Wednesday’s TPS Report: Faux Wrap Dress

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

MICHAEL Michael Kors Faux Wrap DressOoh: I really like this MICHAEL Michael Kors faux-wrap dress. It comes in so many other iterations (long-sleeves! prints! plus sizes! petites!) it’s hard to believe I haven’t noticed it before, but I like the plain, cap-sleeved navy one that Bloomingdale’s has right now the best. It’s hard to beat the price: $120 (although some of the other versions linked to above are on sale). MICHAEL Michael Kors Faux Wrap Dress

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  1. does the gold piece at the waist really say “michael kors” or something? i can’t see that small but it definatly has a brand on it. ew, that ruined it.

    • Yep, that is par for the course with the MK brand.

      • Yes, my interest in wearing visible branding peaked in middle school, and has been in steady decline ever since.

    • yes, and agree. If MK could keep his d*mn logos inside the clothes/bags, he would have made a lot more sales to me.

      • I totally agree. I love so much of his stuff (shoes, bags, clothes) but can’t spend that much money to have to have the MK hanging off it.

        • I adore mk purses and the last few I’ve purchased at TJ Maxx were (luckily) missing that gigantic MK fob thing. I had no idea they came that way until last week! I took the fob off my most recent purchase and looped it onto the pull cord for my closet light (it was always getting tangled in my clithes, or it would be too hard to find bc it was so lightweight). Despite its utility in that application, I’ve gotta say, it even bugs me hanging there.

          • I own two MK items, and perhaps they were the last two ever made with discreet branding? I have a small leather pouch with a detachable shoulder strap (so it can be used as a clutch too) and a faux shearling vest. Small metal plate w/name sewn on bag, zipper pull w/name on the vest. I’m not into logos at all either.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I have to admit I secretly love the MK logos because those happen to be my very own initials! *giggle*

      • The bags they sell at the MK outlet stores do not carry the logo fobs or the stupid giant, heavy “locks” that come on some of the bags. So win-win–no hugely visible branding, and you pay less for the bags. :-)

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        My one that came with the fob could be taken off.

    • It is still beautiful! If ONLY I were svelte enough to wear this. NOT this year after all of the matzo’s I ate. Fooey on matzo’s!

      Kat does have good taste in clotheing. Congratuleations for picking some thing styleish and not to expensive. I hope the rest of the hive will buy it. Mabye next year for me!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have MK prescription glasses and they have the logo very discreetly engraved on the side. I was shocked it didn’t have a giant logo like the Coach ones do.

      The glasses are such a shopping win. I also found them at Sears, which normally doesn’t carry designer and had a wrong shipment. The glasses had been there over a year and were discounted 50% off. I also got them on a day the store was doing 50% off lenses AND they had a new computer system that was wrongly discounting the fancy teflon anti scratch coating. Since they couldn’t override it, I got that 50% off too. I got a steal and they are the best glasses I have ever owned.

  2. If you work in a cube farm, please modulate your voice accordingly.

  3. I wonder how well this wears over time?One of my frustrations this spring/summer is that many dresses seem to be made in fabrics (rayon, etc.) that I have doubts about the wear on.

    Threadjack: Need gift advice. My father in law loved Cross fine-point pens with the thin pen body. I wanted to get him another one for father’s day, but Cross apparently only makes medium-point pens now.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for similar refillable _fine point_ pens that they like? When I moved outside of Cross, the selection was overwhelming. Not sure where to start. This seemed like something you all would know!

    • anon in SF :

      Isn’t the fine/medium point controlled by the type of pen refill, not the style of the body? I buy cross pens and then get rid of the medium point refill they come with and swap in a fine point one. They only cost a few dollars and I prefer the fine to the medium point. Maybe this would work for you too?

    • Have you tried Levengers? They have a nice selection of all types of pen, and definitely have fine point refills

    • Muddy Buddy :

      What type of pen? Ballpoint, fountain, or rollerball?

    • Cross is a classic. But try Tiffany.

    • I’m prefer fine point pens as well and usually just swap out the refills. Rollerball, not gel. The Tiffany pens do look a lot like the Cross pens.

      Also, EC MD is right, Levenger has a HUGE collection of pens that is beyond overwhelming. They don’t have many stores, but maybe if you have close by you can go try some out (can’t recall how many thin body pens they have). Levenger also has pretty good customer service and will let you try all the pens out in the store.

      • Oh, that’s a great idea about the refills. So, I should look for Cross refills in the fine point?

        FIL likes the ballpoint pens, and so other brands along those same lines would be great.

        • That’s what I would do, plus they are generally pretty cheap. I really don’t know if Cross makes fine point refills, but I hope they do!

        • Muddy Buddy :

          If you have time to go to a store, there are pen stores in most cities. (I don’t know much about ball points, sorry!)

          I think that would be a good start. The people who work at these places are almost always exceptionally nice and love talking pens, so it’s really easy to go in and say something like, “My FIL loves fine-point Cross ball-point pens, and I’d like to get him a gift along those lines.” They will be able to narrow down for you and you can look at the pens in person, which is always fun.

        • Cross makes fine point refills, but you don’t have to get the Cross brand. There are many compatible types.

  4. I tried this on and it is pretty clingy. It was not flattering on me but could look great if you are fairly fit.

  5. I really like the print. It’s funny – I don’t wear prints at all other than dresses, but all of my dresses are prints. I’ve had several Michael Kors dresses and they fit well and hold up well. I have occasionally had to go to petite (although I am not short, but short-waisted) because the waist didn’t fall in the right place for me.

  6. I’m just here to gush a little bit! I bought this dvf dress on hautelook last week and LOVE it:

    It’s my first DVF and I love the fabric and styling and I feel like I could wear it to work every week. plus it has a quirky pattern of HANGERS on it– How appropriate!

  7. Graduate student help :

    Thank you for those of you that gave me advice on my dinner with a Very Important Person. I dressed conservatively but nicely, the dinner was lovely, and I didn’t get the chance to ask a question although I did shake his hand. I was the only “non important” person there and the youngest by 25 years. Wow. Talk about pressure. But thank you for the advice everyone!

    And for those of you who were wondering the dinner was wiht former IRA leader/current first minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness.

    • OMG! I’m so incredibly jealous–Irish politics, the Troubles and the resulting peace process are subjects I try to follow. I missed the original thread so I didn’t contribute any adviceM. I’m glad it went well!

      If you can answer without outing yourself, what is your area of grad study? History or IR or ssomehing else? DH is getting a history PhD (18th century Britain) so I’m fascinated by research interests!

      • Graduate student help :

        Political science, with a focus on Conflict studies. most of my research is in Sub-Saharan Africa but Northern Ireland is another area I’ve done a lot of work in. A dream come true, really! What sort of stuff specifically does your husband study?

        • goirishkj :

          Ooooh, had I not gone to law school I was considering some sort of peace/conflict studies program. But I went to law school and am boring. Husband focuses on economic development, particularly in Scotland.

      • Totally off subject, but I just realized I was saying your name in my head all wrong! I was giving it a sort of Japanese pronunciation, but duh! it’s Go Irish…man, my brain does funny things. Glad you had a good dinner!

    • Always a NYer :

      I am so jealous!!!!!!! I wrote my undergrad thesis on the Good Friday Agreement and am absolutely fascinated with the politics of Northern Ireland. It’s on my bucket list to discuss it with Gerry Adams one day ;)

      And again congrats on that amazing opportunity!

      • Graduate student help :

        It’s such an interesting topic–consociationalism can work (in specifically politically-based conflicts)!!
        The weridest part was when MM was talking about the football rivalry he has with Peter Robinson and Ian Paisely. Um, sorry, what?! You disagree about football!? Amazing that they are even at that point.

        • A fellow politics grad student, that’s amazing! I do substate nationalism in W. Europe.

        • LinLondon :

          Football (soccer) in the UK can be massively, massively sectarian. Just type “Old Firm” into wiki and you’ll get a small taste.

          • Graduate student help :

            I’m in the UK, I know, believe me (hearing people shout on the tube on match day). But it’s nice that they can at least have a football conversation.

    • I had a high school class on just war theory, and we focused on Northern Ireland for our spring semester (we focused on the Battle of Ypres in the fall semester). If you follow new coverage from the 1980s, you can become very familiar with Martin McGuinness’ wardrobe of sweaters. Seriously, I can still remember the two that he wore the most often.

    • I missed the earlier discussion, but you have made me tres jaloux. Go get ’em, tiger!

  8. Long black skirt :

    Help! I need to wear a long (ankle length) black skirt for a concert this weekend. I live in a major metro city and have access to most stores. I looked online at Nordstrom and might buy a few things and ask for expedited shipping, but does anyone have other ideas? Any other stores where they might sell a long black skirt? I have seen some maxi skirts but those look a bit too casual for a concert. Thanks!

    • All of the nicer department stores have nice ankle length black skirts. When shopping for a formal, I’ve seen them at Bloomingdale’s and Lord and Taylor. Can’t remember if Macy’s has them but you’d probably be able to find them there. You might have to hunt but they’re there. Check in the frumpy formal wear area.

    • Nordstrom and other stores offer the option to pick up items in store. If you designate stores in the same mall, you’ll only make one shopping trip with better odds.

    • Not sure about this weekend, but my concert skirt is from here:

      For this weekend, I’m not sure how to find something with the heft that actual concert skirts have. Chico’s Zenergy Knit Collection Rosalyn Maxi Skirt might work. Not a big fan of Chico’s but they do have long skirts. Just checked Macy’s website and all of the ankle length have some sheerness. Looks like Bloomingdales may have a couple that are more appropriate.

    • By the way, depending on what you’re doing in the concert, most people will not be close enough to see how casual a skirt might be. So as long as it’s solid and ankle length, it probably doesn’t matter. But sheerness or ruffles or other trim could be problematic.

      • Thanks everyone! Great idea to look at the formal wear section of Macys/Lord and Taylor, etc. I’ll do that tonight. I also put in a big order at Nordstrom with 2 day shipping so let’s see if that works. Unfortunately, the Nordstrom store is no where close to me.

        • I just found a great one at Bloomingdales, and it was only about $100. It is super comfy and has some weight to it so being up on a stage or outside with it would be totally fine.

    • Try JCPenney or Sears if you’re on a budget.

  9. A few days ago I asked a question about how to handle a coworker who is trying to act like my superior. Well I had a meeting with our manager and he confirmed that is not how the reporting line goes so I think he will be reminding said coworker of this. In the meantime I have meetings with this coworker twice a month to discuss projects we are woking on etc, but it has turned into me just reporting to him what I am doing and it is more of a way for him to keep tabs on my. I want to end the perception that he has of me being subordinate to him so I’d like to either end these meetings completely or handle them differently when they happen. Is there a way to flip the script on this guy? Or should I just stop meeting with him? How do I bow out gracefully?

    • Could you request that he send a summary to you via email? Or that he send a list of his open action items to the team? Can you request that he come to your office to meet? Maybe just a change of location or initiating will indicate that you aren’t “reporting” to him, you’re “discussing” things with him? I mean, if you don’t have any items that are blocked by him (ie: waiting on his phase 1 of a project before you can complete phase 2), just tell him that you don’t have time to meet with him this week, and hold firm. He can’t schedule time in your calendar without your consent, and he can’t “require” you to meet, so just tell him no! This is especially true, since you’ve confirmed with your manager that this guy is not your superior. Make sure your manager is apprised of your decision not to meet, and then tell the co-worker, “no”.

    • What is the purpose of these meetings? If you aren’t working on anything together, just cancel them outright. If you are working on something that requires coordination, you run the meeting. Ask him for his updates, give the bare minimum of what he needs and that’s it. Don’t even ask him if he has any further questions from you, he’ll have to hunt you down if necessary. And you don’t have to be graceful, just professional.

      • These meetings started when I was new to the team and I was more receptive to learning from him. Now that I see that he is trying to turn it into a situation where he is acting like my manager I think it has gone too far. We are not both working on the same projects anymore; we were when the meetings started. Thanks you for your last comment about being professional – sometimes I think I need to be graceful in order to be professional. Arg.

        I am leaning toward canceling them outright.

        • Gurl, cancel the meetings. If they’re in Outlook, just open it up and hit decline. Do not even give a reason. Since your manager is aware of the situation, let him/her know in person you’ll be cancelling the meetings. If your DOOSH coworker asks wtf, SKOWEL at him and let him know you’re too busy to meet for the sake of meeting. Finis.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      At least for the meetings, I think you should send an email saying:


      I’m concerned that at our recent biweekly, my projects have monopolized the conversation. Since we set up these meetings to keep each other appraised on the state of both of our ongoing projects, I’ve set up the following agenda for our meeting next Tuesday to ensure you have adequate time to update me on the status of your projects.”

      Then write an agenda that’s something like:

      10-10:20 – Mutual Project Update and brainstorm session
      10:20-10:40 – Coworker Project Update (List all ongoing projects you know of him working on here)
      10:40-11:00 Anon Project Update (list the major projects you are working on here)

      If he starts getting into “Hey, what is happening with Project X?” blah blah just focusing on your projects, be like “I’m looking forward to briefing you on that, but I think we should stick to the agenda. I think next up is a status update about your Project Y.”

      • This is wayyyyyyyyy too involved. Keep it short and sweet.

      • No. Please don’t do this. Just cancel the meetings without an explanation a la Godzilla’s post.

    • DC Darling :

      At the next meeting say something along the lines of “Where are we with your project? Give me an update”. Avoid things like “If you don’t mind, can we talk about your end of the project?”

      Just changing your tone and speaking authoritatively can help a lot. I really don’t want you to bow out!

      • I like this idea because it gives me an opportunity to assert some authority….hm..

        The person I am dealing with is very competitive and domineering. I take it as a compliment that he is trying to assert authority over me, to me it signals that he feel threatened. I don’t know anything about the projects he is working so I don’t know how I would control a meeting with him. We do have a chart with everyone’s projects listed on them..I could take a peek and that and start asking him specific questions on the status of his projects.

        • DC Darling :

          While I agree that it’s a compliment that he’s threatened by someone newer like yourself, I would hesitate to advise peeking into his projects just to have something to ask him. Instead of escalating this situation into a full out rivalry, just assert your independence as gracefully as you can by cutting the meetings short because “Now that we are working on independent/different projects, I no longer think these meetings are necessary. If you have any further questions or concerns I advise following up with *our mutual boss’s name*”.

          • I think DC Darling’s response is perfect. There is no reason to have weekly meetings with a co worker with whom you have no mutual projects. What would be the point? I assume you don’t meet individually with everyone else in the office, why would you meet with him? I would email precisely what DC darling said. Word for word.

          • The only wording change I’d make is to remove the bit that says “I no longer think.” Be presumptive in your close: these meetings don’t serve a purpose now that our project is completed. Thanks for your time blah blah blah etc.

          • Definitely this! There is really no need to engage him further.

    • Good – I’m glad your manager reaffirmed the hierarchy. For these meetings with your co-worker, who initiated them? Why did they come about (i.e., were you supposed to be mutually updating each other)? Are they necessary, or can the updates be provided in a different forum (i.e., at a different meeting with other people who also need to be updated, etc.)? Does he still have tasks/projects that he needs to be updating you on?

      I see two scenarios:

      1. If these meetings are not necessary, and you only really need to update your manager about these items, I think you could 1) provide your manager with an update and then 2) send your coworker an email saying that since you already spoken with your manager, you don’t think it’s necessary to meet unless he has something to update you on.

      2. If you have to meet (or at least discuss the projects, in order to present a cohesive update to higher ups), I’d send him an email asking him if he has anything to update you on, otherwise you don’t think the meeting is necessary.

      • Thanks for your advice! The meetings started because I was new to the team and he wanted to get me up to speed on current projects and we had 1 project we were working closely together on. This project is about to wrap up so we are no longer working together on it. Our current projects do not overlap in anyway. This is a reoccuring meeting he has scheduled so I am thinking I should just cancel it saying that I am discussing the specifics with the actual manager.

        • Oh, I didn’t see that. Yes, absolutely, decline the recurring meeting from here on out.

    • How are these meetings related to accomplishing the mission of your department/section – assume you both have weekly staff meetings/update meetings with the manager that both of you report to, so this meeting is redundant? How do you account for your time for these meetings, assuming you are in a company where you have to keep track of your hours and charge them to a specific account? A lot of meetings are a waste of time, particularly standing meetings, but people continue to have them because “that’s what we’ve always done.” You don’t report to him, from your posts I don’t see how these meetings benefit anyone but his ego, they are probably a time-s*ck for you, and it probably has your peers wondering why you meet with him. I’d cancel them, outline the reasons why, propose that if you need support from him or his team you will formally request it through your manager, and finally I’d cc your manager on the e-mail. Good luck!

    • “Let’s start with your list this time. Where are you on xyz project? How about abc? Have you done that yet?”

      Prep work: breathe “I’m the Boss Lady” over and over right before the meeting.

    • :

      Just cancel the meetings. Don’t start the meeting and try to be turn the tables. Canceling the meetings with an email or conversation telling him that unless he has anything he wants to update you on, there’s nothing to meet about. This sends a clear signal and doesnt waste your time.

      • I agree with this advice (“just cancel the meetings”) with one caveat: are you sure he’s not trying to mentor you and just going about it in an inappropriate manner/overstepping a little? Because, if so, I’d probably still suggest canceling the meetings but maybe also thank him for taking the time to help integrate you into the firm. ‘Cause, you know, you always catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

  10. I have finally come to the realization that I can only buy suits that come as separates. But I can only think of BR and J. Crew that sell them that way. What am I missing?

  11. Cookies and Wine :

    TJ: This is kind of gross, but I have a steamer that I use almost daily and love. This morning I realized it was out of water and I took the water tank out to discover that it was covered with green algae. I’m not sure how to clean it because the tank has just a small opening to pour water in and I wouldn’t be able to get in there with my hand to scrub it. Anyone else have this problem with their steamer? Any suggestions for fixing it? Thanks!

    • Maybe rinse it out with a vinegar + water solution? Or baking soda + water? And then flush out the solution 3-4 times with plain water.

    • Anonsensical :

      I have the same problem. I’ve heard that the heat from the steam kills the mold spores, so just running it for a while should be enough to make sure anything in there is dead. But it’s so gross. I tried filling mine with vinegar and turning it on for a while, but that only helped a little. Going to try a decalcifier (like the one I use for my espresso maker) next. I’d love to hear if anyone else has any success cleaning these things.

      • Amelia Pond :

        If you rinse with vinegar just be mindful of which kind you use. My SO decided to clean out our steamer with vinegar and water but he used apple cidar vinegar and the sugars got burnt and ruined the entire thing!

    • Fill it with water and one cup of distilled white vinegar and run it once. Then rinse it out and fill it again the same way, let it sit 24 hours, run it again. Rinse with plain water and run once and rinse again before using.

      We have a Chinese hot water machine (hot water on demand 24/7) that my husband cleans this way from time to time.

    • @ Cookies and Wine: Are you the Girl Scout Thin Mints and red wine indulger from a couple months ago? I hope all is better with you.

      • Cookies and Wine :

        No, I’m just a usual lurker who decided it was time to come up with a handle. And I really like cookies and wine. I do remember that poster though — I hope she’s okay. Thank you for the suggestions!

    • I also have this problem. I use to work in a theater where we steamed a lot of costumes, and the rule was that you only use distilled water in the steamer. I second everyone’s suggestion to use vinegar (I think vinegar is made of concentrated magic!!). Once you’re got it clean, you can probably prevent ickiness in the future by using distilled water and emptying it out and storing it dry.

    • a martha stewart tip... :

      put in 1/2 cup of uncooked rice w/the liquid, seal & shake it up. Then rinse well. (this was a tip to clean a vase w a small opening)

    • Anonymous :

      I think the steamers come with cleaning instructions. I can’t remember what they are on mine, but you might try googling your machine and see if you come up with the owner’s manual/care instructions.

  12. This is pretty but I am not a fan of the MK logo on the buckle. I generally prefer my clothes to have no brand names of any kind anywhere on them, esp. for work. Also the few MK items I have owned have tended to get linty quickly.

    I do have a work dress recommendation. Just bought the Olivia dress at Talbots in purple. Very nice weight to the fabric, substantial and luxe feeling. The neckline is also quite high but without being constricting – v. good for work. I don’t usually do bright dresses, but something about this really worked for me. Oh, but fyi – i went up a size from my usual talbots size because the fabric doesn’t have a lot of give and the reg. size was a bit too vavavoom.

    • Darn it, AIMS, now I want one! That purple is really pretty, and the aqua color is also gorgeous. And there’s a Talbot’s on my way home….

      • That’s what happened to me. TCFKAG was all talking about their sale yesterday and it was on my way home, and, lo and behold, I now have a bright purple dress!

    • Dang, now I want one too. I think it might be the perfect solution to my “I just bought a gorgeous gray jacket but don’t have the perfect sheath dress to wear under it” problem.

      Could I wear the purple with killer purple heels without looking like I got hit by the matchy-matchy bus?

    • I love everything about this dress except the cap sleeves. Are the sleeves really as short as they look in the picture?

    • Two cents :

      That’s a great dress. Can you talk about how this fits? Does the dress nip in the waist? The few Talbots dresses I have tried looked like sacks on me, even the smaller sizes.

      • It’s pretty fitted. I have a fairly small waist, and classic hourglass shape & the dress nips in. Not in a too tight hugging way (the fabric is too thick for that) but it doesn’t just hang straight down. It’s a very nice work dress – I felt like a less cartoonish/more office-appropriate Joan in it.

  13. Ladies who work out, especially strength training: how far after your workout do you typically feel muscle soreness? Is muscle soreness even a good indicator of how much you worked out? I’m trying build up my manly muscles and whether I work out on my own or with my trainer, I feel fine during and after my workout and only begin to feel sore 24 hours after my workout. That lasts about a day or so. Is this normal? The tip from the other day about doing quick reps really changed the feel of the workout for me but strength training is confuzzling. Help.

    • This is completely normal. It would be weird if you were experiencing anything else. That’s why it’s called “DOMS” (delayed onset muscle soreness).

      Soreness is not a great indicator of how hard you worked out, because it goes away as you keep exercising regularly, even though you’re getting stronger.

      Stumptuous (won’t link to avoid moderation) is a great resource if you are trying to learn more about strength training.

      • I suppose I’ll enjoy the soreness while it lasts (it feels good! Yeah, I’m RIPPED!!!). I do get the rubbery/jello feeling in my muscles immediately after a hard workout but that typically goes away after 2-3 hours.

        • Haha, I just bought a racerback workout shirt and went to a lifting class yesterday. Kinda made me happy in my soul to see my upper back in that shirt. I felt like my arms/back were going to die during the presses, but at least they look good, right?

    • There are some muscles that feel like rubber as soon as I get off the machine – mainly the leg extension/curl machine where you lift up, but that goes away pretty quickly as I walk it off. I have knee problems and that one is rough. Mainly for me, it’s the next morning. I work out in the evening and feel pretty sore when I wake up in the morning if I’m pushing myself. On a tip from a student I know (and confirmation from one of the gym staff who is a hardcore weightlifter), I have started giving myself less time between sets. The morning after the first time I did that, I felt like I had been hit by a bus. Now I can feel it but it’s not as intense. If I’ve been doing the same workout with the same weights and intensity for awhile, I won’t be sore at all, but that’s usually an indication that I need to start pushing myself with more weight or new machines.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I only ever experience soreness 12-24 hours after working out. Immediately after working out, I sometimes feel a bit shaky (as in, whoa, I’m on solid ground and not working out), and when I wake up the next morning, sometimes my muscles feel a bit creaky.

      I think some soreness is fairly normal, especially as you are building muscles. As your muscles get stronger and more used to your strength training exercises, the soreness will start to go away, so don’t assume your workouts are automatically less intense. If the soreness is interfering with your day to day life (ie, you can’t walk around, get work done, etc) you probably overdid it.

    • My husband referred to this as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), and I laughed at him… apparently this is a real thing though! After his comment, I started noticing that I feel much more sore the next day/second day vs. immediately following my workout. This soreness timeline is normal for me. I generally feel more jello-limbed immediately after a hard workout, and then soreness/tightness sets in much later.

    • If they are muscles that don’t get worked out regularly, I can mildly feel sore as soon as 6-12 hours after, but the worst part doesn’t kick in until 24 hours after and usually lasts for 24 hours.

      To be honest, I feel sort of normal now that I know even Godzilla gets sore. RAWR.

    • I usually have delayed soreness as well – my trainer says this is totally normal.

    • That’s how I respond too — had a squat heavy workout last week (wallballs, I’m looking at you). I was fine that day, but the next afternoon – hooboy, I was most unladylike walking down the hall.

      My muscles are tired right after a workout, but that’s a different feeling than the soreness I get 24 hrs later.

      • DC Darling :

        Reiterating what others have said re: totally normal.

        If you’re looking to minimize soreness I’d suggest working out the day immediately after a tough workout. For example, if my legs are doing that “no we are not going to bend normally instead you are going to have to lean down awkwardly for everything” thing, then I workout that day as well, just a different muscle group. or Yoga. I reserve yoga specifically for stretching and muscle soreness. It stops me from doing the awkward bend thing for the next 2-3 days if I just workout the immediate following day.

        • I do the same thing (working different muscle groups the next day, rest days, etc). I don’t know why I thought I was supposed to feel sore immediately. Also, using the foam rollers after a workout feels really, REALLY good.

      • For crazy squat work, I recommend jogging very slowly for 5 minutes after the workout. Flushes out the lactic acid. Works wonders.

    • That sounds about the same as how I usually feel. After a hard strength training session, day after I usually feel a little stiff, but 2nd day after soreness is the worst for me and then I feel fine after that. Some soreness is a good indicator of how much you pushed yourself, but there’s definitely “good” and “bad” hurting. You’ll know the difference!

      Some things I have found reduce soreness/help it go away more quickly: Eat protein. The day after your weight training, do light cardio that uses the same muscles (jog or bike if you did legs, swim if you did upper body) then stretch really well. Also, regular yoga, if you can fit that into your schedule.

    • Same here. I’m actually the most sore two days after my workout.

    • Yep, 24 hours is about right. As someone else has already noted, you can mitigate some of the soreness by drinking a (whey) protein shake AND eating a simple carb (like a piece of fruit) immediately after you finish your workout. Then eat a regular meal about an hour later. After you train, your body needs protein as quickly as possible to begin the process of repairing your muscle tissue, and eating carbs speeds your body’s digestion and absorption of the protein. You’ll want to avoid eating fat immediately after your workout because it will slow the process down.

      Muscle soreness is an indicator that you damaged your muscles during the workout, which is exactly what you’re going for. But it’s not necessarily an indicator of how *hard* you worked, particularly after you’ve been lifting for awhile. For example, I’m a competitive lifter and have squatted very heavy weights twice a week for five years. I generally train with sets of 1-3 reps, and no matter how much weight I load on the bar for those sets, I do not get sore — ever — even though I get stronger. My body is just accustomed to that volume and that intensity. But if I load a lighter weight and try to squat it for a set of 20, I will be in agony the next day. So soreness can be more a reflection of how shocked your body is than how hard you worked. Hopefully that makes sense.

      And on the bright side: if you train long enough and hard enough, you get to the point where you rarely get sore, even when you’re still making progress! So keep building those muscles! :-D

    • It’s always worse for me the second day. And I am not always sore.

    • Ah, the beautiful pain. DOMS is totally normal.

  14. Can anyone recommend a brand or type of protein powder? I love fruit and I recently started making fruit purees/smoothies for breakfast, but I do better with some protein in me and I don’t want dairy. I haven’t ever bought powders/supplements before and frankly powders remind me of baby formula. So, I need help.

    • MissJackson :

      I like Designer Whey. Trader Joes carries it. My husband uses something from GNC (I’m blanking on the name), but I didn’t care for it. The key is to find one that doesn’t taste gross but also doesn’t contain a lot of sugar, which can be surprisingly tricky.

    • My choice is Sunwarrior. It’s brown rice protein powder, raw and vegan. I’m neither raw nor vegan, but it is still my favorite. Although I do get funny looks when I mix the raw, vegan protein powder with whole milk :)

    • ON (Optimum Nutrition) has a lot of delicious flavors. However, it is whey protein, so if you can’t have dairy that might not work for you.

    • On some of the blogs I read, people seem to like Vega protein powder (I believe it’s vegan). I’ve never tried it, so can’t give a personal recommendation.

      • I’m anon from 10:50am. I tried both Vega and Sunwarrior (since I was specifically looking for a vegan protein powder that did not contain soy), and did not like Vega. It tasted like…earth? grass? Whatever it was, it was not for me.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      We have Syntha-6, but I don’t know if it’s better or worse than any other. Seems fine to me. I do recommend that you make your smoothies with sliced frozen bananas. Somehow, sliced frozen bananas in a smoothie make this rich, creamy texture that is just fabulous.

      • I like the (chocolate) synth-6 also. Haven’t tried the other flavors. DH is a former trainer and picked it for us, so I assume it’s spot on nutritionally as well. Even just mixed with water it tastes and dissolves okay. With almond milk it gets really creamy like a real shake.

    • a passion for fashion :

      If you are using it for fruit smoothies, i suggest the banana flavored whey protein you can get from GNC. I know it sounds a little weird, but for a fruit smoothie, it is awesome. I bought it on accident one time and now that is all i use for the smoothies.

    • I use a brand called Syntrax, which makes a lot of delicious flavors of whey protein. I prefer the chocolate/coffee flavors to the fruit flavors, but YMMV. You can get it at dpsnutrition dot net or allstarhealth dot com. Syntrax makes whey isolate, which is whey protein minus any and all lactose (so it won’t upset your stomach if you and dairy don’t get along). Generally speaking, whey isolate is the highest quality protein. Keep in mind that whey is MUCH more bioavailable, i.e. digestible and useful for your body, than any plant-based protein. Soy is the least bioavailable protein there is (and is estrogenic, which is not good), so I’d highly recommend a whey isolate powder.

    • Be buff in vanilla isn’t bad at GNC. Plus they have 1.2 million online deals per day so I never pay full price. I loved the blueberry flavor but I think they discontinued it.

    • I have never used protein powder. Greek yogurt goes in my smoothies. It’s yummy.

    • Liquid egg whites (in a carton). Most brands are safe to eat/drink raw, and they don’t taste like anything.
      Greek yogurt is also great in smoothies and it’s higher in protein than regular yogurt.

  15. I always think faux wrap dresses are cute in theory, but when I try them on, they look terrible. I got so excited at my first glance on this thumbnail, but then I realized it wasn’t just a plain black sheath dress, and I was sad :( I’ll also second the comments about loud logo placement!

    On another note, I styled that blue J C Penney skirt with some cream/tan neutrals. When I tried on the skirt, the outfit in the link is the first thing that popped into my head. The second thing was, “too business barbie”. This skirt has turned about to be really versatile, and I wear it frequently, despite how distinct it is. It’s comfortable, flattering, machine washable, and I get compliments on it :) I tend to gravitate toward black and gray, but this pop of color in my closet is starting to grow on me! So, to all the ladies at a lower price point on this blog, highly recommend it.

    • I was cruising through JCP yesterday and they have all new stuff. Maxi dresses, skirts, shells, sheath dresses, EVERYTHING IS SO PRETTY AND COLORFUL AND AFFORDABLE.

      • So glad someone else gets my latest obsession. Are you the one that said all the other ‘ettes must think you work for JCP? :)

        • Haha, yep. Maybe I should put in an application for a weekend job or smtg.

      • I was in JCP recently, and I have to say that lots of stuff was pretty, but that in general the fabrics felt super, super cheap and not-good to me. The American Living line was an exception – the jersey was a nice weight – but I was otherwise unimpressed.

    • I’m thinking of jumping on the JCP bus, too. How do their sizes run? I noticed that some things seem to only go as small as a 4 – I’m often a 2 or an XS in Loft, Limited, and NY&Co. Guess I’ll have to go try things on, but just wanted to see if I could get a rough sense of their sizing first.

      • I’d say the sizing is comparable to NY&Co, for pants anyway. Dresses are trickier – so dependent on body shape and dress style.

      • I’m normally a 2 at Loft and NY&Co., and the JCP 4 runs a touch big, but keeps everything from being too vavavoom. They occasionally have some size 2 items, but generally 4 is the smallest you’ll find. The skirt above is a 4, and it’s probably supposed to sit at the natural waist, but for me, it hits just above my hip bones (so, a couple inches below natural waist). I’m wearing a black skirt in the same brand, size 4, hits at hip bones vs. natural waist, hemline hits just below my knee caps.

    • Godzilla, do you think the new look of JCP is due to the Apple marketing guy moving over there?

      • That’s probably the real reason things are changing but I like to think that the updates are due to the new-ish store in the Manhattan Mall. The old stuff just wasn’t worth stocking in a store directly competing with the Herald’s Square Macy’s. Part of me is still miffed that the food court is gone.

      • JCP has been trying to reinvigorate their brand for a while, and the Apple genius is definitely helping. I felt I needed to do a little first-hand research on their new pricing scheme (hence trying on and purchasing several skirts!), and it sent me down the marketing rabbit hole. They’ve brainwashed me to think I should never pay full price, even though the new full price is acceptable to me, so I feel funny paying full price, even though it’s only ~$20-$25 for a skirt! Sigh, I’m a marketing nerd though, so the latest JCP strategies have been a source of great blog inspiration for me :)

        • It’s the opposite for me. I never shopped JCPenney (and I mean never, kids clothes, towels, husband’s shirts) because I never knew if I was getting the discount other pepole who had points, coupons etc. were getting.

          Now that I know the pricing is level, I’m more likely to be comfortable buying there. I probably won’t be buying the majority of my work clothes there, but kids clothes, my casual clothes, household items? You bet. The nearest store is a bit out of my way (I think they tend not to be smack dab in urban areas, so Godsilla’s comment about Manhattan Mall surprised me.) But I can always order online.

          As long as you can still get free shipping. Free shipping is a huge motivator for me to actually close the deal rather than leaving my shopping cart full and navigating away.

          So there’s some marketing research for you, albeit a single observation.

  16. Always a NYer :

    ‘rettes who run, what’s your advice on someone looking to start running? I’m 23, try to exercise five days a week – weights, elliptical, Krav Maga – but haven’t run since high school. My plan is to start walking each night and then build up to jog sprints before full out running. Does this sound good? What would you recommend? Also, do you carry a water bottle with you? If so, what do you do to make it less awkward? Thanks!!!

    • I don’t carry a water bottle for short runs, and I don’t really think you’ll need one unless it’s really, REALLY hot where you’re working out.

      Unless you have reasons to worry about starting with actual running (asthma, weight, knee problems, etc.), I usually advise people to start running by, well, running. Run for a set period of time (maybe 3-5 minutes), walk for a set period of time, repeat. Walking and running are different exercises, and I don’t think that walking is a great foundation for running. The elliptical is a closer corollary, so if you’re already doing that, I’d advise you to just jump in. Maybe start with 15 minutes total (run 3 min, walk 2, repeat twice more), and see how that feels.

    • Couch to 5k (google it if you haven’t heard of it before)! Even if you don’t want to run a 5k, its a good intro to running.

      I carry a water bottle all the time, even if I’m only going out for 20 minutes, because I hydrate obsessively. I have no good way to do it – I hate all the water backpack and pouch things, so I just carry it in my hand. If I’m running for a long time I’ll carry one in each hand to even out the weight. I look like an idiot, I’m sure, but I am never thirsty!

    • SoFlaAtty :

      There are lots of different water bottle carriers out there – trust me, as a marathon runner training in this heat and humidity (and not a young one, at that), I’ve used every type there is except for the camelback. My preference for short runs is a handheld 10-ounce bottle that slips on the hand with a small zip-pocket for key/money/lipbalm or whatever. For longer runs, if I know there are not enough water fountains, I use a FuelBelt with the same bottles – sometimes 2 and sometimes 4 bottles. They are spaced to sit comfortable on the front and back hips, and you can get pouches to add for carrying essentials. They close with velcro so if the fluids you take in cause a little pressure on the tummy, you can easily adjust the fit. Good luck with the running – start slowly, take walk breaks, breathe and enjoy!

    • I get thirsty when I run and carry this bottle:
      For races, I’ll put in 2/3 water and 1/3 Gatorade.

  17. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Has anyone been to Milan on a holiday (or otherwise)? Any tips of things to do/see/eat/drink/buy would be much appreciated!

    • I did a quick trip there when I was studying abroad in Italy. I would suggest checking out the mall – it is huge and full of great windows. I couldn’t afford anything there, but if you can more power to you!

      Of course you have to see Da Vinci’s “Last Supper.” It is a wait, but it is worth it in my opinion since it is disintegrating and you won’t necessarily be able to see it much longer. And you get to hear all the terrible things that have happened to it/around it over the years.

      Also check out the Duomo – it is gorgeous. There are huge stain glass windows that have been restored.

      And if you are a history buff go to the Castello Sforzesco. A lot of furniture from the time period, and lots of crazy stories.

    • Window-shopping! That’s where I first learned about Furla (around the corner from my hotel). Lots of fashion in Milan. Of course, risotto. The Duomo is beautiful and the Brera Art Gallery was definitely worth the time. I saw some paintings that I had loved when studying art history.

      • Brera is my favorite part of Milan! It’s more artsy and alternative, with great food and some really nice (like, you have to buzz in because they don’t want you stealing the Fendi) vintage stores. Like NOLA said, the art gallery is really excellent as well, and less giant and overwhelming than its counterparts elsewhere in Italy.

        If you like designer labels, check out the Golden Triangle, centered on Via Montenapoleone. Even if you’re not a label-snob (I am certainly not), it’s fun to window shop, and popping into the Armani Super Store is kind of a Milanese must.

        As far as eating goes: 1. gelato, 2. risotto milanese, 3. hot chocolate, if seasonally-appropriate. Italy does it better.

        But honestly…Milan is really not all that fun, unless you’re majorly into designer fashion. Yeah, the Duomo is awesome, Last Supper etc. etc., but there are other parts of Italy that are way more engaging. I wouldn’t plan on spending more than two or three days there. If you want to stay kind-0f in the area, I’d check out any of the towns on Lake Como (bonus: silk mills, so a plethora of silk scarves for real cheap; and incredible even in the off-season), or maybe pop over to Verona (Roman ruins, Juliet’s alleged balcony, typical Italian town) or up to the Alto Adige (slow food, gorgeous mountains).

        • Totally agree that Milan was good for a day or two. We flew in there and spent two days before heading to Bologna for a week (with side trips from there). I’d like to go back – my family is from near there (a little to the west of Milan). I wished I’d had time to rent a car and go visit my mom’s family members who love having the American cousins visit.

          • Mm, Bologna. That and Sicily are the only two places still left on my haven’t-been-but-absolutely-must-go list in Italy. Well, I mean, I’ve technically been to Bologna, in that I ran outside the train station and took a picture next to the sign that said “Bologna,” but I don’t think that counts since I didn’t eat any spaghetti bolognese.

            This thread has made me so, so nostalgic for Italy. I don’t have family there or anything, but I worked in Rome for a summer in addition to a couple random month-long stints of traveling, and I miss it so much. Thinking about the food is making me weep into my sensible, healthy Greek yogurt snack; to say nothing of sitting in a caffe in a piazza with a fountain, legs stretched into the sun. God. It kills me. I need to find a job where it is my responsibility to experience new cultures.

          • We loved Bologna. The group of us (two couples) rented an apartment (from my undergraduate college – they rent to alums during the summer) for the week then used Bologna as our base to travel to Ravenna, Florence, etc. The food was so incredible and the city is really accessible. Lots to do. The household market on Fridays was a blast for my friend and me.

    • In House Counsel :

      We did Milan for a day on our way to Lake Como for a wedding. As Merabella mentioned, Duomo, Last Supper, shopping and partaking in “apertivo” tradition filled the day. The bottom of Lake Como is about 1-1.5 hrs by train and is a lovely day trip — you could easily spend a couple of hours doing a ferry tour of the lake and stop by one of the villages for lunch.

    • I haven’t been to Milan, but any time you are in Italy you MUST eat gelato at least once a day.

    • Try to fly into Linate airport, not Malpensa, for a much quicker trip into town.

    • Climb up to the roof of the Duomo–great views and getting close up to the sculptures (and all the little carvings that no one would necessarily ever see) is incredible.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Thanks, everyone, for the responses – only going for two days which sounds like it will be enough! Exciting!

  18. Good morning! I’m trying to come up with some relaxed summer dress code guidelines for the department I manage and could use some help from the hive. We already do jeans on Fridays but I work in academia so summer is like a ghost town around here from 6/1 – 8/15. I manage both women and men, and am having trouble with specific guidelines beyond “Use good judgement” because I know that can become a blurry line.

    During the rest of the year, we range from business casual to business dress. Men wear button downs or polos, casual or dressy (leather) shoes, and any sort of non-denim pant (so depending on job description and amount of exposure to outside clients, this ranges from dress slacks to nice cargo pants). Open toe for women is fine (weather permitting of course), but if we’re not going to jeans every day then how, exactly, would you communicate a relaxed dress code? I’m thinking no spaghetti straps or thong sandals but feel as though there must be a better way to establish guidelines, especially for men. Help!

    • Do you want to cover capris or shorts? Honestly, I have worn thong sandals in the summer but have found them not safe in the workplace (and I’m also in academia). I broke a toe a couple of years ago and won’t do that again.

    • I know that for women at least places I’ve worked have allowed during the summer sleeveless tops (as in covers your shoulder and stops at the tip), non-thong sandals, and capris.
      I think for men it’s harder, because anything other than what you described above that doesn’t involve jeans runs the risk of being too casual. Are jeans absolutely a no-go for the summer?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I don’t understand what it is you want to relax. Are you just trying to say “It’s okay to take a notch down in the summer, but remember that denim, substantial skin baring, flip flops and ripped or sloppy attire is still prohibited”?

      If so, I think you can just say that, especially if you are working with mainly professionals (if you also have work study students in the office, you may need to be more explicit).

      • This is the approach I’d take, unless there’s a specific problem you’re trying to address where a more formal policy is needed. Also, it’s worth nothing that you really might have to vary dress policies depending on the buildings people work in — I’m also in academia, and my office is in a lovely old building that’s not air conditioned, and so I regularly end up wearing shorts and sleeveless tops during the summer.

    • Also an academic :


      * shirts with collars and sleeves that are at least halfway to the elbow
      * pants that reach the ankle
      * shoes that cover at least x% of the foot


      * shirts that cover the decolletage and shoulders
      * skirts that are no more than X inches above the knee
      * pants that are no more than X inches above the ankle
      * shoes that cover at least x% of the foot

      Boy, I wish I could make people in my building adhere to this.

    • You also may want to say something about no athletic clothing/shoes. I know men that would wear athletic type shorts every day in the summer if they could.

      I’d also consider allowing the men to wear shorts to the knee. I always feel bad for guys in the summer when women can wear skirts & they are stuck in long pants, and I don’t see anything wrong with a nice khaki knee length short with a golf type shirt. No less casual than a pair of jeans or cotton summer dress, IMO.

  19. I tried this on in the long sleeved version and didn’t like it. Not only does the gold thing say the brand name on it, but it’s heavy and hangs and a weird angle. Sent it back.

  20. Just moved into a new place with hardwood floors. What is the best way to keep them clean? Is a swiffer ok or would that expose them to too much moisture? Do I need to dry them immediately after exposing them to water? I have never lived with hardwood floors before so I have no idea how to care for them!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      In my last apartment with hardwoods, I mopped with a Swiffer wet jet filled with Swiffer hardwood floor cleaner and felt like that generally kept things bright and shiny.

    • I have pets, small kids, and hardwood floors. I run my Roomba daily — its more of a duster-type vacuum so if you are OCD, the Roomba will be inadequate. I also have a Dyson for more intense floor cleaning.

      I like the Swiffer WetJet concept but I’m not a fan of their cleaning solution. (It tends to leave streaks and leaves my floor looking dull.) Libman and Rubbermaid make squirty mops now, some with reusable cloths — I use the Libman with either Method or Bona floor cleaner.

      Be sure to vacuum/dust the floors before you wet-mop/squirt mop them, otherwise you’re just smushing dirt and dust around.

    • Bona floor cleaner, you can get it at BB & B or I think Amazon has it too.

      We only have 2 rooms that are hardwood, so I opted for the lo-tech handled broom type thing with replaceable heads. We usually vacuum up the large stuff if there is any, then run over it with the big fluffy duster head, then spray the cleaning solution and go over it with the towel head. Floors come up great, and there’s no build up. I just found out they have a hypoallergenic “green” version now too.

      If you have a lot of hardwood though they have something like the swiffer wetjet that sets up with their cleaning solution bottles. A friend of mine graduated to this one after she had kids. The hand spray ones are refillable from a giant jug if you can find it, I don’t know about the automated ones.

      • oh and the heads are washable…at least the towel one is, I don’t remember about the fluffy duster one.

      • Second the Bona floor cleaner. The mop with built-in replaceable cleaner bottle is easy to use and leaves a lovely shine. Don’t use it everywhere all the time, but regularly on high-traffic areas. The company that installed our wood floors said not to use any other cleaner.

    • I generally just use a dust mop. I have one with a shaggy head that I can throw in the washing machine when it gets too dirty. Every so often (if something is spilled or it’s time to do some more deep cleaning), I use a mop with a head that is specially designed for hardwood floors. I just leaves less water on the floors so they dry faster. I don’t dry them, but I leave the ceiling fans on in the rooms that have ceiling fans. I usually just dilute some all-purpose cleaner in a bucket of water, but there are hardwood cleaners out there, too.

      Swiffers worked fine, but I got tired of buying all the refills. I have lots of hardwood and messy kids, so I went through the supplies too quickly.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I usually vacuum them first, then use a Swiffer (the other way around doesn’t work as well). I don’t have the wetjet one, but just the cleaning pads that you attach to the bottom of the swiffer mop. It has worked very well. Eventually you may want to wax or refinish your floors if they get scuffed.

    • I use a Swiffer wetjet in high traffic areas like my kitchen. Otherwise I sweep and occasionally wipe up spots. When I’ve had issues with dullness (especially post-Katrina when I had mopped and mopped to try to get rid of sheetrock dust but since then as well), I have cleaned them with lemon oil and a microcloth. That’s a lot of work but worth it if you need to restore shine.

    • Shark Steam Mop! Our whole house is hardwood/tile, and I love that this is just water – dries really fast – washable pads.

    • sweep or vaccum and then damp mop with 1 c. vinegar per 1 gallon warm water. don’t need to dry. no chemicals, CHEAP, and very gentle on your floors.

    • I have the Murphy’s Oil Soap hardwood floor solution – basically, you squirt it onto the floor and then mop over it with a damp mop. I do this maybe every other week and then do sweepings in between. Takes hardly any time (the damp mop takes about the same time as a sweeping) but they absolutely glow afterward.

    • lucy stone :

      I use the Bona cleaner and mop on our hardwood laminates and tile floors, which is what our flooring company recommended. You can get them at Lowe’s.