360 Review: Dr. Megan Hunt of Body of Proof

Today, a rare treat:  a 360 review!  In the 360 Review, Corporette examines a “professional woman”s” attire and critiques it from all perspectives: underling, boss, friend. Today’s guest post is from Ashley Faus, who blogs at Consciously Corporate — she’s reviewing Dr. Megan Hunt of the new ABC show Body of Proof.

Meet Dr. Megan Hunt, the intelligent, articulate, and often sarcastic Medical Examiner for the city of Philadelphia on ABC’s “Body of Proof”. Megan was a brilliant (and rich) neurosurgeon, until a car accident ended her career in the OR. Her impeccable (and expensive) taste in clothes and accessories carried her from surgeon to sleuth, and she looks professional and chic while she seeks the truth in the bodies that land on her table. Dr. Megan Hunt does an excellent job crossing the lines between business casual and conservative professional, with pops of color and accessories. She manages to look flawless while performing field work as well, with classic outerwear and practical shoes. In her personal life, Megan Hunt is coping with her ex-husband’s new girlfriend, her 12 year old daughter’s new interest in a relationship with her, potential new boyfriend material, and her mother’s re-election campaign as a judge in the city. If that isn’t enough stress, Dr. Hunt must deal with a flirty partner, two hard-nosed cops, a curious lab tech, and a sarcastic by-the-book supervisor. Megan is anything but “by the book”, leading her to clash with her supervisor, and often, her boss. Dr. Megan Hunt is played by actress Dana Delany, and she’s definitely not a Housewife anymore! (You remember her from Desperate Housewives?)

The Good: Megan wears well-tailored, ageless clothing, paired with professional accessories. Her clothing honors both form and function, as she looks put together in the office or out in the field. She generally stays office-appropriate, with knee-length hemlines, reasonable necklines that don’t draw attention to her bust, and fitted-but-not-tight outfits. She also knows which colors are flattering, and pairs her outfits well with her red hair.

The Bad: Sometimes Megan’s shoes are a little over the top, and her shoes seem to be a consistent source of attention, with high heels, strappy styles, and embellishments. And, per TV, her necklines plunge a little low in certain outfits.

The Impression: As a hiring manager, I would find Megan to be confident, polished, and all-business, if she wore one of her tailored neutral dresses to the interview. As her supervisor, I’d find that her clothes say power, and a hint of rebellion with the loud shoes. And, as a subordinate, I’d say that she’s a professional I’d like to emulate. However, I would probably need to wait until I had a few more years of experience under my belt before attempting to wear some of her more adventurous choices. In general, I think Megan projects authority and drive to all levels of the organization, but shows a hint of personality with her shoes and accessories. Megan definitely likes to make a statement, and her clothes enhance her presence whenever she enters the room.

Perfect pairing of a classic sheath and cardigan, with a little edge from the print and the texture.

Nice knee-length skirt, well-fitting jacket, and a plunging neckline? Pair this with a button-down or silk shell for a more office-appropriate look.

Flat riding boots and a trench are perfect for a day in the field. The black is a little intimidating, maybe a jewel-toned scarf could lighten the look?

Or, pairing this gorgeous green wool coat with the above look.

 

With a neckline cut just a little too low, and strappy, silver heels, this outfit would be better suited for an out-of-office event. The conservative shape of the dress, bright color, and cardigan could work for the office with a higher neckline and closed-toe pumps.

Well-tailored neutrals with an extra hint of personality from the leopard-print shoes and detailing on the jacket.

While perfectly office-appropriate, this outfit is a little boring. I would pair it with a colorful bracelet, or a turquoise skinny belt. Or, stay with plain jewelry, and add a pop of color with aubergine heels?

Megan adds visual interest with several different textures and colors.

Dr. Megan Hunt is a complex character with a fabulous wardrobe! She flawlessly pairs function and form, and takes her outfits from field work to office to home life in a seamless transition.

Interested in writing something similar for Corporette?  Check out our guest posting guidelines here!

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Comments

  1. Fun read! Thanks, Kat! How’s the baby sleeping?

  2. Blonde Lawyer :

    I’m watching the second season of Damages. I’d love to see a review of Ellen and Patty.

  3. I saw this and thought they were doing a show about me! I look just like Dr. Hunt in the show, tho a little more svelte!

  4. My favorite outfit is the one that ashley said was “perfectly office appropriate, but a little boring”

    Also LOVE that plaid, wool coat. Want.

    • maine susan :

      Was thinking about Megan yesterday with the post on the Theory suit with ankle pants. Megan work ankle pants with high heels last week and it just didn’t do it for me. On the whole she looks good though, and her shoes are definitely investment shoes.

    • PT Lawyer :

      Ok, is it me, or are ALL those outfits a wee bit tight, especially the boring dress?

      I’ll give it a pass because its TV, but for real life, please everyone, go up a size.

  5. Rural juror :

    Since the cold weather hit, I’ve been having serious static problems with my hair. I haven’t been doing anything differently and I don’t remember this being a problem in previous winters. Does anyone have any tips?

    • Anonymous :

      Humidifier, Bumble & Bumble Shine Spray, and avoid acrylic knitwear.

      • Rural juror :

        Oh no! I always wear acrylic because I have a wool sensitivity

      • I avoid fleece – and wool is just as much a problem as acrylic when it comes to static. But, yes to the humidifer. Curling irons probably exacerbate the issue with hair. I tend to use a rich conditioner year round, but would definitely start now if you haven’t. And in years past I’ve taken this opportunity to chop a few inches off my hair, as the damaged ended tend to feel the static the most.

    • Keep a dryer sheet handy.

    • You can spray some Static Guard into your hairbrush. I also run my hands through my hair after putting on hand lotion for a quick fix. My office is d-r-y.

    • This is reminding me of my days in a very dry, rather cold lab in Michigan. The static would get so bad that I’d get a nice shock and set off the locking mechanism when I touched the microfuge.

      Using hand lotion and then running your hands through your hair was a trick we all used in the lab, too. It helped a bit.

    • Hand lotion. If you put a little on your hands, rub them, and then lightly smooth over hair, it works perfectly.

  6. Diana Barry :

    I love that tote bag! Does anyone recognize it?

  7. This is a really great idea! I’m currently loving Alicia and Diane on “The Good Wife” – any chance of seeing a write-up on them?

  8. Dirty House :

    Threadjack.

    I need help finding a cleaning service for my house. I don’t want to just hire someone random, but I don’t know anyone in my area that could recommend someone (I’m in St. Paul, MN if anyone has a recommendation). I’d prefer to stay away from a more “corporate” type company – just because I’d rather support small business and I hear the larger services don’t do a very good job. Any recommendations about how to find someone that would be reputable?

    • I don’t have a suggestion but also live in St. Paul and would be interested in finding someone too!

    • I just moved to Grand Rapids, MI from Minneapolis. I used to use Mayte’s Housecleaning, and they were really good. It is a small business run by Mayte. She probably has a total of six employees. I had them come every other week to clean a four bedroom house (about 2200 sqft), and it was $96 per cleaning. I am pretty sure she has a website, so you can probably google Mayte’s Housecleaning.

      You could also try Angies List. I have had good luck with all of the businesses that I have hired based on recommendations from that website.

  9. Happy Thursday! I believe someone mentioned this before, but I am looking for professional stationary for my husband as a stocking stuffer. I was thinking folded cards with a monogram on them that he could use to send notes, thank yous, etc. I don’t want to spend a fortune, some sites seemed ridiculously expensive, but I also wanted it to be a step above something from Vistaprint (not that I don’t love Vistaprint). Any ideas?

  10. Update – thanks, everyone, for your great advice on not crying in professionally stressful situations. I took a lot of your advice – redirecting my thoughts when I began to stress about crying (because I noticed, in response to your comments, that stressing about crying made me cry 100% of the time), working out hard the night before, and exerting extra control over my routine / wardrobe / food choices the night before and morning of. I’m happy to report I didn’t even THINK about crying the day of the argument, and that it went pretty well. Thank you all so much!

  11. going anon for now :

    Threadjack.

    Last night I met up with a group of my girlfriends for drinks and of course we started talking about sex. I’ve always been very open about my desire to only start sleeping with a guy when it’s been established we’re monogamous. I also insist that we get blood tests to rule out STDs. After a scare (thankfully negative) in college, I’m uber careful and even with condoms need to be sure we’re both clean.

    My one friend revealed that she just found out she has HPV. The guy she’s seeing told her he was clean and that it was a waste of time to get tested because he believed her when she said she was clean. When said friend told me this, I suggested getting tested anyway. Better safe than sorry in my book. She told me he wouldn’t, I told her not to sleep with him, she had unprotected sex with him anyway. Now she’s b*tching about catching something and I’m holding my tongue because it’s not in my nature to say I told you so. I feel bad for her but in today’s world you can never be too careful and she really should have known better as an educated woman in her late 20s living in a big city.

    Anyway, do you ladies ask the guy in your bed to be tested if you know you’re going to be having unprotected sex? Or even if you are using condoms and just want your STD status to remain negative? Fwiw, the guys I’ve asked (and slept with) may have seemed surprised at first by my request to be tested but they always agreed. If they didn’t agree, my pants would stay on.

    • Anonymous :

      You can get HPV even with protected sex (barrier method), heavy petting, and other sexual acts; it is incredibly easy to contract. My sister got it while using condoms. Further, there is no test for men. There is really no way your friend could have prevented it or known better. The vaccine only protects against four kinds of HPV, but there are 30 that are sexually transmitted, and many more forms that are not sexually transmitted (ex: plantar’s warts). Anyone who has gotten a wart from a gym shower knows how easy it is to spread, even on hard surfaces. Good news is that more than 90% of people are (sexually-transmitted) HPV-free within a year — your body’s immune system naturally kicks it out of your system.

      This doesn’t answer the question you posed as to testing, which I think is a great idea and a very awkward conversation, but just know that your friend could have done everything “right” and still been in the same situation . . . even as an educated woman in her late 20s. This is especially the case because that man can’t be tested for HPV at all. I would reserve my judgment of the friend, but YMMV

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I think you are mistaken regarding men not being able to be tested for this. It is not a simple blood test for them. It involves inserting a tube into their part (using a safe word to avoid moderation). There are several STD’s that can only be screened that way.

      • Actually, I’m pretty sure anonymous is right. I don’t think that there are FDA approved HPV tests for men (although there must be some available through research protocols). AFAIK the available HPV tests are not done via blood but through genetic analysis of cervical cells to see if there is a persistent infection. Since you’d be dealing with different types of cells and a different collection method you’d need to re-validate the test for use in men.

        • Yup, she’s right. No HPV tests for men. Google it if you don’t believe my OB.

        • Yep this is what I thought. As for the chlamydia and gonorrhea test, I thought men could just take a urine test. Btw, I know someone who got chlamydia because her boyfriend cheated on her. So please don’t judge people for contracting an STD even if you are super careful. Even if you are in a committed, monogamous relationship, things can happen.

    • I did, and I was screened as well (despite being a virgin at the time). He was fine with it. IMO, if someone gives pushback about it, that’s a major red-flag.

      The stupid decisions that people make about sex never fail to blow my mind. I’m working on a case right now where I would personally pay a large sum of money (and consider it one of the best possible charitable donations to the world) to get the guy involve a vasectemy.

    • Diana Barry :

      I never did (always used condoms except in relationships) but in retrospect that was probably dumb to do. I did get HPV but only briefly (often times your body suppresses it after a short time).

      Ah, my wild and crazy youth…

    • You can get HPV even if you’re using condoms. Also, an HPV test for men doesn’t exist.

      I never have unprotected sex, but I also don’t ask for STI tests before sleeping with a guy–I would if we were going to stop using condoms.

      I am generally shocked at how cavalier people I know are about not using condoms–but I think HPV is kind of a different ballgame because it’s transmitted through skin to skin genital contact more than intercourse.

    • I probably sound ignorant, but is there a way guys can get tested for HPV? I have HPV, and the first pap it showed up on I was immediately cursing my new bf, but my doctor said it’s likely that it wasn’t from him, I could have gotten it years ago and it just showed up now. My doctor also said something like if you’ve slept with more than two people you have a 75-80% of having some form of HPV.

      • there might technically be a way to test guys, but they are not tested. No one tests men for HPV, it is not included in STD screenings. And, you can get it even if using condoms. Also, I’ve been dealing with this issue for a couple of years now, and it is becoming clear that the medical community just doesn’t know much about HPV yet, and is still figuring a lot of things out now. My doctors’ explanations and advice have changed a lot in the last couple years.

        One thing you can do: if you test positive for HPV, pap smear screenings are the most important thing. My doctor has me checking in every 6 months at this point. Make sure your doctor is staying on top of that and being very conscientious in checking for any abnormal cells.

        • Mine too! She said as long as I got paps every six months, we’d be able to stay on top of any developments (I’d also be able to find out sooner if my body kicks the d*mn thing), and, quote, “You will NOT get cancer from this.”

          • well, even though I was diligent with my one year checkups, they missed some abnormal cells for a while, and I did end up with what are technically cervical cancer cells. But it was still early enough that they were able to remove them without me getting ‘cancer’ cancer. But that was before they started regularly doing the HPV test.

            That’s what I meant about make sure you are comfortable that your doctor is being very conscientious, because the Pap is not a great screen, and it is easy to miss a few cells and have it slip through the cracks for a year or two. From my experience, I would highly recommend that if you have been diagnosed with the HPV infection, but you feel like your doctor is at all rushing through the Pap procedure, find another doctor that will take their time and be overly-cautious.

          • but I’m glad your doc is on top of it, a! here’s to staying healthy!

      • Anonymous :

        There are no FDA approved tests for HPV in men. Therefore, if a man is getting tested he is not getting tested in an approved method. So whoever said that there was a test, I wouldn’t trust it anyway because it has not been vetted through clinical trials.

        You can have HPV your entire life before it shows up on a test, it can be decades later. And you can get HPV as a technical virgin through skin contact with an infected person.

    • Always, complete with show-me-the-paperwork. This conversation happened with clothes on over dinner or such when it was looking like it could get to the point where the clean bill of health would be necessary. It was very awkward conversation every time, especially after the guy would say “oh, I’m clean, it’s ok” and I’d say, “ok great then go get tested again and show me your papers.” In a foolish daze, I let one guy slide and not show me papers, and to this day I thank God I didn’t catch anything from him. I still regret that decision, even now that I’m long since married.

    • I wish we could move away from characterizations of people as “clean” or “dirty.” People who engage in wide ranges of sexual behaviors and ethics – from petting with a first boyfriend to protected, monogamous sex, to unprotected one night stands – can get STIs. Using “clean vs. dirty” language attachs a stigma or moral judgement that doesn’t really help anyone.

      To answer your question, I ask partners about when they were last tested, but don’t demand written results or anything. And condoms, always until things get really serious.

      • Hear, hear! I actually had *this* at some point in college. I was always super careful, never slept around, always used protection… And yet, it happened. And the most f’d up part was my gyn told me that it was because I was promiscuous! “This happens when you have too many partners,” was her explanation when I was crying in her office.
        Luckily, I had the good sense to get my medical info from her & go to a better doctor. He told me it was common, could happen no matter how careful you’re being because men don’t know and aren’t told they have it, performed a procedure to get rid of the abnormal cells ‘up there’ and I haven’t had any issues since, knock on wood. But seriously, I was one of those holier than thou types who always judged my friends for their pregnancy scares and the like, and it happened to me. It’s not about whether you’re “good” or not.

      • YES THIS OMG. When my doctor told me I had HPV, not going to lie, I flipped out a little bit. I mean, I’ve made every effort to be careful (two forms and whatnot), but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think getting this dirty, filthy disease was somehow an indictment of my sexual history.

        Fortunately, my doctor is amazing, and said that all having an STI meant was that you were sexually active–especially one like HPV, where even someone who used a condom *every single time* they had intercourse could still get it. So that’s stuck with me.

        • and, clearly, I have moved away from thinking of HPV/STIs as dirty, filthy diseases, and instead think of them as sh!t that, no matter how careful you think you’re being, is sometimes going to happen.

      • Agreed. That clean v. dirty thing feels like smugness and victim blaming.

        It’s tough enough to deal with symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. I’m glad people are taking care of their health, as it’s inconvenient and awkward, at a minimum.

        I haven’t met anyone so clean that they don’t need to brush their teeth & go to a dentist – germs happen and some need professional removal. Being clean isn’t all-or-nothing.

        I’ve been married for a while – and recall several awkward conversations including my partner – long term relationships have a good measure of them, it’s a good check-in for both partners. Do It!

    • Always use protection. Would not ask someone to get tested if we are using protection. When I was dating, I always made it clear that condoms were non-negotiable for me, but I think asking for a full work up is just not realistic for everyone, or at least it wasn’t for me. That said, if that’s what you need to feel comfortable, by all means, it’s your body.

      I do think that it’s a little bit unfair to sit in judgment of your friend when no amount of testing would have prevented what happend. According to the CDC, at least 50% of s*xually active adults will have had it at some point in their life, and other estimates have that number as being much, much higher (in the 75-80% range). I would not be so smug about this – it’s much more common than you think and can happen to people who have taken every single precaution. That’s why it’s so important to get annual paps, ladies.

    • Having him tested would not have revealed HPV. There is no FDA-approved test for HPV in men, and condoms are only somewhat effective in preventing it.

      There’s a pretty good chance that *you* have HPV or have had it at some point; if not, there’s a pretty good chance that you will. No, you never *can* be too careful when it comes to HPV, unless you avoid sexual contact entirely, and I find your attitude in this comment offputting and ignorant, frankly. It’s good that you didn’t say “I told you so” because there’s nothing you could have told her that would have prevented this. Your friend needs your support, not your judgment.

    • Anne Shirley :

      How would you like it if your friend wrote in about how her uber uptight probably OCD friend is always treating sex like it’s dirty and omg she’s bitching cause she’s single.

      Probably not much right? Her making a different risks/rewards calculation than you doesn’t deserve your judgment.

      • Thank you for bringing up the risk/reward calculation. It varies wildly among people. And there is also a difference between actual risks and rewards and perceived risks and rewards.

    • I am old enough to have become sexually active post-Pill and pre-HIV, so in my teens I never asked anyone anything. Then I got married and did not sleep with anyone else for almost 20 years. I “woke up” in my late 30s smack dab in the middle of the HIV/AIDS era. There have only been two since then, one boyfriend and now my fiancé. I had “the talk” with both before any clothese came off. Both understood and complied. It is not easy (helped that we were all older), but it is necessary.

      I have coached a girlfriend who returned to the dating pool after becoming a widow in her 50s/60s through the discussion. And my fiance and I used that turn of events to raise the subject with his teenage daughter.

      Not negotiable.

  12. Dying for a Makeover :

    So I just saw photos from our holiday party posted online. And while I’m not usually one of those who hates to see pictures of themselves, I have to say I was absolutely horrified. I can deal with getting my weight in order (I’ll be resuming Couch to 5K again this evening, which I can’t plug enough–it has done wonders in the past. The bigger problem is that my coloring looks so…blah.

    Corporettes: What do you do when you feel like you need a makeover? I feel like maybe my make up and hair color are all wrong for me. Maybe my eyebrows are too thin? I just feel like I’ve been walking around thinking I look OK, when really I’m looking pretty drab and mousey. I want to kick things up without getting it all wrong.

    Is there something you would recommend for an instant “pick me up” or some honest advice about what I’m doing wrong (the kind even your friends may not be comfortable telling you or maybe don’t recognize because they’ve known you so long)?

    • Dying for a Makeover :

      Obviously don’t mean that you all would be giving me the “honest advice.” I mean somewhere you can go for that. But where do you go?

      • Always a NYer :

        I know Nordstrom has a personal shopper service that’s free. If you’re not near a Nordies, start by getting fitted properly for a bra. It’s amazing how much better you look and feel when your bra is the right size. Other major department stores may have that service as well. If makeup is your thing and you have a trusted brand, go to their counter and have your makeup routine overhauled. For just basic makeup guidance, I’d suggest Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier because they’re known for low-key, natural looking makeup.

        Also, I love TLC’s “What Not to Wear” and find the advice very helpful even though I don’t think I’m in need of an intervention.

      • For hair, maybe ask someone whose hair you really like for the name of their stylist? A good stylist will know how to both color and cut your hair to make you your best you.

        Seconding the bra fitting and personal shopper idea. Also “What Not to Wear.” I’ve learned a ton from that show, one of the most important things being that you have to try on a lot of stuff that may not look so great to find the stuff that does look great. But after a while you get to know the colors and shapes that look good on you, so it doesn’t always take so long.

        Maybe you could end up with a personal shopper with great hair and makeup and ask her where she goes – two birds with one stone!

    • I went through the “holy crap I’m the size of a small minivan” stage last year (which absolutely embarassed me when I realized how far I let myself go), and I finally fit back into normal clothes and feel like a woman again. Everything about me just felt very drab and unattractive, so I know what you are feeling.

      In my experience, there were many months of diet and exercise between blah and fabulous, so if you don’t feel so hot right now, you need a few “bridge items” to hold you over til you get there! I can’t say enough about Bare Minerals makeup to give you some extra glow, exfoliating the hell out of your skin to make that glow natural, NARS blush, geting a manicure/pedicure regularly, getting a good haircut and a few highlights to brighten you up, the Anastasia brow kit (comes with stencils) to make sure your brows are in line, and treating yourself to a great accessory that looks good no matter what you weigh. If that sounds overwhelming, just start with some great lipstick. It can work wonders:)

      And congrats on starting Couch to 5k again! I was wavering about getting back into running because I am so awful at it, but you just inspired me to start it after New Year’s!

    • Can't wait to quit :

      There are image consultants who will talk to you about changes you are thinking of making to wardrobe, hair, makeup, etc., and help you implement them. In the short term, make sure you are wearing enough blush – without it your face will look like a potato in photos.

      • Second this. I used to be scared of blush – didn’t want to look like a pink-circle-on-each-cheeked doll – and hated how photographed. Once I started wearing more blush and/or bronzer on my cheekbones, my look turned around.

        This may not apply to you, but I also realized that given my coloring (dark hair + fair skin), if I am going to be photographed, I have to pay attention to what colors I wear. For me, this means no matter how much I may want to wear a silver dress or pale pink top, if I want to photograph well, I can’t wear them. Rich, saturated colors are a must.

    • I second the advice given above (and as I’ve said here before, I had a great experience with being fitted for a bra at Nordie’s and that kicked off a pretty major wardrobe overhaul for me), but one of the things you asked about was an instant “pick me up”. I have two, which I implement religiously when I have to leave the house but feel so crappy I don’t want to (like today) (BTW, I know this is not actually your situation, but…). My first pick-me-up is blush. It always really does make me look less bland and seems to give depth to my face. My second pick-me-up is to wear lipstick. I know both these things are makeup-based, but I guess the reason they work is that they bring more colour into my face, which does wonders for very fair-skinned me.

    • My instant pick-me-up is to dye my brows. I just turned 35 and my brows are drooping quite a bit so keeping them darker seems to make them look perkier. I have medium brown hair so I dye my brows dark brown. The color tends to fade after a couple of weeks so I have to keep at it, but it really makes a huge difference on my face.

      • Dying for a Makeover :

        Thank you all for some fantastic advice. I’m near a Nordstrom, so it sounds like I’m in luck. A couple of you mentioned blush. Perhaps that may be part of the problem. I’ve been wearing something that is a bronzer and lightish blush in one compact–perhaps it’s not the right color for my fairish skin tone. I do sometimes wonder if it’s making me look more dirty than tan. :) And I wouldn’t have even thought of the bra suggestions. But it sounds like a great idea. It’s been years and many weight fluctuations since I’ve had anyone measure. And the advice on picture-focused dressing was probably spot on as well. I have medium blonde hair and was wearing kind of a pea greenish top in the photos… I won’t be making that mistake again.

        Thank you, all. I’ve got my “new year, new me” checklist in hand now.

        • I recommend you hit the Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier or Trish McEvoy makeup counter when you’re there at Nordstrom. These lines train their staff a little better as they are “artist” lines. Ask them to do your face, be open to what they suggest, and make notes about how they apply the products.

          For me, every time I get this treatment, I feel like they pencil in my brows too dark. But when I look at photos of myself, I realize one of the things that looks weird about my face in the photos is that you can’t really see my brows. So what I’m saying is that, in my case, the makeup artist have been correct and I’ve been taking more care to darken my brows lately.

  13. Any other federal employees here who think that this time Congress might actually make good on its threat to shut down the government? I don’t know why I feel so much more pessimistic this time than the other 2 (3?) times.

    • Yes. I’m the wife of a fed employee (as the name says) and they are already being told to “prepare for shut down.” I think we are at the point where no one is agreeing about anything and both parties want to put their foot down and make a stand. I’m not sure which party will look worse if the shut down happens.

      I can say, it is incredibly demoralizing to federal employees. My husband does a very very important and risky job that garners the government a lot of money every year. Yet, he is considered “non essential.” The term non essential means in reality that no one will die if you don’t go to work today. Yet, many people take it really personally to be told they are “non essential.”

      Also, some of the latest budget talks were pretty ridiculous. There is only so much you can take away from workers at once without them all quitting. Yes the market is tough, but many are eligible for retirement and will if you drastically change their pension, freeze their pay for another 3 years, slash their budget, and not fill vacant positions. Who is going to do the work of 3 people for 1/3rd of the pay they are supposed to be getting? It is a mess.

      • Thanks for saying what I’m thinking. It really is a drag. I’m nonessential, too (just who IS essential anyway?) but if I am not doing my job a lot of money does not go out and a lot of non-federal employees, including the hallowed small business owners, will be hurt.

        I also always get irritated when people complain about what “great” benefits federal employees have. My benefits are not much different from what I had as a private sector employee and I think I could have made more money in the private sector. But it was my choice to take this job.

        Which brings me to another point – choice. Anyone can choose to apply for a federal job. If people think federal jobs are so cushy, apply for one! In my “department” we have open posts for about 4 or 5 people. True, it’s rather specialized, but anyone can apply for a federal job, nothing stopping anyone for going for all those great benefits!

        • If you are feeling down and discouraged, just know that you are not alone. My husband is typically a “whatever, I don’t listen to the gossip at work, I don’t care about it” kind of guy. But he was so pissed off about some news that came out Monday evening that he called me and just WENT OFF for about 5 minutes straight about how he had lost faith in America and no one is working for the people anymore and no one understands what the government worker actually does and it is so easy to just proselytize “cut government spending” without actually knowing what one is cutting and how that will affect the people they claim they are trying to save money. I honestly have never seen him so upset. He took it so personally and that is very out of character. I’m sure there is a lot of “doom and gloom” going on in every office.

          Do you know anything about the “special class” of worker they are trying to propose for pension purposes? My husband would fall into that. He doesn’t know what it is but knows that whenever there is a “special class” it is not usually a good thing.

          Just to be clear to anyone reading outside of government, we are not all entitled looking for hand outs. But, if someone has worked for 50 years with the promise of a pension, they are deferring traditional 401(k) planning based on their reliance on that pension. It is completely unfair to workers that are about to retire to redo their pension structure. If they knew back when they started that was going to happen they may have opted out of the pension or at least saved more in an IRA or something.

          • Right, I think it’s very unfair to change pension structures when employees don’t really have time to react to that.

            I don’t think I’m in that class – I just started not quite 2 years ago, and I have a 401k/TSP and also pay into Social Security. A contribution is made to FERS for me, but to be honest I’m just going on the assumption that my retirement will be funded by my 401K/TSP and Social Security.

            I work for an agency that basically creates $2-$5 of jobs for every $1 of federal money it disburses, but I don’t think the public quite realizes that. On the face of it, what my agency funds might appear frivolous, but fortunately we’ve usually had fairly decent bipartisan support. Of course, this could change on a dime in the current atmosphere.

            I totally understand where your husband is coming from. It gets very demoralizing to be the punching bag all the time. I’m in DC, so at least here I think people understand a bit more that federal employees do necessary jobs, and I think Senators and Representatives from MD and VA (at least Northern VA) also understand this and do try to go to bat for us somewhat.

          • I think the special class would be workers hired in the last five years so you would fall into it. I think it would be one pension structure for those with more than five years of service at the time the bill is passed, another for the “special class” with 5 or less years of service, and then the new law which would apply to all new employees. I could be wrong though. If that is what it is, it might actually be fair but since so many people are mad about it I’d like to know more.

          • My dad has been working for government agencies for 30 years, but it’s a whole other set of problems: because of budget concerns for several decades, he has ALWAYS been a contractor, in positions where the budget was structured where they use contractors instead of hiring someone on as a real employee. And as a result, he has never had paid sick/vacation time, and has no retirement/pension coming to him at all, except for the IRA he’s been putting his own money into the whole time. So, now he’s in his 70s and he is still working because he couldn’t afford to live on his savings.

            So, they’ve just been finding new and exciting ways to get out of benefits and retirement for more and more workers over the years, and to pay them less, make them work more, etc. It’s pathetic, and I don’t think this trend is at all in keeping with what we claim are American values. :o( Sympathies to your husband, and PollyD and all the other federal workers. I wish it wasn’t so messed up and we could do something about it.

          • state govt employee :

            @PollyD

            “I’m just going on the assumption that my retirement will be funded by my 401K/TSP and Social Security.”

            This has been my approach since I joined the government seven years ago. Nonetheless, the state takes a significant percentage out of each of my paychecks to “invest” in the “pension” that I don’t ever expect to see. On top of that, I take an even more significant percentage out of each paycheck and invest it in my 403(b) and 457(k). It would be nice to not have to do both the pension AND the self-funded accounts, but there is no way to opt out of the pension.

          • Yeah, I’m getting more and more demoralized. My husband and I have both spent our entire careers with the government, and having worked with so many truly dedicated, outstanding federal employees, it’s hard to see us all get kicked around so much in the media. They raid our TSP to pay other budget shortfalls, freeze our pay to give others a tax cut, and continually talk about how we are “the problem” when my agency does such important work. We are “essential” and work without pay during shutdowns, but that never makes the news. So, fellow feds, please take a minute to join NARFE, and use their web page to send an e-mail to your representatives telling them to stop taking it all out on federal employees.

        • As a fellow federal employee, an article discussing a study concluded that at the low end of skills and wages, federal jobs are relatively cushy, and at the high end of skills and wages, federal jobs are less cushy, at least in regard to pay. I think the article was in the Washington Post.

          • Yes. I agree that this is the case. Attorneys and other higher skill/wage federal employees are underpaid on average next to their private sector counterparts (at least most of their private sector counterparts, to be fair- I make slightly less than my friends who are same-level federal lawyers). I know most of the fed research scientists make less than their private sector peers. But at the lower end, employees like administrative staff and techs (say GS7 and under, give or take) make more than their private sector counterparts on average and have better benefits.

            I’m not dissing fed employees. They are neither saints nor sinners. Mostly I’m just sick of listening to my friend I graduated law school with complain about her federal salary when I (and many of our classmates) make less than she does. Grass is always greener I guess.

        • Last time the government shut down, an acquaintance’s husband was deemed “essential” and kept working.

          He’s an environmental lawyer.

          And was not working on anything in court at the time.

      • well, there are great people like your husband, but also plenty of waste in gov’t- worked in several agencies and couldn’t believe the dead weight. for every handful of those though, there was a bright, hardworking person too. problem is they cant’ operate by merit.

        • also… federal folks… you do have certain advantages which you should keep in mind. I left gov’t 2 yrs ago for private sector, pay is about the same, but I love the work more. But, I drastically miss my vacation and there is of course no pension etc. I get 10 days off a year, very few holidays, and sick leave mostly expires yearly. I am pregnant and have to choose between taking zero days off now while I’m exhausted, or having un-paid time during my big 6 weeks of partial pay on disability when the baby comes. So, it is understandable that those of us not in gov grow to resent paying for other people’s lengthy vacations and pensions. Hey, I know many many in gov work hard- my husband does, i did, my parents and brothers (from dc:)- just think it is prudent to keep in mind what you do have, which is actually a lot. the salaries aren’t that far under private sector in most cases, either, sometimes they are higher. I used to do labor negotiations and would see the wage surveys. depends on the group but really- gov’t jobs have gotten better as private sector has gotten worse- gov’t wasn’t forced to cut back like private sector did, so wages kept creeping up with stellar benefits, and now it’s out of whack in general. That is why it is being targeted. If you don’t believe me, try the other side, with its lack of job security and worse benefits. I still choose it for the time being because I love the innovation and work I get to do, but not sure I can sustain it with a baby given the grueling lack of leave time. Perspective.

          • plus fed employees wouldn’t be losing their jobs in a shut down- it is temporary. crappy, but still. demoralizing yes, but you have the choice to go work elsewhere too. I left gov as I was sick of the downer spirits, but now I am tired from working too much at my company though it’s a bette atmosphere- on balance they both have good/bad aspects.

    • nah, doesn’t sound like it. Boehner just said he is willing to vote on the omnibus and drop the Republicans’ bill. And there are also some 5 day – 1 week CRs floating around to stretch until they can finish the omnibus. I think a shut down is less likely this week than the last times.

      • Yeah, I think I just saw something a bit more hopeful on the Roll Call website. I hope you are right, zora.

        I am also anxious about this shut down because I am supposed to go do the White House Christmas decoration tour on monday! I could handle missing a paycheck (I wouldn’t like that very much, but I could handle it) but will be really pissed to have to miss that tour!

        • aw, that would be lame!! well, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, PollyD. I got to be part of the tour when my choir got picked to be one of the performers along the tour in high school, it was pretty awesome. Hope you get to go and have a great time!

        • MeliaraofTlanth :

          Ooh, that was awesome. I’ll keep my fingers crossed you get to go!

    • Personally, I am just really sick of getting scape-goated and blamed for budget overruns. I didn’t get us into any wars or cut taxes or expand medicare, so why are budget cuts coming out my salary when I’m already underpaid compared to the private sector?

      Sorry for the rant, I’m just so frustrated with this. I barely even care whether we get shut down any more.

      • Hi Polly and FedWife, I know it’s really frustrating and I would hate to be in your position. I’d just like to say (and I’m not quite sure how to word this) that I appreciate your side of the story, the human factor behind shutting down the govt, I guess. It’s enlightening to read and I wish there were more articles/insights in papers/on the news etc…I think if people would know what shutting down the govt would actually mean, they would be more nuanced in their opinions….maybe?

        • I do think this is the problem- it’s easy for people to rant about “the government” as an amorphous entity. They aren’t thinking about individual federal employees as people trying to make a living.

    • No but only because I’m “essential” so would have to work for free.

  14. Wait. I’m supposed to be watching this show too?

    WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME?

    How will I fit in all of my Housewives shows now?

  15. Stupid question threadjack: What should I wear to a hockey game?

    I’m planning to go see a minor league hockey game tomorrow night with some friends. I’ve never been to one before, and, living in the south, I’m still not entirely convinced that hockey is actually a real thing. I’m not worried about style, but about temperature – do they keep the (stadium? rink? hockey-hut?) place where we sit cold enough to keep the ice frozen? I’m super cold natured, but, given the whole south thing, I’ve only barely touched my coat this year.

    Should I dress like I normally would (jeans, closed toe-shoes, sweater, jacket) or do I need, like, gloves/hat/scarf/long underwear? Keep in mind that if I’m somewhere under about 50 degrees for extended periods of time, I’ll be miserable even in layers upon layers.

    • I’ve been to lots of hockey games in the south. Your normal outfit sounds fine (I’ve never needed gloves, scarf, or long underwear). If you are really concerned, throw a thin pair of gloves in your coat pockets or purse.

      • Diana Barry :

        It depends on the rink. I would go to college hockey games with my dad when I was a kid and it was COLD – we definitely needed coats. Bring your coat and gloves!!! If you don’t need it, you can sit on it.

    • Wear warm pants and/or a coat that covers your butt. I find my butt always gets cold when sitting still in a cold place. I think gloves are a good idea. I’d stuff a hat in my pocket/bag, I’d also consider earmuffs – in men’s departments (maybe women’s too, not sure) you can find earmuffs that aren’t “muffy,” they’re more like a band of polarfleece that covers your ears. Come to think of it, a polarfleece headband like skiers use might be cute.

      Butt, hands, and ears – those are the parts I think about most when it comes to feeling cold. Oh, and feet – socks and boots or shoes that cover your feet and have rubber soles. No need for Arctic expedition-style boots, but I wouldn’t wear ballet flats either. I find rubber soles are better for keeping the cold away.

    • I’d bring gloves and a hat, if you tend to be cold anyway. Typically the more professional arenas (in my case professional and Division I college hockey) are cool, but not cold. I live where hockey is way more common (like you have to wear your winter coat outside to get to the arena), but will typically take my winter coat off, and watch the game while wearing a long sleeve shirt and a North Face fleece. I might also start with a hat and gloves on, but the tend to eventually come off. I have not needed long underwear.

      And that was sitting with rink side seats. I think the closer you sit to the ice, the cooler it can feel?

    • Funny, I was just at a hockey game last night! We were right down by the rink and by the end my feet were freezing even in shearling boots. I kept my jacket on the whole time. (with a sweater underneath.) I would have liked to have my scarf with me but wouldn’t have needed gloves.

      I did a scan of the crowd and saw a varied mix- some people using their coats as blankets and some people in short sleeves. If you know you are sensitive to cold then come prepared, you’ll be more happy that way to enjoy the game!

    • Also, hockey is awesome! It’s one of the only team sports I really enjoy watching. It can be very fast-paced and it’s just amazing to watch how the players manuever on the ice. The scoring was secondary to the skating ability for me.

      • I’m so not into sports in general, but I usually enjoy watching them in person – particularly in minor league settings (laid back, high cheese factor). I’ve never watched a bit of hockey, but I’m really looking forward to this. I think it will be fun!

        • I went to two different Big 10 universities (one for undergrad, one for grad) and went to 1.5 football games. That’s not a typo, I got bored so I left at halftime. Never made it to a basketball game, although I think I might like that. Went to a bunch of hockey games at my undergraduate school and really loved those.

          So I think it’s a good “watching sport” for those of us who are not too into sports!

          • Agreed, I am *so* not a sports person, but I have attended a few hockey games and I find them really entertaining!

    • I go to 20+ NHL games a year. I usually wear jeans, boots, a sweater, a scarf and a short jacket (which I leave on). No need for gloves or a hat in the arena. But, this is professional and the arena may have fancier temperature control equiptment than a minor league rink.

  16. I’ve admired much of Dr. Hunt’s wardrobe, too. I also noticed in recent episodes that she now wears colorful “Wellies,” rubber galoshes, to crime scenes with her tailored suits. Much better than the high heels at those muddy, goopy crime scenes.

  17. The next 360 review should be Kate Beckett of Castle. =)

    • Anonymous :

      I love that Kate Beckett is always in 4-5 inch heels. As if she could chase down criminals in those shoes!

      And when did the tight, tucked in shirt become the female detective uniform (a la female characters in Law and Order, Castle, The Mentalist)?

  18. Has anyone seen this similar feature on flavorwire, Dear Costume Department : http://flavorwire.com/241248/dear-costume-department-the-iron-lady#more-241248

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