Wednesday’s TPS Report: Mod Graphic Wrap Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Banana Republic Mod Graphic Wrap DressHooray for navy and white, for mod prints, and for wrap dresses. I’m digging this online exclusive from Banana Republic (which is nearly sold out in the pink/orange version) — it looks flattering, interesting, and work appropriate. I’d wear it with some of the bright accessories floating around this season, such as cobalt shoes or a bright red necklace. It’s $130, but code BRSWEET takes it down to $91 (valid through 2/16). Banana Republic Mod Graphic Wrap Dress

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Comments

  1. I bought the pink/orange version this weekend … and am so excited for it to arrive! I love Banana Republic wrap dresses. I have several in my closet and wear them all the time!

  2. BacktoWork? :

    I like the wrap dress, but maybe a different color? Early threadjack – career / time management / work style question

    I am finishing up grad school (business) and will be going back to work full time in June. Although I’m thankful for having a job lined up (yay!), I am honestly DREADING going back to work. After much thought, I realized that it’s because when I was working I was always on edge. My previous (and only) work experience to date was at an extremely high paced company, and everyone expected to have immediate responses to their emails / requests, etc. I always felt like I was waiting for someone to ring the bell so I could hop to it (maybe that’s a weird analogy, but that’s what I always felt like). That’s the feeling I’m dreading.

    So, what advice would you have for learning to build work boundaries/ expectations? Obviously I realize that last minute requests or crises will happen. I’m more worried about the fact, that I’m now used to thinking about work 95% of the time and will feel like a slacker if I don’t answer any email within a couple of hours (crazy I know – since I don’t hold anyone else to that standard). Any thoughts / advice/ book recs whatever would be appreciated.

    • When you interviewed for this job that you’re about to start, what did you notice about the pacing at work? Did you see harried hyperactive employees who look like they didn’t make the cut for a Red Bull advertisement because of the *CrazyEyes*? Or did you see people mostly moving and interacting in a normal but focused pace?

      What sort of hours do people at this new job mostly work?

      Look around when you start– take the temperature of the place. Especially if you sit in a cubefarm where you can hear everything your neighbors do. Do you hear your cube neighbors scrambling to deliver things immediately? What does your new boss want? It’s not inappropriate to ask, if you didn’t already know your new boss, what the turnaround time is for certain requests.

      A peer writing you about something that’s interesting, but not related to any particular project or work product doesn’t always deserve a reply within a couple of hours. Some requests made of you that are work-related may be other senior people trying to dump work on you. Clear that with your boss, especially if someone’s trying to muscle in on your boss, and your boss should make clear what the priority is (if any).

    • ChocCityB&R :

      BacktoWork, this is a timely question for me as well. After a six week hiatus I’ll be returning to work in a few weeks, in what I believe will be a decidedly less high stress position. But, I’m still struggling with the best way to set boundaries in case my perception is not the reality.

      One thing I think we have on our side is that we are thinking about this before we start. It’s often difficult to figure out your boundaries as you go, because once you’ve allowed someone to cross it, it’s much harder to reign that in (vs. having already established boundaries). At the same time, I fear is coming off looking like a slacker/not a team player/having a low work ethic because I establish my boundaries earlier on.

      I think my approach will be to wait and see what the office culture is (give it a week) and have some conversations with my mentor at the organization (there’s a formal mentorship program, thankfully) that help me suss out what her boundaries are and how she communicates them to other staff and superiors. Then I’ll start to develop my own boundaries, starting with the number of hours I’m willing to work on average, when I’m officially “off the clock” for response purposes, and how much work I delegate to others/agree to take on outside of my job description.

      I’m interested to read what the other commenters on this forum suggest.

  3. Thanks to all my well-wishers on yesterday’s morning thread. Whether you channeled Ellen or not, it was really touching to get so much support.

    And I needed it, ladies. I was going into a tough meeting that ended up being even tougher than I expected.

    Let’s say the response I was hoping for was a 10. What I heard initially was a zero. Displaying incredible guts that came from who-knows-where, I massaged the response into something more like a 6. (Or was it a 3.5? I am still recovering from being knocked on my face, and have a lot of regrouping and assessing to do.)

    I had prepared meticulously, and on the principle that “you can only control what YOU do,” I feel very good about how it went. I think if I saw someone else on video doing the relentless yet professional yet aggressive yet respectful pitch that I pulled off, I’d be nothing but impressed. But since this is me and a situation that may well fail, last night was hard and today will be hard too.

    I’m being vague about this because I work in a very small world, and moves here often get publicized. Again: thanks to all for the good vibes. Unfortunately, I still need more.

    • Diana Barry :

      Good luck, again. I hope you get everyone to a 10!!!

      I like this dress, but I like it much better in the pink/orange. Can’t wait until I can wear normal clothes again!

    • I’m sure you did great. Going from zero to six, or even to a 3.5 is impressive. If you prepared as well as you could, that’s really all you can do in this kind of situation. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing and it will pay off, whether now or down the line. Lots more good vibes your way. May the force be with you :)

    • Totes McGotes :

      Hooray and good luck!

    • That old adage “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” has a grain of truth to it. You learn some real lessons about yourself and your capacity when you go through the wringer. Hard lessons, but it sounds like you did as well – or better- than you expected, and that is real and true and something to hold onto. Stand tall.

    • I’m sending good vibes your way! It sounds like you did an awesome job making the best of a difficult situation.

    • YAY! I am VERY happy that things worked out for you!

      I had a bad VALENTINE’s day, since I had NO boyfreind to send me flowers, or take me out to DINNER, so I stayed home and watched TV. FOOEY!

      I watched FREINDS with benfefits, with Justin Timberlake. It is a GOOD movie and he is good, tho I do NOT care for his lookes. Myla Kunis is cute to, but she is shorter then me.

      Iwould like to find a BOYFREIND for the summer.

      • Ellen, I am unspeakeably touched to hear from you. Your demonstrated reading comprehension is entirely consistent with what we’ve come to expect. I was definitely in the mood to join you last night, although I DO have a boyfreind and he DID give me ROSES so I should NOT complain.

        I’m glad that you, too, have adjusted your expectations. Please let us know what happens with the BALD freind of the manageing partner. He might be a better prospect than you thought.

    • Good job, and good vibes for the next steps!

    • Gosh, guys. Thanks so much. Maybe I *do* know where those guts came from after all…

      :)

    • Gurl you are GRATE and don’t let the Manageing Partner and his BAD BREATHE take that away from you!

      • Speaking of “tha-tha-tha-that that don’t kill me/can only make me stronger…”. THANKES

        • Anonamouse :

          Monday, I don’t often comment, but your posts really struck me. Your spunk and sense of humor will get you very far in life. Best of luck in getting through this temporary rough patch – this, too, shall pass.

  4. Spark Group idea? :

    Everytime I see a wrap dress, or a jersey dress, I wish they’d just go ahead and print arrows on the fabric that say “here are the love handles!” “here’s the stomach pudge so sit-ups can tame!”….but maybe that’s just me.

    That said, I was logging into sparkpeople last night and thought about how it seems a lot of other Corporettes spark, as well. I know there’s a WW group for people who love Corporette, but is anyone interested in having a spark group for spark buddies? Then, Corporettes who are interested in discussing and encouraging each other on weight loss and fitness could have a forum.

    Please let me know if you’re interested in this idea…even if it’s just a few of us, I’ll create a group that you can search for and join on sparkpeople. And Kat, let me know if there need to be any restrictons on the group name – I was just thinking “Sparkers who love Corporette”, but we can make it something totally different, if we need to.

  5. Good morning everyone! I like this dress, though I have never actually tried a wrap-dress on so I have no idea how it’d look on me.

    In other news, I got the stuff I ordered from Land’s End Canvas’ big sale, and I really love everything I got — a bright blue cardigan and the slim-fit cords in gray. Both fit really well! I will definitely order from there again. I’m wearing the cardigan today. The bright color makes me happy! :)

    • I also did a Canvas order and liked just about everything, including and maybe especially the funnel neck “sweatshirt” and the chinos. I got two cardigans that seem to be good quality and will be nice staples in my closet (a brown and a gorgeous purple). And for great prices!

    • +1 for Lands’ End Canvas. I got a pair of flat black leather boots on super-sale last week for $64 and could not be happier with my purchase. I have a bunch of their cardigans and tops, too — I love their stuff, as it reminds me of J.Crew but cheaper and cut for real people.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      can I get a link to the cords and the funnel neck sweatshirt??? how’s the fit? I desperately need some new casual winter clothes and have heard such good things about Land’s End, I might try!

  6. I don’t like the dress. I’m sure you could figure out a way to make it cute with the right accessories (and I do like the idea of bright blue sandals with it), but I think to make it interesting would be too much work (for me) and would probably also take it out of being work appropriate (for me). Other opinions may vary, of course, I am just not a fan of this kind of pattern and most all black & white graphic prints.

    • Plus it’s a polyester dress from Banana – am I the only one who thinks even $91 is too expensive for this given the synthetic material and BR’s declining quality?

      • MissJackson :

        No, you are not the only one!

      • Totally not impressed with Banana’s dresses. Enough with the cheap synthetic materials. Old Navy plain black wrap dresses are a better deal (same crappy materials, but $29.99 instead of $91 post-coupon).

        This dress seems to me like it’s missing something. It’s not offensive, it’s possibly flattering, but it’s just not sharp. A lot of their dresses are just frumpy, like the way most Ann Taylor dresses *used* to look. Even AT is getting better now.

    • I haven’t been impressed with much at Banana recently. The things I do like are way overpriced for the quality.

      • I’m the opposite. I’ve actually really liked Banana recently. They’ve gotten a lot more colorful stuff in the last couple of years (yellow! pink! red! patterns!), whereas I feel like it all used to be black/navy/khaki. I’ve also liked the quality of what I’ve bought. Of course, I only buy on sale, and I don’t buy sweaters, which might show more of a lack of quality. I would totally pay $91 for this dress, except that I’m trying to cut back on shopping.

        • I agree. I end up wearing something BR most days of the week and get tons of compliments. Also, the prices look way different when you follow their sales and get their emails.

      • Anonsensical :

        I have better luck at BR than J Crew, but BR’s quality still is pretty lousy. I just got a pair of wool dress pants there and they’re already pilling like mad on the inner thighs and seat. I don’t care all that much because I scored them on sale for $20, but I’d be furious if I’d paid full price.

  7. canadian anon :

    I feel like that pattern would give me staring-at-subway-tile pattern dizziness.

    I’ve been feeling like it’s time for me to move on from my $30 H&M purse for a while (new professional, working in government, paying off a small student loan, similar to the conversation last week: not good at buying stuff for myself). Any thoughts on the Kate Spade Cobble Hill Serena (medium size)? It’s on pretty good sale online and looks like a good basic/neutral. The only colour available is storm grey.

  8. Salit-a-gator :

    I’m all about black and white, but for some reason I’m on the fence about this dress. Does it seem dated to anyone else? There’s just something about it that I can’t put my finger on. Not that it matters, since as a D cup wrap dresses are very va-va voom for me and not office appropriate. Have any of you bigger busted ladies had success with wrap dresses? Any brands you would recommend?

    • Pink Tartan! I’ve sung it’s praises before, but I’ll do it again. As a DDD, the top of the wrap dress still fits fairly loose, making it much less va va voom.

    • Surprisingly, target. But the BR ones never work for me.

    • I just wear camisoles under mine (petite C/D cup). I have okay ones from target and kohls, and a DVF one from loehmanns that I love!

    • Research, Not Law :

      I have one from BR that I love, but I definitely wear a cami under for work. I have safety-pin to control the cleavage on date night – not because I’m modest. It’s definitely va-va-voom, but I love having something sexy that can be literally thrown on and comfortable all night.

  9. Beautiful – love this dress.

  10. Morning Sickness = gone! :

    Where do women shop for work appropriate maternity wear? I’m not at all “showing” yet, but I want to see what might be available for me this spring/summer when I’ll need to make several maternity wear purchases. My non-pregnant self would typically shop at Ann Taylor Loft, to give you a sense of my taste and what I consider to be affordable.

    • I got a lot of great things at Old Navy (especially cardigans and a few very versatile dresses) and Gap (I wore the black “perfect trousers” to work at least 3 days a week it seemed like, and they were one of the pieces that fit well when I was just starting to show and still fit at the very end), with the occasional splurge at my local maternity shop. Nordstrom sometimes has good mat. stuff on sale, and ebay was a great resource, although hit or miss of course. I got a beautiful DVF dress on there that I wish I could still wear (but it makes me look pregnant, surprise). AT Loft has maternity online, and they have excellent sales. Congrats!

    • Salit-a-gator :

      LOFT has a maternity section on their website. You may want to try that since it’s what you like anyway. Otherwise, I like Target’s maternity wear a lot as well.

      • I got a pair of Liz Lange maternity pants from Target and wore them nearly every day for all three of my pregnancies. Sadly, I couldn’t find them when I was expecting babies number 2 and 3, so I couldn’t pick up another pair. However, I always checked Target first and found a number of Liz Lange pieces that were work appropriate.

    • One of my colleagues who had her daughter a few months ago was chatting with me about this. She said that at first, she was struck by panic once she started to show, because it seemed that whenever she saw pictures of pregnant women (celebrities), they were always wearing a giant orange or otherwise tropical-printed maxi-dress showing tons of cleavage. But then, Target and GAP saved her. :-)

    • Morning Sickness = gone! :

      Thank you all so much. I will start at Target and Old Navy for basics and then will check out Gap and ATL for items I’m willing to spend a bit more on. I will have client meetings and presentations this summer, so I’ll need to find something that I can wear instead of my usual black suit. I’m thinking that my clients will understand why I’m not wearing a suit if they see that I’m pregnant.

    • I found Gap (with their sale coupons) to be a lot more affordable than AT Loft, especially for things like pants/dresses. I also found Old Navy hit or miss, so I wound up ordering things and sending back what didn’t work.
      I’d also hold off on buying blazers until you see how you’re carrying. I gained all of my weight in my stomach and can still (37 weeks now) fit into my pre-pregnancy blazers/suit jackets. Also – I found really decently priced maternity clothing on Gilt from brands like Japanese weekend.

    • Legally Brunette :

      Boden has really cute maternity wear. Never bought their maternity clothing but the reviews are good and they have a lot of fun designs. They have a few dresses which look great for work.

    • Diana Barry :

      Most of my casual maternity wardrobe is from old navy. Good prices and it doesn’t fall apart as readily as the ON “regular” stuff.

      For work, I sometimes wear an ON t-shirt under a suit. I get maternity dresses from Gap. My other work tops are Gap (particularly the sweaters, those are good quality), and I have a couple of sweaters from Liz Lange for Target (those run small). I think Loft also has maternity stuff online.

      For suits and work pants, I went to Pea in the Pod. It is expensive, but it’s the only place I found suits that fit and didn’t look awful. I have one black suit and one grey suit, and I just alternate through them all the time (wearing the pants with different blazers – I have some ‘fat’ blazers that I just wear unbuttoned).

    • Formerly Preggo Angie :

      I got the bulk of my good work stuff at consignment stores. I purchased one black suit at an obnoxious price from Pea in the Pod; but most everything else was super cheap, even if slightly used!

      • To add to this: check out eBay for maternity suits and the like. Yes they are used, but probably pretty lightly, and you’ll only need them for a handful of months. Also, if any friends offer to loan you maternity clothes, take ‘em up on it! I borrowed some of my favorite pieces from friends, then turned around and loaned out tons of stuff between pregnancies #1 and #2. This is especially useful for the bigger-ticket and specialty stuff. My wool maternity coat has gone through several friends so far, as has my tea-length maternity “fancy” dress.

    • For work, I also wore Gap’s perfect trousers when I was pregnant. I think I had two pairs.

      I had surprisingly good luck at thrift and consignment stores. People often donate maternity clothing in lots when they’re not pregnant anymore, so I hit the jackpot a couple of times when someone who was obviously my size had gotten rid of a whole bunch of stuff.

  11. Kanye East–

    I finally checked out your Etsy site–love your stuff. Your site says Park City and Queens; do you have a shop in Park City? I’m going to Park City in a couple weeks and will stop in if I can.

    And, happy birthday! Now I feel like a stalker.

  12. Question for fellow NY’ers: how do you feel about sharing a 1 perosn seat with a stranger? I was on the 2 train this morning and sat in one of the single corner seats at the end of the train car. This young man asks if I mind sharing. I said “Excuse me?” I mean, I’m skinny, but that seat was meant for just one person so even if I slide all the way to the side, there would not have been enough room for him. Is this a normal reaction or is it just a bad morning?

    • What? Who shares a one person seat with anyone except someone they know well? Did this guy need the seat (i.e. was he on crutches)?

    • You are completely entitled to be uncomfortable about that. I would have said, “No, but if it’s that important for you to sit down, I will stand up.”

      • Ditto. I wouldn’t share but would be fine with giving my seat up for someone if they need/want it. Maybe he was (awkwardly) asking you to give up your seat for him?

        As an aside sometimes people without obvious signs (e.g. not old, not pregnant, not limping, etc) still need to sit down more than the average person – maybe they’re ill or whatever.

      • I agree with this, and I would also articulate that you think the seat is for one person. Honestly, I can never figure out whether those blue corner seats are for one or for two, and I think the number shifts when the train gets really crowded.

        • For reference to those outside NYC – the seat is really a 1 1/2. I would never presume to share the seat with another person unless it was a friend and even then… However, I have been on crowded trains before when some nice person has offered to share it with me, and on a couple of occasions I took up the offer (it was easier than standing with who knows what pressed up against me). I think the key is that the person who has the seat has to offer; you can’t ask unless you need to just sit down for whatever reason, in which case sharing isn’t the point.

          To the OP, I think it was just a morning of bad subway etiquette today. On the 6, this woman was taking up what would have been enough room for two because she didn’t want to touch the poll rail that’s in the middle of every long bench on all the new trains. When I politely asked her to move over so I could sit, she just rudely said, “no, I am not moving over and touching that. You can forget it!” (If you’re reading this, train lady, you suck!) After she got up, I even looked to make sure there was nothing wrong with the spot to make sure, I was so flabbergasted by her behavior. Oh, well, you gotta love public transportation…

          • I think this morning was full of bad etiquette on the 6 train! I was standing next to a couple who was in prom pose position (guy awkwardly clasping girl’s waist) and the girl’s entire body was pressed up against the center pole. Since it was crowded, she was taking up some much-needed pole space (is this starting to sound like I get to work by navigating through a strip club? I hope not). I managed to squeeze my hand onto the pole when the girl shifted her weight, and she glared at me and then proceeded to press all of her body weight against my hand for the rest of the ride. So unnecessary!

          • rb, that’s one of my major pet peeves on the T in Boston. On a crowded train, don’t hug the pole. Other people need a place to hold on.

            And, for reference, earlier this week I had something similar happen. I was holding onto the pole when a very large man decided to lean against it. He practically crushed my hand.

          • Perhaps I’m a b!tch but if the train is crowded and homeboy/homegurl is pressed up against the pole like he/she is the only one that paid money to access it, I deliberately curl my hand around so that every time he/she leans against the pole, they’re also knocking straight into the pointiest and jabbiest part of my knuckles. Passive aggressive commuting behavior ftw.

          • Also, if you get on an extremely overcrowded train at rush hour…don’t get all uppity about your personal space. There is no way that I’m going to be able to avoid bumping into you. Its just a fact of life. S*ck it up and deal.

            (Secondary pet peeve).

          • My biggest pet peeve on the train is backpacks. When the train is crowded, please take your backpack off and hold it down by your feet (where there is much more room) so you aren’t taking up the space of 2 people, and I don’t get whacked in the head by your bag. Or, if you don’t take it off, at least be aware of how far it sticks out behind you and be careful when you turn or shift your weight.

            Also, your purse does not deserve it’s own seat when the train is full. Don’t glare at me when I ask to sit in your purse’s seat!

          • Lady Girl :

            This meant in response to RB…

            I think that many people coming from places without trains simply don’t understand that they’re hogging the entire pole. I guess all the raging death stares in the world aren’t enough sometimes.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            Ugh, pole leaners. I hate pole leaners. If you’re a b*tch, Godzilla, then so am I because I do the exact same thing. If it’s someone that looks like a tourist, maybe I’ll forgive you, but if you’re on my commute in the morning on the 7 train, you should know better.

            My other pet peeve is people that stand in the doors, or marginally move to the side, when mass numbers of people are exiting. Just step out and step back in. I’ve never once not gotten back on a train when I did this.

          • Try f****ing bicycles on the train during rush hour. They’re not allowed on BART but bike commuters hate that special sense of entitlement usually reserved for dog owners in Berkeley.

          • I sometimes think there should be a law banning tourists from the trains during rush hour. When they get off, they always stop just in front of the door because they don’t know where they’re going. I’ll admit that I have pushed them out of the way to get off the train before the doors closed. Why are they up so early anyway?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I’m not a NY’er, but I think you’re right to be really uncomfortable with his request. For all you know, he’s a creepy guy who gets off on making strange women uncomfortable by being very close to them. Gift of Fear and all that. I love Lady Girl’s response.

    • A stranger wanted to share a single cushion seat with you?

      That’s straight up creepy, no matter how skinny you are.

    • AHHHH Berkeley dog owners! The WORST. Mamabear, I’m with you on that.

  13. Premarital Counseling Recs :

    As of yesterday(!), I am engaged and looking for a premarital counselor. (Wedding won’t be for 18 months, probably, so we are not in such a hurry, but it can’t hurt to start early.) We are both Jewish and will probably be negotiating some religious issues; not sure whether we should be looking for a counselor who is Jewish and will therefore have some familiarity with the topics that may come up, or whether we should be looking for a secular counselor who might be more neutral (but then again, s/he might still be non-neutral…). I would be grateful for any recommendations for specific counselors (NYC) or types of counselors to be seeking, or anything else you wise women think I should be keeping in mind. Thanks!

    • canadian anon :

      Did you check with any rabbis you know/like? Some of them give great one-on-one classes/counseling. I would have gone that route except sadly our favourite rabbi just retired due to health problems. :(

      Congratulations on your engagement!!

      • Premarital Counseling Recs :

        Thanks. Given our very different affiliations (he grew up Reconstructionist, I grew up Orthodox), plus the fact that we don’t currently pay dues at any synagogue, I think we would have a hard time settling on a rabbi. But I will keep that in mind.

        • Another S :

          I would second the 92nd Steet Y recommendation below. I’d also suggest checking out the JCC, especially Rabbi Carol Levithan who I think is in charge of adult programing there. She’s Conservative and a Jew by choice, and I’ve seen her work with Jews of both genders and all affiliations with great success. What was most striking to me is how very cognizant she seems of how her personal beliefs and even her word choice can color her message and in my opinion that is particularly helpful in allowing her to navigate some potentially tricky situations without isolating anyone. If you want me to elaborate, just let me know. Oh, and mazel tov!

    • Congratulations! No recs on counselors, but a shortlist of things to discuss:

      1) finances
      2) religion
      3) children
      4) careers
      5) family (e.g. in-laws)

      Wonderful news!

    • Check out the 92ndStY. My husband and I took a course there when we were engaged (Derekh Torah). It was great for thinking of ways we could create our own Jewish home having grown up in different traditions. Rabbi Kalb who is the director of Jewish education there is wonderful and I think both you and your fiance would be able to relate to him.

    • There is a book that we got called 1,000 Questions to Ask Gefore You Get Married. It was really helpful in hammering out expectations. For example, there’s a chart of a million household chores for each person, and a grid to fill in how often they think that chore should be done and who should be responsible for it. Um, this was a very enlightening comparison for my fiance and I!

      There’s also a lot of information about prioritizing finances, etc.

      oh, and Congrats!

    • Great Experience :

      I am also Reconstructionist and married to an Israeli (raised what he calls “traditional” and what I call “orthodox” — before we met he attended and raised his kids in Chabad “because it is what I was familiar with from Israel, on the few occasions I went to shul growing up in Israel”).

      We did extensive per-marital counseling, primarily because we were having extreme difficulty dealing with the chaos his former wife was causing in our lives. We had a tremendous therapist who had extensive experience and expertise in our issues: blended families, emotional abuse of my step kids by their mom, high conflict personality, divorce, teens. But the tools and approaches she taught us (which basically eliminated the chaos created by the ex, even though ex’s behavior hasn’t change) also helps us get through every other issue of any kind that we have ever encountered. I am convinced that this is because the therapist’s approach was secular and data-based rather than religious or spiritual.

      I agree that the areas to discuss are:

      Money
      Politics
      Sex
      Children or not and if so how to raise and when to have
      Religion

      Our therapist is not in NYC but you can look at her website and maybe get referrals from her at wwwDOTchristynnelsonDOTcom.

      I think you are so smart to do this. Our relationship is incredibly strong, in large part because we had such a good experience in therapy.

    • Premarital Counseling Recs :

      Thanks, everyone! This has been really helpful.

    • You may know this (I didn’t) but rabbis generally make you go through pretty extensive counseling before you get married. We’re going to end up having 6-8 long meetings with our rabbi before the wedding. Most of the time is spent on discussing issues about the marriage, not the wedding, although we have obviously also covered ceremony logistics. You may want a non-religious counselor as well, but you should know that your rabbi is likely to give you extensive counseling and make you discuss some of the topics others have listed below: money, intimacy, children, families, etc.

  14. Nice, status! I’m about 22 weeks now and struggle with finding work appropriate stuff. I’m not sure why so much of maternity clothes are super casual or seem designed for a tropical vacation. I’m an attorney in a (thankfully) small city and practice area where suits are not expected, so I’m wearing a lot of polyester trousers from liz lange for target and gap maternity. I’ve been able to find decent sale deals on those. Finding tops beyond t-shirts has been challenging. A lot of button downs with empire waists and polyester drapey tops are out there, but I’m not loving them. I’ve been wearing nicer long sleeve t-shirts and cardigans and calling it good, but I have a trial next week that I’m not quite sure what I’ll wear for. Probably a nicer shirt and an old jacket that won’t button. I have seen some cute things on ATL maternity, though, so definitely check there. Oh, and ebay! Got some good cheap maternity jeans there! Good luck and Congrats!!!

    • I a 26.6 weeks- as soon as I finally got enough workable work stuff from consignment stores, hemmed, etc about 3 weeks ago, now none of the pants are comfortable enough to wear all day!! Horrid! Dresses now are easiest. Agree, it’s all so casual. And so I get out of work clothes whenever can.

  15. Whoops, meant for the no more morning sickness post above!

  16. Ladies, has anyone bought a non-Mac desktop recently that they can recommend? My 10 year old Dell has been dying a slow death for a while and I just need to bite the bullet and replace it. I have thought about looking into the iMac, but having never owned an apple computer. So in a related question, has anyone made the transition from PC to Mac and regretted it?
    Thanks!

    • I recommend going to an Apple store and playing around with a MacBook for a while. They are really so different – the interface, the keystrokes, the whole user experience. I own both, and while the Mac is great for some things (photos, media, etc) my PC is what I turn to when I need anything in excel or PPT (or MS Office in general).

      Bottom line, think about what you need the computer for – what applications, etc. – and then go experiment on a Mac. I would not buy one without trying it out.

      • Research, Not Law :

        This is excellent advice. Macs certainly have their advantages, but it depends on what you want to do with your computer. My experience agrees that design/media works well on Macs but any Microsoft software runs best on Windows (not surprisingly), for example.

        I’ve had Mac desktops, Dell and Toshiba laptops, and currently have an HP desktop. We’ve been happy with the HP so far. Had it for about a year, both my husband and I use it for working remotely as well as running some big software locally (Autocad, photography/design software, etc) and of course Netflix and web browsing. It’s mid-high range and does great. I can’t remember details, but we got an Intel chip and a solid amount of memory.

    • So this isn’t exactly what you asked, but my when my husband’s Dell desktop was dying, instead of buying a new one, he just bought a whole bunch of new components and upgraded it from within. So he upgraded the memory, the hard-drive, the processor, Windows 7 etc. without buying a new actual computer. Maybe you could bribe a techie friend to do this for you with pizza and beer — I think we basically got a high-end level desk-top for around $400. And an afternoon of my husband swearing.

      We also have a Mac laptop which we love — so we’re a PC and Mac family. At this point, I honestly think Windows has used so many of the Mac OS-style functions (and vice versa) that the differences in functionality are minimal. If you aren’t a hard core gamer or video processor, I’m not sure you’re really going to notice a huge difference, though people on here may disagree with me.

      • Second this — I have a mac laptop which I love, but my bf has a PC desktop (HP) that we use for gaming and other programs that are Windows-only. It works out well for us.

      • I think this is the best part about having a PC desktop. If you know someone who knows what they are doing, you can customize them completely, build them from the ground up, or totally revamp one rather cheaply. My husband only builds his own computers, and you really end up with the perfect product for you that is really cheap (I think the last one he built cost about $600, and that’s after he put in way more memory/RAM/all those other technical things than he probably needed). If you find someone who can do this for you, I’d definitely go with that option.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I second this. My boyfriend recently built his PC desktop, and you get a lot more for your money. And really, it’s not that hard. I’m more tech-inclined than he is, and he managed with only minimal swearing. It helps if you have a techie friend around to troubleshoot if something goes wrong, but especially if you just switch out parts in an existing computer, it’s not that hard. The harder part is figuring out what parts to buy, honestly.

        I haven’t owned a brand desktop in forever, but I like my Lenovo laptop, and I hear Acer’s are also pretty good, so maybe their desktops are also pretty good? I personally would avoid Dell like the plague unless you get their high-end computers. I’ve had more problems with Dell computers than I care to think about (which is why I now know how to switch out parts on computers)

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Uh, Asus, not Acer. Those are two very different companies. Whoops, sorry. (Asus used to just make parts, including some parts for Macbooks. Now they’re selling their own computers).

          • I purchased an Asus laptop last fall when my Dell desktop turn a turn for the worse (not that it was ever that great to begin with…). I have been very pleased with it!

            It never crossed my mind to switch to a Mac. I know they have their die-hard supporters, but I have had fair-to-poor experiences with them in the past. Plus, I am thoroughly indoctrinated in PC usage and the idea of learning everything all over again makes me tired.

    • I just want to say that I love my apple desktop and laptop, hate using PCs now that I have been spoiled by Macs, and heartily recommend you get a Mac. I agree with the advice to go to an apple store and just play around with their computers. Back when I made the transition it was frustrating for about two days and then there was no going back. My work dell literally makes me sad now….

      • This is probably because it is running an old windows and has poor speed. With appropriate memory, Windows 7 is actually pretty sweet.

        Though I love my Macbook Air, its my baby.

        • Switched to a Mac three years ago. My work Dell now makes me sad, too.

        • Alas, work dell is fully upgraded. It’s actually pretty great compared to my mom’s old windows laptop, but still not nearly as great as my mac at home. It’s just not intuitive so anything new takes too long, files get lost easily if I am not careful clicking, but unlike with a mac they’re not as easy to restore, etc., etc. I work near a super sleek architect’s office with huge windows and big gorgeous Macs on everyone’s desk — sometimes, when I walk down the street to get coffee, I really kick myself for not having picked a cooler more creative career…. ;)

      • I switched to a Mac at home about 15 years ago. I also get really sad when I look at my work computer.

    • Quite the opposite, sqitched to apple/mac desktop and fell in love with my computer.

    • I got an Acer Aspire laptop last spring and I love it. I still have my own old personal desktop, but I only use it because it still has all of my iTunes. Otherwise, it sits in a corner.

    • I had a MacBook and really loved the functionality, but boy was it a lemon. I think I had to replace everything in that computer at least once, if not twice. I ended up going back to a PC and honestly Windows 7 is pretty easy to use and agree with people that the differences are pretty minimal. I just couldn’t justify spending so much more money to get another Mac + AppleCare.

    • Made the switch from a 3.5 year old Dell laptop to a MacBook Air (both of which I use(d) with a monitor as my only computer) one month ago today. I am a work from home consultant with fairly frequent travels and thought I’d appreciate the lighter weight of the Mac when traveling. I am slowly making the change but have not loved it. Thankfully, DH is in the tech business and has been able to be my tech support, but otherwise the moving of all content and learning to navigate the Word for Mac software suite has been a pain in the rump. If I hadn’t had his help, I would have either had to bring a sleeping bag to the Apple store or I would have flung my $1500 Air out of the window. Think hard about making the change unless you have support or love solving tech issues.

      • Ugh, I’m going to be one of those annoying apple fans right now… But — apple has the best phone support of any computer company I know. If you have apple care (which you will in the beginning even if you don’t pay extra for long term care), you can call them with the dumbest questions and they will patiently walk you through what you need to do. I even called them when my cable modem wasn’t working because Time Warner cable customer service sucks so much and they figured out how to fix it in about 15 min, start to finish.

    • I tried to make the transition from PC to Mac and deeply regretted it. Nothing was intuitive, I took way too long to get anything done, but worst of all — Macs and PCs really still aren’t compatible, and since I work from home frequently, I need files I work on at home to work seamlessly in the office as well. I ended up giving my iBook to my daughter, and buying myself another Dell desktop. (You can actually partition an Apple hard drive so that part of it works on Windows, but I tried this and found it unnecessarily unwieldy. And it didn’t change the fact that I still had an Apple keyboard.)

      I’m otherwise a huge Apple fan — I have an iPod, iPhone and iPad — and really wish I could transition to an Apple computer as well, because they really do work right out of the box, whereas PCs are always way more trouble to get up and running than they should be. But I’m reluctant to try again, even though I’d like a laptop for home. So does anyone have any recommendations for a good, sleek, lightweight PC laptop? Someone mentioned the Acer Aspire. Any other recommendations?

      On a relate note, I also HATE trackpads! I just can’t navigate nearly as quickly or efficiently with a trackpad as I can with a mouse. Does anyone else have that problem? I know you can get a wireless mouse to use with a laptop, but once you get the mouse, the CD-ROM drive, the external hard drive, etc., you’ve kind of defeated the purpose of a lightweight laptop!

    • Haven’t had a desktop at home in awhile but my PC at work is great. We bumped up several of us who regularly push our computers to the limit, so it’s a lot more powerful than the average Dell desktop. It’s a Dell Optiplex 980 with faster processing and a 22 inch monitor. I can’t say anything bad about it. Because of the proprietary software I use for my work, a Mac wouldn’t work for me, but I am really happy with what I have. The big screen makes a huge difference. Many of my colleagues swear by having two monitors, which could be cool, but I don’t know how I’d set it up space-wise so I haven’t done it.

    • My MacBook Pro is almost 5 yrs old and runs just as great as the day I got it. I have no plans to replace it in the near future. As AIMS says, it’s very intuitive and it.just.works. All the programs work well together and installing hardware is ridiculously easy. Also, operating system upgrades are very inexpensive and the MacApp store allows you to choose what apps to buy (ex. I think Word/Pages is only $29). I haven’t had compatibility issues at all, but I did have to partition my harddrive for grad school to run some stats software that only worked on Windows.

      Finally, my power supply died last week and I needed to replace it. I was able to replace it with the current MacBook Pro power supply which is 5 years newer than the one that died. My point is, I didn’t have to struggle online to find a replacement or buy a generic one, I bought it at my local Best Buy. Props to the MagSafe adapter — that has saved my computer so many times when I’ve tripped on power cord. Apple will generally have one plug that fits a suite of products (ex. one charger fits multiple generations of iPhone, iPod, iPad).

      AppleCare is awesome.

    • Original Anon :

      Thanks all for the comments! Lots of great tips to consider. I’m going to go to an Apple store this weekend and go from there.

    • I transitioned from PC to Mac five years ago and haven’t looked back since. It does take some time to get used to it, but my laptop has lasted five years without any problems except slowing a bit.

    • We just bought an HP touchscreen all-in-one desktop that I love–the screen is huge and crisp and beautiful. That said, I also have a MacBook that I love, and if my husband hadn’t needed a PC to run certain software we would have gotten a Mac desktop. I didn’t find the transition at all jarring, and I still use PCs at work, so I’m going back and forth all the time.

  17. anon for this :

    I’ve been in practice with the government for three years and am looking to leave before budget troubles make me leave. I have a lunch interview tomorrow with a private law firm in town. Does anyone have any tips for me on navigating the transition from ublic to priate practice? Suggestions of questions to ask?

    • No great suggestions, but anecdotally, from folks I know who’ve made the transition, one issue that came up frequently was the perception that they were used to “government hours.” So I would figure out a way to address this if it comes up, and in general to give off the impression that you are really ready to work hard, to pull long nights, etc., as need be.

      You should also have an answer prepared for why you are looking to leave.

      In terms of questions, I would make a list of all your current benefits (pension, health insurance, no. of sick and vacation days), so you are prepared to discuss benefits and negotiate as necessary.

      Good luck!

    • Is the firm’s practice area directly related to what you do now? Or are you making a switch? Are they hiring you specifically for your inside-the-agency experience? Will you be walking out with any conflicts? Will they give you credit for your years in the gov’t (i.e., are you coming in as a 3rd year associate)? Has the firm hired anyone from gov’t recently?

      I started with the (fed) gov’t, went to BigLaw, then came back to my agency many years later, so I’ve done that transition in both directions. How hard or easy it will be really will depend on where you’re coming from and where you’re going. I’m in a regulatory practice area where it’s really common to go back and forth, so there are always people around who’ve made the transition.

      • anon for this :

        It’s somewhat similar – right now I do prosecutions for the gov’t, and also represent the municipality and our utility in real estate litigation as well as bankruptcies, foreclosures, and collections work. This firm does business litigation and estates. They are a small firm and the partners are BigLaw refugees.

        Thanks for bringing up some points I haven’t thought of!

        • make them credit you vacation for prior experience. i made the switch, and the worst has been starting with 10 days leave like an 18 yr old at beginning of their scale but pregnant at age 35. they wouldn’t do it, and still won’t, and it feels prima donna like, but is a big morale thing with long-term implications.

    • In House Lobbyist :

      I did this a couple of years ago. My biggest problem was figuring out about billable hours. The partner I worked for was always telling me to slow down and bill more. My old job had a lot of responsibility and I felt like I was good at multiple-tasking. Plus I could never get any real rules about how to bill. Eventually I left to go work for one of my clients. I will also add that a lot of my work was flat fee contracts so that made figuring out billable hours even more difficult.

      Also the firm I went to only gave half credit for the years I was in government service. I had been with the government for 4 years but got put in the 2nd year clas for partnership purposes.

      Good luck!

  18. Any suggestions for reminding your boss, actually you have seen this document I sent it a month ago and you acknowledged it. Forwarding the initial email seems too passive aggressive, but its something I busted my a** on so I want to make sure I take the tone out of my email…

    • Forwarding the initial email is not passive/aggressive: it’s CYA.

      “Dear Boss, you may have missed this email; I’m re-sending below. Let me know if you’d like to discuss further.”

    • Maybe include the original email in your new email. E.g. “The information you requested is in the attached email”

      I can see forwarding the original email as being passive digressive, but that’s been my standard way of dealing with this situation with both bosses and clients. I also justify it as the original email has the document attached as well as any other relevant information. Redoing the email would be wasted effort.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Agree with above. It’s one reason that I email everything. It documents the original receipt and saves me time if I need to re-distribute. When people do it to me, I’m not offended. I actually like having the original email so that I can figure out where it went and how I missed it (if I care at that point).

    • My boss pulls this on me all the time. I always just send the email again.

      In fact, he did it again yesterday. “No, I have no memory of that.” We’ve discussed it multiple times so I just went to my email and sent it again.

    • That happens to me a lot with one particular partner, and I always resend the original email, just stating, I sent this to you last week, here’s another copy. Or sometimes with no comment at all.

  19. Threadjack for those who hit (or tried to hit) the Jason Wu for Target event: The Today show website has a feature on Michelle Obama wearing a $39 dress from that line (with speculation about whether she fought the online crowd or popped in to her local Target).

    • Does anyone know whether they restocked? I went into my local target this Sunday (2/12) and there was very little missing. Missoni was pretty much wiped out immediately, so I found it to be a bit perplexing.

      • I think they restocked and there are a bunch of returns. I bought a few things in a couple different sizes, to make sure I got the right fit. I ended up returning several items that did not fit. BEWARE of the the pleated skirt. I have no hips and it made me look W-I-D-E. Not flattering. That one got returned. The light blue shirt is nice for under jackets/cardigans or with skinny jeans for the weekend.

        • Yes to this! I was super excited about the black pleated and navy flowered pleated skirts. I got them both this week (ordered online) and they def do not lay quite right. I returned the black. I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way I can make the navy work bc I love the print so much. Like elz, I don’t have hips and I wear pleated skirts all the time…I have at least 4 in regular rotation. So it’s not the style, but something specific to this skirt. Sad, bc I really wanted to love it.

          • Goosebumpy :

            I sized down in the black pleated skirt specifically because it didn’t look right in the size I probably should’ve been wearing. When I turned it into a high-waisted skirt, it made a lot more sense (and I think it’s a little on the long side, so hiking it up corrected that problem, too).

            Of course, this information is less-than-beneficial given the likelihood that your local Target has anything left for exchanges…but maybe you could get the waist taken in by a tailor?

    • I bought a TON of stuff there. The only thing I’ve tried so far was a gorgeous light pink sheer blouse with subtle white polka dots. I loved loved loved it, until I discovered a huge hole in a seam after the second wear. Now I’m super grouchy and thinking about returning ALL of it.

      • I may be alone here, but I have no problem with Michelle Obama receiving an advance of the dress or not having to brave the crowds/online madness. I mean, she is the FLOTUS. If they doesn’t get you advances of Target’s designer collaborations, then what does?!

        ;)

      • I have been seeing complaints on various blogs that the quality of the Jason Wu line is not good. I mean, we don’t expect heirloom pieces from Target, but it seems that the fabrics used for this line are particularly fragile.

        Also, there is stuff from the Missoni line on eBay selling for basically retail. So if you do crave the Jason Wu stuff, wait a few months and you can probably get it for a non-ridiculous price on eBay.

    • DC Association :

      I don’t think she actually went to Target…I am in DC and it definitely would have been on the news that she stopped in at a local target. I could have missed it of course…but I just doubt it. After all, if she didn’t wear Jason Wu at the inaugural balls, no one would know who Jason Wu is!

  20. Purse and Shoe Junkie :

    Although I know a number of you ‘rettes have a conservative number of shoes and purses, I’m sure there are several of you with the same ‘problem’ I have — many many many pairs of shoes and purses — most, if not all, of which serve a unique and important role in your wardrobe — even if they don’t get worn very often.

    Prefacing this with the assumption that these purchases are affordable, all bills are paid, 401Ks are maxed out, and savings is at an even keel – do you have any ‘issues’ with push-back from SOs?

    I’ve indulged in shoes since I was 8 (silver flats were the gateway shoe), but only ones I can afford, 95% were bought when on sale, and my collection is not nearly as bad as some. While I am no where near a down-payment’s worth of shoes ala Carrie Bradshaw, I recognize that I have spent more than necessary on shoes and purses. Also, I tend to keep them around for a long time.

    I am, however, getting the side-eye from my SO. We’re pretty open about finances, both are doing well, etc., but not co-mingled (yet/ever?). He’s by no means being controlling about it — but does make remarks about how many shoes and purses I have.

    So far my response has been — “I can afford it, they make me happy, if I couldn’t comfortably afford it, I wouldn’t be buying them”. And I’m fine with sticking with that provided financial circumstance don’t change.

    Anyone else?

    • Totes McGotes :

      My BF may comment, but he knows better than to do so in a way that suggests that the quantity of bags/shoes should be different… because then that opens the door to scrutiny of how much computer/video game/photography equipment occupys real estate in the house.

    • “You need to stop it with the comments about my shoes and handbags. I’ve heard you, we disagree, and your continuting to comment is just pissing me off.”

      Needless to say, I favor the direct approach.

      • I’m with mamabear on this. 100%.

        The only exception is, if you live in a tiny space and your stuff is crowding him. Then, maybe work out some way to store more efficiently. But don’t curb this activity, which you enjoy, just because he’s being annoying about it. And his side-eye/comments need to be nipped in the bud before they get controlling.

      • This.

    • We have our own discretionary accounts so he does not comment. He may not get my shoe collection but knows that I could easily comment on his xbox, nfl stuff.

    • My SO commented a couple of times. We don’t live together or share expenses so it was very easy for me to say that because he doesn’t pay my bills, he doesn’t have a say in how I spend my money. He also knows that I was broke and in debt for many years because of my ex-husband’s financial problems and that I am otherwise very careful and don’t have debt. I also equate my shoe spending with his on motorcycle accessories, guns, ammunition, etc. so he can’t really complain. Nip it in the bud!

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