Tuesday’s TPS Report: Josh Leaf Print Oversized Shirt

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

Reiss Josh Leaf Print Oversized ShirtThere are some pieces of clothing where they become such basics in your wardrobe that you should plan, every year, to purchase one or two new such pieces — this way you’ll stay on trend, but true to yourself as well. For me, one of those basics is the white blouse. I love the burnout leaf print on this white “oversized” shirt from Reiss — it seems just the thing for beneath a navy or gray suit, or perhaps on top of a colorful skirt. It’s $180 at Reiss (also available in mint green). Reiss Josh Leaf Print Oversized Shirt


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  1. Update, as requested:
    +10 to momentsofabsurdity and AN, for guessing that he’s an engineer
    +5 to Rani for the “wheatish complexion” (but aren’t we all wheatish, tho?).
    +5 to Tired Squared for the height comment, he’s 1″ taller than me. I’m too tall for desi life at 5’5″.
    +75 to Legally Brunette for the singing comment. Religious Muslims don’t sing (do we? I don’t know). For the first time in my six-year biodating career, I was asked to sing. I responded with a UHHHHH NO amongst girlish giggles. Because I am klassy.
    +2793 to cbackson for the romcom movie comment. While we were an hour way driving, suddenly all of the transmission fluid leaked out of the car and came to a halt and we were luckily able to pull onto the ample shoulder. Curious about what we should do while the nearest exit was uphill and 2 miles a way, we noticed somebody walking toward us. A short Hispanic man asking us if we needed help. He had pulled over on the shoulder about 1000 feet away from us because he was having some equipment issues….with his car-hauler truck. You know, that kind that transports new cars. He offered us a tow and drove us 60 miles to the MiddleofNowhere Pennsylvania and didn’t murder us! And we were on his way, just one exit before his destination! And somehow, parked us in front of a mechanic’s house on Easter Sunday! Who was bearded! But somehow our van was magically recovered! And the food was ok! And the aunties started taking photos of me during dessert! And she gave me a bouquet of flowers and a weird vase and a card that said CONGRATULATIONS!

    Also, AIMS and cbackson were in my thoughts while I argued with my mother on Friday and Saturday about dressing up too much. And thank God I won, because we were in socks under sandals country. I wore lavendar and marigold with gold threads running through the fabric. And my matchmaking aunt and uncle are madd chill. I love them (also, they have sons, too, of marriageable age, dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnnn).

    The best part of the weekend, after dealing with my superreactive skin which did NOT go well with my makeup (big up to Kat for the eyedrop recs), was riding in the truck. Riding in a truck is REALLY COOL.

    • Thanks for the update Ru. Sounds like an interesting time!

    • So wait. How did the “date” actually go? Did you like him?

      • So not desi :

        I have trouble imagining a date going well at which I was asked to sing…but maybe I’m just not desi enough to understand!

      • Oh yeah, how did I forget about the actual guy? Shows how much of an impression he left on me. He was very nice actually, supremely normal (what a relief) and very sick with the flu or something. Was chewing on raw ginger the entire time we were chatting (don’t ask me, I don’t know). But……he works in his family’s company and kinda stuck there, really has no ambition for anything in life and is not practicing at all, in any way. Which is fine. Just not for me.

        • Just by way of explanation: ginger is sometimes taken/chewed as a stomach settler. If he was super sick with the flu, he was probably doing this to control his nausea, poor guy. Anyway, sounds like you both gave it the college try!

        • This blog is beginning to sound as if written by middle school girls. Isn’t this supposed to be something for WOMEN in the legal and similar worlds? Grownups? Am I missing something?

          • Your sense of humor, perhaps?

          • Ummm- I was under that impression that “WOMEN in the legal and similar worlds” also date. If that is not the case, I guess I’d rather go back to middle school.

          • The thread directly below this deals with how to prevent white dress shirts from staining, somewhere else there are questions about interviewing and transitioning from mid-law to big-law, and elsewhere there is a discussion of braids in the workplace. This website is many things to many people. So, deal with the fact that its not just about your experience of apparent professionalism or adulthood.

            Also. Its fun. And funny.

          • If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your grown-up world…..

          • agree

          • How exactly is insulting a beloved member of our commenting community particularly “grownup”?

    • Legally Brunette :

      Ha ha, thanks for the update Ru. Told you about the singing! So now you need to prepare some Lady Gaga to sing next time.

      I couldn’t tell from your note if you like him. Seems like the aunties already assume you guys are engaged?!

      • Ru, regarding too tall for desi life, I feel your pain. I’m 5’6″ I have been since I was 12. Not good. I married a caucasian American, who ironically is pretty much 5’6″ too. the difference is, it doesn’t bug him in the least, and he likes how I look in heels…yup even 4″ ones.

        • If a man is confident, he won’t care how tall you are in heels. Besides, it puts the girls in a more advantageous spot for him…

        • My boyfriend is a couple inches shorter than me, and it also doesn’t bother him. Plus (as he says) when I wear heels, my bo*bs are closer to his face and how could that be bad! I usually respond by rolling my eyes, and then wearing my heels anyway :)

      • I really *REALLY* wanted to burst out with the Star Spangled Banner. But I restrained myself, somehow. The aunties think ish is up because we don’t hate each other. Which in desi life, means LUVAHS FUHEVUH.

      • She was helped by a hispanic man who “didn’t murder us”…. What kind of talk is that? Is that humor? Is that really something I want to read? Who actually is the person who wants to read that?

        • Jesus, then stop reading.

          • No, I think it wasn’t racist but definitely seemed on the line. If she’d said, a short black man, I would have been up in arms. His race was really not needed as a modifier here.

          • I didn’t think they were related at all when I read it. I see your point, however, anyone that has even lurked on this blog knows Ru and knows she didn’t mean to imply anything.

          • Since when is Hispanic a racial modifier? I took the comment as a kind of ironic anti-racist comment, which can be funny or offensive depending on who makes the delivery. Sooooo, I could tell a story about a meeting a random Muslim dude at the airport who turned out NOT TO BE A TERRORIST! And that would be the plot for Harold and Kumar. So please! Ru was not offensive!

        • Ah, I see what you mean. I didn’t mean to imply racism, I just wrote it badly. But basically, a random stranger off the highway offered to tow me and my family unsolicited. And we accepted. It wasn’t smart at all, hence the sarcastic “murder” comments. That’s all, dude.

          • Why say his race then?

          • Why shouldn’t Ru say his race? I mean, she was describing him. Pretending that someone isn’t a race, or isn’t short, doesn’t take away bias in the world.

            It’s you who are projecting racism where there isn’t any. Take a chill pill already. And stop with the PC police crap.

          • Ru – I’m Latina and I found your comment offensive. If I had written that a Muslim man stopped and didn’t murder us, would you have not bristled?

          • To Susan, at April 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm. “Hispanic” is not a race, it’s an ethnic identification. Google images of Don Francisco, Cristina, and Albert Pujols and then let us know if it’s okay to call those people “Hispanic” when identifying their race. On behalf of all “Hispanics” I appreciate that you take those few minutes to learn a tiny bit about us.
            Thank you.

          • I’m sorry you all are offended. Seriously. And if you had said that, I wouldn’t have been offended. I swear.

            Why are we missing the STRANGER DANGER portion of this? Meh, I’ll go back to trolling on tumblr.

          • Ru, I’m with you. I wouldn’t have been offended if you’d said he was white (or Irish/Italian or anything else I identify with) I was with you on the STRANGER DANGER issue.

            Y’all need a chill pill!

          • Although it is funny what people “trigger” on. My brother just invited my sister and I to a pro baseball game he has one ticket to each of two games for her and I to squabble over. He made a point of mentioning that he asked our Dad and brother first and they both get to go to both games. However, my Dad and I are the baseball fans and always go to games together! Why did he invite Dad and brother first? Because he’s a giant flaming sexist, that’s why! And it irritates the bejebus out of me!!! I’m trying not to let it, they’re his tickets, he can do whatever he wants with them! (Well, they’re his employer’s tickets, but the principle stands.)

            (P.S. he really is a giant flaming sexist, something my sister enjoys fighting with him about ad naseum, I just avoid the topic)

          • That’s not a real apology, Ru, and I’m sure you know that. The insensitivity is disappointing.

            CA Atty, your backpack of privilege would keep you from being offended.

          • http://thebilliebird.tumblr.com/post/4550047376/for-instance-the-curtains-were-blue-what-your

            In this example, you, Maria, are the English teacher.

            Also, if I may borrow a phrase, you don’t know me, don’t presume about things you don’t know.

          • Latina,
            You’re missing the point. The fact that “Hispanic” is an ethnic classification doesn’t in itself make it offensive. I hear ya, that if it is misapplied to a person, then that’s not great, in the way that if one calls a cat a dog, or a dog, a cat, then one is just wrong. I get that.

            But what pray tell is so offfensive about describing someone (if done so correctly), as, for example: a tall Asian lady? It gives you a sense for what the person looks like. Authors do it all the time to set the scene. And no, they’re not doing it to tick you off, but if you want to be ticked off, I’m sure you’ll find a way. Sheesh.

            This prickliness is the sort of thing that stifles real discussion, and you know, I don’t want to offend, but if you go out of your way to seek offense, then you’ll find it and it’ll be your own d@mn fault. Mind you, the people who do harbor prejudices and are clever would never say anything, they’ll just hate you and others silently. Those are the folks to watch out for, but if you want to beat me with the pedantic stick and Ru with the PC police stick, know that you lose allies in the cause of openness and acceptance and honesty.

    • Ru, I bet you looked lovely!
      It all sounds like quite the adventure. Based on what you do not say, I am guessing it wasn’t love at first site with the engineer. But practice makes perfect, as they say.

      Out of curiosity — what were the auntie congratulations for, exactly?

    • I’m still flummoxed that you were asked to sing!

      Also too tall here, at about 5’7″. Which means anyone with a biodata height of under 5’10” is going to be shorter than me. I found that while Match profiles exaggerated height by about 2 inches, biodata resumes were overly ambitious by about 3-4 inches.

      I think I realized it was not the path for me when my mom’s only criteria were ‘taller than me’ and ‘single’. Heck, at least require a Greencard and a BS in something practical, Mom!

      • Tired Squared :

        Rani, I have similar Mother Criteria too–“taller than me” and “single.” Recently, she also added “educated,” but that’s only after the following occurred:

        I went out with a guy from Math who was “six foot two.” He showed up and was shorter than me — and I’m 5’8. Then he told me that height was no big deal, like “all those numbers he had learned before dropping out of high school to run his family hotel.”

    • HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA this sounds like the most awesome and hilarious date ever. SINGING? WHAT?

      Of course, in a romcom, the guy with the truck would have been, like, desi Ryan Gosling or something.

      I love the sound of your outfit. Fight the triumph of socks and sandals! No matter how ridiculous the situation, at least one has fashion to sustain one’s self.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I am loving reading about this saga. Seriously, please keep us updated.

    • Tired Squared :

      Ru, I completely hear you on the “too tall for desi life.” I’m 5’8!!

    • + a millionty’leven LL Points for liveblogging the day. You definitely made my Sunday.

    • muslim anon :

      Hey I’m the one who asked you the question on tumblr. Shouldn’t he have come to you anyway? Next time tell your parents the guy comes to the girl :)

      • Ooohhh, hey! Yes, I think his side should have made the effort to travel. But then I’d have had to clean my house. How would I get to ride in a truck then?

        Also, madd points to Lyssa and Teal. I love being a little voice in your heads. WEAR ALL THE COLORS.

        • muslim anon :

          LOL true, there is that! I feel like there is this whole group of mollycoddled Muslim boys while the girls are kicking a** and taking names. What you said about this rishta’s family business reminds me of that.

        • Legally Brunette :

          In all seriousness, I highly recommend having the guys come to see you. First, it shows that they are interested and willing to make the effort, which is an important first step. It also avoids the weird problem of needing a chaperone to travel with you. The guys who traveled to see me met my mom the first time (since I lived at home) but then we went off to lunch or dinner by ourselves. I thought it minimized the awkwardness that way.

          • I’ll try to explain this totally sensical concept to my super-desperate parents, who are wilting in shame with an unmarried daughter.

      • Yeah but then she would have to make “chai”. And be judged for it. Let the guy (or his mom) make the chai. Was their chai up to snuff?

        • Another degrading desi dating custom of women making chai, as if that is the only valuable skill set a woman brings to the table. Can’t imagine this still goes on.

          If I am expected to make chai for a guy coming to see me, I will tell them I don’t cook and have absolutely zero interest in doing so. I already make big bucks and wanna reach the top of my high profile career, chai making skills won’t help me get there. I love cooking desi food learned from you-tube videos but absolutely hate the expectation that this is a woman’s only value in marriage worthy enough for evaluation in a date.

          Now if the guy and his parents would like some frozen mango kiwi margaritas I will be jumping up and down, sure sign of a perfect match for me. Sigh, I hate desi dating rituals.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Oh my goodness I have been away far too long and clearly missed an epic storyline!

    • Thanks Ru for sharing your “biodate” experience. You are amazing to agree to go through this.
      I am desi too and going to one of these meetings with the entire family for the first time would absolutely freak me out and is my ultimate nightmare. My parents would literally have to drag me kicking and screaming for something like this. On top of that if they ask me to sing, that would be it, I will storm out of the place.
      Or may be I will ask the guy to do 50 pushups in exchange (hehe, just to make sure the guy is physically fit as that’s so important for the “good times”, no other way to find out in these arranged setups !)
      I will be a desi matchmaking disaster, I am in awe of how you do it with such humor.

      • Dude, that is such a great idea. I never thought of having a ridiculous list of my own demands.

        And I ain’t gonna sugarcoat it – it is as amazingly awkward as you think it sounds. I totally recommend going with a pal to exchange snarky comments with (I had a sibling). And with practice, you just find even *more* awkward situations, it’s awesome.

      • Legally Brunette :

        I LOVE this! 50 push ups, the poor guy would probably have a heart attack and that would be the end of the biodate.

    • Thanks for the update, Ru!

    • Are you sure he wasn’t south Indian? The singing bit really cracked me up.

  2. Midwest Attorney :

    1.) I am so jealous of the ladies who can wear beautiful white shirts like this – mine always get yellow in the armpits after a mere one or two wears.

    2.) Thank you the woman, who I am sure was a Corporette based on her beautiful clothes, who was so supportive and kind when I was washing out breast pumping parts in the bathroom at an all-day seminar recently. I am a new mom, who is newly back to work – I really needed the encouragement you provided that day and truly appreciated the advice you offered.

    • You could always do what men do and wear white t-shirts under your white shirts. Thin white t-shirts in women’s sizes would almost certainly be cheaper to ruin then white shirts. :-)

    • I am also a new mom (finally stopped pumping a month or so ago), so I have been there… just want to say, you are a champ!

    • I love karmic thanks sent out into the ether such as this (#2). Even if she has never heard of Corporette and doesn’t see this, everyone else benefits just from hearing about her kindness. I should post things like this too!

      As to the blouse, I *really* like it, but when you can get something 100% silk for about half the price I think it’s hard to justify. I’m a huge white shirt connoisseur and I can recommend instead: the J. Crew Blythe blouse (silk), a crepe de chine one in ivory at BR, and the “perfect shirt” at J. Crew if you want stretch cotton.

    • 1. Me too. I don’t currently have white shirts of any kind beyond the Hanes tees I wear to bed.

      2. That is such a sweet story. I pumped at work for close to 10 months and there are very few positive stories to share about the experience. My (unsolicited) pumping advice to all moms is not to bother washing the parts. It’s a time consuming and unnecessary task when you consider that breastmilk is good at room temperature for up to 7 hours. I stored the parts in my desk drawer, reusing them through the day and wiping down with pacifier wipes after each use to catch any drips. It was totally fine and saved me so much time and stress.

    • Have you tried using a stain remover? This one has worked well for me: http://www.soap.com/p/ecover-stain-remover-57695

    • Rose in Bloom :

      The yellow usually comes from aluminum in deodorant, and putting the shirt through the dryer will heat set the stains. I’ve heard (though not tried) that using a solution of baking soda + hydrogen peroxide + water can get it out if you catch the yellowing early enough.

      Also, congrats on being a new mom!

      • You could also try dress shields. I have done that before. You’ll find them at fabric stores. Won’t work with a see through blouse, but it keeps my cotton ones from doing what you describe.

    • Re #1: Drysol (generic name is hypercare or something like that). It’s a prescription strength antiperspirant that’s fairly inexpensive. You put it on at night every other day/once a week/whenever your doctor tells you to. During the day, you can wear whatever deodorant/antiperspirant you wish… or wear nothing at all because your pits will be as dry as a bone. It solved my sweating and my yellow armpit problems. Can’t recommend it enough. Not sure if you can use it while breastfeeding, but since you won’t be doing that forever, I thought I’d mention it.

    • Regarding #1 – Real Simple online featured a product called Deo Go in its problem solvers list recently. Haven’t tried it yet, but I plan on ordering. They gave teh website as getdeogo (dot) com.

  3. Rose in Bloom :

    I know white shirts are supposed to be basics, so I always buy them. However, I very rarely wear them. I’m very fair so white makes me look even paler and washed out.

    Anyone else always buy things that are staples for other people but not for you? The other main “mistake” staple for me I can think of is black pants because I rarely wear black.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I feel like a waiter at some catered event whenever I wear a white shirt. Consequently, I also never wear them.

      I do wear a lot of black, though.

    • Yep, I have white shirts and other button-downs because that’s supposed to be the go-to default for office workers, but I just hate wearing them. They feel so binding.

      • Anonsensical :

        Yes! I hate button-downs, too. I bought a couple in law school because I felt like I was supposed to. After they hung in my closet unworn for a year, I donated them and vowed never again to buy something I don’t like just because it’s on someone else’s list of must-haves.

        • Me three. I haven’t worn a button-down in years.

          • Equity's Darling :

            Down with button downs!

            They are a mistake that I make repeatedly, even though they never fit me right, and even if they fit, they are never flattering. I always feel so constricted in them, especially if I’m wearing it with a cami and blazer. Ugh, it makes me squirm just thinking about the excessive layers.

            Yet I keep buying them? What is wrong with me. Honestly, I’m adding them to the list of “do not buys”, wardrobe essential or not.

          • Me four. I have several button-downs in my closet and can’t remember the last time I wore any of them. I keep thinking I should just get rid of them, but then I think….I Just.Might.Need.One…..though I can’t imagine why. It’s like the Requirement to Wear Button-Downs was part of the law school brainwashing process or something.

        • Oh, my mom bought me some (fairly ugly) button downs when I was working in the family business and forced me to wear them. I HATED them sosososos much! But I actually just came across one of them recently that had apparently been packed away and forgotten and I think I hated the fabric and the pattern more than the cut. Still, I’m 100% anti button down down shirts (also am a FF so…)

      • Anon – binding, yes, ugh. Sweaters and knit tops for me. Also: no ironing.

    • Longchamp tote bag with no pockets that doesn’t fit my laptop!
      Pearl strand.
      Ballet flats.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Ditto on button down shirts. I tried them for years but finally gave up. I know I could get them tailored, special ordered, whatever, but I’m not really a fan of the look on my short and short-waisted self anyway, so fooey on that.

      I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what colors are wardrobe staples. Some recent threads have made me realize that I have absolutely no red, yellow (other than mustard), or orange (other than coral) in my wardrobe. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t look very good in those colors or that I just don’t tend to pick them up. I think I’m going to make an effort to branch into yellow, but I’m not sure I can commit to red or orange.

      • Rose in Bloom :

        I tend to stay away from colors I don’t look good in. My closet also has no orange or red, and very little yellow because I don’t look good in those colors. I also don’t look great in black or white, but feel obliged to buy things in those colors because I convince myself that they will work, as opposed to when Pantone tells me that I need to buy tangerine.

      • No White Shirts :

        I think that the colors you collect in your wardrobe, and the colors you don’t, are telling you something. I have no yellow or orange either. Never even slow down for those colors in a store. Why? They look horrid on me. Teal or garnet? I’ll try on anything in those colors and most likely buy it if it fits properly. Why? They look great on me.

    • No White Shirts :

      Ditto. My sister and I decided a couple decades ago “no more white Tshirts.” They are always lauded as the “go to” item, and I have reads hundreds of articles about the perfect one, or how to buy the “right” one for your age (slightly more expensive for each decade), or how they “go with everything” and are the perfect “elegant basic.” Well, they do nothing for us. We are both fair with dark hair and eyes, and they just wash us out.

      Having said that, I just went on Lands End dot Com yesterday and bought six modal crew neck short sleeve T shirts (25% off and free shipping until midnight tonight EST and you can return to any Sears). Two black. Two grey. And, yes, two white. Maybe under cardigans and/jackets, so just a little white shows? This is how it happens, every time!

      Other item: button down shirts. Never worked for me. Not comfy. Don’t look good. Hate them. But, strangely, unlike the white T, I am never tempted.

      • Love Lands End. Their clothing quality and return policy is #1. I don’t like button down shirts much, but Lands End’s Women’s Solid No Iron Pinpoint Cotton button down shirts are great. I have the pink and midnight blue.

    • No to button downs. Well, the crispy ones – sometimes I find a silky/floppy one that fits (I apparently am busty for my shoulder width or something).

      Eh on the plain white tees. I have a couple, but usually prefer gray or off white.

      I’m wearing black pants less and less often, too. Again, I prefer gray, or maybe black with a subtle pinstripe. I feel like solid black pants don’t look great with the tops I have.

      Pearls – I have some fake ones but really don’t wear them.

      Pencil skirts – like them on others, they rarely fit me correctly.

      Nude-for-you shoes – I just can’t get behind these, reminds me too much of the ugly character shoes I had to wear in some shows. But if I see a really pretty pair, I might give them a try.

      Ballet flats don’t seem to work for me either, I think because my feet sort of roll in. Or maybe I just need better quality ballet flats.

    • I am also very fair, but I am ok with white as long as it is true white. I avoid cream/tan/off-white like the plague…because they make me look like I have the plague.

    • Camisoles. I never realized I was supposed to be wearing these, like, every day until I started reading Corporette.

      • MaggieLizer :

        Omg I’m so glad I put on a cami today. I’m wearing a new black and white dress and didn’t realize how thin and sheer the material was until I got into the harsh lights of my office. Yeah, everyone would be admiring my pretty purple bra through my dress if I hadn’t worn a cami. Phew. Fortunately the bottom of the dress is black so it’s not as bad, but I will be wearing a slip next time.

      • Ditto. I own one (1) camisole, and wear it with exactly two winter sweaters, because they itch.

      • I love camis–I have one in practically every color, at this point. But although I like the IDEA of button-downs, somehow they never work for me in reality, so last time I cleaned out my closet I got rid of all but one (a white one! Just in case!). Begone!

        The plus side of having a closet that’s almost all the same colors is that it all goes together! Minus is that you don’t have anything fun to be an accent color, or if you find something awesome in a new color, nothing goes.

    • I wear button-downs under v-neck sweaters with a blazer for court. Sometimes under suits. I live where it’s pretty cold.

      But yes. They’re not comfy in any sense of the word. But I am wearing one today, under a sweater.

  4. Furniture shopping thread jack:

    I am looking to buy a new couch in the next few months. I have three adorable cats who spend a lot of time on my current couch, and since they are all fastidious groomers, they enjoy giving me presents of hair balls (and a lot of pet hair) on my couch. One of my biggest concerns about buying a new couch is figuring out what fabric will be easiest to clean. I know leather would probably be the best, but I prefer a much more traditional and comfortable look. Any thoughts on the best type of fabric to use when you have pets?

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I asked this question here a week or two ago and was told leather (but possibility of scratches – I was concerned about dog nails), microfiber, and outdoor fabrics. Apparently a lot of the “outdoor” fabrics are nice enough to be used indoors now.

      • I was very concerned about this too. I have two small dogs, and one of them loves to dig. I just got a brown leather couch a couple of months ago, and I have been very happy with it. Any marks go away with just a little bit of leather conditioner, and most of them dont show up to begin with.

    • Your cat may sink claws into leather (mine did, olive oil removes the mark), but may also go surfing across smooth leather, which is hilarious.
      Smooth fabric and an easy-wash throw have worked well for me.

    • Leather.

      I bought a darling fabric couch from Crate and Barrel and my cat uses it as an expensive scratching post. But she ignores the leather chair and couch.

    • yeaahh cats and furniture. Ugh. Something with a very tight weave (no chenille). Many people suggest leather for people with pets, but as a cat-with-claws owner I think that is a very bad idea.

      As for hair balls, any of the indoor/outdoor fabrics — ie. Krypton, Perennials, Sunbrella — is the way to go. Spills/stains just bead up and do not soak into the fabric.

      BTW the “Pledge Pet Hair Remover” thingy that you wipe back and forth on furniture is GREAT.

    • If you’re not willing to go with leather (and frankly I love leather) then you need to take into account two considerations I think. Hair color vs. fabric color (so the hair should not contrast sharply with the couch) for appearances purposes. And ease of vacuuming, so how clingy is the fabric going to be. Our couch and chair that are made of sort of tougher material is easier to vacuum and thus sort of clings to less dog hair. I think the worst would be a velvet or a fake velvet, something like that, which would just grab onto the hair and never let go.

    • I have four large dogs (well three large, one medium, and yes, I am crazy) and the only thing I have found that holds up is leather. It is super easy to clean, and certain leather is really resistant to scratching (don’t remember the type, but the sales guy helped me out). Other leather that already has a worn look works really well too – and it has a more comfy look like you are interested in. Leather is also ridiculously easy to clean. The only other fabric that I have found to hold up is a microsuede. I don’t really love this fabric, but I had a couch that lasted several years without major stains, scrathes, or rips, and the hair was pretty easy to vacuum off of it.

      • Anon from above here — dog claws and cat claws are very different! Cat claws are generally sharper and rounder– NOT good with leather. I lost a leather tote that way.

        Leather sofas and cats don’t mix, IMHO. Can any other cat owners weigh in?

        • Agreed. With 2 cats, I wouldn’t get leather, in case something about it prompted them to scratch it. They’re pretty good about their scratchy post, but I don’t want to take the risk. Also, we live in SoCal, it’s often warm here, and leather would be cold and nasty sit on with bare thighs and shoulders.

        • I have three cats (non-declawed cats under 2 years old, so still in the kitten phase) and leather furniture in my basement.

          Despite all of them LOVING to scratch fabric, I’ve had no problems with my leather couches, even when they take flying, heroic leaps to and fro. Boy Cat left one mark on the red sofa, but as mentioned above, leather conditioner got it out.

        • MissJackson :

          Actually, my cat leaves our leather couch alone. I was super worried about it because we spent a significant amount of dough on our “dream” couch, and the cat treated our prior upholstered couch like a massive scratching post. But it actually ended up being the perfect solution. (As I’ve noted before, we are losing the pet hair battle at my house — but at least it isn’t stuck to the couches anymore! I take small wins where I can get them!)

        • Yup. I bought a new leather couch in August and my cat destroyed it by September. Unless yours are declawed or can be shut out of the living room when you aren’t home, leather is a huge mistake.

        • I think it depends on the cat. I have a leather couch and chair, and never had any problems with my cat. I don’t think she liked the feel of the leather, or something. Never a scratch in sight, and she didn’t like to sleep on it either.

        • I also agree leather’s a bad idea. All my vegan-vinyl-leather-look-alike totes and laptop bags have been scratched or left with little cat-claw pin holes if I leave them in reach. We’re currently at seven cats — all colors, unfortunately, so no way to match the furniture — and the microfiber sofa we bought several years ago still looks good, and the cat hair vacuums up easily. The Feliway spray (with cat pheromones, apparently) deters the cats from scratching the furniture, when I remember to spray it on the couch and loveseat.

          • Should have clarified, our couch also is microsuede.

          • Beware microfiber… my pets enjoy the texture of the fabric on their tongues and, as such, spend hours LICKING THE COUCH!

        • My cats seem to snag my leather quite a bit, even though I keep their claws trimmed. They don’t deliberately scratch on it like some of my other furniture, but whenever they get freaked out because of a falling leaf or a visible ray of sunlight and go catapulting from the window across the couches they seem to snag. It’s not that bad though, and if your cats are not freaks, it might be okay.

      • I second the microsuede. No concenrs about scratching, it’s pretty easy to vaccum, and comfyier than leather.

      • Tired Squared :

        Third on the microsuede! My cat is attracted to leather items like a moth to a flame.

    • You can also consider washable slip covers. My mother has an obnoxious shedder/hair ball provider for a cat and she got Crate & Barrel couches with slip covers. The slip covers go on sale frequently, too, so she buys them every so often so there is no rush to clean anything.

      As far as scratching is concerned, there are natural sprays at Petland (blue and white bottle) that will magically eliminate that urge in your cat when sprayed on furniture. Also, providing scratching posts will do wonders. Most cats aren’t complete a**holes – they just want to file their nails somewhere.

      • I actually have a slipcover now, and while I love that I can wash it whenever I need to, I have found that it just doesn’t look as nice as a decent couch. Fortunately, my cats don’t really scratch up my furniture because they are spoiled rotten and have multiple scratching posts and pads that they use regularly. Pet hair is probably one of my biggest concerns because on of my cats sheds a lot, even though I brush him regularly. Somehow I tend to date men and have close friends who are allergic to cats, so I would like to minimize everyone’s discomfort by having something that is easy to clean. Its a lofty goal, I know, but with cats as sweet and loving as mine, I’m willing to deal with any hassles caused by their fur.

        • Hmm. I would check out the C&B slip covers anyway – I couldn’t even tell they were slip covers. Or you could always shave your cats — a friend of mine takes her fluffy black cat to the groomers b/c her husband is very allergic and they give him a lion haircut. It’s actually totally adorable. Just a thought ;)

          • Ugly but incredibly functional alternative to slip covers for smaller areas: towels. I have these two green upholstered chairs with wooden legs that my cat loves to sit on. I just lay a towel over them and then hide them when people come over. My cat isn’t incredibly social so she wouldn’t want to be lounging about when there are strangers who can see her, so it isn’t a problem then. Towels save the fabric, are easy to clean, you probably have some old beach towels, and still preserve the original look.

          • I’ve done the towels thing, it was a life saver! (A couch saver, really.)

            Also, AIMS, I totally want to take my cats in for haircuts now. They would never forgive me but it would be hilarious. Sadly, none of mine are particularly fluffy! :-)

          • They would hate me if I did this to them, but it weight almost be worth it! Think of the photo opportunities! One of my cats is a Maine coon mix, and he had the fluffiest tail j have ever seen. It would be precious!

          • MissJackson :

            My husband has been threatening to take our cat for a lion cut for awhile now, but I didn’t realize that was an actual “thing”! I have never seen it in real life, and I thought he was making it up…

          • This is probably a bit late for reading but — most cats really don’t mind and it’s adorable. My friend’s cat actually really loves it because he is a bit of tubby one and this way it’s much easier for him to groom himself. If I had a fluffy cat, I would definitely do this for the summer.

          • AIMS I can tell you right now that my cats would mind. They would hecka mind. They are furry, crazy little tyrants (cute though…). The best way to think of my brood is the Targaryens. I’ve got the one that would really prefer to set everything on fire, the one who you would swear has been huffing paint and one second is purring in your lap, on your chest, on your face, and the next is trying to eat your hand for daring to touch her…I could go on but now I’m laughing and need to get back to work so that I can get back to a Feast for Crows as soon as 5 o’clock sounds!

    • I have a newish microfiber type of couch from Crate and Barrel that has been great with the fur of my one medium haired cat. I haven’t gone through a summer shedding season with this couch yet so the true test still remains. The couch has not, however, held up to her evil claws. My cat destroys the arms of furniture and this couch was no better than the last fabric one we owned. I’ve resigned myself to purchasing a new couch every 3-5 years.

      • How it the microfibre for spot-cleaning?

        About the scratching, you might try putting clear, wide packing tape on a new piece of furniture where she’s likely to scratch. They don’t like how it feels. With any luck, after a couple of weeks she will have lost her taste for scratching there. The tape is low-enough tack that it leaves no gum residue on the fabric.

        • PharmaGirl :

          Spot cleaning has been fine. You can’t see the small spots from minor spills (we tend to eat dinner on the couch so it gets plenty of use).

          I tried double sided tape specifically made for this purpose with our last couch and it didn’t work. She still walked right on it and round a spot to scratch. The tape actually damaged the old couch quite badly so I’m hesitant to try that method ever again. We’ve tried the sprays etc as well. Nothing works with this cat and I doubt she will ever learn not to scratch furniture at the ripe old age of 12.

    • Leather. I have two couches – the downstairs one is leather, the upstairs one is a sort of ribbed microfiber. The microfiber is 2 years old and looks older than the leather couch, which is 20+ years old.

      The cats not only sharpen their claws on the microfiber couch, they sleep on it and tons of their hair clings to it. I hate the dam thing.

      They occasionally mark up the leather couch when they’re chasing each other, but that buffs out with any sort of emollient cleaner, and they are neither tempted nor able to sharpen their claws on it.

    • I bought a microfiber crate and barrel one that is wearing like iron vs 3 cats who shed and yack, 3 dogs who grind rawhide into it, and two lazy humans who put their feet on it with shoes on. Just wipe it off so far.

  5. Does anyone else have this issue or how do you deal with the following:

    I try to work out after work 2-3 days per week, but I find that not only do I have to remember to pack my gym bag, but I have to think of what I’m wearing to work today. More specifically, I have to make sure it won’t get too wrinkly in my gym bag or the locker esp since I leave in my gym clothes and don’t change bag. Which means I can’t wear silk shells on those days for fear of them looking like an animal chewed on them once I take them out (I like to avoid ironing at all costs!). Same goes for shoes…I do yoga, pilates or other shoe-less fitness classes so I have to make sure I have flats or sneakers to put on with my leggings as I leave.

    Not sure I have a question here – but does anyone else have similar struggles or a seamless solution? As if getting the energy/motivation to work out after 11hrs of work isn’t enough hassle!

    • I think you just need to pack a better gym bag. Keep your gym shoes in your bag (in a plastic grocery bag so that all of the gunk from the road does not get inside your bag) and keep either a folded up garment bag (with a hanger) or other smallish tote to use for carrying home neatly folded clothes.

    • I work out in the morning, so I have to pack my work clothes the night before and do the same thing (avoid silk, etc.). I choose simple solutions that don’t wrinkle easily (sheath dress plus cardigan, etc). If I do decide to wear a silk shirt, I put it in my bag last (on the top), and take it out as soon as I get to the gym and leave it on top of everything else in the locker. As soon as you get home, take it out and hang it up. Whatever wrinkles exist will fall out by the time you go to wear it again.

    • I agree with Anon’s suggestion about a small tote bag or similar! I usually change back into my work clothes for leaving the gym, but when I have worn my workout clothes home I’ve never had a problem neatly folding my office clothes and putting them into a side compartment. I think giving them too much space to unfold and crumple up is the real danger.

    • SoCal Gator :

      I work out almost every day after work. In my gym bag, I pack a plastic hanger. My work clothes get hung up on that and carried separately from my bag when I leave in my workout clothes so they never weinkle. I don’t bother about other shoes and wear my sneakers. If you don’t wear workout shoes, just keep a pair of those foldable flats they sell in your gym bag. Get a decent sized gym bag. Mine is from Lululemon (present from my husband) and it has tons of pockets and compartments.

  6. Clueless Summer :

    Looking for some advice on the appropriateness of braids in biglaw conservative offices? I love doing little braids in my hair when I’m wearing casual clothes – braiding my bangs in a french braid and putting back into a bun, waterfall braids, etc. I assume just your regular french braid could be okay in a conservative office? What about other more artistic braided hairstyles…is this totally just wishful thinking that I could do fun hairstyles at the office? I have longish brown otherwise un-dyed, unobjectionable biglaw hair.

    • I don’t think any sort of braid is a mature or professional look for a lawyer, big law or not. It’s a look I’d expect to see on an administrative assistant in a tech company.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think you could do the fun styles you’re talking about (if I’m envisioning them correctly) on a weekend at the office or a firm baseball game or something. I probably wouldn’t wear my hair in braids on a normal day at work for fear of looking too young.

      • I have dark hair, so the braiding doesn’t show as much, so I’ve never bothered.

        If I were blonde, though, I’d seriously consider trying to rock the “crown braid” that former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko had.

    • I agree that a french braid, especially one that tucks the tail up underneath, would be fine. You could probably do a braided bun (braided ponytail wrapped around itself) too. About as artsy as I’d get would be doing a low bun with small braids woven through it.

      Anything more seems to start getting into Heidi or RenFair territory.

    • Personally, for non-court or client days, I think a neat, well done braid is fine (though I think french braids are a little dated…maybe its because I can’t manage one). If it was me, I’d just make sure the waterfall braid started to the said of your face rather then in front, to avoid being distracting to anyone you were taking to.

    • Clueless Summer :

      Just after posting this I came across a style I definitely think is appropriate for the office, if anyone else is interested: instead of wrapping a ponytail elastic in regular hair, you do a small braid and wrap that around the elastic, hiding it.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would do a small side french braid, the other side just pulled back, and both sides into a ponytail, but nothing else at work. No braided bangs and no regular (eg center of the head) french braids – those look very 1988.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Umm, I do that stuff all the time. But I’m mixed-race, so maybe that falls under Anon’s exception? But my hair is relaxed, so really…I feel like it doesn’t.

      Honestly, I feel like this falls under the category of bright nail polish (also a “corporette-faux-pas” that I regularly commit), where you have to know your office.

      • ditto. I almost braided my hair this morning (it’s 50-50 on braid or low ponytail most days; before my bangs grew out I braided them all the time), and my nails are currently brilliant coral. No one bats an eye.

    • Ms. No Name :

      My bangs are growing out and I braid them all the time. It’s usually just a small braid with just my bangs pulled back in a bobby pin, but I’ve also braided my entire hair and put it in a bun or various other styles. I’ve gotten compliments on it in braids and it never occurred to me it might be inappropriate. I’m pretty sure I’ve even worn it with just the bangs braided to Court…

    • I think this is certainly a Know Your Office situation.

      For any law offices I’ve ever worked in, braids on a Caucasian woman would be inappropriate. Classic french braids, like down the back of the head, are kind of late 80s/early 90s. I could imagine an assistant wearing a small braid around her face, but it doesn’t really give a powerful, confident, “I’m in charge” look.

      I would save it for the weekend.

  7. Always a NYer, I need to rant about GG this morning. Oh, my eyes. What the hell was Chuck wearing to work out? It was a red zip-up hooded jumpsuit. Stick with the suits, Chuck!

    That coupled with Blair/Dan makeout sessions and the return of Elizabeth Hurley made for a very painful episode.

    Thankfully, Hart of Dixie was back. Unfortunately, there was only one Zoe/Wade scene and he wore a shirt during the entire episode.

    • Oh, how I hope Ivy’s holding some sort of ace that will get her the money and the loft back!

    • Yes, but next week, he’s apparently playing a str*pper. Which is weird, and yet, awesome.


      Also, did they change the actress playing Lemon’s little sister. The new one seems about a decade older. Its weird.

    • Always a NYer :

      I’ve given up on GG because the storylines are too ridiculous for me, even for GG it’s too much. I haven’t watched since 5×11. The Dair pairing is really out of character for me, I refuse to acknowledge it’s happening. My mind is under the impression that Chuck and Blair are living happily ever after somewhere and that nothing has happened to them after 5×10. I know, I’m totally fangirling but I don’t care, this season really ruined one of my favorite tv shows. (No judging, you know this season is painful for Chair fans).

      As for Chuck’s hideous workout onesie, we all know there’s only one form of exercise Chuck Bass engages in ;)

      • Agreed. It totally jumped the shark after Chuck and Blair got together. There was no tension anymore.

        It’s like when Dean Cain’s Superman came out to Teri Hatcher’s Lois Lane on “Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman” in like 1997 or something. That is my first real memory of a show I loved jumping the shark.

    • I will have to say I’m actually really enjoying the Dan/Blair storyline. They’re just so happy, and I feel like it’s been such a long time since I’ve seen the characters on this show just enjoying themselves. I mean, I love angst as much as the next person, but too much can be a bit of a drag.

    • You must admit, the red track suit was better than Chuck’s basketball outfit from season one.

      (Google “Chuck Bass basketball outift” if you don’t believe me.)

      • No shirtless Wade, but he’s a mixologist with mad skillz! And the hair, make-up and wardrobe people still hate Lemon – what did that actress do to them? She looked like a riverboat gambler’s good-time girl in that dinner party outfit, with that bumpit chignon and harsh lipstick. And Zoe’s eye makeup is so, so lovely.

  8. My husband and I are invited to a dinner party with a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. There will be 12 people, including the guest of honor and the hosts. I’m a little intimidated. I plan to read the books the author has written and not drink too much wine, but I’d appreciate any other tips on how to be an excellent and interesting guest.

    • I find my best strategy is to ask questions, and let people talk about their favorite subject- themselves. An interested listener is a greatly appreciated guest.

    • Be yourself, as you an an excellent and interesting person! I actually wouldn’t plan on talking too much about the author’s books, unless it’s some kind of Buy Ticket, Have Dinner With Famous Author thing; a lot of writers I know are actually quite uncomfortable talking about their own work. But if it would make you feel better to read his or her books, go for it. Other than that, I would just make sure you’re conversant in current events and culture; take a few deep breaths if you’re feeling nervous; and remember the gem I read somewhere (here?) that you should ask people two follow-ups on their own statements before starting a story of your own, if you’re inclined to be a nervous talker (which I definitely am guilty of sometimes).

      • PS, don’t be intimidated. Pulitzer Prize winners put on shirts and dribble toothpaste down their fronts the same way you do.

        • Garcon for this :

          Actually, I was going to say very specifically: at a lunch I attended with a Pulitzer prize winner, he grabbed a sandwich with his hands off of a platter and bit into it–sans napkin, sans plate–while still in the buffet line. He kept talking throughout as well.

        • Always a NYer :

          This. People are people, doesn’t matter if they won a Pulitzer Prize or work the drive-thru at McDonald’s. Treat him like any other person you meet. Most importantly, have fun, and report back with how it goes!

      • I will say, as someone who spent a lot of time around famous people of all types (former journalist) that there is an inverse relationship between how nice a person is (to strangers) and how often s/he has been on TV. Writers are among the nicest. And as the spouse of a fiction writer, we know a good many notable folk including at least one Pulitzer Prize winner. You’ll be fine, but since you asked, I will give you a couple of concrete tips:

        – Do not assume a familiarity with pop culture, even if the person is young and has a cool haircut.
        – Assume a familiarity with politics/world news (this goes triple if you’re talking about someone who writes nonfiction).
        – Do not assume a political POV (unless it’s John Irving or another similarly overtly political person)
        – Whatever you do, do not utter the phrase “fiction novel” or ask if a novel is fiction or nonfiction. A lot of smart people think novel means book… I’m not sure about the origin of this mix-up, but it tends to annoy writer-types very quickly.
        – Do not ask how much of something happened personally to an author, whether they wrote fiction or nonfiction (you are free to guess after the dinner though!).

        Have fun!

  9. Wish me luck – I had a job interview today and I think it went really well!

    It’s for a job that’s a bit of a stretch, but that I know I can do, and furthermore the “stretch” areas are things I really enjoy doing and have done a lot in my hobbies – just not in paid work. I’m also extremely interested in the work the organisation does (it’s a charity – not a front-line one like Oxfam or the Red Cross, but along the lines of Consumers International). The role focuses on my favourite parts of my current job, and it offers a really strong development path.

    The interviewers and I also clicked really well. Near the middle I admitted I was pleased to have been called in as I thought it was a long shot (the role is clearly a major step up for me, and it would have been disingenuous to pretend otherwise), and the hiring manager agreed (in a very professional way – again, it was pretty obvious) but said she’d thought my cover letter was really impressive and had a good feeling about me, and that her “hunch had been right”. Yay! I also found out they only asked five people to interview out of 100+ applications, so I’m feeling really good about myself!

    First interviews are today and tomorrow, and if they don’t make a decision right away they’ll be holding second interviews on Friday or early next week. When I was only going on the job description, I wasn’t 100% sure about the fit, but now that I’ve heard more details about it and talked to the person who would be my manager it really seems ideal. I really hope I’m called back!

  10. Legally Brunette :

    Any recommendations on where I can buy online long lasting tights for the office (free shipping would be a huge plus)? Subtle patterns ok, nothing too crazy. Hue.com did not have a lot of variety online, surprisingly. Not looking to spend too much either. Thanks!

  11. momentsofabsurdity :

    Ugh. For some reason, the bones/muscles under my eyes (not IN my eyes or on the lid, but just under, like my outer cheekbones) REALLY hurt to the touch. Could this be a remnant of the sinus infection (I think) I was battling last week? It honestly feels like there are two huge bruises under my eyes even though they don’t look bruised.

    • It sounds like it is from the sinus infection (I have this problem with sinus infections as well). Take some Aleve or Advil (or whatever); it’ll help reduce the pain, and perhaps bring down any residual swelling. Feel better!

    • I’ve had that before and it’s definitely from a sinus infection/allergies that involved sinus congestion. It should go away in a few days.

    • Yup. I’m home with a sinus infection as I type this. It sucks. It’s also really hard to sleep because you can’t find a comfortable way to rest your head.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Seriously. I slept in the weirdest most contorted head position last week. I also didn’t get out of bed for an extra 45 minutes because every time I stood up my head would POUND. Blech.

      • Try a Breathe Right strip (if the regular strips don’t work for you try the ‘Extra’ – I have a wider/oilier nose and the Extra stays on overnight), and sleep with an extra pillow. The elevation helps me a lot. Also, two Aleve help with the throbbing headache that comes with the congestion. (I feel like an Aleve pusher on this thread).

    • mog – there are several sinus cavities in the face – take a look at Google Images – including the maxillaries, which are directly under your eyes. I’ve had many a sinus inflammation, and I’d bet that’s what you’ve got. Sometimes I’ve even what felt like a toothache, but wasn’t – some teeth have their roots very near a sinus cavity. Tylenol Sinus is your friend.

    • In addition to the pain relievers, try taking a steamy shower; that usually helps my sinuses feel better.

    • Definitely sinuses. Take a decongestant, if you aren’t already.

      And sleep! Get like 12 hours. Lots of people (especially women), even if they stay home from work, don’t sleep. Your body needs sleep and liquids to heal. If you can’t sleep, take Nyquil. You need to sleep waaaay more than normal when you’re sick.

  12. Diana Barry :

    Ladies – any recommendations for men’s jeans that are nice and not too expensive? (less than $150) My husband’s jeans are all wearing out and he needs some to wear to casual meetings (VC/private equity/tech/etc) and out to dinner with friends. Dark wash, straight fit, nothing fancy. He is a 34×32.


  13. On the subject of basics, I need some help.

    I am doing a revamp of my casual summer (in southern Ca that’s basically most of the year) wardrobe. The items to be replaced are easy to identify, but finding the actual ones that fit me and will last is really hard. How do people do it? Examples:

    * black cropped/ankle length cotton pants. I have two pairs that I love, one from the Gap and one from Old Navy. Both are about ten years old. They fit beautifully and are still in good shape. Yet they will need to be replaced at some point. I have scoured Old Navy, Gap, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Bloomies, Nordstrom, Lands End, Eddie Bauer, BR, LL Bean, Saks, Macy’s and WHBM in recent weeks. Nothing. Everything is either too blingy (I want spare, simple, plain, elegant) or doesn’t fit properly and can’t be tailored.

    * white cropped/ankle length cotton pants. Ditto, but I have no current pair, so this is more urgent.

    Any suggestions for how to go about this?

    • Could you get regular-length pants in the appropriate colors and get a tailor to hem them to a cropped length? I saw some options on the J. Crew website that might work with that, links to follow.

      Anthropologie also usually has ankle-length pants–I got a great pair of navy ones last fall. From a quick scan of the website I found a pair that are “cream” not white, but otherwise appear to fit the bill.

    • Without knowing a little bit more about the shape of pant and price point you’re looking for its hard to be super helpful, but Brooks Brothers has these cropped pants (link to follow) in black white and khaki that look nice.

      Leaving that aside, I’d go to shopstyle[dot]com and do a search for cropped pants and limit to black and then you can limit by price point. You’d be able to search through much quicker and eliminate what you’ve already tried on much quicker then we can.

        • These are gorgeous and exactly the look I am going for! Now begins my curating issues, in no particular order:

          * $295!!!??
          * According to the size chart, I am a size 8-10? Really? I am 5’2″ and weigh 120 pounds. I am usually a 2-4 in BB.
          * I wonder if they have these in the BB near my house? Or will they only have men’s clothes, as usual? Sidetrack: “Dear BB, Some women in places in this country other than NYC also wear your clothes and want to try them on in real life. You might try stocking your stores.”
          * Maybe I should just order them. So which size? Maybe I’ll order the size I think I need, and one size up and one size down. One set in white and one set in black. That’s six pairs. That’s $1800. And then I can return what doesn’t fit. (FWIW, it’s not as if I live in Duluth. I live near one of the three largest malls in the country, on the coast, we have N-M, Saks, BB, BR, Tiffany, etc plus all the regular mall stores. So why is it always such an issue?)
          * I wonder if the cut on these is right for my body, which is a separate issue from size. Hmm. Only one way to find out.

          It’s OCD, right? That’s what’s going on in my head? Am I the only one?

          • wow, I thought *I* was the only one!! It is nice to hear I am not. No, you are not alone, I feel like I’ve been obsessively stressing for months just trying to find some casual skinny non-jeans :o( But thanks for saying this.

          • So many questions. One thing to consider — do you have a BB Outlet store in your general region. This is where all my BB clothes come from.

            Also — if you wait, most BB stuff eventually goes on sale. Still an investment piece — but you know, cheaper investment piece. Finally, search on shop style, there were some similar pieces by theory I think and maybe even a pair at Nordies (maybe online only) that looked similar.

          • @ Zora: Jeans. Yes. Another example. I also go through this every time I replace the linens for my bed/bathroom. It is a HUGE deterrent to shopping and acquiring.

            @ TCFKAG: There is a BBB outlet about 2 hours by car. So not really close enough to stop by on the off chance they will be in store. In my size. But I can check the fit and size at the real BB nearby and then watch the site for sales.

    • Accountress :

      J.Jill and Chico’s both have that natural fabric style going on- and both websites even have special pants categories for cropped and/or ankle.

      Alternatively, there’s Eileen Fisher- it always has cotton pants, with varying lengths depending on the season.

    • Second J.Crew. I have a pair of Minnie pants from there that I bought probably 3 years ago and I love them. I did buy the wool ones, not the cotton ones, if that makes a difference. They have held up really well under constant wear (seriously, probably 2x week from Nov-Feb, 1x week the rest of the year). Bonus is that they are on sale right now for $49.99! It is final sale only though, so I would go to the store to try them on first rather than just grabbing them online in case you don’t like them.

      • I live in SoCal too, but the wool is ok, especially because I spend a lot of time indoors in over air conditioned rooms. I wouldn’t do them for long periods in 90 degree weather but I think they are comfortable until im spending lots of time outside when it is about 78 degrees.

      • I plan to go to J. Crew tomorrow, so I am looking at the Minnie online. I am also looking at the Cafe Trouser. And now I am really confused about terminology.

        The Minnie has “our lowest rise” and “sits just above the hip.”

        The Cafe Trouser has “our most universal fit with a medium rise” and “sits below waist.”

        I thought that the lower a pant’s rise is, the lower it sits relative to the waist/hip. So why does the Minnie, with the lowest rise, sit above the hip, while the Cafe Trouser, with a medium rise, sit below the waist? Anyone? Bueller?

        To make it even more confusing, the Cafe Capri (which is looser than the Minnie and is therefore what I want because I do not want pants that are so tight to the shape of my butt, thigh and calf) has the same fit as the Minnie: “our lowest rise” and “sits just above the hip.”


    • OP here.

      Many thanks for the thoughtful recommendations, which I will track down.

      I have to confess that I was half hoping someone would say something to liberate me from the need to curate my wardrobe at all. No such luck. Sigh.

    • big dipper :

      Another vote for the J.Crew Minnie pants. I have a pair of the black twill/cottony/summer material ones and I love them. I wear them all the time.

  14. School House Rock(ed the test) :

    I posted a few weeks ago about how to support my awesome husband who was going in to fail an entrance examination test that he had studied for very intensely for weeks, in preparation for switching to a new career. He was still a few dozen points away from a passing score just a few days before the test and he was terrified that he would not pass (and would be stuck in the job he does not like forever), and the hive gave me great advice on how to support him.

    I just wanted to report back – he received his scores this morning and he PASSED. By a huge margin. With a great score! With a score that guarantees his admission into this program.

    I am so incredibly proud of him I could just burst open, and wanted to share. We’re going out tonight to celebrate both his passing the test and how we’ve grown closer through this trial and tribulation. Thanks so everyone!

  15. So today is my birthday and I’ve now been looking for an in house/gov’t job for over a year now (took another litigation job in the meantime, hate it every bit as much as the last one). Last interview was in December and none scheduled at the moment. Any advice for keeping the faith so to speak? I’m terrified I’ll spend another year interviewing with no luck, but I feel like I can’t quit because I’ve only been at my current job for 4 months.

    • Just keep going. I seriously wish that I had some kind of magic words of wisdom to share here, but my current job search is the most demoralizing thing I’ve ever faced. The only thing that keeps me going is regular kicks in the butt from friends. You just have to believe that eventually, you will prevail, through sheer volume of (well-executed) applications if nothing else.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I don’t have good advice, but happy birthday!!

    • Happy birthday!

      Here’s what I kept thinking at my last (horrible, soul-sucking, drudgery of a) job: If you don’t keep applying you’ll never find anything and you’ll be stuck where you are FOREVER. At my firm there were a few “senior” attorneys (by age not authority) who had been with the firm for decades and they were so beaten down and pathetic I just thought about turning into them and KNEW I had to keep applying. I applied on and off for about 2 years before finding my current (fabulous, perfect, interesting, wonderful) job.

      It’s the same as exercise. If you don’t keep applying now, in a year you’re still going to be RIGHT HERE wishing you’d been applying for a year!

    • Happy birthday!

      Suggestions: 1. job coach; 2. network constantly – aim for one contact a day if possible; 3. work on whatever skills will help you land a job, with volunteer work, additional research, courses, whatever you can find.

    • Birthdays can be weird :

      I went through an “annus horribilis” that lasted roughly 30 months several years ago. It helpfully embraced both work issues and personal issues. In a nutshell, I celebrated my birthday in 2002 with an almost-fiance and a new role as partner in my firm. I celebrated my birthday in 2003 with the almost-fiance and me in counseling/he was seeing another woman and looking for a new job. I celebrated my birthday in 2004 without the almost-fiance and with a new horrible job. I celebrated my birthday in 2005 alone and with a new job that turned out to be wonderful and that I still have. Twelve days later, I met my husband.

      I don’t think there is any answer. I think you just have to keep slogging through the much. Because, really, what other choice do you have?

      Happy Birthday! May you write many stories in your life.

    • Happy birthday! I’m in that same endless-job-hunt boat with you and some of the other commenters. If nothing else, keep in mind that another year of interviewing will really help you polish your interviewing skills – and that should help you when the right job opportunity comes along! Maybe that’s too Pollyanna-ish, but there has to be some kind of silver lining, right? Hang in there.

    • Thanks for all the birthday wishes and encouragement. It helps to hear I’m not the only one struggling to land something! Good luck to everyone in the job search!

      • Wanna know what is worse than being stuck in a soul sucking, dead end job and endlessly looking for a new one, with minimal results and increasing fear of becoming a “lifer”?

        Doing the same thing, while unemployed.

        As much as it sucks, if ye seek and continually seek and seek (while taking steps to improve your marketable skills and professional visibility in the appropriate areas), eventually ye will find.

  16. Quick TJ —

    My husband and I put our first offer on a house together in yesterday at 7:30 PM — the seller has until 9 PM tonight to respond/counter. Concentrating at work today is hard!

    I’m not sure if I’m sick to my stomach from nervousness, excitement, or the baby.

    • Good luck!

      We also have an offer pending today, but it’s our third offer in the past month- we didn’t get the first one (which had 2 other offers at list price) and we decided to withdraw the second one after the seller put some odd conditions on it. I remember being super nervous and excited the first time, but now I’m just sort of ambivalent. Perhaps because I’m ambivalent about the actual house we’re bidding on. Anyway- I hope you don’t get to this point. The first situation we were in was very unusual. At least you don’t have to wait very long to find out!

    • a passion for fashion :

      Im in the opposite boat — we are negotiating right now to sell our place. It does make concentration hard, but fun too!

    • Good luck!

  17. I’m on the hunt for a pair of gray pumps to replace a pair that is falling apart. Would prefer regular leather but that is negotiable, and requires a high heel (I love 4″ heels – questionable, I know!). Any chance someone has spotted a pair? I swear it is impossible to find a good grey heel, but they go with everything!

  18. Is it true you can get out of a cell phone contract without a termination fee if there’s no service at your home or workplace?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think it needs to be “no service in your area.” I successfully got out of a contract when I went to college because there was literally no Sprint service in the town – I was roaming everywhere I went. I think if you just have terrible service inside your home or your workplace but you haven’t recently moved, it’ll be harder to get out of.

    • My secretary had this issue. She had no service in her house or her yard (that she had just rented). However, there was service “in her area” because when the phone company did an assesment, they showed service nearby. She still broke her contract and is currently fighting the $700 plus bill they sent.

    • Depends on many things, including your provider’s contract. If it’s just home or workplace, but they do serve the area, they likely have the option to try to take actions to boost service first (for example, installing a repeater).

  19. I was off yesterday so I really pushed myself at the gym (weights). Now I have a big angry red mark from one of the weight machine pads on my upper arm. I regular get marks from this machine but not as bad as this. Considered concealer, but didn’t want to get it on my clothes. So now I’m just trying to make sure my slippery cardigan doesn’t fall off of my shoulder. At my morning meeting, one of my colleagues suggested that I had joined Fight Club. Any thoughts for making it look less angry?

    • Is it a bruise forming, or red because your skin is irritated?

      • I think it’s a bruise. Usually I just get little irritated red marks but this looks more bruise-like. Darn that machine!

        • Anon from 12:44pm :

          Arnica (the topical gel and the sublingual pills, both available at vitamin stores or health food stores).

          Eat tons of food rich in Vitamin K (kale, brussels sprouts, collards, etc).

          • Thanks! I have a feeling this is going to become a regular thing in that spot unless I put a towel between me and the pad. Partly because I was pushing against 160 pounds!

    • No. Just wear it with pride and remember the first rule of Fight Club.

      From Muay Thai Boxing and Crossfit, I’ve come to work with many a visible injury. It’s not a big deal and your colleague is rude to have mentioned it (unless she is a friend who is wondering if you are ok).

    • phillygirlruns :

      no suggestions, just commiseration. i bruise easily and between crossfit and olympic lifting, i am constantly covered in marks – generally on my collarbones and shins. people are generally too polite to say anything, but oh well.

  20. PSA: For those in Orange County in search of suitcases, the South Coast Plaza Nordstrom Rack has a bunch of B&R and TravelProsuitcases on sale. The Briggs & Riley I saw are the European size carry on, a big bag (Transcend rolling duffel, maybe), and a smaller duffel.

    • It never occurred to me to check Nordstrom Rack for Briggs & Riley! I have had a huge crush on a B&R bag since forever but can’t justify the $400 pricetag…I may have to go check out what they’re offering. Thanks for the heads up!

      (And yay for another OC Corporette!)

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