Suit of the Week: Albert Nipon

Albert Nipon Tweed SuitFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

OK: let’s ignore the model, who perhaps had a Big Gulp before they started the shoot. Or something. Anyway: I like this suit. It’s just a leeetle bit different — the slight flounce to the jacket, the wide cuffs on the blazer, and the lovely texture to the tweed. It’s $395 at Neiman Marcus. Albert Nipon Tweed Suit

Albert Nipon Tweed Suit Albert Nipon Tweed Suit

Comments

  1. Does anyone have experience with this brand? I often see it on sale at NM, and can’t quite “get it” … I generally think of suits sold together (vs. as separates) as being on the cheaper/less well made end of things and a lot of the AN suits at NM are a bit on the “mother of the bride” side, in terms of colors and fabrics and general zazzle. But then again, some are quiet cute and this one doesn’t seem half bad, even if I do kind of dislike the sleeves. What would you compare this brand to? What’s the fit like? Quality?

    • When I used to wear suits every day I had a couple of Albert Nipon. Barrie Pace used to sell them, and they were similar to Leslie Fay in my mind (mainly because I used to mix up the brands.) However, neither of those brands is around now. They are older lady brands for sure, but I thought both of them made decent suits (nice fabrics, good linings) and I was trying to look older anyway in my early thirties.

    • When I lived in NYC in the 1990s and wore a suit every day, I had a couple Albert Nippon. I also used to love Herbert Grossman (which sadly went out of business, I think)and the original Tahari (not Elie). I am sure you could buy all of the above at NM or Saks. I used to buy them either on Orchard Street or at a little, tiny, independent store on Lexington between 53 and 54 (across the street from CitiCenter), which I think was called Sue’s. I miss those days when wearing a real suit was expected and, as a result, there were small stores with racks of them at reasonable prices.

      @mamabear – I also recall Barrie Pace and Alcott & Andrews and the days when Royal Silk sold office-appropriate silk shells and Talbots was more reliable and and … but I digress.

      Oh, and in those days, at least in my circles, the only appropriate shoe with all of the above was a black patent leather pump (preferable Galo) and “travel buff” hose.

      • ha! Travel Buff. Totally wore that every day!

        • Albert Nipon makes very good suits. I have several, and I ain’t no M.O.B. and won’t be no time soon ;-) If you get the wool, silk, or natural fabric ones, I’d put them on par with Elie Tahari, Theory, Layfayette 148, and even Hugo Boss, quality-wise. The cut is more akin to Tahari and Kay Unger than Theory, for sure (i.e., small waist, big hips and butt vs. flat booty, straight hips, wide waist). Check ‘em out, AIMS!

          • Kay Unger! That was the brand I meant when I said Leslie Fay. Sorry!

            Yes, I agree, the ones I had were cut for a figure with a definite waist and hips.

          • Thanks! This is very illuminating. I am definitely going to keep an eye out for one of these.

            Oh, and @ suits – while I can see why you’d mourn the loss of small store carrying suits (if only), if it helps any, there is still a store devoted to Galo shoes around (Lex & E 63)… :)

        • Forgot all about Travel Buff! Used to wear that every day as well.

    • fly a way :

      I have several Nipon suits from NM this year. I experience them as year-round, with the weight of the fabrics, but my office ac/heating is the same year-round. I can easily spice them up with a printed silk shell, my cahce of statement necklaces/pendants, shoes (oh, the shoes), or a colorful long sleeved sweater.

      Nipon suits seem to me to be equivalent to the nicer Tahari suits at Macy’s … so I wait for sales.

      As for fit, I am very much an hourglass, so I always have to have the waists nipped in – both the jackets and the skirts. YMMV. Mostly, though, they do seem a bit “boxy” in the cut of the jacket.

      FYI, NM charges for return shipping or you pay for it yourself.

      Via Corporette, I have added suits this past year to my office wardrobe. I am business dressed, but usually it is mix/match skirts and jackets. Here in my own practice, I can do what.ev.er. and have always dressed professionally – with business casual very rarely. (As in I Have No Chinos.) Have taken to suits for feedback meetings and I am loving the uber professional air I get. Of course, my situatuion is the reverse of most ‘rettes I think! In any case, thanks for the ideas in personalizing suits…I avoided them after my years with John Molloy’s “Dress for Success” in the 1980s and 1970s … as a grad student.

    • A lot of their suits do scream MOB but there are exceptions. I have a beautiful, well-made suit from the line that is a classic navy with just a little navy velvet trim at the waist. As far as sizing goes, I think the suits are most akin to Lafayette 148. The skirts tend to be fairly long.

    • I love this shape! I have been trying to find more suits with pleated jackets. I found a few Taharis.

  2. I lloooovvvee it.

  3. Is the Clarisonic good for anti-aging use? I’d like to get my pores in better shape, which I know it is good for, but I’m becoming increasingly concerned with these faint little wrinkles around my eyes.

    • After reading the WSJ article about various products and the reviews at Amazon, I bought the nutra sonic. It was $69. It’s arriving tomorrow so I’ll let you know.

      Over the weekend, I tried my sister-in-law’s new Clarisonic with my regular Cetaphil cleanser. My skin felt softer, but I’m not sure about any anti-aging benefits.

    • Eye Crinkles :

      * no sun. ever.
      * big sunglasses
      * sunscreen every day
      * hats
      * no smoking/excessive drinking
      * “preventive Botox” (starting in early 30s, if you can afford it)

    • Tip: I found one at TJMaxx for around $30 ;-)

    • dc 'rette :

      Use an anti-oxidant. I use Clinique’s SolarSmart Face Cream with SPF30 in the morning, and I put Paula’s Choice “Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Mattifying Concentrate Serum w/ Retinol” around my eye area every night. Of course, it’s the kind of thing where I won’t know for 10+ years if it actually works or not, but the ingredients in both products seem to be highly recommended to fight aging.

    • Clairisonic has a second device called the Opal that is specifically for the under eye area. I have one (bought it with the brush in sale bundle) and have tried it but only for a few weeks. I think it helps but it’s so hard to say. I also use a different lotion with it and I switched at the same time as getting the device so I can’t be scientific and say it was the Opal.

  4. karenpadi :

    Is it just me or is it really annoying when clothing is only in black and it’s really tough to see the details of the cut or fabric? Can’t they include a line drawing showing the details and a good picture of the fabric?

    Here, the description says “satin piping” and “floral textured tweed” but I can’t even see these details in the pictures.

    /end rant

    • My laptop isn’t top of the line, but I can see those details. Maybe you need a better resolution on your screen.

    • beautiful suit. karenpadi, did you click through to shopstyle and enlarge/zoom? it’s close enough to see everything in pretty good detail.

    • I can see it all when I zoom. This a good suit for the days when you have a professional cocktail party/dinner after work!

    • I couldn’t see the details at all on my work computer. I don’t think it’s resolution so much as brightness or something, though. I agree it drives me nuts – I was looking for another color in hopes that I could see what it actually looked like.

  5. I’ve been posting a lot this week (very slow at work, sure to pick up in a few days).
    I’m hopefully going to be receiving a job offer at the small firm that I want to spend the next 15 years + of my career in the next month, after a follow-up interview in two weeks.
    It was volunteered to me during the Q&A session with associates that if I am offered a job, they will ask me on the spot to propose a starting salary and benefits package that will then be negotiated from. Nobody in the room volunteered their salary, but it became apparent from the conversation that different associates have different benefits packages and different salaries as well.

    Does anyone have any experience with proposing your own salary or benefits package?
    Small firm (4 partners, 3 associates, hoping to grow by 2-3 associates in the next two years) in a small city (city + burbs is just under 100,000). The cost of living is very low – index says 20% below national average. Real estate is especially cheap – houses that would cost $300,000 anywhere else are $140,000 there.
    Summer associate salaries at two comparable small firms in the area were $1000/week and $1400/week last summer.
    Now – the billable hours is 1900/year, but I’ve been told that is liberal; i.e. things that might not count as billable at a big firm will count towards it here, and that it is really more like 1750.

    Any thoughts would be incredibly helpful as I try to think this through the next few weeks. I’m thinking discuss benefits first, then salary? And are there any benefits you wish you had asked for/thought of when you accepted a position? I have absolutely no idea where to start – every job I’ve ever had has come with a fixed salary.

    Thank you for being such a great community.

    • anon for this :

      I don’t have any specific advice for asking about benefits/salary since mine was not negotiable (especially in the current job market), but I thought I would share my stats, because this potential job sounds very similar to the position I am in now. Almost to the letter. My firm has three partners and three associates (which includes me). I began in 2010 after passing the bar, but was a summer associate here in 2009. I live in a city with a population of about 180,000 and the cost of living here is quite low as well. I cannot recall what I made as a summer associate, but think it rounded out to be about $20 per hour.
      Starting out, my salary was 48K per year, with no mention of sick or vacation time. We have a Sep IRA that kicks in when you have worked full-time in three calendar years. I now know (but had no clue when I started) that we can take ten vacation days per year and take sick time as needed. After my yearly review, I got a 5K raise, which supposedly continues each year until the third year when you get to profit-share at a certain percentage level. My health insurance is paid by the firm, but my deductible is quite high, and they pay for my cell phone up to a certain amount per month and they pay mileage for out of town trips to court, but not in town. We don’t have many holidays where the whole firm is closed every year, just the most basic holidays. We do not have a billable hours requirement, but I suspect if my hours were below 1500, I would hear something about it. Though, the partners have told me that as a young attorney, they are aware that I will take longer to complete tasks.
      I am not sure how long you have been in practice, and that will make a difference re: what you are worth. But FWIW, the two other associates would have topped out at about 60K before receiving the “profit-share” raise, which can be great some quarters and next to nothing other quarters. I suspect that the profit sharing percentage goes up each year once you begin receiving it, but I cannot be sure about that.
      Not exactly what you were asking, but I thought I would share the information I have!

    • Recruiter :

      Any chance a local recruiter will know your market, or even that firm?

    • Going Anon :

      What year are you? I’ve worked in similar places. Typically the mentality is to overpay in your first year but then no major raises for a couple years. If that is the case, and you are a first year, I’d shoot for $70,000+. Since you are making the first offer, I’d say start with $80 and let them work down.

      Most of the time Corporette recommends shooting big b/c what do you have to lose? I would be careful about shooting too big at such a small firm. You don’t want to leave them with the impression that you have no idea what a small firm is like and they couldn’t possibly pay you enough to keep you happy.

      In this new “down” market – if you are a 1st year, I wouldn’t be surprised if they plan on paying you $50-$55k. I don’t think you would be crazy for asking for $80k though.

      I have had good luck negotiating extra vacation time. I have four weeks now. Also, my firm pays for me to be on my husband’s health insurance. They pay the difference between my husband’s plan solo and his plan with me added. My husband has a better plan than I do so I’d rather be on his, but at their cost. If your firm doesn’t offer dental (why is that becoming so common??) see if they will give you a stipend to go towards you finding your own plan. If there are multiple empty offices and you have your heart set on one, you can try to get that too. For me, a nice office makes a big difference in how I feel all day. Make sure they pay your CLE’s, travel, marketing, bar dues, etc. Good luck!

      • Graduated 2010, and I’ve been clerking for 2 years.

        I’m really hoping for something in the mid-fifties – I’m clerking now and it is 8-5 for $42K a year. I know there will be a lot more time involved in this new job and I hate to think of my “hourly rate”, so to speak, going down.

        So:
        professional dues
        CLE
        vacation/sick time
        travel
        technology/cell use (I love this one and it had never entered my mind!)
        health insurance & dental or supplement

        I think I’m going to have a lot more flexibility with benefits than with salary, but I’m just not sure. I don’t want to seem greedy – but also, I want to work there for a long time and want a setup that will work – especially given the billable hours requirement.

        • What about maternity leave, telecommuting, parking/transit? And vision.

          • anon for this :

            Second re: maternity leave. Please ask about maternity leave. I wish I would have and now that I know how terrible our firm’s “policy” is, I am upset I didn’t negotiate about it at the time I was hired.

        • anon for this :

          Oh, I should mention that they pay my professional dues each year and pay for basically any CLE I want to go to, even if I already have all my hours and they think it is something I could benefit from. We don’t have dental or vision coverage.

          I don’t know the firm you are interviewing with, but I would not assume that you will have flexibility with benefits – benefits are expensive and many small firms make money by keeping the overhead low. Another warning: if you are the only female associate (as I am) they will be a little shocked at how much higher your health insurance premium is. My bosses were, anyway.

        • MeliaraofTlanth :

          I’m a 2010 grad in a medium-sized firm in a large, high cost of living city and make $72k, if that’s a helpful comparison point. I have vacation time (3 weeks) and decent health and dental insurance (which is ~$80/pay period). Oh, and a 401k after I’ve been here a year. Things I don’t have that I really wish the firm would pay for are CLE classes (because our state requires in person for the first two years) and professional dues.

    • Technology allowance (for purchase of a laptop and/or iPad, iPhone) and they pay your data plan.

    • in addition to salary, off the top of my head: health, dental, vision; 401(k); bar dues; % of fees from any clients you bring in; technology allowance (phone); vacation; sick days; CLEs.

    • I can’t help much with the salary issue, but I do have a few more suggestions from my own recent experience. In addition to some of the benefits already mentioned, I asked for (and received) and agreement that my firm would pay 100% of the costs toward any additional licenses I obtained (I have 2 state licenses now, but live in a tri-state area where an additional license is likely down the road). The firm also agreed to cover any additional expenses associated with bar memberships, CLE’s, and the like associated with those licenses. I negotiated the amount of my firm’s 401k contribution and a bonus plan (based upon the net receipts received by the firm for the work I did) up front, so we’ll both have something to refer to later. We also have a written agreement (which may or may not work for you), that unless very specific conditions are met, we will give each other 30 days written notice prior to termination. Finally, if you anticipate bringing in a lot of cases or have a bar license that other members of your firm may want to “use” with you as local counsel, I have discovered it is generally beneficial to detail how those types of cases will be handled in advance as well.

    • anon for this :

      I also don’t have any advice to offer but thought I’d share my stats as well. I’m a new grad in a small market, pretty average cost of living. Like your situation, the firm has a very high partner-to-associate ratio. They gave me $70k, modest bar stipend, a CLE budget that includes travel to wherever I want, 401(k) match within a reasonable time after I start, medical, FSA, and a few of weeks of vacation. Around the same number of billables, possibly a little less. They aimed to pay at the top of the local market, which is also similar to yours in size.

    • You don’t mention your family situation, but take your future plans into account. Many people don’t realize that adding just a spouse can more than double your premium. Many employers only pay a portion, if any, of your dependents’ (spouse included) premiums. It may be easier to swing the deal before there are actually dependents in the picture.

      Group rates at my small (<10) company are through the roof. A young woman would pay upwards of $350 a month for a $2500 deductible and 70/30 coverage. My family (spouse & 1 kid) monthly premium was nearly $900. I've negotiated a straight monthly allowance toward health insurance to apply toward better & cheaper coverage purchased through my insurance broker.

  6. Got a psychology question/rant for you ladies…

    Today the lead partner on a large, multi-firm doc review that I’m working on sent out an e-mail noting that “some” though not all of the reviewers had been billing “substantial” amounts of time that they weren’t logged into the doc review program. And even though I KNOW I haven’t been doing that….I’m STILL freaked out.

    This sort of thing has happened before. How do you put aside the anxiety and just move on?

    • Esquirette :

      I can see being anxious about this — you don’t want to get grouped unfairly with any wrongdoers. In the end, if your billed time and your logged database time match up pretty well, and the pace of your work appears reasonable (i.e., it would take as long as you billed/logged to review the number of docs you did), then you should be fine. There is nothing else you can do. Just keep working and try to stay aware of what’s going on around you without making this an issue.

    • Maybe you can use the email to segue into a check-in with your supervisor, like an informal review. Something like, “Hey, saw that you/he/she sent that email out a few times, is there an issue with my work? No? Oh, ok. How about the rest of my work? It’s good? Ok, wonderful, off to lunch.”

      • Research, Not Law :

        I think this is a good idea if you can’t shake the feeling.

        But I will say that the twinge of anxiety is normal. For example, my company recently announced something similar regarding telecommuting. I felt a bit anxious about being “called out” – when I don’t even telecommute! It’s one of those classic, you have nothing to fear if you’ve done nothing wrong moments.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think it’s likely that the email was sent to all reviewers. From my doc review experiences, it is somewhat common for some people to be really egregious with their billing. It sounds like this email was sent to everyone to make sure those people who are doing it know that they are being watched and make sure others don’t even consider doing the same. I would probably be a little nervous too, but since they were so specific about the issue I wouldn’t worry that it’s directedat you. It does sound like a good excuse to check in with your supervisor though as Godzilla recommended.

    • same shoes :

      I started to smile when I saw this post. Not because you should be worried, but because you are worried, means you are fine. I have seen many an email like the one you are talking about (and may have actually seen the one you are talking about) and always have the same reaction you are experiencing right now – even if I am not working on that case but know someone in my office has been. The concern you are experiencing means you are conscientous and mindful and shouldn’t be worried.

  7. Accountress :

    I like this suit much better in the navy blue color that’s shown in a fancy-styled photo on the NM website, but the black is pretty okay.

  8. Has anyone else made beauty-related resolutions for 2012? I’ve made one: to have FUN with my clothes, makeup and appearance in general. I’m always so concerned about looking appropriate and/or meeting practical concerns that I’ve forgotten how to live a little and take risks. At 31, that’s a little sad. Or, I talk myself out of buying fun casual clothes because they don’t get worn as often as my work clothes. I want to be less afraid to try new trends, wear that crazy nail polish color on the weekend, or wear a tangerine accessory just because I like the color, not because it’s the most flattering thing ever on me. I’ve never been a risk-taker with fashion, even in my teens and early twenties, so this is going to be a big stretch. It’s time, though. I’m sick of being in the rut of Youngish Professional on the weekdays and Mom Uniform on the weekends.

    But, this means I’ll need to get more comfortable with the possibility of standing out more, which is scaaaary!

    • Strangely (or maybe not), I became a much more adventurous dresser in my late 30s – early 40s. Maybe I have learned what suits me and it’s easier to be creative within those parameters. Plus I realize that no one really cares what I wear.

      Although not terribly business-y, I actually get a lot of ideas for new ways to wear things from blogs like Already Pretty, Fashion for Nerds, Wardrobe Oxygen, Extra Petite, and the now-defunct Academichic. Even if you wouldn’t want to literally wear what they do, looking at blogs can give ideas for different color combos, how to use accessories, how to make casual clothes look more dressy and dressy clothes more casual, and other tips (I loved the Academichic “non-sequitor shoe” theory and find that adding a colorful shoe is an easy way to make an outfit more interesting). I also like watching What Not to Wear, although I feel the last few years have been too much therapy and not enough fashion. Also, don’t be afraid of cheap stores – Old Navy and Target can be good ways to try out trends without investing a lot of money. If you love it, you can always find a better-quality version later.

      Just have fun with it! Remember – It’s fashion! Lighten up, it’s just Fashion!/ Santino, Project Runway Season 2.

      • I loved Academicchic and was so sad when they stopped posting. I agree that it’s a great reference point and I’m going to use it for inspiration.

        It’s always great to hear stories about women coming out of their shells, fashion-wise, in their 30s, 40s and beyond. So much energy is focused on the young, thin and cute as a button. Even when I was in college, I didn’t fit into that mold.

        • Well, another factor is that I have much more disposable income now than I did right out of college. Makes it a lot easier to play with fashion, as I have no patience with thrift stores. I respect those who do, but it’s just not my thing. I am good with sales and store coupons, though.

    • Good luck! I don’t have any beauty-related resolutions (or err, any resolutions), but I remember how scary this was when I started trying to get riskier with my style a couple of years ago.

      If it helps, I got myself through a lot of bright color combinations and kooky accessories by just making myself walk out the door. It turned out that plenty of people would be like, “Wow, red boots! I could never pull those off!” even while I was still quaking in my (literal) boots about was I being too flashy, did they work with my sweater, etc. etc. So for me, the non-secret to pulling off bolder pieces was to stop over-thinking and just wear the dang things.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I didn’t make it a resolution but I’ve been planning to start wearing red lipstick and I think I’m going to take the plunge. I’ve been waiting to be more adventurous with my wardrobe because (a) I’m currently plus sized and I really don’t like a ton of the styles and (b) I’m losing weight so I’m trying to get basic bridge pieces to work between sizes. Once I’m in regular sizes, I’m planning to get a little more creative. Have fun with it all!

  9. Relationship threadjack: So my BF was supposed to go out of town this weekend for work (Friday morning to Sunday evening). I was invited out for dinner saturday night with a couple of my girlfriends who I haven’t seen for while, and for brunch sunday with another friend I haven’t seen for a while. BF calls and says he may put off the trip for a later date and proceeds to get snippy with me for not cancelling my plans if he stays in town. He is invited to join the saturday night event (the email was actually sent to a whole group of people including BF who is independent friends with these women). I just hate cancelling on people and don’t want to be one of those women who drops girlfriends when the boyfriend shows up. Am I wrong?

    Also, we just spent a heck of a lot of time together over the holidays, it’s not like we haven’t seen each other much.

    • You’re not wrong unless you get mad at him for going out with his guy friends occasionally.

      I wouldn’t cancel, and my husband would be happy to have a Saturday night to do whatever he wanted.

      • I agree. Is he at least willing to join you on Saturday night (especially since he was invited separately from you), so then he’d only be on his own while you’re at brunch? Is it possible he’s upset or anxious about having to put off the work trip, so he’s not being totally rational about this?

    • ditto mamabear :

      BF needs to grow up.

    • Always a NYer :

      He was going out of town, you made other plans. Seeing as he’s invited to this event as well, there’s no reason for him to be angry with you. Go with him or by yourself, but you shouldn’t cancel on your friends just because his plans changed. You said it yourself, you don’t want to be one of those women, so don’t be.

    • I would not cancel. You should not cancel. He is being unreasonable. The only factor is – if as mamabear mentions — you would expect him to cancel if the table were turned.

    • Your boyfriend is acting like a baby. It’s not healthy for him to expect you to drop everything for him every night of the week, nor is it healthy for you to end up losing close girlfriends because your boyfriend is so jealous that you may have friends outside of your relationship with him.

      • I wouldn’t say he was angry, just sort of whiney. And no, I don’t mind when he makes plans that don’t include me. We generally have a good balance of him out with his friends, me out with my friends, the two of us out alone together, or the two of us out with multiple friends. I just needed a quick reality check.

        He’s not normally like this, either. I think stress about the trip and work in general may be part of it, or maybe the cold weather is making him a little clingy! And he just emailed me: “I hate it when you are right.” Heh.

        It’s sometimes tough to balance girlfriends vs. boyfriend, but it’s a happy task. I am so grateful to have a boyfriend who is pretty much my favorite person to spend time with, but also have girlfriends who I feel similarly about.

        So, thanks all. No big crisis here, just was curious about how other people would respond to the situation.

        • Research, Not Law :

          Thumbs up to boyfriend for the “I hate it when you are right” email. Because you are.

          I would have kept the dinner plans. I may have considered cancelling, rescheduling, or altering plans to include him if I had made plans for the entire weekend and he was having a rough week. But the guy can handle a Saturday night without you. I’d hope he was in a mopey moment and not genuinely annoyed, because that’s just childish.

    • This is funny to me because my husband would welcome the chance to have the house all to himself to play video games and drink beer (without me interrupting).

      But yeah, agree with above, bf is being a bit of a baby.

    • FOOEY ON HIM.

      I hate this. ALAN did this to CONTROL me. I would just tell him that you will NOT have sex with him. You are in control. That will change his tune. FOOEY!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      As the person who is virtually always the friend in this situation, please don’t cancel! At least one of my friendships has been changed (probably permanently) because she would regularly cancel on me when things like this happened. Granted, it got more frustrating for me when I moved away and it would happen when I would be back in town after not seeing her for a long time. The more serious the relationship got, the more frustrating it got too. I had trouble understanding why she couldn’t be away from him for a few hours every month or every few months when they were spending the rest of their lives together. Things always change when people do get married, but it’s still frustrating. Sorry I really didn’t mean to dump this on you. This just took me back to a sad place. The fact that you don’t want to cancel makes me happy and I’m sorry your boyfriend got snippy.

      • Sydney, I think I understand how you feel. I wasn’t so much cancelled on as a single woman, but more left out. I was in a long distance relationship during grad school, so the coupled students thought of me as single but the single students thought of me as coupled – I had to work really hard to have a social life. I also hated the whole idea that a group of couples going out couldn’t invite single person to come along, or a group of single people couldn’t invite a couple. So now, sure, my boyfriend and I will go out with just the two of us, but sometimes I’ll ask my single friends who also know him to come along if it’s something conducive for a larger group and we’ll all have a good time.

        I really do value my female friends and would never want them to feel like they were “second choice.” As I told the BF this afternoon (and really, he’s usually very mellow about things like this, I think he’s just a bit stressed about work), he is pretty much my favorite person to spend time with but sometimes I just really need to talk about shoes!

        • Sydney Bristow :

          PollyD, you are awesome. I felt bad right after I posted that because I totally didn’t mean to unload on you. I’m very lucky that this only really happened with 1 friend to that point. I’ve experienced it once or twice with others but it wasn’t a pattern and I’ve been lucky enough to not really be excluded from couples events (at least to my knowledge). There is even talk of a trip upstate with a group of friends, which consists entirely of 3 couples and me. I’m so grateful that they include me in those things because it can be hard enough to be single when you don’t really want to be, but it is so much worse if you are left out.

  10. boooo Nordstrom :

    Nordstrom is no longer offering the $15 expedited shipping credit to its Level 2 rewards members.

    I’m so angry! I just got off the phone with customer service and they gave me a lot of lip service and offered to give me a complimentary free expedited shipping for one order, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that I specifically bought things at Nordstrom all year (instead of other stores) in hopes of getting to Level 2 and getting this specific reward, only to have them take it away.

    Booooo.

    • How can we tell if corporette is sufficiently known by retailers that comments made here will lead them to rethink their approach?

      • boooo Nordstrom :

        I’m not assuming it is; I just want to vent. I already tried venting to the credit services people and it did no good, so venting here is at least going to be as effective.

    • really? This says it’s still free expedited!

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/rewards-chart

      If they changed it and didn’t give any notice, I’m horrified. I’ve been using the shipping upgrade constantly since it became available.

      That doesn’t sound like Nordstrom.

      • boooo Nordstrom :

        I mentioned the fact that the Rewards chart still showed free 2-day shipping and the woman said, “Well I can look into why the website wasn’t updated yet.” Like telling me that the website wasn’t updated is going to make me feel better.

        From what I was told, if you got free shipping last year, you are grandfathered in until Feb 1, and will get your new rewards packet sometime before then. But if you are like me, who spent money this year in hopes of attaining Level 2 and its free shipping benefit, you are SOL.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve been using the shipping upgrade for all my recent (november/december 2011) purchases as well! :(

  11. Any suggestions for dealing with a new unqualified supervisor? The whole group has concerns, but we are not really sure how to address it. In the past, the new supervisor has been asked for assistance and she’s rarely responsive because she really does not have the experience needed to do the job. She’s never actually done the job that the other people in the group do or even observed people doing that job. I’m a designated liaison for the group and people will call me in desperation when the new supervisor has not been responsive (which is regularly).

    Right now I plan on clarifying what my duties will be and will probably ask to relinquish the liaison role if we have someone dedicated to supervising us. My hope is that any problems will come to the surface if no one is around to clean up the new supervisor’s mess. I am not really sure what other actions I can take since this was clearly a political move on management’s part. Any advice?

    • I do NOT have direct ADVICE b/c the manageing partner knows more about the LAW then I do, but I do know that You should just rise ABOVE things and try and be friendeley with the superviser.

      If she is conected politicaly, then you should be in better shape then if she is NOT. So grin and bare it. FOOEY!

    • Sounds painful indeed but not sure what can be done except to suck it up. And yes definitely remove yourself from the thankless and potentially problematic liaison role asap.

  12. Just a rant about a co-worker (junior to me, though I’m not her supervisor) who acts extremely cutesy all the time.
    She laughs at inappropriate moments, for example we’re having a conversation about some edits to make to a document, and she lets out little laughs when I suggest something. I asked once why she’s laughing and whether she disagrees with my suggestion, and she said no, she thought that was a great idea and that was why. (This was my subtle way of suggesting that she tone it down, or that it sounds a teeny bit offensive.) Then we moved onto next page of document, I made a point about something, and there’s that laugh again.
    It’s not that she’s passive aggressive or anything, because she has seriously told me she learns a lot working from me, and has a generally good attitude, and no snark at all. Her laugh seems to indicate that she’s acknowledging my point, or is genuinely impressed with my idea and that she doesn’t know how to show it.

    She makes pouty faces during serious work conversations and in meetings, for no discernable reason. She makes teeny almost-kissy noises when she looks up and is frowning/thinking about something she’s asked about. She generally makes faces while listening in a meeting, nods in an exaggerated way, raises her eyebrows, smiles/laughs and frowns theatrically when really only passive listening is called for. e.g. when we are in a meeting with a superior who is discussing tasks and deadlines.

    She’s really smart and well qualified academically, and is new here, and I’ve been assigned to mentor her. She is a grown woman with children, so this isn’t an age-thing. Maybe it’s a cultural thing (she is from a different country originally).
    I find the cutesy stuff really annoying, but nobody else seems to mind, so I’m not sure if/how I should say anything. Different strokes I guess.
    End rant.

    • Anon in the Midwest :

      Samantha – Could the laugh be her way of managing the tension involved with being corrected? Many people laugh when uncomfortable.

      Because you say you are the only one bothered by her mannerism, I would not say anything to her. What would you say? ” I find your facial expression unsettling in meetings?” Honestly, let it go. But, it sounds like you may have reached that conclusion as well. Different strokes, indeed.

      • Marie Curie :

        “Many people laugh when uncomfortable. ”
        This. I used to do it too and I’ll never forget how mortified I was when someone finally pointed out that they couldn’t understand what I was saying because I was giggling so much.

    • It sounds like you want her to be.. I don’t know if perfect is the word for it. But perfect for you I guess? I think you need to let this go. Being a mentor doesn’t mean you iron out every little thing that isn’t perfection in the person. If she is intelligent and doing good work and no one else is bothered by it or notices it, vent about it to your SO or girlfriends, and leave it be at work.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I have to disagree with the previous posters. None of the women I’ve seen in leadership positions in my area (law) have these cutesy mannerisms, and I think there’s a reason for that. It’s one thing when you’re junior, but I’d have real problems taking seriously a person who was trying to give me a task while engaging in these behaviors.

      I don’t think you have to make a huge deal of it, but these are behaviors that are specifically addressed in NGDGTCO. You could just mention that as a book that has often been recommended to you or that you have benefited from (if you have).

    • I don’t know if this is related, but I am a super enthusiastic person. I am that person nodding in meetings. In surgery residency, people teased me for it. I do not have a poker face.

      I don’t know if it held me back — and no one would describe me as cutesy, so it may not be the same. But I recognize myself in her a little bit, and cringe to imagine what you might think of me in a meeting.

      Also the laugh? Total nervous laughter. She’s probably totally intimidated by you. Pointing this out might make it worse not better.

      • I don’t have a poker face either. I’ve been working on my expressions for a couple of years so I’m not as bad as the woman you describe, but I also cringed to imagine what you (OP) might think of me. I may be “young-ish” still, but my work consistently speaks for itself and despite my weird faces, I’m in a managerial role with quite a bit of authority.

        No offense meant, but why are you taking this to heart? Like someone else pointed out, you can’t make her your clone. I would leave it alone if her work is good honestly.

        I laugh at tense times. Lots of people do. She might sense your disapproval of her and be unable to stop laughing :-/

    • Is she Japanese? Your description sounds awfully familiar to me.

      • Kady, you read my mind! (And beat me to the punch!) I was just going to ask if the OP’s junior colleague was an anime character with giant eyes and pink hair…

    • Thanks everyone. I don’t think I’m going to do anything about it, because I’m not sure it’s my place, and because I don’t know how to express my feelings to her without her taking offense or making things worse.

      To the posters who say they act similarly – I can totally understand being a super-nodder, or acting energetic and enthusiastic during meetings. I do nod a lot myself, and I know women typically act more engaged by doing these things – I think it’s a communication style thing – whereas men are more poker-faced. I’m definitely not poker-faced myself.
      However, it’s the cutesy-ness of the expressions that bothers me, and maybe it shouldn’t, and maybe it’s my problem.
      The pouting, kissy-noises, the slow, emphasized nods accompanied by an “oooooooh” sound with big eyes and pouty lips, making “tch-tch” noises to fill the thoughtful pause when she’s asked a question and before she answers, the smiling and laughing at inappropriate times, etc.
      The laughing used to bother me because I was particularly puzzled about it and very slightly offended. If I make a suggestion, and she laughs (and I did not make a joke), is she laughing at my suggestion? Is she laughing at the way I said it? Did she not get the seriousness of the point and is she shrugging it off?
      I’d much prefer a nod with a “sure” or “I agree” – or even “I disagree, and here’s why.”
      But, I realize it’s a cultural/personality thing, it’s also none of my business.
      Strangely, she isn’t a typical candidate for NGDGTCO in other ways – she tends to be if anything, more bold/aggressive/communicative rather than “girly”/shy/hesitant to ask for what she wants etc. Maybe she adopted girly mannerisms as a way to compensate for the otherwise aggressive behavior?

  13. Maddie Ross :

    Is anybody else having an incredibly difficult time this week getting back into the swing of things after the holidays? I feel like I have the attention span of a gnat this week and just wish I was home, on the couch, like last week.

  14. Revenge is back. Yay!

  15. social justice law :

    Has anyone here gone to CUNY Law? I live in the NYC area, and am interested in pursuing a public interest legal career. CUNY seems to market itself as a leader in this niche, but I’ve never spoken to anyone who has gone to school there, and I am weary of the employment statistics provided by law schools. Given that the school is not highly ranked (I think it’s in the fourth tier), I am looking for info on how new graduates have fared in this economy. Where do CUNY law grads most often end up working?

    Many people have told me not to go to law school unless I attend a “Top 14″ school. Given my LSAT + GPA, I could probably get into Fordham, maybe a lower “top 14 school,” such as Cornell or Georgetown….NYU and Columbia are probably out of reach for me. However, these schools are so corporate law-heavy, and CUNY is so much less expensive. On the other hand, I don’t want to ruin my employment prospects by attending a lower-ranked school.

    Any thoughts/words of advice?

    • Forget what school specializes in what. Seriously. It doesn’t matter. If you know where you want to practice geographically, apply deep in that area (i.e. apply to every school. top to bottom in rank) and see what you get for financial aid. Then go to the best value in terms of rank/cost. For a public interest career, minimizing debt is far more important than your school’s specialty.

      • This. None of that stuff about a school’s programs or emphasis on certain aspects of the matters. You will never have an employer choose you over another JD because a certain school had an emphasis on a certain type of program. KK gives great advice.

    • Agree w/ KK: there are no “specialty” law schools. Employers don’t think better of you because some journal said your school was better at X topic. Not sure where you’re getting this “corporate-heavy” thing either; virtually all good law schools send more people into private practice than public interest positions, but that’s a result of self-selection + job availability.

      You also need to look beyond what the school is telling you, as law schools are notorious for fudging data. The experience of someone who graduated from ANY law school before 2008 will not be of much relevance to you either, as the legal market has changed considerably. Instead, look on the websites of the employers whom you might be interested in working for. Do they have any new hires (period), and if so, are any from CUNY? And I know I may get slammed for this, but I really do think Above the Law can be a valuable resource if taken with several grains of salt. It at least shows if a particular school has been involved in scandals or coverups about actual employment statistics.

      A final point: You don’t mention what kind of public interest you want to practice. If you are interested in things like criminal defense in a smaller town, state government work, or other less-competitive areas of law, you might do well to go to a cheaper law school that has a good reputation in the geographic area you want to work in. But if you’re aiming for more competitive jobs – federal government, prestigious public interest organizations (ACLU, etc) – you will be exponentially more competitive if you go to a higher-ranked school.

      • Ditto to this. What, specifically, are you interested in doing as public interest law? There is a *huge* range out there. Heck, as a federal gov’t agency, we often interview at public interest law job fairs.

        If you do want gov’t or something more prestigious, keep in mind that you will be competing against people who went to a bigger-name school and did the BigLaw thing for a while. The public interest world is currently flooded with ex-BigLaw types now, as well as recent grads of all flavors.

    • If you can get into a T14, you can probably get good financial packages from T25 schools that also have money to offer decent loan repayment programs. Even if they are corporate heavy, they should still have a wealth of options for you to volunteer and pursue public interest activities in law school. However, some will be better than others in offering externships for credit. For people I know who graduated in 2008 onward, those externships did make a difference in terms of people having connections. You should be able to research that after you’ve narrowed down your options by what schools offer the most bank for the buck.

    • social justice law :

      Thanks for all of the advice! To answer roses’s question, I am interested in working in NYC for a prominent nonprofit, like the ACLU. At this moment, I am not very interested in government work, and I am not at all interested in criminal work. I’ve done a bit of research so far, and there seem to be lots of CUNY law grads at NYC legal/advocacy nonprofit organizations.

      Re: a school’s focus/specialty: I am interested in this school, because more than half of its graduates end up doing some type of public interest work in the NYC area, which (a) is unheard of at the top schools, and (b) could be a powerful alumni base to tap into during the jobhunt. So, I am now wondering: in general, do legal employers tend to hire graduates of top-ranked schools over graduates of their own alma maters, or vice-versa?

      Regardless, I will definitely be applying to a bunch of other schools, both in NYC and elsewhere.

  16. Back to the suit, folks. Sorry, but it kind of reminds me of the Dallas/Dynasty suits with the big shoulder pads. I know it’s not that bad, but it’s getting there.

    And, I had to snicker over “Travel Buff.” I probably have an unopened package of them in my nightstand!

  17. anonymous :

    I can’t see any of the details in the photos. In addition, it’s polyester. That should have been made clear in the post.

  18. Albert Nipon gives great value for the money –especially if you get them on sale. Plus, I love the customer service at Neiman Marcus –both in person and online.
    The colorful ones are definitely special occasion and look MOB. This suit has a nice silhouette, and while it is polyester, I have to say –some of that polys out there are very nice.
    Yup, I agree. I put them in the same lineup as Theory, Lafayette, and Tahari. I think if you want to go up a notch or two, and have the money (or the time to pick through outlets) to buy Armani, Escada, or Valentino –then do so. But for us working stiffs, Nipon is fine.

  19. Does anyone recall a salesgirl named Henrietta in the Junior Department at Saks Fifth Avenue in the early 70’s?

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