Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

There are all sorts of reasons I shouldn’t like this jean — it’s a skinny pant, it’s ankle length, it’s bright royal blue, and it’s expensiveish — but I can’t help it: I really want a pair.  I think they’d look as cute with motorcycle boots and a big comfy sweater as they would with a more polished casual look, such as ballet flats, a crisp white blouse, and a neutral blazer.  The jeans are $175 at Net a Porter. 511 mid-rise corduroy skinny jeans
(L-2)

Comments

  1. I love wearing leggings and boots in the winter, but I’m always struggling to find great long-enough-to-go-over-leggings sweaters or other tops. Any great suggestions that you’ve seen recently?

    • I got a cute cableknit sweater at Gap last weekend on super sale. It isn’t super long so I think its better for skinny jeans with boots or jeggings as opposed to regular leggings but they might have others too that run longer?

      • I went to the GAP and they had alot of SWEATERS on sale and I decided to get a WOOL one even tho it was a little itchy.

        It is VERY conservative (turtelneck), so I can wear it to work — it is SOOOO cold today that I wish I had gotten 2 of them, but I am wearing it now.

        I like it (it was ONLY $40) and the manageing partner even asked me if it was NEW.

        I said it was and he said “very nice”. It is good that he NOTICES these things, but I told him to pay attention to his OWN family, not me.

        Have a GREAT weekend, corporetes and I will update you next week!

        Love, Ellen

    • I paired my leggings today with a knit “dress” from Max Studio. It’s so short it fits more like a tunic than a dress, so that’s how I’m wearing it!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Great question. I’m thinking about finally, finally getting on board the leggings/skinny jeans trend, in part because you ladies swear that this trend is actually flattering on many body types, not just the tall and slim. I am dubious, but am also bored with my wardrobe.

      I’m however very mindful of the “leggings are not pants” rule. If one wears leggings, how long should one’s top be? Should one’s top be as long as it would need to be to be decent if one was not wearing leggings, because leggings are not pants? If so, how are leggings different than tights?

      And what makes something pants and not leggings? Is it a fly and non-elastic waistband? A certain max % of stretch that, if exceeded, renders purported pants actually leggings? And how long should one’s top be if one is wearing skinny pants, not leggings?

      Sorry to ask such stupid questions, but hopefully you ladies will humor me.

        • MaggieLizer :

          No matter how many times I read that chart, I always crack up. I saw a leggings-as-pants catastrophe at *gasp* Nordie’s! Being sported by the hosiery clerk! I nearly needed smelling salts.

      • I love that flowchart and I very pointedly sent it to my sister when it first came out!

        To answer you sincereyl SFBay, your top should cover all of your derriere, at a minimum. Depending on your shape, you may also want it to cover the upper thighs. You probably have to try on a bunch of tunics and longer sweaters to find your “sweet spot.”

        • Does anyone else feel like this look makes your legs look stumpy, even if they aren’t? Particularly when you are wearing knee high boots.

          • I used to worry about this, but I find that it’s not the leggings so much as it’s the boot height. I’m 5’4″ and have a long torso but not-so-long legs. Mid-calf boots seem to lengthen my legs a bit, whereas knee highs cut them in half.

      • found a peanut :

        It really really depends on the weight of the leggings. Not all leggings are created equal I have some very very thick ponte leggings that are more like pants than like tights, even though they have a high spandex content and no fly. They’re supportive (i.e., they lift me up and suck me in in all the appropriate places) and I wear them with all tops, even tops that don’t cover my tush. Also note that I am 28 and have a slender frame so I might be more comfortable with showing things off than other people. But if you get a heavier weight legging then you will have more versatility with how you wear it. I’ve seen them at a bunch of places, including fancy places like Theory and DVF but also BR and I’m sure Ann Taylor has a pair.

        If you do wear tops that don’t cover your tush, PLEASE make sure that you stand in front of a mirror (preferably one in full sunlight), bend over, and assess whether you can see your underwear through them. I’m not talking lines, I’m talking the little ducky pattern on your underwear.

        For most leggings, I would say that long enough is just grazing the bottom of your tush. This is where leggings and tights differ – that would definitely be too short for tights.

      • For skinny/slim jeans, I just bought this pair from Land’s End: http://tinyurl.com/44wt63h

        They’re awesome and cheap. I’ve been wearing them with a grey blazer, long sleeved tee, and my new aerosole wedges. They really are flattering, though I was skeptical, too.

        • Oh, I like those! Do they fit skinny enough at the ankle to wear them tucked into boots, or do they bunch?

          • They seem skinny enough. I haven’t tried it, though. I just broke out my boots yesterday to wear to work.

        • I bought these too and love them. I also bought the slim leg cords in cream and brown. All three pairs cost me around $65 with shipping.

          Highly, highly recommended.

        • I want so much to like those Lands End jeans, but the fit in the crotchetal region is just so odd on me that I can’t do it. I kept the brand’s slim fit cords that I bought despite having the same problem b/c they were about $15 when I got them and are just so soft, but I can’t get myself to wear them out of the house without a long top that goes to my thighs. Glad to see others aren’t having that sort of trouble, though! They seem like great jeans.

      • If I’m wearing skinny pants to some place where I ought to be “appropriate”, then I’ll do something that covers down just below my bum, but that may be an open-front cardigan, such that it doesn’t cover the top of my thighs. If I’m going someplace that doesn’t matter, I’ll do a tank or shirt that doesn’t cover my bum. However, I generally wear leggings more like I wear tights, so my skinny pants are usually jeans. I’ve yet to find leggings that allow me to climb stairs or bend over at all without showing off all my business! At minimum, I’ll wear a top/sweater that hits mid-thigh, such that bending over or climbing stairs makes the top hit just below my bum.

        • Magdeline :

          If your shirt is not long in the front, be sure to make sure that nothing in front is showing that oughtn’t. Just saying!

          • Oh, completely agree! I’m loving the longer t-shirt/tank/button up trend. A few years ago everything was so stinkin’ short, and I’m long-waisted, so it was pain to make sure things were properly covered. Re: skinny pants in the front, that’s DEFINITELY not an issue! Pants wouldn’t come home with me if the frontal areas were inappropriate :)

      • As someone who was old enough to be part of the first iteration of the leggings + oversize top trend in the 80s, the only way I let myself wear this look is if my bottom is totally covered – either with a longer flyaway cardigan, or a tunic type dress. Anything shorter with leggings makes me flash back to neon layered socks and teased bangs.

      • A good rule of thumb is not to wear an item of clothes with leggings unless you’d also be comfortable wearing it barelegged or with tights.

        IMO, pants have a fly and a non-elastic waistband. Otherwise, they’re loungewear or workout wear. Pants are also opaque, even if you bend down in bright lighting.

    • I was in Old Navy yesterday and everything seemed super long and droopy. Depressing to me, as I’m 5″1′, but if you are looking for long tops check them out.

    • I just went to Amazon and searched ‘tunic’… there’s a lot of junk to sift through, but I’ve found a few awesome sweaters and long pintuck button-front shirts that i love to death, and they were so cheap.

  2. Question: Any tips on how to successfully transition from weight loss mode to weight maintenance mode? Happy Friday!

    • Corporate Tool :

      I did two things: one was cut down my workouts. I went the same number of times, but reduced my cardio to 30-35 minutes from 45+, and increased strength training.

      The second was add in a bit on my diet. I have what I consider “treat” foods 2-3 times more a week than I did before.

      I found that a calorie intake calculator like myfitnesspal was a good guide to help me figure out what I was eating/burning, and used it to help calibrate myself to a *roughly* even keel.

    • Agree with the above, especially on keeping it even between what goes in and what you’re burning off.

      If you are eating non-fat dairy let yourself go to 2% milk and full fat yogurt/cheese. Decadent, right? ;) It’s an easy way to let your body get some fat if you don’t want to cut down on your workouts and don’t feel like changing what you are eating too much.

    • another anon :

      Good question. I hope to have this problem in a few months. I’ve been really encouraged by the people posting success stories here.

      • SoGal Gator :

        Great question. I am just dealing with this issue myself. I have been in “Maintenance” for more than a month (I have lost 60 pounds) and am continuing to still lose weight which obviously means I am not consuming enough calories. But I don’t want to go too far in the opposite direction.
        I also use MyFitnessPal so I have decided to start upping my daily calories in 50 cal increments and then see if I stabilize. I also am adding some foods that were off the table before such as low fat Greek yoghurt, some low fat cheese (like feta) and oatmeal. I have kept my workoutas the same because I enjoy them and they make me feel great. I think that I have really increased my muscle mass and metabolism, which is part of why I am still losing weight even though I have started to increase my caloric intake. However, after 6 months of living on less than 1000 calories a day (it was medically supervised and very safe), I now get full quickly on 1200 calories and am not sure where my balance point will be but I will take it slowly and see.
        I am still at a good and healthy weight for my height so am not concerned about being too skinny just yet. But I do want to start actually maintaining where I am at now.

  3. Anon for this :

    Hooray for the open thread!

    I’m starting a job next week where I will be managing several people. (Yay!) The office dress appears business casual (met with my boss this week – khakis and button-down; no tie).

    I need more machine-washable pants (scientist + some fieldwork = frequent cleaning). I have a pair from Ann Taylor that I live in currently. Suggestions?

    Any advice on managing would also be appreciated.

    • I like the Gap’s Premium Pants – lots of cuts, dark neutral colors, machine washable. They are a polyester/viscose blend and are not lined, if either of those items are deciding factors for you.

    • Halogen pants from Nordstrom. They have them in a couple of fits. If you are pear shaped, the Taylor style is best. The also come in petites and in many colors (black, brown, charcoal, navy). I wear mine all of the time. I wash them on the gentle cycle and hang to dry. The crease stays in the pants.

    • I recently found some machine-washable pants at Loft. I second the recommendation for Gap perfect pants, too — just make sure you buy them on sale. They hold up decently but after a year and many machine washes, they’re looking less than crisp.

    • It sounds weird, but I’ve found some great, creased machine-washable work slacks from Victoria’s Secret online. For my body type and style, they fit ideally – come in a range of colors/cuts/lengths, etc. Also? They’re cheap!

    • Re managing — go to the “Ask a Manager” blog. She’s great.

    • karenpadi :

      I found machine-washable pants at nordstrom rack about a month ago. Spuer cheap too–about $35 each.

      They wash nice and don’t require ironing.

    • AccountingNerd :

      Express editor pants. I have them in black and gray. I’ve had the same pairs for a couple years now and wash them about once a week.

  4. La Suisse :

    Question about Corporettes, European style.

    I am moving to a new job in a professional firm in the French-speaking area of Switzerland in a few months. Since clothes are so expensive there, I am trying to stock up a bit (here in the U.S.) before moving. Can anyone give me tips on what normal business and business casual wear is in Europe generally, or in France and Switzerland particularly? Is there the equivalent of Corporette in French? I spent some time there already and generally always felt like a big schlub, so I think I will be looking for some more fitted or more feminine pieces, but I am not sure. Any advice on other issues, i.e. office culture and expectations, also very appreciated!

    Thanks!

    • lostintranslation :

      I can’t speak for the French speaking part of Switzerland, but I’ve experienced the transition myself. If you’re going soon, it will still probably be quite cold and I would focus on:
      – nice jacket that is longer and very warm (I’ll post a link)
      – pair of riding style boots (Frye or a similar style)
      – a knit hat + gloves
      – a knit scarf
      – a pashmina type scarf (pattern or not)
      – 1 or 2 pairs of dark-wash jeans that really flatter you (the American brands like seven, COH are suuuuuuper expensive here, so it makes them all the more “cool” for whatever it’s worth)

      The rest really really depends on your:
      – age
      – where you’re coming from in the US
      – the industry you’re in

      But those points above are the things that many people have which are noticeably nicer than in the US, and will make you feel less “schluby” as you say. Otherwise, individual tops, dresses, and shirts shouldn’t be that different.

      Things that were noticeable to me:
      – people wear jeans in many situations that they wouldn’t in the US (i.e. at work)
      – there is not really a concept of age appropriate clothing, i.e. my bf’s very fabulous mother and I have very similar wardrobes, or many of my colleagues in their 40’s wear abercrombie hoodies…

      Don’t worry or focus so much on clothing. Just find things you like and make you feel confident.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I spent some time in Northern France a few years ago. It was an academic environment, though, so take my observations with a grain of salt.
      — Repeating outfits was not a faux-pas. Women seemed to have a couple of stylish ensembles that they would frequently re-wear. Could take the pressure off your purchasing a bit.
      — Agree that age was not such a determining factor. For example, I knew several middle-aged, female professors who wore fishnets at work (they were big then). …they wore them with long skirts and boots, btw, but I still had to put my eyeballs back in.
      — Some US “rules” seemed to be absent, but short skirts and wearing hats indoors were definite no-no’s.
      — You can’t go wrong with black.
      — Agree that you must have a shawl and a scarf.
      — Agree that not everyone is a fashion plate, so don’t stress.

      I have a friend who was an MBA in Europe for a while. Her impression was that European business (vs business casual) was more formal, but I don’t remember specifics. Like Lost said, it’s probably relative to where you are now.

      Zara’s now sells in the US, which may be helpful. Not all their stuff is professional wear, but they do have nice jackets, etc, and their website should give some sense of current styling.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Oh, a couple of other random things. Sounds like you’ve spent time in the area, so maybe you already know.
        — Pointing and/or staring is apparently not considered rude. It was hard for me to adapt.
        — Rest both hands on the table when you eat. I was taught to keep my non-utensil hand in my lap, but apparently it should be on the table in France because (as I was told) “how else do we know what you’re doing with it?”
        — More people know English than it appears, so don’t say something stupid thinking that no one will understand you. (I learned that lesson the hard way). Of course, don’t assume they speak English, either.
        — My friend worked primarily in England, so I don’t know how much transfers. But she observed that there was more leniencies in mentioning a coworker’s weight, race, etc. Her office engaged in “good natured ribbing” about things that are strictly off the table in most US workplaces.

        • lostintranslation :

          Really good advice here! (Though where I am, you should just stick to staring and avoid pointing…) Kind of as an addition to Research’s advice, I would recommend freshening up your table manners. Especially in business situations, it can be daunting when everyone eats really fast and differently. 2 choices:

          1. Stick with, but perfect your American-style table manners (cutting, switching hand, putting down the fork) so you’re really confident <- what I do.
          2. Learn the fork in LH knife in RH style. I did this for a while, but can manage 1. more neatly so I switched back.

          The kind of "format" of food where this was particularly challenging at the beginning was something with a grain + sauce (e.g. Indian curry, beef stroganoff, etc.), or like a very saucy pasta.

          If you are early on in your career, start practicing thinking "what is my next action in this task/project". I frequently hear slamming criticisms of American interns/employees are ineffective and need to be told how to do everything. Permission-asking varies by company and situation, but is generally less than in the US, so get used to thinking and acting by yourself and then being confident about your decisions.

          Unusual questions about your hometown- looking these up beforehand on wikipedia is less awkward than saying, "uhhhh I lived there all my life but I don't know"
          – What is the population
          – If there is a mountain there, how tall is it in m?
          – If it's near another big city, how far away is it in km?
          Kind of weird, I know, but it comes up pretty frequently, and the easiest is just to give a quick answer, and then people generally move on.

          I don't know if you read the recent guest post by Road Warriorette about business travel, in which she had a ginormous list of things that you *must* do. As much as I like her blog, I wished she had been less prescriptive, and more like "these are tricky situations that can be embarrassing or stressful – how does one get out?" I would view things this way. Things will happen that are weird or embarrassing, but just let them roll off! No one is perfect, and it's not a contest. At first, like a good type-A, I practically took notes on "being like them." Now I cringe when bloggers harp about "being one of the locals," because that's a total sham (and most of their "suggestions" aren't even accurate or sometimes even exacerbate their perceived situation). Even if you deal with a very rude person who is mocking your supposedly "typical" American ways, just focus on being the most cultured/open-minded/polite/friendly/compassionate (American) version of YOU possible, and if they can't take that, it's *their* problem, not yours. I don't mean to be so ranty, but I've seen this so much in the blogosphere and with the students I've worked with who come over here. Hope that you have a good trip, and just try and focus on the positives!! :-)

          • This is terrific advice! Be the best you, essentially. I’m going to apply this across the board in my life.

    • Hi! I work in swiss german speaking switzerland frequently. I thought it would be much more business formal than it is – I find business casual works well – dresses, skirts, sweaters. I also tend to see women repeat things more often than in the US. A nice bag helped me feel better about myself as well. One thing that surprised me very much was lunch – they all take a long sitdown lunch. They also tend to end work at a more reasonable hour. I find there are quite a few cultural things to sort through with the swiss, so some cultural guidebooks have been handy for me – amazon has quite a few.

  5. before I get to my own question, I TOTALLY second Argie on Gap’s premium pants – they wash really, really well. Don’t dry them, wash cold – I love them…

    My question, if anyone wants to help, is this – I bought two pairs of missoni for target tights (they were literally the last missoni things left in my target) one pair is brown/white/khaki-ish missoni pattern and the other is a navy-ish pattern…hard to decribe. Anyways, I was hoping some one could offer some suggestions how to wear them without looking like I am wearing a halloween costume. I work in a somewhat conservative law firm, but I am not a lawyer, only a lowly assistant, so my dress code is a little more lax, but I still don’t want to look like a lunatic.!

    • lostintranslation :

      I would wear the tights with a very fine knit or jersey dress in a simple silhouette.

      Like so: http://tinyurl.com/3o2t25u
      or so: http://tinyurl.com/42wkla6

      I have yet to successfully channel my inner-Ru, so for these types of things I like dark gray. It matches easily like black without the contrast being too stark. Then I’d probably go with black suede pumps.

    • Zigzag patterned tights will really draw the eye, so I suggest showing just a few inches of the tights between your skirt and a pair of tall boots. I’m picturing the brown/white/khaki ones with brown boots, camel or caramel skirt and a cream or white classic sweater. Keep everything neutral and in the same color family, and the jewelry really simple.

      I never saw the tights at Target. Were they knit into the pattern, or was it printed on?

      • Thanks for the advice! I like the ideas, I’m going to bust them out this week! The tights were actually knit in the pattern, kind of – they are “flat” – not really like, textured, but the threads are all different colors, so I guess that they were knit like that, not just printed. They actually are really great tights – really heavy, wash well, they feel expensive. I snagged them as an employee was putting them back out on the shelves – i assume someone returned them because this was about a week after the missoni stuff came out.

  6. Question for Corporettes in the Boston area – can you please recommend some good maternity clothing boutiques? I.e., something other than Pea in the Pod, etc.? Thanks!

    • I had a co-worker that was pregnant last year. She went to a second hand maternity clothing store in Salem that she said was awesome. I dont know the name though but I am sure a quick google search should do the trick!

    • Diana Barry :

      I haven’t found any – am ordering online for everything.

      • Steph o licious :

        Ebay is a great maternity consignment shop. Also, you may want to use it to locate alternate brands Go to Motherhood Maternity, figure out your “base” size and have at it. HOWEVER, Motherhood Maternity had horrible return policies, so I shopped there when it was an emergency.

        What I recall (my youngest is 4) Japanese Weekend has great style, though is cut small. Three Dots was another brand. Lots of boutique-like brands were emerging, and other than One Hot Mama, I’m drawing a blank – they do go in cycles. Old Navy and Target had good basics, though if you are going INTO a shop, call ahead for Old Navy because not every one has maternity, and there is a lot of more variety online.

    • Gilt is having a maternity boutique today, fwiw.

  7. This is just a quick question about resumes. I work in government and am a very junior employee, but my experience is pretty high-level. I am in charge of supervising and training statewide staff on various activities. I am a bit apprehensive about going fully into detail about my duties because I’m worried people will think I am embellishing. I know that my references will back up all the experience noted on the resume, but I don’t want to get kicked out before I even get to that point because people don’t believe a person at my level would get that experience.

    My goal at this point is to get out of the sector I am in and go into the private sector or a different area of government where people would not be familiar with what goes on. Any advice?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I vote that you put it on there, but I have no experience in hiring or looking at resumes. But, I know I’d put it on there. It could park conversation about your role at your organization.

    • Put it on there. I wouldn’t assume someone’s lying on her resume! so long as your references will confirm, having it on there can only help you.

      • Steph o licious :

        Put it on there. I work at a college, and am a reference for our student employees, so be confident in what you put out there, because while I’ve had a skeptical tone occasionally, it’s our jobto prep students for the real world, and when we have TALENT, we use it, even if they graduate.

        Given the context of age/youth, think about the traditional age of most military…lots of responsibility at a quick pace for some…sometimes young people do amazing things!

  8. Not-Quite-Newbie :

    Guys, I really need to find a way to drum up some business for my firm. Background: very small law firm, general civil litigation, I’m the only associate and been there about 5 months, everyone else has been here for ages.

    All I’m hearing lately, from the attorneys and assistants alike, is how they can’t believe how slow it is, it’s never been this slow for this long, phones aren’t ringing enough, etc. I’ve ebbed and flowed on how much work I have, sometimes it’s plenty, sometimes not (and I get paid based on what I work). One partner even let it slip the other day that he didn’t want to hire anyone for the opening to which I applied, but then I came along and was so darned impressive. (Yes, nice compliment, and I do really like the job, but I never, never would have taken the job had I known that.)

    Anyway, people keep asking if I have any ideas for drumming up more work, and I just don’t. We’ve started doing a lot of marketing lately, new website design, some TV commercials, etc., so maybe I should just be patient and see what happens, but people keep complaining to me about it and I feel like I should be able to offer some sort of ideas, plus I’m worried about the future.

    • Check out BNI. They are a business networking group. The point is send each other business. No having to kiss up before you ask for something. The commitment is big. Our local one is every Thursday at lunch time. But, people are fanatics about patronizing the other businesses within the group and referring others there as well. Every week you give a 2 minute elevator speech about what would be a good refferal for you that week. I am not a member but my colleague is and I often fill in for her. It is a great and energetic group. I’m not sure if they are all created equal but everyone I talk with gets tons of business from it.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve subbed in BNI meetings a few times (as an attorney; generally only one attorney is allowed per group). I think it depends on the group, so make sure you check out who else is in the group. While the members of the group are very energetic and enthusiastic about referring potential customers to each other’s businesses, the reality is that the attorney is almost always the most expensive service-provider in the group. Most of the other businesses in the group that I subbed in catered to average individuals and small businesses, many of whom cannot afford an attorney to do sophisticated transactional work or fund lengthy litigation. While the attorney I subbed for was willing to do fixed fee limited-scope work for some of the people in the group, I found that the amount of time the attorney spends attending the meetings alone was significant, and the amount of work that came in from it was very small compared to his non-BNI referrals. I think the types of attorneys that may benefit most from a BNI-type referral group is probably an estates and trusts attorney, because everyone needs those services. Again, it really depends on the mix. If there’s a CPA and financial advisor in the group, those are always good leads for attorneys. Also, think about the cost of membership. I think it’s somewhere around $400/year and they also ask you to attend seminars and probably pay other additional fees to be a member.

    • Focus on building a referral network. If you practice in state X (or county X1, for that matter), you may want to assist your firm in strengthening it’s ties to other firms or organizations that can connect you with business who don’t practice in your particular geographic area. Try writing articles about your particular practice area, or attending (or speaking) at regional/national CLEs or seminars. That was, you build a potential pipeline of business, in addition to reaching specific clients.

    • I would suggest you go through your address book and think of ways that people you know could refer business to you. For instance, is your uncle the president of his condo association? Perhaps they are unhappy with their current attorney and in the market for new counsel. Is your college roommate now a CPA? Perhaps she can refer clients who need legal advice to your firm. Is your boyfriend’s sister thinking of opening up a clothing boutique? She’ll need to retain counsel. Is your cousin looking to buy a home? She’ll need a lawyer for the closing.

      A lot of people neglect to see their personal relationships as potential professional contacts. Don’t feel bad doing it – they’ll feel secure knowing their legal counsel is being provided by a firm where a trusted friend works.

  9. MaggieLizer :

    Tips/words of encouragement for dealing with the uncertainty that goes with dating? I’m at a point in my life that I’m open to meeting the right person, but omg I hate dating. Does he like me or does he just want to be friends? Is he ready for something serious or is he looking for something fun? Should I bring up exclusivity or just see where it goes? UGH, so frustrating! I’m a very straightforward, solution-oriented kind of person and I really hate all this wait-and-see-where-it-goes bs. Thanks as always, ladies!

    • Why is it about “him”? Do you like him, or do you think he’d be a decent friend?

      I’ve been with my SO for 3.5 years now. When I was dating, I was just honest. “I like you; let’s do this.” “You’re really great, but I’m not interested that way.” Someone who didn’t like me being straightforward wouldn’t have been a good long-term match. Making my own decisions about dating made me less crazy about the whole thing. It didn’t completely quiet the “does he like me, too?” feelings, but it made it easier to figure out what was going on.

    • I was the same way, and honestly, the approach that I found worked best for was online dating. I met my current SO through Match, and it took away a lot of my worrying, solely because there were so many options. I felt like it put the ball back in my court a little bit, so to speak, and I was able to focus a lot more on what I wanted out of a relationship rather than whether or not some guy liked me.

      I also had a sense of ‘knowing’ with my SO; there was none of this worrying, none of this uncertainty that I’d always felt when dating. I never believed/always hated when people said you just ‘know’ when you meet the right person, but it’s true. When the right person does come around, sometimes you do just know.

      Patience and timing have a lot to do with it too, so hang in there, and know when that when the right guy shows up, you’ll know.

    • Anonymous :

      Agree with the above–my experience is that guys who are open to serious relationships (and interested) are straightforward with you and don’t leave you guessing. The wishy washy ones always tend to withdraw after a while.

      • That has been my experience as well.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Agree with this and all of the above.

        I hated dating, too. I was admittedly merciless about cutting the relationship off as soon as I knew it wasn’t right. I had a lot of first dates or stunted conversations at bars and parties before even a first date. I tried my best to never be rude. It’s not that they were terrible people; I just didn’t want to waste my time or theirs. It paid off. I met a wonderful man who was filtering as carefully I had been, we were up front with our expectations, and have lived happily ever after.

    • I hear you, sister, it’s tough! I try to take it lightly, but it’s often impossible to do.

    • another anon :

      I also hated dating so tried to avoid it, but when I got to (what sounds like) a similar point, I found that dating 2-4 different people simultaneously helped me a lot, weirdly enough. Helped me not get impatient/fidgety and overanalyzing everything, but had more fun just getting to know people better and see if I fit with them. I guess it kind of took some pressure off each person/relationship.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Agree 1000%. I was on eHarmony and Match for a while, and said “yes to coffee” to pretty much every guy who I came into contact with that seemed reasonably nice in a few message exchanges. I didn’t care if I happened to see stars with Mr. Monday, or if Mr. Monday asked to see me again, because Mr. Tuesday, Mr. Thursday, and Mr. Friday were still on deck that week alone. When you have a much higher volume, it’s impossible to overanalyze.

      • How did you get them to go along with that? I keep trying to casually date, but after a month or two it seems every guy wants some sort of monogamous, longterm thing! Even the guys who claimed they just wanted something casual don’t seem happy with that for long.

        • Anonymous :

          Judging from my experiences (2 different-guy dates max per week) and my friends’ experiences (set up dates back to back throughout the week/weekend), I think my friends were/are much better at showing lack of commitment in their dates. They are also better at tossing aside the guys who don’t “fit”. I was more willing to give guys a chance (if they made it to the 1 month mark), and I’m glad I was, because I have no regrets about ending any of my previous relationships and I feel really lucky to have met my bf (and to have given him a chance!).

    • 1) be straightforward but pleasant. Be appreciative (not offended or depressed or freaked out) when others do the same.
      2) don’t speculate. act, and then move on with your life. you can’t control his mind, you can only control yours. so figure out what you want and quit guessing about what he wants (that’s his job)
      3) date multiple people. always, always, always. and assume they are, too, unless you have an explicit conversation about exclusivity.
      4) be open. none of this “but can i date someone who reads graphic novels/wears Nautica t-shirts/is losing his hair?” type of stuff. who cares?

      most importantly …

      4) like yourself, see the fun in dating (it’s there, i swear) and remember that this phase won’t last forever. a drink with Mr. Wrong can still be a perfectly pleasant way to spend an evening.

      Good luck!

  10. I posted earlier but did not get many responses. Have any of you had your tonsils removed as adults? How was the recover? Any tips? I’d like to avoid the surgery but may not have much choice.

    • I had mine taken out when I was 23 and it was very painful. I’ve also had rhinoplasty and extensive corrective jaw surgery, the tonsils were by far the worst pain and recovery wise.

      Plan to take at least a week off work, I just took one and was fine but a friend had the surgery a few months after me and took two weeks off. I had the surgery on a Friday and the pain was subsiding to a manageable point the following Saturday. Make sure you have a prescription for pain pills that will not make you sick (throwing up with open wounds in your throat is not fun!). I placed ice packs on my neck which seemed to help a bit, but that may have been psychological. Also stock up on cold, soft foods like pudding and yogurt.

      I hope I didn’t scare you too much, and good luck!

    • Me – I had them out a couple of years ago when I was 29. It wasn’t the horror story the Internet had led me to believe and I am so grateful I did it – my health has been 4000% better. I did take off 2 weeks from work

    • I had mine out at 27 and had similar experiences to Mel. My surgery was on a Thursday and I had problems with pain medication (made me throw up) and then had to deal with it through the emergency room. I was out for a week but then got sick at work when I tried to go back and I had to take a couple more days. I couldn’t eat much. Milky things made me sick. It’s hard to get comfortable to sleep. You have to be propped up. I hate to scare you because it was bad, but in retrospect (20 years later!) it was so worth it. I had chronic infection and holes in my tonsils from a horrible infection I had when I was in school in Europe.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      Had mine out in my early twenties. It was rough, as others say. It was also one of the best decisions ever. I had horrible “strep” throat 1-3 times a year growing up. Turns out this was probably a mixture of strep and tonsilitis. Have not had it ONE time in the 8 years since I had them out.

      A few tips:
      1. take AT LEAST one week off work. I had it on a Thursday and went back to work a week Monday. I still felt weak, but it was manageable. No way I could have made it before then.
      2. drink lots and lots of fluids – more than water. gatorade or vitamin water is your friend. sip continuously. it hurts, but by day three it makes such a difference. every time you wake up, sip. take an extra sip when you think it hurts too much. It makes such a difference in your energy level while you recuperate.
      3. avoid dairy. I know kids eat ice cream three hours later, but it is different for adults. dairy coats the throat. my doc said to avoid it at all costs.
      4. get prescribed a LIQUID pain killer. something really good and stronger than tylenol with codeine. I pushed for this and was so glad I did. The liquid Vicodin made SUCH a difference.
      5. I had a humidifier and I think it made my breathing easier. yes, even breathing hurts after tonsils.
      6. wean off caffeine BEFORE the surgery. you can’t really drink enough to warrant coffee, and you don’t want the raging withdrawal headache in combo with everything else!
      7. don’t push yourself to eat before you are ready. I don’t care if they are mashed potatoes. if you can’t swallow, don’t push it. just drink more gatorade.

      good luck!

      • Same at the above. 3 days in the hospital, a week at home after that. It hurts a lot. It would be nice to have a relative there, or your husband, for the full day following the surgery.

        You can’t really eat on the first few days. Apple juice is good, so is clear soup, no dairy. Use vitamin/mineral drinks. Popsickle ice is great, if it is basically frozen lemonade. Sleep a lot.
        After the first few days, smooth but thicker, soups are great, as are puddings and smoothies.

    • Thank you for all the suggestions. I’m still hoping to avoid the surgery but it’s great to know what to expect. Your feedback certainly urges me to not rush into surgery. You all rock.

  11. I would love to find a really great pair of workhorse black low heels for every day at the office wear- professional, polished, and fairly comfy. I have these in brown and love them, and I suppose I could just get the same in black, but I have a 3″ heel in black that looks almost exactly the same and well, it’s time for some diversity in my shoe wardrobe!
    Suggestions?

  12. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :
  13. Oh so anon for this :

    I am starting to take some baby steps towards either lateraling to another law firm or transitioning to an in-house position and I am hoping to get some advice on how to handle any questions about why I am looking to leave my current position. I don’t want to bad mouth my current firm, they are a great firm in many respects, but I also want to give a truthful answer. Aside from being pathologically honest, I want to make sure that I don’t go through the hassle of changing jobs only to find myself in the same position, just with different office decor.

    The main reason that I am looking to leave is that despite my best efforts, I simply can’t find enough work to bill quota. I don’t believe that it is a work quality issue, the reviews of my work product have been uniformly positive, and my quota percentages are on par with others in my practice area. My practice area is just slow—too many people trying to share too small of a pie. There is no indication that there will be layoffs or that I’d be on the chopping block if there were, I am just fed up with having the constant stress of having to beg for work and once I have work putting in crazy hours in a futile attempt to make up for the time that I am twiddling my thumbs (or reading Corporette). It is demoralizing to be under quota and I have had enough.

    So, how do I put this in a positive light? I don’t want to give potential employers the impression that I am slow because there is a problem with my work product and I also don’t want to say anything negative about my firm. Do I not say anything? Do I try to come up with another reason for leaving? What reasons do other people give?

    As a bit of background, I am a (just barely) 3rd year associate at a mid-sized firm. My practice area is very specialized and most, but not all, practitioners have (in addition to a JD) an advanced degree, which I have. This limits my ability to work outside my practice area.

    Sorry about the long post.

    • Anonymous :

      Patent law? Tax?

      This doesn’t directly answer your question, but if the partners are OK with it, maybe you can get involved with more business development efforts. Maybe you can teach a class or give seminars. That way, you can use your non-billable time to do something that furthers your expertise.

    • I left my prior firm because of not enough work, and I was pretty up front about it in interviews. My circumstances were a little bit different- I was just working with one other attorney as a start-up, and I just said that I really needed more work, want to work hard, and decided that I needed a change. I was very positive about my former partner (and honestly so- he’s a good friend), saying that he is a great guy and going to be a great lawyer, but I just can’t wait around for the business. Might not work in all cases, but I’ve been told that I really wowed them (in general, not just with that response or anything).

    • I don’t think there is any problem with telling an interviewer the accurate situation. You aren’t reporting on a personal problem, you aren’t saying you hate your former boss, etc. etc. The reason you are leaving is legitimate, important to your career, and understandable, and I don’t think it’s anything that would offend either your current or potential employer. The market is rough right now, and if a law firm has too many lawyers in a practice area, it’s just a way of life that there isn’t enough work to go around. It’s better for you and the lawyers who stay for you to move on. As a plus, you can bring this up in interviews to make sure that the firm you are applying to has extra work and you will be kept busy.

    • Yeah – someone mentioned it earlier this week. And instead of focusing on the fact the 47% of the (very small) sample group didn’t have a preference about who they worked for, they focus on waving the catty female lawyer flag.

  14. Hey ladies,

    Looking for advice on super long lasting lip color options. I have an engagement sess next week and don’t need to get lipstick all over my poor man.

    Thanks for any input!

  15. Good problems :

    Hi all. I am in the very fortunate position of deciding between two firms and could use some guidance from the hive mind. I’ll be graduating in May and have offers from two firms in my city. I summered at Firm A, it was a great experience, Biglaw but smaller firm, clients are of lesser prestige, not sure how much work they have. Firm B is super prestigious, amazing clients, lots of work, the only negative part is that this firm (overall) has a reputation of working it’s people to death, aka bill at least 2500 or get fired. Do I owe Firm A my time because I summered there? Any advice?

    • You don’t owe Firm A. A summer position does not make you a well compensated indentured servant. But I have worked at both a Firm A and a Firm B, and unless you really, really, really think you’re the type who is going to love getting worked “to death,” go straight to Firm A rather than trying to find a spot there in a few years after the Firm B lifestyle chews you up and spits you out. Those reputations really are for the most part well deserved. Some people love that stuff so YMMV.

    • found a peanut :

      You don’t owe Firm A anything, but holy heck why would you prefer to work at Firm B?

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      I would go to firm B – not because of the prestige (although that’s always nice) but because you indicated they have more work. See the post above about lateraling becuase not enough work and a hours quota. This is a real issue among young attorneys I know, as most senior associates and partners hog work to make their own hours. And believe me, the small big law firm will work you to death as well – there’s not that much difference among big law firms. I don’t think you owe Firm A anything, however, since you didn’t summer at B, try to find out as much information as possible before accepting. Try asking your Career Services about A vs. B. I would also try to take out to lunch a young associate at B and ask them to tell it to you like it is. You may find out some important information.

    • Another vote for Firm B :

      I was in the same position when I graduated (also during a recession: 1994). I spoke to a partner at Firm A who had been an associate for several years at Firm B. He suggested I go to Firm B for the training, the prestige and the fact that “you can go anywhere from Firm B.” I went to Firm B and never regretted it.

      Now, I billed many a 2500+ year and became partner, which you may choose not to do. But even if I had stayed just 3-5 years (long enough so that people know you chose to leave and were not asked to leave), it would have been the right choice because it would have opened more doors for me.

    • I worked at a 2500+ or you’ll get fired firm (seriously, we would get nasty emails if we billed less than 200 hours in a single month). It was awful. Not just the hours, but the heartless, “our reputation for being a sweatshop speaks for itself” attitude. There’s a huge difference between a Biglaw job where people are billing 1900-2200 and one where you’re expected to do 2500 or else.

      I also think that working for “prestigious” clients is overrated. I currently work with a lot of small companies and start-ups, and the clients are engaged and interesting and fun to work with. When I was at my former firm, a lot of our big Blue Chip clients were completely removed and couldn’t care less about what was going on in the litigation. Also, big firms with prestigious clients and lots of work are often doing “bet the company” litigation. What that means as a junior associate is that you’ll be working on driving various issues into the ground, whether that’s researching a tiny, unimportant issue to death or drafting memos to the file that no one reads.

      You said that you’ve already had a great experience in Firm A, and that’s hard to find in the legal world. I vote for going back there.

    • I vote for going to the firm with more work. The economy is still bad. 2500 hours is hell, but it is so, so much better than getting laid off.

    • associate :

      i am a junior associate in the small office of a big firm (read: more like firm a). i work with a team who lateraled over from a sweatshop (kirkland – very much a firm b) and i cannot possibly imagine working there. please understand that working more than 2500 hours a year basically means that you do not see your friends and family (read: forget the holiday season coming up), based on my experience those handful of months i’ve been over 250 billed. it is difficult on you, your relationships, and your ability to enjoy whatever “prestige” you’re building.

      do what you feel is right – and i agree with the above that you do not owe anything to firm a – but the small office of the big firm will still have the prestige and allow you to expense $30+ for dinner and a cab home those nights you have to stay late.

      good luck.

    • Go with Firm A. Your career will start off stronger because Firm A will likely give you better quality work with more responsiblity. At Firm B, you’ll spend most of the formative years of your career doing paralegal work. This is especially true since you didn’t clerk there.

      Set yourself the goal of brining in your own business at Firm A. Too many young associates expect the higher-ups to bring in all the business and then gripe that there isn’t enough work. You should be brining in your own clients by no later than your 4th year.

  16. (The name stands for “regular poster, anonymous for this.”)

    I am having very unprofessional and petty thoughts lately, and I’m wondering how others have dealt with this, or at least assurance that I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way.

    I’m a new attorney at my firm — I’ve only been here a couple of months. There are a few associates who have been here 1-2 years, and I find myself feeling really jealous when some of them talk about all the fun stuff (depos, hearings, etc.) that they have coming up or when they talk about all the work they’re doing for the VIP partners. I’ve been getting good work, too. I am just constantly feeling insecure about my place for some reason. My logical side knows that my time will come. I’m not sure if I’m worried about my place here if there were cut backs since I’m the newest or if I’m more uncomfortable with feeling like I’m not as good as the others who also don’t have much experience.

    Does the hve have any wisdom or any tips about how to stop the ridiculous, petty thoughts?

    • How’s your life outside of work? Are you happy and fulfilled with your non-work relationships? I find when I don’t have enough good stuff going on outside of work, I tend toward negativity in my work life – jealousy, pettiness, control-freaky.

    • Gosh I don’t have it. I’ve been trying to deal with this my own way as well. One thing that has been helpful to me has been to think about a virtue that I truly want to practice in my life and that usually immediately quells that nastiness as it comes up. The virtue for me is “compassion”. For some reason just thinking this word makes me feel immediately at peace, like somehow just thinking about it makes it happen for me (and it is super useful when dealing with pushy homeless people in my city who insult you when you don’t give them as much change as they think you should).

      Another thing is to start working on self-esteem and self-worth issues. A lot of times jealousy can stem from that. Also, if you have a spiritual or valued mentor that you can discuss this stuff with, they may be able to give you some perspective. Finally, I think it can’t hurt to just tell your mind to STFU when you start thinking negative jealous thoughts. Just don’t let yourself go down that path, immediately upon noticing that you are going that way, redirect yourself cognitive behavior therapy style.

      I’m interested to see what other corporettes suggest though.

    • karenpadi :

      Yes, your time will come. Boring stuff is the bread and butter of the practice of law. You can speed things up a bit though.

      Ask specifically for more work that involves the “fun stuff”. Respond to conflict checks to indicate your interest. At your next review, indicate that you are interested in that kind of work. Ask the VIP partner for work.

      I have the opposite problem. My firm does some interesting stuff and a lot (more) boring stuff. I’m perfectly happy doing boring stuff (and making my hours) but the partner I work for is worried I’m getting too bored and wants to put me on more interesting projects. So here I go…

    • I’ve been at my job for a little over a year and definitely felt that way my first few months. Everyone has to start somewhere, and I’d be more worried if you didn’t feel that way first starting out. I am in a practice group of 7 attorneys. Two of us started about a month later than everyone else in the group and didn’t get our training until we’d been there two months. I think both of us were walking around feeling like we were idiots because we had no clue. My supervisor assigned me a liaison position my second full week because “I’d know what to ask” but I just felt like a complete fraud!

      I’m still the least experienced attorney in my practice group, but now I feel more confident. Attorneys far senior to me tell me that they are impressed by my confidence when I take on certain tasks, because they aren’t sure they’d be able to do task X or task Y as well as I do it.

    • a passion for fashion :

      also know that a lot of junior associates say stuff that makes them sound more important than they are — i.e., they may be doing work on VIP partiner’s case, but VIP doesnt know it. They may be attending a deposition, not taking it, etc. So if you are getting upset because you are comparing yourself to them, dont.

    • Wow, thank you so much for the insightful replies.

      Possibly one problem is that I don’t currently have much going on outside my job. I have some wonderful friends that I see every two weeks or so, and I work out. That’s about it. I have always kind of defined myself by my achievements, and now I’m slipping into defining myself by my job. My other problem, I think, is that I’m super competitive by nature.

      I’m relieved to see that others have gone through the same thing, and that it seems that it will pass or get better with time. I am definitely trying to take the approach of asking to be put on more projects where I might have more of a role than just researching endlessly (which I do enjoy, I just also want to get experience with the “fun stuff”). And I will try harder to tell myself to STFU when the thoughts start.

  17. Re: slutty halloween costumes, apparently Nicole Richie feels the same way: http://www.usmagazine.com/stylebeauty/news/nicole-richie-girls-dont-dress-slutty-on-halloween-20112710

  18. Hi all! Have any of you ever asked colleagues for formal feedback? I will be leaving a position soonish and I wanted to send around a survey to my colleagues to get feedback from them on my performance, strengths, weaknesses, and those things that no one would ever tell you to your face but are so vital to your ability to get ahead, etc. I thought an anonymous survey would be the best way to get honest feedback, but I also don’t want to come off as a weirdo. What do you ladies think?

  19. This kind of a recommendation, kind of a question post.

    Target is selling a line of sweaters by Mossimo called Ultrasoft. I bought the heathered navy v-neck for less than $20 and shockingly, I love it! It’s a gorgeous, well-cut fine gauge sweater that is washable (thank you Target). I love my cashmere, but for kicking around on the weekend with grubby kids, this is perfect. So that’s the recommendation part.

    I haven’t washed it yet though. Here’s the question part – have you bought any sweaters from this line, and washed them? How well do they hold up?

    I have three different colors in my Target cart ready to go , depending on your answers. :)

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