Thursday’s TPS Report: Geo Print Silk Top

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

Trinity Geo Print Silk TopI love the colors on this silk blouse from Trinity — I think the pinks, corals, oranges, and navy can be great for spring or fall. I will say, though, that this can veer “weekend!” pretty quickly, and so I think that for the office, it needs to be worn with a structured piece, such as tucked into a high-waisted skirt or trousers with a pleat, or worn with a sharp-looking blazer. It’s $89 at Piperlime. Trinity Geo Print Silk Top

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  1. momentsofabsurdity :

    I wish I could do sleeves under blazers but I think with my broader shoulders, it just feels/looks like too much fabric!

    I like the top but it reads more fall than spring to me.

  2. phillygirlruns :

    i REALLY love this top. i have always steered clear of silk tops since i’m very hourglassy and shortwaisted – generally if it fits in the bust it looks really dumpy, armholes are too deep and show bra, etc. with something like this, though, i’m thinking it might work tucked in. hmm.

    • PharmaGirl :

      I’m totally buying this… love it.

      • Gosh, I love that. I think I’ll buy it after Lent is over. Kat, stop doing this to me!!!

      • me too. Gorgeous. And maybe I’ll wear it with my magenta Skirt! too much? I’ll have to see…

    • canadian anon :

      I really like this too. Wow. I’ve never managed to pull off flowy silk tops (although like Lyssa, I love them on other people) but I’m super tempted by this. It looks like Piperlime won’t ship to Canada though, because it disappears and takes you to the Gap home page when you try to change shipping destination. Tragic.

      • Equity's Darling :


        I just tried also, and it disappeared for me too. I’m still completely baffled by the things that are okay to ship to Canada, and the things that aren’t- is there a list somewhere? How do they decide?

        I think the powers that be decided to keep the country from being too fashionable, given Harper’s hair, and his previous decision to wear a fishing vest when everyone else wore linen pants and a pressed shirt.

        • canadian anon :

          So sad considering how good Gap/BR are about shipping, and since Piperlime is the same family you’d think it would all be the same. Although we don’t get a lot of the stuff that you can see on the American websites, which also makes for some sad surprises.

          Dear world: Please do not judge us based on the sartorial choices of our government. And please stop charging ridiculous shipping! :(

          • If you switch to “shop the US site, but ship to Canada” it still looks like its available……however, it’s wanting $23 to ship and $13 in duties. Nice top but a little steep for my blood.

          • I love living in Canada, but I hate our import duties. I also hate how everything appears to cost more here even though the Canadian and US dollars are pretty much on par now and have been for years. Ridiculous.

        • Don’t forget the uber stylish sweater vests. Or good lord, that Stampede outfit with the fringed vest *shudder*.

    • Love the print, but I just can’t buy a 3/4 sleeve blouse. I have such a struggle with this sleeve length under blazers.

      • Clearly, I was not alone in loving this top. It’s sold out in every size but L. Oh well.

      • Wow, the power of Corporette?!?? Kat, you need to try to measure this for your marketing.

    • viclawstudent :

      I also want to know if the Corporettes are responsible for the lack of smalls in this shirt. I checked on it this morning at about 7:15 west coast time and it was already down to just medium/large …

      More generic comment: I really like the tie-top blouses and hope they continue in style for a while. I find them much easier to wear and style than button-up tops.

  3. Early threadjack- Please ignore if you do not like pregnancy related posts.

    I am fairly newly pregnant (like 5-6 weeks), and I have been nauseated since conception. Lately, I have had an upset stomach pretty much 24-7. However, this morning I was talking to my husband, and all of a sudden I ran out of the room to go throw up.

    My concern is what if this happens at work. I think that it would be fairly difficult to keep this thing a secret if I am running out of rooms to throw up. How have you other Corporettes handled this situation? Has morning sickness revealed your secret?

    • Morning sickness revealed all three of my pregnancies (which was even more difficult, because one ended in miscarriage). When I realized that my boss would otherwise think I was a flighty moron, I let him know. But no one else noticed or if they did, they said nothing.

      Good luck! And if it keeps up, don’t hesitate to ask your OB for help. In my case, a prescription for Zofran was the key to me keeping it together during the first tri.

    • Eloise Spaghetti :

      This is my worst fear of becoming pregnant. I get nauseaous talking to people who smell like cigarettes but, only in the morning. I do not want to be advising a client and barf in the middle because of their bad smokey breath. Anyways I would just say you think you have some new food allergies to anyone that asks. Allergies can come out of no where.

  4. Just wanted to provide an update for all you lovely SF corporettes who so kindly responded to my request for suggestions on things to do last week.

    My trip was fan-tastic. I mostly ate my way through SF/Napa like freaking Godzilla.

    Unfortch, didn’t make it to the MOMA. Had plans on Saturday, left early on Sunday, and Friday was too beautiful to stay inside.

    Brief recap of trip: ate at Zero Zero, Salt House, Tony’s Seafood Restaurant near Tomales Bay, Sushi Ran in Sausalito (om nom nom fresh fish), Bouchon, the French Laundry, and Bouchon Bakery (macarons for breakfast, don’t judge!). Went to Tomales Bay Oyster Farm on Friday and spent Saturday eating my way through Bouchon, TFL, & Bouchon Bakery–Thomas Keller, what what!– and getting scrubbed, wrapped, massaged, saunaed, and otherwise pampered at Spa Villagio in Yountville.

    I’m still exhausted, and I need to reacquaint myself with my elliptical in a bad way. But it was a great weekend. You SFers are very lucky.

    • Left coaster :

      Sounds like an amazing weekend! You’re right, we SFers are very lucky — but I hear you on the elliptical comment! Since moving here six months ago, I have noticed my weight slowly creeping upwards — it’s just so hard to resist all the temptations!

    • How did you know I eat a lot? Cuz I do! ;P

    • Just out of curiosity, how far ahead did you have to make your French Laundry reservation?

      Hmmm, maybe I should compromise on the warm weather part of my holiday plans (see below) and go to San Fran instead. I do like San Fran and have never been to Napa.

      • 5-6 weeks out. BUT– we were on the wait list until the Thursday before a Saturday reservation. Getting off it involved repeated pestering and badgering (including through the AmEx concierge service). So if you want a firm reservation from the get-go, book further out than that.

  5. Woods-comma-Elle :

    I’ve been waiting for the new post, as I have a cultural question about law firms.

    In the UK, it isn’t unheard of (in fact it is relatively common) for people to get pretty trashed with work people/at work parties and more specifically with clients. A US-based colleague was recently bemused by the levels of inebriation of several partners and clients at an event, including the fact that lawyers from the firm (associates and partners) went out partying until the small hours with clients. Everyone had a great time, especially the clients. It then came up in conversation that this kind of thing doesn’t happen in the US as much and it would be much more frowned upon to get drunk with a client.

    Obviously this is a know your firm and know your client situation and I personally would be very careful about how much I had to drink if I was with a client (rule of thumb – less drunk than the client at all times but generally just not drunk full stop), but I would be interested in hearing views from people in Big Law in particular but US in general about whether there is a perceived difference here.

    I have worked in the US, but not in law. It was a pretty young boozy bunch, but never involved clients and everyone was around my age. Also, FAOD, it would be frowned upon if someone got very drunk with a client who was e.g. teetotal/didn’t drink for religious reasons or something and wasn’t ok with the other person being drunk, this is more about getting drunk with clients, not just in the presence of clients.

    • Former MidLevel :

      In my experience, it was unusual to go out drinking with clients (and partners) on a normal basis. But there was this one IP conference that was a well-known “boondoggle” – and my impression was that the clients expected to be wined and dined (mostly wined) and to party with the lawyers. One year, a friend of mine who was an associate (in the U.S.) for a UK-based firm told me that she was totally exhausted by all of the partying she was expected to do with her European colleagues and the clients they were courting.

    • Depends on mix of firm culture and the client.

      I came from a big party firm. We drank together frequently and heavily. I have friends at other firms who avoid socializing with their colleagues at all costs and, if forced to do so, certainly won’t get inebriated with them.

      Drinking with clients really depended on the client’s own proclivities and how well we all knew each other.

    • phillygirlruns :

      having drinks with clients is very common. getting drunk with a client, at least in my practice, would definitely be the exception rather than the rule.

      • Agreed. At firm-only events, people tend to imbibe more than they would if clients were around.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’ll be interested to see the responses to this and, not to jack your threadjack, but I wonder if it’s different for men and women. In my mid-sized firm, the men sometimes go out drinking together and with clients, but women have just a drink or two. I only know of one woman who used to drink with the boys, and she got a reputation for being a ditzy party girl even though she’s as far from ditzy as you can get. Another woman in the firm commented that “we keep her around because she entertains us.” Not exactly what you want to hear in a recession. The so-called party girl is more senior now and no longer goes out drinking with the boys.

      • This is an interesting topic and I am wondering what the overall consensus is about women who tend to go drinking (to excess) with the boys. I have one coworker who is proud of the fact that she goes out to a happy hour with all men and can keep up with them, but I can’t believe these men really think that highly of her as a colleague. I heard comments from a female who went one time that the drinker just bragged about herself the entire time, and not in a manner that was particularly flattering. I think the drinker believes this is networking that will help her land a better job in the future, but the men she drinks with probably don’t feel that way at all.

        • long time lurker :

          It is interesting that in MaggieLizer and FlAnon’s case the people who were voiced specific criticisms of the women who goes out with the boys were women, not men.

          I’ve gone out “with the guys” or in situations with clients where I was the only woman and people were ordering far more than one or two drinks. I do believe that networking happens at these events. I do not however advocate getting falling down drunk, and you have to know your limits and tolerance. I obviously cannot drink as much as a man that weighs 50 lbs more than me, so I decline the shots and sip my drinks. Frankly, the men shouldn’t be getting falling down drunk either if they want to be thought of professionally. But obviously there is a double standard, which I don’t think is fair, although I’m not sure how to solve it.

        • MissJackson :

          Ugh. It sounds like the problem in your example is the attitude of that particular drinker, and not the fact that she “tends to go drinking to excess with the boys.”

          I find the idea that it’s somehow unacceptable to “drink with the boys” kind of offensive. I am friends with my colleagues. Really good friends, actually. Also, while the original group of friends/colleagues was pretty mixed-gender, I’m the last woman standing. So I’m definitely “the girl who goes to happy hour with all the guys” at my firm. I don’t drink to excess as a matter of course, but I’ve certainly had my days/nights (and so have all of the guys, so it’s not like I stand out from the group in terms of my drinking).

          Drinking with non-contemporaries at work is different. I’ve had drinks with partners, and on those occasions, I follow their lead. The only time I can think of where I got “drunk” with partners was a night that we were out celebrating a huge trial win — and although I objectively had too many that night, I was not any drunker than the rest of the (mixed gender) group.

          Drinking with clients is a totally different ballgame. I’ve had drinks with clients, but I’ve never been drunk with clients. That said, if I had a client that I was close enough with to call a friend, that would likely change things.

          • This.

          • Amen. A lot of my good friends from my previous firm are men and I go out drinking with them (well, I did pre-baby…). I’m fairly certain they, and others, didn’t think less of me as an attorney because I had a few beers with *gasp* men every few weeks.

        • Yeah, this is something that really raises my blood pressure.

          Men can get sloppy drunk with each other, but if a woman has too much to drink in the presence of men, we must condemn her. Why? Because we’re supposed to be demure little things that never do any wrong? Such a f’ing double-standard.

      • IN my firm, the manageing partner makes sure He does NOT get drunk, so that we make good impresion on the cleints.

        But if their are NO cleints, then he let’s the men drink alot. That is bad b/c they all start stareing at me, NOT just the manageing partner.

        I wish they would just stare at there wives, NOT me. I am NOT there Playboy bunny, and DO not apreciate getting pinched. FOOEY on those firm parties.

      • At my firm, our male attorneys definitely have more opportunities to socialize with clients (and for associates, with partners) than women do. For example, I have a male peer who’s regularly invited to go fly-fishing with a senior partner . Another male peer cycles with a partner. I only know about this because the peer told me – it’s not an invitation that’s open. There is one partner I’ve been running with, which I appreciated, but no other partner has ever invited me to do anything social. I should note that we have only one female partner in my group, and she’s not in my office.

        I think that the associates-getting-drunk-together thing may be more common in offices with lots of young, single associates. My entering class was only 10 (even though my office is 300) and almost all were married. And most of us didn’t go straight to law school. I go to happy hour from time to time with a few of my peers, but both age-wise and social-dynamics-wise, going out and drinking a lot doesn’t seem appealing to us, collectively.

        With regard to clients, a few drinks – nothing more – is the norm for us for partners and associates, unless you’re good friends apart from the client relationship.

        • This is a hard thing in my office as well. The male associate in my practice group also cycles with one of the partners and meets others for drinks sometimes. Certainly, this gives him a leg up in that he’s developed a very comfortable peer relationship with these people. Unfortunately, I think it would definitely raise eyebrows if I started working out routinely with one of the male partners or meeting him for drinks. People would think we were having an affair.

    • Hmmm, well I can’t speak to drinking with clients but I would agree that here in the US it’s frowned upon to get drunk at work events. But there is a difference between a “work event” and “going out with coworkers”, namely one is sponsored/planned by or in the name of your employer and the other is just going out as friends with people you happen to work with.
      At my office, we do attorney happy hours every so often (usually Thursdays after our weekly meeting). But in those cases, planning typically happens via an email blast to the attorney listserv and the partners are always invited (and occassionally do come). At those events, people rarely get drunk – and those that do usually spend Friday hiding in their office with the door closed out of embarassment.
      However, I do consider a number of the attorneys at my office friends and we do frequently go out together in the evenings/weekends without the rest of our colleagues. In those cases, the above rules don’t apply.
      FWIW, I’m Mid-Law in the Southeast.

    • I agree that having a drink or 2 is usually fine, but I think it would be rare to find a sub-section of the law where it was normal to drink heavily around clients.

      As for with co-workers, I would say that having a few drinks, enough to get loosened up, is usually good, but most would frown upon getting smashed, at least around non-peers.

    • NYCBigLawyer :

      Biglaw NYC – partners will definitely “have drinks” with clients, and will invite associates “for drinks” that might most impress the client (so stereotypical there…I’m blonde, thin and in my late 20s and get invited to certain types of client outings and it usually feels pretty obvious to me why). NEVER ever would an associate in my firm (or any of my friends at other biglaw nyc firms) get drunk with clients. Would be very unlikely to see associates these days drunk with partners either. I think maybe pre-2008 assocs were getting bombed with partners and clients, but I’ve always practiced in this era where we all feel lucky to have these jobs and pretty much avoid drawing potentially negative attention to ourselves. Honestly, I mostly just hide in my office and do work and avoid client and firm socialization, although am perfectly social with friends/other lawyers outside the firm. Do other NYC biglawyers have a different experience?!

      • anon this time :

        same experience. though i suspect partners still get bombed with clients, we just don’t know about it.
        i know where OP is coming from though, I recently met an attorneys and non-attorney from one of my firm’s UK offices (they were on vacation together and we ended up meeting up and going out socially) and they were SHOCKED at the lack of social culture here. and note, that both the staff and attorneys go out every friday together in the office these girls work in. this is bizarre to me, but sounds so great!

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          Yes I should point out that the support staff is generally leading the pack and being plied by partners with booze!

        • anon this time :

          by the way, i LOVE that attorneys and non-attorneys at our UK office get along soo well that they even vacation together. we could learn something from them.
          it’s only one more reason i’d love to hop across the pond. I’ve lived in NY my whole life and it is so over for me… one more reason to continue my push toward taking the QLTS exam!

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Thanks for the responses so far, all, this is really interesting – I wonder if perhaps it is a feature partly of my practice area which is relatively male-dominated, but in response to the gender difference, the 3am-party crowd at my firm is mostly female associates and male partners (but again, we don’t have many female partners in the group).

      I would have always thought that getting smashed with clients was a big no-no, but there seems to be a rather different view among many of my colleagues (and clients)…

      • I think it varies by practice area/location/firm size. I always thought that drinking with work beyond a glass of wine or two was a big don’t, and I rarely drink much at work events. But I have friends in the PD/DAs offices that drink quite heavily amongst themselves and even with higher ups, though, obviously, not with their “clients.”
        I also know people in small firms who do what I consider to be an exceptional amount of drinking, inc. with the bosses and the clients and while I definitely don’t understand how this is wise, I am assured that it is in fact expected. As far as my experience goes, the above goes for both men and women.

      • No, it is not your practice area. I’m from Canada, not the US, and am a corporate transactional lawyer. I’ve worked in a couple of large law firms in Canada, as well as a massive firm in the UK. Although, in Canada, I’ve run into things like cbackson mentions – male partners going taking clients on fishing trips and this not being open to women – never, ever, would a lawyer here dream of going drinking with a client, and certainly getting completely sh*t-faced drunk at any corporate event is a career-ending move. Imagine my shock when attending my first law firm function in the UK and the head of the London office led a drinking game that involved drinking out of people’s shoes. Imagine my further shock when I heard about young female associates taking older, male clients out for the evening and ending up going to clubs until 2a.m. with them. It just would never happen in my experience in Canada, and frankly, I didn’t think it was very becoming to anyone involved.

    • I have worked in law in the US, and investment banking and law in the UK. Yes, you get more trashed in the UK, often with clients (OMG–World Cup parties?!?!?) Also, I remember, no matter what time of day it was, if we had a fire drill at Broadgate, _everyone_ went straight down to the pub for a pint, even if it was 10am. Too funny. We regularly went drinking with clients, to dinner with clients, etc. Drinking was involved.

      So yes, not inappropriate to drink with clients from a Brit/Euro’s perspective. But if you were coming from a US perspective, where (in modern times, not the Mad Men era), it’s inappropriate to have a glass of wine at lunch, UK drinking is a sight to behold!

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        This is so fascinating – it definitely is much less of a thing here and it’s interesting to see the comparisons.

        Also, anon, you must have worked pretty close to where I work…

    • At my old firm, representing labor unions, you were pretty much expected to stay up to all hours drinking with the clients, going to bars, strip clubs, etc… This only happened maybe 3-4 times per year, but it was tough for me. I can drink with the boys, but I pay for it the next day in a way many of the guys did not.

      But it was very acceptable, even requested, to get schwasted.

      • My experience in union-side labor is the opposite. We do socialize at event with clients but the women attorneys especially would avoid getting even very tipsy, let alone drunk — too much opportunity for bad behavior (on the pert of a few of the male clients) or for things to be miscontrued. Several years ago I went to a client meeting/retreat at a lake resort; I got there very late and was about 6 drinks behind everyone else and had only one beer. However, the music was great and I accepted some invitations to dance, mostly with an older (60-65) client who is a real gentleman and knows how to swing dance, but also with a couple of younger ones who just kind of jumped around. At the next day’s meeting, multiple people (men) commented about me at the bar the night before; at least three asked if I felt okay after that wild night. Apparently, everyone thought I must have been drunk to actually be dancing.
        And I would. never. go. to a strip club, with clients or not. I’ve been at parties where there were jokey comments and a few of the guys probably really were headed to such places, but no one would think of asking the women (attorneys or not) to go along.

        • That’s a problem to me too though. If the men are going and bonding at this event the women who are open to it and into should have the opportunity to go as well – though I guess all around it is just a big sexual harassment suit waiting to happen.

    • US trained British lawyer here :

      God, I miss England. The entire country is up for a drink and generally laid back.

    • I was a client at a hearing a year ago and three of my attorneys and the JUDGES and I all met up afterward in a hotel bar followed by restaurants. I was pretty shocked. We were all out until 1 in the morning. One of my attorneys (the female partner) got totally sloshed. This is on the west-coast US and the attorneys were from a big-law (not LA or NY size) firm but the hearing was in a smaller town.

  6. Cambridge :

    Early TJ… any recommendations for great restaurants in Cambridge, MA? Willing to go into Boston but, given logistics, we’d rather stay in Cambridge if possible. We’re all adventurous eaters – no food restrictions. We’ll be celebrating graduation, so price range is a bit flexible. Thanks!

    • Check out Craigie on Main and Garden at the Cellar. Both are great!

    • Diana Barry :

      What kind of food are you looking for? Also, what neighborhood? :)

      • BioPharma Girl :

        Oleana (which may be just over the Somerville line) is one of my all-time favorite restaurants. Bondir and TW Food are also good choices. Cuchi Cuchi is fun for interesting cocktails and delicious small plates.

      • Ideally near Harvard, Inman, or Central Square, but that’s just based on my wanting to walk everywhere (I love walking around in Cambridge). Probably not super-heavy on the meat, but otherwise flexible on type of food – which I realize doesn’t provide much guidance!

        • Sandrine’s, which I recommended below, is right off the square and it’s italian and worked great for me (mostly a vegetarian eater) and DH (a big meat eater)

        • Diana Barry :

          There’s Central Kitchen and Hungry Mother, both in Central, and Oleana is always good. Also Craigie on Main, Dali (if you don’t mind waiting), and in the square there’s Sandrine’s and Upstairs on the Square (and all the stuff in the Charles, but that’s fancy-pants and not necessarily great).

    • I recently moved from Boston. I think a good celebration restaurant (in Kenmore Square) is Eastern Standard. They have great food and an awesome drinks list. I lived in the North End, and a lot of people there rave about Mamma Maria, nice Italian food. Finally, I would not go here for a celebration dinner, but I think it is a cool place… Think Tank in Kendall Square near MIT. It is a gastro pub with interesting food choices.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I looooove Bondir but it’s tough to get a reservation. Oleana is also quite good.

    • Dali’s…definitely. Garlic shrimp and sangria.

    • Sandrine’s. It’s a bit more formal than my usual taste, but it was the best and most surprisingly lovely meal I’ve had in the area.

    • Ginger Exchange (sushi) or Ole (the best drinks! Oh, and they serve food there.) Both in Inman.

      • Ginger Exchange is one of my favorite restaurants – but it’s so small I’m not sure if it would be great for a post-graduation celebration.

    • Today’s New York Times gave a very positive review to East Coast Grill.

    • Craigie on main is a great recommendation. Elephant Walk is also great (Cambodian-French.).

    • Ice cream from Cristina’s in Inman square!!!

    • There are so many! What vibe are you looking for? And how many people? A few quick thoughts –

      Oleana would be good for a celebration – kind of a Middle Eastern fusion vibe with an excellent vegetarian tasting menu (or the amazing Sultan’s Delight for non-vegetarians).

      Dali is awesome but doesn’t take reservations – weeknights are usually fine to walk in though.

      I also really like Ten Tables just off Harvard Square, although it’s smaller and darker than the others and would be better for a smaller group.

      I’m dying to go to Bondir but haven’t made it over there yet.

      Other ideas –
      – Chez Henri for French/Cuban (if price is really not a factor)
      – Rendezvous (New American)
      – Hungry Mother (southern – so good)

    • anon prosecutor :


      I don’t live in Boston anymore, but when ever I got back to visit, Oleana is at the top of my list. Once when we were there a couple of years ago we saw Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck there on their date night. I understand his mother lives near by, they must have dropped off the kids and gone for a romantic dinner.

    • PharmaGirl :

      These recommendations are making me miss my old stomping grounds so much. Boo.

    • Helmand for Afgani food on 1st st is excellent. I also like East Coast Grill, it tends towards the seafood/BBQ heavy but their vegetarian platter is excellent.

      Anna’s Tacqueria for the best burritos!

      • Cambridge :

        Great – thanks, all! I’m the one who’s graduating — so I’ve lived there, but I know much more about where to get coffee in that area than where to get parentally appropriate food. This is a great list.

    • Green Street Grill is awesome. The food is more caribbean in flavor. They also have a great mussels dish.

  7. I’ve liked the look of loose and flowy tops like this, tucked in, on other people, but I can never seem to make them look right on me. They always seem to bunch up around the sides of my waist and look like I’ve got my pants hiked way up, even if the rise is actually very low.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      This may sound weird, but I find it easier to make the tucking look sleek by tucking the shirt in either underwear or pantyhose (usually the latter as I wear them every day) as this keeps the shirt tighter from lower down and then you just cover it with skirt/trousers.

      • ChinaRette :

        I do the same thing, Woods-comma-Elle. You’re not weird :). The only thing is that you have to make sure that the underwear or pantyhose don’t ride up above the skirt!

      • This is exactly what I do. I have some tops that I only wear when I’m wearing hose for this reason.

      • I find that helps for a more structured top (like a standard button-down), but not for the looser, flowy ones. Though tucking still can look weird for me. I guess it’s just a my body shape thing (slim, but pearish).

      • Not a hose wearer here. ;) But I’ll sometimes tuck my tops into my spanx.

  8. Quick thank-you for the recommendation for the Mint Julep mask – tried it for the first time last night and not only did it smell yummy, but my skin feels nice and smooth!

    • I was not the recommender and did not see the original post but yours is reminding me that I should probably do that tonight!

  9. Early TJ — I apologize. I have a question about dress quality comparison. I have a wedding to go to in mid-April and am trying to decide what dress to wear. I am a big fan of the Lauren by Ralph Lauren jersey dress line, and I have several of them. They are non-constricting, but look great on me and don’t ride up, even though they are body-hugging. I have online shopping bags filled with possible dresses, but it occurred to me to check out J.C. Penney’s American Living line, and some of the dresses online appear to be the exact. same. as the former, but at about half the cost, on average. So before I get too excited…. I know there has been some conversation about JCP in the past, so I was wondering if anyone can comment on the quality of these American Living dresses, and if possible how they stand up to the L-RL line. Thanks very much!

    P.S. — I know I can just buy them to see, but they are not available at my local JCPs, and I am weary of the online process right now. So, I am trying to limit the things I must return.

    • They look very similar in real life, too. So similar, in fact, I’ve always wondered why the Lauren by Ralph Lauren jersey dress line was considered a fancypants line being sold in fancypants department stores.

      • What about fabric quality — was the weight/thickness comparable?

        • I think the formal dresses from RL have a heavier weight jersey than the American Living line but the American Living line jersey fabrics are pretty substantial. In terms of cut, both brands have never worked out for me bc I’m short-waisted, so if one brand fits you, I’m pretty sure the other would as well. Hope that helps.

  10. Ok ladies, I’ve caved to peer pressure and bought the hunger games books. So excited to get reading!

    • PharmaGirl :

      I bought them at the end of last week and am already on book 3!

    • MaggieLizer :

      Me too! I’ve been getting only 5 hours of sleep a night because I’ve been reading before bed. I tell myself I’ll just read one chapter but it never quite works out that way.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I’m impressed you’re sleeping at all! You have more self control than I.

    • I gave in too and read all three for the cultural context, but I think I may be the only person in the world who thinks these books are irredeemably awful. I now want to go around handing every tween I know a stack of books that includes 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Jane Eyre, Heart of Darkness, Lord of the Flies, and a couple of history books.

      • im worried i will feel the same way, but i just bought book 1 last night. i’m saving it for a flight i have next week, i hope i like it!

      • You’re not the only person in the world. I think the idea behind the books is exciting and interesting, which made me want to read them to find out what happens. But the writing is DREADFUL.

        An excerpt from Mockingjay that I just read this morning:
        “Stocks, whipping posts, and this, the remains of the gallows. Bad. This is bad.”

        I think I might have liked the movie better than the first book, actually.

      • PharmaGirl :

        I think the writing is terrible and the ‘inner thoughts’ of Katniss are beyond cringeworthy but I love the story.

      • canadian anon :

        Oh, the writing is totally not going to send you into fits of literary ecstasy, and sometimes it’s even distractingly awkward. But the story is great and after the first 50-100 pages you don’t notice the writing so much anymore.

      • Oh thank God it’s not just me. I’ve got FB friends who are gushing about these books, so I bought them the trilogy for my kindle. Got through the last one while nursing the flu over the weekend.

        Like someone else said, the story is interesting enough but I found the writing terrible. My husband is the only person I’ve given an honest review because I think some of my friends think it’s really good and I like these people, I don’t want them to think I think they’re dumb.

        • You’re not the only one. Great story, great moving along of the plot. Likeable characters, too, but the writing sucks @ss.

      • You are not alone. Although I admit I got sucked into the story of the first book while on vacation at least for a while, I cringed at much of the writing and saw no need to buy the subsequent books.

        • good call, I actively disliked the third book, though I have to say the first one really grabbed me

      • I’ve been on the fence about whether or not to read this series … but all these comments about the writing have made my decision a lot easier! Thanks, ladies!

      • I agree. I can’t get past the horrible writing.

  11. Question for you lawyer ladies: What percentage billable do you consider a productive day? I’m having a hard time getting much above 80%, even when I’m feeling productive. Which is frustrating, because that means I have to be at the office 10 hours just to bill 8, which isn’t exactly going to win me any Big Law awards.

    * I need to visit Corporette less. :)

    • Former MidLevel :

      I think 80% is pretty common.

      • MaggieLizer :

        Ditto. According to my partner mentor, it looks suspicious to anyone who cares to compare your billable hours to time spent in the office if you can average much more than 80% efficiency.

        • How is time spent in the office calculated? Since I don’t punch in and out, I assume that its not tracked anywhere how many hours I am actually here v. how many hours I bill.

    • Diana Barry :

      When I was new, I used to average about 90%, bc I had lots of large projects that required big chunks of time, plus I used to come to work at 630 am so I could bill 2.5 before anyone else was even in the office. Then when I started wasting more time on teh interwebz my efficiency dropped. But now I get a lot more work done at home after the kids go to bed (usually an hour a day) so I make it up then.

      Maggie, are they really looking at your time in the office? I work at home a lot (and so do many of the partners) and so face time vs billable time is not the same.

      • MaggieLizer :

        This goes to Supra too – My office is pretty big on face time, so people make at least a casual note of when you’re here. There’s no formal system for tracking our time in the office. They can only really track your efficiency if you’re doing all/most of your work for one partner and the partner is inclined to pay attention to such things. If that’s the case, I let them know if I plan to work at home just to cover myself. I’ve never heard of an associate getting formally or even informally reprimanded for it though.

        • My office is big on face time, too. Although, much to my chagrin, everyone seems to work early and leaves at the dot of 5:30, whereas I prefer to come in a little later and leave around 6:30. Coming in earlier seems to be non-negotiable, so I end up coming in early, wasting *some* time during the day, and staying an hour to an hour and half later than everyone else. I realize the wasting time during the day is somewhat silly, and if I didn’t do it, I could leave at 5:30, too, but I gots to have my internets ;)

          • I’m actually more productive in the afternoon and evening, than in the morning. I don’t know what it is about mornings, but I can’t seem to settle down until around lunch time. In my government law office, if you’re an attorney, you can come in as late as 9:30 as long as you put in your full day. Most of us do that and then some. Some attorneys come in 8 or 8:30 because they need to leave earlier to pick up kids from daycare or aftercare. Bottom line, how flexible your schedule is depends on your direct supervisor.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      80% is probably about right for me, but I have never made the calculation of billables versus time spent in office. If I have matters on, I bill pretty much the whole day, but aside from firm training/occasional admin, I don’t do anything really that isn’t billable. The exception of course is when I have zero going on and I spend all afternoon on Corporette…

    • In Silicon Valley, we are regularly reminded to hit 85% billables/day. It’s doable if you never engage in chitchat and farm out all non-billable work to staff, duplicating, etc. But you have to stay really focuses. Also, this only works if your group is very busy. A few days between deals and you fall quickly.

      I find that 85% is doable and many days I hit 100%, if I only let myself do “fun” stuff (like checking corporette and my personal email) at lunch, and keeping lunch to 1/2 hour.

    • I think 80% is about right for me, maybe a little more. It usually takes me around 9.5 hours to bill 8 on a typical day. Sometimes I will be much more productive — and only have about 1/2 hour in the office that I do not bill — if I am super stressed/up against urgent deadlines. There have also been days where I’ve goofed off for as much as 3-4 hours when I’m not as busy.

      I have a related question. I have a new officemate. He is not very productive. He spends a significant portion of his day not working, and then spends long hours in the office (he’s here late most nights). That’s his choice, of course. There are two reasons it bothers me, one that actually might be something I could say something about, and one that is really none of my business. First, much of his non-work time is spent on personal phone calls. Every single day. For 20-30 minutes at a time. Several times day. Usually just chatting. It’s incredibly distracting. I’ve said something to him twice in the moment when I was up against a deadline, and asked him to take his call somewhere else (we have large empty conference rooms next door to us, and a phone booth down the hall that is specifically for his purpose, and the calls are usually on his cell phone). Both times, he apologized and left with his phone. But he doesn’t do this as a matter of course. I am trying to decide whether I should say something to him more generally. Any thoughts? I do not really see how the conversation could possibly go well, so I am inclined to just suck it up, but if anyone has any ideas I would greatly appreciate it. I have had officemates for many years in various jobs and have never had this problem before (with my prior lawyer officemates, it was always because they wanted to be productive/bill as much as possible).

      Which brings me to the “none of my business” part of the problem. He does not accurately record his time. He makes no record, at all, of how he spends his time during the day, and then “estimates” once every few days based on the number of hours he remembers being in the office (this is what he told me). I suppose he could be correctly “estimating” that he spends many hours a day on the phone/internet/etc., so perhaps he is not over-billing. But that seems unlikely. I personally never realize how much time I spent not working until I add up my time at the end of the day, and am usually surprised at how much the coffee breaks/quick personal emails/etc. add up. Clearly, this is not my business. The only way it affects me is that because he is not accurately recording his non-work time, he has little incentive to be productive, and thus little incentive to get off the damn phone. And, of course, that we are evaluated in part on the number of hours we bill… Anyway, I am not sure what advice I am asking for on this second point, I am mainly just venting.

      • I would only involve yourself with things that are your business. Life is too short. Deal with the talking. Get some earplugs and say something about the phone calls *every time*. Soon he will stop or leave of his own accord.

  12. ChinaRette :

    Love the top! I think that pairing it with a structured pencil or A-line skirt would keep things professional.

    Thread jack (my first one!) — does anyone here have experience moving from a communications-type role to a more numbers-heavy analyst-type role? I’m in my first job out of college (almost three years now), in which I am responsible for a lot of communications and event planning. Writing and verbal communication have always come easy to me, so it was easy to transition into my current job. I’m involved in interesting work but spend most of my time coordinating events/workshops, conferences, doing post-event write-ups and writing articles. My colleagues and I work in and international environment where a lot of companies come to our organization for advice on strategy and how to implement programs in their organization (we provide advice on a business function — think HR). I’m enjoyed my time here, but I’m planning to relocate back to the States and look at new work there.

    I’ve always liked numbers and analysis, and I’d really like to move into a more analytical direction in the future. Most of my work in college was in economics (unfortunately my major wasn’t–it was international relations), and my thesis was a study on the international textiles trade. I would really like to move into a role such as a trade analyst in a state-level trade office or the Dept. of Commerce, or a business analyst in a corporate setting. Do any Corporettes have this kind of experience, or any suggestions on how to make the move? Unfortunately my time at my current job is winding down, so I don’t think I’d be able to spearhead a research project or anything that could show off my mad skills. I’d appreciate suggestions on what to look for (entry-level analyst programs?), how to market myself to show I can do the work or how to get my foot in the door. I think an MBA or a master’s degree would be possible in a few years, but I’d prefer to have a little more work experience before going back to school. Thanks!

    • I have a friend who did something similar. Also in China. She started out as a writer/communications person for the chamber of commerce, then after a few years, made a total switch to be an analyst for a multinational i-bank. However, she did the switch in China, which was a lot easier because despite her lack of experience in the field, the fact that she had a US degree (in econ) and was fluent in English gave her an advantage against the local market (this was also pre-recession and before the Chinese market became such a pull for young college grads). I think it was basically possible because her job didn’t just consist of crunching the numbers but also writing (and editing) the English reports that her department put out.

      You don’t mention what part of the US you’d be moving to, but I think what you are looking for will vary depending on location.

      As a post-script, my friend actually ended up hating working at the ibank, and she is now in education.

    • big dipper :

      I used to work as an analyst for a consulting firm and I loved it. I think you might have an easier time marketing yourself to a consulting firm who’s looking for an analyst – they tend t be more open to a variety of background experiences.

      When thinking about applying for these jobs, remember that “analysis” doesn’t just apply to numbers. A lot of the work you’re doing in communications probably involves thinking about goals for a project, what you’re parameters and constraints are, and developing a strategy for how to achieve those goals. Just because you’re working problems without numbers doesn’t mean you have the skills.

      The big thing when you want to move into an analyst position is problem solving skills – they can teach you how to handle the numbers fairly quickly, but they want to know that you have experience thinking through problems logically and consistently.

      Also, brushing up on some commonly used programs might help – like Excel, Access, etc.

      Hope this helps!

      • big dipper :

        Also, that was supposed to be “just because you’re not working with numbers doesn’t mean you don’t have the skills…”

        • ChinaRette :

          Thanks, big dipper! Appreciate your thoughts. We definitely do spend a lot of our day working on goals, developing strategies, thinking about different stakeholders, etc. I need to practice translating my current experience into consulting vocabulary. Thanks, again!

  13. new clothes :

    Quick Poll –

    I am doing a ‘clean out my closet of all the things I never wear because they only look good for one event in my life and instead buy versatile separates’ event over the next two weeks.
    About me – when I’m not lawyering, I’m living in a smaller city in the South. I run, I garden, I go to community events and concerts. While I’m making my list, I’d love a little input –

    What are the four casual pieces of clothing that you find the most versatile to have?

    • 1. A great gray henley (I think) shirt. It’s a little nicer than a t-shirt. It was about $50, which I was really reluctant to spend, but it fits great, and I love it.
      2. A colored pair of skinny jeans. Mine are from Target for $22.
      3. A maxi skirt. More comfortable than a maxi dress because you can throw on any shirt with it, meaning you can wear any b r a, etc.
      4. A great wrap dress from Pink Tartan that can go either casual or dressier, depending on accessories.

      Good question! I’m curious to see what others say. I’ve never been good at casual dressing but have really been putting an emphasis on it recently.

    • Aside from ballet flats, jeans and a few tees/tanks… here’s my spring-to-summer go-tos:

      1. Medium weight, medium length v-neck cotton cardigan in a neutral color/pattern – my go-to is gray and white striped. Perfect for layering over a tee with jeans, or over a knit dress in spring. (In mid-summer, replace with a pretty lightweight scarf for visual interest/protection from over air-conditioned rooms)
      2. Machine washable, throw-it-on dress (see #1)
      3. Tunic – use for a tailored look with skinny jeans for lunch/dinner out
      4. Slim fit bermuda shorts (mine are j.crew summerweight, hemmed to the perfect above-the-knee length)

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Most versatile things in my wardrobe (for casual stuff, obviously most of this stuff isn’t appropriate for work):

      1) Really great pair of jeans. The kind of jeans you pull on and go wow, I look like a million bucks. The kind of jeans that when they tear/rip you seriously consider sending them to Denim Therapy, even if you only paid $30 for them, and that you curse yourself daily for not buying in 20 different washes.
      2) An assortment of plain tanks, in a variety of colors for layer. I like Wet Seal Tanks because they are long and surprisingly high enough to hide cleavage, and are 5 for $20 so I don’t worry if they rip/get a hole.
      3) A plain jersey sundress, which you can wear to futz around town on a Saturday, but can also dress up with a cardigan/wedges/jewelry and wear to a nice dinner.
      4) A nice cardigan (or casual blazer?) that you can throw on over whatever you’re wearing when you leave the house (JCrew Jackie and the Heritage Cardigan by LEC are my favorites).

      If I were just buying basics, I would avoid prints and anything that read “trendy” and stick to solid colors, and express my personality more through accessories/styling.

    • 1) Day dresses/sundresses
      2) Chambray Shirt
      3) Skinny jeans and a pair of colored skinny jeans
      4) Striped shirts

      ACCESSORIES-I think accessories change the mood of an outfit so much.

      • Ooh, I should have said chambray shirt. It goes with so much. And I totally agree about accessories. Buy some bright-colored necklaces, and you’ll look great.

      • Agree with the chambray shirt! I wear it as a shirt in the winter, then swap it into my cardigan rotation (casual times only, obvi) in the fall/spring/summer. The OP mentioned going to concerts, so I’ll mention that I almost always take the chambray shirt as my live-music cover-up, if I need one–it’s a smidge edgier than a standard cardigan.

        PS, By “concerts” I mean “loud stuff played by grungy/delicious bearded men, Dan Auerbach I will love you forever with or without your facial hair,” not “my local chamber orchestra.” Love that I feel the need to qualify statements like that on Corporette.

    • 1. A comfy knee length jersey dress in a fun color. Something that can dressed up or dressed down depending on the shoes and accessories.
      2. A long-sleeve light weight tee in a neutral or neutral-ish color. You can layer it over a tank or under a jacket or cardigan and (as often I do) push the sleeves up when it’s warmer.
      3. A pair of non-hoochie, non-denim shorts. Think mid-thigh, in a black, khaki, or white.
      4. And, of course, an awesome pair of jeans. No particular style (though for basics, I would avoid colored ones), just whatever is most flattering to you.

      • No love for the jorts? Come on now :)

        If we leave out denim, my most frequently worn shorts are actually brick red, from J. Crew (link to follow)–the 5″ length is nice because can roll them to my desired hoochiness, then back down to be more conservative. I think having an unexpected, but still easy-to-match, short is really useful, because it’s just a bit more special than the black or khaki that everyone has. (Not to hate on black or khaki shorts.) My picks from the current colors would be Ornament Orange, Casablanca Blue, or Bright Green.

        • Haha, jorts. I actually do have a pair (hoochie ones at that) that I do bust out frequently during the warmer months. I like to wear them with a 3/4/rolled-up long-sleeve button shirt. Something about the combination of prep and hooch works for me. Not exactly classic, but what the h*ll.

          My go-to neutral shorts are actually white. Pulling those out just screams spring/summer to me. Those j.crew shorts are super cute and I’m finding myself greatly drawn the “ornament orange” ones (though I would love to see this brick red color you speak of too).

          • Yeah, I really want the orange ones too! Especially since mine are a squidge too big now. I got them a while ago, though–must’ve been like 2007 or 8? Guess they’re not making the color anymore.

    • Posting my answers before reading other people’s responses, because I know then I’d change them:
      1. Black skinny jeans from Urban. I live in these things. I basically do not wear other pants.
      2. Gray cotton cardigan that’s pretty basic, but has an interesting drape. Comfy, goes with everything, crumples obediently into purses.
      3. Bright, cheerful floral-patterned sundress. I have quite a collection, but in the summer, “getting dressed” to me means “throw on sundress, put feet in sandals, walk out door.”
      4. Home-made jorts. Don’t hate.
      Honorable mention: red-and-blue paisley cotton wrap.

      • girl I love me some homemade jorts. take some of those amazing jeans that get a rip in the knee or slightly too big ones from a few years ago chop and wear!

    • Love this thread! Here’s my two cents:

      1) A great pair of jeans, similar to what others have said. Skinny would be my preference, in a dark wash — can wear for errands around town or dress up for a night out, concert, etc.
      2) A jersey or other machine-washable dress that you can dress up or down. Again, for errands and whatnot, or throw on leggings and flats for brunch with the girls, or add heels and fun accessories for dinner with your SO.
      3) If you’re a runner, I’d get some sort of “sweatshirt” (I put that in quotes b/c I mean more of a streamlined running top or jacket) that you can wear for working out or gardening but also throw on when it’s chilly and you’re at an evening outdoor activity. I have a teal Nike half-zip that doesn’t even look like workout wear, but functions in the way I’ve outlined above.
      4) A long cardigan that goes over the jersey dress, jeans, and/or anything else you can think of. Something you can wear open or closed.

      You said clothing, not accessories, but I think a couple of good pairs of flats are key — plus a cool scarf or two, or an assortment of earrings/necklaces to liven up outfits. Seriously, fun accessories save me from complete outfit repetition 98% of the time!

    • I try to update my look a little bit each year, so the cut or style of denim i want or the colors i like may change year to year – but here are the basics:
      – mid tone jeans (this year it’s one pair of bell bottoms for evenings and walking around and one pair of skinnies for bike riding)
      – lightweight patterned button downs (on the hottest days these can be worn to work tucked into a pencil skirt)
      – casual sandals that i can wear every single day if needed and not hate (woven and cognac this year)
      – sunglasses
      – casual wear with everything cardigan or blazer in a nice poppy color (cobalt blue blazer this year)
      – a few good patterned sundresses, preferably super light woven cotton with some decent length

      • Diana Barry :

        I miss regular clothes. Sigh. My clothes this summer will be a nursing top and whatever fits me on the bottom. Usually shorts or a skirt, I get way too hot in the summer for jeans, unless I am going to dinner with DH and no kids later in the evening.

      • 1. Jeans – My perfect pair is a cross between a straight leg/skinny, ankle jean (DL1961 “Kate” – I can wear them with flats and boots and I can roll them and wear them with wedges.

        2. Button up shirt (I like collared shirts under sweaters and blazers). My current favorite is a Madewell denim one. Its soft and structured and looks good on its own or under anything.

        3. Cashmere sweater. This changes in the summer, but in the winter, I invest on one, nice cashmere sweater for the winter and live in it. This year is was the J. Crew snowbound sweater in the bright green color.

        4. Blazer. I’ve lived in my J. Crew wool schoolboy blazer for three seasons now.

        5. Leather strappy flat sandals. Last year, I invested in pair of Pour La Victorie sandals, and I’ll wear them again this year. Simple brown color, nice gold hardware (minimal), comfortable, goes with casual or dressy.

        6. Ballet flats. Leather, cloth, patent leather. Whatever they are, just make sure they are comfortable.

        7. Flat leather boots.

        8. Tee shirts in soft, vintage washes. In a rainbow of colors and white. Go great under blazers or on their own.

        9. Scarves. I love throwing a pretty scarf on to dress up a tee shirt, jeans and flats.

        10. Hammered gold hoop earrings, gold watch and gold bangles. See #9. Simple, elegant jewlery really dresses up a casual outfit.

    • For a long time, I would have said a great pair of straight jeans, a good quality pair of leggings (ie thicker material, a tunic, and a great cardigan, but the last few months I have been obsessed with the Athleta Senorita dress for weekends (the long sleeved version). I own it in black, dark green, and a medium purple (I t hink it is called violet shadow) and they have become my favorite weekend staple. I find I can dress up the black and dark green ones quite a bit with tall boots, a great scarf and cardigan and a nice purse, while the purple one is more a run errands type dress, but they are comfortable, wear well etc etc. If I am not wearing of those on a weekend, I like skinny jeans, ballet flats, cowl neck or faux wrap jersey tops, and a couple of favorite cardigans.

    • I’m rather permanently casual because I work from home. My four are:

      – striped sailor tee. I love stripes and it can go w jeans or under a casual suit.
      – semi-athletic/rubber soled ballet flats. Goes w jeans, skirts, shorts, etc
      – a navy cardigan – button it up w/ jewelry and a skirt for a lunch, or jeans/shorts for everyday.
      – a cute colored jacket – same idea as the cardigan, but a little different. My favorite is actually machine-washable aqua corduroy from Target, 5 years ago.

    • 1. a cheap black blazer from Uniqlo that I can just throw on with anything
      2. dark wash skinny jeans (mine are AG Stevie)
      3. black jersey dress
      4. navy blue, V-neck cashmere sweater, also from Uniqlo. A little more interesting than black, and I find I wear it more than is probably appropriate.

    • Always a NYer :

      1. Black straight leg jeans for casual Fridays, running errands, tucked into boots
      2. Basic tee shirts in an assortment of colors – long sleeve and short sleeve
      3. Leather knee boots that are very basic and able to dress up for work or down for weekends and off time (think riding boots without any embellishments)
      4. Bomber jacket – I wear mine to work over a sheath dress, when I’m running errands, going out with friends, basically everywhere I can

    • 1) Dark skinny/straight leg jeans – I’m partial to GAP always skinny.
      2) A gray cotton cardigan with an interesting drape – I received one as a gift from Banana Republic years ago and I wear it with everything. Thinking about the day I’ll have to replace it makes me want to cry.
      3) Leopard print ballet flats – surprisingly versatile & they make you look stylish with literally no effort.
      4) Flat leather sandals with minimal gold hardware – mine are white Jessica Simpson sandals of all things, but I live in them on summer weekends.
      5) “Throw on and go” dresses – usually cotton/machine washable. Can be worn with a sweater/scarf/necklaces/flat sandals for shopping or brunch with the girls or dressed up a little bit with a blazer & pumps/wedges for a night out. Oddly enough, I find that the ones I wear the most are from places I don’t normally shop at – American Eagle, Express, etc.
      6) Long necklaces for visual interest – I find that just layering a few makes an outfit way more interesting and it takes virtually no effort.

    • 1. One perfect pair of jeans – Mine are AG Jessie cut
      2. Black 3 quarter sleeve cardigan – mine’s from Target
      3. A mix of one season tees in the “in” color from Loft or Target to compliment 1-2 more expensive tees (I like Petite Bateau and Lilla P)
      4. Comfortable but cute sandals/wedges/or flats.

      And don’t laugh
      Fitflops (black patent because they are black strap/black sole).

    • I like this thread!
      For me this depends on whether we’re talking spring/summer or fall/winter. Spring/summer:
      1. White jeans;
      2. Casual jersey knit dress with short sleeves and scoopneck (mine are Garnet Hill from last year);
      3. Cowl-neck modal tees (short or 3/4-sleeve); and
      4. Lucky olive green short button-front jacket (I wear this to every single rock concert I to go).
      I have on my wish list to buy this summer one of the Roberta Roller Rabbit kurtas (tunic)!

      1. Dark skinny jeans to tuck into boots;
      2. Black Gap 2-button blazer;
      3. Long open merino wool cardigans (black and heather grey);
      4. Gap black slim crop trousers (they have some stretch) to tuck into boots.
      Boring, but the OP did ask for most versatile . . . .

      Oh, I also wear my black jersey maxi skirt from Old Navy all the time — yearround. It goes with everything and is SO comfortable. I bought two more of the exact same skirt when I had a 30% code so they were about $14 each.

  14. Skippy pea :

    Quick TJ.

    Does anyone have recommendation for a good moisturizer with SPF for DH? I have convinced him to start using moisturizer with SPF but we have not found one that he likes. He has tried the Aveeno one but does not like it much. One important criteria for him is that it should not smell feminine- better if it is fragrance free. Extra points if it is as natural as possible.

    On topic! I love love love this top. I will have to buy it.

    • I use Olay Complete Sensitive with the Classic formula. It has no scent and I’ve been using it for years.

    • Dove and Nivea (I think) recently launched a men’s line of products. Shampoos, face washes and moisturizers. My brother likes the Nivea face wash for men because it’s blue. And blue is his favorite color. Shrug.

    • You could try Kiehls. They have a men’s line. Facial Fuel is SPF 15 – lots of natural ingredients and quite masculine (there’s a plane on the bottle!). Nivea also has a men’s only line, I think my SO tried it and liked it in the past.

      Or what about Oil of Olay unscented SPT 15 beauty fluid? The name might be less than great for him, but it’s just a simple white bottle.

      • +1 for Kiehls Facial Fuel. I’ve actually used it in an emergency and it’s strong enough for a man, gentle enough for a lady.

      • My DH has used this one (Kiehl’s Facial Fuel with SPF 15) for several years & likes it a lot.

        • +3 for Kiehl’s Facial Fuel. The scent is nice but not at all feminine.

    • I just started using Yes to Cucumbers spf15 moisturizer and quite like it. But from what I know most men like something plain and unscented like Eucerin or possibly Nivea.

    • Skippy pea :

      Thanks for all the recs. I will get him a few to check out. I think I will just keep quiet about the price for Kiehls though! I bet once DH finds out the price, he will stop “liking” it for sure! *roll eyes*

      • Try the Paula’s Choice one from the Balancing Line with SPF 15. No fragrance at all, not greasy, the only sunscreen that doesn’t irritate my eyes!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          This is what I got my DH using after he realized the Kiehls was more than twice the price.

    • I use SPF 45 from Paula’s Choice. Customer rep told me it can replace moisturizer. I have stopped using moisturizer since using this with no problems. I do have slightly oily skin though.

  15. Trinity or Hunter :

    How appropriate that Kat posts something for Trinity. But anyways, for NYC parents, if your child got into Trinity High school or Hunter High school, which would you pick for your child to attend? My smartypants little cousin got into both of them and we’re having a hard time choosing one over the other. Any alumns wanna chime in?

    • I don’t know much about Trinity, but I know several Hunter alumni who had a great experience there.

    • I agree, Hunter.

      • PS. I have had several friends who graduated from Hunter, and my SIL went to Trinity, and my sense is that Hunter is superior academically. Trinity is probably better at the hand holding, so I guess it depends in part on your smartypants cousin.

  16. Love this top!

  17. Seattleite :

    Thanks (um, or not…) to the posters who recommended AGL flats last week. I’ve been looking for new flats for months, finally bit the bullet and tried on what must have been every pair of flats Nordstrom had. I ended up with two pair of AGL and will probably go back next month for a third. So, poster-whose-name-I-can’t-remember, you are now my friend – or frenemy! :) – for life.

    I also bought the thin little orthotics someone recommended and like them as much as the fat custom orthotics I wear in my trainers.

    Final note re: AGL – the SA made a point of telling me that Nordstrom will send them back for resoling/refurbishing when they look worn. That was a pleasant surprise; the construction looks like it wouldn’t be possible. But apparently they send them to AGL rather than a cobber, and cost is <$50. That makes the $300 price tag much easier to bear.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      SuperFeet orthotics! I am about to buy a pair for every pair of shoes I own, I love them so much.

      • Can you please explain the benefits of orthotics?

      • Ooh, do tell more! Are they thinner than normal orthotics?

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Yes, very thin. I stuck them in my usual Kate Spade and SW heels, which I had been wearing without insoles before –> thin. They are beyond amazeballs. I’ve worn them all week in various pairs of heels and my knees don’t ache at night anymore. I hate myself for not knowing about them earlier. This is what I get for only shopping online and not ever seeing helpful displays or talking with knowledgeable sales associates.

          Niktaw, orthotics support your arch and rebalance the weight on your foot, which is especially important in heels as the height forces all our weight onto the balls of our feet. The orthotics support the arch and force some of the weight back onto the heel where it belongs.

          • Do you use the 3/4 or get the ones you trim and put throughout the whole shoe?

          • Seattleite :

            L, I got the 3/4 one.

            The benefit of orthotics in flats is that it adds more structure and support. I *hate* the feel of most ballet flats – the soles are so thin that it’s like I’m walking on the pavement. And, of course, the really comfy flats look like old lady shoes. So the orthotics sort of give me the best of both. I don’t know if I’d wear these flats+orthotics for a walking tour of the city, but for general running around, errands, etc., they’re a vast improvement.

            Sigh. This is yet another thing about aging that no one warned us about. *longs for days when barefoot was more comfy than shoes*

        • I guess I wonder how they compare to real orthotics. I suppose that’s a question for the old podiatrist!

          • Seattleite :

            Real orthotics are best because they’re custom fitted. But somehow I never manage to 1) call and make the appointment and 2) take the time off from work to see the podiatrist. This is an acceptable alternative. I will admit that having the SuperFeet has motivated me to look for time to do 1 and 2 above.

  18. I wanted to comment on the Nine West pink suit Kat posted yesterday (in store it was $100!) – I bought it and actually found another Nine West suit on super sale (bought both for $170). The pink is more like a raspberry than a hot pink and it’s a really nice weight and cut and fully lined. It looks lovely with my coloring – medium complexion and dark features. The slit is modest and added interest to the skirt. I’ll wear it as separates and think it’s definitely the type of suit that looks great broken up that way (some suits I’ve bought in the past just can’t be worn as separates). A warning that the jacket is a little big if you have a small waist – still deciding if I’ll have it taken in at my tailor. Nine West seems to have some wacky sizing depending on the suit – I bought the pink in a size 4 and the other one in a 2. If you’re between sizes, I’d order both and just be prepared to return one.

  19. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    So I’ve been on WW for about a month now and I’ve lost about 1 1/2 dress sizes, but now I face a new/old delimma. The way my body is shaped, I have a significant size difference between my waist and hips which causes all the lovely sheath dresses I can fit into again to ride up when I walk. On the light rail this morning, it occurred to me that maybe I could put small weights in my hems to keep my dresses down, but that’s as far as I could get.

    Is this even possible? Has anyone done this (or something similar) and would care to share their experiences? Or am I just going to have to give up sheath dresses and stick with skirts?

    Thank in advance for any advice.

    • I have no idea how to circumvent this issue, but I would see if you could ask the advice of a good tailor in your area. S/he should be able to steer you in the right direction, and maybe you could have one dress altered first as a test case?

    • i’ve heard of these small weight things. i think they’re coin-like. i bet a tailor could talk to you about this, i think it might be an old school tailoring trick and i definitely want to hear how it goes, i have the same problem but sheaths are my fav.

    • I have this same problem – a very small waist compared to my hips/butt. I bought a bunch of sheath dresses when I went through an incredibly thin period, because I looked like I was swimming in anything A-line/not cut straight up and down. However, I gained 5-6 pounds in the last few months (which apparently all went to my hips/thighs/butt) & am suddenly suffering from the same issue, rendering most of my lovely dress collection unwearable. Any help is much appreciated!

    • Chanel jackets have a length of chain sewn around the inside edge of the hem to weigh the hem down and make it hang nicely, and you/a tailor could definitely do something like that. I’m a bit skeptical about whether or not this will actually work, though — in my experience with stuff that rides up, the force that’s pulling it up is not going to be easily overcome with the addition of a little bit of weight on the hem. I’m assuming you’re already wearing a slip or something that will encourage the skirt to fall back down on its own?

  20. Mean Girl Interviewer :

    With all the threads about critiquing interviewees recently, I thought I’d jump in. I am supposed to interview two candidates today. One contacted me at 10:20 last night (email timestamp) to say that something came up and could I reschedule? No reason given, and I am already iffy on this candidate.

    I am not unsympathetic to a need to reschedule – in law school, I once woke up very sick and had to reschedule a summer job interview (not OCI), but I was apologetic, explained the reason, and said I hoped the interviewer could accommodate me. But I feel like this person should have given me a reason – car broke down, sick kid, whatever . Aside from the fact that this was the only day for a couple weeks (literally, I don’t think everyone is in the office again until maybe April 16) that we were able to conduct interviews, am I just out of line when I say that I don’t want to interview or hire this person now?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I am really frustrated by the people I’m bringing into interview who (after I email them saying could you speak at X or Y time?) say things like “I would prefer not to schedule over email. Please call me.”

      I have 25 of you I’m trying to schedule so yes – it’s a bit easier for me to schedule a screening interview over email.

      • That is crazy. Not even “Is there a time that would be convenient for me to call you?” I would never ask an interviewer to call me because I preferred to schedule by phone. I hope you are writing back to these people something like, “I prefer to schedule by email. If you are interested in interviewing, please let me know when you are available per my earlier email.”

      • How do people feel about an interviewee providing blanket times when they are available? I often get an email with 4 or 5 open days for interviews asking me when I’m available. I never know whether to email back with, “Free all day on days X and Y and anytime after noon on Z,” or provide a specific time. The first seems much more efficient for everyone involved, but I can also see it being interpreted as rude.

        • SpaceMountain :

          That’s not rude at all. It gives the interviewer a lot of room for scheduling.

        • I wouldn’t see that as rude, either – if I gave a blanket time, I am hoping to be able to accommodate the interviewer’s presumably busy schedule.

        • That is what I normally do and find it much more efficient. Something like:

          I am free all day Monday and Wednesday or anytime after 2pm on Tuesday.

          Usually the person doing the scheduling is looking at people’s Outlook calendars and it would make it easier if they knew what all their options are.

      • Tired Squared :

        Wow, that’s ridiculous. As the interviewee, I thought we were supposed to make things easier for the interviewer, not the other way around!

    • Mean Girl Interviewer :

      I should add, my boss’s inclination is a no, so if there’s some reason that some of you think I should advocate for this person, I really am open to that…

      • I think it depends on why you are iffy. If you are iffy because of gaps on resume (I am just making this up) but something that would tie with her cancelling a meeting at the last minute. Basically does the fact this candidate cancelled an interview at the last minute confirm any suspicions you had about them? If so, I would pass.

        I will say this, I have been advised that if you ever need to cancel an important meeting or interview just ask to reschedule and don’t include a bunch of details because it will come off as an excuse. Also, it could be private, embarrassing, etc.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Giving a reason could further color your impression of the candidate (not that a last-minute cancellation hasn’t already done so). If they say something came up with a child, would you think differently of them?

      It’s a tough call but I would probably give the person another chance.

    • devil's advocate :

      I understand how you feel, but maybe the candidate was wary of providing TMI and went too far in the other direction.

    • I would give the person another chance. As others have said, giving a reason could end up coloring a person’s opinion more. Perhaps it’s a sick child, a relative in trouble, or an embarrassing but chronic health condition that the applicant doesn’t want to bring up?

    • If your company can’t reschedule the interview for another 1/2 month and the candidate that comes in today is excellent, and especially if the hiring need is pressing, I think it is entirely OK to not wait to interview the person who cancelled. IOW, that is the risk of cancelling an interview, and the candidate should understand that.

      • Agree to this, but also agree that if this isn’t the case OP should give her another chance. Of course, the interviewee should (have?) followed up first thing this morning with a phone call, assuming that whatever came up did so at 10pm last night.

        I wouldn’t blame her for not giving a reason, it could be embarrassing, it could be personal, etc…

    • Eloise Spaghetti :

      What if you say, I can reschedule but we reserve the right to cancel if the position is already filled by then.