Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

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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

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  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.

      • SF Bay Associate, this should help: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/05/am-i-wearing-pants_n_858179.html

        • 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.

        • Maddie Ross :

          Do you (or anyone else) have any suggestions for the thick ponte knit leggings? I have several cheap pairs from Target that I wear with dresses and boots (or, admittedly, to sleep in), but I’d love a thicker pair that I could legitmately wear with longer sweaters and tunics without the risk. Thoughts?

          • Love my Gap ponte leggings. http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=847793&locale=en_US&kwid=1&sem=false&sdReferer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3Dgap%2520ponte%2520leggings%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D1%26ved%3D0CCUQFjAA%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.gap.com%252Fproducts%252F1969-ponte-five-pocket-leggings-P847793.jsp%26ei%3DyP6qTpLcH7PKiAKfyIGzCw%26usg%3DAFQjCNGJ5j9cza3pt9YUnii81STmGCVB1A%26sig2%3DqZuy2oV1A4qgJytq4Joz0Q

          • Locomotive :

            If you’re in NYC, go to Uniqlo. I am obsessed with that place. they have a gigantic selection of leggings and thick tights (from cable-knit thick to almost leg-warmer thick) and ‘heattech’ tights that do indeed keep you warmer than other tights, and are much more opaque. I live in DC but whenever I’m in NYC, I stock up on socks, leggings, basic tops, underwear, etc.

            Outside of that I also have several pairs of generic brands from Nordstroms and Macy’s, but pilling is a big problem for me with those

          • Gah, sorry about the nightmare link – maybe that can just be deleted? Anyway, I definitely recommend the Gap ponte knit leggings. http://tinyurl.com/44cco34

          • I have some from Yummie Tummie (ugh why that name?) and I really like them. They have 2 layers, so they’re not great for summer – the underneath layer is, I think, meant to be a little “shaping,” and it’s not uncomfortable but can definitely be warmer than what you’d want in the summer.

            Perfect in winter though.

            I got mine from Nordstrom. I am neither tall nor leggy — well, perhaps a bit horizontally leggy :) — and I have to say, these leggings still look good (paired with the right top and shoes, of course).

          • i love the 5pocket skinny pants from Lands End Canvas

          • The J. Jill slim leg ponte pants fit like leggings. They have an elastic waist but they’re fly front.

      • 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.

        • I remember that, too. Did you wear the stirrup pants? Ugh I hope that look doesn’t circle back any time soon!

          • Ha! I worked at Express circa 1989-91 and had every color of matching stirrup pants/tunic top available!!

      • 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!


    • 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.

      • lostintranslation :

        Ok here are some links. Sorry if they are the wrong age (I am mid 20’s), but these show how people many people dress. Also, with the “don’t worry,” I mainly meant that there are TONS of poorly dressed people everywhere, so there’s no need to be hard on yourself. Again, sorry I can’t offer exact advice for that region, but it shouldn’t be that far off either.

        Jackets: http://www.marc-o-polo.de/damen/bekleidung/jacken-maentel/
        This shows a lot of women dressing casually but with their entire outfits.

        http://www.esprit.de/?LKZ=DE is also realistic, but at a lower price point

        Hugo Boss’s shows some combinations that are more work-oriented and appropriate for even slightly older women: http://store-de.hugoboss.com/damenmode/10000,de_DE,sc.html

        And I love the looks from Comptoir des Cotonniers, as it’s always more fun/funky than I would dress myself: http://www.comptoirdescotonniers.com/fra/eboutique/tous-nos-looks?collec_Id=25

        Also, here is a department store in Switzerland that is similar to Nordie’s in the US: http://www.globus.ch/de/damen/markenwelt/mode/index.html There is a list of brands for women’s clothing, and maybe you can google around and see what you like :)

      • La Suisse :

        Wow, thanks for all the advice and links! I have plenty of searching to do . . .

    • 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!

        • Thanks all. I’m new to this career, but this isn’t my first career. I think that’s probably why I have gotten responsibility quickly.

  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.

        • Anonymous :

          She’s right. You deserve to have fun and really enjoy being with the person, especially on long car rides. :)

        • A Regular Lurker :

          Oh, this is SO me. Thanks for the glimmer of hope — I was starting to wonder how many cats would be too many. :)

    • 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!

      • Anonymous :

        Commenting again–my experience is that guys who are serious and interested let you know very early on that they’re not seeing anyone else.

  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!

    • MaggieLizer :

      My go-to kitten heels are from Joan & David. I’m not seeing them on the Nordie’s website right now but I’d keep an eye on that brand. They have a nice cushion in the foot bed (is that the right term?) and they’re super comfy. I think Cole Haan makes some lower heels too.

      • Ditto on the Joan and David brand. They may not be the most fashion forward shoes, but they are polished, professional, and comfortable. Their higher end line, circa I think? is also very comfy.

    • Check out AT’s perfect kitten heels or the Cole Haan Air Talia mid pump. I have both, and they are both very, very comfortable.

    • Sofft has some nice, comfy heels that don’t look orthopedic. I swear by mine.

  12. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    For those who really need a laugh this weekend: http://damnyouautocorrect.com/13603/the-25-funniest-autocorrects-of-dyacs-first-year/

  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.

  14. This article was posted in the ABA Journal today. It’s certainly an interesting read.


    • 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.

  15. 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!

    • Lorac Co-stars is awesome. It’s one of those two-stage ones, first the color, then the gloss. The key seems to be letting the color layer dry/set for a minute or two before adding the gloss.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      My makeup artist for my engagement session, after lining my lips with a MAC liner, used some kind of Chanel lip lacquer (not a lipstick) – she painted it on with the brush. It looked amazing and did not move at all.

    • Thanks ladies!

  16. 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.

  17. (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.

  18. 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

  19. 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?

    • Anonymous :

      Can you arrange a 360 review?

      Or maybe ask the to sign your going away card? Or, heck, just post them here on the weekend thread?

  20. 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. :)

    • Here’s a link:


    • Don’t have this sweater, but if you love it, then treat it with love! Hand wash with dish soap in the sink, lay flat to dry.

      Go Cards!

    • I have this sweater in a ton of colors. I have bought probably 10 over the last 3 or 4 years. I machine wash on delicate, dry flat on a rack. They don’t stay as fluffy soft as when they are brand spanking new, but they hold up very well. Of the bunch I have had, one or two started to unravel at the seams (usually at the wrist for some reason) after a couple of years of moderate wear, and after a few years, a couple are too pill-y to wear outside of the house. But, I keep coming back for more because the price is right, and in IME they hold up at least as well, if not better, than their counterparts at Gap, AT Loft, Banana, etc.

  21. Thanks for bringing this up, and I am very interested to see what other people have to say. I think it is natural in this competitive economic climate to feel insecure about your job, especially when you are new, and to constantly compare yourself to others and worry about whether you are getting good projects. I know I felt that way when I started at my job three years ago (and I still do at times). Six months after I arrived at the job the company went through a round of lay-offs and that really made me feel insecure for a while. I’ve tried to consciously move away from that kind of thinking because it was counter productive and made me miserable and anxious. I think it helps to keep your whole life in perspective (you are not your job) and to focus on developing activities and relationships that matter outside of work so you don’t become too obsessed with your work. You might feel more secure that way.

    • Ugh! Misplaced comment. This was in reply to RPAFT.

    • karenpadi :

      I think the only way to avoid insecurity is to maintain a professional network and keep up with what’s going on outside your firm. I feel insecure every so often, then I ping my network and realize–hey, I have options.

  22. freddie_my_love :

    Hi everybody!
    I’m a law student, and I’ve been fortunate enough to get a job in a federal courthouse. With lots of help from Corporette, I felt like I dressed myself appropriately over the summer, but we’re in a snowy northwest region and with winter coming I don’t feel prepared, wardrobe-wise. (A lot of this is because I’m short and hate getting pants hemmed, so I buy a lot of skirts and don’t have many pairs of dress pants). Anyway, I have two questions.
    1) What are some staple winter pieces that I should acquire before the snow starts?
    And 2) Does anyone have any recommendations for warm yet business appropriate boots?

    • I recommend buying some warm dress pants, or, in the alternative, some long johns or tights that you feel comfortable wearing underneath of unlined or lighter-weight pants. (I do the latter, so that my dress pants are all-season.) It has saved me from freezing during commutes and when I am frozen solid in my office.

    • I rarely wear pants even when the weather drops. If you get some warm tights, you can just keep wearing your skirts. Hue makes some good ones. Wolford tights are amazing but much more expensive.

    • There was a thread on that!


      As for boots – I’ve heard a lot of good things about La Canadienne boots, but they are a bit pricy. In addition to warm and business appropriate boots, you’ll also want to be sure they have good traction. And look at getting merino wool socks (like Smartwool). Love those.

    • I’d suggest having separate boots for “warm” and “business appropriate” especially if you’re doing any real walking outside. Your outdoor boots will be wet and salt-stained and most people (men and women) in my office switch their shoes when they get in. I have a pair of serious snowboots (Sorrels) that I wear if it’s snowy or I’m going to be outside for a while and a collection of cute but unpadded boots for inside.

  23. Accountress Queen of Costumes :

    Corporettes, guess who just won 1st place in her department’s costume contest? This girl! I went as an anthropomorphic puppet character, and I was still able to look business casual. I mean, except for the exaggerated eyeshadow, clip-on animal ears, blonde wig, and painted-on animal nose. (Whatever, we don’t have clients coming to visit ever.)

    $100 for wearing things I already owned? Golden!

    Bunkster, have you survived your forced-participation contest? Do we need to be on the lookout for stories from Boston about an office building mysteriously destroyed by someone in a Red Soxs costume? You can hide out in here Florida, if you’re on the lam!

    • The contest isn’t until Monday. Yesterday was just prep.

      The Green Monster is up now, but they were worried that the lights might burn the green tarp so they took the lightbulb out. Unfortunately, this light is directly above my cube. By 3:00, my cube was very dark.

      Apparently, the judging will take place at 1:15 on Monday. That’s when my gym class starts so I won’t be there. I will not take kindly to any suggestions that I miss it.

  24. Random Question – I know that men are supposed to leave the last button unbuttoned on a suit jacket, but does that same rule apply for women?

    • No, most women’s suits are designed to be fully buttoned. I think if I saw a woman with one button undone, I’d probably think the suit didn’t fit right.

  25. Francie Nolan :

    Just wanted to say hello and thank you. You were wonderful when I lost my job…..with all the networking advice I was back to work in no time.

    Although I don’t have as much time for corporette as I would like

  26. Gift Mailing :

    If you send a gift (to someone who is a boss though only a few yrs ahead and someone you’re ‘friendly’ with) for a new baby, and don’t hear anything back, do you just assume they got it and haven’t acknowledged it or that ‘s lost or what? Stupidly, I sent it by mail instead of UPS (so no tracking) bc I figured it was no big deal; they’d get it 1-2 days later, shoot me a quick email and be done. Well it’s been a week and no word. I know you’re thinking — give her a break, she has a new baby, but the baby is a 1 month old now and this is a woman who is glued to her blackberry usually (probably only checking 3-4 times a day while on leave though). So in my head — it didn’t get there, USPS tried to deliver but couldn’t find anyone home so now it’s lost in that shuffle, it got broken along the way and she doesn’t know what to say etc. Would you ask or no? I”m thinking no — she either gets back to me or not. Usually I’d just shoot an email saying ‘let me know when you get a package from me’ but since I didn’t do that upon sending it, I feel weird now. WWYD?

    • Anonymous :

      Ohhh, I hate when I do that. I wouldn’t frame it as “Let me know when you receive the package from me”, since you’ve already acknowledged that she’s probably very busy with childcare duties (and possibly work). I think you’re better off saying you “You should have received a package from me this week. I hope [you/baby] liked the ___________!” That way, she should still respond, but your message doesn’t come across as urgent and demanding.

      • Gift Mailing :

        Do I go ahead an email her in the next week or so, or just wait until I see or speak to her? I really don’t want it to come across as ‘you should be sitting home thinking about me,’ bc even if she isn’t stressed with a new baby, she could actively be trying to disengage from work/work people for a bit and thus need not get back to me in as timely a manner as I’m used to. She may try to make a meeting in a month or 2 even though she’s on leave, or she’ll be back after the holidays. Is it more awkward to then do the ‘btw — did you get something from me for the baby’ if she doesn’t mention it? Because if she says no, I will be forced to say ‘no worries, I will re-send.’ I have NO issue buying her the same item again, but I know she’ll have an issue and will feel bad that I spent twice the amount.

        I’m really not looking for a huge reaction or anything, just confirmation, as I geninuely wanted to acknowledge this event. Can’t believe I didn’t FedEx it but the cost didn’t seem worth it for a small gift.

        • Anonymous :

          Chill out. In the first month for a first baby, new parents usually get inundated with presents and real, handwritten thank yous take time. I would never acknowledge a gift with an email thank you, and your boss may feel the same way.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Honestly, she is probably overwhelmed with fatigue, and not being discourteous on purpose. I’d maybe drop her a line checking on her and just tell her your making sure she received, as you can’t track it etc…..

      • Gift Mailing :

        Thanks ladies. In this age of instant communications and esp. when working for people like her who are available to their colleagues 24-7, it’s like you get so used to hearing back from people immediately, that when you don’t, you expect something is wrong. You all are probably right — no matter how on she is at work, she does now have a 1 month old and toddler at home, and if she is one of those people who likes to do actual thank-you cards or a call or something (I’m not sure what she does frankly) and not just a one liner email, she just may not have gotten to it yet. I feel like I’ll give it another week and then just drop her a line saying hi since we haven’t spoken in about a month and also asking about it.

        • WorkingGirl :

          You can’t expect a thank you from a new parent right away, or even anytime soon! Honestly, I think it’s kind of rude to ask if she got it, because she may feel like you are wondering why you didn’t get a thank you. She just had a baby, she has a toddler, and she is busy. A better way to do it would be to send an email checking in on her in which the package comes up without your directly asking if she got it-i.e., the email assumes she received it and there was no need for a thank you.

          • Gift Mailing :

            I’m definitely going to send an email soon to say hi anyway — whether it’s now, to say happy thanksgiving next month or whatever. Not sure how the package would come up without my directly asking though — it either comes up or doesn’t. I think you all are right and I’m totally not looking for a thank you/thank you card or whatever, she has better things to do right now. Somehow I’m more casual about these things and would just have picked up the blackberry and said ‘got your gift, thanks so much,’ esp. with someone I email 10 times a day anyway. But I’m hearing that’s not how folks do it for gifts.

  27. Wait, what? :

    I’ve never done this before but I have to bring up something from another thread because I thought it was kind of shocking. There was a post in which a 2L came to an informational interview with a solo practitioner (the poster) in jeans and sneakers. The poster wanted to know whether to say something and how to do it. The advice mainly said to say something politely. But a fair amount of responses advocated speaking to career services (and not to this person directly) or saying nothing. This solution actually comes up a lot on posts on Corporette about these issues. “Don’t offend”, “don’t embarrass” etc etc when a younger woman is destroying her career but you’d rather not say anything (despite no downside to you) because you want to be “nice”.

    From a fellow 2L, we law students are taking out mountains of debt, and may not have come from professional families with lots of lawyers and a large network. We NEED the advice and help. For me, it’s worse that women who are in the position to help me, would refrain from useful advice in order not to “offend”. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO OFFEND AND EMBARRASS ME. Seriously. Because to this 2L, it feels a lot like pulling the ladder up behind you. If you truly care about women in the workplace then you won’t want other women to fail.

    Also, what’s with the internalized sexism here? Firstly, women are not overly emotional cry-babies; even young women can handle constructive criticism. Stop underestimating us. Trying to shield someone who is not your child from necessary and helpful “emotional pain” is kind of weird and unprofessional. Secondly, you don’t need to be nice all the time. Women don’t have to be nice. You’re a grown woman who doesn’t need to please me or for me to approve of you. If you want to criticize me, then be polite and do it. You don’t need the permission of women from Corporette to be “not nice”. And third(ly?), don’t underestimate yourself. You are a professional adult and an important part of that role is to communicate ideas professionally. You are capable of that. Image is important. That is a professional mantra. When you critique someone’s professional image in this context, you are not being their mom, their aunt, their girlfriend, their BFF. This is business and as an associate, partner, manager, director (or whatever other amazing positions women on Corporette hold), this is perfectly within your skillset.

    • Anon for this :

      Scientist, so ymmv: I don’t know that it’s necessarily sexist. As someone who has been at my position for a few years, I do try to offer hints and tricks for those behind me. And I have been attacked and ignored in some cases. While you may welcome my advice, others obviously do not. I’ve been polite. I offer it as suggestions, not mandates. Sometimes, honestly, with everything else on my plate, I can’t be bothered anymore.

      If you want advice, seek it. I still gladly give when asked. But otherwise, I’m keeping my mouth shut.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes 100%. Many posters on this site get hostile when we tell them they’re most likely out of line. I know I’m right, I learned the hard way. I don’t have to prove it.

        • I don’t get the sexist comment either. Why is it sexist?

          • I think because a male wouldn’t give a second thought to telling a student he was under dressed for an occasion. This conversation is reminding me that I recently attended a networking event at my undergrad, and the 3 college students I mentor were all professionally dressed for the occasion.

    • Thank you for this post. I feel like this is a HUGE issue in my current workplace (which is female dominated). Everyone just tiptoes on eggshells worrying they may offend other people. No one wants to be seen as “not nice” or represent an unpopular opinion. It’s called “work” for a reason. It’s not fun, it’s not play, and sometimes you’re going to have to do things that make people uncomfortable in order to help them do their job, look more professional, etc.

      That said, I admit to being guilty of the same problem as the poster in question as I have a coworker who wears a few really questionable ensembles to work. I feel like I end up being the “mean” one in almost every other scenario that it’s one conflict I’d prefer to avoid if at all possible.

      • anonemouse :

        I think a co-worker vs. student who meets you for an information interview are definitely two different things. I can think of very few circumstances where I would comment on the way a colleague dresses… that seems like it could go wrong really quickly.

    • The only time I’ve ever taken a younger woman aside and corrected her behavior was when an undergraduate attended a conference session I’d organized and sat and played with her hair, picked at her teeth, stared into space, and generally communicated with her body language that she would like to be anywhere but where she was.

      As the session ended, I took her aside and said, “This is a professional conference. You’re so welcome here, I’m glad you attended, but we do not play with our hair, we do not look bored, we do not clean our teeth in this situation. Pay attention, take notes, and if you’re utterly bored, leave.”

      She was mortified; I’m positive I hurt her feelings and that she did not regard it as helpful advice. On the other hand, I suspect she won’t do it again.

      I hate, hate, hate having those kinds of conversations, and even if it were more benign behavior, it’s awful to correct another adult on his or her behavior. It’s not necessarily an easy task.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m afraid they’ll run to HR and call me a bully. Let the person who’s paid to handle it speak to her.

    • found a peanut :

      What’s the big deal about a student wearing jeans and sneakers to an informational interview? The person is a student, she probably wears jeans and tshirts every day. It’s an informal meeting. I don’t see why this is a huge problem.

      And if someone came up to me and tried to reprimand my behavior by saying “We do not do X, we do not do Y, we do not do Z,” I’d feel embarrassed for that person, not for myself.

      Sometimes people just need to chill out.

      • Anonymous :

        (Note to the OP: This is why no one is likely to point out your missteps. Good luck to you.)

      • Many “do I say anything postings” I find on this site are cases where there are multiple views on whether the person is or is not being inappropriate. That suggests to me that there isn’t a clear case that something is even wrong in the first place.

        And that’s why I think Corporettes check in- to figure out whether its really inappropriate or just off-putting to them specifically. Because one person’s preference or opinion on the situation really isn’t something that I want that person passing on to me as a “rule” – if everyone did that I’d have a lot of conflicting “rules”.

        And frankly, no one owes it to me to tell me that I’m acting inappropriately – sure, its appreciated coming from a trusted source, but aside from some broader rules, there is a lot of room for interpretation and leeway, so its up to me to be observant and figure out what kind of image I want to present and how I want to present it.

        So – OP, you may be lucky enough to find someone who will bluntly say “stop doing that” but its really in nobody’s interest except your own to figure out what you are doing wrong. Yes, you are an adult and can take criticism directly, but your also adult enough to try and figure this stuff out without relying on other people to tell you.

    • thank you for posting this point of view, “wait, what”?

      I am a senior manager and once took aside a relatively new hire and told her that I thought she should dress more appropriately for the office. I liked her and I knew she was serious about her career, but I also knew some of my male peers were referring to her as “Party Girl” because of her short skirts and low necklines.

      She took the advice really well, covered up more, and continued to come to me for career advice. We are actually quite good friends now. And, she’s doing really well in her career.

      It was difficult for me to take that step with her, but I’m really glad I did.

  28. Flats anyone? :

    Can anyone recommend a truly comfortable structured flat? I have wide forefeet and narrow heels, and the only kind of flats I’ve found that really work for me are the more casual, really-really-looks-like-a-soft-sole-dance-shoe types, a la the Me Too Legend (link to follow). Those are super comfortable, but I’m hoping to find something a tad more formal that still is cushioned and doesn’t chafe. I’ll pay anything! TIA.

    • Flats anyone? :


    • Have you tried Born? They’re extremely comfortable and should be a shape that fits your foot. Nurture shoes from Dillard’s are also have a good deal of support. I find that going down a half size in flats helps keep them from flopping off the heel because I have the same issue as you do.

    • I have the exact same problem. Styles that work well for me are boots (because of the grip near the ankle) and mary-janes (because of the t-strap). Of course, sandals work great but they aren’t always work appropriate.
      Some brands that have worked well for me are Hush Puppies, Naturalizer and Portlandia.

    • Anonymous :

      I have the same foot. I just bought some Clark’s from the un. line in wide and they work well for me. The heel is narrow enough that I dont flop out and they are super comfy (if somewhat boring).

    • Same shape of foot, and I can’t wear an unstructured flat, like a ballet flat. I’ve had absolutely great luck with Ecco Bouillons, and have them in many colors. Hope this helps!
      (You can find them at a good price on Amazon. I wear half size up for the pairs I wear with bare feet, my normal size for those I wear with tights.)

    • SoCal Gator :

      Try the Miracle flat fromRos Hommerson. Really cute and very soft but supportive. Be sure to order one size smaller as they run long. http://www.endless.com/dp/B0040XWH2C/ref=asc_df_B0040XWH2C1763114?tag=googlecom09c9_endless-20&creative=395033&linkCode=asn&creativeASIN=B0040XWH2C

      I also like the Clark Privo Cosign flat, but it is more casual.

  29. Very important PSA for anyone with federal loans/Direct loans:

    As you probably already know, everyone with federal loans has to switch to the new website at myedaccount dot com. If you have been paying with auto debit (where they automatically take payments out of your account, and you get an interest rate deduction for automating it), your bank account information will NOT transfer to the new site and your loan payment will NOT be paid automatically. They do not tell you this anywhere, and you will figure it out the hard way when you get a paper bill for an account that is already overdue. Yes, I learned from experience.

    Spread the word – I’m sure many borrowers use auto debit and will have this problem.

    • Sigh. Thanks for the heads up. Of course, they had to switch 2 days before my regular auto-payment was set up. AND when I DID sign up, it kept snafu-ing on me and I couldn’t actually log in until today.

      Any late fee is going to freakin’ challenged…

      • Yeah. They sent me a bill that was due today. Guess when I got it? After 5pm today.

        I don’t think they impose late fees until you’re a month late. But I better not lose my interest rate reduction because they didn’t transfer my autodebit!

    • They also didn’t carry over any payment plans you may have been on — I was on ICR and they switched me back to the Standard Repayment Plan. Funny story: I DON’T have $900 to pay this month’s bill, which is why I was on ICR in the first place…

      • Oh crap, really? I am on IBR, in order to get public interest loan forgiveness. I can’t find anywhere on the site that it says what repayment plan I am on – did you find this info online or only when they sent you a bill?

        • Only when they sent me a bill, unfortunately. You can also find out if you call, but they’re only open 8-5 or something, when most of us are at work!!

    • Does this apply to loans held by servicers? All of my loans are federal Direct Loans, but they’ve all ended up one at the major servicers (e.g., Nelnet, Great Lakes). My payments don’t start for another month but I already have auto-debit set up for one batch and I’d like to know now if I have to set it up again on a new site.

      As an aside, does it bother anyone else when official government websites have a .com ending rather than .gov? I think tons of people get suckered into freecreditreport.com because it sounds so similar to the real site (annualcreditreport.com). If the real site sounded more legitimate, like mycredit.gov, there’d be so much less confusion that FCR currently capitalizes on.

      • I think it only applies to loans serviced by the federal government, but I’m not actually sure. I consolidated mine under Direct Loans in order to qualify for IBR, so I don’t have any loans serviced by other companies. Also, I think that the government recently did away with outside servicers.

        I agree that the .com ending is confusing and can lead to deception. I also am stunned by how much information that was on the old direct loan servicing site that is not on this site – it seriously does not tell you what repayment plan you’re on, and you can’t download any of the relevant forms.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Double check your account somehow if possible. My sister was told her information didn’t transfer, but then she was double charged when she set up a new payment. It looks like it transfers for some people and not for others.

      • It definitely didn’t transfer for mine – they sent me a paper bill, and when I checked the account online auto debit (which they now call kwik pay, because I have to pay $110,000 to people who can’t spell quick) it didn’t have my bank account info.

        • LinLondon :

          “(which they now call kwik pay, because I have to pay $110,000 to people who can’t spell quick)”

          Haha, love it! Reminds me of this luggage store near my old work called “Buziness Class.” Whenever I see it, I think “did you really think the Z would compel more people to buy your wares?”

        • Ha! Agreed, if you can’t take this seriously enough to spell properly, you don’t really deserve my money.

    • Be careful even if you are not on autopay. I made an online payment that just got lost in cyberspace. I realized it never came out of my account so I checked and they didn’t even have it pending. Apparently there were general “account issues” those few days.

    • I am super pissed about this move. They didn’t advertise it ahead of time, my monthly payment went up, the new site kicked me out every time I tried to set up new account info, and worst of all…I HATE nelnet. I consolidated my undergrad loans with them years ago and had nothing but headaches for the entire repayment period. With this switch, I ended up paying twice because they never confirmed via email that kwik pay was set up (even though they said they would) and I panicked when the payment didn’t come out on the 21st so I paid again and both payments finally went through 4 days later. I just lost my job and don’t really have an extra $700 around for non emergency costs …

      • I am also super pissed. A majority of the important information that was available on the old site is not available on the new one. For example, under payment history, the new site says that I have not made any payments on my loans. Since I’ve been paying monthly on the IBR plan since its creation and expect to get loan forgiveness after 120 payments, that sent me into a tizzy over the possibility that they’d lost the records of my payments. And of course their customer service line is closed on the weekend so I have to stew until Monday… I pity the customer service rep who picks up my call.

        • I am livid about this. I use that monthly ticker as a self-esteem boost that I only have x payments to go before I control my life instead of my loans.

    • found a peanut :

      I had a similar thing happen to me when Citibank sold some of my loans to Sallie Mae without doing me the courtesy of, you know, notifying me. I logged into Citibank to pay and noticed that my loan payment was about 1/3 of what it normally is. Awesome! And when I told my husband, he was like, oh they probably sold them. Which they did. And then send me a letter about 2 weeks later, after my bill was due.

      The upshot is now I have to go to two websites to pay my loans instead of one. That’s twice as many websites.

    • This is so weird. I hadn’t heard about this switch until I read it here, but my information has apparently transferred over – the site reflects a payment ten days ago and the next payment is scheduled appropriately. Thank goodness, because I rarely check the status of my accounts that are automatically deducted.

      • They sent out an email (to me anyway – I think I was set up for e-statements) the beginning of Sept. One single email saying – hey, we’re switching. And then a second email this week letting me know my statement was ready. But then I set up the account and kept getting kicked out every time I tried to log in. And I agree with the poster above – I want to see all those previous payments I made. That’s also my track of the progression of principal paid versus interest. Ugh.

        • I never got an email. I went to log in just to check (which I do monthly) and was redirected to the new site and required to set up an account there.

  30. Weight Watchers Beginner :

    Hi Ladies!
    Based on previous threads I know there are quite a few ladies here on the WW points plus program and many others on similar weight loss plans. For all you busy traveling women, how so you stay on your diet plan while traveling? I will be travelling to Vegas, and I don’t want to gain back the 7 lbs I just lost. How does one continue to eat healthy and stay on plan?

    • There is traveling, and then there are blowout weekends in Vegas! Ha. I say that only because I think strategies for travel to European cities, for example, are likely not the same strategies that will work best for a week’s vacation on a beach, or camping, or Vegas, etc. You know best what you like to splurge on in a decadent weekend, so I’d suggest that one of the best things you can do is think through what you’ll likely be doing at different points during your trip (long weekend?) and decide how you want to handle those activities or events/where you want to splurge/how much exercise and sleep you intend to get in advance. More specific things that helped me in Las Vegas recently (to take or leave depending on your specific trip and your psyche):
      1. I tried to use only the daily points allowance during the four weekdays leading up to my long weekend, saving as much of the weekly points allowance as possible for the three days away.
      2. In the same vein . . . I built up activity points by working out all four days before we left.
      3. Made up my mind that I would get in a run in the hotel’s fitness center during the late afternoon the day we arrived. Because I’d planned out a time and it was well before the first group event (dinner Friday night), it was easier to honor that commitment and actually work out in Las Vegas. (Remember to pack workout clothes and shoes if you’re going to do this.)
      4. Before leaving home, I read through the menus of the three places where we’d made reservations for group meals, and planned what I would order. (Where these plans went astray was with the bread/breadsticks/cheese bread/pretzel bread/crackers and butter served at the table in advance . . . all so good. Carbs have always been my downfall. I have a general rule not to eat bread and butter at restaurants but these were especially tempting somehow. Forewarned is forearmed?)
      5. Steakhouses are everywhere in Vegas, and steak is a good choice points-wise. Sides of Swiss chard, butternut squash, or Brussels sprouts are good. Sashimi/sushi is also one of my usual go-to dining out options b/c raw fish has such low point values but is delicious. That said, I have another general rule — in life, not WW+ — to eat the foods/cuisines a particular destination does best or that I can’t get good renditions of at home. I therefore order an awful lot of sashimi and sushi in Hawaii; not so much in Las Vegas, in the middle of a desert.
      6. Choose whether to have a glass or two of wine (or a c*cktail and one glass of wine) with dinner *or* have dessert, but not both.
      7. Have only two meals a day — late breakfast/brunch and dinner. I tend to do this on weekends anyway. That said, do not make one of those meals an all-you-can-eat buffet! And remember you can split an entree or anything else — portions are enormous in many restaurants in Vegas.
      8. Go to the sundries store (or a local convenience mart if one is walkable or by asking your taxi driver to stop at one on the way from the airport to the hotel) and buy sparkling water (or your other favorite zero-point drinks), fresh fruit and a lower-point snack option like multi-grain crackers, pretzels, popcorn or hard candy to keep in the hotel room and avoid raiding the minibar or ordering room service. (You have to know yourself on this one — if you will eat an entire bag of pretzels in one sitting if they’re available, don’t get snacks, just water and fruit and baby carrots. Whatever your go-to staples are.)
      9. Figure out your alcoholic drink of choice beforehand, or decide you’re going to have only fizzy water and lemon/lime. If you’re going with a group and the trip is partly or solely a drinking bash, I’d suggest reviewing the WW+ website for online articles to figure out what you like that doesn’t have many points. (Vodka and soda? Light beer? Scotch on the rocks? I know only that margaritas — my former favorites — are at the other end of the scale.) They also have tons of articles with suggestions for dealing with c*cktail party-type situations — and dining in restaurants in general.
      10. Get enough sleep. It’s a lot harder to maintain your intention of eating cleanly if you’re sleep-deprived. Plus, it feels deliciously decadent to sleep in when you’re in a faraway posh hotel room — a luxury that is completely points-free. Same with the spa options . . . .

      • And if you’re going to Vegas for a conference or for work, my apologies for jumping to the wrong conclusion! I think some ideas will still apply . . . .

  31. Random question –

    If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

    Is it more “realistic” – like the highest position in your current career track – or more “pie in the sky” like ice cream flavor designer?

    • Need a screen name :

      I struggle with this. I travel a lot, and that means eating out a lot, and sometimes I just don’t get everything tracked on WW. I try to get in at least a short run to partially offset! Good lulck!

      • Need a screen name :

        Oops! That was meant for the comment above by Weight Watchers Beginner. Sorry!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Astronaut (in a world where NASA was still running its own space program). Clearly I still have 10 year old child dreams!

    • Lottery winner / pool lounger / world traveler / wardrobe comprised entirely of Valentino haver.

      What? That’s not a job, you say?

      Well, then. Foreign Service.

    • MeliaraofTlanth :

      Writer for National Geographic. Or running horseback riding vacations.

    • First choice – rich housewife.
      Second choice – National news anchor.

    • I really like my job (I’m a lawyer), but if I were better at science, I would have majored in zoology or biology and become either a large animal vet or a zookeeper.

    • I’m with Herbie on her first choice.

      Second choice? Personal stylist. Or possibly gift shopper.

    • viclawstudent :

      Used to be that I really wanted to be a travel writer (for National Geographic or Lonely Planet – both guidebook writing and article writing were part of my dream) but I’ve realized now that the job requirement that I constantly be on the move would probably have gotten to me. I like being at home and stability a lot more than I did ten years ago.

      Agree with Erin that if I’d been more drawn into science, I would have liked to be a vet. I love animals and would have liked working with them.

    • Romance novelist.

      • I would also be a novelist – obviously the kind that makes a ton of money and is hugely successful ;)

        And then also maybe an English professor.

        Or a rockstar. Preferably a modern version of Emmy Lou Harris.

    • I’d love to be part of the team of writers for “The Office.” (many of whom also act on the show.) It sounds like it would be a blast to hang out with that crew.

    • Fitness instructor in Hawaii or somewhere else in the South Pacific. And of course I’d like to have gotten the job because I married into the hotel-owning family, so I don’t have to worry about having the money to afford life at resort prices ;)

  32. white girl :

    Anyone else out there watch Korean dramas? I feel like I’m the only non-korean who does :) Any good ones to recommend? I’m looking for something new now. Just finished Heartstrings, it was fun!

    • Also non-Korean :

      Have you watched Winter Sonata? Total tearjerker
      My Lovely Sam Soon was pretty good too
      Next on my list is Full House and My Girl

      • white girl :

        Funny story, I’ve been to the island where they filmed Winter Sonata. There were a whole bunch of people there just to see the house and beach, and there were plaques… I had to go watch it after that to see what all the fuss was about!

        Thanks for the recommendations :)

        • Also non-Korean :

          Have you watched the others in the Endless Love series? Autumn in My Heart, Summer-something, Spring Waltz? I wonder if it’s worth schlepping out to Chinatown for the DVDs

          • white girl :

            a bunch of them are on hulu now (new and old ones), including autumn in my heart, which I started but couldn’t get into. The whole “I like my sister” thing is too much for me….

            I also watch dramafever.com- also free, with subtitles, and legal, which makes me happy :). But their video player tends to crash, and their commercials are worse (if possible) than hulu.

          • Also non-Korean :

            thanks for the hulu rec! A friend recently recommended http://www.mysoju.com/#KD
            As far as the “I like my sister” thing, it reminds me of South American novelas I watched with my grandmother when I was a kid! Novelas these days are pretty trashy so I’m glad for Korean dramas

    • I watch korean series in korean and i don’t understand a word but it helps me wind down. I just finished city hunter

      • white girl :

        That’s awesome Houda. I’m sure you’ve picked up a lot of the language by now, I know I have even with subtitles. Aren’t their outfits great? I always know what will be in in the US in a year when I watch them.

        There’s lots of recaps in english available online (dramabeans.com) if you can’t get any of the sites with subtitles to work, for a little more context. How did you like city hunter?

  33. I know it’s late, but I just have to share the day’s goodness: I got a new phone, I am now watching the Cardinals in Game 7 of the World Series (yay Cardinals), and I just found out that I am going to be having a little Corporette in March!! (I knew I was pregnant, obviously, but just found out today that it’s a girl!) Hopefully someone is still giving career, wardrobe and life advice here in 20 years!

    • Congrats! I love both my new phone and my little girl.
      Don’t care about baseball though.

    • Congratulations!!! Here’s to future Corporettes and their overachieving chick moms!

    • Bursting out :

      Sweet! Congrats! I’m originally a St. Louisan – so excited for the Cards! – and also due at the beginning of March (sex is yet unknown).

    • Congratulations on the little Corporette! (and a begruding congrats on the Cards win, from a Brewers fan!)

  34. Feedback for Kat :

    Kat, ever since the server changed, every time I open up Corporette on Internet Explorer it locks up and I have to force-quit Explorer. I know my place of work is using an older version of IE (and I can’t upgrade or download another browser because I don’t have admin access), so I wanted to let you know in the desperate hope that it’s resolvable and you will resolve it. I miss my Corporette over lunch!!!

  35. Tired Squared :

    Ladies, I just have to share:

    I’ve spent the last three months working crazy hours in order to pay off the accrued interest on my student loans before it all gets capitalized in November. Today, I officially paid it all off … and now my total indebtedness is only five figures instead of six.

    I know it’s going to take some time to get that five figures down to four and so on, but for right now … what a relief!

  36. Equity's Darling :

    Okay, so the articling students at my firm have to do a “funny Christmas skit” at our Christmas party. It has to be relatively non-denominational, and definitely funny to non-law spouses.

    Does anyone have any cool suggestions?

    • Decades ago, we did a slide show on the difference between what they tell you at interview week and reality. For example, the narrator would say “And all the partners are friendly and fun to work with,” and the slide would show the most curmudgeonly partner (who knew we were setting him up when we took the picture, but still let us do it); the ballroom at the Royal York erupted in laughter. Another one was “face-to-face client work with our most established clients” and we took a picture of a bunch of us standing with the dinosaur skeletons at the ROM. Or how the firm had great benefits and we took a picture of the HR Director with an electric drill, drilling into someone’s mouth.

      We had a pretty large articling group (over 30), so once we had the idea, we were able to come up with a lot of slides pretty quickly.

    • Perhaps you could reimagine the story of the founding of the firm as the nativity story? The founding partner was born of a virgin, you could imagine the other early partners as the oxen and donkeys in the stable, something like that. done well it would be hilarious, and although it’s not non-denominational it’s universally funny.

      • Suited Up :

        I know we’re just riffing ideas here, but I’m not sure Erin’s idea would be unoffensive—however, in the same vein, what if you took her re- imagining idea and applied it to the Rudolph story (the t.v. cartoon classic)? I think that would be cute and definitely non-denominational.

    • If anyone has musical talent, we’ve had people doing well known songs with comic law firm-specific or legal lyrics, and it always steals the show. Another good year was a Daily Show tongue-in-cheek news show focused on firm related “stories”. This was super funny too but time intensive because there was some pre-show video making/editing. One year we also had an alternate universe show where the audience was the new crop of associates coming into the firm and the “presenters” were giving them tips and training advice for fitting in and being successful. Someone also used that website that you can put in text and it will make a poorly animated, robot-voiced cartoon for you — you can get a lot more pointed in your jokes when it’s coming from a cartoon! There was also a year when part of the show was Jeopardy-like with firm-specific categories. Our firm is pretty good natured when it comes to the holiday show so everyone is pretty fair game to poke fun at. If it isn’t apparent, though — the bar is pretty high at my firm so it’s a huge time sink for the newbies who have to put the show together. Have fun!

  37. Sydney Bristow :

    Super exciting news! I have a job interview next week for an in-house position at an awesome company with an emphasis on the area of law I’m interested in. This is the first real interview I’ve been able to get since I finished school in January. I’ll be spending the weekend researching the company and preparing. Cross your fingers for me!

    I just needed to share my excitement, but would love to hear any interviewing advice anyone has. I’ll be researching the company and its people and will prepare some questions. If you are someone who conducts interviews, what are the best or worst things you’ve seen in interviews?

    • This is great! I know you’ve been laying the groundwork for this kind of interview for a long time. No advice from me–just pleased to hear your good news.

    • In-House Europe :

      Congrats!! I think the thing that sets apart good interviewees is a sense of self-confidence and honest excitement/interest in the position.

      For me, if I approach an interview as “I must get this or I will die” then I am going to be nervous and not my best self. On the other hand, if I approach it as “this would be great if the company and I are the right fit for each other, but if not I am sure something else will turn up”, then I am much more able to relax and concentrate on the process.

      That is all really theoretical but hopefully it helps! :)

  38. I’m in my third year of practice and coming to the realization that I have a bit of an academic bent. While I work at a great boutique firm with long term potential, I sort of want to apply for a clerkship. Crazy, I know. It’s a lark – my CV is great and my grades were good but not the top 10 or anything. The chances of landing it are not big, but you are only young once.

    Would you be upfront with your firm about this sort of thing? It would sure help if I could use them as references!

    • I clerked right out of school so I didnt face this quandary. Since you are three years out, I wouldn’t tell the firm. My former firm was okay with, but certainly, not thrilled with people who worked for one year and then clerked. They would not have been happy with someone who waited several years to clerk. If you can afford to take the pay cut, I’d say go for it. Clerking is a fun job and q good credential if you’d like to go into academia.

    • I did my first and second yr in biglaw, clerked, and then returned to the same firm as a 4th yr. I wouldn’t be upfront with them right now at the application stage. I don’t think people realize it but most practicing attys can’t do much to help you get a clerkship; there is no reason to think that just because partner x appears in front of judge y all the time and sees him at bar functions, he is going to pick up the phone and call in a favor for your clerkship with judge y, no matter how much he likes you because the partner does not truly know whether or not the judge will be offended and won’t want to risk it. The exception is if you are asking a partner to call his own judge because that’s a completely different relationship. Also, by telling them you’re applying, you’re previewing for them that you want to leave, and if it doesn’t work out, they will be left wondering whether you just wanted to clerk but are happy staying at the firm or whether you were looking for a clerkship to escape the firm and now that it didn’t work you’ll look for a different route.

      I would apply wherever you want to apply and see what happens. The reference stage doesn’t happen until after you get interviews. If you do get interviews, then it’s different — you can tell 1-2 partners that though you love the firm, you are excited about this and want to give it a shot and ask to use them as references. It sets a different tone than — I’m applying to 100 judges so I can get out of here; people see it different when it is more concrete, even if it doesn’t work at the end.

      • I think I would normally totally agree but this clerkship requires a few references letters with your application. I can probably cover it off with a couple of academic references and 1-2 lawyers who have since left the firm, but the two lawyers I work with the most would make my application stronger. That said, it is a lark and I do like my job so I don’t want to rock the boat unnecessarily.

        Start to wonder if the whole thing might be more stress than its worth!

  39. anonemouse :

    Anyone have thoughts on J.Crew Thinsulate–does it actually help a lot with the warmth? Any other favorite super warm wool coats?

    • Yeah, it’s pretty good. I actually chose the Lady Day coat without thinsulate b/c I thought it would be too warm with it. I tend to be warmer than most people, but I can comfortably wear the Lady Day down to about 25 degrees. With thinsulate I think it would be really warm.

      • anonemouse :

        Awesome, thanks! I think I’m going to go for it :)

      • Anonymous :

        Agree. I have two different coats with thinsulate and I’m never too cold in them. I’ve had a number of others over the years that Ive basically worn out.

        • former bostonian :

          the thinsulate is pretty warm. I have one coat w/o thinsulate, and I had to stop wearing it around mid december in Boston. The one with thinsulate got me through the whole winter.

          • I am obviously weak. I did not find the Lady Day coat with thinsulate warm enough when I spent the holidays in Chicago last winter. It was in the 20s and very gloomy and somewhat damp.

  40. I’m looking for a website or app that will allow me to “clip” and save online articles in the way one can collect and save web images on Pinterest. Any recommendations?

    • A lot of people use Evernote but I find it really clunky. I use Diigo and tag things as “to read” or “shopping list.” For articles, I use Readability or Read It Later, as I can download them to my iphone / ipad.

    • Need a screen name :

      I’ve used Evernote (I agree with CB that it is a bit clunky). I just downloaded an app called Pearltrees, but haven’t explored it yet.

    • Springpad. Similar to Evernote.

    • I recommend Evernote. I thought it was clunky too until I switched to Chrome. The integration is done much better in Chrome vs. IE or Firefox.

    • Try Instapaper. (This only works for the whole article though, not just little quotes or excerpts.) You click “read later” after installing Instapaper and then you can read the articles later. It works really well with iPhone and iPad, but I heard the Kindle version is not as good.

  41. Diana Barry :


    The Jules et Jim “Elizabeth” perfect maternity suit in herringbone grey
    I like this a lot! Pretty great quality for maternity stuff. The jacket and skirt are fully lined. Fabric is poly/rayon but doesn’t look cheap. Pants have 33″ inseam but seem longer bc of the belly panel (under belly but super soft, can be pulled up). Skirt could be a skosh longer (hits just above my knee) but if you wear a long top and pull the skirt down (under belly panel, v soft as above), it is long enough. Jacket hits at low hip and may be too long if you are short. The only thing I don’t like is that the pants have a not-so-attractive tush, but if you are wearing a long top and/or jacket, will be hidden.

    Note on sizing – I am 5’8″ with longish legs and usually a size 6-8 prepreg; I ordered this in a size L, the same size as my Pea in the Pod suits (which are not as nice quality). Should fit throughout pregnancy – jacket falls open over belly, so can fit any size belly.

    Audrey front tie maternity suit
    This suit is AWFUL, very cheap fabric and looks terrible. Going straight back!


    Corporettes–regular poster, seeking advice from the HiveMind:

    I work on a large team which has different levels of people–about five at the top, twelve below them, and three of us that are more junior. I am one of the more junior folks, but to clarify, we’re not support staff. My whole team has been going like gangbusters this year–it’s been crazy. This week, as part of a tight project we were working on, I was given access to one of the “middle” people’s emails to pull out some responses from clients that were scattered all over his email and handle them in relation to our project.

    And…then I came across the holiday party invite in this person’s email. (I wasn’t snooping–it was right in the subject line, and I was instructed to check every email.) None of the three junior folks (including me) were invited, but all of the senior and middle folks and their significant others were.

    This has completely demoralized me. How do I get over it? Someone thought about the guest list (and btw, venue is not an issue–it’s at a HUGE home) and decided not to invite the junior people. That we weren’t important. Not really part of the team, even though we have been asked to work just as hard.

    I feel like saying something is a lose-lose. If we say something, we have to explain how we found out. If you force someone to invite you after an omission, it’s not really genuine anyway, and it’s clear they didn’t want us there.

    Also, incidentally, in other departments at my company, people at the junior level are usually included in these things (I asked, and I know from prior years).

    Do I do nothing? And if so, how do I work the crazy hours these people have been asking me to put in, knowing that they don’t even consider us equals? SO DEPRESSED.

    • Another Sarah :

      It may not be that they don’t think of you guys as part of the team, there could be a lot of reasons (although these are by no way excuses, since you should have been invited). They may not really like one of the junior team, and didn’t want to invite everyone but that one person. Or the host/hostess thought you guys wouldn’t want to hang around older people for a party. Or that the “party” really isn’t a “party” but more of a work session, and they thought you could have the night off. Or the lady of the house where the party is at said that she didn’t want those young, nubile corporette juniors that spend all day with her husband to steal her man in her own home. In other words, they may not have meant the snub as a snub. Honestly, I think you’re putting a bit too much weight on a workplace holiday party; if they show their appreciation in other ways, then it may just be that you haven’t been there long enough, or something.

      If you guys continue to not be invited to things, then mention how it’s lowering morale to your direct supervisor or the middle/senior person you feel most comfortable with.

    • Are you friends with any of them (not the person whose email you used)? I would feel completely demoralized too, and the only thing that would help is finding out the whole story. If you can talk confidentially to someone and find out the details, you might not feel more encouraged, but at least you’ll know the truth and where you stand on the team.

      I would not tell the other junior people. That could only hurt, not help.

    • I don’t think anything good can come from saying anything. It will just make you look snoopy and petty.

    • It’s a no-win situation.

      If you were to say anything, any trust that anyone had in you would be destroyed. Even if you didn’t share how you found out, someone would eventually figure it out–these are smart people (I think?). And once they find out, it would spread like wildfire what you did. I understand that you were suppose to be looking at every.single.email. But, given that you could quickly see the email wasn’t relevant, most folks would assume you would have breezed past it– not overanalyzed the “to” and “from” list.

      This is the kind of information that I would just catalog away in your mind. Once you get enough of these little “situations,” you will be in a better position to evaluate what’s really going on. As other posters have mentioned, there could be a *lot* of different issues happening. I know that when I have a situation like this, I tend to think the worse. In reality, it tends to be the complete opposite– usually something benign.

      Also, you aren’t being singled out for exclusion. They are purposefully excluding all the juniors. So there isn’t anything wrong with you or your work, most likely. So I wouldn’t stress too much about it.

      As for being considered an equal… um… you are the most junior. You AREN’T an equal. Even if you are there 12hrs a day longer than the higher-ups, you still aren’t an equal. Even if you are in the same conference room as the higher-ups for 16hrs/day for 12 months, you still aren’t an equal. In every organization, firm, company, etc. there is a hierarchy. Though at times the lines may be fuzzy, don’t ever forget it’s there. I think this is one of those instances that, because of the workload the past year, you may have forgotten the hierarchy is still there. That said, embrace it and learn how to work it to your advantage.

      Good luck. And don’t dwell on this!

    • I think the reality is that at any workplace, there will be lots of events that aren’t all-inclusive. Even if the house is huge, they may have a limited guest list based on the type of party it is- e.g. if it has a full meal included, it may just be a way for the more senior employees to get together. If someone’s hosting it a private home, I don’t think there is any requirement that the host invite everyone in the department just because that’s what’s done in other departments. Perhaps those departments are smaller, have fewer upper level employees, etc. Then again, I’m not really the type to like workplace parties, so I would probably be relieved not to be invited.

    • No advice, but I’d be upset too in your place.

    • It’s one of those workplace things that you really can’t do anything about. Mids and seniors hang out together all the time and don’t HAVE to include juniors. Same way that in certain groups/departments, juniors will go out but would not think to invite mids or seniors — or sometimes invite them but don’t them to come and clearly express their disappointment if they do come. There could be any number of reasons for this from the size of the house to the fact that this group has known each other for a decade, but I wouldn’t sit around considering those reasons because you can’t change it. Take comfort in the fact that NONE of the juniors were invited; it would be a worse sign if just you were left out. Whichever poster said you’re not equal is right; you’re there to do what you ask, earn your paycheck, and learn something valuable to your career, anything you get beyond that — whether it’s a mentor relationship, a friendship, party invites are gravy and you will have stretches of your career where you won’t be getting those things. BTW — in no way can you say how you found this out and I wouldn’t even tell the other juniors, if you haven’t already. When someone asks you to review email, they are assuming they can trust you with their personal info; it will be a detriment from a work perspective if you are painted as untrustworthy over something so unimportant.

  43. Has anyone heard of the site bootssaleworld dot com? Looks like they have some amazing discounts, but also looks a little to good to be true!

  44. Anon in BK :

    Recently moved to Park Slope. Any Corporettes know if kiddies trick or treat here? Trying to decide how much candy to buy!

  45. I know how u feel! I broke down and bought these J brand jeans in Bright blue. I think it will be good to trade in the leggings for these jeans!

  46. Tra La La :

    Hi all,

    I won one free personal training session as a prize. I have never met with a trainer before, and I don’t intend to regularly meet with personal trainer after that session. Do you have any suggestions on how I can best take advantage of the session? Also, what can I expect the trainer to do/not do? Thanks in advance!

    • I occasionally work out with a friend who is a certified trainer. If you’re intending to work on strength training, I’ve learned the most from her about how to use the machines, adjust to my height and strength, how to move so you get the most out of it and don’t hurt yourself. She has also taught me stretching moves to do afterward. I’ve never worked out with a trainer for cardio so I can’t speak to that. I was doing okay by myself but I’ve gotten so much better just from the workouts I do with her!

    • “One” personal training session won’t do you much good, because the trainer will talk to you about what you currently do, weigh and measure you and then say, “great…how can I get you to buy more sessions/come in.” They are taught to prolong things this way at nearly every gym.

      I would do your best to be up front if you don’t intend on coming again–tell them you’d like to make the most of the 60 mins you have, and have them take you around the gym, as the prev poster said, and show you all the machines you’ve always wondered about.

  47. Can anyone recommend boots that run wide in the forefoot and narrow in the shaft?

    Or, alternately a place that alters boots in the DC area?

    • Tired Squared :

      Not sure what level of quality you’re looking for, but I’ve found a couple of wide-footed pairs at Aldo that fit my wide feed/thinner ankles perfectly!

  48. found a peanut :

    So….who else has Halloween plans that are being ruined by the weather?

    I have a great costume and a party that could be great or could be awful, but on a nicer night I’d at least give it a try before going to a bar or something. But now all I want to do is sit home.

    The one good thing is that my costume involves wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. I kind of feel bad for all the girls dressed as slutty _____’s, but then I actually don’t feel that bad at all.

    • Always the risk of Halloween :) I know I purposefully structure a costume that would be warm, after years of bundling coats over really cute costumes as a kid.

      This is the 20 year anniversary of our area’s “Halloween Blizzard” where is it snowed 8 inches btwn late afternoon midnight on Halloween, and then continued to accumulate another 2 feet over the next couple days and the temp dropped a lot. Needless to say 10 year old Argie did NOT go trick-or-treating that year.

      So… if you want to stay home, stay home. Save the costume for next year.

    • Halloweens in Texas were great. You could wear any costume you wanted and not worry about temps being too cold. In Omaha, where I grew up, I remember one Halloween that was Officially Postponed by the mayor, since there was a blizzard that day. I was colder than freak the next day when we actually went out trick or treating.

      Where I live now, I think we’ll actually luck out on the weather. We got snow last week, but it’s mostly melted by now, and supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow. There’s a joke here about how it always rains or snows on Halloween.

  49. Does anyone have any advice about whether its ok to wear sweater dresses to the office? I work in a business casual law firm in CA, and because of the moderate climate I can wear dresses, especially sweater dresses, year-round with tights. I have a whole bunch of them, all of which are in excellent condition and are flattering but not at all revealing. I’d love to wear them, but in general my rule is if it looks better with riding boots than heels, I don’t wear it to the office, and my dresses look great with flat boots. I can’t really take any guidance from the other women in the office since there are only a couple (both very senior to me) and they both wear pants almost all the time. They do wear quite casual pants sometimes, such as khakis and cords.

    • I dress on the more dressy end of business casual, and I’d wear a dress with flat boots in a heartbeat. I don’t think there’s anything unprofessional about the look, unless your boots are the super “weathered” type.

  50. As long as it’s not too clingy or short, go for it!

  51. NYC lawyers — what is the standard maternity leave at your firms? Paid, unpaid?

    • Working Girl :

      18 weeks paid and up to 6 months unpaid is top of the market in Biglaw. 12 weeks paid and up to 6 months unpaid is bottom of the market in Biglaw. Most bigger firms, if not all of them, fall somewhere in there.

  52. What kind of legwear/hosiery does one typically wear to a bus. casual office in the fall/winter? I have so many sheath dresses that I wore at my old job with nylons and a black blazer for court, but I feel overdressed wearing nylons at this firm. Black opaque tights? Is that too casual?

    • Also, if wearing tights– what about subtly patterned black tights? (No HUGE/fishnet-y patterns.)

      • I wear tights with patterns fairly regularly and my office is on the more casual side of business casual. Even in more formal offices I think a simple pattern would be fine with an otherwise conservative look.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Definitely do tights. I think a small pattern is okay in some offices. I’m in a nice business casual office (full suit doesn’t look too dressed up, but most people wear something similar to a suit without the jacket), and would not wear patterned tights. I can imagine some of my friends wearing them in their offices, though. So I think it depends on what end of the formality scale and how tolerant people in your office are of more creative outfits.

    • I think black opaque tights are completely fine. If you can go without nylons in the summer you can definitely wear solid color tights in normal colors (black, gray, brown, navy, etc) in the winter. Patterned tights aren’t really my style but if they were I would definitely feel ok wearing subtly patterned black tights.

  53. Ladies on the East Coast – how’s the weather treating you? I think we got a little snow (a couple of inches) back home in Quincy, but I’m at my parents’ house on the Cape. The storm was very loud – the windows rattled all night. We lost power for about 3 hours and some of the window screens flew off. Currently, its 39 degrees and blowing 37 mph. It is very cold.

    My mother is in upstate NY (Troy). She has no power and lots of snow. I don’t think she’s getting back here anytime soon.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Most of us don’t have power so you probably won’t get a lot of responses! I got over a foot of snow and had no power from 9 pm last night until 5 today. Most of the stores were out of power too. It is pretty crazy!

  54. Re student loans, how do you feel about the fact that now people will not have to pay off the whole loans under the new rules, whereas you are stuck with the whole thing? I know it would totally bug me if I was involved in paying off a student loan at present……

    On the other hand, some now in school may never get jobs.

    • I am not bothered at all because the interest rates charged on federal loans these days are outrageous. The reality is that the feds are making a lot of money off the current direct loans because the cost to administer them is so much lower than the going interest rates. I think the better alternative would be to lower interest rates for everyone who is currently taking out the loans. I took out about the same amount in private and federal loans, and my federal payments (if I were not in IBR) would be almost twice as much as my private loan payments.

    • Just to be clear, you’re talking about the plan where federal student loans in IBR that still have a balance after 25 years will have that balance forgiven? Its not like they are getting a free ride – they still have to spend 25 YEARS paying on their loans, and have that payment pinned to their income. That’s 25 YEARS of having this debt hanging over their head and keeping them from doing other things in their life.

      So, 22 year old graduate plus 25 years of payments – that’s 45 years old. Yes, I’m okay with them getting it forgiven at the point. Every other debt has the opportunity of bankruptcy for a fresh start, this one doesn’t. There needs to be some relief valve. I think 25 years is enough of a punishment for a decision you made at 18.

    • But it was always the case that you wouldn’t have to pay off the whole loan if you hadn’t paid it off in a certain number of years. It’s just that now it’s 20 years instead of 25 (still 10 for public sector workers).

      I am jealous that they’ll only have to pay 10% of their income over the poverty line whereas I pay 15. But what would really make a difference – in case Obama’s reading this – is if they would take into account your private loans. The federal goverment may think I can only afford 15%, but in reality I’m paying more than twice that.

      • Don’t forget that after 25 years, folks will be taxed on any forgiven debt. But total forgiveness for public sector after 10!

      • Proportionally recent grads had to borrow a lot more, so I don’t mind this at all. Even 10 years ago, my undergrad was 20/yr and now it’s 35+. Wages, however, are almost the same. If they had to borrow more, at a higher rate, just to end up in the same place, a little extra forgiveness 20 years down the line is fine w/ me.

  55. So I have a little win I want to share with coporettes.
    It’s been six months since I first started my action plan based on NGDGTCO.
    So the type A in me was urging me to quantify the progress. I redid the little test and I see great improvement, 17 points in total (no cheating).
    I am very happy about this improvement because I have now two very clear items to work on in the coming 6 months. we’ll see if that is what is holding me from getting my awaited promotion.
    Houda is no longer a nice girl.

  56. Weekend venting…

    I’ve been at my firm for only a couple of months. Its really small and laid back, so I thought it would be great. Since I started, I’ve been doing a lot of cleanup of work done by others before me at the firm. Clearly, the partner I worked for reviewed this work before and let it through. Not that I want to generate poor work product, but his review of my work drives me batty. He is trying so hard to mold me into writing in his exact style that it is taking a toll on my work. I really think the quality of my work has gone down since working at this firm, and I find it hard to take his comments seriously when he let such terrible work get through before.

    I moved to a new city for this job. I don’t have many friends around, and I’m generally unhappy with where I am at right now. Part of me knows that I need to just suck it up and do what he asks, but I can’t seem to get my ego out of the way. I was laid off a while back and it took me 6 months to land this job. Ugh. I feel trapped. And I’m starting to lose confidence in my own abilities as an attorney.

    • L, that sounds really frustrating. Is he messing with content or style? If he is changing content, find out why. Did you draw the wrong conclusion or emphasize the wrong thing? If so, those are things you should work on. With style, you should let him do what he wants and try to adapt to his style. (I have to do this for most partners I work for. When I work with Partner A, my style is totally different than for Partner B because that is the way they like it.) Also, not to be harsh, but don’t assume that with so many years of education that your style is the “better” one. In my field, clients like the complex topics boiled down nice and simple. It is really hard to do that. It may even go against the way you were taught to write in high school, college, or even law school, but most people like work work product that they can read quickly and not get bogged down with unnecessary detail or complex writing styles. Lastly, flip through a Bryan Garner book if you want to improve skills or keep them sharp. Finally, working on your writing style is something you will do your entire career, so don’t let a few bad experiences with this partner bog you down!

      • One more thing . . . don’t end the last two sentences of a paragraph with “lastly” and “finally!’ Always proofread. Ugh.

      • Thanks! I know I need to get my ego out of the way. I just needed to vent to some fellow corporettes. My frustration comes from his assumption that because I was trained at a different firm, anything that I do that isn’t what he would do is “wrong.” It doesn’t help matters that he is a terrible communicator. In trying to fit his style, I’ve lost some persuasiveness in my own work. I am in my fourth year of practice, so not exactly new to catering to individual partners/clients. But this one is especially difficult. Interestingly, I have a very succinct writing style and he is pushing me to use longer, more descriptive sentences, etc. I find his work much harder to read.

    • I know how you feel. In my office, we go through a 2-person review process. The first person to review tends to prefer lengthier, more detailed work, while the second person tends to prefer concise work. Person 1 has extensive experience with the type of writing I normally do. While my style is far more like person 2’s style, I tend to make the changes person 1 requests because I know she knows what she’s doing.

      My guess is that Homestar is onto something with respect to the audience. It may be that this partner’s audience prefers writing to be a certain style, and adapting your style to the audience is probably more important than whether you think the work is good. I know some of my biggest challenges in my job came from trying to write something in the wrong style for the audience. Now I just ask up front to figure out what style is needed.

      • Thanks guys. This really helped me pin down that it is his lack of communication that is my real issue. I can talk to him about that.

        Hive to the rescue once again!

  57. Just had a fun Halloween event at our local science center – went with family with suggested “science” costume. I looked up a few famous women in science and went to town – it did help that I had a few vintage/retro pieces in my wardrobe, and I redid a book cover and did up a few calling cards with two lines of content. I was having the random thought that if we dressed as women we admired for Halloween (and I could wear this to work, the person was an academic) it could be a step away from the “sexy ____” horror story. To take the stuffiness out, I billed myself as a well-preserved zombie of _____.

    • anon in SF :

      Fun! That is a great costume idea. Though now I kind of wish I was going to a Halloween party, I would dress up as Marie Curie and wear glow in the dark nail polish.

  58. Anonymous :

    NYT Article on one Buffalo law firm’s Halloween party:

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