Weekend Open Thread

Charter Club Pants, Modern Fit AnkleSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Pictured: This is all Jessica Alba’s fault. We saw her pictured in some magazine (Self, perhaps?) wearing cute ankle-length jeans, pink Ferragamo flats, and a boyfriend sweater, and she looked adorable. So when we saw these on sale today at Macy’s, we snapped them up — for $29 we’ll try the ankle-length look, which we remember being vaguely cute from the last time it was in style. Were $55, now $29, available in sizes 4-16 in black, brown, gray, navy, and sand. Charter Club Pants, Modern Fit Ankle

-------Sponsored Links--------

Also – we already Tweeted about this earlier today, but if you haven’t been yet, check out the sale Amazon is having on women’s shoes. Serious discounts on some seriously cute shoes — we’re talking $500+ shoes marked to $56. Lucky sizes only, of course.

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Comments

  1. Why do all of the shoes featured on Amazon have such high heels? Seriously, it seems like all those shoes are 3.5 – 4 inches.

    • You’re right; most of them are sky high. Maybe that’s why nobody bought them at full price ;)

      • pinkrobot :

        also no wide widths in the sale though there are narrow widths. sadness

    • Ooooo, thanks, Corporette. Just bought a pair of $313 shoes for $47!! And their fuchsia suede flats. Awesome. For the first time in my life, my weird shoe size — 5 1/2 — is lucky!!

  2. What do people think of ankle length pants? I see them on other females and think they look adorable, but I’m 6′ tall so I’m afraid it will just look like my pants are too short…

  3. See these just make me laugh because a running joke among my friends in warmer months is “What do you call capris when I’m wearing them? Pants!” At 5’1″ most capri pants are ankle length on me. These make me think of that. It’s just an awkward length.

  4. I’m not a fan of ankle length or capris because I think they are unflattering on over 90% of women. Unless you are extremely slim, it is a hard look to pull off. I also think it shortens your leg, which most of us don’t want.

  5. No likey. I like capri’s that hit higher (mid calf), maybe with a sash belt, but these look like floods.

  6. Love them on tall, thin women like my mother. For those of us not quite so blessed, it can be very unflattering. I’m tall but I don’t think my athletic thighs are flattered by the length.

  7. From what I see around here (SoCal) floods and capris that are hemmed above the ankle bone seems to = short enough so it does look like too-short-pants. But casual only. Never see them at work.

    Flood pants here = ankle bone to mid-calf, capris are anywhere from mid-calf to just below the knee. For casual, you see them ALL the time, with flat sandals. They’re great for when you feel you aren’t as slender as you’d like to be, and you wouldn’t feel comfortable in shorts, but it’s hot out, and pants just aren’t on the menu.

  8. No capris for me.

  9. Jessica Alba is really fit and prettier than most of the rest of us, so you can’t really look at anything she wears and assume that it will probably be fine for you. Aside from that, I’m not a fan of ankle-length pants. It just looks like they got hemmed a little too much. Or, it feels that way when I wear them.

  10. really cute! I like that the look just says – comfortable and casual.

  11. I think ankle-length pants are a “cute” look. I like how they look with pointed toe sling-backs with a low heel and a pretty blouse (not tucked in). Maybe with a nice belt or a cardigan over.

  12. I’m usually not a fan of ankle pants. The only person I’ve ever seen wear them well is my friend who is fairly tall and quite thin and wears them with high heels. I feel like on most people they just look like you accidentally bought pants that are too short.

  13. Have two pairs (grey and black cords) I’ve been wearing non stop since fall, albeit mostly with boots over them once it got cold. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments. They look good with flats, and can easily be dressed up with heels.

    Not sure how I feel about the pair above though, prob smidge shorter than mine and flare out a bit too much for my taste (pairs I have taper more and follow the line of the leg). I think the taper makes the length look more intentional and less ‘flood’ like. As a long legged freak growing up who had get pants two sizes to big to avoid wearing highwaters, it took a week for me to overcome the nagging feeling that my pants were to short.

    Full disclaimer – I have a 32″ inseam even though I’m 5’6 ish and have sticks for legs.

  14. I know there’s been a lot of talk expressing frustration w/ inconsistent sizing. Last night I came across myshape dot com while chasing a jessica howard dress. Basically, you put in a ton of your measurements and it assigns you a body type….AND shows you clothes that actually fit those measurements. (It recommend the size that I’d tried on in-store that had fit perfectly, which inspired my confidence!) lol…and they had the color I wanted that wasn’t in-store!
    I’m intrigued/sold! Wish they sold all brands there though!
    Just wanted to share my newest find!

  15. finance question: has anyone used mint.com and what are your thoughts, especially on the security? I’m always a little wary of entering account numbers online.

    • divaliscious11 :

      I love Mint.com. It IS cumbersme initially in the setting up process, but once you have all of your accounts loaded, it becomes remarkably easy to use. I find after a couple months, I am now only tweaking the categarization of one off purchses, as my regular stuff fills automatically. I used quicken for many years, and always hated trying to remember to add every transaction, even when I had pocket quicken on my PDA. Since my cash purchases tend to only be things like Starbucks etc… it gives me great visibility into my spending habits etc… My only complaint is that it runs a day or two behind, but I have found that a refresh will pull your current information. If you can get through the set-up, I think you’d find it helpful. There is an iPhone app as well so if you need to do a spot check, you can.

      • divaliscious11 :

        Oh, and there are a few straggler banks/investment companies who aren’t in the system – I have one investment account that is not supported, but the seem to be coming on board…. The big ones are there (Fidelity/Vanguard/T.Rowe Price etc…)

    • I am a bit concerned about privacy, although I took the risk and entered my information, and absolutely love the program thus far. The website assures the users that the information is protected, but I do wonder how secure it really is. Think about Chinese and Russian-affiliated hackers and Google!

  16. I LOVE ankle pants, if the pant leg is slim enough. Not tapered, per se, but not the hideous (sorry capri fans) leg-shortening capri look with the wider opening. I also prefer them with flats – think Mary Tyler Moore on the Dick Van Dyke show! http://www.imdb.com/media/rm595433472/tt0054533 I think they look best with a slightly more tailored and more 60s-inspired top, but maybe that’s because while I want to be a high-powered attorney, part of me will always want to be Donna Reed …

    Also – I was going to post this as a PSA today, I bought a pair of cable knit grey flats a few years back and they have been the most versatile pair of shoes I own, esp. in winter! (Just puttin it out there…)

    • Wait, what? cable knit flats?

      • Yup! They’re SO cute. And several years later, they’re just starting to pill around the sole, but that’s because I sit on my foot.

        • jealous, those sound really cute. Wish I had a pair! I recently bought a pair of gray suede flats with a silver detail on the top and am finding them very versatile, too – wear them to work, wear them with jeans. Have gotten a lot of compliments on them.

  17. Regarding mint.com – I find it pretty cumbersome and not as flexible as I’d like. I had heard good reports so I thought it would be a easy way to keep track of expenses. No such luck. I used it only after I did research and felt very confident about the security from several sources.

  18. lawsatudent :

    What are your thoughts on perfume in the workplace? I enjoy wearing some, but wonder if even a subtle scent is too “social” and distracting. Should I avoid floral scents, musky ones, or anything else in particular?

    • lawstudent :

      Of course, I meant to type “lawstudent” as my username.

    • For me? Just about all of them, but definitely the musks and anything floral with lilies in it, as I’ll have to take the rest of the day off because of the migraine you caused me. If someone else who isn’t touching you can smell it, it’s definitely too much. If you’re at all close with your coworkers, it might be fair to ask around first to make sure nobody has allergies. I’d love to hear other opinions, too.

      • KLo, if you get true migraines from others wearing perfume (which I think is a fairly common occurrence), aren’t you debilitated by that sensitivity? I just can’t imagine getting a full-on migraine from common smells and having to take the rest of the day off. Have you tried Imitrex? I’m probably telling you something you already know, and I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but Imitrex kicks in within an hour and saves the whole lying in a dark room bit. Thankfully I do not have any smell triggers- my triggers are generally hormonal (that time of the month), and some food triggers, and occasionally a really bright sunny day will do it (I get aura with those).

        • Luckily they’re rare enough (most people, thankfully don’t wear too much perfume, or will refrain if need be) that prescription meds haven’t been worth it to me. I have a cousin who’s been on meds for years though. I imagine as I age, it will be more important (and I’ll need them down the road), but for now it’s some perfumes, lilies, and winter sun at just the right level.

          • Yeah, what is it about that winter sun? That’s what gets me too. Totally doesn’t happen in the summer. I had to get Rx sunglasses to prevent migraines driving into work in the winter. Getting a migraine aura while driving in heavy traffic on the highway with no shoulder is scary (not to mention dangerous- I lose part of my vision temporarily)!

        • I used to get about 3-4 migraines a week in college. I take Topamax as a preventative now and it has been a godsend – I only get maybe one every 2 months now. I used to still get maybe 1 every week or two, especially when stressed, even on the Topamax, but in the last few months I’ve changed my diet: nothing super-processed, as few preservatives and artificial ingredients as possible, less meat, no high fructose corn syrup, and more water (this was all for unrelated reasons) but ever since doing that I’ve been amazed at how few migraines I get.

    • I looove wearing perfume. But I leave it behind when I go to the doctor’s office (to respect people’s respiratory grief) or to work (to be professional).

      If you do choose to wear it, stay away from cheap brands, and fakes, as some people (me) can really tell, and it doesn’t reflect well on you to show up all carefully dressed according to Corporette’s genius advice, and yet smell of the latest eau d’cheap. Take advantage of department store try-ons, make a note of several that you like, then haunt the web to find a discount. Sometimes a ‘tester’ is offered at a lower price, this just means you don’t get the fancy box, which just goes in the paper recycle anyhow.

      Discount stores can be good hunting grounds. My best find was a 2/3 off Hermes perfume at Loehmann’s. I think they were changing the packaging.

      • Please don’t wear perfume to the office. I will inevitably share an elevator with you, and then 1) get a headache for the rest of the day, and 2) feel like I must now smell like whatever that smell was. So pretty please don’t do it.

    • My advice is to wear so little it can’t be smelled by someone who is not physically touching you. It should be smellable when someone hugs you, but not when they shake your hand. Get your roommate or friend to help you determine this. Generally a dab behind the ear is what it takes.

      Once you’ve got the correct amount, wear whatever scent you like.

      • I tend to buy the spray perfumes (CK One Summer and D&G Light Blue are my favorite — they smell clean with a little bit of citrus), and I’ve never exactly figured out how the dabbing works with those. After I get out of the shower, I’ll spray one pump in the air, let it dissipate a little bit and then walk through it. I’m not sure if it’s technically correct, but it’s really hard to overapply that way.

        • lawstudent :

          I like the clean, citrus smell as well, and will have to try your application method!

        • That works too. I wear a spray kind (because somehow my own perfume doesn’t bother me – I think it’s quantities, not particular smells, that make me nauseous) and I just spritz a bit behind each ear.

    • What do people think about scented moisturizers at work? I mean the ones with the heavy scents like victoria’s secret.

      • lawstudent :

        Thank you all for the helpful feedback!

        Hermes at Loehmann’s — that is a great find. I can’t afford full price for the perfume that I wear, so I may look in discount stores more often.

      • Please just don’t. I’m really smell sensitive and these make me nauseous when the assistant who sits in a cubicle across the hall from my office puts them on. A dab of perfume doesn’t smell nearly as strongly as those lotions do.

    • I think a hint of a clean, fresh perfume can be okay, but I would definitely say NO to heavy, floral or musky scents. Apply lightly in a couple places. Don’t spritz all over or the scent will end up being too overpowering. Of course, be courteous to your colleagues; if you know someone gets migraines or has bad allergies, skip the perfume and, if you can’t live without some fragrance, perhaps opt for a scented lotion or for a body spray since these are much lighter and will fade away to a tolerant level of fragrance if you overdo it.

      http://cornerofficechic.wordpress.com

    • I also get migraines from perfume if it is musky or floral. I have to be extra careful on airplanes or trains, and have asked to be moved to a different seat if someone near me smells of perfume. Because of allergies and migraines, I am of the belief that perfume should be smelled by you and your lover, no one else.

      That being said, I don’t think perfume at work is too social or distracting as long as you don’t wear very much of it. Musks and heavy florals probably have the most probability of making other people sick or offended.

  19. Can anyone tell me about the Georgina Goodman brand? I’ve never heard of it before but some of the shoes are really cute.

  20. I’m 5’2 and capris make my legs look even shorter. Husband hates them.

  21. Alas, I am not Audrey Hepburn.

  22. Any advice – are flats appropriate for a conservative office (with a suit)? I’m 5’4″ but I HATE heels with a passion. Alternatively, can anyone recommend office appropriate kitten heels that don’t have a super long/pointy toe? Thanks :)

    (Also, I agree with EM.)

    • I’m with you –I hate heels both because I’m tall and because I can’t walk in them. I think flats generally look awful, but like you, I can’t find kitten heels without an incredibly uncomfortable toe. I really like the LOOK of Talbots lower flats, but every time I buy one, it’s the same story — totally pinchy (you know what I mean) toe.

      • I’m extremely short and constantly get told I should wear heels more; however, I have no arch in either foot (congenital) and rip tendons when walking around in anything other than extremely supportive footware. My orthotics don’t generally fit in heels (and it hurts when I try), and “cute” flats don’t stay on such a flat foot. To anyone who says that heels are the only appropriate office footware, well, I’m not crippling myself for such a stupid arbitrary fashion judgement – and in my case the crippling is literal.

        Besides, I’m short enough that 5cm+ only makes me slightly less short, rather than anything approaching average!

        On a cheerier note, despite this I have a lovely selection of shoes, but I wince at the price – my newest pair of boots were 200 euros (style + orthotics = expensive) and Think! has some lovely loafers which I’d by in multiples, but they’re 150 euros +…

        • I hear and feel your pain. I have chronic plantar fasciitis in both feet and can only wear a very limited selection of low-heeled shoes. Fortunately, I am in a very technical field where business casual is usually the norm.

          I like to look at the shoes on this site, admire them, sigh, and then move on…

      • I wear flats with suits, but generally not with skirt suits – I wear pantsuits most of the time and flats/loafer type shoes look fine with those (your feet are mostly hidden anyway).

        • L from Oz :

          I wear boots or sometimes flat shoes with a strap when I’m in a skirt or dress – might not be a fashion high point, but I don’t feel my inability to conform to strange social expectations about footware should rob me of the opportunity to wear anything other than trousers.

    • I think flats can be appropriate (if absolutely necessary), although I prefer a higher heel with a suit. A kitten heel would cuter than a flat with a skirt suit, but you have to do what is most comfortable to you, especially when at work (comfort at work can mean your optimum performance, after all). It’s just that you risk looking frumpy with a lower heel if you’re not careful. It’s hard to find a nice, affordable lower heel shoe.

      I just wrote a blog post about this very subject called ‘Needing a Lower Heel is No Excuse!’. (Smile.) Check out my blog post at http://cornerofficechic.wordpress.com if you have time. Good luck.

      • Typos galore in my reply above. With my English degree, I just couldn’t let them go. I meant to say “[a] kitten heel would be cuter” and “comfort at work can mean you’re able to focus & give your optimum performance”.

  23. Hi all. I get nervous with phone calls/messages and am struggling to come up with an appropriate outgoing message- I am going to be out of the country over spring break, but am expecting (hopefully) some calls from potential summer employers! What’s an example of a professional outgoing message letting callers know you’re out of the country, won’t have access to messages, and will return on X date? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

    • Hi, you’ve reached 2L. I will be out of the country from April 1st to April 15th, and will not have access to voice mail during this time. Please leave a message and I will return your call when I arrive home.

    • I travel for work for long periods of time, and I don’t use an international phone, so I forward all my calls to my google voice line when I’m out of the country so I can at least get messages. My voicemail recording says something like “Hello, you’ve reached Erin. M. I am traveling outside the United States and although I will check messages periodically, I may not be able to return your call until I return on DATE. If this is an urgent work-related matter, please contact (my boss) at ###. Otherwise, I look forward to speaking with you after DATE. Goodbye!”

      It helps to repeat the date twice. And I really do recommend finding a way to check your messages from overseas – if you don’t have Google Voice, maybe you can dial into your voicemail system using Skype? It’s only $0.02 per minute to call the US on Skype, so it wouldn’t cost you much. Then if something is urgent, you can call the person back on Skype as well.

      • 2L, I really hate talking on the phone and get nervous, too! It’s okay to need several attempts to record your outgoing message. Record, listen, erase, repeat until it sound good. Don’t be afraid to speak slowly on your message; most folks will only hear this temporary message once or twice and won’t mind waiting to hear the whole thing.

        Have fun on spring break!

  24. I find most perfumes too obtrusive for the office, especially most of the scents from Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. I wear Philosophy Pure Grace, which is very light and consists of mostly clean notes. It comes in a body spray and a solid perfume, both of which go on lighter. The only comments I have ever received about the scent are from people wondering why I always smell like I am fresh from the shower. Such comments are especially nice to hear, considering that I tend to sweat regardless of the temperature.

    Also, I remembering reading that white floral notes in perfume are especially irritating to those with fragrance sensitivities. I believe it is a good idea to avoid any perfumes with white in the name.

  25. Graduation dress help? I’m thinking of ordering this:

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3069273/0~2376776~2374327~2374331~6014133?mediumthumbnail=Y&origin=category&searchtype=&pbo=6014133&P=1

    with a cute cardigan over it but I’m unsure what color cardi would work.

    • Do you like the crop cardigan they’re advertising on that same page, on the right, lower down? In popsicle, the color they show with the dress. The dress is beautiful, but it is very vivid, and maybe you don’t want to be introducing another color that isn’t already present.

      • I thought about that but I was afraid it was too matchy matchy and while I like it open, I’m not sure if I love the way it cuts the model at the wider skirt of the dress when closed, as opposed to the narrower waist. Hmm.

        • For events like graduation and weddings, always important to think about how an outfit will photograph, since you’ll be looking at the pix for a long, long time to come.. IMO the simpler color combo (pinky/orange + white) will phot. better. But it’s only an opinion.

    • Yellow! Or a tropical green!

  26. delurking :

    Hey guys,

    I need some motivation. I’ve been on a diet from the New Year (doing it the right way, eating healthier, counting calories and doing some exercise) and since then I’ve lost 30 lbs (215 lbs to 187 lbs). I’m 5’8”. The food bit has taken as a ‘habit’ and I’m still losing a bit of weight each week (about 1.5lbs this week) but struggling to keep motivated on the exercise front. Is anyone in a similar situation? How do you keep motivated when you know that you have another 40lbs + to lose?

    Ironically I’m now a size 12 and went shopping for some new clothes and have really loved my new size. Because of that I’m finding it difficult to push through this mini plateau to drop out of the 180s. I’m going to law school in September and really want to lose it all before then.

    Any words of wisdom?

    • Congratulations on your success — that’s a great accomplishment! With respect to exercise, I really love music, and I’ve downloaded a lot of great tunes on my Ipod. I only allow myself to listen to them when I’m exercising — that way, I have a real incentive to get out there and move. Exercise becomes something I look forward to, and something that I consider relaxing, even if I’m out running or walking. I’m constantly on Pandora looking for new music to download, and really try to find uplifting tunes (stuff that will motivate me while running). I hope you find a similar muse. Continued good luck with your efforts!

    • I’m currently doing two things to keep motivated. First, set a goal. For me it’s running a half marathon in May. I know that it will be waaay harder if I’m carring extra pounds, so that keeps me motivated to stay healthy. Second, I decided that my Lenten sacrifice would be to give up all unhealthy foods. Under normal circumstances, I’d steal a french fry off of my BF’s plate or make other little exceptions, but the whole “cheating on Lent” thing provides that extra incentive to avoid those cheats.

      Inevitably you will hit those plateaus. When you pass it, you will feel that much stronger and better. Just keep pushing through it whatever it takes. You don’t want to throw away what you’ve accomplished so far, and you get the extra benefit of becoming a stronger and more determined person (in all aspects of your life).

    • I think visualization helps, too. You should try picturing your goal — let’s say, it’s starting law school weighing 140. Picture it, imagine what you’ll wear, how you will feel, etc.

      It can be hard to continue when you like the way you look now and esp. if you like your new clothes, but just remind yourself you’ll like the way you will feel & look if you lose a bit more weight, too. I think maybe also try different fitness activities, e.g., yoga or pilates, or start jogging. And, if you can, try to just be more active generally so that if you don’t make it to the gym, you’re still moving (I find it helps to even move around the house more, doing random things, putting stuff away, etc.).
      Congrats on sticking to your resolution!

    • Congratulations on your success so far! I have recently started to lose some weight (after almost 3 years of trying to take it off!) and here are two things that come to mind that have worked for me so far: one is the Couch to 5K running program at coolrunning dot com. That was a really fun way to get moving and stay moving for a good couple of months. Although I had been going to the gym and doing a combo of elliptical and walk/running on the treadmill, I started the C25K at the beginning and it totally worked. I had a blast running the 5k I signed up for and am looking forward to doing it again (as soon as my non-running related foot injury heals)!

      I have also recently signed up with a personal trainer. I’m lucky enough live close to a new all-women’s gym that opened up, and I felt much “safer” signing up for a trainer there than at the mixed gym that I was going to. I love being able to train in a weight room not surrounded by a bunch of sweaty, grunty men trying to outdo each other on the bicep curls. I also saw results in a matter of weeks, and that is definitely keeping me motivated. I know it’s an expense, but if you can afford a personal trainer 1x/week, it’s just another way to keep you going.

      Ooh! I just remembered something else that’s making my cardio more interesting — my trainer suggested getting a heart rate monitor and we figured out my ideal exercising heart rate. Now when I do cardio I am constantly keeping tabs on myself, to make sure I’m reaching my target heart rate. I love knowing that my workout is actually going to be effective, and I’m not just spinning my wheels. Mine is by Timex. The strap that goes around your ribcage area isn’t too uncomfortable, and I got used to it pretty quickly.

      • I also recommend getting a personal trainer. Having that someone over your shoulder and to be accountable to helps alot. Also, in my experience, having a trainer allows me to exercise more effeciently – he tells me exactly what I need to do and designs a plan for me that I do on my own when I’m not with him.

    • Find the type of exercise you like best. Or, as in my case, loathe the least.

      I hate running, hate exercise class, but actually almost sorta enjoy weight-lifting, so I joined a gym with lots of those big Nautilus-type machines, and I find it’s the only workout I can make myself stick to. Not the very best for weight-loss, but good for general health, and for bone-mass.

    • I second everyone’s congrats! That’s a pretty impressive accomplishment. It’s also really fast weight loss (4+ lbs per week if I’m counting right), so I just wanted to mention that even without slacking off or “cheating” on your diet, it’s normal for weight loss to slow down as you go. Not that it’s an excuse for slacking! But for me, unrealistic goals and expectations make it easy to quit when I (not surprisingly) can’t meet them — or when I’ve accomplished enough to say, “well, at least I made it this far.” And continuing to lose 4 lbs per week is probably not a realistic goal.

      • Congrats!! I went through a similar weight loss and agree with the PPs – when you find that your determination starts to flag, it is time to shake things up, and the best way to do that is with a new exercise routine or goal. Sign up for a 10k, a half marathon, or even a full marathon, if you at all can stomach running, or go for a new class or a personal trainer.

        Also, think about how much you have already lost – even if you never get to your “magic number” you are so much healthier and more fit than you were before. At some point, give yourself permission to “maintain” your weight loss – an even more difficult task than losing weight! – even if you aren’t at your goal, and to start the weight loss again at some future point.

    • Congrats! I recommend a book called Health at Any Size. Its not anti-weight loss or anything, but I think the author advocates sensible attitudes about food and weight. That said, my attitudes are not all normal either as I calorie count with LoseIt, a great app for iphone which helps me maintain my weight. Way to go.

  27. Purpleviolet :
    • Based on the phrase “law school” I’m guessing that the poster is American, in which case size 12 is equivalent to a size 16. But all the shops sell clothes in the range to 16, so there’s plenty of great stuff out there to wear! It must be very frustrating (in the UK and Ireland, anyway) to be below 8 or over 16.

      • delurking :

        This is why I love Corporette. Thanks for all the advice guys (FYI I am a size 16 UK/12 US). However I have (always had) very large boobs (G/H) and a fairly hourglass figure so I don’t carry it terribly.

        Am looking into a personal trainer at my local gym because I think that is an amazing idea. Also looking into lots of different kinds of exercises – dance classes etc. At my biggest, I think I lacked the confidence to do that. I’ve ordered a heartrate monitor from Amazon as well!

        Hopefully will keep at it.

        • I’m glad you posted that you are large chested. I also wear a 12, and I am close to your height, but my weight is quite different than yours. I guess the big difference is in the bra!

          Unfortunately for me, when I lose weight, it all seems to come from inside my bra… :-(

  28. Hello
    I need a piece of advice regarding bargain shopping.
    I live in Africa, and will have the opportunity to spend 4 days in the US in a couple weeks.
    I have been memorizing all brans and models on corporette and am really excited at finally going to ann taylor and the like.
    Here is the deal: I will have one full day for shopping plus a couple evenings to buy as much as I can. I will have to get many pieces to build my wardrobe on a 1800 dollars budget (I can do more if necessary but I am saving for other purposes).
    Do you think it would be feasible to have satisfactory shopping on that budget by shopping sale and clearance in shops (ann taylor, BR, Macy’s) which will be near my hotel (the westin cincinnati) or do you think I should use my free day to go to the cincinnati outlet (I have no car so I’d only do it if it is really worth it)?
    what do you think?

    Cheers

    • You may want to check the malls/store’s websites (including the outlet mall’s website) to see if there are any sales going on. I can’t think of any holidays in the next couple weeks, so I don’t think there would be any major sales and clearances in the stores. So I’m not sure how far $1800 would go…

    • I would stick with the major stores near your hotel. In my experience the outlet malls tend to be hit or miss, so if you find something you may find a lot, but there is no guarantee that you will find anything at all.

    • DEFINITELY don’t put all your eggs in the outlet basket. They don’t seek to keep a stock of all sizes, so even when you find something you like, chances are it won’t be in your size. Even more frustrating is when you only find one half of a suit is available. I got a stunningly gorgeous suit blazer at one-seventh of the retail price in an outlet – but I trawled my city for weeks before I found a pair of trousers that could pass as its mate.

    • newassociate :

      can you order a bunch of stuff online now and ship it to the hotel, try it all on when you arrive, and then spend part of your shopping day doing quick returns? there’s probably better bargains to be had online, and it’s a lot faster to have all the clothes you’re interested in all there at once.

    • You might consider using a personal shopper at a major, nearby department store like Macy’s. The service is free, and the personal shopper can find your size, recommend styles, and bring items to the dressing room for you much more quickly than you could do yourself. It might be worthwhile to call or email the store in advance to make an appointment so you can get going first thing in the morning when you arrive.

      What a neat thing to be able to do! Spend almost $2000 on a new, coordinating wardrobe. We would love to see picture of your new purchase. Best of luck!

      • I am the OP.
        Thank you so much for the advice.
        I cannot order online because I do not have international payments cards. But I absolutely love Louise’s suggestion about Personal Shopper; my assumption was that you need to pay them a lot and it never crossed my mind this could be free (!)
        I sure will go to macy’s and the nearby stores. I have been saving up money for the big shopping spree so I can’t wait to actually “invest” it !

        • newassociate :

          ok, in that case, personal shoppers are the way to go. i’d probably make staggered appointment times to optimize efficiency. get professionally measured before you call so that you can give them your exact measurements instead of dealing with inconsistent sizing.

          nordstrom, macy’s, jcrew, and talbots all offer personal shoppers. call at least a week ahead and explain that you are short on time and looking to drop a substantial amount of money before you leave the country (and thus won’t be doing any returns). if you help them see how excited you are about your shopping trip, they’ll go out of their way to give you a great experience. don’t be afraid to emphasize you’re looking for value and would appreciate sale items too.

          check jcrewaficionada.blogspot.com for recent jcrew product reviews and consider posting for recommendations for a personal shopper at the specific jcrew you are going to. the JCAs will know that store and have very specific advice.

          banana doesn’t have personal shoppers, but call ahead anyway and ask to speak to a manager. explain the situation and ask for help. i expect they’ll pull outfits for you too.

          have fun!

    • Definitely don’t go the outlet route. My fiance is from Cincinnati, we’re planning to settle there, and I worked there last summer, so I’m pretty familiar with the area. The Westin is downtown, while the new premium outlets are all the way up in Middletown – almost 30 miles up I-75. I’d stick to shopping downtown – Macy’s is probably a good bet (they are headquartered in Cincinnati so the store is pretty nice). It also would probably be worth your while to get a taxi to and from Kenwood Mall, which isn’t near as far as the outlets but has a Nordstrom, Dillards, another Macy’s, AT Loft, Banana, J. Crew, Talbots, H&M, and the Limited, among others.

      Make sure you check out Skyline Chili and Graeter’s Ice Cream – two Cincinnati institutions. My favorite places to eat/drink downtown are Nada (amazing high-end Mexican) are Black Finn’s (very reasonably priced bar/food place with awesome happy hour), plus if you can make it across the river, the Mainstrasse district in Covington, Kentucky, has a couple of great places, like Chez Nora (awesome drinks, casual French/Cajun food, jazz and live music at night) and the Cock and Bull Pub. Have fun!

      • Anonymous :

        I live in Cincinnati (and occasionally work there – it’s the main office for my firm, although I work in another city typically). There are great new outlets with a Banana Republic, J.Crew, Calvin Klein, etc. north of town up I-75 (more like 20 miles than 30, but still a hike, and definitely hit or miss with selection). There is okay shopping downtown – an actual small mall, but it’s not the “best” location for any of the stores. The Macy’s is okay. I haven’t been in it for years, or the mall, so I’m not incredibly familiar with what is there currently. That said, I haven’t been in it for years because the selection was pitiful the last time I was in. There’s also a Saks Fifth Avenue downtown that is what you’d expect from a SFA in Cincinnati – not the biggest, but very good for what it has.

        An even better bet if you did want to drive might be north on 71. About 5 miles north of downtown (and within bus service) are the “Rookwood” shops – Banana Republic, Talbots, White House | Black Market, DSW, Gap, etc. No J.Crew. This is like a fancy strip mall. About 15 miles north of downtown is the Kenwood Towne Center, which is the area’s best mall – Macys (also downtown, but this is the area’s best Macys), Talbots, J.Crew, Gap, Dillards (like a Macys), Nordstrom, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, H&M, and lots and lots of great smaller stores. Of these, at least Macys, Nordstrom, and Talbots will do a personal shopper for you. Well worth a cab ride north. Not only does it have everything, but it has really the best local location for each of the stores – the most selection and most helpful people.

        And yes, Skyline Chili is a local institution, as is Graeter’s ice cream. There are a couple Skylines downtown – go in and order a “3-way”. Have fun!

        • I worked almost right on the riverfront last year, so I tend to measure distances from “downtown” from the river/state line, and had a long commute (like another 10 miles past the outlets), so I could probably list all the suburbs and whatnot at each exit almost to Dayton. I think they’re at exit 28, so that’s why I said 30, but yes, if you’re starting further from the river then it would be closer to 20. Still not worth it, though, I agree.

  29. rapid butterfly :

    I sure would appreciate some advice on the following, and apologize in advance for how basic the questions are.

    1. What kinds of tops other than button up shirts are dressy enough to wear under a suit (figure black or navy) for Court (in a conservative state in the former Confederacy)?

    2. What are the rules of thumb for sleeve / cuff showing under a suit coat? I am dreadfully tall (6-2) and long of arm (center back is like 33 3/4 ), and finding anything other than a sweater with sleeves with ample length is proving extraordinarily difficult.

    all thoughts welcome, and thank you.

    • I don’t know about your second question, but as to the first, I clerked for a judge last year and saw lots of female attorneys in court wearing a nice scoop neck shell underneath their suit. Go to Ann Taylor, AT Loft, or Banana for some pretty shells. I would also wear a nice necklace.

    • I’m just a bit shorter than you are (6’1″) and similarly built. While I try to be as dressy/professional as possible, there are just some traditional professional dress rules that I must avoid or just break (like the sleeve showing past the suit cuff) in order to maintain some sanity. I prefer to wear longer short sleeve or elbow length matte silk tops under my suit jacket – not too flashy, but nice looking. I get them in more neutral colors (light pink, ivory, gray). Target is usually a good source for them.

      I also live in the PNW so the dress codes are MUCH more relaxed here than most other places.

    • anon - chi :

      I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing a nice sweater under a suit jacket, even in a very conservative court. I also don’t think you need to worry so much about getting a shirt with long enough sleeves to let the cuffs peek out from your jacket – most people probably wouldn’t notice anyway, and there are many perfectly appropriate options with shorter sleeves (i.e. silk or cashmere shells).

      • I too am very tall (5″11) with monkey arms and legs.

        I don’t worry about the shirt poking out of suit cuff issue–if I can find a suit that doesn’t make me look like Olive Oyl, that’s an accomplishment.

        If you insist on a formal shirt, there are some shirt brands which are cut longer or in talls, but you need to be wary that the torso doesn’t get unweildy that way. Some to try: JCrew, BR, and many, many British brands (TM Lewin, Gieves & Hawkes). Some of Brooks Brothers’ Classic fit shirts have longer arms, but the ones that are non-iron tend to shrink ever so slightly (even without putting them in the dryer). Another option is to wear 3/4 sleeve shirts under suits. You really can’t tell if they are cut properly (tight in the arms).

        I second the advice that you can wear shells or sweaters. You might want to try Brooks Brothers’ silk-cashmere shells. They wear beautifully and breathe really well. As summer approaches, you might want to look into more “summer-weight” shells like silk.

        Corporette also has a thread on tall suits which you should read if you have not already.

        http://corporette.com/2009/02/23/suits-for-tall-girls/

        • Also meant to tell you, if you are overseas, go shopping in Scandinavia or the Netherlands…they have lots of tall women there, and you can find even cheap brands with long limbs. It’s worth it to detour there if you are in Europe anyway. You will save a ton by buying clothes that actually fit you off the rack….

          • rapid butterfly :

            thanks, all, for the suggestions. I will look again at Target, and hadn’t really considered BB figuring everything would be way too short (I’ll confess, in addition to the defects I already owned up to, I have a long torso too) – I’ll take a look. It’s also nice to know I’m not the only, only one with these issues. :-) I wish I could travel to Europe, but as a public interest lawyer – well I don’t think I’ll be headed there any time soon, but maybe someday.

            thanks again, everybody – and any additional input is always welcome, too.

          • On the budget-conscious side of talls, check out Benetton and also Old Navy/Gap. Benetton has sales in Jan/July (Euro schedule) and you can get full suits there for cheap. They’re Italian, so cut very long. Zara also has some cheaper pants if you don’t need a full suit. Zara Women is better quality but also much more expensive.

            You can shop tall on a budget, but it’s really hard. JCrew has a super-duper sale on right now (no returns unfortunately), so you’d have to know your sizes in their various suits.

  30. hey delurking, you’re awesome for losing all that weight! why don’t you check out http://www.noexcusesworkouts.com/ for some motivation?

  31. Business Shirts. I have been meaning to post this for all us who are over size 12. Roaman’s has some great cotton blend shirts that look very good under business suits and are surprisingly inexpensive. They are in several colors, stripes and white.

    http://www.roamans.com/clothing/Solid-and-ombre-stripe-bigshirt.aspx?PfId=32305&DeptId=9825&ProductTypeId=1&PurchaseType=0

    Or you can go to http://www.romans.com and look for shirts. Right now some of the shirts are as low as $10, it is a real good deal.