Coffee Break – Semi Fitted Pants

C9 by Champion® Women's Semi Fitted Pants w/Extended Sizes - BlackTarget is having a pretty great deal today — buy one item Men’s, Women’s and Kids’ apparel, accessories and shoes and get 50% off an additional item from one of these categories — plus, there’s always free shipping when you spend $50. This strikes me as a great time to stock up on exercise duds from C9 by Champion, ASSETS by Sara Blakely undergarments, and all of those Merona and Mossimo dresses I feature so frequently for Friday’s TPS reports — even Dana Kellin for Target. Happy shopping, ladies! (Oh: and the pants are $19.99.) C9 by Champion® Women’s Semi Fitted Pants w/Extended Sizes – Black

(L-2)

Comments

  1. I think I am going to break down and buy The Skirt! I am a grad student but pretty much live in pencil skirts, tucked in blouses, and cardigans so it would get a lot of use in my wardrobe. Advice on color? I’d love to mustard but they are sadly sold out. I wear a lot of grey and purple but the berry cordial looks a bit barney to me and I have a Fushia pencil skirt from Monsoon. Any thoughts on the red or orange? I like that burnt orange but I don’t know what I’d wear it with without looking Halloween-y.

    Share your wisdom please!

    • The berry cordial really is a beautiful color. I’m trying to think how to describe it. It’s definitely not Barneyish. The turquoise is sold out. I have the red and love it, but red is my favorite color so I wear it a lot.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a different skirt in that same orange color and it’s one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe. Orange really works with a lot of colors – I wear it with light teal, gray, burgundy, brown, eggplant, beige, etc. So long as orange is the only bright in your outfit, it doesn’t look too loud (and if you like brights, you could pair it with hot pink, purple, cobalt, and more). Since colorblocking is in now, I often wear it with a solid top in one color and solid tights and shoes in a different color. Super versatile – I love orange.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I always love blue with orange, so I’m sure the burnt orange would look fantastic with navy, or a deep green, or a chocolate brown.

      For red, the obvious choice to match for me would be black, or perhaps again navy. I think grey could work too, depending on the shade. I can also see a forest green or a mustard or chocolate top with it maybe…it would depend on the shade of red in person.

      I think ivory/champagne would go really well with both of those colours also.

    • Can a petite speak to sizing of the skirt? I wear a 12P in the Halogen Taylor pants. I know that the skirt is sized generously, so would I try either a 10P or an 8 regular? I can’t remember if Halogen is like Ann Taylor in that the petite size is basically one size up from a regular size, only shorter. Thanks!

      • I generally wear a 4 petite, but everyone said that the skirt runs big, so I ordered a 2 petite. I looked like a stuffed suasage in it. There were no 4 petites left that I liked, so I got the 2 regular and it fit fine.
        My advice would be to order the petite size you generally wear or go down one size if you get the regular.

  2. Equity's Darling :

    I’m seeking suggestions for websites (or Etsy retailers) that make professionally appropriate hair accessories.

    Also, I’m finding very difficult to transition my work wardrobe to winter. I’ve only worked in the summer up to this point (I was in school), so all my work wear are summer-weight fabrics, and I don’t particularly want to drop a significant amount of cash on thicker weight items. I’ve got lots of opaque tights (black, patterned, navy, etc.), but I still feel like most of my clothes are too “light” for the harsh Canadian winter. Any suggestions ? Or will I just have to pony up and buy a bunch of winter-weight clothing?

    • I usually just put another layer on when I’m outside. If you work inside all day, you can easily put cold weather sweatpants – Under Armour’s Cold Gear line are good – over your tights on your commute and take them off at the office. You can also always wear long underwear under trousers, but the problem with that is it gets too warm once you’re inside.

      • Equity's Darling :

        This is advice is great for commuting- and I usually do this for commuting, no problem.

        However, I’m an articling student, and so I’m frequently sent to court on short notice, and I can get 3/4 of the way there inside, but the last 1/4 is outside, and when it’s -40C….that 3 minutes can result in frostbite if I’m not dressed warmly. Winter is on it’s way, and I’m a little freaked out. I’m going to miss being a student and saying “eh, I’ll just stay in bed, it’s too cold for class”.

        Plus, I think my concern is also that my clothes look too light-weight for the winter when I’m in the office…

        • Wear trousers with silk long underwear underneath and ankle boots with sock liners underneath your thick, warm socks. Get a nice looking down coat that covers your butt and will fit over your suit jacket. With a hood that covers your face and extends a couple of inches beyond your face in order to block wind – wearing a hood rather than a hat will keep your hair nicer. LL Bean makes some good choices (I have their down puffer coat), or if you don’t want a puffer, the Lands End long down commuter coat is a fantastic option.

          I grew up and began my career in a part of the US that has roughly the same temperatures you describe and this is what always worked for me.

          • Oh, and if you really prefer to wear a skirt, get a coat that comes down to your ankles. There’s no good way to manage the footwear issue with a skirt if you need to wear the same shoes to court that you wear outside, though, which is why trousers are a better option.

          • Equity's Darling :

            Yup, thanks. I know most of this, as I was born/raised in Toronto, lived in Montreal for 4 winters, and this is my 4th winter in another cold Canadian city. And I get the idea of layers (and wear layers on weekends, or if I’m doing outside activities), I just find it hard to execute with work-wear.

            I already have a long thick wool coat, which I find works well on weekends when I’m wearing heavier weight clothing, I just still get cold during the week, and I think the weight of the fabrics underneath my outside wear is the problem.

          • @Equity’s Darling – Wool isn’t nearly warm enough for Rocky Mountain climes IMO (having grown up in the region). It doesn’t keep out the wind and it doesn’t have as much insulation as down provides. Try a puffer jacket. It’ll make a world of difference.

            It’s hard to execute layers with workwear, and the most essential point is to keep the bottom layer thin but warm. Try silk long underwear if you haven’t already – Lands End makes some that’s good, and I’ve also seen people on this site recommend Wintersilks. UnderArmour cold gear is also good, although I’m not sure how well it would work for layering.

        • I live in the Deep South U.S., and I understand your concern about lighterweight clothing. My summer wear is simply too lightweight to wear in our winters which are not nearly as cold as yours but can occasionally get quite cold, into the teens (fahrenheit).

          I recommend a couple of pairs of heavier weight wool trousers and/or skirts, long sleeve sweaters still light enough to fit under your suit jackets, and a couple of cardigans to wear instead of jackets on days you do not go to court.

          Silk leggings or tights go under the trousers/skirts. That’s about the best you can do in work-appropriate clothes. Now is a good time to pick out a couple of items of trousers, skirts, and sweaters and just take the plunge and buy them–you should able to find sales this time of year.

    • France Luxe for hair items. (Kat had a post on them sometime last spring.) They have a couple different lines (FL, something Erickson) — I found that there was a significant sizing difference in the headbands btwn the FL and the other, but the company was very very very reasonable when I finally got around to returning the too-small headbands and credited my card w/o a problem.

    • These might be too twee for some offices, but I like her hair accessories:

      etsy [dot] com / shop / shlomitofir

      I have long hair and I usually wear it up with a combo of elastics and hairpins (or a pencil, if I just don’t care), but I also have some J.Crew tortoise accessories that have become old standbys. Also, Kat has featured some Ficcare items in the past; I think they’re lovely, but the metal pieces are too heavy for me and just end up sliding out of my hair.

    • A v-neck camisole won’t show when worn under most clothes, and can add a layer of warmth. I have plenty of solid-color summer dresses that I keep wearing into the fall and start of winter by adding a camisole, opaque black tights, and a warm sweater or blazer. I add a pair of flat black leather boots sometimes, depending on the weather. Layers can at least buy you some time while you build your wardrobe. A pashmina can help, if it is your style.

    • You can also add a sweater under your suit jacket. Unlike with long underwear, you can take it off if you’re too warm in the office. I’d also suggest buying a pair of knee high boots that you can wear with suits. They add a ton of warmth.

      • Equity's Darling :

        I do love knee-high boots and I have a few pairs (and I’m in love with a few more…), I just haven’t seen anyone in my office wear them with suits- which I find odd given that I live somewhere that is cold, and and work in an office that is not quite business casual but definitely not business formal. I’m afraid it’s a know-your-office situation, and I don’t quite know mine yet re: winter wear.

        I don’t often have to wear a suit jacket, but when I do, that is a great tip that I will keep in mind re: sweater under suit jacket.

    • I find pants translate better than skirts between the seasons. I wear a pair of longjohns or wool tights under my pants to add warmth. Summer-weight shirts seem to work well with cartigans or heavier blazers over them, particularly if they’re in a dark colour. I can’t remember, are you in Vancouver/area with similar weather? You could probably get away with more summer clothing in that case.

      If you’re looking for wool workwear, I’d recommend haunting BR’s website. They often have wool suiting and separates on sale.

      • Equity's Darling :

        I’m not in Vancouver (though I often wish I was), I’m the next big city, one province over. I most definitely cannot get away with more summer clothing in the winter (this is my 4th winter here, but my first while working, so I have a pretty good idea what’s coming, and apparently this winter is supposed to be especially bad).

        I was born/raised in Toronto, so the winters here and at Mcgill were a bit of a slap in the face. :( At least we have mountains.

        • I’m in northern BC, so I think we’re at similar levels of coldness. I live in my wool cardigans from now until May. I have two cashmere ones from Winners and a merino one from Club Monaco and I think they go pretty far towards winterizing my summer clothing. And for some reason pencil skirts make the transition better than A-line skirts, especially if tall boots are involved.

          I think it’s already a bad winter. This past weekend I ended up in a waist-deep snow drift, and it’s only November :(

          • Equity's Darling :

            Oh my gosh, I haven’t been to Winners in years, I will totally check them out this weekend. I wish they had online shopping. I love cardigans, but I don’t have any merino ones, or cashmere, so perhaps it’s time to find one there.

            I’m not jealous of your waist-deep snow. So far we’ve only had sprinklings (and generally, snow is not nearly as much of a problem here as other places, because it’s so dry), but it’s already getting to -15C, and that is really not working for me.

            I mean, the snow is great for mountain activities…but I don’t see why it has to snow in the city also. Couldn’t mother nature work it out so snow only fell where people want to ski/snowshoe?

          • Jas – you’re in northern BC? I’m in southern BC (yes, one of those lucky ones that doesn’t deal with snow, just rain). Cool – I didn’t know there were any other BC ladies on here!

            But I did see some snow over the weekend! Ski season is upon us!

          • Chiming in from midwest US where -40 is not so unusual. I definitely second the recommendations on cashmere sweaters. Even a thin cashmere cardi can be ridiculously warm but breathes better than wool IMHO so I don’t wind up too warm inside. Also, silk knits are great for this too, layered under a cardi.

            Agree that pants are easier for managing to look professional during the coldest days, and unless you’re wearing ankle-length coat, you really will want to have a couple pairs of lined winter-weight wool pants in your rotation, or you’ll have Very Cold Knees, even if you’re wearing work-appropriate knee high boots underneath.

            Which reminds me — my wardrobe is due for a new pair of winter appropriate professional pants. Other ladies from colder regions, I’d love to hear your recent recommendations. My current favorites are lined wool, and I think mostly from Banana, several years back.

          • Equity’s Darling- Winners is can be such a pit of frump, but they’re the only place I’ve found that has decent quality cashmere and merino for cheap. I have a zip-up cardigan from there that I’ve worn extensively for the last 5 years and it’s still going strong. Also, I agree, snow in the city is unneccessary and should definitely be scrapped.

            Nonny – Aha! I knew there was a Vancouverite on here. I am already jealous of your weather.

            Kate – My wool pants are both BR. I know some people aren’t too pleased with their quality, but so far I haven’t had any complaints.

    • Do buy yourself some winter things. You will thank yourself.
      Sweaters and cardigans are your friend. Sweaters and wool pants are my uniform in the winter – I am pretty shameless in my desire to be warm.

      I will spend money on nice wool pants. I did pick up a pair or two at TJ Maxx last year that were pretty warm and are decent looking.

      Also, I have some old cashmere twin sets. While I don’t wear them together anymore, I’ll wear the short-sleeved portion under a suit in the winter.

      I’ve been taking the long scarf trend and running with it. I pair them with a very simple blouse.

      I second the tights under pants suggestion.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Heavier wool pants, added to the list. All my pants are very light-weight. Thanks for the push Cee, it’s probably what I needed to hear (or use to justify my purchases…)

  3. Ok ladies, I’m going to my first Inn of the Court meeting tonight and my first CLE tomorrow.

    For the Inn of the Court I’m planning on wearing a light brown pinstripe pant suit over a turquoise short sleeve t-shirt with a mock turtleneck. Basic brown pumps.

    For the CLE I really have no idea. I’d prefer to just wear jeans and a t-shirt, but I could also do a very fall themed outfit with a tweed pencil skirt and a yellow/orangish sweater with brown flats. I’m going to do a lot of walking afterward, so I definitely want to wear flats.

    Also, any advice for what happens at a typical Inn of the Court meeting and how I can best take advantage of the opportunity? The guy who invited me is going to introduce me around beforehand, but plans to leave after the salad course.

    • My Inn is pretty laid-back; most people come directly from work and I see the full spectrum from suits to jeans-and-fleece-vests. I think your outfit sounds great.

      I think every Inn is different. Mine involves relatively heavy alcohol consumption and community theatre (seriously). We only have a big dinner for the first meeting of the year, and after that, it’s all socializing and cracktails (with that get me moderated?) followed by group presentations.

    • Typical Inn of Court (at least mine): 30 minutes of drinks and small talk, followed by dinner in your pupillages — those are nice because then you will “know” those 8-10 people — then the CLE presentation by one of the pupillages. You’ll have fun, and it really is a good way to meet lots of lawyers and judges that otherwise, as a baby associate, you’d rarely get to meet.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I went to my first CLE last week and wore nice jeans, a sweater, and a corduroy blazer. There were people in every possible stage of dress except sweats.

      Have fun at your Inn! I don’t know if they’re all different, but mine has a happy hour first, which is basic mingling (which I am not always great at), then you sit down for dinner. It’s easier there, in my opinion, because you’re at a table and don’t have to walk up to people, which I find to be the most awkward part of mingling. Once most people are finished eating, the presenting group will start their presentation, which is a guest speaker of some sort. Once the speaker is done, everyone at mine bolts pretty quickly unless they’re specifically talking to someone. If I meet someone that I’m interested in developing a relationship with, I’ll usually send a quick email or card saying it was nice to meet them.

    • I always like to wear what I’d wear to work to a CLE (suit or skirt with jacket). But, I work in an area where the likelihood of running into a professional contact at a CLE is very high.

    • I wore jeans, a sleeveless button up and cardigan to my first CLE and got an interview with one of the presenters. It was an all day weekday CLE.

    • Thanks so much for the advice/reassurance, everyone! I feel much more confident, which will hopefully make me more outgoing and a better conversationalist tonight.

      • I do not do “extracurriculars” – my job is boring enough. Working all day and then hanging out with a bunch of lawyers is really not fun. Just thought I’d give you a different opinion while you still have time to duck out.

        • I just (2 weeks ago) moved to a new city a thousand miles away from home where I don’t know anybody and don’t have a job. In addition to needing to network, I am absolutely dying to talk to someone other than my husband for more than the length of time it takes to check out groceries at Walmart.

    • It’s probably too late to get much response to this, but…

      I just went to the Inn website to find the address and noticed that there is a guest fee. The man who invited me (a fellow alum of my law school who has been paying me for some research work) never mentioned that it would cost extra for me to come. If he tries to pay for me, should I insist on paying myself or let him?

  4. SF Bay Associate :

    I need a new small space heater for my office. They are of course verboten here, but mysteriously every woman in the office seems to have one anyway. It needs to be quiet but effective at raising my office about 10 degrees. Not sure if I want the fan type or the ceramic type or what. Less than $100 strongly preferred, bonus points if it comes from Amazon or elsewhere online with free shipping so I can ship it straight to my desk.

    What do you ladies recommend?

  5. Thanks to whomever recommended Rainbow Rowell’s book Attachments a few weeks ago! I’m midway through it and it’s a perfect escape read for me right now.

  6. What do you ladies get the gentleman in your life for Christmas?

    I’m in a semi-new relationship (will be ~6 months by Christmas). This is the longest relationship I’ve had since college/law school. We are both in our early 30s. I am a lawyer and he works for government in a very stable office job. He has a background in science, and is not a sports fan. He’s a little nerdy. (And very sweet.) He tends to be more romantic than me.

    I have absolutely no idea what to get him for Christmas. And his birthday is near Christmas, too, so ideally, I need two gifts for him.

    I have brothers, and I get them like, hoodies from the local brewery. But I want to get my boyfriend something more… I don’t know… thoughtful?

    Please help!

    • I had a big hit with a pair of men’s cashmere-lined black leather gloves. (He had mentioned wanting gloves, however.) If you’re somewhere that has a real winter, it is nice knowing your gift is keeping him warm.

    • My S.O. buys himself everything he ever wants, so I usually go with getting him experiences (a weekend away plus dinner at a great restaurant, concert tickets, etc.) or consumables (a rare bourbon, key lime pie shipped up from Florida, etc). Does your boyfriend have anything like that that he particularly likes?

      • Agreed. I got my husband (who has a Christmas Eve birthday) tickets to see his favorite team play in the city of his choice for b-day/Christmas.He loved the chance to see them play, and bonus – I got a cool trip! I also second the consumable, but I like to pair it with a related object (bottle of bourbon/set of whiskey glasses or whiskey stones).

    • I’ve bought Hermes ties for a couple of guys–and they all loved them. Very expensive, but something most guys won’t buy for themselves. And they are beautiful.

    • I’m a fan of thinkgeek for science/nerdy gifts, if you just want something small and fun. You could also get him an experience – trip to a cool museum + dinner, an ice skating lesson…something that he would enjoy.

    • What about a DVD collection of his favorite television show or movie? This could be very thoughtful, especially if the television show or movie collection is somewhat hard to find.

    • If he’s on the romantic side, then definitely go for something that shows you get him – tickets to a thing he likes, a book about the topic he’s into (but doesn’t have). I have a boyfriend who was really into politics (and Legos) so the Lego’s Architecture series has a White House set that I got him.

    • What about an “experience,” as mentioned above? One of my friends gets her husband a gift certificate to the Art of Shaving barber spa.

    • Anonymous :

      The first Christmas gift my now-husband gave me, when we had just been dating for a few months, was a Coach wallet—presented with the sentiment that he hoped I would think of him every time I used it. It was practical and romantic at the same time. Could you do the same for your fellow?

    • One of the new, lower-priced Kindles preloaded w/ some nerd-licious books?

    • My fiance asked for nice headphones (“the Jay-Z ones”) for the holidays. Does your gentleman have a similar need? Other things: subscriptions to magazines he might like (National Geographic? Scientific American?); tickets to a concert; a book by an author he likes or that you think he would like; a museum membership (if he’s into that). A nice bottle of liquor he likes, or wine, maybe with the appropriate glasses or accoutrements needed to mix cocktails. A cheese- and beer-pairing class. Is he into board games? The good ones (Settlers of Catan, Carcassone, Dominion) are pretty popular among the nerdy set, at least in our circles.

      I’d probably choose something you could do/participate in together for his birthday, then a gift just for him for Christmas. My fiance sometimes mentions that he really just wants “toys” for Christmas–ie, stuff he can really indulge in.

    • Research, Not Law :

      The first gift I gave my husband was potholders (he likes to cook) and a note pointing him to find something hot to hold in the bedroom, where a box of lingerie (for me, lol) was waiting. He loved it and still talks about it.

      My husband is also romantic, a bit nerdy, and not into sports. Some gifts he’s liked: Themed dates (2-3 surprise activities), A “Taking it to 11” t-shirt (Spinal Tap reference), and Non-fiction books in his area of interest (shows you pay attention – NPR is a great resource since they often interview the authors). He also loves making wine, so maybe a wine or beer making starter kit? It’s full of fun science. Think Geek (website) has some really funny stuff, too.

    • Is he a reader? How about an ereader? You could load with with a book or two that you both like to make it more personal.

    • I knit my now husband a sweater for our first christmas, when we had been dating ~5 months.

      I was worried about going overboard with the sentiment and effort, but I had to knit it in front of him because it was consuming so much of my time. He knew what I was putting into it & apprecaited it appropriately.

      I honestly cannot remember what he gave me that year. I sincerely hope it wasn’t the year he gave me a $50 Amazon gift card, because if so, I’d like to go back in time and bonk him on the head.

    • I second the Art of Shaving stuff… I got my bf a sampler set first to see if he liked it, and then a full size version next year…. he mentioned he had always wanted to try a badger brush and those come with the sets, he looooved it! And I feel you on the birthday close to Christmas thing, he’s that way with me thrown in two weeks before his!

      Does he like cooking and/or do you cook together (yet)? I’m trying to find a cooking class nearby – so, it’s hands on and event-y, you’re doing it together, and learning something all at the same time.

    • There are some great ideas on here already.

      Here are some of my favorite things that I have given my husband over the years:

      nice cufflinks
      A nice cashmere sweater
      wine club thing
      A nice zip-neck sweater (I know there’s a better term for it; he loves these things) Ralph Lauren, perhaps
      ipod speakers for his office
      framed signed sports memorabilia (from our college alma mater)
      collectors edition of books from favorite authors
      coach wallet

      His birthday is also right before Christmas. This year, I am getting him a new (nice) computer bag for his laptop. For Christmas, he’s getting a snowblower. :)

    • My fiance has received a couple of items from this page over the years as a sort of small gift (to go along with another gift like a book he’s interested in or gloves). http://www.thinkgeek.com/brain/whereisit.cgi?t=ice+cube&x=0&y=0

    • Baby DC Attorney :

      Several years ago, I “got” my then-boyfriend a star! Star registry dot com offers them. He was really into astronomy, so he really loved it!

    • Thank you so much, ladies! I knew you would have answers. Keep ‘em coming.

      Thinkgeek is perfect… but I may pull the potholder stunt, too. That’s brilliant.

    • Cooking lessons that the two of you can take together?

    • Not sure if this would be considered thoughtful enough, but if he has an iPad, this case is great: http://www.saddlebackleather.com/Classic-iPad-Case.html. I bought this as an anniversary gift for my S.O. and he loves it.

      That said, my S.O. 1) also really loves his iPad and 2) is mildly obsessed with Saddleback (admittedly, they are an impressive company!), so YMMV.

    • Check out thinkgeek.com for the nerdy man in your life. Also, check out his favorite website’s Holiday Gift Guides from last year to get ideas. (bOINGbOING, Wired, io9, Gizmodo all do gift guides).

      Or if he watches Community pick him up the DVDs or some swag, with a note that it is an investment against the show being cancelled.

      That should cover his geeky side, I’m sure others can handle thoughtful/romantic/practical. (Personally my fiance is getting this http://www.iainsinclair.com/products.php if it ever arrives.)

    • My boyfriend and I have been dating roughly the same amount of time. I’m surprising him with a Kinect for his Xbox, as well as a few games for it. We love to play video games together, and he’s mentioned wanting one for months but hasn’t gotten around to buying one yet. I cannot wait to give it to him!

      I also considered signing him up for a “Beer of the Month” club that delivers a new beer to his house every month, since he loves trying new kinds of beer, but ultimately decided to go with the Kinect.

  7. I am judging a law school moot court competition this week. Just now looking at the bench brief and it’s entirely based on Beverly Hills 90210! The first sentence reads “Andrea Tuckerman and Brendon Walsh were top students at Betterly Hills High School.” Seriously? Are we back to 1993 and I’m in sixth grade?

  8. Troy and Abed lover :

    In light of the Gossip Girls discussion this morning, I would just like to know if there are any Community fans among the Corporettes.

    Its humor is not to all tastes, but Season 3 is really fantastic, and I couldn’t be more upset that NBC is shelving the second half of the season. They Britta’d it!!!

  9. Question/comments about J.Crew suiting: I ordered a suit from J.Crew last week during their sale and received it last night–the Super 120s in the gray flannel color. I was really surprised by how much I disliked it–first, I think J.Crew markets their Super 120s as their upmarket suit, yet the fabric seemed pretty cheap to me. Really dull and flat in color. The pants weren’t lined, which would be ok, except that the fabric was very thin in a cheap looking way.

    For those of you who like their suits, which kind do you like? The wool gabardine isn’t available in any stores in NYC (I checked with their online chat!) and the wool crepe line only comes in a few pieces. Is the bi-stretch wool nice? After a few months at my job, I’m ready to invest in a nice new suit, but this Super 120s suit I ordered is not it.

    Other suggestions for this price range would also be appreciated (my Ann Taylor suits have served me well but I want something a little nicer and warmer now). Thanks!

    • I don’t buy J Crew suits b/c I think their fabric is cheap. What about going up in quality to a Brooks Brothers suit? When they’re on sale, you can get a good deal.

    • I have the bi-stretch wool suiting in both colors. (Skirt suits.) Still relatively new, but I’m very happy thus far with fit, quality and weight. They also go with plenty of tops and the colors steer clear of khaki/beige, which is better for my coloring. I have a lot of complaints about J. Crew quality on other items, but I do recommend this line for suiting. One tip: even if you think you’re petite, order regulars if you’re getting the skirt! I’m 5’3″ and the petite skirt was way too short on me.

    • I have been a fan of JCrew suits for about 15 years, when I first had interviews junior year of college. Sadly, their quality is waaaaaay down lately. The refuse to line their pants, as you found out. And some of the material is not-so-nice for the price. I appreciate their attempts to be trendy, but they fall flat (unlined wool suit capris? unlined wool suit harem pants?–no thank you!). And their skirts have gotten very “mini” lately. I still love their wool crepe, which is lovely and wears well, as does the gab–but the pants are not lined, as I mentioned.

      I have had good luck with their bi-stretch wool in skirts, but I think the fabric “hangs wrong” in the jackets unless they fit you very well off the rack.

      So…mostly writing to commiserate, and tell you that other places offer higher quality at the same price point.

      I will sing the praises of the wool double-serge pencil skirt (which runs longish). It is cozy, very professional, covers bumps and I find myself trying to wear it more than once a week nowadays. So if you want a suit separate–it’s awesome and well worth the $118.

    • San Jose in house :

      Up untill 3-4 years ago they used to be good quality. However, the last suit that I orderd this spring was made out of really cheap material, and I returned it. I heard that J Crew was bought out by a private equity company. Wonder if this is related to the steep decline in quality?

    • phillygirlruns :

      I know your brick and mortar stores aren’t carrying it, but I do like J.Crew’s wool gabardine. I got a jacket, skirt and pants a few years back during one of their 25%-off-and-free-shipping promos, and was very happy with the quality. Shortly thereafter I gained enough weight to make it unwearable, but am finally within a few pounds of adding it back to my rotation. It’s been a while, but as I recall the pants are lined – I bought them in 2009, so this may have changed. Their customer service is helpful – you can call and they’ll give you the exact measurements for any particular style. This is essential when you’re buying without trying on, because J.Crew’s sizing is so inconsistent.

      I’ve also seen an uptick in the quality of a lot of pieces I’ve bought recently from J.Crew – even the crewlet. I bought the Hutton trousers during last week’s sale and am thrilled with the quality. They are lined and have a nice drape. I picked up some pants at the crewlet this weekend and was similarly pleasantly surprised – wool blend, nice drape, lined, AND about $40 or so (ticketed price $68-ish with either 30 or 40% off, can’t recall – but I got jeans and trousers for about $100 total).

  10. My boss just made me cry. Thankfully, I held myself together until after he left my office. *sigh* I guess it’s just one of those days …

  11. How do you gals stay chipper in the winter? It is not even 4:30 yet here in DC and it is practically dark out. In the winter I have trouble staying motivated to work out and do other things after work when it gets dark so early. I know about Seasonal Affective Disorder, and wouldn’t say that I get clinically depressed, but do you have tips for staying upbeat in the winter?

    • Wish I knew. I call this the vampire season. I leave for work in the dark, I get home in the dark, and I only see the sun on weekends (if I’m lucky).

    • Equity's Darling :

      Spend as much time outside during daylight hours as possible. It helps.

      This comes from someone who lives where the listed sunrise time is 8:30 (it is dark when I leave for work at around 7:45) and sunset is around 4:30pm (I mean really sets, as in it is actually nighttime, pitch dark by 4:45 or so). So, it starts to look like dusk at 3:30, which is so bizarre.

      I also try to spend more time outside on the weekend when the sun first rises. Just…generally take advantage of the precious sun. It really does help me stay upbeat.

      I always feel like a vampire in the winter.

    • Sunlamp while getting ready for work to get your vitamin D.
      Try to stay social – I tend to go into social hibernation during the winter because its just so much work to go out and do stuff.

      • I tend to become more of a home person during winter and I hate being out with the cold stinging my face.
        I have decided to make a gym appointment with gym buddies (people that I wouldn’t see other than in gym). I tried the first one yesterday and got motivated to drive 45 minutes busting my ipod and did an RPM class and back home.
        Knowing that your gym buddy is waiting for you makes you feel a bit more accountable and you end up going .. then after few minutes you actually start enjoying your workout.
        The hardest part is getting there.

    • I have Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder (self-diagnosed). I love the cold, snow, and gloom. Sunshine makes me depressed and headachey.

      I wouldn’t recommend it as a remedy (people will just think you’re weird and/or lying), but as others have said, light therapy and vitamin D seem to help for a lot of people in your situation.

      • Me too! I totally hate the sunny weather – I lived in San Diego for a year and hated it. There’s just something about the sun in my eyes all day that makes me grouchy.

    • Do you work out at a gym, outside, etc? Have you tried doing classes to mix it up? I’m in DC too and I go to a little boutique dance and fitness studio that’s 99% women and I love it. The classes are small and fun and the instructors are great. Everyone leaves with smiles on their faces.

      • I just use the one in the same building as my office. Do you mind saying what gym this is? It sounds fun, and I think I really need to change up my routine.

        • Hope you see this Ann! – it’s Jordins Paradise. It’s literally across the street from Convention Center metro on the green line. It makes me immensely happy.

    • Where I live, at the moment it’s only light (which I define as “light enough to fly a helicopter”) between 8:30 and 4:00. I definitely find myself hibernating a little in the winter. I have found taking up a winter sport to be hugely helpful. Since I’ve started cross-country skiing after work I’ve enjoyed winters much more.

    • Seattleite :

      Dawn simulator. I bought one because who has time to sit in front of a light box for 30 minutes? But this is exactly what it sounds like – mimics the dawn with a full-spectrum bulb on a rheostat. It changed my life.

    • Accountress :

      Peppermint, and a lot of it. Take walks around 2 or 3pm.

      I’m fortunate to be in the section of the cubicle farm that doesn’t have any windows- when you don’t see the sun go down, you don’t think about it being dark and time to go home.

    • It is so tough for me. I crave light. On sunny days I try to run an errand at lunchtime just so I can get out in the sun for a few minutes. On sunny weekend days try to get out for a walk . We have a sunroom at home with windows on 3 sides. It gets cold in the winter but I try to bundle up and drink my weekend coffee in there. I also have daylight/full spectrum bulbs in my basement craft room. I will spend hours in there on the weekends with every single light on.

  12. Anybody have any experience with Tom James clothing? After years of hounded, they finally got me to agree to meet with them and I have to say, the jackets they brought by to show me were really nice – gorgeous fabric, great styles, appear to be really well-made. Anyone have any thoughts to share?

    • Weekend Thread from 2-25-11 had a discussion on Tom James quality. Mixed reviews, I think.

      The Corporette Guide to Interview Suits also has a discussion in the comments.

  13. what is wrong with me?

  14. Comportment Help :

    Ladies,

    I desperately need advice and practical tips.

    We are going to a family dinner this weekend. It is my husband’s former wife’s family (don’t ask). My stepkids will be there. We must attend.

    What tactics do you use to keep a pleasant smile on your face, sweetness in your words and the “tone” out of your voice?

    My stepkids’ mom lies and manipulates. The kids don’t see it yet. (The older one is beginning to suspect that what mom says isn’t always true.) The kids will see only my comportment, not the substance or truth/non-truth of anything that is said. So I must remain all sweetness and light no matter what.

    So far, my strategies include:

    * no drinking
    * remembering that she can say whatever she wants, but that doesn’t make it true
    * remembering how much I love my husband
    * remembering how much I love loving my husband (I might express this more graphically were it not for fear of moderation).

    But I just know that at some point during dinner, she will say something so outrageous that my litigator antennae will go up and I will be dying to recite 27 reasons, complete with dates and witnesses, that she is wrong. I CANNOT DO THIS or I will lose in the kids’ eyes and the rest of her family’s eyes. I must be beyond reproach.

    Desperate for any tips.

    • You need to coach your husband ahead of time that he must stand up for you. It is because of him that you are forced to socialize with her, so he damned well better defend your honor!

      Obviously, this should be done in a calm and factual manner. But it should not be done by you.

      I had a similar problem with my now ex-husband, who would not step up to defend me against the constant barbs his mother sent in my direction at family gatherings. Did I mention he’s my ex?

      • Comportment Help :

        Mamabear, you are exactly right. DH and I have already had extensive discussions of how he will defend me (including simultaneous translation if anyone slips into their native tongue, which I am still learning), what we will and will not say on all topics we could think of, what our safe harbor answer is on all other topics, and what level of physical affection will be displayed (tasteful but affectionate). I should have said in my original comment that he is extremely supportive and that I appreciate that immensely.

    • I’ve been living with someone I don’t like very much for the past couple of weeks and what has been working for me is a general rule of not talking to him unless necessary. If politeness absolutely requires me to answer a direct question I will do so, politely. But I don’t start conversations with him, and I won’t do anything to continue conversations with him. Having a general no response policy makes it easier to not respond when he starts making political or sexist comments that I really want to respond to.

      I don’t know if this will work given your particular situation, but I have the same MUST SAY SOMETHING NOW!!! urges, and this has really helped me get them under control.

    • Make it into a game with yourself. Try to look for the most outrageous thing that she can say, and try to one-up yourself at responding in the most unimaginably nice and sweet way possible. Then hope she one-ups herself on the outrageousness, just so you can up the ante on the sweetness one more time. Think about how funny it will be to tell your girlfriends later.

    • I like Lyssa’s idea Though I would literally give myself points and x # of points equals a prize. If you make the points you need to “win” high enough, you’ll be dying for her to make ridiculous comments so you can get another point.

      Maybe a mantra would help. Instead of just, I have to remember x, make x into a five word sentence or a little rhyme. Or pick a “you can’t hurt me” lyric from a song you love. Practice repeating the mantra while smiling (into a mirror even!) after a bunch of repetitions the mantra will automatically make you smile. Then you repeat it in your head when she’s nuts and you will smile.

      Also, offer to help in the kitchen when you first get there. If you have something to do that will help make it clear what your “role” for the evening is and also give you tasks. If you’ve been helping get things out of the kitchen all night and refilling chip bowls or refreshing people’s drinks, you will always have an excuse to walk away when she’s particularly outrageous. If that’s not an option, bring a camera and become the photographer for the evening (“Oh the light is so much better over hear. Hold still!”).

      When I have to go to big family events I don’t want to go to, I usually stick with the little kids or the elderly folks. I just keep asking them questions and generally everybody else will leave me alone because they don’t want to hear the same old story about Grandma Edna’s knee surgery or Little Timmy lisping his way through reciting the Fifty States. Oddly, I like those things more than snarky adult cousins who undermine me and question my decisions.

      • Me too, actually. I like talking to the nice sweet old people. Or even the crotchety old people – they have such personality and are REAL, as opposed to some other members of the family/gathering/group.
        Ha!

  15. For those of us who were looking for Chanel style jackets last week – I just ordered the Land’s End “Coco” Jacket while they are having their 30% off (ends tonight, SAVEFF pin 7114). Fingers crossed!

    I’ll put a link in a separate comment in hopes of avoiding moderation.

Add a comment.

Questions? Check out our commenting policy. Tech problems? Please report it to the tech team.