Suit of the Week: Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers Wool Check SuitingFor 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.

I like this black wool check from Brooks Brothers. The suit itself is so classic that not much can be said about it — wool blend, pants fully lined, jacket half-lined. The pattern is interesting, though, in part because it’s such a classic menswear pattern — I think it’s far rarer to see a nice woman’s suit that has a simple check. The jacket (Wool Check Jacket) is $498, the pants (Wool Check Caroline Fit Trousers) are $248, and the skirt (Wool Check Skirt, not pictured) is $198.

(L-5)

Comments

  1. I like this a lot. And I’ve been in the market for a new black interview suit.

    Hmmm….I wonder if its available at the BBOutlet.

    • Though I don’t like that that the skirt is A-Line. What do people think of an A-Line skirt in a suit?

      • D Train South :

        My sentiments exactly. I really prefer the pants with the jacket. I like the skirt without the jacket, but together, for me, the look is a bit dowdy. Might be different in person, or on another body type, though.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        I’m not a fan of the a-line skirt. It’s really a matter of your shape and taste, but it makes me feel frumpy and less sleek/slim. I’m a fan of the pencil skirt and not usually a fan of the trouser suit. I don’t currently own one, although I wore trousers the other day, a rare occasion, and felt ok with that :-)

      • Doesn’t anyone else find pencil skirts constricting and uncomfortable, if you’re sitting for long periods and like to move your legs a lot? A-line are so much more comfortable.

        • I find a-line skirts much more comfortable. I also worry that pencil skirts show too much on me. I have several suits with a-line skirts–I tend to avoid buttoning the jacket because I don’t like the look on me of a-line + buttoned up, but otherwise I like them.

        • I am on the curvy side, and I need straight or A-line skirts because pencil skirts look s*xy on me. This goes for suits and everything else.

          • i second this, I do wear some pencil skirts, but i have to pick carefully. I prefer A-line skirts, and wish *more* suits came with them. Altho, I would support them making suits with multiple skirt options and multiple pant style options, so you pencil skirt peeps can have your preference ;o)

        • I can’t really wear pencil skirts either — they are either tight in the booty or so loose everywhere else that they look like a big frumpy square. A-lines all the way.

        • Ditto. Most pencil skirts highlight my rear-end too much, and in an unflattering way.

          It’s annoying that when a shape gets into the collective fashion-consciousness, then that’s pretty much all you can find. There was a while when all skirts were pencil skirts with no a-line skirts to be found, except for dreadful tie-it-yourself-at-the-waist, rumpled pouffy things that were also too damn short.

          And there was a while when it was the opposite. Stupid, stupid retailers. As if when the trend changes, everybody’s body type also magically changes.

    • goirishkj :

      Are you an ABA member? There was an email today about discounts from Brooks Brothers but I of course have deleted the email with the relevant info.

  2. Thanks for the input yesterday on the Macbook Air ladies! I decided to sacrifice the smaller size of the 11″ for the 13″ in light of my Hulu-obsession.

    I LOVE IT!

  3. Reposting for the new post:

    Petty TJ — How do you deal with other people’s success that drives you a little mad? I feel generally really good about my life but am definitely in the ‘just need to put my head down and work for a few years’ stage of my career before I’ll be able to see advancement. A couple people I know have recently become very successful, one through a total fluke (trust me) and one who pretty much married into an invaluable connection but otherwise has a pretty run of the mill background. I have plenty of successful friends and school acquaintances, but these couple, who have suddenly done very well and are, frankly, not that impressive at all, really get on my nerves. One also has a pretty consistent “look at my life!” attitude about everything. Because of other relationships, there’s no way to avoid them. Tips welcome!

    • Can't Wait to Quit :

      I could lend you some of my sad-sack facebook friends. Honestly, I often wish for some of those friends you hear about who are always boasting about their life, because my friends are one long whine about jobs and love lives.

      Seriously, I think you just have to resign yourself that there are always some people who just get lucky, and resenting them won’t take away their luck.

    • I have a nephew 20 years younger than I am who is much more successful, at least salary-wise. Also, I took several years off from the practice of law when my son was born, so pretty much everyone from my law school class is way ahead of me, career-wise (partners, shareholders, etc – me still an associate). No advice, really, just an acknowledgment that it can suck.

      • I forgot to mention my little brother who got a B.A. from a state school, who runs his own business and is basically just rich. His kids drive way better cars than I do. Sigh. I’m not jealous, I’m not jealous, lol.

    • One of my good friends gave me the best advice years ago: she essentially said that when we compare ourselves to others, 99% of the time it’s to people who are ahead of us in some way. I’ve become much better at leaving comparisons behind by remembering this. Food for thought.

      • This is probably way too late to be useful, but I agree with this commenter. When we compare ourselves to others we look up. Whenever I find myself thinking that way (which is more often than I like to admit), I try to remember this quote I heard once – the gist of it was, ‘Even at your lowest, there’s always someone wishing they were as high as you are.’ When I’m feeling small, I try to think of that, and all the people who wish they had half the stuff that I’ve been incredibly blessed to have.

        I also tend to go to church more at times like that (I know that isn’t for everyone, but it works for me). There’s a point in the service where my minister will ask if there’s anyone we would like to pray for today, and there’s always someone going through a hard time – cancer, miscarriage, unemployment, loss of a loved one. When I hear people at my church ask for prayers, it reminds me how small my “problems” really are. Again, its all about perspective.

    • Firstly, stay off of facebook. Seriously. When you are in this kind of a mood where the grass is always greener in everyone else’s life, you need to stay off of facebook altogether. No good can come of it.

      Secondly, I think most people feel like this at some point. And it always reflects what you are most dissatisfied with in your own life- career, money, love life, family life, etc. All you can do is focus on those things in your life that you are satisfied with and the steps you are taking to change the aspects that you are dissatisfied with. Also, remember that you don’t really know what’s going on with other people’s lives. Maybe they are really jealous of something you have in your life that you take for granted.

      Finally, don’t be bitter about other people’s luck. That’s not within their control or yours. Try to be genuinely happy for the success of people you like and admire, and ignore what is going on (good or bad) with people who don’t even like.

      • Strongly second all of this, including the practical suggestion to stay off Facebook. I don’t look at the news feed anymore, and it’s done wonders.

      • Diana Barry :

        Hmm. So when I am jealous of my friend who has $1000 boots, does that mean that I wish I made more money?

        • Try to remember that your friend with $1000 boots may not have more money — they may have more credit card debt.

          :-)

          • Always a NYer :

            Or believe in investment pieces ;)

          • Yeah, sometimes it’s just about what people choose to spend money on. When I was in grad school, the whole group of us who were in a particularly hard seminar would go out to a very inexpensive dinner together. One of our classmates always said she couldn’t afford it – we were all living on our stipends and whatever else we could cobble together. So it’s about priorities and choices. Unless they really do have lots of money and then it’s just about spending a lot.

      • “And it always reflects what you are most dissatisfied with in your own life- career, money, love life, family life, etc.”

        So true. I struggle a lot lately with jealousy of my friends who are getting engaged, getting married, and getting pregnant even though I am, at the same time, unspeakably happy for them. And I know in my heart of hearts that this is because I fear that I’ll never remarry, or even have another boyfriend. It’s about me, not about them, and I just have to work very hard not to let it poison my happiness for them.

    • It can be hard, especially when those people just don’t seem “deserving.” (I’m thinking specifically of an adulterer I used to know who scored $500k at a slot machine in Vegas that he sat down at for ONE freaking minute during a conference. Grrrr.)

      I think the only thing you can do is remind yourself that life isn’t fair, you are making it, you are going to have opportunities, you are happy (and darn it people like you!) etc…

      Plus, you never know what’s going to happen or what secret tragedies go on in other peoples’ lives. A very successful woman I know once confided in me that she had had a miscarriage. I would never have guessed that secret pain was hiding behind her fabulous “my life is great and it never rains on me!” facade.

      • Wow! I think your point is probably already made without even realizing it. Who wants success if your reputation is so bad that folks think of you chiefly as “the adulterer.” And to get to the point of cheating pretty much says something was lacking. Either internally for happiness or in the relationship itself. A glimpse of that secret tragedy is already kind of there, huh?

        That said, if someone wants to pay me $500,000 to walk around with a scarlet letter pinned to me, well, I’m all ears…

      • Totes McGotes :

        This is the kind of thing I think of when jealousy threatens to rear its head. I know people who I’d be jealous of, but some of them have lost parents, or had difficulty conceiving, or the like. Not that I’m glad that those things happened, but it just reminds me, “Hey, you don’t ACTUALLY want to trade lives with this person.” Oh and also maybe they had some karma stored up, even if they don’t seem like they worked as hard as they could have for what they have.

      • I bet “the adulterer” jimmied up the slot machine so he could win. ;-)

    • I have struggled with this as well. Here are some of my thoughts-as-antidote:

      1) Humility and grace. I may in fact not be as awesome as I think I am, and/or that “lucky” peer may be better than I am giving her credit for. It is what it is.
      2) The breaks I am not getting may be due to my failure to *convey* how good I am, and someone else’s relative skill at doing so. Time to get better at self-promotion.
      3) Comforting myself that I must have something that this other person does not have may feel good in the moment, but is not a sound strategy overall. For the first thing, what if I am then proved wrong? For the second, why am I trying to put someone down to make myself feel better? That actually diminishes me in the overall sense; makes me someone I am less proud to be.
      4) The bottom line. I am not interchangeable with anyone else; I would not trade lives or selves with anyone else. I should admire others’ accomplishments and take inspiration where I find it. Beyond what is constructive, there is no value in comparing myself to others or feeling envious.

      I have never had any regrets for acting and thinking kindly. Rejections and insults sting hard in the moment, but a habit of feeling petty resentment is a slow, steady rot–especially because it is my choice. I try to make other choices.

      • Love the humility and grace comment. So true. Sometimes I get caught up in thinking about how unfair things are and comparing myself to others, but then when I stop and think… maybe these people are really awesome at what they do, and hey, maybe I COULD improve a little (or a lot) more, I get a sense of peace. Taking the shame and pride out of the equation makes it feel less destructive.

      • Monday, this is beautifully put, and so thoughtful. Very helpful. Thank you.

      • “I have never had any regrets for acting and thinking kindly” and “a habit of feeling petty resentment is a slow, steady rot”

        EXACTLY.

        Beautifully put and definitely quotes to remember.

      • Agree agree agree!

      • This is beautiful and exactly how I try to react. Beyond my feelings about others, I have to live with myself, and the only way to do that is to stay humble and gracious.

    • I definitely struggle with comparing myself to others. Just last night I met up with a couple who are moving to a new state and they both got new jobs. They are really into status and always tend to mention dollar amounts or rank or name drop or do mention whatever might make them seem amazing to everyone else which annoys me and then makes me feel like crap when I think about my own life. I enjoyed seeing them and thought it was going well, but after they left I cried to my boyfriend about how much I hate my job and how stuck I feel and why are they so good at finding jobs when I’ve had no luck…. yeah. Trying to breathe and let it go.

    • I think it’s good to remember that you never have the whole story about someone. The person whose success is a total fluke? Maybe he or she knows it was a fluke and feels like an imposter in his or her own life and lives every day filled with a sick terror that everyone will discover the truth. Maybe the one who married well knows deep down inside that he or she married the wrong person, but felt like it was the best thing to do to get the good connection, but hates himself every day for selling out that way. Maybe the Facebook braggarts are totally insecure and preening on Facebook is a desperate way to prop up their low self-esteems.

      Other people might have unfair advantages, but I’d wager you have some too, whether it’s your up-bringing, opportunities, race, class, geographic location, good health or whatever, you have it better that some people in some way. Make the best of what you have, and let the rest go.

      • Anon for This :

        Especially considering marrying well, I’ll chime in. I’m a recent graduate who has a job largely because of the fact that my father-in-law is well-connected in the smallish town where I moved with my husband after law school. My job isn’t glamorous by Corporette standards, but it pays well for the area and is at one of the larger firms in our region.

        I know that I married well, both in connections and in that my husband has a well-paying and stable job, and that while I believe I am qualified for my position, I got substantial help along the way. Accordingly, I try to be as humble as possible, be thankful for what I have, and not throw it in someone else’s face.

        However, it would also really hurt my feelings to find that any of my friends felt the way the OP feels about me. I try desperately not to be flashy or braggy. I don’t update Facebook talking about my relative success. I hope this saves me from being one of “those people.” (Though I did post pictures of our new house – and then felt pangs of guilt once I did so, but left them up because friends from afar had requested them)

        • anon for this 2 :

          I can relate also. I married a man who has a very lucrative career track and comes from a wealthy family. It’s not why I married him and it actually annoys the crap out of me most of the time, because it is a very unfamiliar world and I feel like a fish out of water. But, as a result, I suddenly have all kinds of resources and advantages that I never had before. My in-laws paid off my student loans (at their insistence) and are giving us a down payment for a house. It’s a g*d*mn Cinderella story, basically.

          I used to commiserate with my friends about student loans and I don’t talk about it anymore. They know we are house shopping but I don’t talk about the gifted down payment– though if they asked, I certainly wouldn’t pretend it was my own money. I sure as h*ll don’t post about any of it on facebook. But I’m sure they have surmised most of this and it bothers me that some of them might resent me for it. Honestly, I would probably resent me a bit if I were them. The same rules apply on this side of coin- I try to focus on my own life and be grateful for what I have. And I am still prone to envy my friends about other things they have going for them. It’s just human nature, I guess.

        • To OP: I know you said you can’t easily avoid these people, but consider if you might. I can’t stand when I’m in a rough spot and people who aren’t have no sensitivity to that- I’ve had awful things said to me. If it means missing group events or whatever, so be it. Better not to surround yourself with that at certain times.

    • In addition to all of the good advice you’ve already gotten, I think this is one of those situations where it’s important to focus on what’s good in your own life. Happiness isn’t a zero-sum game, after all, and just because someone else (even someone you don’t like!) has had a streak of good fortune doesn’t mean that they are somehow beating you at life. I’d also point out that you never really know what’s going on with someone else, so you’re usually comparing the reality of your own life, warts and all, to the fantasy of someone else’s — which makes it even easier to feel bad about your life. Compare and despair, as they say.

      But your feelings are totally natural, and this is definitely something I’ve struggled with (and continue to struggle with) myself. Stay off Facebook! Or hide those people from your news feed, if you’d like. I won’t tell anyone. :)

    • Other people have already said many, many good things. Just wanted to add a link to a post from the Happiness Project blog that I thought was useful on this subject:
      http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2006/11/do_you_sometime.html

    • I think that feeling this way is so human its practically biblical (see e.g. Cain and Able I believe).

      But I try to think of being happy for people when good things happen to them, even when I’m jealous, as a sort of reverse empathy. I would feel bad if something bad happened to them; so I try to celebrate the good more than the bad in the people who surrounds me lives (if that makes sense). I also think there’s a definite karmic element here (not to mix my religion metaphors), but we all have high points and low points in our lives. If you are there for them now, when they are at their high, they will celebrate with you later.

      Oh…and block them from your FB feed, that’s just good sense.

      • I had the feeling of ‘i’d so rather be me’ recently when on a tv insider show i saw a feature about halle berry and how bad she’s had it with spouses/kid custody disputes. (rather mean piece, must say). i thought: wealth, beauty, etc.- on thanks- rather have my one faithful caring husband.

    • It’s not a zero sum game.
      I try to remind myself of something that a business prof once said: that A people surround themselves with more successful people because they are always striving to be better, while B people surround themselves with people who aren’t as good as them, so they can feel better. I want to be an A person, so I force myself to be happy for people that are at a further point than I am now. Their relationships, connections and success can only help you succeed too.

    • I Don't Know How He Did It :

      I am probably too late for this thread. I was in court all day on the West coast.

      My FIL passed away two months ago. He was 81, and he was a survivor. He was captured from his town in Hungary in 1944 when he was 13 (I hope I did the math correctly), and he and his dad were the only family members who survived.

      I met my fiance late in life (I was 40, he was 44 — it can and does happen!), so I did not meet my FIL until he was in his late 70s. He was brilliant, positive, adventurous, an irrepressible prankster, the kind of person who is ten steps ahead of everyone in the room but spends every ounce of his energy trying to make everyone feel good and have a good experience.

      I can only imagine the temptation he and others survivors must have felt/feel to spend energy feeling that other people are getting a better deal than you did. And it would be true: every single person on Earth who didn’t live in a concentration camp has gotten a better deal than my FIL. But he didn’t give in to that. I didn’t know him very well (we met late and he lived on a different continent), but I miss him and remember him chiefly for being such a vivacious and happy person.

      I wish I could say that after meeting him I never had another petty thought in my keppe (head, for the non-Yiddish speakers among us). That would be a lie. But I will tell you that he left behind something more valuable than I will: a contented wife, four emotionally healthy and happy adult children and all their healthy and happy kids (including my stepkids). When I can remember to follow his example, I try to.

  4. Love this suit – I actually just accepted a new job (this morning!) that will require me to wear suits again, as opposed to the routine of dresses and suits sometimes I had settled into at my current firm, so I am now looking closely at Suit of the WEek again.

    I have a question for the hive – I generally comment on blogs linking to my own blog, and have done so out of habit. That means that when I do comment on Corporette, I tend to go “anon for this one”, because I am usually asking a question I would rather not be linked to me (ie I was the one who was asking about hose for interviews in DC a few weeks ago – and yes, nude for me hose worked very well, thank you to everyone who commented)… I am thinking of commenting on Corporette using just Valerie as my handle, but not linking to my blog, but I am curious if there is someone else out there who comments regularly who just uses Valerie. as their handle too. Thoughts much appreciated!

  5. Jacket is pretty long and seems to make the model look a bit “hippy.” Ergo: what would it do to me??

    • I don’t think she looks “hippy” at all. But yes, it does appear she has hips. So? It doesn’t look exaggerated at all.

    • I’m wondering if the longer jacket is coming into style. I hope not because I don’t look particularly good in that style–although, of course, I do have one suit with the longer jacket that I never wear because I think it looks dated.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i can’t tell if it’s the jacket making her look hippy, or the fact that it’s buttoned over the skirt in one of the pictures. i am not a fan of this type of a-line skirt, as part of a suit or otherwise – i haven’t seen one that doesn’t either skew librarian/dowdy or young/”wearing my sunday best.”

      • Notalawyer :

        It’s a trope that’s used here a lot, but I can attest to the fact that few of the librarians that I know tend to look ‘sexy librarian’.

        But you knew that, correct?

        • anon for this :

          No, none of my colleagues particularly look “sexy librarian.” I do wear pretty high heels, which are the envy of many students at the university, but otherwise, do not dress in a sexy way. There is a Flickr site for librarians’ shoes, which are supposed to represent modern librarians who don’t wear orthopedic shoes, but honestly, they are still nothing I would wear. It’s funny how there’s the “sexy librarian” stereotype and the frumpy dowdy librarian stereotype. We are neither, but honestly, if you went anywhere near an American Library Association conference, the frumps come out of the woodwork. It’s frightening.

          • This particular librarian is wearing a purple cashmere sweater and a black pencil skirt today with some black 3″ heels. But you’re right about conferences – I go to SLA, which skews more corporate, so you’d think that there’d be less of the frump…but no. It goes the same.

    • I thought the long jacket looked sloppy. There’s something about the length of the pants and the length of the jacket that just seems out of proportion to me. Not sure if it is the outfit itself or just that it is kind of ill-fitting.

  6. Summer Soles :

    Anyone who uses Summer Soles in their shoes for sweaty feet:

    Free shipping code (thru Friday): Mar12
    20% off code (no idea when this expires): shefinds

    I used both today and saved some nice $$$.

    • Another S :

      Has anyone tried these? Are they reusable? How do they compare to Silver Linings? Now that the weather is getting nicer, I know my feet will be getting sweatier.

      • I posted the coupon codes. These things are awesome (I don’t know about Silver Linings so I can’t compare). I put them in my shoes and then wear those shoes approx. 50 times (each wearing is all day at the office–not like a short night out) and then they’re worn out and I replace them. I’ve been wearing them for several years and always keep a stash on hand.

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        This! I tried a shoe-length insert in lieu of my Silver Linings and it was the worst! But I really could use some Silver Linings for the entirety of my foot… Any intel on how the Summer Soles hold up?

    • Can't Wait to Quit :

      Thank you! I was procrastinating on ordering some more of these, and now I have a supply on the way.

    • I ordered some too and saved enough that I probably ordered too much! The packs of the suede style were on sale too. Hope this helps, I’d never heard of this before. :-)

    • I can’t get both of the coupons to work together, is anyone else having this problem?

  7. Any tips on how to be an awesome bridesmaid?

    One of my best girlfriends from college is getting married soon, and I’m about to be a bridesmaid for the first time. 90% of the other girls in the bridal party have never been bridesmaids before either, and I just want to make sure all of the bridesmaids duties are taken care of, because she deserves it.

    Any tips/words of wisdom/things done for you on your wedding day that you really appreciated?

    • I think one great thing to do as a bridesmaid is to ask the bride what she really wants. I have more than one friend who got forced into showers or parties that weren’t really their style at all. It was more like the bridesmaids wanted to do it without regard for the bride’s personality. For instance, I was maid of honor for my college roommate who didn’t want a shower or bachelorette party, so we did not do any of those things. However, she was trying to keep the budget down and did a lot of DIY decor projects. I helped her out a lot with those tasks, tried to keep her calm, etc.

    • Well, first of all, the fact that you all WANT to be awesome bridesmaids means you probably will. :-)

      “Traditional” bridesmaid duties I think include throwing a shower, a bachelorette party, and then helping the bride out on the day of and the day before (and attending the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner). But listen to your bride — her family may want to throw a shower for her. Or she may not be able to travel for a bachelorette party, so maybe something small the Thursday or Friday before the wedding is better. Either way — if the bride is flexible and you’re flexible, I think everything turns out the best. Ooohhh, also get one of those “emergency” kits with medicine and sewing supplies for the day of and before, they’ve saved more than one bride’s butt.

      Also — I think the best bridesmaids have opinions but are flexible. I really wanted my bridesmaids to like their dresses, so when they were all “we’ll wear whatever you want” I wanted to shake them, because I did want them to have SOME opinion.

      Of course — all this may go out the window if your bride is cray-cray, but I hope not!

    • Before wedding:
      – Ask what you can do to help (coordinate bachelorette party/shower, pick up favors, etc) if you want to help, but don’t offer if you don’t want to)
      – Do whatever it was you agreed to do

      Day of:
      Carry emergency supplies in your bag:
      – tide pen
      – blotting sheets/ transparent powder
      – handful of bride-hair-color bobby pins
      – band aid/ointment
      – tissues
      – safety pins
      – other emergency stuff I can’t think of right now
      Watch bride’s hair and makeup, let her know if she needs touch-ups
      Make sure she gets where she needs to be when she needs to be there. Everyone will want to talk to her – it’s helpful if you pipe up and say “sorry, we’re expected at the cake table now” or something.
      Expect a meltdown and HUGE DISASTERS (real or imagined), keep your head cool and assure the bride that it’s not that bad. Fix what you can (uncle Fred got a little tipsy? Ask bride who you should tell to deal with him. etc.).
      After:
      Help with dry cleaning drop-offs/pick-ups
      Help with TY notes (addressing/stamping envelopes)

      • Yup. In one of the weddings I was in, the bride was SO stressed that she had a nuclear melt-down the night before about something completely unimportant. Be ready for that (though its not guaranteed) and just roll with it. Try to calm her down as best you can. Remember that your normal friend will return after the vows the next day. :-P

      • This is great advice.

        One thing I have done for a couple of friends when Iw as a bridesmaid was tag along when they did various makeup trials – one in particular just was not sure about what look she wanted so I went along, and would take pictures so she could compare etc.

      • Pads/tampons, wardrobe/double-sided tape, and cash. Phone number of a cab company.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      You are so sweet. I’ve sworn off ever being a bridesmaid again because it goes sideways so quickly. I’ll skip the rant about how being a bridesmaid can be akin to working for someone else, and having to pay them for the privilege.

      I think the most important thing for being a successful bridesmaid is communication about everything, especially budgets. What costs will the bride cover – bridesmaid dress? shoes? makeup? hair? hotel room? travel if a destination wedding? What are those costs expected to be? What costs are expected for the bridesmaids to cover for themselves – see above? What costs are expected for the bridesmaids to cover for the bride – bridal shower? bachelorette party? What are those costs expected to be? And then, is everyone truly ok with all of those costs and how they are going to be distributed among the bridal party? It’s so important to be honest about budgets in order to avoid fights and resentment later.

      Same goes for tasks – does the bride expect/want help with invitations? favors? table seating charts? table decorations?

      And among yourselves, work out your problems as much as possible (i.e. meet and confer) before running to the bride (i.e. the judge). She’s got plenty of other crap to worry about, so come up with solutions to various problems as much as you can, or at least offer her a solution you all (mostly) agree to when you present her with a problem.

      I encourage you to buy a copy of the A Practical Wedding book. Read it yourselves, and give a copy to the bride. Helpful, honest, practical advice. Help your bride remember that she doesn’t have to have All The Things for her wedding to Count. If she wants All The Things and can afford it, great, but if she can’t or doesn’t, reassure her that her feelings are ok too.

      And a tip – bring a sewing kit, shoe pads, and double stick tape to the wedding. You never know if she’ll need it!

      • Just saying.... :

        Also bring food – for you and the other bridesmaids! No one ever feeds the bridesmaids, and it’s a lot harder to pop out for some fast food (as groomsmen tend to do) when you’re wearing a bridesmaids’ dress.

      • Lol. You just used meet and confer in the bridesmaids context. That made me giggle.

      • Ugh. Being a bridesmaid is so expensive! It’s frustrating when you’ve been working hard to save every bit you can, and then you’re expected to go blow a bunch of money on a dress, shoes, gift, travel and other required festivities. I just wish brides understood how much is expected of bridesmaids and to express their gratitude and try to keep it fun for everyone. I wish brides wouldn’t make every get-together another update on their wedding plans. It’s like they forget other people still have lives too.

        • Well, on of my firm beliefs is that you should try to keep the experience of being a bridesmaid as inexpensive as possible for your bridesmaids.

          But I also think that if one particular bridesmaid has money troubles, if you’ve picked good enough friends, that person should be able to tell the bride “I just can’t afford this” and frankly, the bride should help out!

          But yeah, its really expensive! That was a constant in my mind when I was a bride. :-P

    • Have been a bridesmaid multiple times, my theory as been to do whatever the bride wants. I said yes to being her bridesmaid, so therefore I’ll go wherever she wants and wear whatever she picks and not complain. This includes showers and bachelorette party. If you can’t attend something, then tell her ASAP and be sure to send a gift to the hostess (or send a card with a picture of the gift and have the gift sent directly to her address on the registry).

      Yes, maybe that’s me being a potato sack, but I want her to not be stressed about me nor inflict additional stress into her. None of my friends were bridezillas, so I guess I lucked out. I wanted to be there for her and her fiance on their wedding day.

      I’m also a fan of the bridal emergency kit for day of(google it); for one wedding, we used the sewing kit in between the ceremony and pictures, as one of the groomsmen had a button fall off his jacket. I whipped out a needle and thread, and it was fixed 5 minutes later. The guys were impressed.

    • Bring her food/ward off people while she eats her food/give her bottled water as she heads to the reception/honeymoon… pack her a “to go” box of food. One of my bridesmaids was the official food and beverage person, and she literally shoved food into my hands to make sure I actually ate during the day. It was GREAT! And I was dying of thirst just before we got in the car to go to the reception, and someone (I think my mom actually) had put two cold bottles of water in the car for us. So yeah, be the food and beverage person, because otherwise the bride will talk and smile and kiss and never eat anything :)

    • Totes McGotes :

      Be specific and aggressive when you offer to help her. Once when I was MOH, my friend was stressed out close to the wedding date and was rattling off all these things she had to do. Most of them were bride-specific, but one – making the table cards – could be done by anybody. I offered to do it and she said, “No, no, I can handle it.” She finally gave it up when I said, “NO, I am taking this from you,” and afterwards she was so grateful and said it was actually a huge load off and they turned out so much nicer than if she had done them! So no matter what, I was able to say I had made a tangible contribution beyond the standard MOH duties (which I also rocked, BTW).

    • I may be too late with this so the OP may not see it, but depending on where the wedding is, you may want to see if there is such a thing as a “day-of coordinator” in the area, then somehow suggest this to the bride. Even in NYC, where everything wedding-related is 10,000x more expensive than anywhere else, the services of a fabulous day-of coordinator were not very pricey when I got married in 2010, and it was some of the most well-spent money ever. Basically, this person did everything a lot of commenters have suggested you will have to do on the day of the wedding — made sure everyone was where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there, confirmed details with vendors in the days before the wedding, made sure the bridal party had some pre-wedding food, had an emergency kit, all that. This meant my bridesmaids could actually have fun at the wedding and not have to work and be stressed the whole time. Plus I didn’t have to stress or feel guilty that my bridesmaids were too busy working to have fun. It was awesome.

    • Take the bride’s cell phone and answer it the Day Of and the night before. Be her personal assistant, basically. It really takes a load off to screen her calls.

  8. I really like this suit as a pantsuit. Agree that the skirt version doesn’t look as fun. I just realized that I have not worn pants to work in possibly months. Now really want a new pair of black pants.

    • I saw a lady in line at Starbucks the other day who had on the best pair of black wool, wide-leg pants. Someone on an earlier thread described “swingy” pants, and that’s what I would call these. I have been wanting some ever since.

      Anybody seen any recently?

  9. Wondering about the one button thing. I see a lot of that now and I’m wondering if the number of buttons is merely a personal taste thing. I prefer 2-3 buttons on my suit jackets and have a really difficult time finding jackets with more than one button these days.

  10. I am tired of black suits and I don’t think they look especially good. They show every stray hair and even dust particles. They are so formal and funereal. How about a snappy blue/gray number with a nice tailored fit and some interesting detailing? Has anyone seen one of those?

  11. Anon for this one :

    Anon since my regular handle has me identified to a city and I’d rather not risk outing anything with this (as per the discussion about awkwardly realizing you’re being talked about on here).

    A male friend of mine works with a woman who has as the background to her computer a picture of several curvy women – some dressed in (provocative) clothing, some in underwear, and an empowering slogan about curvy women and beauty. Now I think this is totally NOT appropriate for work – lovely message, but umm half-naked ladies on your computer at work? Not okay, imo. This came about as my male friend asked me what he thought would happen to HIM if he had the same picture on his computer desktop. Seems to me there would be a prompt sexual harassment lawsuit and a firing if it was a man doing it.

    Just out of curiousity and to spur discussion…what do you all think about this? Anyone who thinks its appropriate, given the message coming along with it?

    • Not appropriate at all. Your friend is right – what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as my grandma used to say. I don’t think a hunky shirtless male calendar is any more appropriate than a bikini model tool calendar.

      • Could not say it better…
        Although in this case she might argue that since it’s not a shirtless man it doesn’t apply. But we’ve all discussed how your coworkers don’t want to see any more of your body than they have to, nor should they. And in this case they shouldn’t be subjected to provocative clothing of any kind, on any gender.
        Normally I’d agree with the message. But not at work, not like this.

    • Weird and inappropriate. You can make statements about the beauty of curvy women on personal time — but not on business time. Is her computer in a public hallway so that people see it frequently? That’s just odd.

      But i reserve the right to keep my puppies as background — especially since no one ever sees the background picture on my computer.

    • What everyone else is saying. I am all about loving the body you have, but seriously, women in lingerie are never the right choice for a work background. If it was a fully-clothed lady with a similar slogan, though, I’d be fine with it.

    • phillygirlruns :

      inappropriate regardless of the message and the gender of the employee.

    • lawtalkinggirl :

      I don’t think it’s wildly inappropriate. A little tacky, and a little questionable, but not completely out of line. I would not do it myself. If I were her boss I might gently suggest that she change the picture or use a screen on her monitor. But I do not think that by itself it would warrant a sexual harassment lawsuit or firing, if on a man’s computer.

    • What if the guy had a pic of a man’s mostly-nude PETA ad or a shirtless Lance Armstrong with some sort of inspirational message? Would the same rule apply?

      As long as the same rules apply to everyone, I have no particular opinion on what the rule should be. I do think it could be hard to draw the line though, and I’m generally in favor of maximizing free expression (particularly because there doesn’t seem to be any question that the woman’s photo was not intended to be a sexual statement). I do think there is a qualitative difference between a naked lady lounging on a sports car on a calendar and the type of photo you describe (which sounds like it was taken from an ad campaign). But that difference is hard to articulate so it is probably best to draw a hard line at “no scantily clad people.”

      • I think there’s a difference between a shirtless male athlete (which is completely socially acceptable in the US) playing sports and a scantily clad woman posed in a way that emphasizes her assets. Same would apply for, say, a female beach volleyball player with an inspirational saying versus a male Abercrombie model.

        • Oh now, come on, it’s not because everyone is used to male ‘athletes’ flaunting their steroid enhancements that all of us want them inflicted upon our sight. Especially since ‘athlete’ can mean football, and such horrors. Personally, I’d much rather look at fat women in their underwear :-). But there is no room in a public space for pictures of shirtless anyone, no matter what kind of shape they’re in. And an office is a public space as far as I’m concerned, even if the people in the public don’t change as often as on the sidewalk.

      • Eeerrrr, even as a former swimmer who has lots of pictures of swimmers with inspirational things on them, I’d still probably not put up a picture of Michael Phelps in a professional work space. Just as I wouldn’t put up a picture of Hot Shirtless Wade.

    • My prof used to have like beefcake photos of young men (like shirtless actors in poses) on her computer desktop and would project them during class when using the comp. I used to wonder the same thing, what if a male professor had bikini photos of women up there

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s inappropriate. And it’s doubly inappropriate if done by a man, but for all you know she’s a lesbian and is looking at those pics for the same reason a man would. So it’s really not appropriate in any context. But if no one can see her computer desktop from where she sits, I’d say no harm no foul and I wouldn’t mention it.

      • Oops – this was me. Not anonymous.

        • Anon for this one :

          For a second I thought you meant you were the one with scantily-clad ladies on your desktop and I had outed you.

          • HAHAHA. No. This is my desktop actually: http://oi44.tinypic.com/29e0mbm.jpg

            Way more awesome than scantily-clad ladies IMO.

          • omg omg too cute! Since we’re sharing desktop backgrounds, mine’s a meme of the Dowager Countess with “I FORBID IT” in big letters. My dream is to be talking to a student, have them say something ridiculous about dropping out of senior year to move to South Carolina and live with a “man from the Internet,” and then just turn my computer around and shove the screen in their face…

          • This would actually be a great thread – what’s everyone’s desktop image. Maybe I’ll start it tomorrow.

    • Anon for this one :

      I figured this would be the response! My opinion is that since the point of the picture is to draw attention to a woman’s body (in a sexual/sexual-like way) it’s inappropriate…whereas the sports example is drawing attention to the athleticism/showing love for the sport/what have you. Doesn’t matter the gender of the people in the picture. Even then, I can imagine getting a LOT of negative comments for any sort of scantily clad desktop background where I work…but this is in a different environment.

  12. The bridesmaid post made me think – this is a good place to get opinions on a current issue I’m having. I got a save the date for a wedding this fall and my live-in boyfriend (we’ve been together for years, living together for months) was (presumably, if basing on the save the date) not invited. This girl is a close friend of mine (she said I would have been a bridesmaid but she decided to only go with her sisters – okay, people can say anything but still) who now lives in a different city. She knows my boyfriend and has hung out with him a handful of times. She invited me to the bachelorette as well, which will cost me a few hundred smackers. I can’t decide what I should do and whether I should go to the wedding/bachelorette at all (all assuming BF never gets invited). I have friends who I’ve asked about this and they think it is ridiculous that BF wasn’t invited (also because another friend of ours was invited with her non-live-in BF, who admittedly probably know the bride and groom better but still) and that I absolutely should not go. I thought about trying to passively say something to her but BF vehemently does not want me to – he figures if he wasn’t originally invited, he won’t go no matter what. I would feel badly not going, and I’m fairly confident it would end the friendship. But if she doesn’t respect me or my relationship enough to include my guy, maybe that’s enough of a sign? It certainly won’t be any fun for me to go without him. And it will cost me close to a grand with all the travel/bachelorette/presents/etc. (not including a hotel room, if I could find someone to crash with). And how is it fair that if I marry my BF, I’m then expected to invite her and her soon to be hubby? Why should BF have to have them at HIS wedding, you know? I’m so torn. The ONLY good outcome I see is if it’s somehow a mistake and she invites him on her own when the actual invitations come out. But assuming this is the lose-lose scenario, what would you all do?

    [Other details: it’s a big wedding but most of the guest list is made up of her parents’ friends, so she was limited on who she got to invite but, no, it wasn’t a money issue. Also – it’s out of town for me.]

    • I would ask her if he is invited. Some people do not think it’s necessary to put your guest (either a named SO or “and guest”) on a save the date. I think that’s silly, especially since you’re out-of-town, but it’s worth asking.

      If he really isn’t invited and you don’t want to go without him (I don’t blame you), decline the invitation. If you want to compromise, go to the bachelorette, since he wouldn’t go to that anyway, and just tell her you are not able to make it to the wedding. If you end up marrying your BF, take the high road and invite them as a couple if you want to invite her (I think you already knew the answer to that one).

      • Also, I think your BF needs to relax a little. Yes, it’s annoying that he wasn’t invited from the start, but it happens. If your friend corrects her mistake (or says that he has been invited all along), I would let it go. A good response to rudeness is rarely more rudeness and grudge-holding, especially when the original rude person fixes the situation.

        • Agreed – his response seems really out of proportion. He would *really* want you to skip your good friend’s wedding because of what he perceives as a social slight? Really?

          • Sorry -just to be clear, he thinks it’s fine if I go but he doesn’t want to go himself if he wasn’t on the ‘initial’ list, and he doesn’t think I should say anything to the bride about it. I have other friends I’ve consulted who think I shouldn’t go at all.

          • Got it. But surely he knows you won’t want to go alone, right? And the whole “initial” vs. not seems weird to me. Is there history here? Is he defensive about your relationship for some reason?

          • And frankly, it’s weird that he doesn’t want you to ask your friend about this. He’d rather just be offended?

    • Having recently thrown a wedding, I feel great sympathy for people who have to work out their guest list/budget — its hard. I’ll never be offended again not to be invited to a wedding.

      For my own wedding, I didn’t invite anyone without a plus one (even if they were not in a serious relationship). I think “traditional” rules say that only married couples HAVE to be invited together, but the fact that you’re living together and in a long standing relationship to me makes this odd. And almost makes me wonder if it was an unintentional omission. Perhaps she wasn’t doing her own save-the-date list and forgot to add him on and no one noticed because they didn’t know?

      I’d shoot her an e-mail. I’d certainly have wanted an e-mail if I had accidentally offended one of my closest friends!

      • This. I completely accidentally forgot to invite one of my really good friends from college (my co-big, as well) to my wedding. We didn’t have any mutual friends, and I swear I never even thought once about what happened until about a month after the wedding. In part I was overwhelmed with the DIY/budget and finishing school, but also I guess it was sort of telling that she never initiated contact with me in the nine months we planned our wedding. I called and apologized and took her out to dinner, but she definitely did not invite me to her wedding the next year. It sucked. It pretty much ended our friendship.

      • This. We found out a month before the wedding that for some reason a couple of really close friends had been left off the guest list and had never gotten an invite. They both go by nicknames, and I’m pretty sure my mom had asked after a marathon 5 hour wedding list session, “What about fullname and fullname?” and I’d been like, “I have no idea who that is. Cut them.” Luckily they’re good enough friends that they asked about it and we were able to get it worked out. I can’t imagine what would have happened if they hadn’t, probably we would have been offended that they didn’t come, and they would have been offended that they weren’t invited.

        Moral of the story: weddings are crazy, stressful times, and things are going to get missed. If she’s as close a friend as you say, just ask her about it.

        • True life story — I didn’t put enough postage on my invites. So some of them came back as undelivered. Some simply didn’t get delivered and never came back. And I spent a bit of time before the wedding worried that some people hadn’t gotten them at all (specifically those who hadn’t RSVP’d) and were therefore offended.

          Nope — just turned out the rsvp cards hadn’t come (or weren’t sent) — the USPS was out to get me!

      • “Having recently thrown a wedding, I feel great sympathy for people who have to work out their guest list/budget — its hard. I’ll never be offended again not to be invited to a wedding.”

        Seconded. I would not take this as a personal judgment against you or your relationship, even if it was intentional. Sometimes the guest list issues can get really out of control, especially when parents are controlling the money and there is limited space to allot to friends. Frankly, I’d be happy that my friend tried to figure out a way to include me.

        That said, I think if this girl is your good friend, you can casually ask her if he’s invited. Be mentally prepared for her to say no. And if she does say no, and you don’t want to go by yourself, tell her that you can’t afford to attend (or some other valid reason).

        I will also add – if you choose not to attend her wedding, that is not a friendship-ending move. If she chooses to make it friendship-ending, that’s on her.

        • I really don’t understand why there is so much focus on all of this static… why do people think that a wedding is supposed to be about them rather than the marrying couple?

          PS, maybe it seems harsh but choosing not to attend the biggest day of my life because you’re mad at me for not inviting your boyfriend or because you fear feeling a little awkward there solo would SO impact our friendship for a while… it seems a pretty selfish thing to focus on when the day/event is meant to be all about the couple.

          • But, while the wedding day might be the biggest day of the bride’s life, it is not the biggest day in the OP’s life. I think a friend would recognize that other people have other priorities, without making them any less happy or supportive of the other.

            I certainly did not begrudge people for choosing not to attend my wedding when I made choices that affected them (i.e., I chose not to have kids at my wedding. My dad’s cousin and his wife didn’t attend because they didn’t want to be apart from their daughter for a day. My now-sister-in-law chose not to attend because she had had a baby about 1.5 months beforehand. These people *could* have attended by finding babysitters or bringing their mom up, etc. – and, plenty of people did just that – but they didn’t *have* to, nor was I mad at the ones who didn’t for making a choice that was better for them and their family).

            The OP’s boyfriend is her family, and the OP should make choices that are in the best interest of her and her boyfriend. And I think choosing not to attend a wedding because your family member wasn’t invited is a perfectly valid decision that in no way should end a friendship – it has (in my mind) nothing to do with feeling awkward about being solo.

          • I agree with K in NYC. I’ve gone to weddings alone before, when I wasn’t in a relationship, and it’s not the end of the world, especially if you’ll have other friends there. You just go to celebrate your friend and her new husband, and try to have a good time meeting new people (I say this being a huge introvert). Leave early from the reception, if you want.

            I can understand being offended if she excluded your boyfriend out of dislike, but it could easily have been an accident, or it could just be that she doesn’t know him that well and figured since you aren’t married and haven’t been living together for years and years, that she didn’t have to invite him. This would be unfortunate, but it seems a shame to end a frienship over it. Especially without talking to her first.

          • Agree with CW all the way.

      • This. It looks like a big wedding, but it may be a very tight budget. Definitely ask – innocently – if your boyfriend is invited. This is easy, because you can say you need to know so you can consider travel plans. If he is, so much the better, and if he’s not, this gives her a good opportunity to explain.

        I didn’t invite any plus-ones to my wedding, even for the wedding party, because our budget was very tight and it was more important to me to have family there than a friend’s boyfriend I’d only met a few times. I felt really awkward having to clarify that SO’s were not on the guest list, apologized and tried to make sure no one took it personally. Try to be gracious and understanding if your friend says something like that; she has to balance money, family and friends, and it can get tricky.

        There’s nothing wrong with choosing not to attend the wedding because you can’t bring your boyfriend, but *please* do not say it to your friend like that. Say you can’t get away that weekend, make plans to visit (with your BF) another time, and then send a card saying “I’m sorry I wasn’t able to share your day with you, but I hope it was beautiful and look forward to seeing you soon. Mr. Friend is a lucky guy, and I’m so happy for you both!” It will save your friendship.

        Also, this is a pet peeve of mine — weddings are not currency! You don’t trade them, you invite people who are special to you (or your parents) to the limit that you can afford to host, and if relationships change before there’s a chance to reciprocate, that’s life.

    • Was the save the date just a postcard-type thing? It seems not at all unlikely that she just scrawled your name on it without thinking. I’d ask.

      Even if he’s not invited, the odds are that it’s not a personal slight (though it’s certainly a poor decision and an etiquette slight) and if it’s otherwise a good friendship, it might be worth endeavoring not to take it personally. Come up with a plausible excuse not to go to the wedding and then move on.

    • I should preface this by saying that I am not married. However, my younger sister got married about a year and a half ago. The wedding planning process was largely smooth and drama-free – with the notable exception of the guest list.

      In the end, out of a guest list of about 175, my sister was only able to include about 15 friends (and she is the most outgoing, social, friend-having person I know). This was due to accommodating the lists of our parents, her husband’s (divorced) parents, and her husband’s grandparents (who basically raised him). My sister is generally an extremely happy and optimistic person who doesn’t let anything get her down, but I have never seen her so miserable as when she was contemplating letting someone know that she simply couldn’t include them in her special day.

      So, please don’t think that your friend “doesn’t respect you or your relationship.” I highly doubt that is the case.

      • That is such an awful story!

        My mom was so excited about my wedding that she kept inviting people to my wedding by word of mouth – like she’d run into someone at the grocery store and invite them. I had to call her and say, “Mom, please stop inviting people to my wedding!” She said, “But these are friends of mine!” To which I replied, “Then invite them to your wedding.”

        She thought I was being really nasty (and probably still does) but to this day it bums me out that there were a bunch of complete strangers at my wedding, and I wasn’t able to invite all of my closest friends.

    • Diana Barry :

      One of my friends didn’t invite my live-in BF to her wedding. I complained to one of our other girlfriends (who also went to the wedding), went with her to the wedding (we were both college roommates of the girl who got married) and had a good time. No bachelorette involved. I would ask (when you get the invitation) whether your BF is invited or not. Then go or not go as your finances allow.

      FWIW, if her parents are paying for the wedding (probably if their friends are most of the guests), then they may be putting restrictions on who she may invite, and sometimes the arbitrary restriction line is drawn at marriage.

      • This is sort of a response to a bunch of the comments but I think the issue that really upsets me is that it wasn’t just that she needed to draw a line somewhere and I was on the wrong side of the line (which would have still been annoying but I’d accept it), but that she did invite my friend with her (again, non-live in) boyfriend specifically by name on their save the date. So unless this really was a mistake (unlikely, she’s really on top of these things), then it was a very deliberate exclusion of my BF.

        • But it sounds like a possibility that it’s not that you were on the wrong side of the line, but that your bf was (since he’s only met her a handful of times and it sounds like the other boyfriend is independently friends with them). I’m not saying it’s right, but it doesn’t necessarily sound like it’s a personal attack on your relationship either. (It may be, but even more than otherwise, if she’s a real friend, it’s probably worth hearing that from her directly before tossing out the friendship.)

        • anonymous :

          I think you are reading way too much into this. Just ask your friend about it. You’re ready to throw your friendship under the bus without even knowing all the facts yet. Be open about it and talk to your friend. Lower your defenses. And listen.

          • Anon for This :

            This. And really – I’ll second a comment above: the wedding is about the couple. I agree that when I was doing my invitations I made an effort to invite the SOs of Every. Person. who had a live-in or long-standing SO. But when you’ve got restrictions on how many you can invite (which you indicated was the case with your friend) it’s unlikely that this is personal. It may be that she knows the other boyfriend better, and because she didn’t know yours well, he didn’t make the list.

            It’s also still entirely possible that since it wasn’t an invite, it was an oversight that will be corrected. I think you need to chill out, and if it really bugs you, ask her calmly about it. My live-in SO wasn’t invited to a wedding in a similar circumstance, and it had not one thing to do with the fact that my friend didn’t like my SO. It was simply a numbers game, and she thought that we were good enough friends that I would understand. She was right.

          • Seriously, this. Don’t read so much into a simple save the date.

    • I believe etiquette denotes that she does not have any obligation to invite your boyfriend, as long as you are not married or engaged. Presumably she invited the other friend’s boyfriend because, like you said, she and her husband actually know him.

      But my biggest take-away–why is it such a huge betrayal to you that she didn’t invite your boyfriend? She doesn’t know him well and has a budget to consider. In your place, if I valued her friendship, I would go to the wedding (maybe not the bachelorette party, if I was feeling broke), and tell my hypothetical boyfriend to have a lovely weekend playing XBox/watching hockey with his broskis/whatever he does when I’m not around.

      • I don’t know the specifics of the OP’s situation but as someone who is in a long-term living- together-for-years committed relationship but who has no desire to actually get married, I can understand why the OP would feel slighted. For me, it would essentially be a value judgment on my life choices to have an outdated marriage/engagement rule applied so arbitrarily. We actually just attended a wedding where the bride and groom had a similar rule but invited both of us because we’re “like married anyway.” We’ve also attended weddings that have ended in divorce not long after. A wedding certificate is not a magic piece of paper signifying the level of your commitment.

        That said, a wedding list involves so many considerations, we should not assume the worst about people’s intentions. I would ask the friend if my SO was meant to be excluded and take it from there. But whatever the answer, I would think twice before ending a good friendship over something like this. You don’t have to necessarily go to the wedding or all the expensive festivities, but you don’t have to cut this person out of your life entirely either.

        • “But whatever the answer, I would think twice before ending a good friendship over something like this.”

          This.

          Close girlfriends are really precious.

        • Thisthisthisthis. Some of us are just as committed to our SOs without having had a wedding. Also agree with this situation not necessarily being friendship-ending, but it would annoy me.

          I am amused by comments about the wedding being “the biggest day in my life,” on a board with such highly educated women. I know I just said I am not married, but I can’t help but think that getting my PhD was sort of a bigger day than any wedding would be. A marriage can end, I have that PhD forever and my defense was all about my accomplishments. Then again, maybe I’m just really self-centered.

      • Actually, Emily Post says that if a couple lives together, both should be invited, though their names should go on separate lines. That said, I would never ask someone if someone else was invited to their wedding or any other party. If your boyfriend isn’t invited, it puts her in a very awkward position.

        • I stand corrected on the etiquette–thought I’d seen in a month or so again in Miss Manners, must’ve been wrong. Blasted memory.

          WRT everything else, I guess I should have clarified that 1. I’ve never lived with a boyfriend, much less been headed towards marriage, so I guess I don’t know how it feels; and 2. I am extremely independent-minded and like doing stuff on my own, even when I do have a BF. I still think the OP should chill out, talk to the bride if it’s bugging her that much, and then, if she gets an answer she doesn’t like, decide whether her boy is worth her friendship with the girl.

      • And go to the wedding, not the bachelorette party if money is tight. Maybe this is just me, but I was really hurt that a few of my (formerly) close girlfriends went to my bacherlorette and not the wedding. I understood that money was tight and that they wouldn’t be able to make it to all the wedding events, but I think if you’re going to pick an event to go to – go to the wedding, because that’s what the whole thing is about. I felt like my girlfriends were piggy-backing on my bachelorette for a mini-reunion instead of celebrating my marriage with me. To me (and I made this clear), it was way more important that they be at my (small, so I would have actually seen them) wedding and ceremony than it was for them to come to my bachelorette, which while fun, had nothing to do with one of the biggest days of my life.

    • If she’s a close friend, just ask her if you can bring your BF. Is he not invited because she doesn’t like him? If this isn’t it, I can’t see a reason why she’d say no. Seems weird.

    • phillygirlruns :

      things that have offended me on others’ wedding invitations: invitation to then-fiance, now-husband’s close friend/former roommate, addressed to then-fiance “and guest” (what, is he going to bring someone else?); invitation addressed to my mother “and family” when i was 26 years old, engaged, and had not lived with my mother for approximately ten years; then-live-in-boyfriend (subsequently fiance and now husband) invited to his close friend’s wedding sans me. all of these happened before i got married and went through the guest list dance myself.

      this kind of thing is just not worth the grief, especially since you are not sure whether he’s even invited or not. yes, if you are in a long-term relationship, and especially if you are close to the bride, he should be invited – but there are plenty of reasons she might choose to do otherwise, and it really is none of your business. even if she can afford to host him and chooses not to, that’s her choice – and you are perfectly justified in declining the invitation. if you need to make travel plans before the invitations are sent out, i would simply ask her, but i would not make assumptions based on the save-the-date card.

      • My SO (long term committed live in relationship) just got a second invitation from someone on his side of the family addressed to him “and guest.” Granted, I have only met this person once and briefly, but I have to say that it. so. annoyed. me. Ugh!

        Especially, because this is the second time this has happened. And, more especially, because the only holiday card we got from his side of the family – from his brother and sister in law, who I know very well – was addressed only to him.

        Sometimes it’s so hard to not take things personally. But agree that getting riled up is not worth it. And a pox on them because it only makes me want to get married less ;)

        • Hides head in shame. Its possible I did this to a couple of people I knew — because I just was trying to get them all out and I couldn’t find their (usually last) name and I freaked out. So and guest got put on there.

          It wasn’t that I didn’t KNOW they had an SO — it was just that I didn’t know their last name!

          • petite atty :

            I did that with my invitations too…. it was alot of “John Doe and Katie” because I could not find the spelling of the significant others’ last names, but I wanted to include them.

          • PharmaGirl :

            I did the same and probably offended plenty of people but I just didn’t have the time or energy to make it all perfect. Closing on a house 1 month before our out-of-state wedding was a baaaaad idea.

        • I’m with TCFKAG. I totally added “and guest” to a lot of invitations. Sometimes I didn’t know how to spell the SO’s last name. Sometimes I thought my friend might want to bring someone else (one guest did bring her brother since she had to fly in from out of town and her brother knew us and lived in town while we had never met SO). sorry for all the offenses it is now clear I caused!

          • Not offended by any one of those – just a bit put off by the seeming trend of it all.
            I totally get that it’s easier and obviously I am being acknowledged by the guest part of it. But two invites and one holiday card = slightly sad AIMS.

      • I once had a family member on my mom’s side send her an invite for mom and guest. Well, she had four kids she wouldn’t be leaving alone for the weekend and the wedding was a huge family affair (i.e. tons of kids, it’s not that this woman just didn’t want kids at her wedding). Ultimately, it was determined that she didn’t really want us at her wedding at all but felt obligated to send us the invite. Since my mom was pretty close to her (but didn’t fit in with the “party lifestyle” this relative had adopted, though, again, the wedding wasn’t at all like that!) she was pretty hurt, and it has definitely prevented the rest of us from being at all close with that side of the family.

        That’s annoying. Many of the things you have identified are annoying.

        OP’s situation? Not so much and easily solved if you’re not busy being passive aggressive and your SO is not busy being a turd sandwich.

      • Totes McGotes :

        GAHHH I HATE the “and family” when I am a grown ass woman!! The worst is that this has happened with a cousin’s wedding – an actual family member! – who definitely knew that I hadn’t lived with my mother in years and years. In fact, because my parents had gotten divorced a couple years prior, I had never lived at her address for even a day. My mother assured me I was invited, so I traveled to this *out-of-town* wedding and when I showed up everyone was like, “Oh, where’s Longtime BF?” Umm… he didn’t receive a GD invite… and you failed to return my calls attempting to verify if he, or you know. *I*, was invited???

        #possiblyhavingastroke

    • Please be kind to your friend. Guest lists can be a huge source of drama for brides/grooms. I have a friend who recently had a fairly large wedding. However, he has a huge family and was able to invite only two friends. He felt absolutely horrible about this and even with that limited friend selection, he stopped talking to several family members who somehow felt slighted. I imagine that if your friend didn’t include your BF, she was under similarly difficult circumstances. Just because it’s a “big” wedding doesn’t mean there isn’t still a money issue involved. The budget may be big enough to accommodate 150, but if there are few friends involved, expanding may end up increasing a guest list by 100 or more!

    • I mean this in the nicest way possible, but I think you are overreacting. You do not even know for a fact that he is not invited. It could very easily have been a mistake. Getting a list for save the dates is a stressful mess. I think I might have been quite random about whose SO’s I named specifically (usually if I knew them both well) and whose I addressed as “and guest” (and I didn’t put that phrase on the save the dates). It didn’t mean anything, except that if I was good friends with X and knew the bf only by association, then I would invite X plus guest because if they broke up before the wedding, I wanted X to know she could bring whatever plus one she wanted. In other words, X’s plus one would not have been invited at all if he wasn’t dating X, whereas X would be invited either way.

      If you have to make plane reservations before the actual invitation comes, then just call her up and ask.

      I really doubt it’s a personal slight against bf, unless your friend is extremely petty. Is there some other history here between you and your friend or your friend and bf that is causing you to jump to this conclusion?

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      This stuff is hard.

      A friend of mine recently got married and she and her now husband had been together a few years but living in another part of the country altogether to many of their long-term friends. Their ‘rule’ was (to try to keep the cost down) to not invite any of their friends whom the other person had not met. Admittedly, they then did approach the relevant individuals specifically about this and I would have thought that, if this is a good friend and they were not going to invite your SO, they would have approached her about it. Therefore potentially just an oversight – it happens to the most organised of us.

      I would just ask – worst she can say is ‘no he isn’t invited’ and then you can decide how to proceed.

    • A save the date is different than an invitation, so chill out. Maybe bf got left off accidentally, maybe she’s waiting to see how the the invitations (which haven’t been sent yet, correct?) come back so she can adjust her numbers. Take this opportunity to call up the bride to be and say “Hey, got the save the date. Am totally excited to go. Just wanted to check to see if you were including boyfriend so he can block it out on his calender”.

      Sheesh

    • wait what?! You’re upset because your unmarried partner isn’t invited? Maybe they decided to only invite couples where they know both people well (which is why the other girl’s bf was invited). If this person is your dear friend, why in the world are you focused on whether or not your boyfriend can come, rather than how you can enjoy your friend’s big day?

      People don’t typically choose the guest list arbitrarily, so this friend won’t be surprised your bf wasn’t invited. All that bringing it up will do is to either get him an invite out of obligation even though it’s not what the couple wants (or maybe what they can afford), or it’ll make her tell you she can’t afford it. Why would you put your friend in that position?

      As for your own future wedding, is your boyfriend seriously so upset about not being invited to a wedding of someone he’s met a handful of times that he’d be offended if they were at his/your wedding? Are you so focused on your boyfriend’s lack of invite that you wouldn’t invite your dear friend to your wedding someday?

      It sounds like you’re upset because you may be there solo and that can be awkward possibly. The way to fix this isn’t to pitch a fit and get boyfriend invited or to boycott and end your friendship, it’s to focus on the bride and to attend the event planning to make friends at the bachelorette party with whom you can hang out with at the reception.

      • and no, I don’t mean “unmarried” because it’s a focus on the convention, but often the husband/wife is invited when the couple barely knows the person solely because convention dictates inviting both if you want one to attend. Without a marriage, the convention doesn’t apply and thus it’s fairly common not to invite someone the person/couple doesn’t know well.

        Juuuust in case someone was about to be offended :)

      • anonymous :

        This sounds a little harsh. I don’t think she’s “pitching a fit.” Plus, I disagree that a wedding day is all about the bride and groom. It’s about family. It’s about friendship. It’s about honoring the important connections in your life. The feelings of guests have to be taken into consideration – to a certain extent.

        • Anon for This :

          I agree that she may have been a bit harsh. But I also don’t think that taking the feelings of guests into consideration means that this girl can call up her friend and either A) guilt her into inviting the BF or B) take this so personally that she ends the friendship over it.

          As someone who recently planned a wedding, this kind of thing made me wish we had eloped and just not dealt with any of it. Our “rule” was to invite SOs that we knew, those who we knew were live-ins, and married couples together. I got So. Many. calls from friends who wanted to bring a friend/plus-one/flavor of the month to my wedding that had a total of 75 people. I don’t think that’s appropriate.

          • People want to actually have fun at a wedding (I know, how crazy is that?), especially if they are traveling from far away to attend, using up valuable vacation days, and spending money to attend. Having an SO would increase the chances of enjoyment 100%. Why is it unreasonable to ask if your SO can come? It’s not demanding. It’s just asking.

        • anonymous – respectfully disagree. *Your* wedding may be all about family and friendship and honoring connections in your life. But you don’t get to choose what someone else’s wedding is about. If you don’t like what it’s about, don’t attend, but that’s the only decision you get to make.

          Sorry I’m touchy about it, but I’ve seen your logic applied to weddings where the invitation specifically says “No children” and people bring their children anyway. Because weddings, in their opinion, are about …. uh, something else? The guests’ family? The guests’ connection? I’m not actually sure. I’ve just seen my friends, the brides, upset when their own young family members – nieces, nephews, etc – were not in attendance, but then some random guest showed up with their entire bunch.

          (And for the record, I have kids and I love them. I just don’t bring them to weddings to which they’re not invited.)

      • Anon also :

        I don’ think this is too harsh; it’s just honest.

    • Wait, is the issue that she didn’t invite you (as it sounds like some of the responses assume) or is the issue that she didn’t invite your boyfriend? From your comment it sounds like the latter.

      It is extremely common for brides not to invite guests of a guest other than a spouse. Weddings are expensive and reception space is limited. Perhaps she invited other people’s boyfriends because those boyfriends are friends of the bride or groom independently of their girlfriends. I think you are wrong to be offended. You can ask her if he’s invited (if you’re worried it got lost in the mail) but if she says no, I think you’d be rude to pursue it further.

      Also, it’s not clear if she’s actually sent the invitations yet or just save the dates? If she hasn’t, then definitely keep your mouth shut. Maybe she forgot to include your bf on the save the date but there will be room for a +1 on the invitation response.

    • MaggieLizer :

      If I’d only hung out with someone a handful of times, I probably wouldn’t invite him by name to my wedding. You’re her friend and she’s inviting you; your boyfriend is only invited because he’s your boyfriend, and if something happens and you unexpectedly break up before the wedding then he is no longer welcome to attend. Isn’t the appropriate way to handle this to invite you plus one? Does the save the date say you can’t bring a plus one?

      • CA lawyer :

        This. If it’s a long-term or home-sharing significant other that isn’t known to the couple getting married, they might not want him/her to save the date unless he/she is with couple’s friend at the time invitations go out. I think it’s nice to put the significant other’s name on the invitation rather than just +1. The implication that the guest couple might not be together when the invitation goes out is a little awkward and potentially offensive, but that’s another discussion.

    • Thank you to all who commented. You really helped me narrow the issue and realize why I’m upset and that I really need to talk to the bride (AIMS and Seconded – so right about good friends).

      FWIW, I don’t think I’m being ridiculous, I just want the same consideration that has already been given to others, and it upset me that I wasn’t treated the same. Maybe that’s my own issue but I’ll stop making assumptions, try to cut a little more slack, and talk to her.

      • Good luck.

      • OH…and whatever happens have fun at the wedding. If your SO doesn’t come, that means you get TWICE the open bar. ;-)

      • just Karen :

        I literally did not sleep last night because of guest list drama for my wedding next month (thank you, Mom, for deciding you want to invite more people two weeks after invitations went out). For what it’s worth, I can say that there are people that I invited that I couldn’t care less if they came and people I didn’t invite that I really wish I could have. It’s not just money, it is physical space. The decisions were hard, and I agree that your SO not being on the save the date doesn’t mean he’s not invited. If you decide to ask her about this, PLEASE make it a genuine question and be prepared to be okay with the answer either way (and to convey that you are okay with it). Skip the Bachelorette if you’re out of town, it does cost a lot of money and it doesn’t sound like you’re that excited about going. If the decision was to invite you alone, please let go of comparing your situation to the other couple – you have no way of knowing all of the politics involved in the decision (family or work connections, maybe he has recently become good friends with the groom, etc…). Trust me (as I try to keep my eyes open) your friend did not mean to upset you, and has struggled with this. If you are her friend, please do your best to treat her gently.

        • lucy stone :

          Also losing sleep over invitation drama. Let’s have a double elopement!

          • just Karen :

            What’s ironic is that we DID actually technically elope – we went to Vermont in December to do the legal marriage bc we wanted to do it in a state that recognized same sex marriages.

    • What are you talking about? A save the date is not an invitation. You don’t know if he’s invited or not. When the invitation comes, he is invited if his name is on it. If he’s not invited, and you don’t want to go, don’t go. I don’t understand why there has to be some profound declaration of the status of your friendship if your boyfriend is not invited. If you choose not to go, just check the “will not attend” box on the rsvp card. And life goes on…

    • Threadjacking a threadjack. We received a save the date for a June wedding but have not received an invitation yet. Do I assume at some point that the invitation got lost and ask my friend who’s getting married? The wedding is across the country and we’d need to book airline tickets soon.

      • The normal wedding etiquette is that invites are sent out 6 weeks in advance, which is why people send out save the date cards well in advance of the wedding. I’d just give your friend a call to confirm that you are invited and need to make reservations. I’ve heard of some cases where people made reservations based on a save the date and then weren’t invited because the original list was not actually the final list.

      • I think some people wait until 6 weeks out to send invites, which is a tradition that apparently pre-dates air travel. ;) But anyway, if you’re flying, I think it is totally okay to contact your friend and say something like, “hey, we’re buying tickets – just wanted the confirm the wedding is still on June 15th…”

      • Wedding invitations shouldn’t be sent more than 8 weeks before a wedding, but are generally sent closer to 6 weeks. Hence the recent popularity save the dates for out of town weddings. Feel free to call your friend to see what time the festivities are if you need to make travel arrangements, or see if they have a wedding website with these details.

      • I think this 6-week rule is the stupidest thing about weddings.

        Ok, well, actually, there are a lot of other dumb things (like the “money dance”) but this one is pretty dumb.

        Please, as a PSA, please send your invites out earlier if guests need to book flights. There are those of us that would love to come but can’t wait until the last minute.

    • MissJackson :

      I’m in the “I will never be offended ever again” camp.

      I have friends who have cut this every which way. Some friends give everyone a guest, whether there is an actual guy in the picture or not. Some friends invite only spouses. Some friends invite fiances and spouses. One friend sent the most heartfelt email about the fact that the only way she could invite all of us (a big group of college friends) was to not invite ANY significant others (not even spouses).

      The unfortunate thing is that most people would like to invite more folks to their wedding than they can afford or would fit in the venue (even if it’s “not a money issue” — space is a big limitation). They have to draw the line somewhere — and sometimes that line is not at the same place where you would draw it.

      (I think you already know this, but you need to get over the “but I have to invite both of them to our wedding” nonsense — you, too, will make the hard decisions on where to draw the line on invitations. I strongly suspect that you will feel differently about this situation after you’ve made your hard cuts.)

      Do whatever you think is best based on your friendship with the bride in terms of what to attend or not to attend, but I would not take this as some great personal slight even if it turns out that your bf is not invited (which I’m not sure you can infer from a save the date, for what that’s worth).

    • Perhaps I’m a bad friend here, but it’s out of town and it’s going to take time and money to travel there. I would call her and ask if he’s invited, but be non-committal about whether I can make it or not. If he’s really not invited, I’d come up with an unrelated excuse about why you can’t make it, and then send a very nice gift. I’ve had to travel to attend weddings without my S.O., and honestly, it’s very expensive, time consuming, and ultimately alienating and lonely. I wouldn’t make a big deal about it to her though — I’d just take care of myself and not go through all the expense and torture of traveling just to attend a wedding by myself.

  13. AppealingLawyer :

    TJ: Omega Necklace?

    Many years ago, I bought a beautiful omega necklace in solid platinum. I never really see anyone wearing them anymore. Have they gone out of style? If not, what would you pair it with? Here’s a link if you don’t know what I’m talking about of what one looks like (this isn’t the one I bought).

    http://answers.qvc.com/answers/1689/product/J36781/epiphany-j36781-epiphany-platinum-clad-high-polished-omega-necklace-questions-answers/questions.htm

    • I had no clue what it was, but seeing the pictured necklace, I remember that I was given a gold one by my grandparents in about 1993 and didn’t wear it past the mid 90’s. Since yours is silver colored, though, it feels less dated to me – I’d wear it mostly under patterned button downs to give a glimpse of shine at the throat, sort of as a pearl alternative. I probably wouldn’t wear it if the whole necklace were going to be visible (like, with a scoop neck) – too plain on its own, and hard to pair with other necklaces for a layered look.

    • Can jewelry go out of style? I think most pieces can be incorporated in a modern context without looking dated, granted its appropriateness (yeah, I don’t think tiaras would fit in a business professional dress code but maybe in chic casual). It’s a matter of personal taste and style. I’d pair the necklace with gemstone earrings in white metals or even pearl studs.

      Not that you asked but I think omega necklaces look really chic and look supercool peeking out from collared shirts/blouses. Or on top of a simple sweater or dress with a crew neck. A subtle pop of bling that is totally office appropriate.

    • You can also “un-date” them with a nice pendent or something. Or so I’ve seen in their ads, I’m not 100% sure as I don’t particularly like the style for myself.

    • I still see them for sale in nice stores paired with chunkier pendants in a modern/ minimal style, so they do live on. Perhaps give yours a go with this style of pendant plus a snug-fitting black top with a crew or turtle neck ? ?

    • Ha – I have one and wear it all the time with “louder” c*cktail dresses (i.e. – sparkley or patterned). Didn’t know that’s what it was called, though. :)

      • AppealingLawyer :

        Thanks all.

        CA Attny–that was my original thought when I bought the piece–that I would buy a “slide” type pendant to go on it someday. Maybe it’s time to start looking for one.

  14. Food for thought: The address label on the save the date may not be 100% indicative of her plans for invites. If she did the save the dates quickly and/or informally before she collecting last names of people’s S.O.s, the omission may just be not having all of the information.

    To be honest, this is the stuff that makes the wedding hoop-la unbearable for brides and guests alike. If spending money will make you resentful, don’t go. Life’s too short.

  15. Anonymous :

    Question for the hive: Is it ever appropriate to give a client career advice?

    I am a lawyer (female) and I have a client, who I believe is relatively junior, at a financial services firm. Almost every time I am not available for her (which, BTW, is often along the lines of “can you drop everything and do a call in 15 minutes”), she then goes to her superior to complain. Since I am outside counsel, the word then goes to my managing partner and I get a phone call. So far, both the managing partner at my firm, and the client’s superior, have told me that they think client is being unreasonable. BTW this happens about every 10 days.

    Would it be appropriate for me to say to junior female client, “I think we work really well together. However, if you have a problem with me, or my availability, let’s work it out together. I don’t think that running to the boss is helping your credibility at all.”

    I’m thinking that this really isn’t appropriate, and that I have to suck it up and deal with a nutty client. BTW we have only been working together about 6 months (albeit closely).

    • If you feel the need to say something, I would call her and say something like, “hey, I think we work well together and I like working with you, but I wanted to chat about ways to improve our working relationship. Blah, blah, blah.”

      I would not ask her if she had a “problem” with you. That’s way too confrontational, IMO.

    • AppealingLawyer :

      Yikes!! I would skip the last sentence of your suggested script if you want to stay employed!

      What about something like: “Crazy Client, I really value our working relationship and would like to know if there is any way that we could improve our service?”

      Or: “Crazy Client, I have heard some feedback indicating that I’ve not been as responsive on some issues as you would have liked. Your case is very important to me and I’d like to make sure your needs are being met.” Then offer some concrete solutions to the problem. Maybe you could suggest a status call every week (or day) where you can try to get a handle on what she might have coming up and ward off the 15-minute-mad-dash to make a call. Or, if you’re working with her on an intense basis (e.g., daily), let her know when you’re going to be unavailable so she’s not expecting an immediate response (e.g., “CC, just to let you know, I will be in court this morning and unable to respond to email….”).

    • I don’t think you need to necessarily take it to the career advice level — just call her out on it in a very nice way in order to manage the relationship. I like your phrasing, but suggest taking the last sentence out, since I doubt she’s aware enough to consider how important her ‘credibility’ actually is.

    • A bit odd that her superior and your managing partner keep relaying her complaints if they feel she is being unreasonable. Perhaps hold off speaking to her until the next time your partner brings it up again and you can let him/ her know what you’re intending to do ? This gives the partner an opportunity ‘oh actually I feel we should suck it up even from unreasonable clients’.

  16. SoCalAtty :

    I just wanted to post and say thanks for the comments that said “stay home if you’re sick.” I emailed my partners, and they said “stay home!” I’m just back in today from what was 4 days of not leaving my bed! Now I’m putting into play all of the “how to work while sick” comments from a few weeks back. I’m not contagious now (per the Dr.) but I do feel like death warmed over.

    Way to get sick 7 weeks into the new firm, right?! I think what it has shown me is that the small-firm setting works for me. I wasn’t having nearly the panic I had when I was at the mid-size firm when I would have to stay home. Kind of nice to only have to answer the “why isn’t P in her office” question once!

    As to the suit of the week – I absolutely love Brooks Brothers suits! I love the way they are cut, and if I can find a petite then the fit is even better (only 5′ tall). I can only rarely do 1 button, because I have the same problem with 1 button jackets as I do with button down shirts – the dreaded gap! Rarely, a 1 button will fit well, so if I am around my local BB I may have to try one on and see.

    • If you’re getting over being sick, please stay home and sleep a few more days. My dad always made me stay home one more day after I felt better when I was a kid, and I think it really does make a difference. There’s no point in being back at work until you’re close to 100%. (Even if you’re not contagious. You need to stay home just as much for *your health* as you do to avoid infecting others.)

  17. Stumped friend :

    I have a question for those of you who have had difficulty TTC. I am meeting a good friend tonight who I know has been unsuccessfully TTC since last fall. (She told me when she went off the pill and mentioned it the first couple of months.) She hasn’t brought it up since, but most of the time when we’re together, it’s in a larger group or with our kids or husbands.
    I want to say something to her tonight when I see her to let her know that I’m here if she wants to talk about it. I also don’t want to be that “are you pregnant yet?” person. I don’t know how upset she is by it because she hasn’t said anything in months.

    I have always been one of those “pass my husband in the hall while not on birth control and I’m pregnant” women (3 times) so it’s hard for me to know how to approach it. Also, I’m about 4 months pregnant now and I never bring it up with her. If she asks about it, I respond to her questions, but I try to change the subject to something else in case it is bothering her that she isn’t pregnant yet.

    So if you have been in her situation (I am pretty sure I am her best friend), what could I have said to you that would make you realize I am not being nosy, but rather want to make sure you’re ok and am willing to listen if you want to talk?

    • I’d just go with “So how are things going?” If she wants to talk about it, she will.

    • Westsidebee :

      It sounds like you’re doing the right things. Don’t bring up your pregnancy. Keep the conversation on adult topics. If she asks about your pregnancy, keep your answers short and at all costs do not complain about your pregnancy or your kids! You can say that you are thinking of her, and ready to listen if she ever wants to talk. She may not feel like opening up to you while you are pregnant though — if this is the case, don’t be offended.

      I have been TTC unsuccessfully for 4 years, and I often find it hard to talk to my friends while they are pregnant. I hope they understand. Also, TTC is tough to talk about in general, even with good friends. It’s just a tough subject.

    • Don’t mention it specifically, it’s clearly something majorly on her mind. Asking her how things are going is enough… and doing so with eye contact and in a place where there’s room to talk (not in a loud place or surrounded by others). When you ask, count to 20 before saying anything else if she doesn’t speak. So often, we are uncomfortable with silence so we start to talk (often about ourselves) while the other person collects his/her thoughts but then the person never gets to answer because they get caught up in our stories or feel badly interrupting us. Give her the chance to decide how much she wants to say in response and then let her talk.

      Don’t say things about how it’ll all work out for the best or other platitudes, she’s heard them. Just listen and show caring. You don’t know whether she’ll ever conceive or parent or whatnot so don’t make promises and whatnot, just be there to support. :)

    • Maybe I’m shallow, but…

      We’ve been trying for about two years, and everyone is pregnant. We know I ovulate, we attempt every 24 hours for weeks, and nothing. They can’t find anything wrong with us.

      I really like it when my friends talk about something in their life they’ve been struggling with (money, in-laws, something)…not in a “ha!” way, but because sometimes it helps shift my perspective from “everyone’s life is perfect except for mine” and gets me out of my pity party and back to being a person who can be recognized for what I can give/contribute, rather than what I fail at.

      I know this sounds silly, but it makes me feel better when I can help a friend with one of their tiny life issues instead of sitting there staring at their belly and wondering what’s wrong with me.

      • Seattleite :

        anon, this may not mean anything coming from a stranger on the internet, but your comment brought tears to my eyes. There is nothing wrong with you, and the random unfairness of life sometimes leaves me gobsmacked.

    • MaggieLizer :

      The next time she brings up something about TTC, try to work into the conversation basically what you said above – you know it’s a difficult time and you don’t want to bug her so you’re not going to ask, but you care and are there for her if she ever wants to talk. She may not want to talk to you because you’re pregnant, but it’ll be nice for her to know she has the support if she needs it.

      Try doing things with her that will give her some stress relief and let her focus on something she’s good at/enjoys. Art classes, yoga, whatever you can manage. I would steer away from shopping or other places with lots of people who are going to try to rub your belly when you’re farther along.

    • Don’t ask her about it specifically. I know you’re trying to show support, but you’d just be making her think about the problems she’s having more. Even if your friend asks about your pregnancy, she is probably being polite. Try to get off the pregnancy subject and trun to other matters.

    • Totes McGotes :

      If she doesn’t want to talk about it, don’t take it personally – she may be pregnant and not far enough along to tell anyone.

  18. I have a dilemma and was hoping someone might have some insight. My SO is applying for a position in the same company I work for (in a different department, so no real interaction would be required). SO has listed me as a reference, which makes me uncomfortable. I feel that our relationship would actually hurt my credibility in giving a recommendation. When I brought this up, SO asked me to talk to others in the company to ask them if they would write recommendations. Again, I feel hesitant – I think SO should personally write to ask for references, not send me to ask. Is my hesitation uncalled for? What should I/SO do?

    • Former MidLevel :

      I don’t think your hesitation is uncalled for; I would feel the same way if I were in your shoes. The only situation in which I’d be comfortable being a reference for my husband is in character/fitness type situations – e.g., bar applications, federal background checks. Not for jobs, and not in my company.

      And as a more general matter, I think a person who wants a recommendation should be the one who asks for it. If he doesn’t know the “others in your company” well enough to ask them, they don’t know him enough to recommend him. Plus, the best people to recommend him will be people he has worked with in the past – so, by definition, not people in your company.

      P.S. Just curious – is this sort of recommendation common in your field/industry? It just seems odd, based on the types of companies I’ve worked for.

      • Former MidLevel :

        Just realized my “P.S.” was vague – sorry! By “this sort of recommendation,” I meant recommendations from the company you want to work *for* as opposed to recommendations from people you have previously worked with.

    • You should never list your SO as a reference! You’re dating/married, obviously you like this person and will say good things. That’s not how a reference works. Your SO should find his own references. If he doesn’t feel comfortable asking them himself if they would be his reference, then they’re probably not appropriate references.

    • Yikes. I’d say he needs to ask people (and not you) himself.

    • I would not ask nor give my husband a professional reference, because we have never worked together.
      That said, I have gotten a job through my husband. He made an internal referral through his company, emailed my resume directly to the hiring manager (the hiring site had this info available, he did not know the manager personally) with a complimentary writeup, and in the end collected a referral bonus.

      The request for recommendations from your coworkers seems inappropriate, whether it comes from him or you.

    • One of my staff used her fiance as a reference and I didn’t call him. I think she thought we’d never know but perhaps one of her other references mentioned his name or where he worked and I figured it out. It gave me pause in offering her the job and I decided to chalk it up to her relative inexperience with this sort of thing. I’m glad I did because she turned out to be a great hire.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Both are totally inappropriate. My husband and I work at the same company and I came on after him, before we were married. The only thing he did for me was have someone else at the company submit my resume through the internal system. A recruiter also submitted my resume before I realized it was the same position. I informed HR incase of potential conflicts or policy issues. I then informed my manager once I started working there because my very nosy admin found out. No one else knew for a very long time and 3 years later some people are only now realizing that we are married (plus we commute together).

    • um, why didn’t you guys talk about this in advance? no, he shouldn’t have you down formally. he needs to remove it unless already submitted.

    • Your SO shows a real lack of awareness here on oh so many fronts. And maybe a lack of ethics if it isn’t a lack of thoughtfulness or awareness. Frankly, he also sounds like an entitled lazy@ss. I think that’s why he’s applied to your company, thinking you’d smooth the way for him.

      Please tell me he has other redeeming qualities.

      He’s put you in a difficult position. He’d better wise up if he wants to do well in corporate. Sheesh. You should not write him references in this situation, nor should you be dragooned into making your coworkers, who might not know him at all and therefore should not be recommending him.

      • Totally agree with Susan. This is so off base as to be mind-boggling.
        Frankly, it sounds like there’s so much to discuss with him I’m not sure you even want to get into it. What really makes me shudder is the idea that someone who’s so incredibly clueless could end up working with you.
        Since HR is bound to ask if you’re listed, I’d simply tell them in confidence that you do have a relationship, and that you’re having doubts about the appropriateness of working together. I’m sure if you put it nicely you could get them to discreetly do the dirty work of making sure this man does not end up on your professional doorstep.

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  20. Conception/Pregnancy related threadjack if you’d like to avoid

    Yeah, so I’m bummed. I think I’m in the process of miscarrying. I have a wonderful husband, a son that is amazing and healthy. It’s super early, I was just beginning to get adjusted to even being pregnant. I was planning to tell my husband this weekend that I had missed a period, so I’m not sure whether I should tell him, or just leave it be. I’m telling myself all the nice things that are a part of my life right now, but since I hadn’t even shared with anyone that I thought I was pregnant, I feel totally weird telling them that now I’m not pregnant.

    We weren’t even really trying, just sort of playing russian roulette with birth control. I guess what this experience is telling me is that I really do want to try more actively for a second kid.

    Oh well. I needed to share with someone, and in this case the comfort of corporette and the anonymity of the internet intersect nicely.

    • Oh, EC MD, I’m so sorry! Hugs.

      And you should definitely tell your husband. You need a shoulder to cry on, and someone to rub your back and bring you ice cream.

    • Westsidebee :

      Hugs. I’m so sorry.

    • Maddie Ross :

      So sorry to hear that, EC MD! Thinking of you!

    • I’m so, so, so, so, so sorry ECMD. I think you should definitely tell your husband, if nothing else so he can take care of you properly (but physically and mentally!)

      There’s really nothing else to say other than that I’m so sorry. And it’ll get better day by day.

      And we all like you very much, so feel free to come here and vent whenever you like.

    • Tell him! Otherwise you’re going to be sad (which you’re perfectly entitled to be), and he will notice. It’s scarier if you don’t know why your partner is sad. Just something like “I was hopeful that… but I think…” might be a good place to start. I’ve never been pg, but I think this advice applies to anything in a relationship.

    • Oh man, that’s terrible. We’re always here to listen so feel free to dump on us. Hugs!!!

    • I’m so sorry. That’s such a hard situation. I agree with CW, you should tell your husband, you need someone IRL to commiserate with right now.

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear. And you should definitely tell your husband. He has the right to mourn the loss with you, and I’m sure he wants to be there to comfort you too.

    • I am so truly sorry. That’s got to be very difficult. Tell your husband. I think he would want to know and you should not go through this alone. Big hugs.

    • Even those of us who cannot relate can certainly feel for you. I’m sorry. Sending you the best.

    • Another S :

      I’m so sorry! And I will echo what everyone else has said: tell your husband. In fact (and I mean this in the nicest possible way), I don’t understand how you could not tell him. From what you post on this site, it sounds like you have a great, supportive relationship. And having support from a real person, not just internet people, will feel much better. Take what you’ve learned from this chemical pregnancy/early miscarriage – that you’re ready to actively try for a second kid – and, when you’re emotionally/physically ready, start actively trying!

    • Thanks for all the support guys. It means a lot.

      Also, you have talked some sense in to me. The stoic surgical approach to suffering in silence may not be appropriate when I’m in a committed loving relationship with a pretty awesome guy. I’ll tell him tonight.

    • I’m so sorry to hear this; that must be awful. We are definitely here for you, but anonymous support from the internet doesn’t seem as helpful as a husband, and you shouldn’t have to go through this alone.

    • MaggieLizer :

      So, so sorry. Hugs.

    • Thinking of you, and sending many virtual hugs . . . .

    • Corporette Babymamma :

      Hi EC MD, I’m really really sorry. I think I might be there with you. I thought that I was about 9 weeks pregnant, but in a recent appointment, the doctor couldn’t see a yolk sac or fetal pole. My HCG levels are also not very high. I am going back for more testing and am hopeful, but I also want to be realistic. I know that this happens often, but somehow you don’t expect it to happen to you. Big hugs.

    • Oh, no, EC MD. Hugs. :(

    • HUGS

      I’m so sorry

    • Totes McGotes :

      I’m so sorry this is happening to you.

    • Oh, I’m so sorry. I’ve been there too many times, but I do have a couple of great kids to show for all the heartache. Take good care of yourself and heck yes, tell Mr. EC MD!

      Cookies for everyone. At least you can have some wine with them. :)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Adding to the chorus with love and hugs and please tell your husband. I imagine you must feel very alone and sad, but don’t isolate yourself from him. You two are a team and he loves you. He surely wants to support you in this very difficult time as much as he wants to share your happiness in good times. And with the weather as bad as it will be this weekend, it’s a good time to cozy up together at home as a family and lean on each other.

    • *bighugs*

      Oh my dear, I am so sorry to hear this. And yes, you should tell your husband.

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