Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Shawl Collar Blazer

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

Tribune Standard Shawl Collar Blazer Normally, I would say that this dirty yellow/olive is an absolutely horrid, horrid color. And yet… I bought a blazer a few years ago this color (deep discount, and it fit like a glove) and found that I got a ton of wear out of it, particularly with black, with navy, with white. I’ll bet this blazer would be just as versatile, and it’s a gorgeous one — I love the fold-over lapels, the barely noticeable double-breasted closure, and the flap hip pockets. (Let’s just pretend the shorts don’t exist.) The blazer is $749 at ShopBop. Tribune Standard Shawl Collar Blazer

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Comments

  1. momentsofabsurdity :

    Fashion I do not understand – Hi-Lo skirts/dresses. This?

    http://www.express.com/hi-lo-maxi-skirt-46619-23/control/show/3/sort/New_Arrivals-Ascending/index.pro

    Do not get.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I kinda like them, but I’ve never bought one because I just don’t know what to wear it with…

    • I saw a ton of these at Macy’s in the Impulse section. Thought of the AIMS quote, “mullet of a skirt.”

    • MissJackson :

      I don’t get it either. I’m going to ignore this particular trend and hope that it goes away. (Note that I said the same thing about skinny jeans when they first came out and now I’m a convert, so what the heck do I know?)

      • phillygirlruns :

        same for me – for this (ugh why?) and for the skinny jeans (i distinctly remember thinking they made even mannequins look fat – now i’m used to them and own a couple pair).

    • I think it’s cute for a young person – think, high school or college, young enough to say “Hey, look at me, I’m wearing something unusual!” But I can’t really see it on someone over, say, 25-ish.

      • My sister is 43 and she is still wearing these outfits! And after 2 kids, believe me she looks ridiculous!

      • Ha — I’ve been eyeing the trend, also, trying to figure if there are any pieces I would like for a weekend look… and I’m still hunting. I will say, though, that my babysitter looks great in her hi-low skirt.. but then again she’s 22 and wore it with a see-through crop top.

    • Apparently this look was a trend at the local proms…only the short part of the skirt was mini and the girls wore garters, burlesque-style. Makes me afraid to see what will be fashionable when my daughters are old enough for their proms!

    • I don’t like the trend in skirts but did see an evening hi/lo dress that was gorgeous.

    • Could be worse. Yesterday I saw a Lo-Hi dress. It was a ballroom dancing costume, but even within that aesthetic still looked ugly, uncomfortable, and produced highly improper associations.

    • Tired Squared :

      I remember seeing an episode of Friends where Jennifer Aniston wears a mini-skirt with a transparent longer skirt over top. I thought it was THE coolest look, and I wanted it for years. Ah, 1995-1998 me…

    • I picked up a fun little dress with this hi-lo design over the weekend to wear to a party and for salsa dancing. It looked great and I received a ton of compliments. It’s magenta and orange and I plan to take it for a Caribbean vacation this summer. I think it depends on your shoes and accessories (I belted it with a gold skinny belt and wore bangles). I’m early thirties – it did feel youngish but I also felt like a million bucks and don’t plan on wearing it to formal/conservative events.

    • Reminds me of the bridesmaids dresses in my aunt’s wedding… in 1989.

    • I saw someone wearing a beautiful dress in this style at an event over the weekend. However, it was a sheer fabric that was in this style (over a regular skirt part of the dress), which I think made it look gorgeous.

      I think if it is done well, it is done very well – but too many don’t do it well.

      • I actually like the style, I think in a dress (not so much a skirt, but I could be convinced) it’s something like wearing a train, and who doesn’t love that! But it doesn’t look good on me or anyone I know or have ever seen. So, *shrug*

    • ……..I have one. I think they’re perfect for salsa dancing date nights.
      I wouldn’t spend $50 on something so trendy though! I got this one last week (definitely an item to get at forever21):
      http://www.forever21.com/Product/Product.aspx?BR=f21&Category=btms_skirts&ProductID=2000041819&VariantID=

  2. Frizztastic :

    Can anyone give advice/thoughts on japanese hair straightening vs. keratin treatments?

    I have long layered very very thick wavy hair that does not fare well during the humid DC summers. I end up putting it up almost every day, and I am thinking one of these hair treatments might be the answer. The issue is that I do like my hair to have some volume so I am afraid of going pin straight, I also am really afraid of putting formaldehyde on my head as well a paying a ton of money. I am also nervous about permanently damaging my hair.

    Any thoughts/advice on this would be greatly appreciated!! Also any recommendations for places in DC would be very helpful! TIA!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I have had both done (Japanese straightening 3 times, keratin straightening once). I very much recommend Japanese straightening over Brazilian keratin treatments, with some major caveats.

      I also have long layered hair, though mine is more curly than wavy – probably a 2c and 3a, on the Naturally Curly scale (http://www.naturallycurly.com/hair-types) and used to straighten daily. As much as I wished I could have pretty curls, mine were just frizzy and rough looking. I was used to seeing my hair straight (never wore it curly/wavy) so the volume thing wasn’t a major issue for me.

      Japanese straightening was great. I have very strong hair that wasnt especially damaged by the process and it has saved me literally hours – I can get out of the shower and let my hair air dry on the way to work and it looks neat and professional by the time I get there. It can be damaging to weaker hair and (I think) isn’t recommended for color treated hair. It does reduce the volume – though don’t be scared after you first get it done. They always flat iron my hair pin straight so you can literally see the shape of my head under it. That goes away 3 days later (that is, after the first wash) and I still have some bounce and body. If I want to go for the pin straight look, I then straighten it. I’ve had friends with thinner hair, however, who felt like it really took away all of their body. Maybe I just had so much to begin with that I haven’t noticed?

      I also lucked out that I had it done at a great salon in California that only charges $180 and does an excellent job.

      I have also had the keratin straightening treatment done once. I really did not like it for a number of reasons. The formaldehyde was a big one. It smelled awful and I could barely breathe getting it done (and I went to one of those “formaldehyde free” salons too) and had a headache for a couple days after. It did reduce the frizz, but honestly, not significantly, and the fact that it was so expensive ($300) and needs to be redone 3-4x per year was a major downside for me. I also was *really* uncomfortable during the 2 day no-wash period, when my hair was sticky/tacky. It felt disgusting. In general, I was just not that impressed with the treatment.

      But it really depends. If you like your hair to have some wave, the Japanese straightening is not for you. On the other hand, for me it was substantially cheaper in the long run, and saved me a lot of time (as opposed to keratin, which maybe saved me 15 min in the morning, if that). I may have just had a bad experience at one keratin salon, but I think I am going to stick with Japanese straightening.

    • No advice regarding permanent straightening but have you tried using oil to style your hair? Finger-combing some oil through your hair after you’re done styling could help with the fight against humidity.

    • I had a keratin treatment and I also was not that impressed. It isn’t permanent like the Japanese straightening. Salt breaks the treatment down so if you like swimming you will need to get it done more often. My hairdresser also said flat ironing breaks it down (though I never heard this anywhere else) so if you want straight hair you’ll have to get it done more often. It takes away the frizz, but doesn’t straighten. I also found my hair got greasy very quickly, 1 day as opposed to the 2 or 3 days I can usually go. So I ended up washing my hair more often, which makes the treatment wash out quicker. I had no formaldehyde smell issues and I did a treatment that only had to stay in 1 day.

    • I have very thin curly hair (probably 2B) on momentsofabsurdity’s scale and I have fallen in love with keratin. Yes, I am aware of the formaldehyde issue but my curly hair literally brings me to tears as there is no product in existence that can control the frizz without looking greasy.

      As my hair is thin (in strand, not in amount) the keratin takes out all of my curl and leaves it pin straight (even when air-dryed) although I don’t think that is typical. I have untreated hair and the treatment lasts approximately 3-4 months.

      • spacegeek :

        This is my experience also, with my fine and thin hair. LOVE! Been doing it for 2 years, and going in for my next appt on Fri. I go once/6 months. I’m a scientist by trade, so I read the formaldehyde reports very carefully. The issue relates to the vaporization of the substance, and is more of a problem for the stylist than the client. A well-ventilated room reduces the ppm to acceptable levels, and I’ve talked with my stylist to be sure he does not do many of these treatments in a single day. He says it is one/week at most.

        The Japanese straightening is apparently more harsh than keratin. The keratin leaves my hair shinier and healthier than it has looked in years. Fabulous life changing process for ME.

    • I have hair that’s probably closer to 3B (or curlier)…anyone have experience trying this with hair like that?

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I think it really depends on the strength of your hair. Thin/fine hair is really going to fare much better under the keratin treatments. My sister has curlier hair than me (maybe 3A or 3B) and found Japanese straightening was great, but she has strong (though frizzy) hair. I wouldn’t do Japanese straightening if I was at all worried about the strength of my hair.

    • Ugh just wrote a long comment and it got lost – let’s try again. I have very close friends who have done both Brazilian and Japanese (and I tried Japanese once) – here’s my take:

      1. Japanese – if you want pin-straight hair, this is the way to go. There won’t be any real body or movement, but if you’re flat ironing your hair every day and you like that look, this is a good option. A few warnings: (a) because it is permanent, it can be awkward when your hair grows in with its natural texture; (b) it’s hard to curl, even with a curling iron; (c) if you have ‘virgin’ hair (i.e. never chemically treated), it may not ‘take’. This is what happened to me – I spent hours of my time and hundreds of dollars and it didn’t work on my hair. Obviously I wasn’t pleased with that result (retrospectively I was happy it didn’t work – I learned to handle my natural texture which is beachy/wavy – and more popular now – I love it). All of that being said, this was all the rage when I was a camp counselor and my friends used to get out of the pool and look like they were models. This is definitely good if you’re looking for simplicity, and don’t mind frequent touchups when your hair grows in.
      2. Brazilian – I’m a big fan of this – my best friend has very curly, thick, frizzy hair, and she gets this done now every 2-3 months and it looks just amazing – like she has a permanent professional blow-out, because it has the nicest slight wave and bounce. This washes out gradually, so there’s no issue with hair growth. After 2-3 months, your hair slowly returns to its natural texture over a period of about 2 weeks, so you know when its time to go back and have it done again. You have more styling options with this – you can iron it if you want it pin straight, curl it if you have an event, etc.

      My personal opinion is that Brazilian is prettier and more modern, but Japanese is your best bet for pin straight and simplicity in terms of walking out of the shower and being ready to go (again, except for when your hair grows in). Oh and for either treatment, have a long talk with your stylist to make sure your hair will ‘take’ the treatment and you don’t wind up losing time and money like me!! Good luck!

    • I used to get my hair Japanese straightened in high school, and it was pin straight and flat (naturally my hair is much more voluminous and pretty thick, but not curly). I did feel like it damaged my hair. My friends who also got it noticed lots of breakage and flyaways as a result. It made life convenient, and a lot of us to got it done about two or three times, but then we all gave it up because we felt like we were killing our hair.

      If you do decide to go this route, I would try calling around to some Korean salons to see what their prices are (maybe in Annandale?). I’m not as familiar with the hair scene in DC, but in Chicago, it was always cheaper at the Korean places than at others. When I did this in high school (and it was a relatively new thing), I paid around 200, although that might vary with how much hair you have/how thick and unruly it is.

      No ideer about keratin treatments. . .

  3. MaggieLizer :

    I keep hearing this rustling in or around my desk and I’m really afraid there’s a mouse or something lurking in one of my drawers. I knew I shouldn’t have left those almonds out! I can’t decide whether I should get one of the mail room guys to come look at my desk, which would make me look like an idiot if there’s nothing there, or if I should gather up the courage to look myself, which runs the risk of me screaming and running away if there is something there.

    • What about option C: Work in a conference room or have a meeting somewhere else. Hope and pray rustling disappears by the time you get back.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        This would be my option. Try not to go back into my office until the rustling is gone.

        And not to make you more scared but I definitely vote on getting a large dude to look for you because my friend once found a bat in her desk drawer. And by found, I mean she opened the drawer and a bat flew at her face. TRUE STORY BRO.

        So I would not look myself for sure.

        • MaggieLizer :

          OMG now I’m really scared! Unfortunately all our conference rooms are booked. I’ve been finding reasons to be out of my office for the past hour and have run out of ideas :/

        • Your handle is very appropriate for this terrifying story.

        • AnonInfinity :

          I can’t decide if this is more terrifying or hilarious. Now I’m giving my drawer the side eye.

        • I’m terrified of bats. Like, lose-my-crap terrified. This is now my new worst nightmare. Bats in a desk!

          • This reminds me of the Big Bang Theory episode where Sheldon was under the electrified net security system that Wolowitz had set up, screaming “I am no longer in control of my own bladder!”

            But yeah, little mice no big deal. I’ve gotten used to giant flying cockroaches living in south Louisiana, but bats and large rats, no way.

          • @ NOLA, speaking of large rats, I lived in New Orleans for a few years, between ’04 and ’07… how about those Nutria?? Eeeek! Cross between a rat and a ‘possum!

          • I’ve never actually seen a nutria! You hear about JPSO out there in Lafreniere Park shooting at the nutria but I haven’t laid eyes on one. I did, however, have a rat try to eat through the ceiling into my pantry when I lived in a ground floor apartment in a big house on St. Charles years ago.

        • Curious: How does this happen?

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Maintenance told her bats could fold themsleves up to essentially flat sheets of paper to get in almost any place. Terrifying.

        • Oh my gosh, I cannot stop laughing. This is probably the funniest thing I’ve heard all week. Of all the random things to find in your office desk drawer…

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Not sure if you were around a week or so ago when I posted my fun office story. Maintenance was disassembling and reassembling my assistant’s cube and a mouse ran out! I screamed and ran away. My coworker’s client heard my scream through the phone. We all had a good laugh.

      I’d go find someone with a good sense of humor and ask them to help you investigate. Good luck!

      • S in Chicago :

        Agree with this. You’ll feel braver if you have an office bud around. I’d get a good friend and then have the maintenance staff on hand. If it runs, you’ll want to be sure some building guy is there to nab it. I wouldn’t leave to a conference room anyway–then you’re going to have the creepy feeling of wondering where it is all of the time. Act now while there is still a chance to have one creepy morning and be done with it.

    • If it is a bat…do your best not to scream – since that will only confuse the poor thing more.

      I did have a mouse in my office once, and only screamed because it startled me out of the corner of my eye. I think if you are somewhat prepared to see something, it won’t be as startling, and the risk of screaming is less. Either way, I think it is totally appropriate to delegate to a maintenance person (which is perhaps difference than the mail room) to deal with the situation. :)

    • This is what the facilities people are for. Email them pronto.

      • I support the approach of asking the facilities people to check it out. I once heard a weird crackling kind of sound coming out of my bookcase in my former office and was convinced it was some kind of creature so I asked the facilities people to take a look. This guy came and took every single book off the shelf and shook it out — nothing. I may have felt a little silly for about 30 seconds, but it was well worth the peace of mind. I came to realize the sound was caused by the building moving ever so slightly when it was really windy, which is perhaps even more unsettling than a creature, but whatever. At least I didn’t freak out every time it happened from that point forward.

    • Please do keep us posted when they remove the thing whatever it is.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Thanks all! Update – I walked by the office next to me and saw the IT folks on their hands and knees. Apparently the “rustling” I heard was them doing something to the wiring on the other side of my wall. I haven’t heard it again since they finished, but I wanted to check my drawers just to make sure. I armed myself with a yard stick all Hunger Games-style and opened the drawers. There was nothing there. My almonds are safe. Crisis over!

  4. Anonsensical :

    I love this! Wish I could afford it. It’s so hard for me to find colors that really work on me and, strangely, this dirty yellow color is one of them.

  5. Warning: This is a TTC question.

    Did y’all drink while you were trying to conceive? DH thinks I shouldn’t at all, but I think that’ll be a really long time to go without my red wine if it takes us a while. Thoughts?

    • Of course I drank. How else does one get children?

    • Yes.

    • Drink away.

      If he’s very keen on this idea (and a drinker too) suggest his side of this (trying to avoid moderation) would go better if he too quit the drink.

    • Yes, I did and so did everyone else I know, though I did make an effort not to overindulge. Is your husband being pushy? If so, you ought to have a convo now about boundaries and what you both expect during a pregnancy.

      • He’s not being pushy, he’s just really conservative with things like this. He’s always of the “Why risk it?” camp.

        • You probably still need to have a conversation about how much and which advice you are going to follow. I think a lot of guys have a feeling of powerlessness during pregnancy since there’s not much they can do for 9 months, and some overcompensate by trying to enforce a lot of rules/advice on their pregnant partner.

          And…possibly suggest that he follows the same advice too, so he has a sense of what you are going through. No sushi for you, no sushi for him. No wine for you, no beer for him.

    • My doc said drinking was fine so long as you weren’t binge drinking. And Also is right. Drinking decreases sper* count so your husband should cut back.

    • AnonInfinity :

      From my understanding, the little embryo doesn’t even start sharing anything in your blood for a few weeks. So, if you’re actively trying and testing every month, you’d be able to stop drinking in time for it to attach.

      Also think about allllllll those people who didn’t realize they were pregnant for a month or two who kept drinking in moderation, and none of their babies have fetal alcohol syndrome.

    • I play a bit of a game. I drink from the first day of my period to around the time of ovulation and then stop for the rest of the month. I’m not a big alcohol person, don’t drink during the week, so I’m talking about skipping a weekly cocktail, not an afterwork ritual.

      The data is really frustrating in this area, IMO. On the one hand, no amount of alcohol has been proven to be safe in pregnancy. On the other, in many cultures, a glass of wine a night is recommended to pregnant women for stress relief and those cultures don’t have a higher rate of congenital defects or fetal alcohol syndrome. I think cutting back is probably wise, but I have a lot of difficulty telling women to cut it out completely. As you probably know, the major formation of organs occurs in the 3rd through 8th week in utero (so if your counting from LMP starting at week 5) so that’s the time to probably avoid alcohol completely. A reasonable idea is to probably drink lightly between ovulation and missing your period and then stop drinking for the first trimester after you miss your period. With my son, I drank a little after the second trimester and feel no guilt over that (was I really not going to drink champagne at my wedding?)

      I’m not really sure this can be construed as true medical advice but my husband (also a physician) and I did a fairly thorough look at the literature when I was pregnant for the first time. And I totally agree with someone about having a conversation with your husband. Your body will feel alien to you through pregnancy. He does not get a vote or comment on every issue.

      • EC MD, I love your responses and this is a good one. I too drank a glass of wine here or there starting on the first day of my period until a day or two before ovulation, and then none for the rest of the cycle. I’ve always found alcohol helps with cramps anyway.

        For both my pregnancies, I had one small glass of champagne on our New Years’ Eve anniversary.

    • Echoing the yesses – my rule would be to try to avoid having enough to feel it when you’re in that could-be stage (between ovulatin and period), but even then, just a glass won’t hurt. If you’ve got your period and won’t be ovulating for a little while, drink away! Of course I’m more on the “a little wine is no big deal” school of pregnancy drinking.

      My husband is just the opposite of yours – almost every time I mention something that I’m not “supposed” to do while pregnant, he laughs and says that people worry way too much. Which I guess is nice, because I’d really like some sushi.

      (If you caught my mind-spinning word salad at the end of the weekend thread, I’ve got a doctor’s appt this afternoon to confirm things! Wish me luck, whatever luck might be in this case!)

    • My understanding is the same as AnonInfinity’s: the embryo will not share in your alcohol intake for a few weeks, so you are fine drinking until you get a positive pregnancy test without any risk of harming your baby.

      That said, I have heard that alcohol decreases sp*rm count AND your own fertility, so I understand couples with difficulty TTC often abstain on both sides to increase their chances every little bit. (I didn’t research this myself, but this is just what a few friends have shared with me.) If you are just starting out trying and have no reason to believe that you’ll have difficulty, I don’t think this should be a concern personally.

    • PharmaGirl :

      I did but minimally and stuck to no more than one in a given day. The only exception was my high school reunion. I had 3-4 drinks and 2 cigarettes and it turns out I was actually pregnant (like, 1-2 days pregnant). That was the last time I smoked.

      While pregnant, I had a few glasses of red wine here and there but not until after the first trimester. The smell of beer made me nauseus so it wasn’t hard not to drink in the beginning!

    • Diana Barry :

      Of course. I would tell your DH to shove it. Nicely or not, up to you. ;)

    • absolutely. If you have a drinking problem, of course, this is a good time to cut out or back, but I certainly drank in moderation (no more than 2 in a day, no more than a couple times a week). Stopped completely once I conceived (other than a strawberry daiquiri the OB told me to have when I was sent home with false labor – only to go into real labor 3 hours later)

    • When I got pregnant unexpectedly with my son, I cried to my OBGYN that my husband and I had spilt a bottle of Champagne shortly before I realized I was pregnant. My OB patted my hand and said, “If it wasn’t for Champagne, there would be far fewer babies in the world. Don’t worry.”

      And my son is a little freaking genius. A weird nerdy-type kid, to be sure, but no birth defects going on.

      • Away Game :

        This is exactly how I ended up with twin. Darn bubbly!

      • I got pregnant in the middle of December, and I didn’t find out until January. Do the math (Holiday parties + Christmas with families + New years = oh my god thatsalottabooze)
        My son is also a nerdy little genius, and at age 12, don’t think he’ll be shifting to “horribly damaged by mama’s binging” anytime soon.

        I never had fertility issues, though, so I suppose if you’ve been TTC and have been having difficulty, and your doctor recommends a certain level of alcohol consumption (or lack thereof) I’d go with that, but good lord, people have been drinking booze for eternity, and as someone else noted, other countries where moderate alcohol intake is considered fine during pregnancy don’t have any higher incidence of alcohol related birth defects.

    • HippieEsq :

      I think this depends on how long you have been trying and how old you are. If you are older and have less time to conceive, then cut out the wine. If getting pregnant RIGHT NOW isn’t as important, then it’s no big deal.

      I still had wine, but much less than before TTC.

  6. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    Ladies, I want to shout it from the rooftops! As of 4 pm yesterday, I am DONE with law school!

  7. Any Divergent fans here? I started the series because of Hunger Games withdrawal (probably wasn’t smart to read them back to back in three days), and now I’m hooked on another YA story line. Pretty excited for Insurgent’s release tomorrow… I feel like a twelve year old girl.

    • Yes! I want to try to wait to read Insurgent until my upcoming plane trip…but I doubt I will have the willpower.

    • Hey – there is nothing wrong with adults reading YA fiction. Some of it is very good!

      I finally saw the Hunger Games movie – and thought it was well done.

      Also saw Cabin in the Woods – and although I watched through my fingers for parts of it, totally enjoyed it, thanks to Mr. Whedon. Also, it had Bradley Whitford!

      • Looooooooove Bradley Whitford!

        And also, I loved Divergent – and am super excited Insurgent is coming out tomorrow!

      • i Can.Not.Handle. horror movies of any kind… but I might have to watch Cabin in the Woods for Bradley.. and Fran Kranz (Topher from Dollhouse)…. and, ok fine, for pretty much the whole dang adorable/gorgeous cast… thanks you so much Joss Whedon for my future nightmares…..

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I’ve read it. I don’t like it as much as The Hunger Games (and it isn’t written as well). But it is still interesting and I’ll probably try to get my hands in Insurgent in the near future.

      I’m actually more excited for the last book of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott. I started reading The Alchemyst out of boredom one day, but it is a fun little series.

    • DC Darling :

      I am embarrassed to admit after reading this book I spent the following 3 days trying to decide which camp I would want to be in. Even though Dauntless sounds the most fun, my tendency to inadvertently say inappropriate (but honest) things probably puts me in Candor.

      • Don’t be embarrassed – you are not the only one. :) I figured I would likely be Erudite because I love to study, but thought often of Dauntless during my recent job search – mostly because I felt like I was jumping onto a moving train!

    • So excited for Insurgent tomorrow! I like to have these quick read, light books sometimes. They’re just fun, you know? I actually just re-read Divergent because I wanted it fresh in my memory before starting the next book. I forgot how strange it was to read about Dystopian Chicago.

    • I literally just, last night, saw this book and though “oooh! Wait, is that too much YA?” So I picked a murder mystery that uses fake place names but is pretty clearly set just north of me. But it’s still on my wish list and after seeing this I think it’s going to be next!

  8. Is having a concentration in law school helpful when looking for a job? I’m finishing up my 2L year (no OCI job this summer, so I’m likely to be looking for a job throughout next year) and selecting classes for my 3L year. I can complete two concentrations (litigation and health law) by taking one or two courses that I wouldn’t otherwise take. The concentrations would not show up on my transcript so employers wouldn’t know about them unless I wanted them to.

    • AnonInfinity :

      In my experience, not helpful. It’s helpful if you want to do something like tax or bankruptcy that takes a lot of really technical knowledge (but I think you need an LLM for tax at least, anyway). But just general litigation — I can’t imagine an employer in my area caring about that kind of concentration.

      The employers I interviewed with looked at my transcript only in enough detail to determine my GPA and confirm law review. After that, I get the impression that it’s personality and how well you do as a summer associate if you go that route.

    • I think that having a concentration in advocacy (litigation) was somewhat helpful to me (I say this as someone who had a hell of time in the job market, though) for the jobs that I did get (a trial court level clerkship and a litigation-heavy small firm job). But I think it helped more to be able to speak about different litigation-specific classes that I took and excelled at, rather than the concentration per se.

      Although I didn’t formally concentrate in healthcare, I did focus on that in classes because I really wanted to work in that field, but I think that that ultimately worked against me because I wound up having to broaden my horizons so much when I realized that the job market was so horrible.

    • I can’t imagine that a litigation concentration would be helpful. If you’re interested in working in health law, I would think additional classes in that area to demonstrate your interest and knowledge can only help you, but I’m not sure if the word “concentration” tacked on to that adds anything.

      • Former MidLevel :

        This. The main benefit I’ve seen to concentrations is to demonstrate interest in a particular area of law. So if you’re really interested in health law, go for it.

    • Does your school offer internships or co-op programs that allow you to intern in the district attorney’s office and use your third year practice certificate (if you state does that)? IMHO I think employers view that as more relevant than a lot of classes or certifications. Even if you’re looking to do civil litigation and not criminal, the fact that you’ve helped prepare a case and been in front of a judge will serve you well when people review your resume.

      • I agree with this. I would try to do an internship to demonstrate a specific interest over taking more classes, and you can also make more connections by working. I say this as a 3L who just found a job.

    • Regular Poster :

      I did a litigation concentration. It was a pain in the rear, and turns out to have been a waste of time. My firm does like tax concentrations, but doesn’t seem to care at all about litigation concentrations. Whether health is more like tax or litigation, I couldn’t say.

    • As someone who has not entered law school but has spoken with a number of hiring partners/otherwise engaged in hiring at large firms:

      A few said they liked concentrations, because it shows dedication.

      Others say they really don’t care, they just want you to be able to speak well, seem like you’ll fit in, etc.

      Sooooo it depends on which firm? I feel overall like it doesn’t hurt, so if it isn’t tough to do, you might as well for those firms that might like it. But if it is tough/you are cutting out things you really want to do, it might not be worth it.

    • Law school teaches you absolutely nothing about practicing law. If your school has them, take some skills courses like a negotiations class or a trial skills class. Those kinds of classes are the closest thing to how it is in the real world.

  9. Hoping for some of your excellent gift giving ideas here.
    I want to send a former colleague who has since moved to Toronto, a gift on the birth of her first baby. It’s been a while now, but she was a great friend. Neither of us have a lot of cash, so something simple that I can order online would be perfect.
    Really looking forward to your suggestions.
    Thanks!

    • New baby? Books. Little board books, your favorites when you were a kid. Also, the book Baby 411, which is awesome for new parents.

      • I also vote books, but I’d opt for books that have come out relatively recently. We got many copies of Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, Pat the Bunny, et al and bookstores (in the US, at least) do not offer exchanges without a receipt anymore.

        Some of my (and my baby’s) favorites: Where is the Green Sheep?; Where is Your Home (Slide & See); Peek A Who; Charley Harper Colors; Goodnight Gorilla; Spot’s First Words. All should be available through Amazon.

        • Not board books, but great illustrations and stories to grow with a little one who attaches to a “lovey”: Knuffle Bunny, Knuffle Bunny Too, and Knuffle Bunny Free, all by Mo Willems.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I did reply to this yesterday….but in case you didn’t see it, check out indigo.ca – they have a whole section called “baby” with gifts/books/ stuff for the nursery, etc.

    • Halo sleepsack. Target has them.

    • SV in House :

      If you don’t mind waiting until after the baby is born, the “My Very Own Name” books are great: http://www.iseeme.com/my-very-own-name-personalized-book.html. Very touching for the parents and fun for the kids once they are old enough to comprehend what you’re reading.

    • These 2 for cute board books:
      http://www.amazon.com/Dear-Zoo-Lift—Flap-Book/dp/141694737X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335801639&sr=8-1
      http://www.amazon.com/I-Love-You-Stinky-Face/dp/0439635721/ref=tmm_other_meta_binding_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1335801699&sr=1-1

      My baby nephew is 6 months-old and he loves them.

      And this one is a classic. Some days are like that, even in Australia:
      http://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Terrible-Horrible-Good-Very/dp/1416985956/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335801764&sr=1-1

      I actually have the entire story of Alexander in my email. I’ll post it below.

    • Hooter Hider! I’m pretty sure they will ship outside the us if you order directly from the company that makes them, which is called Bebé au Lait. They have a lot of really cute and practical gifts, actually.

    • spacegeek :

      I love Patemm Pads because babies don’t lie straight when you change ‘em but wiggle! Circular pads make more sense! Google it… So I often give that as a gift. If she’s going to swaddle, Miracle Blankets are my favorites. This in conjunction with the book/video on “the 5 S’s” is a lifesaver for a brand new mom, IMO. Google those too. :-)

      • My son is one year old and I found the best gifts I received were: (1) Swaddling blankets (Aden and Anais – can find them on amazon or at most baby stores) – we swaddled him for each nap and bedtime in these blankets for months and they were great to throw over him in the carseat/stroller to make sure he was just the right temp, (2) board books – he LOVES them and we started reading them to him from when he was just a few months old (his favorite is the Hungry Caterpillar, (3) monogrammed onesies – our friends got him a whole pack of basic onesies and had them monogrammed…I thought it was really cute and he wears them everyday under his clothes.

        • I had a baby shower last week and my favorite book is Global Babies. Good stuff.

          Re swaddle blankets, hooter hiders, etc.- I already have too many of these each (like 5+) so will be returning extra gifts for more needed stuff… you might check with your friend to see what she’s already got. People seem to all get the same things leaving us with tubs of stuff that needs to be lugged back to stores when you have the least time/energy to do so, despite great intentions. Yet no one has bought the practical baby medicine kit or changing pad with covers on our registry yet.

          • Oh, my gosh! Literally as I was writing this, my husband came in with another gift from a colleague- a bag of baby clothes from Wal Mart and a few bottles/brush in a brand we also don’t need… I have already two full giant plastic tubs of brand new clothes to try to return to various stores, sans receipts (I have 7 boxes of clothes between hand me downs and gifts, enough for triplets). Appreciate the thought, but good heavens, we said no clothes please! And Wal Mart is half an hour outside Seattle, just what I want to do with my zero free time. I will probably end up just giving it all away. Seriously… ask your friend what she actually wants/needs.

  10. I am a mom and I like to buy new babies something that hangs on the side of a crib or from their stroller that has a mirror, rattle and other bright colored things to look at. Try sears Canada or toys r us canada.

  11. Strange but true :

    Almost without fail for the last several years, I will look at the clock when it reads 9:11 (both in the morning and in the evening). Of course, I look at the clock during other times as well, but it seems like I always look at the clock during 9:11 without fail. I don’t know if there is any deeper meaning to this, and my husband thinks it’s just coincidence. Has anything similar happened to anyone?

    • Oh dear. Is this stressful? Might it be that you notice and recall more of the occasions when you’ve seen 9:11 while other times (literally) go unnoticed?

      I guess 9/11 had a big impact on you, judging by the fact that you noticed this.

      • Strange but true :

        The strange part is that 9/11 did impact me, but not any more than the average American. I did not know anyone who died in the attacks and of course while I felt terribly sad about it, I did not have nightmares about it or anything. It’s puzzling to me, honestly. Part of me wonders if this is a “sign” but a sign of what i don’t know.

    • I would imagine this is a case of confirmation bias.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Agreed. Like in high school when you learned a new vocabulary word then heard it everywhere. You probably look at the clock a million times a day but you always make note of it when it’s 9:11 since you’ve started to notice that you do it.

      • Strange but true :

        Thanks – that sounds like exactly what it is. :)

        • I always notice I’m looking at the clock at 12:34, (and I say to myself, yay! 1-2-3-4!) but I’m sure I look at the clock pretty regularly at 10:13 as well, but make no note of it.

          • If I look at the clock at 10:13, I think of the X-Files, because that was the name of the creator Chris Carter’s production company (named because of his birthday, 10/13). Wow, that show has been off the air for years, and I still geek out about it…

          • I DO THIS, TOO!!!!!!!! See also: 1:23, 11:22, 2:34 and 3:45.

          • I always notice myself looking at the clock at 4:20 (and I only tried pot once and didn’t care for it, so I’m not quite sure where it comes from).

    • When I was in high school, I did a research project on “tricks” that we can train our subconscious to do. One of them involved our internal clock, which can be surprisingly accurate. One of these tricks was to pick a random time in the middle of the night (e.g. 3:24am) and think about it, check the current time, and then fall asleep. For me 8 times out of 10, I would wake up at the random time picked.

      It sounds to me like you coincidentally looked at the clock at 9:11 once or twice, noticed the coincidence (and those numbers resonate with most of us), and now, your subconscious and internal body clock knows to look at the clock at that time.

    • The same thing happened to me for a few years after 9/11. I think it stopped happening when my schedule got completely changed around.

      I do agree with HM that you can trick your body in certain ways, such as constantly waking at a certain time.

    • So weird – this happens to me to and I notice it. I actually make a point of looking at my clock again when it reads 9:12 so the 9:11 goes away. I think we’ve become wired to react to the 9-11 letter combination.

  12. I bought two pairs of Cole Haan heels this weekend (one at Nordstrom’s Rack, the other at DSW). Same shoe: the Margot peep toe, one in tan and one in black.

    Sooooo comfy. I was hesitant to spend that much on a pair of shoes, even though they were ~ 40% off, but the comfort is well worth it. Breaking the $100 price point was hard, but I’ve spent close to that on quirkier shoes that I don’t wear but once a month or so. It’s amazing to me how much more comfortable expensive shoes are.

    Now I’m trying NOT to buy more online unless there’s a particularly cute pair and/or good deal.

    • Sad but true about expensive shoes. I have narrow feet but curly, slightly knobbly toes so most pinch my toes. Even peep toes do that sometimes:/ going a size up usually means my foot slips.

  13. Threadjack – How long does it take to clear conflicts/ background checks/ etc. for a legal job? It’s BigLaw, on the east coast (dunno if that makes a difference) – TIA!

    • My background check – just last week – began on Monday afternoon and I didn’t hear back until Thursday morning. It was excruciating.

    • It really depends on how many possible conflicts there are. I’ve heard of anywhere from 2 days to a month.

      For background checks, if it’s like a serious FBI background check for a security clearance, could take months. If it’s just running your criminal records, they can usually do it same day.

    • I’m waiting on the background check and the drug check right now. I don’t expect any problems but I’m still slightly anxious :-( Drug screen was last Wednesday, and I think the background check was initiated then also.

      I’m not at all a patient woman . . .

    • BigLaw Conflicts :

      Depending on the firms and clients involved, I have heard of instances when clearing conflicts has taken several weeks.

  14. White blazer :

    Ladies, what do you think of wearing white linen/cotton blazers at work? I’m wearing one right now in my business casual office – but am wondering if it’s too casual.

  15. Should I be loyal to my hair dresser or try someone new? My hairdresser of five years has done a good job of keeping my thinning, graying hair on-trend and cute for a while now. I always do my own color because it costs too much in the salon but it is getting brassy. My hairdresser got fired and now she is working out of another salon on a temporary basis – it is a bit of a drive. I pay her 65 in cash for the cut but it would be considerably more for color, plus, I hate the drive. I take my teenage son to the mall and the woman has done a great job on his hair. She keeps telling me that she is a color specialist and that she will do my cut and color for 80 bucks. Should I try the mall lady? I feel guilty and scared but I need my color done and really don’t want to get committed to so much money and I am tired of the drive. Thoughts?

    • Always a NYer :

      There’s no harm in trying someone new. The worst that happens is you don’t llike the lady at the mall and you go back to your old hairdresser.

      I’m curious, why did she get fired in the first place? I’d be nervous about that, tbh.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I may be a jerk but I have no loyalty unless the person is incredibly awesome. I wouldn’t drive way out of my way for a haircut.

      I wouldn’t necessarily trust that if someone can do your son’s hair really well, they can do yours though.

    • I too hate all the $$ I sink into keeping my (almost completely) gray head colored and cut, but I wouldn’t venture into the mall given the info you have provided. First, it’s a completely different scenario when all she is doing is keeping your teenage son’s hair styled. They are kids! Their hair looks great when dirty, when they cut it themselves, whenever. Boy’s cuts are also much different than real styling of an adult female. My teenage sons pay something like $16 and they look great too. There is nothing better than having your color and cut look fabulous-I would pay the price and keep going to your hairdresser of 5 years. And no, I’m not in the business. I just feel like this part of your appearance is really important-I can skip all the other cosmetic/beauty procedures, but I wouldn’t want my hair to look bad.

    • another anon :

      I think it’s fine to try someone new, but as others are saying, I would not trust that just because this mall lady is doing a good job on your son, she will also do great with a woman’s cut and color. Also, I don’t know where you are, but I live in a relatively low cost-of-living place, and $80 sounds very low for a cut and color, so I would be wary of that. Instead, I would ask a coworker, friend, or neighbor whose haircut and color you like for a recommendation.

    • I “broke up” with a hairdresser in my neighborhood, and I have to walk by his shop all the time. He still smiles and waves like nothing ever happened. It’s not like I called him and said, “Hey, it’s not going to work out between us.” I just stopped making appointments.

      So I felt guilty and weird at first, but it really is no big deal now.

      (And I’m really happy to be back with my beloved Bradley here in the city)

      • Yes, exactly. My hairdresser facebook friended me, which was actually really helpful because there were not that many decent salons in town and they were constantly competing for each others’ hairdressers so she moved a lot. But then she stopped listening to me, and once didn’t style my hair at all, just dried it and another time didn’t even dry it and when I asked her about it she did this whole “well, you know, since we’re facebook friends, I’m running late and my fiancee is meeting me to look at [wedding blah blah blah] so you don’t mind just this once, right? I mean, it’s for my WEDDING!” I haven’t been back but she still sends me invites to stuff and “likes” stuff on fb, so I stopped stressing about it after a while.

    • Assuming that you do like your hair dresser and have already been going to her since she’s moved, I would schedule one last appointment with her, bring her some flowers and tell her that it’s just too far for you to go, but if she moves back to a salon closer to you (you said the current place is temporary), you would love to book regular appointments with her again.

      Then, I would ask for recommendations and read reviews of salons closer to you. You could try the mall salon, but I agree with other posters that teenage boy hair is much simpler than what you want. If you do want to try her, perhaps just do a cut with her, and save color for your second appointment if the first works out.

    • Something similar happened to me last year. I went with my stylist, even though I loved his previous salon. He decided to rent space in a new salon, but does all his own booking, payments, etc.

      …But now he’s kind of going crazy. Maybe he’s just getting more comfortable with me or something. But he has started spouting off really weird theories while cutting my hair. He told me Vitamin A was poisonous and wants to open his own nutritional supplements factory in town. He told me his mom owned a local restaurant, and they had just hired a new chef, but when I walked by about a week later, the place was shut down.

      He still does a pretty good job on my hair, though. Weird.

      • I had a somewhat similar experience. My stylist left to open her own salon in a small space by herself. I loved her and was so impressed with the time and care she took with my hair. But when she was running her own biz instead of working in a salon with others, she started bad habits like not cleaning out the sink where they wash your hair. Gross! I kept going to her anyway, but only because I’ve had such awful experiences getting my hair cut that I thought somewhere else would probably be even worse. It’s interesting how people change when they move to a new environment.

        • Having worked in salons (as a hairdresser, esthetician, and owner) for 15 years, (prior to starting law school) I’d say she didn’t “start” bad habits, she always had them, it’s just that when she wasn’t on her own, someone else was responsible for cleaning up after her. I’ve owned a salon with 7 stylists, and for the most part, hair stylists are messy whackadoos. They’re darn creative though ;).

          As for the OP’s conundrum, go ahead and let her know that the drive is just too far but please let you know if she ends up closer, and try someone new. As a stylist, I can tell you it happens all the time and we’re not offended. If she is, she’s not rational, lol, because it’s pretty normal in the business.

          However I don’t think I’d do the mall stylist. Is this a chain salon? I wouldn’t do that. They are fine for teenage boys, but it’s well known in the business that people only work at mall chain salons if they a) move to a new town where they don’t know anyone, and then they never stay more than a year; b) are not good enough to work in a commission or high end salon. Really. There are the rare few who stay out of inertia, but are really good, but I’d only risk it if another woman, with similar hair, who got the same service had recommended her.

          • Thanks, everyone. I made an appointment with my stylist and texted her that we need to talk about color and maintenance. I can’t afford 200 dollars a month so maybe she will have a solution for my color that isn’t too expensive. Sadie, that is my concern. She does a great job on my son’s hair and he insists that we only go to her so it would be so easy if she did a good job. But, I am afraid to take the chance.

  16. Graduate student help :

    Help! In a few hours I will be going to dinner with a few academics (one of which is a professor of mine) and a former freedom fighter/currently co-head of state in a power-sharing agreement (I will let you guess who this is, if you are so motivated, although I don’t want to politicize the conversation). I will try to be silent the entire time as I am so intimidated. What on earth do I wear?! I’m thinking business-ish. Bright colors. What do I say? Someone say something to reassure me!

    This freakout is because it’s all last minute. If anyone has any advice for dining with Important People, please let me know. TIA!

    • Graduate student help :

      *not bright colors, sorry.

      • I’m always super nervous out with important people. And dining to boot! Order something easy to eat at dinner. I find sandwiches are difficult and messy and spaghetti can be tricky. Think of some relatively simple questions, but on point. “I read about XYZ in the news, how is that going?” or “can you tell me more about what happened.” or “Can you tell me how you got involved with ….”. I’m a nervous nelly, so I might not be any help, but I find simple questions work for me.

    • No idea, but I wish I had your life!

    • Nice dinner! I agree with bright colors. I would avoid looking too somber I would go with a dress/jacket combo. If you decide to wear a suit, avoid black and wear a brightly colored top underneath. People in other parts of the world, esp. Africa, are less formal and wear color. As for conversation, I’ve never met a head of state…or co-head. Small talk never goes wrong.

      And have fun. This is super cool.

    • I had lunch a couple months ago with the AG of my state along with a few other top execs. It was nt a pure, formal business lunch, but was kind of a casual, thank you for your service, thing. I wore a gray sheath dress with a black blazer and a statement necklace and felt totally appropriate.

      Food advice – eat something clean that you obviously eat with utensils. Grilled fish is usually a good choice.

    • Wear whatever nice outfit you feel most comfortable and confident in.
      This sounds so cool!
      Open ended questions like “what was the hardest aspect of X?” or “what was your experience like doing Y?” are best. I would stay away from direct questions that they might not want to answer or anything that might be remotely sensitive.
      I wrote questions on an index card in my purse (with a pronunciation guide and “key facts” on the back) and refreshed my memory right before an important dinner. It definitely helps with the nerves, but if you’re getting searched thoroughly beforehand, I would leave it at home!

  17. DC Darling :

    Ladies, I have extremely thick hair. Long, black. layered, and glossy (think Indian hair, even though I’m not Indian). Every time I read about someone with hair issues, it’s something regarding it being unruly, curly, frizzy etc. My issue is that I have a lions mane on my head so wearing it down gives me the hair in the face problem with me constantly pushing it back behind my ears, etc. This isn’t very professional and has a tendency to make me look a lot younger than I am. I consistently wear my hair up just because it’s easier that way. But I have three go to styles, the bun, the tucked in updo, and the ponytail. I see all of these really beautiful and professional looking updo’s on youtube or magazines and I just have too much hair to make any of them work. If it’s not thickness, it’s the layers that screw me up. Anyone have suggestions?

    • Always a NYer :

      Pinning back the hair around your crown. Think the “Snookie pouf” flattened and much more flattering. I, too, have thick hair that’s layered and this is how I wear my hair every day to work.

    • I can’t make any of those updos work for me either because I have long layered and glossy hair as well. I would try looking for variations on the updo styles you use, like a pony with a braid wrapped around the hair tie, or change the placement of the bun. Sometimes those styles you see on YouTube aren’t worth the work/time/aggravation.

      • DC Darling :

        I spent a couple hours learning to french braid my own hair before I realized no amount of smoothing out or hair products was going to make the layers work with it.

    • Grow the layers out. I think hairstylists tend to go overboard on layers. They are meant to frame the face, and, especially in the back of the head, make the hair look thicker. Many of us just don’t need to make our hair look thicker.

    • I have the same problem. As an added obstacle, my hair is “slippery,” so things don’t stay, and also stiff, so that pieces of hair stick straight out of a bun, say, rather than just wrap around.

      I tried the donut/sock bun thing and it was a disaster.

      • DC Darling :

        I feel your pain. I thought the sock bun was going to be a lifesaver. A quick, easy, professional updo that actually stays up? Sold. Until I tried it. Apparently my hair is also too slippery to do it. Either that or I need someone else to do it for me. Which isn’t going to work every morning.

  18. I will not only pretend the shorts don’t exist, I’m gonna go ahead and pretend the blazer doesn’t exist, either.

    You had me at horrid, horrid color.

  19. How does c*cktail get moderated and yet this blatant advertising get through??

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