Coffee Break: Floating Feathers Scarf

Madewell floating feathers scarfI’m loving this wispy, artsy wool scarf from Madewell — love the colors and the abstract pattern. I’d use it for a pop of color and whimsy with a blazer of almost any color. Was $49, now $24.99 at Madewell. Floating Feathers Scarf

(L-2)

Comments

  1. Size Query :

    Can someone speak to the sizing for Wolford tights? After too many bad experiences with Ann Taylor and Filene’s Basement tights, I am just going to spring for the fancy ones!
    I am 5’6 and weigh 163-ish (ha). would I be a medium or large?

    • I’m roughly your size (perhaps a little taller and slightly heavier at the moment) and wear a size large. They are a bit loose on me. Not a ton, but there can be a tiny bit of extra fabric around the ankles, etc. I haven’t tried on any size mediums, but I’ve been wearing my pairs for months now (2-3 months, constant wear), and haven’t had any runs, so I’m happy with the larger size.

  2. I’ve always had my eye on many of Madewell’s scarves, but I haven’t yet taken the plunge. I buy scarves, then forget I have them and never wear them!

    • How do you store them?
      I had the same problem until I maden them more prominent in my closet (they hang off the wall now vs. folded in drawer before).

      • Folded in a drawer. You’re on to something — out of sight, out of mind. I have issues with storage with all of my clothes; I live in a tiny studio, with a teensy, stuffed-full closet. That’ll change next year though!

        • A friend of mine who lived in a storage-challenged apartment bought a magazine rack at a thrift store and used it to store all of her colorful scarves – it was really pretty. You could put a few hooks on the wall and hang your nicest scarves as sort of an art installation, and it would also remind you to wear them.

          • I bought 3M Command hooks and hung them so my scarves covered the breaker box. Easy to remove to access the box, and when I move out.

            Is there some unsightly wall you need to cover?

          • Great idea — I’ve seen the commercials for those hooks before but it never occurred to me to use them for my scarves! I’ll hop to it. I have a funky fireplace so maybe I can fashion some sort of scarf adornment around it, using the hooks. Thanks!

          • A friend of mine did something similar, but with her long necklaces. She had a nice, old key holder/rack – think a nice little decorative shelf with a row of key hooks along the bottom. She used the shelf for photos or knick-knacks and used the hooks to hang her long necklaces on to heelp them from getting tangled up in her drawers.

      • I have been really happy with Ikea’s scarf/belt/accessories hanger. Not sure what it’s called, but it has about 20 large loops, all crocheted over so there are no sharp corners to snag your scarves, and a hanger on top. It hangs in my closet and takes up zero space, but I can pull it out to find a scarf quickly without having to unroll or rummage. It was >$10.

  3. Corporate Politics - Help!!! :

    Threadjack –

    Ladies, I need your help. A recent directive at work has left me with my head spinning.

    I work in a large corporate environment, in an industry still very much run by the “old boys club.” We are pretty old school in our ways, with most employees having been here their entire careers.

    Here is my dilemma – The last few years when I’ve asked for a promotion, my boss has told me that I am doing everything right, I just need the right project to fall in my lap to give me the appropriate visibility to upper management. Now, we are a large company (80,000 employees) so it’s hard to gain this recognition on that level. I am often recognized with division awards, but senior management doesn’t seem to understand the value in the work I did to get those as apparently they are not enough for a promotion.

    A few months ago, a huge project came up for the company, and it is of the type that I have 7 years experience representing our area as a lead. I ALWAYS work on these types of projects, it’s a main part of my job, but this one is going to be HUGE with high visibility. I was assigned to the project and began work.

    Well, a few weeks ago, senior management saw my name on all of the deal information and asked that it be removed. I was told by my manager that they don’t want our division to be directly involved in this particular project. They asked that I do the same tasks I normally do in the background, but not to take responsibility for anything directly. So basically, I am to work “in the shadows.” My name was taken off all documentation and I’ve been told not to speak up and volunteer for any work.

    Their reasoning was that if the project fails they don’t want any of it leading back to us. My issue is that I will now get no credit for all the “in the shadows” work I am doing. I am also worrying it will damage my reputation with other groups if I continue to attend meetings but not volunteer to help with any tasks, and instead sort of just follow up on things in the background to make sure they are going ok and if they aren’t, well I don’t know, either I have to fix it in secret or I just say, well not my problem.

    I expressed concern with my boss that we should take an “all in or all out” approach to this and that we aren’t really adding value to be doing some “secret work” He says I don’t understand the political aspects. Well that may be, but I understand that I am getting no credit from senior management for this work I am doing, or not doing. I am not entirely clear on what to do or not to do one this… He said to do what I normally do, but just don’t tell anyone I am doing it.

    Does this make sense to anyone else? Do you guys think that I really just “don’t get it” or that the reality is I DO GET IT, and I get that this isn’t helping my career at all?

    I feel like his previous statements about promotions really being “the luck of the draw” on who gets a high visibility project and does well with it is driving so much of this. Perhaps he wasn’t even being honest with me about that. Perhaps he is trying to have me fired (I friend of mine thinks this after I told her the situation). I’m not really sure what to think of this all…

    Advice, opinions?

    • Anonymous :

      Ick. This sounds awful and really fishy. I don’t have any advice, I’m afraid, but I wish you luck and offer you my sympathies.

      • Yeah – this smells really fishy. I would be pretty concerned that the senior management wanted your name off the project, but that your closest supervisor tells you that the only way to get promoted is to get your name on things.

        My initial thought is that your immediate supervisor has your back, but the senior management don’t have faith in you for some reason.

        Regardless, is it somewhere you consider worth staying? If not, it might not hurt to keep your feelers out for other stuff.

    • surrounded by lawyers :

      Is there a reason for your boss to try to have you fired? Or laid off?

      • Corporate Politics - Help!!! :

        No, there’s not and I don’t personally think he’s doing that. He always gives me favorable reviews and seems to genuinely care about me. And I haven’t caused him any trouble in the past – I am agreable, amicable, and generally think I fit in despite being the only female.

        • surrounded by lawyers :

          OK. I have read Ann’s and CW’s comments below, and think both are good. It seems like you and your boss should be on the same side here, so the only thing that makes me think this isn’t totally innocuous is that apparently you are not. Why can’t he just tell you, in confidence, what the politics are? He is either protecting himself or someone else who he sees as more important than you. C’est la vie, but I see why you’re mad.

          One other possibility–also depressing: are you doing work above your pay grade or rank? I think sometimes companies/departments don’t credit the people who actually did some piece of important work because it looks bad if those people are more junior than those you might expect to be doing that particular work. I say this is depressing because it is a de facto punishment to people who go “above and beyond.” It stunts their career advancement and reaffirms that not only are they underpaid/under-recognized now, but that it will continue thus longer than it should. And the gender dynamic sometimes doesn’t help in this regard either.

          • Corporate Politics - Help!!! :

            I think you might be onto something with this…I think they got more than they bargained for when they hired me (or I foolishly took on this position thinking I would get promoted faster than I am).

          • surrounded by lawyers :

            Gotcha. Well, I’d say make sure in the long run that you’re not in a Catch-22: not getting promoted because you can’t take credit for your accomplishments. Set some kind of limit on your dues-paying with this job, and if it expires, make a move internally or externally. Try to make sure your boss is at least willing to give a reference disclosing the secret of how valuable you are.

    • Ugh. I have totally been where you are, and I’m sorry.

      I had a very similar conversation with my boss about 6 years ago, in the job I had then. I was looking to move up and get more responsibility and got a long-winded explanation about how I needed to “increase my visibility” in the department, I needed a big project and those mostly fall to the people who are lucky enough to draw them, etc. etc. He didn’t come right out and say “best of luck, but my hands are tied” but that was the attitude. I kept my nose to the grindstone, volunteered for some mid-level projects, and hoped for the best.

      What I didn’t find out until later is that he was one of those managers who is extremely paranoid about his own reputation and job security, and when people were asking him about giving me projects (per company protocol – those decisions always got made with the blessing of the person’s superior, even up at the VP level), he would either take the project for himself (and then attempt to do it solo, and fail miserably), or insist I “wasn’t ready” for the responsibility. As a result, my reputation among the higher-ups who doled out assignments was mud. I didn’t have a lot of opportunity for face time with them, so they were pretty much relying on my boss for information about my skills, and at every opportunity, he tried to emphasize himself and his skills at my expense (and the expense of others at my level and below in his department).

      The really bad news is that ultimately, there was no way to fix it. As long as he was stationed in between me and the higher-ups, nothing changed. I wasn’t stupid enough to do an outright end-run around him but I did some things to try to “raise my profile” and in doing so, made the friends in another department who finally told me about what was happening. I was completely enraged but bit my tongue and held on for about 6 more months. I kept getting shunted sideways into meaningless projects that went nowhere, until finally I left the company, jumping into a job that was at a level of responsibility I had been shooting for at the first company – I had ample skills to handle it, but hadn’t been given a chance under my jerk boss.

      I think now would be a good time to put your “espionage hat” on and do some asking around, of people that you feel like you can fairly trust. Take some people to lunch or to drinks and don’t outright ask “Is my boss sandbagging me” but open the conversation up so that they feel OK telling you the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is a straight-up weird situation – I understand wanting to shield your unit from bad fallout, but not at the expense of possibly getting some kudos if things work out – and I think your boss might not be telling you the whole truth. There may not be any malfeasance intended on his part, and this may not even be about you. But I think some intelligence-gathering is in order to figure out what’s going on. I am really glad I got tipped off about what was happening to me before I wasted a lot of time at that job, going nowhere. Always trust your gut – if you feel like something’s up, it probably is. Good luck and I hope things work out for you, one way or another.

    • What an awful situation. Agree with surrounded by lawyers – is there a reason why your boss would want to let you go?

      I think that there could really be non-sinister political reasons for not openly involving your group in the project, whatever they may be, and perhaps you are conflating the two because you’re frustrated (understandably).

      Regardless, it doesn’t sound like he is particularly concerned with moving your career forward. If you have all the work skills you need to be promoted, could the hold up be personality conflicts with people at work? I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but I think that women are often penalized, much more than men, for interpersonal issues. Plus, you work in an old boys club that may have notions of how women should act.

      Side note – on the interpersonal conflicts front, I was once told by a former boss that I didn’t “suffer fools gladly” as a criticism in an annual review. I remember thinking, “who does? And are my male co-workers being told the same thing?”

    • This is somewhat non-specific, but, since you work for such a large company, can you consider trying to change departments/teams/groups/etc? Even if your boss and the people around you are not actively trying hold you back (as some people have suggested, but you seem not to think is the case), you might find that you have better luck with a different group of people.

    • Is there a legal reason tehy maybe dont want your department on the emails, some possible future discovery disaster that could occur?

    • This sounds terrible, and everyone else is giving better advice than I can, but I would add (as a future employment lawyer) document, get as much in writing as possible, and start looking for other jobs. You never know if you will want to sue them later, and you never know if there is a better organization out there that will provide you with greater opportunity.

      • Anonymous :

        Typing quicky, so please excuse any typos. A few thoughts:

        1) “The last few years when I’ve asked for a promotion, my boss has told me that I am doing everything right, I just need the right project to fall in my lap to give me the appropriate visibility to upper management. ”

        Your boss has some control over the projects that ‘fall in your lap’ and can direct quality projects to you. Are others that he supervises getting quality projects?

        2) Is your boss the only source of information on this? You should be able to have conversations (about your career track) with others at his level or above, especially if you have been with the company for a while and have received good reviews. Do you have a mentor?

        3) “I’ve been told not to speak up and volunteer for any work… if the project fails they don’t want any of it leading back to us.”

        If the project fails your involvement will be rememberd by someone (or everyone) despite the fact that your name doesn’t appear on documents.

        If you want to move up, you need to already be doing the work at a level above (at least). If you’re looking for a leadership position you need to be a leader. You need to own your work, take control of the situation and figure out how to work the politics to your advantage. Trust me, I know it isn’t easy (I work for a major global bank). However, those who are succesfull know how to take risks and move up; they know how to bend the ‘rules’ just enough. Of course, at the end of the day the bending that you’re comfortable with may be directly proportional to the number of kids that you have or the amount of debt that you’re in.

    • I think just working in the background is a bad move. Everyone besides your boss will be wondering what you are working on, and may even think that you don’t do anything. That definitely wouldn’t help with a promotion. I would put in for a transfer or pass on this assignment if you can’t get a better explanation from your boss.

    • divaliscious11 :

      So how attuned are you to the politics at your workplace in general? Is it possible that the other team is being tested, but they’d like you make sure the project doesn’t get messed up?

      More realistically it sounds like the senior leadership doesn’t have ny faith in you, and possibly your boss. One thing I’ve learned is that you have to have an advocate, outside of your boss, in order to advance, and at the senior levels of the organization where you work. I qualify with where you work, as you may be at a division of a larger organization, and you have to build local support to push ahead.

      Is there anyone in senior management or at your bosses level that you can talk to, as a sounding board, about your strengths, weaknesses and your perception in the organization, and more specifically in the senior leadership? It may be that you think you are ready, but they do not, and it may be that you need to be an absolute rockstar at your current level, versus competent, to move up. Not suggesting you are merely competent, but I am reminded of the premise that as women, and (for me as a woman of color) we have to be better, strong, faster (cue Bionic man/woman theme) because there won’t ever be true equality until a mediocre woman/person of color can rise as far as a mediocre white man.

      • Thanks Divalicious. Sought out a senior exec parallel to my boss. Dwelled and second-guessed myself and worried it was career suicide, now I think it was smart :-)

  4. Threadjack–

    I’m an associate at a big Texas firm. One of my favorite partners (for whom I’ve done a lot of work) is leaving to go to another, more prestigious firm. I’d like to give him a nice “goodbye” gift without leaving the impression that I’m really just trying to get a job with him at the new firm–I definitely don’t want to go to his new firm. A nice bottle of wine is always an option, but wine seems like an impersonal gift. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  5. Corporate Politics - Help!!! :

    I don’t know how much you want to spend on this gift, but I think a nice desk clock might be something a little more “memorable” than a bottle of wine. I was given one after helping out on one of those above mentioned past projects and I really liked it!!! I would think you could get one for 30-50 bucks.

    If you want to go bigger…tickets to a local event like a play/concert/sporting event would be nice, yet may be too pricey to be appropriate.

    At my company, we tend to give company branded items when the person leaves, but I don’t personally think people feel it’s appropriate to bring their firm X portfolio/laptop bag/coffee mug with them to the next gig. Is your company planning on giving a gift like that?

    • Thanks! I agree with the branded items. I’m sure he’s getting something with our firm’s name on it…why he’d display it at a rival firm is unclear to me. I appreciate your suggestions.

  6. threadjack/rant: any tips for handling repeated rejection on job interviews? I’m getting really frustrated by it. Last night I sent in my response to an assigned writing test for a job I was interviewing for (well within the time frame they wanted a response in) and got a rejection e-mail this afternoon telling me they had decided to go with another candidate, which is so frustrating because it makes me feel like they had already made up their mind last week and didn’t even bother looking at my submission. It’s the latest in a couple of interviews for jobs I know I was qualified for and would do well, and while I know there are a lot of other equally qualified candidates out there, it’s getting hard to keep an upbeat attitude and the repeated rejection is getting a little depressing :-( Any suggestions?

    • Even HR professionals I know admit that it’s a numbers game most of the time. I know it doesn’t help much, but hang in there!

      One place that I find encouraging to just flip through and read articles, etc. is theladders.com. (No, I’m not affiliated with it in any way.) So much about job hunting takes a skeptical, prove-yourself-but-we-won’t-give-you-the-chance-to-actually-do-so tone. The articles there are much more “hey, you’re a normal person and are going to be an asset once you find a company smart enough to catch on to what you’re offering”. And they helped life my mood during the hunt, at least.

    • No advice other than to agree that it sucks.

      It’s draining, but try to view each rejection as an opportunity for improvement. Always follow-up with thank you’s and ask for any feedback as to why the other candidate was selected (it makes you sound mature/professional and you may even learn something that will help you in your next interview).

      Another piece of advice I’ve heard is to treat your search like a part-time job with roughly fixed hours. Set aside the time to really look for jobs, send resumes etc, but when you’re not doing that, don’t do it. Pursue your hobbies and enjoy your free time. I know that’s very difficult to do when you’re stressed out about finding a job, but you deserve some time to yourself. And it will make the time you do spend actively searching more productive.

      • Agreed. With the 24-hour flow of information and the internet, it’s very easy to let yourself just be glued to a computer and constantly checking and re-checking job sites. Set yourself a certain time to sit down and check your favorite job sites (personally, I prefer the evening since most stop posting new listings after about 5pm so I won’t feel like I missed anything that day).
        Otherwise try to find some other activities that you enjoy that you may not have time for while working – find a favorite daytime TV show (hello cooking shows!), catching up on your movie watching/renting and reading, get outside for a walk or a run.
        I know it’s hard to keep plugging away, but my dad put it well when I was getting pretty down about the same thing a few weeks ago – “If you just don’t try, you’re guaranteed to not find anything. But if you keep trying, then you at least have the chance of getting something.”

    • thanks, all. I’ll keep at it. This too shall pass, I suppose. I see a lot more ads for people with 3-4 years experience now, so maybe they’ll start hiring lower level lawyers again soon?

  7. Too Young For Scarves? :

    Are scarves (for flair, not warmth) a generational thing? I feel like a flight attendant everytime I try to wear one, and I don’t know anyone my age (30) who wears them. They look nice on the older female partners, but I can’t imagine wearing one. Although Betty Draper does make scarves look cute…

    • I’m 29 and like scarves, but I don’t wear the like 20″ square ones that my mom used to wear in the 80s/90s with her brightly colored suits. I like the long ones that I can wrap a few times or the infinity ones– they’re more contemporary.

    • I think you have to own the scarf. Last summer (as an summer associate at a big law firm), I was super paranoid when doing this — but I wore a silk square scarf around my neck with a suit, and got lots of compliments/looked brilliant. Also, certain color schemes look more flight-attendant-y — i.e. navy skirt suit/red scarf.

      (I am 23).

    • I’m 30 and wear scarves probably 2-3x per week. I tend to go for longer, more substantial, pashmina-esque ones.

      Check out high school students for inspiration (although obviously don’t wear what they wear). Scarves are really huge right now among teens.

      • Too Young For Scarves? :

        I actually love that look – casual tank/tee with a twisty scarf. It’s just wearing the scarf with a collared blouse/blazer that I’m not quite comfortable with. I suppose I’ll have to give it another try.

        • I think scarves are very versatile – a nicer scarf can dress up an outfit, or a more casual one can dress it down. Depends on how you drape it, or how fancy the scarf itself is.

    • Anonymous :

      You can also look to Western continental Europe for models on scarves (mainly France and Italy, I think)

    • I’m older than you and I, too, feel traditional silk scarves can be aging. I have a few I really love, so I tie them to my handbags occasionally just to get some wear out of them. Other than that, I mainly wear long scarves – the kind you might wear with a coat – as a vertical element in my outfits.

      Une femme has tutorials on scarf-tying for various shapes of scarves:

      http://www.unefemme.net/search/label/Scarves

      but then again, as her blog title indicates, she is ‘of a certain age’.

    • I am 28 and wear a scarf of some kind almost every day from fall through spring, but nearly always one of the longer rectangular ones. Pashmina-ish in winter, and I have some lighter cotton and silk ones for warmer weather. Still can’t figure out what to do with the square ones, though. I was once asked “what’s with architects all wearing scarves?” but I don’t really have a good answer or really know how to take that.

  8. Associette :

    After recently purchasing a dress from Madewell, I began to wonder whether the store was the “juniors” version of J.Crew? Thus, I find it reassuring to see a post on this scarf from the store.

  9. Another Threadjack–
    Someone just sent an email to me that should have gone to someone else. They forwarded an email I sent them, with commentary that I’m certain they did not want me to see. I’m in a position to confer a benefit onto this person, but after reading the email I am a little annoyed by them and no longer want to help them out. At the same time, I recognize that this email was not intended for my eyes, so maybe I’m being too hard on them.
    My question is, do I say anything? They haven’t sent a follow-up email apology or acknowledging the mistake, so I’m assuming they didn’t realize it yet. If you were in a situation where you sent a sensitive email that was critical of someone you want help from, would you want that person to acknowledge it, or pretend it didn’t happen?

    • Return it and Just say, You sent this to me by mistake. If the email was discussing you, believe me they will both know before the day is out.

      How mortifying/rude for/of them. She will most liekly come and apologize if she really wants your help

    • So your email was to person X, and then person X forwards it to person Y saying, “Look what AB just sent me… [negative commentary on what AB wrote to X]“, and you are in a position to help out X?
      I am just trying to make sure that I have this right.
      I would be totally annoyed as well. I would re-forward the email to X and say, “I think you sent this to me in error.” And say nothing else.
      Additionally, I don’t know what type of benefit you are in a position to confer, but if the email suggests that X is undeserving of the benefit, then don’t confer it. Of course, sending the wrong email to the wrong person is reason enough to doubt X’s abilities…

      • eaopm3, you have it exactly right. Also yes, they are asking me a favor in the original email, and though the negative stuff doesn’t suggest they are undeserving, it annoys me enough that I don’t want to help them anymore. At the same time I don’t want to be petty and thin-skinned.

    • I agree with the above suggestion to reply and say something neutral like, “You sent this to me by mistake.” Honestly, I would also think that you would hold this against the person. But, at least the sender will know why you no longer want to help him or her out, and hopefully this will be a lesson.

      Having said that, I guess I think that this can be a matter of what was said in the email. If it was snarky commentary (e.g. “Can you believe what this crazy b*** is saying?”), then I agree with myself. If it says something more like “Do you understand what she was going for here?” then you shouldn’t hold it against the person.

      But, from the tone of your post, I’m assuming the commentary was the former.

      • The comment was more along the lines of “I don’t like what she has to say here, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know what she’s talking about anyway, but FYI this is what she said.”

        • You are for sure not being too critical of them if it was something rude about you. If it was something like the example given above like, “do you understand what she wants me to do here?” I would be less upset, but it is still a major blunder to 1. send it to the wrong person, and 2. put anything in writing you wouldn’t want on the front page of the NY times. I would absolutely acknowledge it, both to make you feel better and to teach the person a lesson (not in a snarky way, but in a real way, this is a good lesson to learn.)

        • Anonymous :

          Screw ‘em. They’ll just continue saying those things about you, and you don’t need to put yourself out there for people like that.

        • I think you are totally right to hold something of that tone against him/her.

        • balancingact :

          I’d reply with history and say “Thanks for the note. I’m afraid that x isn’t possible. Please call me if you’d like to discuss”.

          • Eep! What if they take you at your word and actually call? Do you respond honestly and say that you’re offended by the e-mail, or do you have to be political and make up something?

        • I don’t think you are overreacting at all. That is really rude. Why does this person want your help in the first place if they don’t think that you know what you are talking about?

          I don’t think you would be out of line to reply and say something like, “I think you sent this to me in error, but I gather that you no longer need my assistance with x. Feel free to call me if you would like to discuss this further. “

          • Let it go. We are asking ourselves many times if we are too sensitive to a situation. What would our male colleagues do? likely see the email and the favor as two unrelated issues and move on.

            If you don’t want to do the favor, don’t do it. But no need to forward the email back to the colleague and let them know they made a mistake, or passive-aggressively hold on to some secret grudge.

          • Anon from above…

            and one more thought–I think it’s even worse to connect the two events (mis-sent email and lack of doing the favor) in a message back to the colleague. That seems equal to me as admonishing a small child and has no place in the office ‘e.g. you did ‘x’ so therefore I am not going to do ‘y’ for you even though I was planning on doing it before.’.

            It’s not your place to teach the colleague a lesson.

    • A version of this happened to me this weekend on a personal email, and it hurt my feelings initially, but as I told my husband, it was sort of a gift in that I no longer feel a sense of obligation to the person. You have been freed from doing her any favors.

  10. What a gorgeous wool scarf! I’m loving it.

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