Suit of the Week: Armani Collezioni

2For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

I love this “wool-blend crepe jersey” Armani suit. I know, it seems like I’m always saying that, but they’re always gorgeous! Love the two-way collar here — you can wear it opened (as shown above) or closed (as shown below). The skirt looks like a good basic, as well. The jacket (Armani Collezioni Crepe Jersey Blazer) is $1525, and the skirt (Armani Collezioni Crepe Jersey Pencil Skirt) is $425.

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(L-5)

Comments

  1. Former MidLevel :

    Kat, this is lovely!

  2. Gorgeous suit. *sigh* shopping ban…*sigh*….

    • Oh geez. I love it, but definitely definitely do not have the moolah for that nice a suit right now.

      • This is pretty, but much to tight in the SEAT for me. My father is NOW getting on my case for eating to much over the holiday’s and he said I have a caboosse that could stop a fire truck. Thanks alot dad, but I am ONLY a size 6. FOOEY on him.

        He is spoiled b/c I told him about the MANAGEING partner and the clotheing allowance and now he wants to have a voice in this also, b/c he helps to subsedeize my rent.

        There are to many men in my life that want to CONTROL me. I say FOOEY to them. I am a big girl now capeable of takeing care of Myself. Not even Alan was smart enough for me.

  3. Just hired.... :

    Question for law students (former and present): Did any of your professors recommend (or have your bookstore buy) loose-leaf versions of your textbooks? I’m pretty intrigued–the loose-leaf versions are cheaper (to the tune of 40% cheaper), and you don’t have to haul a whole bound book to class every day. And the bound version would always be available if someone really preferred that format.

    So I was wondering – does anyone have any experience with these loose-leaf versions? Would you think I was crazy if you went to the bookstore and the book I recommended looked different than all your other books? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

    • AnonInfinity :

      I never had a loose-leaf book. Here are my thoughts, though:

      Pros: 40% CHEAPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Cons: Bulkier (I assume all the pages are held together by a binder). I would never take out the day’s reading and transport it to class because I would definitely lose or tear that section.

      In my mind, the pro outweighs the con by a long shot. And there’s the major plus that you can remove pages if you’re interested in doing such a thing.

    • Would not think you were crazy. Would probably appreciate it. I never had a prof do this, and didn’t even know it could be done, but I had a few profs who made us get their own supplements, and this sounds like the same thing, essentially.

    • Equity's Darling :

      A couple of my classes only had loose-leaf books-but they were a lot more expensive than bound ones for us, so I almost always chose bound.

      The benefit of loose leaf is that you can sign up for updates with the publisher, and your book will always be up to date, and the downside was price and size for me (since I wasn’t really cool with pulling out pages as needed, I was always afraid of losing them).

    • It was common at my law school for professors to come up with their own case books/course packs which were textbook-length, binder ring bound, packets of cases and statutes and articles and whatnot. I think at most they cost $40-$50. I loved them – you could keep the bulk of the material at home and then just take to class the day’s material.

      • Yep, this was generally the practice at my law school as well, except they were usually even cheaper than Sconnie’s.

    • I never knew this was an option–I would have loved it. At my law school, it was common to take your books to the nearest copy shop and have them cut up and rebound, so you could just lug around the small section with the material for that day. This saved my back.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        That is brilliant. I wish I had done it.

      • I did this :)
        I always appreciate it when professors try to save us money on books.

      • We did this, too. It was uh-may-zing.

        We also had a few profs who made their own case books/class packets that would come in loose-leaf form.

        I support either option wholheartedly, especially if it saves money. My professors often had no idea what the cost of books were, and therefore were less concerned about saving us money. For instance, I vividly remember my tax prof holding up our (huge) tax text and making a comment about it costing $80. He seemed shocked when A) the class laughed/coughed nervously and B) someone told him (when he asked) that the book actually cost $250.

      • Former MidLevel :

        I remember one of my profs telling us about this while I was in law school. I never did it because of the added time and cost, though I remember thinking it was a good idea.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Yes this is the tradition at my law school. However, I have had one professor offer both the loose leaf and the bound versions of the textbook, and I purchased the loose leaf, so I suspect that your students would appreciate it.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I cut mine too.

    • I used that format for the first time this past semester. It was about $40-50 cheaper, and it was nice to have a small binder to carry around instead of a huge textbook. Downsides: when it came to exam time, I had a hard time finding one binder big enough for the entire book, so I had to have 2 (still large) binders, in addition to my outline, attack sheet, other people’s outlines, sample exam with answers, etc. on my desk. There were also a couple times I forgot to swap papers from the big binders to the everyday binder, so I would get to school to read for that day’s class and have only the week before’s reading. Also, I like keeping all my textbooks on my bookshelf and obviously won’t be keeping 2 big white binders.

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      These sound amazing (and I am jealous!). For those worried about the binder-lugging aspect — you could always have chapters/sections spiral bound or just use binder rings. I was on a jury for a week (there were TWO lawyers on my jury!) and took all of my work/documents with me in spiral bound packages (separated by project). It was easy breezy to carry and worked like a charm, since I didn’t lose any pages or need a giant bag to carry binders.

    • I’ve used them for a number of classes. Although they are usually cheaper, they are very bulky to carry around. I don’t like to just pull out the sections I need, because I often want to flip back to a previous section. Also, binders big enough to hold the loose leaf sheets are not cheap. On the plus side, loose leafs tend to have a lot of white space which are great for taking notes.

    • Just hired... :

      Thank you for all the input! I really appreciate it.

      • Turtle Wexler :

        Just to throw in one more perspective – when I was in law school (recently), I would sell my textbooks after the semester on Amazon Marketplace. I took good care of my books and so for some of them I was able to recoup 40% (or much more) of what I had originally paid. I never got my books unbound, though many of my classmates did, because that really hurt the resale value. Similarly, I would imagine a textbook like the one you described wouldn’t have as high of a resale value as a bound book.

    • I only had this happen for one of my classes, and the law bookstore proprietor explained that the professor’s publisher dropped him. That’s why his book was not in the form of a traditional textbook.

  4. Wow, I love this, especially the closed jacket look.

  5. Bay Area meetup this Saturday! We’re meeting at Cafe Asia in the Asian Art Museum (200 Larkin in downtown SF) at 1pm on Saturday the 28th. For more information, email Karen at karenpadi AT hotmail DOT com

    • Legally Brunette :

      Not in the Bay Area, but I looooove that restaurant! Best food I have ever had in a museum. Have fun ladies.

  6. CleveAnon :

    Book-related threadjack! I’m heading off to the Outer Banks for a week in June, with nothing on my agenda but reading and relaxing. I’m looking for entertaining book recommendations that will keep me busy for a week–I’m a pretty fast reader, especially when the material’s light. I read just about everything but less sci-fi, fantasy and romance than other genres. Can anyone help me?

    • This is a little out of left field, but have you ever read the Number One Ladies Detective Agency series? Its a fun, relatively light read. You’ll fly through each book though, so you’ll want to bring a bunch of them.

    • Okay, so this list is all literary fiction, which people don’t associate with vacations. But I promise, these are all fun reads. Take it from a professional book critic!

      I really like Pym by Mat Johnson (very funny and a quick read); What You See in the Dark by Manuel Munoz–a great twist on noir (extra fun for Hitchcock fans); The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan (multiple generation story by a brilliant Canadian/American writer of Indian descent); Monster: Living off the Big Screen by John Dunne (a very funny book about being a writer-for-hire in Hollywood with his wife, Joan Didion); The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (a really amazing novel by a French writer/philosopher who tackles essential questions about womanhood but is, again, utterly readable).

      • I couldn’t get through more than 40 pages of The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Too depressing. But it was for a book club, and others liked it.

        • I wasn’t a fan either (took me over a year to finish). I think it had something to do with being a translation.

          • No, I couldn’t either in the original language. I quited after a couple of pages.

    • The Hunger Games! Or Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series (starts with The Eyre Affair). If you like nonfiction, I read Lost on Planet China recently (author is Troost), it was very interesting.

      The True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse books are kind of fun, in a junk food-reading kind of way.

      • Former MidLevel :

        Second the Thursday Next series. Warning, though – books 1 and 2 are awesome, then they go downhill a bit until the latest one. Also love #1 Ladies Detective Agency. But as much as I love Game of Thrones, it is *not* light reading. So I’m not sure that fits your purposes.

    • My book recommendations are in moderation. Hmpf.

    • Hunger Games if you haven’t read them! Game of Thrones also seems pretty popular around here.

    • If you haven’t read it (it’s been out for several years), bring Pillars of the Earth. Amazing book, really long, entertaining while still being easy to read.

    • Seattleite :

      Lonesome Dove, The Shell Seekers, …And Ladies of the Club. They’ve all been out for a while, but are great reads.

    • Mousekeeper :

      Start the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. It will take your vacation plus some to get through the first book. Wonderful, dense, incredibly well-written historical fiction about Scotland during the Jacobite rebellion and American during the Revolution. Plus, a delicious love story that keeps going through all eight books.

      • I *love* that series. I remember being so frustrated after book 4 because a. it took what felt like a gazillion years for the next one to come out and b. she had said that the series was over (and then wrote several more books). I am also a fan of Mary Kay Andrews for summer reading. It is Southern women’s fiction- light, but funny.

        • mousekeeper at home :

          Isn’t the Outlander series terrific? I really wish they would make an HBO series out of it. The last book was a bit slow going in the parts devoted to William and the colonial army movements. But I love how the love story for Jamie and Claire has played out over the years. I’m looking forward to the next one and have been reading the tidbits DG offers on her websites.
          For great reading that you can get from the public library, read anything written by Isabelle Allende. Her books take in different chapters in colonial and precolonial Latin American history, including one set in Haiti during the slave revolt. They all feature at least one strong female character, good historical exposition, and interesting story lines. I’ve read them all and they are all hard to put down once you get started.

    • In House Counsel :

      A couple of recent reads I enjoyed were Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons and When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt.

      I also highly echo the recommendation for the Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher and the Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan.

    • Defending Jacob by William Landay
      The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermot
      America America by Ethan Canin
      The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes
      The Informationist by Taylor Stevens

      I keep a spreadsheet of all the books I’ve read since 2004. Let me know if you want me to post a link to it.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I think that Sarah Vowell’s books are fun–I’m reading Wordy Shipmates right now. It’s a good thing to read along with something more dense. She has a similar style to Tiny Fey in Bossypants, only she isn’t writing memoirs. Actually, Wordy Shipmates (which is about Puritans and early New England) was quite fun to read alongside Founding Brothers (which I just finished) if you are in an American History mood.

      More non-fiction/history: Am now rereading Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford, which is one of my favorites. I have heard that other books by him are also good. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, (which is better than his book, In the Garden of Beasts).

      For fiction, I second Lonesome Dove–great book to read while traveling. If you like chick lit, my favorites of Sophie Kinsella are Undomestic Goddess and Twenties Girl. I’m not entirely sure if those count as romance, but I don’t think they are? If you like Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes (the creator), has a nice book I read a few years ago called Snobs.

    • I just finished “The Lonely Polygamist,” which is about a polygamist, his four wives, and their many children. It’s told from the point of view of several of the characters. It’s about 700 pages long. I got it on Saturday at noon and finished it Sunday night at 11:30 (with breaks in between to go to church, have brunch, grocery shop – all the stuff that kept me from the book!).

    • CleveAnon :

      Thanks everyone! I’ll check these out.

  7. Goodbye letters :

    It’s the last day of my internship with a law firm. What should I say in my farewell email? Everything I write sounds cheesy or overeager. I want to convey that I’ve had a great experience and appreciate all the help/feedback/support I’ve received. And I’d like to leave as good an impression as possible so that they might hire me back! Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I’m a huge fan of the in-person goodbye. I tried to finish my projects early on my last day and go around to each person’s office and just say something like, “It’s my last day — I wanted to say good bye and that it was great meeting you.” If it was a person that I actually worked for/went to lunch with/etc., I’d add in something about that specific experience.

      Depending on the size of your firm, a firm-wide email is more likely to get overlooked, or people (the ones you didn’t really work with) are more likely to wonder who is sending this email. They also tend to sound generic, in my opinion.

      I break my email rule only for people that I really enjoyed working with who were not around when I was walking around to all the offices. Then I made it really personal and said something like, “Dear X, Today is my last day, and I want to let you know that I had a great time here. I tried to find you before I left, but your assistant said you’re out for the day. I really enjoyed getting to observe the semi-truck trial with you. I hope to see you again. Sincerely, AnonInfinity”

      • I think it might be helpful to send a group email in addition, though. First, it gives you the opportunity to tell people your regular email (in case someone later needs to get in touch for some reason and doesn’t want to or can’t dig up your resume), and second, inevitably you will miss saying goodbye to some people — on vacation, in court, in meetings, whatever. The in-person goodbye will cover the bulk of what you’re looking for, but the mass email take care of cover any gaps. It can be nice and short — “today is my last day, have enjoyed working with you all and learned a lot, can be reached at X, thanks”

        • AnonInfinity :

          I may have done it in a weird (and overanalytical) way, but I sent personal emails to the folks I couldn’t catch because I wanted to say bye to them, but didn’t want everyone else to get 2 goodbyes from me. For example, the partner on another floor who I didn’t interact with much — I didn’t want to go shake his hand and say I had a good time there and then send a mass email and have him wonder, “Why is she a weird person, saying good bye twice?” I don’t nkow if that was the wrong way or the right way, but I was just explaining my reasoning.

          Whether Goodbye Letters decides to send a group email or individual ones, I do think it’s important that she say goodbye in person to as many people as possible.

    • Goodbye Letters :

      Thanks for the advice!

  8. I don’t normally complain about the high-priced items Kat posts. But, seriously, this is getting ridiculous. I don’t think we need tons of posts on cheap items, but I’m sure there are numerous designers/retailers who can offer quaility suits under $2000. The $2,000 every other day on various items of clothing is really turning me off this site.

    I’ll keep coming for the comments, of course. ;)

    • question: i’m curious, do any readers actually own a $2,000 dollar suit?

      i have some very high-end taste, but i’m also a serious outlet mall and nyc sample sale shopper. i believe in hunting for a bargain and have developed a system to do it. so i tend to pay normal mid-range retail prices (think j.crew) for much higher end stuff. but i’ve never bought such a luxurious suit. just wondering if other people really buy them (on discount or at retail price).

      i DO have a $1,500 michael kors collection black & white herringbone blazer that i paid $50 bucks for. but i seem to never wear it…

      • I own a $1000 St. John knit sheath. But I got it for $290 at the NM day after xmas sale. Like qwerty, I am a dedicated sale shopper and often pay in the low 100′s to mid 200′s for a $400-600 original-price dress (though clearly not quite as talented – $50 for $1500!)

        • Most of my shopping is at the same price point and discount point as you. Of course the blazer was an anomaly and I have to wear it tomorrow :) I love it, but the cut is long and narrow and it looks odd with the dresses I usually wear. It’s a pants-only blazer.

          St. Johns is a brand I’ve never ventured toward, maybe it’s time!

          • This was my first purchase from them. To be honest, I thought I was too young for it (and that I would therefore look like I was playing “dress-up”), but my mother (who is my favorite shopping partner for this reason) insisted I try it on. Much to my surprise, I looked mature/polished/confident, not like a 5yo playing in mommy’s heels. It’s become a go-to dress for negotiations, paired with a classic navy blazer!

        • I have a Burberry suit that I got at a fancy consignment store here. It is in totally perfect condition – looks brand new – and I paid about $400. I adore that thing. I get tons of compliments on it every time I wear it.

          I’m not sure how much it cost, but I would think at least a couple thousand.

          • I would not walk into an interview or court in a $2000 suit. Where would you wear a $2000 suit? I don’t travel in those circles. Who does?

          • A to Z, I hear ya and I guess that’s part of my question for the hive.

            Though b23, I LOVE burberry and would not hesitate if I came across your find! The most I’ve ever paid for a clothing/accessory item was about 1k on a leather tipped burberry trench from the outlet that wear constantly. Nothing else I have comes even close to that price.

            The most I’ve ever paid for a suit is about $200, but that’s for suits that retail at about $700.

          • Do you really think people can tell you’re wearing a $2000 suit? People compliment me on it all the time and ask the brand (and I always feel really awkward answering Burberry) which makes me think it’s not that recognizable. If I saw someone wearing the one featured today to a hearing, I’d think, “Man, that’s a sharp suit,” not “Man, that’s a $2,000 suit.”

      • anon atty :

        I own about 6 $1200 Marlowe dresses, though I paid less than $1000 for each of them.

      • I have a couple of Armani suits, and I absolutely love them. The quality is night-and-day from the BR and even BB suits they replaced. I am dying for this one now – so gorgeous and classic, but I just don’t need it. I don’t have to wear suits every day, so it’s worth it to me to buy just a couple of really nice ones for when they do have to come out of the closet. If I had to wear suits every day, doubtful they would be at this price point.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        Yes, if it is a classic suit. I think spending 2500 on a suit I can wear once every two weeks for five years is a great investment. I only buy expensive things in classic cuts and colours. Then I purchase inexpensive “pops” of colour and trend.
        I honestly think it is a more European mentality to own fewer high quality clothes, rather than tons of mid-quality clothing. That’s why our closets are so small!

      • I own a Hugo Boss suit that was a graduation gift. (Definitely not as expensive as this suit, but still way out of my own normal price range, and well into four figures.) I felt at the time like it was crazy to spend that much on a suit (though it wasn’t my money, of course), but I have worn it at least once every ten days for over a year now and it shows no signs of wear or tear whatsoever. I expect it will last for years, maybe more than a decade, if I can stay the same size and lapel trends don’t change too much. There is no doubt that I look better in it than any other work clothes I own and it makes it way easier to command a room. If I had the money, I would spend that much on a suit, because the first one was a great investment. I did splurge a couple of months ago on a $1800 Ralph Lauren cashmere blazer that was on consignment for $200, and I think it was worth it for this reason.

        Also, I love the pick too! So much so that it’s probably safest I can in no way even think about affording it at this stage in my life…

    • I have one, see below. I did get it on sale, but it was still around $850 for both pieces. Possibly more, I may have blocked it out.

    • I don’t own a $2000 suit, but I wouldn’t be opposed to buying one if I knew that (1) it would be timeless and (2) I would be the same size long term. Do you similarly refuse to read Vogue because they feature designer pieces that are hundreds+ or thousands, or do you use it as inspiration (as I do).

      To each her own, but no one forces you to read the blog every day :)

      • My point is that I think the majority of readers might like a variety of price points on clothing items. Lately it seems like all the featured items have been on the high ($2000+) end. The lower “value” items have been pretty meh. While I agree with you on looking at blogs and magazines for ideas, I would like concrete suggestions on finding high quality items that won’t break the bank. I’m not opposed to paying money for quality. However,I am increasingly frustrated by coming to this site for tips on styling, shopping, and outfits and seeing (what I view as) ridiculous prices.

        The issue (to me) isn’t “Can the readership afford it?”, it’s “Hey, everybody needs suits, let’s find some that are more realistic.”

        • anon atty :

          Part of the problem though is that a lot of lower priced stuff is “meh” (and, yes, i do own a lot of it, but you have to figure out how to mix it in with the mid and high priced items) and a lot of the higher priced stuff is great when you find it on a real big sale, but thats hard to do on line.

          I actually think Kat has been posting a lot of good mid-priced stuff lately. In fact, I just received in the mail two of the bright colored blazers from last week, and they are fantastic.

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          in the past six weeks she has also featured suits from Lord and Taylor and Nine West. I think the higher priced finds just stick out more because they are “so” expensive in some people’s estimation.

    • I get what you are saying; however, my take is that I am not expecting to actually buy the posted items. Many times, it just gives me a wide variety of looks, styles, ideas, price points, etc. I find it interesting to see the different cuts, materials, and styling suggestions more so than I am concerned by the prices.

      • Agree with this. In addition to the wonderful community, this blog gives me ideas and some inspiration about what I aspire to wear. Although I don’t think I would ever buy a $2000 suit, if I stuck to blogs that only featured what I could afford, I would have been a loyal reader of the Polyester diaries for some time. YMMV.

    • I have a few $2k+ (armani, st john) , all of which I got on sale for less; they are my go-to suits for my most important meetings. I love that Kat finds the best of them and reviews them. The reviews give me something to aspire to and helps me be ready to purchase when they do go on sale. However, what I love most about this site is the variety.

      • I am a bargain shopper who regularly hits consignment shops and thrift stores, as well as outlets and sales. The most I’ve ever paid for a suit was $300.

    • Ha, I almost never pay attention to the item Kat posts, unless it’s colorful. I’m a magpie. Also, her styling suggestions are fun to read.

    • I don’t own any, but I would buy them theoretically. I own bags and jewelry in the 2k range. The only reason I don’t buy suits that expensive is that I hope to have kids in the next 2-3 years and expect that my size will change.

    • It’s only Tuesday. Her picks are more expensive on Mondays, and then the price goes down the rest of the week.

      • Am I high? I thought it was Wednesday today. :)

        • haha oh my god I just read that and was like what! I can’t believe I thought thursday was tomorrow. you made me second guess myself hello

        • we’re all high then… but while the main posting of the day goes down in price through the week, the “suit of the week” appears somewhat randomly. This one is beautiful I think, but I would never pay that… and (catty moment here) did anyone watch the video? The model is SO thin the suit skirt indents wierdly on her hips when she’s walking. Fortunately I wouldn’t have that problem :-)

      • Ha! You are correct. It was Wednesday. I don’t know what I was thinking. Duh.

        (I actually remembered this as I went off to my Wednesday hearings. “Crap! I just told Corporette it was Tuesday. That was dumb.”)

    • There is a variety of price points. If you haven’t noticed, she starts with Splurge Monday (over $500) and works her way down to Frugal Friday (under $50). Suit of the week doesn’t have a set price point, and I recall everything from items on sale for $100 to gorgeous four-figure suits.

      Can I suggest that if you don’t like Kat’s picks, you could always browse stores yourself? She’s not your personal shopper.

    • I don’t feel like it’s that often at all. I think the higher-ticket items are more like once a week. And, actually, I feel the opposite, I’ve been thinking how much I appreciate Kat has been posting more less expensive/on sale items lately. I think the balance is pretty good, myself. And I’m speaking as an extremely underpaid nonprofit worker, who can barely afford a $200 suit.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      Kat’s post this morning was under $150 dollars! surely that is reasonable?
      and she often posts anne klein and talbots recommendations. are you perhaps being a bit hasty to judgement?

    • I would buy something this pricey in theory, but I haven’t ever gone that expensive in real life. I don’t have a lot of good senior female mentors, wardrobe-wise, so I appreciate seeing what’s out there. IRL I have had some great luck lately with consignments and have found that my wool (but only the wool ones) suits last forever, so I could justify an occasional investment piece like that now (but not when I was just starting out).

      I thought the skirt was too tight across the butt on the model, so it would probably look very office-inappropriate on me.

  9. What a gorgeous suit! I don’t suit up anymore but I always have to chime in and say, my most comfortable and best-fitting suit ever was Armani Collezioni. There is something about the way Armani cuts armholes and lining that make the jackets completely non-restricting. I loved that thing.

    QUESTION (sorry for the Ellen caps)
    Do any of you ever get really bad reactions from mosquito bites? I have one on my back from gardening this weekend, and it has now swelled to over the size of a quarter in width and sticks out just about as far too. I actually had a hard time sleeping last night as it was bordering painful to put any weight or pressure on it.

    Sometimes I get mosquito bites and they’re no big deal, gone in a day, and other times they get all wild like this one. I even have scars from a couple of bad ones on my lower legs. Does this happen to any of you, and what do you do about it?

    • PS I’m allergic to bees and wasps, don’t know if this is related. My reaction to those two is much, much worse.

    • Yes, I get mosquito bites that swell up to the size of my palm sometimes. More often they get about quarter-sized. I put ice on them as soon as I notice them swelling, followed by repeated application of bendryl cream or hydrocortizone cream (both over-the-counter). But I don’t know of any great cure for them. I commiserate with you; it’s really annoying!

    • Aveeno anti itch creme. It’s got a topical anesthetic as well as calamine lotion I think and the oatmeal helps too. Usually lets everything calm down long enough so my body can get a a grip on it’s histamine response.

    • I am very sensitive to mosquito bites (have had similar reactions), and unfortunately haven’t found a very good system for dealing with it. I usually slather on some sort of anti-itch stuff (like After Bite) because I get very itchy, and you might want to try taking an anti-histamine as well.

    • Yes, I do! Any sort of bug bite causes me to have a pretty serious reaction – not so much of the throat swelling up kind, but more along the lines of a skin reaction (lots of swelling, redness, itchiness, etc). I recently went to Hawaii with my boyfriend and got seven bites the first day we were there. Needless to say, I looked EXTREMELY attractive in my bikini with swollen red blotches all over me!

      Normally, when I get a bite, I use an anti-histamine cream and then take a Benadryl or an oral antihistamine as well. I also use a cooling anti-itch spray too, if it gets really bad. Also, if it’s painful to touch or just plain irritating me when wearing clothing or sleeping, I’ll also take an ibuprofen.

      Unfortunately, they still bother me. I haven’t figured out a foolproof plan to deal with these yet, but if you do, let me know!

    • The quicker I treat them (either Afterbite or Aveeno anti-itch), the less they end up bothering me. Otherwise, almost all my bites turn huge and awful.

    • layered bob :

      yes, I get big swellings around any mosquito bites, and they itch like crazy for days and days. And if there are any mosquitos or bugs of any kind within miles and miles, I will get bit, even if no one around me gets bit a single time. I think it might be genetic? or a blood-type thing or something?

      Anyway… in my anti-itch, anti-swelling arsenal are the following:
      benadryl cream,
      hydrocortisone cream,
      a topical anesthetic cream,
      tea tree oil (my favorite),
      coconut oil.

      I will also put bandaids over bites to limit irritation from clothing or air or movement, and make it more difficult to scratch. Ice.

      I could not have survived in any time period or geographical location that required me to be outside during buggy periods. As it is, I wear long sleeves and long pants and socks outside, even when it’s hot, and avoid outdoor things like crazy (soccer games, picnics, grilling, etc.) because I’m so irritated by mosquito bites.

      • Yeah, what is that with being a mosquito target? They leave my husband alone. I always thought it was my expanse of white, soft, more or less hairless skin – I’m just easier for them. I always say I’m like candy to them. My daughter is, too. (Redhead, alabaster skin.)

    • new york associate :

      Yes, from time to time. Ice really helps the swelling and itching to go down for me.

    • I have the same problem, and my daughter’s even worse. And we have wetlands butting up to our backyard, so summer is a real pleasure around here. Her favorite is a Benadryl spray that has some kind of cooling stuff in it too – we always put it on her bug bites before bed so she can sleep comfortably.

      It’s also possible that it was a spider rather than a mosquito that got you – those bites are usually worse.

      • I’m such an anachrophobe that I can’t even think about being bitten by a spider! I’m pretty sure it was a mosquito, though. I noticed some hovering around my garden area when I was out there this morning. My neighbor passed away a year ago and I’m pretty sure there’s standing water in spots around her property. Luckily, her house is finally in escrow and I’m hoping the new owners will be more on top of things.

        Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I had used some anti-itch cream, but the hydrocortisone is a good idea, particularly for the swelling. I can’t take Benadryl at work because it knocks me out, but I will definitely pop one at bedtime tonight.

        It is good to hear others have the same issue. I mean, not good for you! But nice to have company. :)

    • Happens to me too — not fun! I actually saw an allergist about it a couple years ago. He recommended taking an antihistamine every day (I usually take generic Claritin) and using topical over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. The antihistamine helps keep the bite from swelling so much in the first place and the hydrocortisone cream will decrease inflammation after the fact. I’ve had doctors tell me to avoid the topical Benadryl-type creams because they’ve seen people get bad skin reactions from them.

    • It happens to me, too. I don’t have a great recommendation. Benadryl cream numbs it for a little while.

      • For what it’s worth, it started for me a couple of years ago after I got a significant number of bites in one day. I think I developed a sensitivity to mosquitos or something.

        • Now that I think about it, that’s how it happened to me, too. I went on vacation at a lake & got eaten up and have had occasional really bad swelling ever since. That sounds like an allergy, doesn’t it? To have the reaction ramp up after a lot of exposure. That’s what E. says above. Something to think about.

          • This happened to me too (one really bad experience = terrible swelling ever since)! I wonder if that’s what caused it. It does make sense…

        • TurtleWexler :

          Same here.

      • posting late but if you start taking vitamin b1 at the start of the season and take it regularly, they won’t bite as much. Totally works!

    • Yes, but I admit that I scratch them (not a lot, just a little).

      Then, they’re about the size of a quarter, they turn bright red (eventually purplish-red), and then a blister forms on the top, so they’re hideous.

      Also, I must have whatever blood type/enzymes/etc. that draws mosquitos. I’ll be the one that gets 10 bites while the people sitting next to me get zero or just 1-2.

    • I do. Every time. I ice them, double up on my normal antihistamines, and put hydrocortisone and a giant bandaid on them. I feel your pain / itch.

    • I keep an After-Bite tube in my car, at home, and in my purse. They’re lifesavers. For mosquitoes, bee stings, spider bites, anything.

    • Yes, it’s called skeeter syndrome. Get meat tenderizer from the spice section and make a paste with water, apply to the bite as soon as you can. Unfortunately, taking antihistamines doesn’t really work, because this isn’t an allergic reaction.

    • RussiaRepeat :

      Responding late, but in case this helps anyone, the best thing I have found for mosquito bites is running them under very hot (not scalding) water for as long as I can stand. They itch like crazy during the treatment, but afterward they are smaller and usually don’t itch for hours.

      • Mousekeeper :

        A few years ago I heard a scientific explanation of why running a mosquito bite under hot running water works. An itch has a cycle, and running the bite under hot water pushes it through the itch cycle faster so that it gets to its conclusion more quickly. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? It worked with poison ivy.

    • lawtalkinggirl :

      A 1972 study of whether mosquitoes prefer a certain blood type concluded that if you have type O blood and you are a secretor of saccharides, you are screwed. A 2004 study confirmed this result. Type A blood was the second most delicious blood type. A blood or saliva test can tell you for sure whether you are a secretor, but if mosquitoes love you that is probably a bad sign.

      Mosquitoes are also attracted to exhaled carbon dioxide (due to panting) and uric acid (due to sweating) regardless of blood type.

      I have also heard that the following strategies may help avoid getting a mosquito’s attention:

      Wear light colors, especially on your head
      Don’t be the tallest person in the immediate area
      If you have dark hair wear a light-colored hat

    • Kontraktor :

      Yep, I have horrid reactions to them, and mine swell up similarly. I even have a few scars from bites. I usually just ask my doctor to write an RX for hydrocortizone cream or similar. I’ve had one or two occasions where I’ve had so many bites that have been so bad, that I’ve pretty much used the weekend to knock myself out with Benedryl and sleep the unpleasantness off/hope the influx of Benedryl will ease some of the symptoms.

  10. I’d love to hear what you all do for a living, and how you like it. I have a terminal degree in the arts (writing) and publications (formerly a journalist) but academia/journalism are not exactly booming at the moment. I had a short stint a few years ago (2004-2007) at a large company supervising their email customer service department. I went to grad school in ’07 and did some teaching, but no regular/corporate job in ages now.

    Now I’m looking into having a career (one that actually pays the bills). I have good business sense and great writing skills. I do not want to go back to school. I’d take a class or two, but at this point another Master’s degrees, JD, etc. does not feel worth the risk. Are any women here in HR, public relations, or marketing? How about paralegals? Has anyone transitioned from the arts or academia into a business role without earning a full-on second degree? What industries would want a writer with limited corporate background?

    Any advice is welcomed!

    • I’m a lawyer, so I’m no help there, but I have a good friend who works in development (fund-raising and marketing) for the symphony and she loves her job. She has a master’s degree in music and wanted to be a professor but then interned one summer and decided to do development in the arts instead.

    • I think you could parlay that into technical writing with very little course work.

    • One of my girlfriends has an MFA in writing. She worked as a paralegal at a local firm during grad school, and then edited a local online newspaper. Now she’s in marketing and loves it.

      There are also tons of technical positions that are really about writing. My boyfriend has a science background, but writes environmental permitting documents for the state. That might be something you could think about. Look at government job listings, and just apply for anything entry-level involving writing.

    • I might look at corporate communications roles. My best friend at work has a communications role and helps translate the vision and messages of senior leaders into internal and external communications like memos, presentations, etc. She has a degree in poli sci, I think, but was able to successfully convey that she could match the strategic thinking and smarts of a business leader with her talent for writing. My husband also has an M.A. in English literature and does marketing and communications for a university art museum, which is a super cool job, but may not meet your “pay the bills” requirement.

      • I’m also in communications, though not corporate, and I agree that it could be a good fit for your skill set. As long as you can write clearly and in layman’s terms (which it seems like you can from your post), you would probably be good at it. How much you enjoy it would probably depend on how much you like writing just for writing’s sake.

        Your work as a journalist may also get your foot in the door for PR, but I would think about how much time you want to spend on the phone before choosing PR over general communications. “Smiling and dialing” to pitch stories and/or being the designated hitter when a reporter calls asking for comment on a story that looks bad for your client can both be draining, especially if you respect journalists and want them to think well of you. Not saying you shouldn’t do it — just something to think about.

        Good luck!

    • I’m an old performing arts major, and never got another degree but am now in healthcare management. But I started at the bottom (admin) and worked my way up. It was pretty quick – 5 years to my first managerial title and tripled my starting salary in 6 years – but you may not want to go that route.

      Technical writing is a good suggestion. Or anything else that emphasizes communication. I seem to spend half my time writing, and another 25% reading and interpreting.

    • I’m late to the game, but here’s my two cents: I like the suggestion for corporate communications. Depending on your people skills, you might also consider a job in grantwriting and/or foundation work. Nonprofits are traditionally wide open to people with a range of backgrounds, so this could be a great fit for you.

  11. Hoping maybe the hive could point me in the right direction… I’ve budgeted a little bit of cash for the most lightweight possible pant suit for our 100 + degree summers. Any suggestions for types of fabrics that wear well and will be cooler? Has anyone seen any sales or good deals on suits like this out there (preferably with tall sizing, as I have a 34 inch inseam)? Thanks!

    • AnonInfinity :

      Seersucker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I have a suit in the seasonless wool from Talbots and I’ve found it works well in the summer. They always have good sales.

    • I’ve liked the Ann Taylor Loft tropical wool in the past. Their long sizes are plenty long for me with heels (I actually have to hem them an inch!)

    • if you’re one of those people who is good at not getting wrinkled, I wore my J.Crew tan cotton suit very frequently last summer (it came with both pencil skirt and pants options and I got both). I felt like a sucker b/c I bought it almost full price in May, but honestly feel I’m getting my money’s worth.

    • I love linen. But it is designed to have at least a few wrinkles, so it’s not 100% crisp if that’s what you’re looking for. But it’s cool.

    • SoCal Gator :

      I have a navy and a black suit from Ann Taylor in their polished cotton (it’s called Compact Doubleweave) and its a great fabric — light, has some stretch and does not wrinkle. They are having a 40% off entire purchase sale right now — I would take a look.

  12. Mamma Mia :

    So, I’ve shared my other cycle-related weirdness woes, so I now feel invested enough to share this, too. Stopped my BC pills last fall, and I just completely stopped having periods. Finally went to the doc, who prescribed some hormone, saying that if you take this, you WILL get a period, then start taking Clomid. So, I took the hormone, and . . . no period. Bunch of “just about to have one” symptoms, but nothing. I just spoke to the nurse again, and the doctor now wants to put me on one month of birth control pills, on the assumption that I’ll have a period after that. So, yes, in order to get pregnant, I have to go back on birth control pills. Pure craziness, this is.

    Also, we just planned a fabulous vacation at an all-inclusive tropical resort for June. I had originally expected that I’d be pg by vacation, so it’s certainly no big deal if I am, but, thinking of bathing suits and 3rd-world-country water and all-inclusive top shelf drinks makes me think that, since I’m not now, I guess it’d be better to hold off a little bit longer. So, now I’m trying to figure out how to manage dates so that I can be sure I’m not bleeding during the vacation, but also sure not to have gotten knocked up yet. I guess if I can time the Clomid so that I’m ovulating during the trip, that would be ideal, unless, of course, the Clomid does super-weird things to me for some reason. Bleah.

    (I’m not anywhere near that hopeless, can’t get pregnant stage of infertility, fortunately, more just amused and a little bit annoyed by the weirdness of the whole thing, so don’t feel obligated to give me too much sympathy. I’m more just sharing the weirdness.)

    • layered bob :

      you’ve probably thought of everything already, but just in case – many of my friends have had better luck with managing their cycles/conceiving by changing their diet and sleep habits, more than hormones/Clomid. Many of them are “Nourishing Traditions” families or follow the Weston A Price Foundation recommendations. Something to check out if you haven’t already.

      And… if you time the Clomid so that you’re ovulating during the trip, you may still want to think about the drinks… while I don’t think women have to stop drinking entirely during pregnancy, there’s some evidence that alcohol in your bloodstream can be most damaging around the time of conception and very early pregnancy.

      Anyway. Best wishes with your cycle-related woes :-) and have a great time on your fabulous vacation! How fun to look forward to.

    • I should begin by saying that I have never been pregnant, much less taken fertility drugs, but from what I understand, Clomid can cause side effects like hot flashes, breast tenderness and mood swings. Obviously each woman’s experience is different, so just because others experienced something does not mean you will, or vice versa.

      Why not share your plan with your doctor and see what he/she has to say?

      Good luck!

    • Parsley Tea :

      I went through the same thing. Drink a cup of parsley tea, and your period will most likely start in 12 hours (or a day or two at most). It sounds insane and tastes disgusting, but it worked for me and several of my friends. There’s lots of stuff on the internet about it, but I don’t want to get stuck in moderation with links.

      You can make it yourself with a bunch of parsley or buy it in tea bags at whole foods. Good luck!

    • Please read Taking Charge of Your Fertility. You’ll feel a lot more empowered if you have a solid knowledge base and can discuss different options with your doctor, instead of relying on whatever advice she gives you and hoping for the best.

    • Seattleite :

      I told my kids that tattoos and body piercings were an adult decision, and that they wouldn’t be qualified to make that decision until they were full-fledged adults, meaning living on their own and being self-supporting. And when one asked what would happen if he just came home with one, I replied that he’d be moving out that night. He laughed and gave me a hug, and it hasn’t come up again.

      Obvs I’m not a big fan of tats and gauges, but they understand that my position is more an “adult/not adult” one, rather than “Ewww that’s gross and no child of mine…”

    • +1 to the suggestion to read Taking Charge of Your Fertility (TCOYF). It is so very helpful on these issues.

      Were the hormones you were given progesterone, or some combination of progesterone and something else, to trigger your period? There’s a bunch of info in TCOYF on that, but the short story is that it doesn’t work for everyone.

      Not to be a downer, but Clomid was a nasty experience for me. Imagine PMS symtoms x10. BTW, are you seeing an Ob-Gyn for this? Is this someone who has fertility experience?

    • lawtalkinggirl :

      Have you been evaluated for PCOS? The Pill masks the symptoms of PCOS (irregular or absent periods, pelvic pain, abnormal hair growth, acne, etc.). Read up about PCOS and ask your doctor about it. 1 in 10 women have it and many go years and years without knowing.

  13. Tattoos and Piercings (what about your children?) :

    Yesterday’s thread got me thinking, of those that have tats or unconventional piercings–would you allow your children to do the same? And what’s the limit, if any. I, myself, have a few but would prefer if my child have only the standard lobes. I know it’s hyprocritical and unfair but what are your thoughts?

    • I would love to hear the responses to this. My step daughter is young for tattoos now but her mom has many tattoos, some of which would be hard to cover up in a business setting (wrists, ankles, neck). Her mom has never worked though (got pregnant in high school, kept having kids, and never really had a chance). I’m not quite sure how to impress upon her that she needs to be careful if/when she gets a tattoo that it is easily covered without being like “no one would hire your mom for an office job in our town looking the way she does.” She already has an upper ear cartilage piercing but that doesn’t bother me because I don’t think it’s very noticeable and it’s easy enough to take out. I’d be more concerned about facial piercings that might leave visible scarring upon removal (i.e. the only reason I never got an eyebrow ring)

      • Similar situation with my SO’s daughter. He’s tentatively brought it up with her — asking her if she was going to get a tattoo when she was older…she used to say no, but now it’s ‘maybe’.

        And on that note, are double-pierced ears ‘unconventional’ for young teens?

        He may be showing his age, but SO was a little surprised and not happy when his 13 yr old daughter had her ears double pierced. He didn’t say anything to her, just to me, which is good, since I’m sure it wouldn’t have gone over that well.

        I was surprised that younger people still did that — it seemed to be ‘the thing’ to do ~ 10-15 yrs ago when I was in college, but I hadn’t really seen it in a while.

        • I had my ears double-pierced when I was 16. My mom FLIPPED since she had forbidden me to do it, but then I pointed out to her that I was a good kid, had straight As, had nice friends, didn’t smoke or drink or do drugs, so she should really just count her blessings. She actually stopped and realized I was right. I still wear earrings in the second holes — very small diamond studs (which, irony full circle, were given to me by my mother). I don’t think it’s a big deal at all for a 13-year-old, since it’s socially acceptable in my corporate NY firm, and since no one would know if she let them grow closed.

        • Double-pierced ears are total NBD.

      • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

        We are Jewish, and Jews are not supposed to get tattoos. Even Jews who were raised really, really Reform (as I was) know and abide by this. My step-daughter (16 1/2), both of whose parents are Israeli, but who was born and raised Jewish in the US, announced a couple months ago that “when I’m old enough” I’m going to get a tattoo. Something on her back between her shoulder blades “because it won’t show when I’m dressed.”

        Her dad, who was in the room at the time, did not respond one iota. There is a fairly strong possibility that he was not paying attention/did not hear her, so I can’t read too much into his non-response. I mumbled something non-committal and changed the subject. And I failed to raise it with him later. Here’s the thing: despite the fact that some Israeli “youth” (20 somethings) are now getting discreet tattoos, I still strongly feel that they are not appropriate, for many reasons, most of which are pretty snobby, I admit.

        But I was stunned at her admission. I hope it was one of those “I’m 16, I don’t know myself yet, I sometimes say things just to see what will happen when the words come out of my mouth out loud, in a week I will have forgotten about this” things.

        And, like KLG, there is only one way to say “I think you should not have a tattoo because it will affect where you can work, whom you might date or marry, how people at the doctors office/bank/car dealership will treat you. Forever.” And I’m not sure there’s any way to say it without sounding like a snob.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Wait, so what happened with the insurance and ACT prep issues?

          • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

            ACT: step-daughter finally did what she had told Dad she would do three weeks ago: go to the online portion of her test prep (which she attended live when she took the test last time but the online portion of which she is still registered for) and enter her test date of June 9th. According to SD, the program then spits out a prep schedule for the user which the user then follows online. She wrote the dates down for Dad. Curiously, although the system is supposed to be automatic, there are no study sessions the weekend she is supposed to be out of town with her youth group or Memorial Day/prom weekend. There is, however, a session for 11-1 on Mothers Day when, I have to assume, her mother will expect her to be at the annual brunch with their entire matriarchal side of the family (mom, aunt, grandma, great aunt and all assorted spouses and children). I decided not to comment on that. First, she will realize at some point that she is going to brunch and not studying. My guess: she will realize that Sunday morning when Mom (who never tells her the schedule for anything in advance) says “we’re leaving for brunch in an hour.” Better she learn from experience that you can’t schedule in a vacuum. Second, she still has time over Memorial Day weekend, when she is with us, to make up that session.

            Insurance: Dad told SD that she could continue to practice with him on his car but that he was not going to insure her gift-from-grandma-car until she got her license. She seemed to understand and accepted it, perhaps because she is telling the truth when she says that she prefers to practice with patient Dad than with anxious Mom. He told Mom the same thing. This morning, Mom sent him an email that I can only quote:

            “I hope that you are practicing driving with [SD] so that she can pass her driver’s test this summer. Since I am no longer able to drive with her, due to the fact that you and [Stepmom] will only authorize your insurance company, and only insure the car once [SD] has her license, you have created a situation where she can practice driving with you only. Therefore, I am hoping that you are taking the time to practice with her.”

            We are considering whether to respond and how. I would like to remind Mom that the reason SD and Mom can’t practice in Mom’s car is that Mom’s car and insurance is provided by her employer (a.k.a. grandma) and ask her why she didn’t disclose that additional compensation during the divorce. The current consensus seems to be that doing so would be inflammatory.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Thanks for updating your nosy internet friend. Rock on with your kicka$$ self. Kudos on the not commenting. It will be much more effective when she figures it out for herself instead of you volunteering to be the bad guy with bad news. And great job on the insurance front, not that you even remotely care about snaps from me for your decisions about your family :).

            I just got an email from opposing counsel with the same tone as that email from your SD’s mother. As my partner on the case just said to me – “Never wrestle a pig in mud. You just get dirty and the pig likes it.” So, I am going to respond to opposing counsel tomorrow politely and clearly regarding a legitimate question in his email, and ignore the rest of his sarcastic comments. I won’t give him the satisfaction of wasting my time, plus our emails may end up as exhibits in a motion at some point. Hang in there!

          • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

            @ SF Bay Associate: thanks for being interested and for your support, nosy Internet friend. Re “our emails may end up as exhibits in a motion at some point,” I also believe ours could end up as exhibits. Which is why (in addition to sheer indignation) I want to point out that: (1) she failed to disclose compensation, and (2) her own choice to drive a car whose insurance she doesn’t control is a factor contributing to her inability to practice with her daughter.

            The great thing about being the step-wife is that I get to vent our indignation and my husband gets to decide which email he actually sends. :)

        • Oh please, my ex was a Mormon, and Mormons aren’t supposed to drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages, smoke, do drugs, or have sex outside the bounds of marriage. Let’s just say chillin’ with my ex did not involve drinking camomile and playing Scrabble. Just because someone “is” a certain religion or culture doesn’t mean they adhere to every single one of its strictures.

    • I have a nose stud and am thinking of getting a flower tatt on my back. I would definitely allow my children to get piercings, but would probably forbid them from getting tatts until they were of majority age. (since they are so hard to remove)

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I would prefer my (hypothetical) children wait until they are the age of majority to do any body modification beyond standard ear lobe piercings (which, in my culture, is typically done before age two or three). I wouldn’t be opposed to a nose piercing at age 15 or 16 for similar cultural reasons, though I’d prefer they wait until age 18.

      I have no issues with my future children getting tattoos that could be covered in professional situations after they turn 18. I would advise them to think carefully about any decision they make that is a) permanent and b) has longterm consequences, including the decisions of whether to get a tattoo, what design to get, what part of the body it should be placed on, etc. I would have no issues if my children followed the protocol I did for getting a tattoo (ie, decide on the design, place it on the mirror for 2 years so you see it every day, choose a place rarely or never visible in work situations, and go to a reputable shop to get it done).

      • Exactly this, minus the cultural norms. I’d encourage them to wait until 18, have a good reason for the ink (I don’t mind memorial tattoos, but “just because it’s cool” tattoos are not my cup of tea), and make sure they understand the permanancy of the tattoo. Also would want them to understand the impact it might have on their future – such as needing to cover it for job interviews, etc. My bil has a few tats (upper arm band in memorial of a friend who was killed by a drunk driver and a full lower leg sleeve, and a couple more), and owns his own house-framing business, so he doesn’t have to really worry about them professionally, but he made sure that when he got them they would be easily covered if he ever needed to wear a suit. He lives in a very conservative town.

    • Are we talking children-children, or young adults can make their own decisions but we might disapprove children? For children-children, I would basically say that they’re just too young to choose anything that will last forever (tats). Piercings are (basically) less permanant, but I would still approach with caution. Maybe, maybe, I would consider allowing a 15+ kid to get an eyebrow, lip, or nose piercing, but only if they made a really good case for it and earned it in some way (grades, chores, etc.), and I was convinced that they’d addressed any problems they might have (whether the school approved, how it might affect a p/t job, that they’d need to take it out if they were interviewing for college, etc.). Maybe it’s just me, but I would probably declare a belly button or tongue peircing too sexy for a teenager. (Full disclosure, I always wanted a bb ring, pretty much because I found them sexy, though I never actually got one.) I had 3 holes in each ear and a cartilage peircing when I was a teen (17-18, though – I was old enough to get the cartilage on my own), so I probably wouldn’t worry too much about those. I’m not really a fan of tattoos, though my husband has one he got when he was 18-ish.

      For adult kids, I would probably just murmer disapprovingly, but say something like “It’s your life.” (But don’t come crying to me if you can’t get a job because of it.)

    • My daughter’s only 11 so it’s maybe too soon for me to know exactly how I’ll feel about this, but at this point I’m pretty sure I’ll be saying no to anything other than the regular ear piercings (which she got last year.) Absolutely no tattoos on my watch.

      I figure that in this and similar situations, it’s my job to guard her from acting on her hormone-driven teen impulsives, and while I respect that some of you thought long and hard about your body modifications, I can’t imagine a 16 year old getting a tramp stamp is anything but impulsive.

      So, if she gets something when she’s 18, I guess that’ll be her business, but I won’t be paying for it. I will definitely advise her not to get any tattoos until she’s older and really knows herself.

      Both of my sisters got small tattoos in college. Both of them now regret them. Not so much the fact that they have tattoos but the fact that what is tattooed is no longer meaningful to them, like the butterfly on my sister’s toe. :)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I would probably let a teenager get a belly ring. They are easily covered most of the time and cute and fun for days at the beach. I wanted one all through high school and was denied. I got one the second I was 18 and still have it at 30. Hardly anyone ever sees mine because how often are we in bathing suits as adults? Plus, my stomach was at its flattest when I was 16. I don’t see any real harm in those as long as they are done at a reputable, clean place and the kid is responsible enough to take care of them.

      I agree that they are “sexy” but so is everything else a 16 year old wears at the beach.

      • Equity's Darling :

        I don’t know, I got one at 16, and my body rejected it, and proceeded to push the piercing out slowly within 8 months or so.

        I now have a scar above my belly button that I hate. I regret 16 year old pulling such a stunt (and I’m 24, so it’s not like it was that long ago).

    • My grandma loved my tattoo and it inspired her to get a tattoo for her 85th birthday!

      I don’t think I’d let my kids get tattoos or unconventional piercings before their 18th birthdays, but if they chose to do so thereafter, I’d probably advise them to stick to tasteful, hideable piercings or tattoos. Otherwise, though, it wouldn’t bother me so long as they went to a professional, clean tattoo or piercing place.

    • Accountress :

      It’s not hypocritical, it’s looking back at your experiences and making the determination that you don’t think it’s appropriate for your child.

      Changing your mind story of the day: My grandmother refused to let my mom and aunt get their ears pierced back in the day, and was horrified when (in their early 20s) they went out and bought K-Mart ear piercing kits (lobes only). Six months later, when she saw the few different types of earrings they were wearing, she went out and had her professionally done so she could accessorize too. Up until two years before her passing, she switched out earrings every day (she had maybe 100 pairs, it was an awesome collection), while Mom and my aunt stick to their standard fake/real diamond studs.

      I would probably let my child get ear piercings in their tweens/early teens, if they had proved themselves responsible for taking care of things (they need to be able to clean the piercing, speak up if there’s an infection, etc.) Older teens, with a job (so they can pay for it), I would probably let get more interesting ear piercings (I don’t know what they’re called, I’ve only got the lobes done).

      Depending on how **interesting** the piercing, I’d probably show them pictures of what Brandon Boyd’s gauges looked in “Morning View” era, and how they look in the future-present, and ask if that’s what they really want. Conversely, I’d show them pictures of my friend’s industrial that got infected and ask the same question. If they still want it, more power too them.

      As for tattoos, well, I’d be a mother-not a friend. We have a family friend who got a tattoo in a bad place, in a bad state of mind, and ended up with a pretty unfriendly, permanent, illness. I’d encourage my kid(s) to think about him, and about their future, when they make big decisions like tattoos or other body modifications.

    • Eloise Spaghetti :

      1. I wanted a tattoo when I was a teenager. My mom told me I could get it if I drew it onto my body every day for a year and showed it to her every day for a year. Gave up after 1 month and I never did get a tattoo. I wanted a tattoo of a heart on my hip like Rachel on friends. Also, if they actually do it, share the story of the poster who is having the tattoo removed from the back of her neck and how painful she said it is.

      2. No children for me but, my friends let their 14 year old daughter get her nose pierced after she got straight A’s for a year.

      • re: #2. I could probably be convinced to allow someting as minor as a nose piercing for a year of straight A’s. That’s in fact how my daughter “earned” getting her ears pierced at age 10 rather than the age 13 date I had in mind. (Five perfect spelling tests and five perfect math tests.)

      • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

        I love number 1.

    • My mom would not let me get my belly button or ear cartilage pierced in high school. So, I just did it myself! I did my belly button with some ice and a safety pin. It got really infected obviously. Since that did not work my friend and I went to WalMart and bought piercing gun (which they were supposed to card us and nobody did) and used it to pierce my cartilage (which is still scarred to this day because that type of piercing earring did not have a hole in it) and her belly button (which is very scarred today because she had two kids). We actually also pierced a second hole in each ear and I think some other girls cartilage on her ear too. My parents never noticed and of it and I do not think I even told them about it. I got my belly button done professionally years later but, I still have multiple scars in that area.

      I guess I would rather say let them get pierced if they earn it than say absolutely not because I was not that rebellious and I still found a way. Never had sex or drank until after high school. Also, I would check the body part that they want to pierce from time to time.

    • anon atty :

      I have one small-ish tatoo on my leg, and have considered getting another for quite some time. I still love my tatoo and wouldnt change it. I had my belly button peirced for about 10 years (19-29). I am totally ok with my kids doing what they want regarding tats and piercings (id probably even go with them if they didnt think it was too lame), though my husband may have other thoughts. My kids are still under 5, so i have some years to think about it, though i doubt my thoughts will change much.

    • My daughter got her belly button pierced at 14 1/2, nose at 15 and just got her cartilage done at almost 16. She wants her lip done, but I drew the line there. The ear and stomach are easy to cover, the nose is subtle, but I just think the lip is too much. She also wants to gauge her ears which I am totally against and keep trying to talk her out of, that is not going to heal.

      DH and I paid from my stepson’s 1st tattoo when he turned 18. We wanted it to be quality and from a reputable place. We also made him think about it for a few months. He is in the process of getting a sleeve on his other arm now.

      I had to laugh yesterday about the law firm that required tattoos covered even at outside, summer work events. I guess I’ll never be working there or I’ll have to hire another family to play mine (besides the kids DH has 7 tattoos) LOL!

    • My mom’s rule was no body modification until we had moved out of the house and were supporting ourselves. However, I was allowed to get my earlobes pierced at 10 and double pierced at 13. My senior year of high school I wanted to get my nose pierced and my mom said no, so after I went to college that fall I took matters into my own hands and got it done anyway. My parents were furious when I came home with it but both have since given me nose rings as gifts and say they don’t even notice it anymore.

      However, given the initial backlash against the nose ring, I have waited until I am on my own to get a tattoo.

  14. ParanoidAnon :

    Love the suit. I’ve been meaning to get myself a really, really good one…probably Max Mara. But that may no longer be in the budget because of THREADJACK: I have a second-round interview coming up for a job that would take me out of the private sector. It’s for an organization I like very much. It would over a 50% paycut, possibly more (I’m quite senior where I am), but I’m past that. My biggest concern is that it is a high-energy place where I am told people “typically” are in the office until “6:30 or so.” I have a small child I need to pick up from day care and I really need to leave at 6:15 to do that. In my (very demanding) current job, I have an arrangement where I work from home later in the evening (sometimes well into the night), and I’m completely accustomed to putting in a ton of hours on weekends, etc. I make alternate arrangements so I can stay late when it’s a real crunch and I know about it in advance. I’m also available on e-mail/cell for all but a brief window while I’m commuting. But my kid needs to come home when he needs to come home…obviously this doesn’t get broached until I have an offer in hand, any thoughts on how to play this one? Terrified of giving up the big paycheck for something that will make my family more miserable!

    • Moonstone :

      First of all, it’s probably fine to leave at 6:15. But … I have learned that your new colleagues will be watching you closely for the first three weeks or so. If you could arrange an alternate for just a few weeks after you start and then ease into being gone at 6:15, I suspect that no one would even notice. By then they will know you are accessible in the evenings and most people won’t think twice.

    • I think 6:15 falls into the realm of “6:30 or so”. I’m also sure you will have colleagues with children and similar needs, so you can’t be the only one. Once you start, just tell your boss you have to leave at 6:15 to pick up your kid but can be reached again after 7, and you’re happy to come in 15 minutes early to make up for leaving 15 minutes early if he wants you to.

  15. I need reinforcement on a reoccurring topic. For those who work full time as, let’s say, lawyers (or any other job that requires long hours, work on nights and weekends, etc.), with a spouse (husband) who also works full-time (or more than full-time), and children (let’s say two or more school-age children), and lives in a town or city with “good” schools (or private schools) with lots of demanding assignments, and your kids are in one or more “activities” (sports, music, etc.), how do you manage your family’s schedule (i.e. which parent is responsible for what), find “me” time (i.e. excercise or whatever), couple time, and what is mandatory that you pay others to do (nanny, cleaning woman, gardener, etc.?). Does your situation “work,” or are you constantly looking for ways to improve? Is it possible to really make this work or is it part of the “women can have it all” fantasy but can’t actually be accomplished in reality? If the latter, when did you realize this, and what changes did you make to acheive a workable life balance? Kind of heavy topic, so skip if you want something lighter.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Au pair.
      Cozi calendar system with email reminders
      Buddy system on certain activities
      Limit on how many activities each child can do per season.
      Gotten more comfortable with messy, but not dirty.
      Buy more underwear for everyone!

      In all seriousness, though. Outsource to time grab stuff, use technology or whatever system helps you stay as organized as possible, and say no, often.

      • Francie N. :

        I second Divaliscious11′s list although it is something I find hard. BTW Divaliscious11 I must say I am glad you are around you always make me smile.

      • love the buy more underwear advice! i used to do that in law school to avoid doing laundry :) i should probably do that now too…

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Yikes… that’s what I get for multi-tasking. I’VE gotten more used to messy; outsource the time-grab stuff etc…

        Thanks Francie. I’ve been around but really busy so not much posting…. But I could have written this post, except spouse travels extensively so….

        My au pair has been a huge help, though. Not only with logistics, but homework help and monitoring etc….

        • Can you tell me more about your au pair, i.e., how much time do you have her and what does she do?

          • Divaliscious11 :

            She lives in and we are on the program that provides 45 hours a week. Basic rules are no more than 10 hours a day, you provide room/board, and an academic stipend (up to $500 per year, unless in educare where up to $1000). As both of my kids are in school, she rarely works 45 hours, but having her has been amazing for those days when your boss decides to schedule a meeting at 7am, or you have to work unexpectedly late. The only slightly challenging days are those days when the kids are out of school for an off day. One those days I generally try to work from home for a few hours in the am, or either block my calendar so I can get home and work from home so her day doesn’t go too long. She has to have one complete weekend off a month, and 1.5 days off each week. She takes my son to school in the am, and then gets the kids after school, and takes them to their activities. she makes sure they do their homework, and warms their dinner if I am not home. If I want to go do grooming stuff, or sit in starbucks for an hour or two, I just put it in the schedule. On Sundays, Cozi sends a weekly calendar, so she has her schedule for the week if there is something other than regular after school. She also helps the kids keep their room straightened and she does their laundry. She has another au pair friend in the neighborhood, so they do a lot of socializing, as well as stuff organized by the local coordinator. She gets two weeks of paid vacation , which we just coordinated for her to take while we took ours, although many people take their au pairs on vacation with them. Its not perfect but its working for us….

    • You have to limit your obligations. You can’t do it all.

      My kids can have one sport and one music each, and so far my daughter is signed up for both (volleyball and chorus), and my son is only signed up for neither, but is active in Cub Scouts. To be honest, my husband handles just about all of the weekday stuff because he leaves work earlier than I do. It feels like too much sometimes, but it is far less than most of their friends are involved in.

      Our rule has always been that the desire to participate has to come from our kids, not us, and they have to truly want to do it. I don’t know if you’re in this situation now, but a lot of pressure to join these things comes at the parent from other parents, not the child. Like one mom trying to organize a t-ball or soccer team can really heavily lean on you to get your kid involved.

      But my kids had no true interest in either sport, so we didn’t push them. My daughter’s recent interest in volleyball came from actually playing it at school, then finding out one of her friends attended a weekly clinic at Cal, and asking if she could do the same. That’s the kind of child-driven interest we are looking for, and we encourage it. Now, if she suddenly asked to do soccer on top of this, we’d ask her to think about which she really wanted to do and choose one.

      Limiting activities isn’t just easier on the parents. It’s easier on the kids too. Some of my kids’ friends have activities most school nights and all of Saturday. Gymnastics gets like this pretty quickly if your kid is any good – and with other kids it’s just a variety of different interests, like Girl Scouts, cello lessons, soccer, etc. Those kids have a harder time getting their homework done and a lot of them seem pretty stressed out. I like my kids to have time to just hang out in their rooms or in the backyard on weekends. That’s what I remember most about being a kid – not living by my meeting planner – and I want my kids to have the same.

      For that reason, we also say no to a heck of a lot of play date opportunities. Many, many playdate requests come from my kids’ friends who are only kids, and their parents are really just looking for someone to entertain their kid. I’m sorry if it causes hard feelings, but I have no issue saying no. My kids do not need playdates both days of every weekend. One per weekend is plenty, and we don’t even always do one.

      In terms of household, we don’t have a gardener, because that is “me” time for both my husband and me. We both like working in the garden. But we do have a housecleaner and I would not want to try to do without her. My husband is about as close to an equal partner in both parenting and household as you can get these days, and it would not work if he were any different.

      • Thanks for such detailed comments, its much appreciated (from someone who doesn’t have a family and wonders how the heck I’m going to do this when I do)

      • Formly Bay Area Anon :

        Ooh, chorus! Is your daughter in the San Francisco Girls Chorus, by any chance?

        If so, fantastic. I consider my time in the SFGC the best educational experience of my teenage years. That said, it was very labour intensive and I had to choose between my having other extra curriculars and sleep. (I chose to forgo sleep.)

    • I manage some of this through an excellent after school sitter who is able to take my children to their various activities (some of which are at school so do not need separate carpooling). I have gotten comfortable with being the mom who at acting class or sports practice or swim team approaches other parents and recruits them into a carpool. Some activities my kids don’t get to do — anything that’s too far from home/school, inconvenient practice times, etc. There’s still plenty to choose from. As the kids get older, they can help with household chores (bringing down their laundry and putting it away, emptying dishwasher, helping with pets, cutting grass) — which has been a MAJOR godsend.

      I’m also very lucky to have had managers who give me some flexibility in terms of needing to scoot out early or in the middle of the day for various school/volunteer/sports activities.

      All that said, even with the best outsourcing in the world and (generally) very understanding managers and clients, the “me” time is what I struggle with. A lot of the time, it ends up being a quick lunch with a friend during the week. And I don’t work out nearly as much as I would like to.

      My husband works and travels a lot. But as my children get older, it gets so much easier. I’m not going to lie, though, I’ve (happily) made career compromises and (less happily) compromised “me” time.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Agreed. Its not easy, but you can’t beat yourself up. don’t expect perfection and you’ll have less disappointment. I don’t make every in school assembly, but I make it to the important stuff.
        also, just block it on your calendar and keep it to your self. some mom’s have a tendency to explain and apologize. I don’t. I block the time on my calendar and go. As long as I am checking email at 6:30, and in the evening after I put my kids to bed, and traffic copping while I am on vacation etc…. I am not going to feel guilty or bad about being out of the office for my kids school program etc….

  16. Tired Squared :

    Virginia bar exam results posted earlier than expected — and I passed!

    I’m so excited to finally say — I will NEVER look at an MBE question again!

  17. PSA: Saks has Burberry trenches on sale in limited sizes marked down to about $500 with the FRIENDS sale. If you sign up for emails, they will also send you a code for an additional 10% off. They also have designer scrunchies: http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306418050&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446477042&R=883936784493&P_name=Marc+by+Marc+Jacobs&N=4294912281+306418050&bmUID=jrHK2X1

  18. THREADJACK: 3rd interview at a FL law firm that advertises on TV. They say they are flying down a couple of candidates for a “working interview”. Initial salary discussions are a little on the low side, but I am unemployed at the moment.

    1. What do I wear? Do people wear normal interview suits in FL?
    2. WTF is a “working interview”?
    3. (Assuming it goes well) How to respond to a lowball salary offer?

    • associate :

      1. Florida’s a big state, but I’ve interviewed in 3 of Florida’s regions and people wear “normal interview suits” every time.
      2. no idea, but I hope you report back. I’m imagining them giving you a research assignment and shooting a start gun in the air.
      3. Have back up for your expected salary range, and make your case.

    • D Train South :

      As to #1 – yes, people wear normal interview suits in FL.

    • Accountress :

      Remember that Florida has no state income tax, so figure that into the negotiations.

      People do wear normal interview suits in FL, but it’s going to be in the 90s later this week already, so maybe something with a lighter-weight fabric.

      Oooh, a law firm that advertises on the TV. Let’s see, KEL and Morgan&Morgan seem to be the big ones in Central FL. If it’s M&M and you take the job, can you please convince them to make their sons take acting or improv lessons? I’m sure they’re good at what they do, but my heart goes out to them during their televised press conferences because they’re not used to that level of public speaking.

    • Yes, people wear normal interview suits in Florida. In fact, I have to wear a suit (with pantyhose) every.single.day. If you are talking about M & M, that firm is less conservative than mine, but I would still wear a traditional suit.

  19. Hive, please help me on this:

    I’m a third year at a biglaw firm in the NE. I was recently offered a six-month “pseudo-secondment” where I would work on in-house projects for one of our major clients approximately 15-30 hours a week while continuing to work on some of my other deals. This is a new arrangement with one of our clients, so there’s a bit of a grey area around expectations/work load. Prior to committing to the arrangement, I asked if I would get taken off some of my current deals (I currently average around 225-250 hours a month) as I thought that it would be insane to commit to six months of 300+ hours each month.

    The partner who is in charge of this secondment said that I would get taken off some of my matters and he and the senior partner would run interference for me. So, I accepted the secondment. One of my deals is threatening to be a firedrill for the next week (the secondment starts on Tuesday of next week). I’ve reached out to the partner to see if I can get taken off some of my deals to accomodate the secondment, but he has been reluctant to get me off the deals since “he’s not sure how much work I’ll have to do.” I kind of feel like this is a bit of a bait and switch and am now nervous they are expecting me to work 300+ hour months for the next six months.

    Is there anything I can do or am I just an idiot for believing a partner when he was pitching new work to me?

    • this sucks. i think this might be one of those situations where you need to throw your weight around (or at least try to). i think that you need to do something like go to the partner who got you the secondment and say you’re excited about the opportunity and the chance to have some serious client contact and build relationships, but in order for it to practically work you need to be taken of x and y deals because they are too time consuming for you to fulfill your commitments to the secondment. you may want to throw in something about timing (ie, they came up after you were already committed to the secondment). if the partner understands what’s at stake he/she should step up and facilitate this transition for you, just like he/she promised. this is seriously unfair, you’re doing something to help the firm and raise it’s profile and you’re billing a ton as it is, frankly 6 months of 300 hour billables is totally unreasonable.

  20. Resume TJ :

    I told a friend about an opening at my firm. She has been looking for a job for over a year and I think she’d be a good fit. She just sent me her resume and cover letter to forward to the recruiting manager and I looked at them and they need a lot of work, e.g., typos, half of cover letter is double-spaced and half is single-spaced, resume is 3 pages long and very rambling, etc. What do I do? I want to help her get the job, but I also don’t want to offend her by telling her to fix the documents (and she does get offended easily), and, selfishly, I also don’t want to forward her application materials in this condition because I think they will reflect poorly on me (I had intended to write a nice note recommending her when I transmitted the resume and cover letter).

    • I think you should absolutely email her back and say that based on some of the other application materials you’ve seen at this job (from other candidates), she may need to update hers, and does she want you to do it for her so she gets a sense of what is “market” for your kind of firm?

      Or you can be more blunt and say her materials are really not at the level that firms expect, a few major issues are x, y, and z, and she needs to clean them up (maybe have another person “proofread”) before you can submit them.

    • RussiaRepeat :

      Maybe say you forgot to mention they’re really strict about formatting and offer to help her get these things into the firm’s preferred format? I’d be worried a bit how she’d reflect on you if she did get hired if that’s the kind of product she puts out.

    • No offense to your friend, but I would reconsider whether you would want her to come and work at your firm. If she isn’t devoting much time and effort to her resume, it’s doubtful she’ll devote much time and effort to the work she’ll be doing at your firm. Additionally, if she won’t take constructive criticism when you’re going out of your way to help her, she likely won’t be the most pleasant person to give comments to on legal documents…

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think your inclination not to forward the resume in its current state is correct. The people you recommend will reflect directly back on you.

      I’d honestly tell her that her materials do not do her qualifications justice. I’d also say (because it’s true) that I’d love to help her make the resume and cover letter more marketable. At the same time, I’d recommend Ask A Manager, which is a fantastic resource. That way she can just say she’ll look at the website if she doesn’t really want your help.

    • When I was applying for jobs, I had several friends/more senior attorneys send it back to me first with comments. Mine didn’t have any rambling or errors, and was 1 page, but one of the big things was they knew that their firm liked resumes to “name drop” a little, and liked a particular format. I found it very helpful, and I really appreciated the time she took to give me comments. Maybe if you put it that way, and tell her that your firm likes specific things in a resume, like “our hiring attorney really only want to see 1 page,” and things like that? Then you are being constructive and hopefully she will figure the rest out.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I’m curious what it means for a resume to “name drop”? Whose names? And what portion of the resume.

    • That’s a tricky situation, but I know what you mean about not wanting it to reflect poorly on you. That’s absolutely a valid concern.

      You could frame the issue to her by saying that you know your recruiting manager’s preferences and had some suggestions for tailoring her resume and cover letter and then let her know what you saw that could use fixing. Or, if you are really concerned about how they may come back even with that guidance, you could rework them yourself and send to her for the okay to submit.

    • Thanks all. I like the advice to couch it in terms of other applicants’ materials/expectations of the hiring committee.

      • this is a tough one. Ask a Manager answered a similar concern, not exactly the same, but she did have some suggested language for exactly that response (link below take out spaces). But, good luck, I hope she doesn’t get too upset!

        www [dot] askamanager [dot] org/ 2011/07/ how-do-i-tell-someone-his-resume-is-terrible.html

      • Moonstone :

        I know this is already resolved, but I think it will drive the point home to say, “The document must have gotten messed up — the spacing is all off and I am sure you didn’t expect the resume to be three pages. Why don’t you look at it again and send me a PDF that I can forward?” That let’s her save a little face while still emphasizing that the materials are way, way below what she needs to be doing.

      • If it were me, I would pass it along – not with anything more than a “my friend wanted me to pass this along” note and then not object if she is not selected. If she did not proof read her freaking resume, she is going to make more mistakes that will negatively reflect on you. I mean she has been looking for a job for a YEAR. It’s not like she just typed it up over night.

        I do not think passing it along with errors will negatively reflect on you but, I do think that if she is hired and makes mistakes that it will. Once she is not selected, then I would say they had some things circled and pass suggestions for changes to her then. Maybe you could make those changes for next time.

        • BigLaw Optimist :

          I wish I had seen this yesterday – I was dealing with the same issue (only it was a cover letter that was a total mess … maybe I should have asked to see the resume too!).

          I should have known to just ask you lovely ladies with your excellent advice instead of stumbling around on my own. :) (Oh, and I ended up red-lining it and shooting it back, saying that I was “tailoring it for the specific position” that the friend was applying to at my firm).

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