Coffee Break – Patent Leather Trimmed Stretch Belt

Lauren By Ralph Lauren Patent Leather Trimmed Stretch BeltI often talk about belting a cardigan, and this stretch belt on sale at Bloomingdale’s would be just the thing to do it. I like that it’s trimmed in patent leather but is otherwise a stretchy fabric, and I like that it comes in both navy and white. It was $38, now marked to $28.50 at Bloomingdale’s. Lauren By Ralph Lauren Patent Leather Trimmed Stretch Belt

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Comments

  1. Lovely. I wish they had free shipping.

  2. anonymous :

    So. I’m a frequent-reader and infrequent commenter, and I’m having an issue.

    I think I’ve developed a crush/infatuation on my boss. I have no desire/fantasy to actually *be* with my boss — I’m in a happy, committed long-term (7+ years) relationship. But, lately I’ve found myself thinking about my boss off-the-clock and in decidedly non-business situations.

    In some ways, developing a crush on him isn’t entirely surprising — I’m not someone who thinks that all attraction comes to a stop once you’re with “the one.” And my boss is really an all-around wonderful guy. I completely respect and admire him, we get along with ease, he is considerate and takes an interest in my career development. And I spend more than 40 hours a week with the guy which is *tons* more time than I spend with my guy.

    But I really, really, really would like to just keep this well-functioning business relationship chugging a long — solely as a boss-subordinate thing. I don’t want to ruin a good thing (awesome bosses are hard to come by) and I already find myself feeling awkward around him and trying to avoid one-on-one situations with him — cause otherwise I seem to find my mind wandering. Not a good thing for my career.

    Any tips on how to nip this RIGHT NOW? Or at least how to act? Or do I simply need to wait it out and let the crush pass? Totally at a loss and just need some corporettes to talk some sense in to me.

    • Anonymous :

      It’ll pass. Wait it out, don’t act on it. These things are normal and will probably seem silly in retrospect.

    • It will pass. One suggestion: find a way to reinvigorate your relationship with your significant other – go on a day hike, try ballroom dancing, etc. Bring your attention back to why your relationship is so awesome.

    • Former 3L :

      I’ve often seen advice to think about the person doing boring, quotidian, semi-gross stuff (sitting on the toilet, clipping toenails, etc.). Makes the “exciting” part of the crush go away more quickly, is the thinking.

    • Don’t do it.

      You will regret it if you break up. Besides, chances are he will NOT think of you as a romantic partner after so many years, you are the girl next door. Besides, you did not say if he is married. You do not want to break up any relationship he may have with his girlfriend, either, if he is not married.

      • I forgot to add that I think you may be just tired of your own boyfriend. After all, you have been with him over 7 years and you are not married to him. Mabye you are just getting sick of not being married and you need a change.

        Even if people are married, there is still the so-called “Seven Year Itch” when people are too used to their spouses and they then start looking at other men and women.

        No, I think you need to re-evaluate your own relationship with your boyfriend, and if need be, get rid of him and find a guy who excites you, but not your boss. We need to draw the line between business and pleasure, and we should not look to our bosses for sexual fulfillment.

        • Anonymous :

          Play the tape all the way forward. You get together with him. So, now what? Truth be told, after you have slept around a bit, it loses its excitement. So, now you cheated on your man, and wrecked your job with what could turn out to be a disappointment (picture what a disappointment would look like, a really small disappointment.) What if your man finds out? Now you went from two to zero. Nah…

          • “picture what a disappointment would look like, a really small disappointment.”

            Ahahahahaha!! I had that happen more than once in my dating days. Chances are, Mr. Wonderful is not as wonderful as you think he is, OP, and the process of finding that out will cause a lot of wreckage.

            The occasional crush on someone else is normal for long-term relationships. I’ve had them and I know my husband has had them too. It happens. It’s like a dirty secret of long-term relationships – sometimes you get a crush on someone else, and you can use it to jazz up your relationship a little. Now is a good time to get reconnected to your partner and let the crush run its course (and it will, don’t worry). No matter what, don’t act on anything. Don’t start flirting with Mr. Wonderful even if you’re sorely tempted. Six months from now, you’ll look at him and probably wonder “What was I thinking???”

        • Why does everyone assume all women want to get married? Some people are able to commit fully without being married and have no interest in it. For many people, there is no innate change that occurs when you get married- they’re already living together and sharing as they would if they were a married couple.

      • AnonInfinity :

        I don’t think OP wanted to act on it, just that she wanted to get rid of the uncomfortable feelings.

        • I think she is be bored with her 7 year boyfriend. She should figure out why he hasn’t married her by now, and seriously consider giving him an ultimatum=> marry me or leave. 7 years is enough to be in a non-committed relationship. As my dad told me in the very same context with my ex-boyfriend after only 3 years, when I told him marry me or leave, he left. I was much better off because of it. He told me he never would have married me, so it was better that listened to my dad, and I made it an issue sooner rather then later.

          • …maybe the OP doesn’t want to be married? It’s not the be-all, end-all for everyone. She hasn’t expressed any unhappiness with her non-married state.

    • Just take a deep breath and let it pass. It’s normal, and common.

    • Anonymous :

      Carolyn Hax of Tell Me About It just wrote about this. A stickier sitch than yours but same answer. Google ‘hax’ ‘hormones’ ‘boss’, etc. Love her.

  3. Is it possible to belt cardigans/sheaths/etc. if you don’t have much of a waist? Everytime I belt something, I feel like it just draws attention to the fact that my waist is 1) not very narrow and 2) kinda soft. But every fashion magazine I read says belting things will “do wonders” for my figure…

    • Have you tried to place the belt on different parts of your waist? The part right below the ribs tends to be the narrowest.

      • Yes, that’s where I try to do it, but then I feel like I “muffin top” over and under the belt. But if I loosen it, it slides down. It just may not be possible for me to fake an hourglass figure with a belt. Ah well.

      • With sheaths I often will try to put it right on the lowest part of my ribs (sounds like a bit higher than others)–sort of a fake empire waist. It also helps to experiment with the width of the belt. Sometimes a wider or narrower belt will make a world of difference. I’ll also play with how tight I have it. Switching out with something that’s not stretching (like a snakeskin or leather) or putting a stretchy one on a different notch will sometimes help, too. It takes a lot of playing around sometimes. I keep all my belts together on a belt hanger and end up rotating a bunch in front of my mirror. I sometimes find it takes swapping out 3 or 4 before I feel comfortable with how it looks. Wish I had a better feel for what works so I wouldn’t have to spend so much time “playing dress up.” :)

        • Interesting – I confess that I gave up on belts after trying just a few, and none of them were stretchy. I ought to go play dress up at the store with a few stretchy belts and see if that helps. Thanks for the advice all!

          • How about belts/belting for ladies with big busts. I have a small waist, but a large bust. I find that all belting does is accentuate my large chest. Has anyone come up with a solution to this?

          • Anon as well :

            I’m wondering about the big bust as well.
            When I belt any dress or cardigan I Joan Holloway through the office.

    • Try belting below the cardigan – as in, just belt the dress and put the cardigan on top. You might be more comfortable with that method.

  4. Runnin' for it :

    Now this is only available in white.

  5. What to Wear? :

    I am interviewing for a job that has potential to be my dream job next week. It is in another state, and I am flying in the night before the interview. I have extended family in the area and thought that I would be meeting them for dinner the night before the interview. Surprise, HR calls me today and tells me that my potential boss wants to pick me up from the airport, take me to the hotel and take me out to dinner. Of course I said that it sounded great, but this makes me really nervous. I have already spoken with potential boss a couple of times over the phone, and she sounds great, but this is really unexpected. Now, for the real question. What do I wear? I am thinking suit, but wanted to get the hive’s view.

    • I vote most formal interview suit for interview day and a different suit that’s slightly less formal to meet future boss in. For me, this would be a black suit interview day, and a light gray suit on the plane. I might not wear the full suit on the plane (definitely not the jacket, at least) – I’d probably try to change before exiting the gate area to meet boss.

    • I think it depends on the job. If this job is likely to involve business travel, especially travel where you’d have to wear business attire on the plane, then suck it up and wear a suit (or trousers and a blouse, and put the jacket on when you deplane). If the job won’t involve travel, I’d go ahead and wear something more comfortable, if you don’t have a comfortable suit. Definitely not jeans – upscale business casual.

      Be careful not to wear a fabric that will wrinkle during travel, and wear comfortable but professional looking shoes – remember that your feet are likely to swell during travel, and you’ll have to traipse around the airport. You could always wear sneakers and change out of them before you exit security, too.

      • Anonymous :

        I vote for flats, or sneakers, any time you’ll be in an airport. The tragic bombing in Oslo was a sad reminder that no place is truly safe, and the ability to run from danger should never be overlooked.

        • Anonymous :

          Edited – rather than tragic bombing in Oslo, the tragic events in Norway.

        • Anonymous :

          That’s an argument for always wearing flats. I recommend “Fearless” by Gavin de Becker for discussions on odds of bad things happening and living one’s life anyway. One thing people forget, though, that does help is if you’re evacuating a building (earthquake, fire, flood, etc), for heaven’s sake take your heels off to go down the stairs (carry them for when you get outside). Evacuation goes a lot faster.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m anonymous from 4:07 – I do always wear flats, actually :) I just figure not everyone is going to be that extreme!

        • I never wear flip flops on a plane for the same reason. Just wanted you to know you’re not the only one thinking this way.

          • another anon :

            I never wear flip flops while flying, but it’s because I don’t want to step on the nasty floor at security with my bare feet.

          • Absolutely. You’re not likely to survive a plane crash if the plane’s high in the air, but that’s not likely to happen anyway. If the plane has problems at takeoff and landing, you have better odds if you are wearing shoes you can run in. Luckily it’s still not likely, though!

            But what’s with bosses who want to pick up or take to the airport? It drives me nuts and adds to an already-stressful experience. Good luck with the interview though!

  6. Pregnancy related threadjack, so please forgive and skip if this is not your thing…

    We are ttc. I didn’t have tests handy this month, so my numbers might be wrong – but – by the calendar I’m about 5 dpo and I’m having certain “symptoms”, started two days ago – swollen and terribly sensitive on top (avoiding moderation…), peeing constantly, bloated and constant cramps. These are not my usual PMS symptoms, and I’m not due for another 9 days or so. So – could this mean I’m pregnant? Or is it still way too early to be getting symptoms? Hubby says I’m crazy and it’s all in my head. And maybe I am…?

    In the same vein, can anyone recommend pregnancy related blogs/forums so I can take all my craziness elsewhere?

    • Not crazy at all. I mean, a lot of things besides pregnancy can cause those symptoms, but pregnancy can cause them too. I know women who had morning sickness and other pregnancy-related problems within 2-3 weeks of conceiving. Other women have zero symptoms until they start to show, sometimes even still getting a “period” – everyone’s different.

      There are at-home pregnancy tests that you can take as early as the week before your period is due, although I think it’s generally recommended to wait until after your period is due for the most accurate results. If you’re dying to find out, a blood test done in your doctor’s office should give you accurate results now. Perhaps see if she can squeeze you in for an appointment? You shouldn’t even have to see the actual doctor, just a medical assistant for the blood draw, and they could call you with the results.

      Good luck!

    • I am about 6 weeks pregnant. I became suspicious during the week that my period was supposed to start because I was starving, peeing constantly and experiencing a lot of muscle soreness after exercise. Symptoms started maybe 7 dpo. I didn’t take the test until about 14 dpo. SO it’s possible that you’re right! I suggest thebump for pregnancy/ttc distraction. It isn’t great, but it’s the best I’ve found so far.

    • My doctor said “you aren’t pregnant until you are late” and it really helped manage the crazy guessing during the two weeks when you don’t know. I would not take a home pregnancy test until you are late, because you really can’t trust the results until then (even the tests that promise to tell you 5 days early). There are lots of people in your shoes on the birth month boards at babycenter(d0t)com. Just figure out which month you would be due if you got pregnant this month and check out that board.

      I did not have any symptoms until 1 day after I missed my period, but I think it is possible to have them earlier. Keep in mind that the second your thoughts turn inward, to how you are physically feeling and what might be going on inside of you, you start to notice all sorts of things that may have been there before, but you didn’t notice. You can make yourself nuts this way.

      • Amen to this (noticing symptoms that you may or may not actually have). I’m 9 weeks pregnant and as hard as it was, I didn’t test until I was one day late. My rationale? The test isn’t 100% accurate prior to missing your period. Why would I subject myself to a (potential) false negative and then spend however many days wondering “Was it the test that was wrong? Or am I not actually pregnant?”

        Also, I second babycenter(dot)com. Check out the “birth board,” the message board for the month that you would deliver your baby in 2012. But be forewarned, it’s the biggest time-suck I’ve ever seen.

    • Anon for this :

      In the selfish interest of keeping all things pregnancy related off this site, I would recommend Sheknows dot com. the mesage boards are full of women with only babies on their minds. Suited me well when I was ttc.

      • Anonymous :

        Love this site for reccommendations and learning new sites. But, I am not a baby person and don’t mind the baby/wedding threads.

        They’re not any different than any other threads to me. If you’re into it, you read it, if not, your scroll. Apologizing for them specially or asking them to go elsewhere seems sexist against our own sex. I hope we don’t ghettoize.

      • Yes to Curly Fries :

        I agree with Anon for this. I think its one thing to ask pregnancy questions related to work. I also think the relationship and wedding discussions are also fine because they are generally related at least to the juggle. But I actually think just TTC threads are in a different category. It’s called mommyblogging. There are hundreds of boards specifically about this and honestly, the threads are not related to work and very repetitive and also more exercises in reassurance than substantive questions. Saying “I’m TTC and there are work issues” is one thing. Even a “what strategies do you have in place to deal with the anxiety while TTC?” is appropriate. But “TTC is so stressful. Let’s journal my fertility ups and downs on a work-related board” seems too far. Sorry to be blunt but it’s unwelcome, at least to me. This is not a TTC forum. I think that the OP should use the google, find a forum, and post daily updates of her every anxiety and care, the size of her boo bs, her internal temperature, her love making strategies, her diet, the emotional highs and lows and the marital impact of TTC. There is a need for this which is why these forums exist. But I think if this became the norm on corporette, it would become a mommyblog. Which it isn’t.

      • Still Trying :

        I agree for my own selfish reasons. As someone who has been TTC unsuccessfully, this blog is a nice escape from all the discussions about pregnancy symptoms. I’ve got no issues with discussing pregnancy as it relates to work but please let’s not go further than that. There are a million sites where people are more than happy to talk about that.

        • Maybe instead of complaining, you guys can direct the OP (and others) to a quality forum for this type of discussion? You seem very knowledgeable on the issue, and that would actually be productive.

      • I agree. The problem is, when you’re TTC (unsuccessfully for several years), it is one thing to avoid going to TTC-centric sites. Some people aren’t even able to do that. But once you’re on a site that is supposed to be about corporate fashion/etiquette/etc. that has mixed conversations in every single thread, it’s almost impossible just to skip the ones that suddenly pop up re: TTC. It’s in your face, you feel like you have to read it whether you want to or not. Now that it’s happening much more frequently, I’m not sure I can stick with this blog. :( Especially now that it’s started to be not about maternity leave or childcare planning (which I think are at least relevant), and more frequent posts about TTC/DPO questions are starting to come up. Pretty soon I feel like I’m going to see posts about what is really a pink line and what’s not. I can’t take it.

        • Yes to Curly Fries :

          Agreed. Sorry to pile on but the question is completely inane. How would we know if the anon poster is pregnant? How is polling online strangers possibly going to yield *knowledge*? The post is inappropriate here. I think I can demonstrate this by analogy:

          Dear Corporette, I have not had a period for three months. Last night I had slight stomach cramps, a faint white discharge in my knick knacks, a bloaty feeling and also felt v horny. Do you think my period might be due? Why don’t you Corporettes list all of your pre menstral symptoms ever and we can guess whether or not it’s my time of the month?

          - This is exactly what Crazy wrote. Can anyone else see why this should not be welcome here? I think it says something really depressing about professional women if we genuinely can’t keep this off the board.

  7. Another threadjack that some of you might wish to ignore:

    What websites or other resources would you suggest to a Corporette who wants to spend as little time as possible planning her wedding without hiring someone to plan it for her? All the sites I’ve seen so far seem geared towards brides-to-be who want to spend much more time and thought on this than do I. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband-to-be very much and I do want to celebrate our wedding with family and friends (i.e., I don’t want to elope). However, I’m not the type who has been dreaming of her fairytale wedding since she was a little girl and most of the websites I’ve seen so far seem geared toward that type of woman. The rest seem to be geared toward “alternative” types, and they’re too…um… alternative for my taste. I think I’m looking for a mainstream wedding without the frou frou – something tasteful but simple. Thanks!

    • weddinggakwer dot com shows posts from a ton of different wedding-themed blogs, and a lot of them are DIY or quirky/simple/homemade wedding type blogs. I’d start browsing around there for websites you like. (I’m not even engaged but I love looking at it anyway, such cute photos!) Good luck and congratulations!

    • I think I had a very similar attitude to what you’re describing; I found the indiebride forum to be really helpful. There are definitely resources there for the alternative set, but I got lots of ideas/resources for my vanilla, black tie wedding there too. An excellent hive mind with lots of smart women (and men!).

      Hang in there as you deal with wedding types. We got very sick of everyone telling us it would be THE MOST EXCITING DAY EVERRR!!!1!!!1!, but ended up with great vendors who were not psycho (in large part due to recommendations on the board). I am really incredibly relieved that part of my life is over, though.

    • I know EXACTLY what you mean! I planned my wedding in under three months two years ago, while preparing my law school applications and working full time. I just did not want to spend my life obsessing over the font on my invitations, but I still wanted a nice wedding. There was one blog at the time – something like low key bride? – that was good, but there was very little out there. Those who don’t want to spend their lives planning the Big Day generally don’t blog about it, kwim?

      My savior was one of those wedding planning books – I think it was called the Instant Wedding Planner or something like that. It was blue and half the size of the regular books (it ACTUALLY fit in my purse!). It was geared towards people planning their weddings in a rush and had the basic checklists of what you have to do and the least amount of time you could do it in. I used as my basis and winged it from there. I also spent an afternoon at B&N leafing through all the wedding magazines and books to get some inspiration, but that’s about it.

      The other book I recommend is the Paradox of Choice. Main lesson – it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to fit your criteria. :)

      In the end, everything went great, and two years later we are happily married. Despite the fact that we had no ice sculptures, personalized favors, or hand stamped anything.

    • That pretty much describes me to a ‘T.’ I kept it simple by finding a basic checklist on theknot.com. First, I eliminated everything that seemed like more effort than it was worth/nonessential. Once you make that decision, don’t second guess yourself!

      We had a seven-month engagement, which was a huge blessing in disguise. Having a short time frame didn’t give us the luxury of researching and over-thinking everything to death, which DH & I are both prone to doing. We made a decision that satisfied us both and simply moved on.

      We had a lovely wedding, IMO. Yes, it was pretty mainstream, but it accomplished what we wanted it to.

    • apracticalwedding (dot) com might be of interest.

      Some general planning tips to minimize effort/time:

      1. Find a venue that has everything you need (as opposed to having to hiring a catering company, rent tables, etc.). They will also have recommendations for photographers, DJ’s/bands, rehearsal dinner spots, etc. This is a great way to identify possible vendors without spending time searching for them.

      2. Re vendors: do as much research as you possibly can online, pick out your favorites, and minimize the amount of time you spend looking at venues, meeting vendors, etc by contacting them for prices beforehand. Pretty much every single venue/vendor was willing to email us their price list before we even met with them. It was a great way to narrow down options without expending more than a few hours on the internet. Then we met with only those vendors that we liked and were within our price range.

      3. Re money/general tip: Decide your top 3 wedding priorities (food, music, photography, flowers, stationary, etc.), and apportion your time and budget accordingly (obviously there are caveats if other people are contributing to the wedding and you should take their preferences into account when setting priorities). Spend time and money on the things you want. Then when your distant Aunt May is freaking out about the lack of roses you can rest assured that you have an awesome band and your wedding is not a disaster. :-)

      • I agree with this. My tips:

        1. Find a venue that comes with a pre-set caterer. One less thing to worry about.
        2. Ask your venue for recommended vendors. Pick one of each kind, meet them, and if they seem OK, book them on the spot. You can make exceptions for what you think is truly important. For us, this was venue and photographer.
        3. Be aware that dresses take 4 months to order. Oops. If you miss the window like I did, the clearance rack is your friend. I got my veil at http://www.veilshop.com – highly recommended.
        4. Putting together a registry is a huge time sink. I think we spent a whole weekend on it. If you can plausibly ask your friends for “flat gifts”, do so. There are many “alternative registries” that let you register for “100 towards dishes” etc. so you get cash earmarked for specific purchases but don’t actually have to pick out a bunch of gifts up front.
        5. We did invitations through paperlesspost.com. Saved time b/c we didn’t have to ask everyone for their mailing address.

        Regarding what blogs to read – if you’re truly looking to avoid spending too much time, I recommend reading none of them :)

        • One more thing: keep it simple. You don’t need toasting glasses, a ring bearer and flower girls, a garter toss, matching bridesmaids, a limo, etc. – unless you actually WANT any of those things, you can safely leave them out. And the more you leave out, the simpler your planning gets. Of course you don’t want to leave out everything – that would be dull! But by picking carefully which details/complications to let into your wedding, you’ll save a lot of planning time.

    • This isn’t an interactive forum, but I absolutely love this post on the wedding of the bloggers at Young House Love:

      http://www.younghouselove.com/wedding-album/

      They were so incredibly creative, and they’ve put all their ideas out there for people to use.

    • Valleygirl (sorry this is a book) :

      A girl I went to HS with started this blog/wrote the book – A Practical Wedding – might be up your alley.

      http://apracticalwedding.com/

      • Pondering a Wedding :

        Valleygirl – thank/darn you for introducing me to A Practical Wedding. I just lost an hour of billable time in that great blog :). I’m about to be engaged and we’re almost certainly doing an San Francisco City Hall wedding this December for a variety of reasons, and it was SO NICE to see a blog that isn’t about The Perfect Everything, And You Must Have Everything. For us, a big wedding is not the right choice. Instead, we’re shooting for as small as possible without permanently damaging relations with close relatives. So, SF City Hall seems perfect. It’s too bad your friend’s book is coming out in January, because I would buy it now!

        • Valleygirl :

          lol – happy to help (and sorry to your time!).

          it’s so fun for me to see Meg doing well with it since I knew her and her husband in HS.

          • Valleygirl :

            oh! and as a side note – I ended up getting my invites and flowers through costco and it was super cost effective and their service was fantastic :)

        • I think she actually has several posts on SF City Hall weddings so you’re in luck!

    • Thanks for all the advise so far (feel free to keep it coming)! And thanks also for reassuring me that there’s nothing wrong with me for choosing to focus on other things!

      • Consider a wedding planner. Seriously. Some are really inexpensive and will narrow down choices for you and save you a ton of time and headache. Loved mine, spent about $1500.

        • Yep, same here. Mine is costing me $1200 and has been reallly helpful in giving direction, recommending vendors, ordering some stuff for us from her contacts, and was amazing at day-of coordination at a friend’s wedding. So you can have a wedding planner that’s not for planning a crazy event :)

      • Also consider a “package” wedding. That keeps it so simple. You say you don’t want to elope, but would you consider a destination wedding? For instance, many of the nicer hotels in Las Vegas have wedding packages that include everything from the officiant to the reception dinner to your suite. I’m sure many popular wedding destinations have resorts with similar deals. The prices are generally quite reasonable, as far as weddings go.

        If you want to get married close to home, you still might be able to find a package wedding deal. I live in DC, and there are riverboat cruise companies that offer wedding packages – I can recommend Potomac Riverboat Co. I know there are similar companies in Chicago, and probably in NYC and most other cities with rivers or coasts. You can get an all-inclusive package for the reception that includes everything, even the cake, and you can even have the ceremony on board if you like.

    • I don’t have any websites to recommend, but we had a small wedding. One thing I am glad we did was hire a good photographer and set up the small space to look really nice. Since it was small, we could afford higher quality decorations and stuff (like champagne glasses with etching, nicer cake, etc.) This way our pictures looked like we had a really fancy weddding! Looking back, I am glad we did it that way. Though we did burn some bridges with some extended family members who were not invited, but my husband has a really huge family and it was just not possible.

    • offbeatbride [dot] com has fun resources/ideas, too.

    • A Practical Wedding dot com

  8. Just sending out a huge thank you to the corporette–I think it was houda–who suggested I get a microfiber towel when I complained of how long my hair takes to try. I ordered one on Amazon from Aquis. My mornings are sooo much better now!

  9. I really enjoyed the blog a practical wedding…I think author is an attorney and it’s focus on different types of weddings made me feel okay how low key we were about some things (no favors, etc.).

  10. Bachelorette weekend question:

    I’m planning a girls’ weekend for my friend who is getting married. It makes me a little nervous to ask guests to chip in, but is it really feasible to expect the host to buy everything? I mean even if we do loads of activities on the cheap, people still have to eat, etc. The bride wants me to invite about 30 people (expecting 20 will show up). How is this done? I never had any of this extra stuff with my wedding and other events I have planned for other people have been a one-time thing that I could totally host for under $300. If I’m footing for the weekend, that will be McChicken Sandwiches off the dollar menu at every meal, and I’m not sure anyone wants that… Also a lot of cheap/free stuff here is outdoors, and it gets really hot in the summer (duh!) so that’s out. Please, please help me, ladies!!

    • Just be frank about it – definitely not something where you should beat around the bush. I personally hate stuff like this, but it isn’t unusual for people to cover their own costs (and sometimes the bride’s) so don’t be too embarrassed. Plan out the weekend and what it will cost and then send around notes as follows –

      “I am coordinating a Bachelorette weekend for Sally on August [X-Y] in Location. If you are interested in being part of the celebration, please mark your calendar and let me know! Expected costs including food, hotel, and entertainment for each guest range from (e.g.) $150-200 and everyone will chip in to cover Sally’s share as well.”

      Avoid using the word “invite” if people are expected to pay their own way.

      • I really like this solution. I think trouble starts when there is ambiguity in the expectations. This puts everything in the open, cheerfully but without apology.

    • Are you the only designated hostess? That is a lot to take on if that’s the case.

      I always expect to pay my own way at a bachelorette party – and to chip in for the bride-to-be’s gifts, food, drinks etc. I would be shocked if the hostess tried to pick up my dinner tab. (Hivemind, is this the consensus, by the way?) I think of a bachelorette party/weekend as totally different than a wedding shower-type arrangement, where the hostess provides the food and drink for guests.

      IMO, it is best to try to make sure that you keep the group lodging and outings at a reasonable price and to list the events/lodging (not the prices, obvi) on the invitation, so guests can assess what they can afford and if they wish to attend. I may be way off here, but that’s how my social circle has always operated with this type of party.

      • Anonymous :

        As a member of the hive – yes, I think that is the consensus. If I’m traveling somewhere for an evening or weekend, I’d fully expect to pay my share of accommodations, food, entertainment, etc., as well as to chip in for the bride-to-be. On the other hand, if I’m going to someone’s home for a daytime or evening shower, I would NOT expect to be paying for the food/drinks provided, unless asked in advance (and then I’d happily oblige because why not?)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Are you talking about a bachelorette weekend? I’ve never been to a bachelorette where the bride paid a dime. Typically, the costs, including the bride’s costs, are split across all the guests at the bachelorette weekend. So, if there are N guests, then each guest’s share is N + (bride’s costs/N). Or, you could have each guest pay their own share (enabling those on a budget to choose less expensive options), plus their cut of the bride’s expenses.

      But 20 is a LOT for a bachelorette weekend, which makes me wonder if you are talking about a bridal shower, except all weekend long?? Typically, the shower hosting costs are spread across the bridal party (i.e. the MOH and the bridesmaids, split evenly), and possibly assisted in funding by the mother of the bride. Guests don’t directly pay for the bridal shower, but they are of course expected to bring gifts, which to me amounts to kinda paying for it.

      Or maybe there’s some Southern hybrid that I’m unaware of the ettiquette of, and you should ignore everything above!

      After enough experiences with bachelorette parties and bridal showers, I have decided that I’ve had enough for my lifetime, and will not be having either when I get married. Over It.

      • The one problem I’ve seen with this in the past is if someone’s organizing this and people think “OK, so it’s going to be about $XX for me, plus a share for the bride/birthday girl/anniversary couple” and then suddenly instead of 20 people going it’s three, and you’re paying significantly more than you thought for the “share”

    • I expect people to pay for themselves; they always have at the millions I’ve attended. I would note that at the last one I threw, we ordered some good pizza and cupcakes. That with a few bottles of wine and a mixed drink made for a great (and cheap) dinner. I think people appreciated the chance to do something low key, allowing for more chatting, and inexpensive.

    • I don’t think there’s any problem with asking people to pitch in. I think that’s typically the norm for bachelorette parties, but I think it’s a good idea for you to keep the bride’s expectations in check. With a guest list that large, I imagine that many will bow out for cost or other reasons. I can see if just a handful of the bride’s closest friends (say 4-6 women) were coming, but I really don’t think 30 women are going to be willing to shell out for a weekend’s worth of activities, the shower, and the wedding.

      Also, if some women do decide to bow out, it’s important for both you and the bride to be understanding. I am sure you will be, but I had a rather uncomfortable situation where I got accused of being selfish because I was unemployed at the time of a bachelorette party and mentioned being uncomfortable with the price point.

      • Anonymous :

        Hmm, if “selfish” is thinking of your own budget instead of the bride-to-be’s dream bachelorette party, then I’m selfish, too. Sorry – I like celebrating with my friends, but I like paying my rent more.

        • Happened to me too. I was honest: I was unemployed and out-of-state and told I was only thinking of myself. Le sigh.

        • Yup, me, too. I actually got so stressed out over the money involved that I got the shingles.

          Although I should note, it wasn’t necessarily the bride’s expectations as much as it was the psycho maid of honor’s demands. Karma’s a bitch though, now my sister-in-law (the bride at the time) is the psycho’s matron of honor.

      • How tacky! Don’t you know you should cash in your 401K to buy a gift?

        Seriously though – if the bride really wants someone to come who can’t afford it, she should offer to subsidize that friend. I had a friend do that for me when I couldn’t afford her destination wedding (she paid for my hotel room and I covered the plane ticket), and it really touched me that she wanted me at her wedding so much. I would do the same for my good friends, without thinking twice. I just couldn’t feel truly celebratory without them.

        • In this case, the bride didn’t have any hand in planning the event and probably would have been mortified to know what was going on behind the scenes. The bride was very budget conscious in planning her wedding and wouldn’t have wanted to put anyone in a situation where she didn’t feel comfortable with the price point. I was the only one in the group who wasn’t a bridesmaid as well, which made it even more awkward.

    • CA lawyer :

      Is a whole weekend necessary? For a group of that size, it might be more convenient for all to have an event that just lasts the evening or afternoon.

    • I just hosted a bachelorette party and I made it clear on the invitation (I used evite) that the dinner would cost X per person, plus a little extra to cover the bride. I think that’s totally fine. No one expects the hostess to pay for everyone to eat in a restaurant or get pedicures or whatever. If you’re hosting the event in your home, then I suggest you make it a potluck – it would be tacky to ask people to chip in to cover the cost of your home cooking.

    • Thanks, ladies! Very helpful so far. It is, indeed, a bachelorette weekend rather than a shower. If it were one event, I could definitely “host” in the traditional sense of paying/inviting. I was raised in the “you invite, you pay” sort of culture (is this exclusive to the South?), so it was making me nervous to think about asking guests to pay. I’m glad to hear I can do that. But anyone who calls you selfish for declining an invitation is just awful!

      • “You invite, you pay” is not exclusive to the South, it’s exclusive to good manners. So I agree with others above that you should phrase this as “coordinating” rather than inviting or hosting.

      • Another Sarah :

        It’s not exclusive to the South; if I’m hosting a party, I’ll pay for 98% of the stuff (the other 2% comes with friends who absolutely insist on bringing something, so I give them something to bring). But a bachelorette weekend is completely different from a dinner party and it’s a bit unreasonable (IMO) to attend one assuming all your costs will be covered by someone else.

    • Another Sarah :

      Agreed that everyone pays their own way + their % of the bride’s way. I’m headed to my friend’s bachelorette at the shore the weekend after next, and even though there was drama, there was a whole lot less drama because the woman planning it was very upfront with the costs and such. There was drama because she just “planned” it, without really taking into account the bridesmaids’ opinions, and the weekend ended up being too expensive for some of the bridesmaids. IMO, that was kind of bad form. So if there’s a group of people you absolutely have to take into account, don’t forget them. But otherwise, it’s completely normal to expect people to pay their own way for bachelorette parties and such.

  11. My husband just moved away for work for a while, and I am wanting to send him a care package. I was thinking of buying the Emporer of Maladies based on this morning’s thread. The descriptions sounded just like him. Any other ideas? I am planning to put a little candy in there, but he’s kind of into eating healthy, so I don’t want to go too far down that road.

    • That is not easy! I can’t imagine what my husband would want. Smokes? Chocolate? (He’s very healthy, as you can see…)

      Maybe some energy bars/nuts if he likes healthy things (unless he’s a really good shopper, he might need some food)? I’m not much help, but good luck. It’s definitely sweet of you!

    • Maddie Ross :

      I think reading material is a great idea. I would also suggest anything that makes him think of home (a certain scented candle? particular type of pillow?). If he does eat something specific that’s not great for him, maybe consider that (homemake cookies or fudge?). If he doesn’t eat anything easy to mail, maybe consider arranging dinner for him some night? If you know when he’s leaving the office, order the chinese or whatever delivery to arrive when he arrives home and prepay for it so he can just relax and enjoy. I did this several times for my long-distance boyfriend (now husband) from a place we enjoyed together when I visited. It went over really well.

    • DVDs? Or maybe splurge on a kindle or ipad or even just iTunes gift card… Extra slippers? Bathrobe? A bottle of his favorite alcohol? Extra cable/charger for his gear?
      Portable tray to keep ring, change, watch, etc?

      • My husband have been living apart for about 6 months. Care packages are definitely a great idea. I usually include a card with a long handwritten note as well. I usually try to include things that he likes and uses but probably doesn’t go out of his way to buy. On the grooming items, he knows where to buy them but generally doesn’t think of it. Items I have included:
        -Picture of Us (recent or old)
        -Golf items (tees, divot tool, all less than $5)
        -Items related to his favorite sports team (Yankees, Buffalo Bills), including recent articles printed from websites that I know he doesn’t visit, key chains, ball marker (golf-related)
        -Flavored popcorn
        -Local items from the Northeast (he’s in Atlanta): Sponge candy, weber’s mustard (from Buffalo), etc.
        -Handcream (he likes Gardener’s hand therapy from Crabtree and Evelyn)
        -Exfoliant (he likes the one from Aveda)
        -He likes these special wipes to clean his glasses
        -Chap stick

        If he likes cigars, you could get a cutter tool. I love the idea of chargers and portable trays. On shipping alcohol, I thought some states may not allow it.

        Good luck.

  12. Just ordered a rather similar belt in black from Wet Seal, of all places – here’s hoping that it looks decent in person! Figured that it was worth a shot for the price. http://www.wetseal.com/catalog/product.jsp?categoryId=106&productId=48403&color=BLACK

  13. Anonymous :

    Did *the* Halogen skirt disappoint anyone else? I ordered it in the amethyst and while I love the color, it looks so bad on me. I am pear-shaped, 5’4″ and ordered a 10, I normally wear 10s in ann taylor and br. Wow, I look awful in this skirt!

    • Is the skirt too large for you? I have similar, although hourglass, body frame and my 10s always need taking in around the waist and then tapering to the hip so it doesn’t give a pooch to enlarge the hips. I buy only on sale to accommodate for the tailoring. After that, they are grand. I find the 8s a tad tight across the hipbones, and yes, I mean hip bones – yeah for the gym! See what you think. I have at least 6 of “the” skirts.

      • I thought it looked terrible on me – and I don’t think it was a tailoring issue. I found two skirts at AT that looked great during the same trip.

      • Anonymous :

        It is large in the waist but definitely pulling at the hip. I just look like all hip. If anything, I think I would need to size up. I’m going to return it and go with the br side-pleat dress, which fit me great!

    • It looks horrible on me too.

    • It hit at just the right spot to look completely dowdy on me. I couldn’t picture myself wearing it often enough to justify the necessary alterations to make it flattering.

  14. Hi all, I’m starting a clerkship in a couple of weeks in a bankruptcy court. Do I wear a formal skirt suit the first day? I interned for a different judge, same court last summer and wore a suit quite often but I was treating my internship like an interview every day since I was hoping for a clerkship (and it worked!) But this is a different judge, different situation. Her current clerk rarely, if ever, wears a suit (usually slacks/cardigan) and the judge will not be in for the first two days of my clerkship. Thanks!

    • I’d say that if you plan to wear a suit the day your judge comes in, then I’d wear suits the first two days as well. Putting on a suit specifically for the judge comes off as a little, I don’t know, too brown-nose-y assuming other people will see you those first two days.

    • I don’t think a skirt suit is necessary, given what you said about the former clerk. But just wear a suit, pant or skirt, whatever you feel more comfortable with. No need to be too formal about it — e.g., pearls and a button down, unless that’s your thing, generally.

      Whether your judge is there or not, you will likely be meeting lots of people, so just wear a nice suit and look neat and focus on your responsibilities. You won’t go wrong being casually formal, if that makes sense. It sounds like you know what you’re doing based on your prior internship, don’t overthink it. Best of luck!

  15. BTW good luck tomorrow to all those taking the bar exam.

  16. Anonymous :

    Threadjack -

    ANy tips for commencing a job search in a different state? In California at the moment but thinking of expanding my job search out of state for that perfect in house position. But I am not sure what to do first? Call a recruiter and start looking? Get licensed in the prospective states (GA or TX) and then start looking? any advice?

  17. Anonymous :

    Threadjack – Job advise needed.

    Recently, a job was posted on our intranet that is perfect for me, but in a different business unit. I immediately spoke to my supervisor and was given a green light to apply for the job. To investigate the new role, I spoke to a colleague who had recently done some work with that business unit. I wanted to find out what the people were like, and whether or not it is a good fit. To my knowledge my colleague was not in the market for a new position, and did not pose a threat. She was very kind, answered all of my questions, and gave me a lot of good insider information.

    Fast forward to this week – I applied for the new job and completed the first round interview. It went really well, and I really want the position. My colleague asked me all about the interview and some specifics about the job. Naively thinking nothing of the questioning, I answered the questions honestly. She asked me if I minded if she applied for the job too. Stunned and speechless I kindly said that I did not mind if she also submitted an application, but a few hours later I feel used.

    So, my question to the group: Is there anything that I can say or do to strengthen my application? Is there anything I can say or do to discourage her from applying?

    • Well, now you know your colleague’s a jerk who will pretend to be nice but have ulterior motives! There’s not much you can do about it. You could tell her you feel used, but I doubt she will care – she got what she wanted, which is details about the hiring process. At least you can take comfort in the fact that she’s applying late – if they’ve already started interviews, they may well identify the top candidate before she gets her application in.

      You can strengthen your application in the usual ways – being polished during your interview, sending thank yous, etc. But it sounds like you’re doing great already.

    • My guess is that your coworker has already applied and was asking about the interview because she was scheduled after you. Just focus on your own application and forget about that coworker. For all you know, the interviewers could ask her an entirely different set of questions than they asked you. The reality is that unless you work in an absolutely huge organization, you’re likely to know at least one of your competitors. It’s probably best to keep quiet with other people who could possibly apply and try to ask advice from people in the department of interest or who are already at the same level as the position.

    • I’m not sure I understand your point of view. You asked your colleague for information about the position based on the assumption that she wasn’t applying – she never told you she wasn’t applying, right? She was forthcoming with the information she had, and then when she asked the same thing of you feel used? I honestly am struggling to see how what she did was any different from what you did. Sorry if I’m missing something here. There will probably be others applying for the same position too, so there’s no guarantee that either of you will get it. And discouraging her from applying will probably just kill whatever relationship you have.

      • I pretty much agree with this. I realize you were upfront about the fact that you were applying when you asked your questions, while the reverse wasn’t true, but still – I think it sounds like she gave you useful information prior to your interview, for a job which it turns out she’d like as well. Seems like you’re pretty much on equal footing here.

    • Yes to Curly Fries :

      Wait, why is she a jerk? I actually don’t get it. I don’t think that jobs work on a first dibs model. She’s not your girlfriend or even your friend. She’s a colleague who found out about a job she is interested in and plans to apply. She was honest with you and polite and helped you when she didn’t have to. No offense but you sound a bit immature. It’s not your job until you are the best candidate for it and have signed the contract.

    • I actually once interviewed for a job and one of the interviewers was a consultant filling the job on an interim basis, who had been a consultant for the organization for a while after having actually held the job itself for several years. He was very forthcoming with information and in the Q&A portion at the end, among other questions, I asked him why he wasn’t interested in the job himself. Guess what? He decided he was, and he got it. It happens. I don’t think he was playing me, I think the conversation actually got him thinking “well, why not?” and maybe that’s what happened with your coworker. I don’t think you have reason for feeling used, though certainly bemused, and I think the best advice as usual is to be your best self in the interviews and follow-up and not worry about the competition, which you can’t control. I landed someplace better for me and in the end it was all for the best.

  18. I got something on my new skirt (I think salad dressing) today. Think I can safely wash on cold/drip dry a 54% cotton, 40% polyester, 6% elastane (spandex) skirt? The tag says dry clean, but not dry clean only. I feel like all of those fibers are ok to wash, right?

    (It’s the brown suit from talbots that was featured a couple of weeks ago, if anyone’s tried washing it specifically).

    • Kz, I would hand wash as opposed to machine. I may be over cautious, but it seems like a safer alternative. I also want to recommend OxyClean Max Force laundry spray — it’s been pretty amazing at getting stains out for me, maybe give it a try?

    • I think it’s fine to put in the washing machine on delicate. I wash cotton/poly blend with elastane regularly with no ill effects. I think for salad dressing issues, rubbing it with dish soap first to get the stain out and then sticking it in the washing machine is the best bet.

    • I wouldn’t wash it unless you plan on washing the jacket as well to avoid uneven fading. Maybe try to spot clean instead?

    • I don’t know about that fabric specifically, but Formula 409 cleaner gets *everything* out.

  19. Anne Shirley :

    Had to share- after a year in a terrible job, I got a great job offer today! Now, how do I keep the tone of glee out of my voice when I quit?

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