situation where this goes with the item next to it. I personally LOVE the dress/suit combo and this pearl color is beautiful. I know some people have objections to J-Crew Factory quality (I've never bought there, their stuff doesn't work for my body shape) but this is so lovely maybe its worth the risk?) | |Factory linen Button Tab Shift Dress at J-Crew Factory ($96 - I *love* the shape of this dress. In fact, I'm wearing a Tahari dress today in this exact shape. Together with the blazer this would make a lovely, lovely suit for meetins, depositions, maybe even court for more casual motions sessions. I just...love it. I know quality may be an issue - but the pricing is decent and they're both linen so great for summer.)
| |Tahari ASL Two Piece Pants Suit with shawl collar at Lord & Taylor ($125.99 - the colors are listed as ivory and beige, though it reads darker and the jacket is linen but pants are poly - though that may be a good way to avoid pant wrinkles while still staying cooler. This suit is sort of suit separates really, but I liked it so much I picked it anyway - and shawl collars are great for my bustier ladies. | |Tan-Tor Seamed One Button Jacket and Seamed Pencil Skirt at Reiss - US ($360/$180 - if you had told me a year ago that I'd be taking you to the nearest mental institution to be checked out. But this is beautiful and for the long of waist it would look amazing - there are pants as well btw. I think its also a nice way for younger persons to rock the colored suit; plus, each separate would be GREAT on its own. Basically, high five Reiss - well done achieving the near impossible of making me want a SALMON suit.)
| |Anne Klein Suit, Four Button at Macy's ($139.99 on-sale - available in all sizes up to 14 - I don't personally like four button suits, but I know for those who do, they are very hard to find. My biggest worry with this suit is it may be polyester - so it may not breathe great for summer but the price might be worth it. Also I swear I don't work for Macy's but they're having a suit sale this week.) | || |Tahari by ASL Chain Trim Tweed jacket and skirt at Macy's ($114.99 - this may be the item that makes you all think I've gone batty, but this pink and white tweed is lovely. And I amazingly (mind-blowingly frankly) love how the chain trim is executed here. It is delicate and worn with minimal gold jewelry and nude or brown or light peach/pink shoes, I think it adds interest to a conservative suit.)
So that's all she wrote for now folks. Go forth and lawyer or doctor or banker or computer/civil/mechanical engineer (or robotics...can't forget them or a friend of mine from college would be sad) or politic or activist in nice light colored suits for summer. Because here's my thing about light colored suits - and actually all slightly non-traditional clothing choices - especially for younger women. I think bright colors and big jewelry, as long as its still within the professional sphere, is a huge powerplay for a professional woman. It says "I'm here, I'm me, I wear feminine/androgynous/colorful/punky clothes, and I'm still going to kick your ass because I'm better than you."
Anyway - that's my theory. Wear what you want with enough confidence - following the basic rules of decency and dressing to flatter as best you can - and you will be perceived as more powerful. At least in my experience. I L.O.V.E. seeing female execs or partners or whatever who rock fashionable chic looks that are just a little edgy* - it works for me. Does it work for you dear readers? Let me know in the comments.
And by "edgy" here I don't mean the shameful display of "punk rock fashion" that we all saw at the Met Ball - I mean business execs or partners at law firms who have wardrobes that are just outside the "business" norm - so they don't wear all black, navy, and gray or they DO wear all black, navy, and gray but in interesting ways - and they have fabulous or artsy or hippie jewelry. And they wear interesting shoes. That sort of thing. Things that differentiate their wardrobe from the corporate uniform. I love it. Especially when it tells me something about them as a person.
And most importantly - there is now a "Personal Shopping" tab up in the menu bar. Go click on it - it explains a bit about what services I provide and my likely fee schedule (at least at first.) I'm reserving the right to change the fee schedule as I figure out what works best and what doesn't so much (don't worry, I won't change the fee schedule mid-job unless you ask me to.
And slightly less important, TCFKAG Shops is now on Twitter. I have no idea what to do with that thing - so if anyone wants to give me some suggestions or tips, feel free. Also - just FYI - there is no "social networking icon" on here for Tumblr, but there WAS one for Yahoo! - so I used that to link to my Tumblr in the top header. Because I thought it was funny and ironical. Also I'm a dork.
This is a fashion blog and I think I really owe you some fashion. Like whoa - so I thought I'd show you some shoes that I've seen around the Internets that I just really like. They don't relate much - this is just unmitigated shoe porn for no real reason (other than the obvious.)
| |Just Prance Heel in punch at Mod Cloth ($69.99 - some days I feel like MC here is just too costumey for their own good, but other days I just feel like they get me - these shoes are in that camp. Luckily not available in my size or they might be winging their way towards me.) | |Miz Mooz 'Wonder' Sandal at Nordstroms ($69.90 in the half-yearly sale) potentially a great sandal for summery events or anywhere really. This color is only in one size now, but the other colors are cute too and in more sizes. | |Naturalizer Women's Jodell Oxford at Amazon (~$40.00 - so I'm not usually a huge oxford fan but these Naturalizer ones won me over by being a little longer and leaner than most of the chunky options without having the scary stilletos of the "sexy" options. I like the mix. Not many sizes left in this two tone, but I like it.)
| |Vintage Calfskin Riding Boot at Brooks Brothers ($238.80 - available in a surprising number of sizes. This is obviously completely out of season - and after the heat on the east coast this week, many of you might be quaking at the thought of wearing it. But its a good price for a VERY cool looking boot and might be worth a second look.) | |White Sand Shores Sandal in orange from Mod Cloth ($29.99 - I LOVe the asymmetric cut of these sandals and that they don't have a between the toes issue. And the orange is cute. A real contender for a great summer sandal. 4 for you Mod Cloth, You go Mod Cloth.)
Reader AW of the longer and wider than average feet wrote back to ask
: Hi TCFKAG, Thanks for helping me with my wide flats request. I noticed that you mentioned that you love navy and berry colors. Those are my base/accent colors too! Would you mind sharing some of your personal favorites? Accessories would be fun too! Sorry for all the ?'s... I wore a military uniform for 10 years and I am slowly trying to build a quality casual/work wardrobe. PS- too shy to share your blog on Facebook, but I did show your blog to my ma and I am thrilled that she is learning to navigate the internet by looking at your blog.So - I'm totally happy to do this - within reason. I can't post pictures of everything in my wardrobe because (a) that'd be insane and (b) mostly because of a. What I am going to do instead is post my favorite go-to items (mostly work though I'll possibly through in a few casual items) - I'll try to find the originals on-line if they are still available for purchase, but if not, I'll find the closest item I can. A couple of provisos, though my personal style has improved dramatically in the past three years or so, I am still far from the most fashionable person in the world (or even in the 10 mile radius around my house.) In fact, I never thought much at all about my wardrobe until I began reading Corporette. It was there that I learned a great deal about the importance of fit, of finding my true waistline and understanding what clothes work with that, and of the impression made on others when certain faux pas are made or when you just generally represent yourself sloppily, and it was also on Corporette that I learned a great deal about how certain contrasting colors complement each other - and learned that I had a good instinct for those types of questions. I also discovered that I had a special talent for what I do here - internet shopping for others when given almost any parameters. This was quite the surprise since nothing in my background or in my personal style would suggest having these skills or having the eye to select the best looking or best quality items if I did find them. [Think these skills sound great and would you like a personalized exposure to my method and some back and forth on results - enter the contest and you will be entered in a raffle just for that. As for my workplace style, I dress to be business appropriate for that office, but with just enough color and flare to give the impression that I have enough self-confidence and dymanism to escape the "office wardrobe" of slacks or a skirt, a button down shirt, or a shell and a cardigan every day. I came to this idea somewhat organically, but if you pay attention long enough to pictures of most powerful female politicians, business people, or non-profit management, they are rarely dressed in just black, gray, or navy. So what I'm saying is - there's a reason this is a shopping blog and not a "fashion" blog where I take pictures of my daily wardrobe (well, that and I'm an attorney hunting for a job...so I guard my internet presence.) Finally, before we get started....HELLO AW'S MOM!!!! Welcome to the crazy world of my mind and the slightly strange hobby that has rescued my budget by allowing me to shop for other people rather than myself. Now on to the clothes!
Silk Shell from Ann Taylor in Plum Brandy ($44 - but not available anymore - see also Ponte Peplum Shell
at AT Loft ($44.50 -
| |Draycott Skirt
from in navy at Boden ($52.80 for this option - prices vary based on color. Fabric is stretchy and soft but utterly professional. I love it.)
Pewter pumps from Bella-Vita
Zappos ($89.95 - two shades of gray) and Cole Haan
at Amazon ($147.48 - very lucky sizes only). I love my pewter shoes, wear them daily basically.
| |Lambswool Navy Blue Blazer at Brooks Brothers
($139.20 - This is on-sale and an pretty damn good deal for BB. I have a very similar blazer to this (linings different) from a couple of years ago. I LOVE it and wear it sometimes 4 days a week. In fact, I kind of want to order this too so I can lessen the load on the first one, plus...POLKA DOTS. Here is a link
to another good looking navy blazer - but I think its in suiting material so less easy to pair with different color bottoms in suiting fabrics..)
| |Signature Silk Dots Shirt from C. Wonder
($128 - so, I have a lovely silk polka-dot button down shirt from Land's End Canvas maybe two or three years ago (?) that was a Corporette recommendation. So its obviously not on sale anymore, but this C. Wonder shirt is similar and I love coral and coral-like pinks in spring and summer. If you want something in red or navy though, I'd check out these great options at Boden.
Nic + Zoe Red Ponte Sheath Dress (no longer available) I just recently saw this Land's End dress
that is VERY similar. The radish or cobalt would both be great with Navy.
Tina Silk Blouse with multi dot print from Pendleton (no longer available - but see the Pendleton blouse I posted below.)
| || |Halogen Seamed Pencil Skirt in Red Beauty from Nordstroms
($41.40 - it seems almost silly to put this up here - but they are the most basic building block of my wardrobe. I don't actually own this color; I own black, slate gray, fuchsia, and cobalt blue. But this color looks pretty on the screen, so I might just add it to my collection!
THINGS I DON'T OWN BUT THAT I WOULD BUY IN A HOT MINUTE
Striped Knit Boat Neck Dress in navy at Banana Republic ($109.99 lucky sizes only on-line but other sizes may be in-store.)
| |Floral Print Blouse from Zara
($49.90 - just think with the navy blazer - might need to have a hook-and-eye closure added on the neckline to raise it a bit.)
| |Capped Sleeve A-Line Dress in sea glass at Talbots
($109 - could wait for it to go on sale since it almost certainly will. I'm including this because I love the sleeves and the waist definition. I also think you should consider pairing this shade of blue with all of the navy in your wardrobe, its a beautiful combo. Add in gold, green, or yellow jewelry and you have a showstopper.)
| |Andrea Tunic at Pendleton
($128 - available in Misses, Petite, and Plus sizes. I like that its a tunic so you can wear it belted as shown or tucked in and I love the pattern and I've been thrilled with the quality of my Pendleton purchase. My only tip would be to keep an eye on it and see if it goes on sale, I got my silk blouse from Pendleton for $29.99. So...maybe don't pay full price?
FUNNY EDITOR'S NOTE:
For my readers who also read Corporette (i.e. a sizable majority of you, I believe, I just saw this suit
at Brooks Brothers while looking for something else and it appears they've also gotten into the long suit jacket "trend" (that I had no idea was coming back.) This one is a MUCH more appropriate office length and I like the light gray color more. It is practically screaming for a belt though. (I'm still not completely sold on this look - despite the fact that Ally McBeal was on television during my formative years and thus influenced my perception of "workplace wear" AND the Cake song "Short Skirt Long Jacket"
that would be stuck in my head all day and make me feel like a BAMF wherever I went.SERIOUS EDITOR'S NOTE:
As you can see, I tried out a new format today. What do you think? Does it work and can you associate the links and notes more easily with the pictures or does it break up the flow too much? Any comments you could give me would be so helpful! Leave it in the comments below and I'll love you forever and ever!
So there you have it people, my sense of style...or else, some snapshot of my sense of style. Noticeably absent are the Captain America pajama pants and my LL Bean sweatshirt robe that I spend an inordinate amount of time in. But we all have our vices, mine just happens to be superhero pajamas. There's nothing wrong with that!
I begin this post with a confession - I hate shopping for pants. They are rarely short enough for me (and the petite options frequently are sold out or not as diverse in choices) and so I have to either get them tailored or destroy the hems. And since I'm a lazy person ... I frequently destroy the hems. So I find that I wear skirts more often than not. It is also hard to give good solid pants advice to others, since what pants you like are so very much controlled by body shape and height and general preferences. But, given all that, I'm going to recommend a bunch of pants below that I either (a) own or (b) I know others like a great deal - in case you are looking for some pants. Most will be work pants, but I'm going to throw some more casual pants in there for fun. Most will also be fairly traditional, full length cuts - but I will include some cropped and ankle-pants in their, because I know other people like them (they make me feel even more stunted in my growth than usual.) So here we go.
Martin Fit Straight Leg Trousers in yellow at Banana Republic
($79.50 - much like AT, I have found the quality of BR has gone down a bit in recent years, but these trousers look elegant and nicely designed and come in a variety of great colors for those interested in non black, gray, navy, etc. pants.)Halogen 'Taylor' Curvy Fit Pants at Nordstroms
($79 - I love Halogen's Curvy Fit pants, both jeans and trousers, though some readers on Corporette mentioned that the fabric on these was changed recently to be less sturdy - somewhat like the skirt - so they may not be as fabulous as they once were.)Curvy Fit Polished Sateen Bootcut Pants in navy at Talbots
($89.50 - available in Misses, Petites, Women's, and Women's Petites. Also available in six colors. Like with many of the chains, Talbots quality can be spotty, but I find their trousers generally reliable.)
Signature Glen Plaid Pant at Ann Taylor
($69.99 - gets good reviews - though AT quality is of course a worry.)Slim Cropped Pants in cobalt at Gap
($39.99 - pictured pants available in limited sizes, other colors available in more - comes in regular height and tall.)Mossimo Women's Skinny Premium Skinny Jean
($27.99 - available in assorted washes and in long, short, and regular. I have these in black and for someone who doesn't *do* skinny jeans - these are amazing. Not too tight to be uncomfortable or unforgiving, but tight enough to fit under knee high boots or look cute with flats. And the price is right.)