Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Belted Tweed Dress

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

Akris Punto Belted Tweed DressLoooove this dress from Akris Punto. I’m digging the asymmetrical V-neck look, which is described by the site as being a “modified” boatneck with a “vent” in it, which apparently has a concealed zipper.  I’m intrigued — does that mean you can lower or raise the depth of the V at will? Interesting. I just think the dress, overall, is stunning. It’s $1250 at Saks Fifth Avenue. Akris Punto Belted Tweed Dress

Pssst: there’s a matching jacket here.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]
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Comments

  1. LOVE. Wish I was wearing it right now.

  2. Akris does great, classic dresses. That said, this isn’t my favourite, but still very classy.

  3. Recent law grad :

    Can someone please explain the difference between each of the Tahari lines? They are always on the flash sale sites and I’m not sure what I’m missing! Thanks.

  4. I like it to, but NOT the V neck. But I can NOT aford $1250! FOOEY!

    My mother apreciated me takeing her out to lunch yesterday. I had FRENCH TOAST with REAL mapel syrup. YUM!!!!!

  5. Just me, or odd to be looking at tweed this time of year? It sure is gorgeous though.

  6. Oh Akris, how I lust after thee. If I am ever a law firm partner, I will dress only in thee.

    • Gooseberry :

      Maybe it’s just from spending too much of life not able to buy $1250 dresses, but I have to say, I am not sure I ever would. Maybe it’s all relative, but I honestly just cannot imagine. (I love them, believe me, but I think I might have a heart attach swiping my credit card.)

  7. I really wish I had a spare $1250 right now. Gorgeous. Pet peeve of the day: I hate it when people bring food over to a dinner party when you’ve specifically told them not to bring anything.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Aw, I’m sorry. I’m sure you felt compelled to serve the food as well. Bottle of wine + flowers is much safer and better appreciated!

      Funny story – once my parents had a dinner party and a guest brought a spinach casserole, which my mother put on the table to serve with all her own dishes. The guest who brought it kept insisting everyone have some of the casserole. When my mom started to cut it, she found 9 (!!!) long hairs inside. She said she put some on her plate and just poked at it in an effort to be polite.

    • phillygirlruns :

      agreed (on both counts). i understand not wanting to show up empty-handed, but i never bring food unless i clear it with the host first. wine is so much safer.

    • uuuugh I agree! Wine, flowers, maybe bread if the host asks.

      I threw a dinner party once where a guest brought an entree. Like, enough chicken for 12 people. Hello, passive-agressive friend, THROW YOUR OWN PARTY.

    • I have, on very rare occasions, brought an item of food to a party. But only the type of food I (a) know the person likes and (b) does not need to be served at the party. Like their favorite cookie or a box of chocolates.

      Bringing an entree or a salad or something unless you’ve been specifically asked to do so is just rude. (But, this is also why I’ve never made my own salad ever for a dinner party….someone always wants to make something, so I save “the salad” for them to make, because they inevitably make a nicer salad than I would make otherwise.)

    • ME TOO. If I am hosting a dinner party, I probably spent several hours planning the menu and an entire day shopping and cooking. Please, don’t F it up with your chips and hummus, and don’t you even think about bringing Safeway cupcakes to my house when I’ve spent a half an hour rolling out homemade pie crust.

      Um, this is apparently my biggest pet peeve. Interestingly, it’s always my friends who can’t/don’t cook who bring some sort of food. The ones who cook know better.

      • Totally agree! It is a huge pet peeve of mine as well.

      • Maybe being straight forward w/ these friends is necessary. Like – “I’ve got the menu taken care of, so I don’t need you to bring food. If you’d like to bring wine or another beverage, that would be great!”

        • I am – I put it in the invitation that no one needs to bring anything and the menu is set! And they insist on bringing food anyway. It is so weird. Why not just bring flowers if you really want to bring something?

          Once I suggested that guests bring drinks and I’d take care of the food, and I ended up with a 6-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade (pink lemonade, for breast cancer). No one touched it, and three months later I put it in a white elephant exchange, where it was a hot item for ironic reasons. But anyway, point is, telling people to bring drinks can totally backfire, too.

          • crux of the problem: people don’t read things. Which is my meta-pet-peeve, if you will. It is lame, stop ruining people’s dinner parties, people!

          • Here’s another peeve. people bring a big messy bouquet of flowers from their garden. Then you have to run around finding an appropriate vase ands “arranging” them. I can’t stand it.

            Worts experience – I was having a big New Year’s Eve party in a house we had just bought but not furnished. It was VERY casual. One friend insisted on bringing hors d’oevres. So what she brought was celery and carrots on big sterling silver trays. It was so inappropropriate and I was embarassed!

          • That would be odd. I once had somebody bring a rival birthday cake to a birthday party. It was one of those grocery store sheet cakes too.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Thanks for the PSA. While I rarely attend dinner parties, I usually bring a dish to gatherings (think a shower or cookout) because I have a million food restrictions and then I at least know I can eat something. For a dinner party, I will be sure to discuss my food issues well in advance with the host and offer to bring something if it would make it easier, but not bring anything if I’m told not to. For me, it wouldn’t be passive aggressive, it would be more “I don’t want to burden you with my rare and complicated food issues.” Maybe the person who brought chicken had a similar issue. If I do bring my own food, I try to bring enough for everyone b/c I feel that is more polite.

      • I think the kind of “gatherings” you described is different than a true dinner party. In that kind of less-formal setting, I think it’s much more acceptable/expected for guests to bring stuff. Within my group of friends, we never have dinner parties but frequently have gatherings and such at someone’s house. At those kind of events, everyone brings food, sweets, drinks, whatever.

      • Maybe you could say “I have tons of dietary restrictions and would hate to burden you – could I bring a side dish that would go with your dinner?” That way, the host is warned and can say “we’re doing Thai food” so that you don’t show up with chipotle sausages for a Thai meal. And s/he is warned and can compensate portion-wise.

      • I think this is a different situation. I also have food allergies, and I tell people in advance that I have allergies and that I can bring a dish so they don’t have to worry about accommodating my allergies. Sometimes they accept and sometimes they don’t. I certainly wouldn’t be upset if someone told me in advance they had restrictions and wanted to bring their own dish. I’d probably even try to work their dish into my menu.

    • The only excuse for bringing food to a dinner party should be if you are on an unusual diet or have food allergies that may preclude you from eating what is served. Even then, I’d probably give the hostess a heads-up.

    • Jane Fairfax :

      I generally operate under the assumption that people act with the best of intentions and would take the food as it was probably intended, a nice gesture showing appreciation for the invitation and a desire to contribute something to the party. Also, different groups have different social norms. Among my scientist friends, dinner party means potluck, whether or not you are told that you don’t need to bring anything. The attorneys I work with now don’t do the whole potluck thing, which I didn’t realize at first. I brought a home made pie to the first dinner party I was invited to as an attorney; it just never occurred to me that wasn’t the norm. Now I just bring a nice bottle of wine.

      • What irritated me was that I specifically told the guest that I had the menu planned out and not to bring anything but then they not only brought something but insisted that it be served. Flowers, wine, chocolate would have all been much better things to bring.

        • no more invitations for that person.

        • I would have not served it. Put it away in the kitchen and just “forget” to put it out.

          If they are rude enough to ask, “Where is the fried okra I brought?” I’d say, at the table, in front of everyone, “You know, I planned everything else out pretty precisely, and didn’t expect anyone to bring anything. I appreciate you bringing it, but it’ll have to wait for another day.” So that they are embarrassed in front of everyone.

          That might not be the most mature thing to do, but that’s what I would do.

  8. procrastinate :

    Is there a way to block sites on Internet explorer without downloading? Besides willpower of course

  9. Threadjack :

    Hi all. I had a performance review where I was expecting to get an above expectations, but I got a meets instead. We have six areas of focus and have to get 5 out of the 6. I exceeded on 5 and didn’t make one area. Anyway, I can sort of see the logic in that. But what I don’t like is that the reviewer brought up my son. He said something about how it’s hard to get an exceeds and if he were me, he’d just work the minimum and that’s it. I asked if that’s what he thought I did and he was all “no no!”. Then he said something else about how my family obligations later in the discussion and I asked if it impacted my work in any way and he said no. He kept making these comments, but I’d ask if they impacted anything and he’d say no. But if they don’t impact anything, then why is my son being brought up at all? Any insight about what I should do? Thanks!

    • I may be missing something, but if you exceeded expectations in 5 out of 6 criteria it sounds like you actually got a really good review.
      I could understand being perturbed about your son being brought up if it supposedly had no effect on your performance, but did you actually ask why you fell short in that one category?

      • Threadjack :

        I fell short because it was a “bringing in new business” type category and a few of the initiatives I led went to other firms. Par for the course, but I didn’t make my targets.

    • It’s not clear to me why he brought it up. Does he perceive that you’re slacking in one area, and wants to find out the reason why so he can help you improve? Or is he trying to penalize you based on an assumption that your parental responsibilities affect or will affect your work performance?

      If the former, let it go. If the latter, I personally would call HR and make an anonymous complaint, which would likely result in his having to undergo a training module on conducting performance reviews. Not sure how such a complaint would work at other companies, though.

    • Do you have an opportunity to contest the ‘Meets’ versus ‘Exceeds’? If 5 out of 6 is traditionally an exceeds, then collect evidence of such and ask your boss for a quick follow up meeting. You deserve justification of the overall rating especially if the ‘Exceeds’ comes with a bonus multiplier.

    • Anon for this :

      I’m sorry that happened. Do you have an HR person? I think you should discuss your concerns with them.

      Your son is being brought up because your manager thinks that you’re not dedicated enough to your job, for whatever reason, and isn’t willing to come out and say it. I once overheard a male partner give a very negative review of a female associate, and one of the comments he had (which he said was “neither here nor there”) was that while he knew she had to get home to “relieve the nanny” she would oftentimes be unavailable for several hours even via email, and even during crunch times. Now, ignoring the fact that this partner has a wife who is a stay-at-home mom and takes care of their kids and does all of his day-to-day errands for him, and how he crouched his complaint (highly offensive), his underlying complaint was about this associate’s availability and performance. That said, I personally think that those types of comments (particularly without a gripe that he can point to and/or discuss ways of improvement) creates a hostile work environment for working moms, and I would discuss your review and the comments with either your HR department or your office’s managing partner. Again, I’m sorry – his comments were really inappropriate.

    • PharmaGirl :

      I have had similar problems with my manager making comments about my child but not to the extent where he mentions them on my review. That is beyond strange.

      As a comparison, my manager regularly states that I “have other priorities” and “more important things” in my life but in the same conversation will tell me I’m doing a great job. It makes me very nervous that he will make a comment about my personal life in a performance review. I’ll definitely be watching the responses on this one!

      • Threadjack :

        Thanks! It was weird because I don’t understand why it was brought up. I think my review could have gone to an Exceeds and I am wondering if it is a perception problem.

    • Not sure if I am correctly following what transpired at your review, but if you got 5 ‘exceeds’ out of 6 but an overall rating of ‘meets’, you should definitely get a clear answer as to why the overall rating is so far behind the breakdown. ‘It’s hard to get an exceeds’ plus vague allusions to your family obligations hardly qualify as a useful answer.

      Have a think about whether it’s possible to make an appointment to follow up. A less confrontational way of raising the issue would be to focus on the future, rather than this year’s rating eg. ‘what are some specific things I should address to ensure I get an ‘exceeds’ at the next review ?’ It may also be easier if you are required to provide a formal sign-off to ‘complete’ the review process – just withold your sign-off until you and your manager are good and clear on what you’ll be working to improve before your next review.

      • Threadjack :

        Thanks! He basically said I needed to make my numbers targets for next year, which is fine, but a lot of that isn’t in my control, which he acknowledged as well. It was extremely frustrating.

    • It’s definitely a no-no that he brought up your family situation in his review. However, having been in the position of delivering a review that the reviewee isn’t happy with, I can empathize a little with him. Sounds like he just kept sticking his foot in his mouth and didn’t know how to get it out.

      I’d probably schedule a separate meeting where you do not discuss your performance appraisal specifically, but just go over some of the issues he brought up in his discussion of your performance (other than your son) and work out an action plan to improve in those areas. See if he veers into inappropriate territory again, and if he does, THEN lay down the hammer and say you want your personal life left out of the discussion.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Complete truth? If the place where you got a meet, not exceeds, is in new business development, then it is likely that he subconsciously ascribes your failure to meet the new business targets to your need to go home and parent, versus your ability to generate the business, which, while screwed up, at least suggests your are capable, just not putting forth enough effort. Its not that it impacts what you do, just the volume of what you do. He’ll never say its because your a mom, that invites litigation, but unless you hit your targets, you’ll likely get to the same place….

      Bringing it up to HR is likely to get you fast tracked out of the firm, because the firms position is that you have 2 roles, one to do the existing work very well, and to bring in new business. They are telling you that you are great at one part, not excelling at the other, and if they are going to share their money with you (partnership) you have to bring in some new income to be shared. Not sure how senior you are, but I’d take the good review and do some professional soul searching and figure out what you want to do.

  10. Ladies – I’m looking for blue, sliver (or perhaps another metallic) shoes to wear for my wedding that have a 2″ heel or less (fiance is exactly 2″ taller than me) for $230 or under and am striking out. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  11. Early Threadjack: I just got my first Coach purse and want to make sure it last for a long time. I remember a post from awhile back where users recommended treating purses before use, but I cannot seem to find the thread anywhere. What product should I use to ensure a long life for my purse? I see products on Coach’s website. Should I order one of those? The bag is standard leather with only a small metal “logo plate.” Thanks!

    • I have never treated my purses from Coach (maybe I shoud?), but they last for years!!! Especially the leather ones. I have a black leather everyday bag and it’s going on 6 years now and looks good as new.

    • hellskitchen :

      check the care card that comes with it. some of them tell you specifically not to use the “coach leather cleaner” even though the product is leather. I didn’t treat my purse but I keep it in a cloth bag when I am not using it.

    • I own an investment bag, and it came with instructions to waterproof it before use and then regularly thereafter. I did so–with a regular, drugstore waterproof spray intended for shoes–and it’s been perfect. I’ll add this bag is a light color, so if the spray had done any damage I would have been able to see it. I do it every few months. There are also leather lotions that help avoid the dryness that leads to cracking.

      • Also–the only place I “store” this baby is on my arm–but while I can’t have it on me, because I am asleep or something, I store it away from windows/sunlight. May be a no-brainer, but in some apartments I know this is something that actually requires some arranging.

        • Oh, good point! I did not even think of that ruining a bag. And my apartment is like a solarium – must remember to stash bags away from direct sunlight. Thanks :)

          • Speaking of bags, AIMS…any news? ;)

          • We have had a development! Totally caught me off guard. It’s a bit smaller than I wanted but in retrospect kind of perfect for weekends, everyday, etc., so I forgive it that flaw. It was also a fantastic sale. Literally walked into a store, wasn’t looking really, saw it hiding – the last one of its kind – all the way behind some other bags. It called my name. I don’t know if I can find a visual online but if I do, I will post. It’s slate colored and very simple, hopefully a forever bag. I heart it :)

          • @Monday – dare I say it’s even cuter in person? The cool color and the gold accents look really fresh together. I also like that it’s not easily identifiable as anything in particular. I hope you approve ;)

            http://www.marcjacobs.com/product/detail/c3112026/the-delancey-eastside

    • I like Cole Haan’s leather protector spray much better than any Coach product. I also like Cole Haan’s leather cleaner/conditioner, which doesn’t contain silicone like the Coach ones do (I think silicone leaves a weird sheen, but maybe it’s just me). Anyway, the Cole Haan ones only cost $4.50 and last a good while, so you don’t have much to lose. You can buy them at a Cole Haan store.

      Most of the drugstore/hardware store protectors also contain silicone, so I don’t like them for my purses either.

    • Anonymous :

      I am not a huge fan of the Coach leather cleaner. The lady at the Nordstrom handbag counter sold me the Cadillac brand leather cleaner and it works so much better. It cleans leather and leaves a nice conditioned shine, but not too shiny. I’ve used it on my leather portfolio, wallet, etc.

      http://www.cadillacshoe.com/cadillacshoe/Cleaners/LeatherCleaner.html

  12. Threadjack:
    I can’t find the search box for posts anymore. I think I am losing it.

    I was trying to find the thread about daily planners.

  13. Woods-comma-Elle :

    I’ve been totally disorganised about a friend’s wedding and now everything that isn’t crap on the wedding list is gone. Any ideas on what to get?

    For context, the couple has been living together for four years so mostly household boxes are ticked. A friend said she was getting champagne glasses so that idea is a no-go.

    Budget – around $50-100. Any ideas?

    • Most registries will let you exchange/refund items, so just get a duplicate of something already purchased from the registry. Also, stuff breaks, so things like multiple everyday wine glasses are very handy.

      Don’t go buying things NOT on the registry. Not returnable and its not what the bride & groom want.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Ehh. If the registry is gone, I’d rather get a close friend something off the registry, with a gift receipt, than get them a duplicate from the registry I know they’ll likely return.

        It depends how close the friend is though, and whether you know them well enough to go off registry. For a distant relative, I wouldn’t do that and would probably just give a gift card.

      • OMG no. please dont get her a duplicate and make her return it. Just go giftcard to the same store that never expires.

      • Someone got us an extra dishes (we registered for 8 place settings, they got us 12). We ended up appreciating the extra dishes, so we’re happy we got them! So you could consider getting “extras” of stuff off the registry if they have the space for it. (But don’t get extra stuff if they are living in a tiny place where space is at a premium–they will just have to return it, which is a pain.)

    • Are you opposed to giving cash or a gift card to a store where they registered? If they cook/bake/entertain/etc., I think you’re safe to pick out something nice in that category from a store that they can easily access and give it with a gift receipt.

    • Cash is king, baby!

      Or if not, and you know her taste relatively well, I like nice pottery or a handmade casserole or something similar from a local artisan near you. Something they can use both to cook with AND for display is especially great.

    • I’d get a gift card to the store they registered at. Barwear sets – martini glasses, tumblers, shakers, etc – are always useful, too.

    • “everything that isn’t crap on the wedding list is gone”

      So there’s still stuff on the registry? If it’s on their registry, they clearly wanted it. And if it turns out they don’t, then they can return it. Otherwise, you can’t really fail with a gift card to where ever they registered – they’ll likely have to go there to return duplicates and such so it’s just more money for them to spend!

      • Although I understand the urge to buy something off the registry that you actually like and would buy as a gift regardless, I agree that if it’s on the registry it’s because they wanted it. One of the nicest things to do for someone whose registry is almost complete is to round off what they’re missing. E.g., if they have 10/12 forks, 3/6 saucers and 10/12 wine glasses, completing that is a very sweet present so that they have a whole set and don’t have to use their own funds to make the set complete.

        Or get a gift card to the store they registered.

      • I interpreted that to mean everythin reasonable was gone. Like, all that was left were things like couches and LV luggage sets (seriously, both these items were on the last wedding gift registry I looked at), and all the other crazy stuff people register for in hopes that a rich relative will surprise them! I mean, I assume that’s why they register for stuff like that, I sure can’t afford to buy it for them.

        • I’ve known some that registered for couches & beds not really expecting anyone to buy it. Many places will give a percentage off the wedding registry if the item isn’t purchased by a guest. It saved them a little money on a big purchase they were already planning on.

    • What about a nice gift certificate to one of their favorite restaurants with a card that says “Even the most well-appointed kitchen can’t whip up dinner all by itself on those nights that you are just too tired to cook! Enjoy!”

    • Second giving cash. Especially if they are going on a honeymoon.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Browse around kate spade and Tiffany’s home/gift sections. They have some really cute stuff that’s not terribly expensive. I’d go for a pretty frame, unique barware, or serving platters. Maybe a nice clock for their mantle if they don’t have one and it’s not too expensive.

      If they’re both professionals, his and her business card holders would be a nice and very practical gift. I haven’t priced it, but maybe Things Remembered? kate spade had silver business card holders for $20 a while ago, not sure if they’re still available.

      • Get stuff off the registry. It isn’t ‘crap’ to them , or they wouldn’t have registered for it. If what’s left is lower priced odds n ends, get a bunch of it. Or, go with the suggestion to get a gift card from the store they registered at.

        We had people do the latter, but to be honest we used it to buy all the odds and ends off the registry that no one got us. :) I wouldn’t have registered for the kitchen and bar gadgets if I didn’t want them.

        I wouldn’t suggest getting stuff that wasn’t on the registry, no matter how nice you think it is. We had people get us a couple pretty picture frames, all of which we returned because they were lovely silver frames, but we only use black frames, it’s a theme.

        Cash is always good, too.

    • If you can’t get something interesting and useful (I love pottery serving pieces as wedding gifts) then I’d say the gift card for the store where they registered.

    • I was just in that situation. I like to buy china or crystal as wedding gifts, and by the time I got around to the gift (a full month before the wedding, by the way!) all those items were gone already. So I got them a blanket from their registry. I didn’t like getting them a blanket, it didn’t seem special and exciting and wedding-ish to me, but they registered for it so I just assumed they needed it.

      (and a WTF from me here – when did blankets get so expensive? what is this hotel collection nonsense anyway? when did I turn into andy rooney?

    • Nambe heart shaped bowls are nice, and come in different sizes and prices.

      • You know, this just made me remember – one of the things that I never would have thought to ask for, but use like crazy, is small crystal bowls. If you entertain at all, you need them. Great idea for a wedding gift, even if someone hasn’t registered for them.

        • I feel quite the troglodyte for not knowing, and yet still entertaining at home…

          What do you use these small crystal bowls for?

          • I would use them for serving ice-cream, pudding and other desserts

          • I use them for nuts and candies for my Christmas eve party. We’re usually almost too full for dessert, but I put out bowls of peppermint and caramel bark and they’re very popular! Also, for little snacks for craft nights.

        • I use small glass bowls for *all kinds of stuff.* Microwaving small portions of things. Mixing salad dressings with a small wisk. Separating eggs. Juicing a lemon into. Love my small bowls.

    • I ran into a similar situation and bought this (from the registry, but if your friends ey are wine people they might also like it: http://m.macys.com/shop/product/wine-enthusiast-trivet-wine-cork-kit?ID=402346) and a gift certificate to a local wine shop to help them get started.

  14. I bought a beautiful blue suit (3/4 sleeves, pencil skirt, I’m in love) but what color shoes to I wear with it?

  15. Egg Freezing :

    Anyone else see the NYT article about parents/grandparents paying for or contributing towards egg freezing for daughters/grandaughters?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/14/us/eager-for-grandchildren-and-putting-daughters-eggs-in-freezer.html?hp

    • I saw it, and I read the comments (unwisely), and then I hated the world. The responses were so predictable but so disheartening: why don’t these women “just adopt” (tell it to my friends who’ve been on a waiting list for three years, or my friends whose birthmother changed her mind)? Why don’t these women stop being so picky (yup, my single friends and I are totally rejecting great, stable, marriage-minded guys every day! It’s our hobby!)? Why don’t people have kids in their early twenties “as nature intended” (if I’d had kids with the guy I was dating in my early twenties, I’d almost certainly be living on government aid and family help, single, and without a job)? Etc.

      I saw a study last year that found that the primary reason single women who want to have kids don’t have them yet isn’t some fabricated lack of awareness of the fertility clock or pickiness: it’s a difficulty in finding partners who meet fairly basic eligibility requirements (desire to be married, desire to have children, stable employment). I can’t tell you how many of my mid-thirties male friends still put marriage and fatherhood in the “someday” category. But nobody looks to them-I guess it’s easier to assume that women who don’t have a man are doing something wrong.

      • Agree that reading such comments is infuriating. If you have it in you to go back and post this exact text under the article, though, you might be doing a public service…

        • Despite the fact that laying some truth down on the internet commentariat is one of my favorite pastimes, even I am not brave enough to post on the NYT website, which is (when it comes to stories about professional women) like 4chan with better grammar and fewer nasty photos.

          • new york associate :

            LOL. I find that my life is infinitely better when I can resist the temptation to read comments on stories like these.

          • This is possibly the best description of the NYT comment sections that I’ve ever heard. Kudos.

      • Oh, AMEN. I find it so infuriating when people blame women as if we’re the only ones to blame. I’ve been looking for someone to have children with since I was 22. Every man I meet falls under the Peter Pan category. So many of my 35 year old male friends look at this as a “someday’ thing, too. It’s so unfair to women.

        • Exactly. Thank you. The vast majority of the guys in my dating pool (nice, well educated, generally good guys), just aren’t thinking about kids! Or don’t want them (probably 40%). Or are unsure (another 40%). It’s definitely a “someday, not now” thing for them. Yet somehow the fact I haven’t met a guy I am compatible with who also wants children is my fault, despite the fact that I’m been extremely marriage and family focused since I was in college – I read all those articles saying to focus on marriage and family in your 20’s! – and would have been happy to marry a good guy who wanted kids anytime during the last 10 years. I really wish (many) men would realize that this is something they should think about – infertility and difficulty conceiving affects them, too.

          • Except they just wait till they are 45 and then marry a 22 year old, so it really doesn’t, lol.

          • Agreed. When he knew he was ready and wanted kids, my brother found a nice girl in about a year or two of dating, and married her about 1.5 years later. When my now-bf decided he wanted kids sooner rather than later, he read a book on how to make an internet dating profile memorable (adorable), and found me online.

            There are dudes out there. Once they wise up that having kids needs to happen like now, they start looking for ladies.

            I think most immature guys don’t realize that “someday” actually has a time limit for women.

      • There was an op-ed in the Sunday Washington Post criticizing women for having children outside of marriage. If you are a woman, it seems, you just can’t win. No matter what you do, someone will accuse you of destroying the fabric of society with your personal life choices.

      • karenpadi :

        This. So much. I’m back in the dating scene again and I’m getting so disheartened. I’m 31, almost 32, want kids, and had some failed relationships in my 20s. The guys (32-39 yrs old) I meet are great but just seem so oblivious to children or starting a family.

        Sigh. I have a few months left on various dating sites. My heart breaks that I might never find someone and never have kids. But I’m starting to solidify plans for my fabulous life without kids. It’s going to be awesome and involve living on a tropical island after my cats die.

        • My jerky ex-h stated, in our one and only marriage counseling session, that I could “just adopt” or have fertility treatments if I really wanted kids so badly (I was expressing anger that he had, essentially, wasted four years of my childbearing life) and wasn’t able to find a partner in time. Like, no biggie, right?

          So yeah, I’ve had lots of time to contemplate what my life will be like if I never have kids. And in the end, I’d rather be single, happy, childless me than miserably married mother-of-a-multitude me. Although I’m lucky that I’m a person who *can* be happy me without children-I know that for some people, that drive is so strong that finding happiness without it would be near-impossible.

        • Yes, this is me exactly, but I’m only 29. I am seriously considering going it alone but I don’t know if I could make it work since I don’t have any close family or friends to help me. Have you considered this and what are your thoughts?

          • karenpadi :

            My dad seriously wants me to consider this. But he also thinks my life lacks “balance” and he isn’t exactly volunteering to act as a full-time dad. Like having a kid without a partner will really help me balance my life?!

            Speaking as a hetero-woman, I think dads are so important. My own dad is wonderful and I personally just can’t imagine raising kids without a dad. There was a study years ago that I can’t find on google that questioned “successful” women about a number of things. They found that each and every one of them had a positive relationship with a father figure. Among my friends, this is confirmed a million times over.

            So if my cats die and I still don’t have kids, I am moving to a tropical island where I can scuba dive my personal reef in the morning and write patent applications in the afternoon.

          • karenpadi- That is so true. Now that I think of it, my most successful, confident, and happy female friends all have solid relationships with their fathers. I guess I better step it up for father’s day this year.

            But, to be fair, it is possible to do it as a single mom if you want to. I completely agree that it would be even more difficult than “typical” parenting, but hey, it takes all kinds. Go for it if that’s what you want- at least that kid would never ever be able to doubt that he/she was truly wanted.

          • For those considering having a child solo, Sara Fain’s blog is very interesting reading, and she also has an extensive “Resource Page.”
            http://www.starfishenvy.typepad.com/

          • Sarah, not Sara. Sorry about that. . . .

          • I completely agree with everything you’ve said, karenpadi. My father was *so* important to me, and I’d want my hypothetical kid to have a father in his/her life. So I’m not interested in elective single parenthood. For me personally, it’s far better to be a glamorous, single lady of a certain age, having crazy adventures and occasionally turnup to bestow inappropriately bizarre gifts on my nieces, nephews and godchildren while regaling them with stories that will make their parents shrink in terror.

          • I would just like to say that I had a pretty terrible relationship with my father, as did my siblings, and were essentially raised by just our mother. We’re all great people, very smart, and pretty successful, I’d say. I think fathers are important, but I don’t think they’re the be-all, end-all.

          • Thanks everyone for your comments, I really appreciate this discussion.

            The “since I don’t have any close family or friends” part means that (1) I don’t have an especially close relationship with my father (although I do have one) and (2) I don’t have and never will have “nieces, nephews, and godchildren”.

            All this makes me doubly second-guess my desire to have a kid, becuase I have to wonder if I’d be doing it just to create the community I’m missing… obviously I wouldn’t proceed if I thought that were my only reason, but I don’t think I can trust my own judgment here.

    • I think it’s very interesting. My mother recently offered to do the same for me, and I’m struggling with whether to accept the offer. Especially since my mother is not particularly wealthy. I’m 33 and have yet to meet the right person but desperately hope to have children someday. I’m also considering doing it on my own, but will wait until I’m 37 or 38 to do so, I think.

      • Speaking from painful experience, if you plan on waiting until you are 37 or 38 to freeze your eggs you may wish to consider having your FSH and AMH checked now.

        • No, I meant I was considering freezing my eggs in the next year or so. What I am considering for 37 or 38 is getting a sperm donor and doing it on my own. I realize that carries risk of infertility, but I would strongly prefer to have a child with a partner and hope to hold out a bit longer. If that doesn’t work, adopting children later in life is another great alternative. I just don’t think I can afford the fees and admit that I would like biological children.

          Thanks so much, though. I’m sorry for any difficulties you’ve had. It’s all so unfair.

    • I can’t imagine having any of my brothers at any sort of gynecological/reproductive procedure. That’s just me though.

    • I haven’t read the comments, and I’m not going to, but thank you for saying that, cbackson.

      As for the article itself, my big problem with egg-freezing is that it doesn’t seem to have been proven reliable yet. So it seems like kind of a gamble. But if the woman wants children, and the parents can afford to pay for egg-freezing, and no one involved has any objections to the procedure, then I don’t really see a problem with it.

  16. As I’ve mentioned before, my sister is in the midst of a very high risk pregnancy… tomorrow she has an ultrasound to find out if the baby is still alive. We live six time zones apart, and it is making me CRAZY that I can’t be there for her. I cannot stop thinking about her ultrasound and I’m sitting here at work feeling like I’m going to barf.

    It’s one of those situations where I feel like I need to DO something. So I send her youtube videos of cats eating watermelon because I have no idea what to do. I don’t want to do the wrong thing.

    There’s not really anything I can do, right?

    • How about a text tomorrow morning to let her know you are thinking of her? Sometimes, just knowing that people are there for you means more than anything.

      • I agree- definitely send a text in the a.m. (her time). You can also call her tonight (her time) to talk, but don’t bring up the pregnancy. Think of some other excuse to call and let her bring it up if she wants to, or not if she doesn’t want to. If she does, let her talk about her fears and concerns. Try not to pile on your own anxiety- I’m sure she has enough of her own to deal with. Just be there.

    • I think sending youtube videos of cats helps in every situation. If she gets bad news tomorrow, a delivery of high-end chocolates and flowers may also help, depending on her personality. Other than that, no, nothing you can do.

    • been there :

      I’ve been in a very similar situation to you, and I am sorry for you and your sister, and hope things go well for her. My advice to you is to support her however she seems to want your support–ask her if she wants distractions, or wants to talk about it, etc. I think that saying, “I really care about you, and it is hard for me to know how to act right now” (i.e., acknowledge that it is a difficult situation) can be a way to ask and see if she’ll open up about what she would like from you. And then take care of yourself. Do you have someone that you can talk to? Try to be particularly good to yourself.

    • You are a good sister :

      I am someone for whom, because of the shape of my uterus, every pregnancy is high risk. We count the days, treading lightly between week 23 and week 30. We have been successful, and unsuccessful. I wish that during those times of quiet stress someone would send me videos of cats eating watermelon. Or puppies tumbling. Or anything involving cute or funny animals.

      Seriously. Something to make me smile, laugh for 30 seconds, and takes my mind away from everything. I think what you’ve been doing is wonderful, and I wouldn’t stop at all unless something goes wrong tomorrow.

      When something goes wrong – it was most helpful for me, beyond the kind words from others, was that my best friend sent me, by amazon, an entire season of a female comedy (Golden Girls) to watch while I laid on the sofa miserable. Also, I wrote in a journal a lot during that period, which really helped my mental health – that may be something your sister does, or not. It sounds like you two are very close, and just knowing that you care means much more than any particular “thing” you might do.

  17. Deep V neck :

    I’m starting an SA job tomorrow at a business casual firm and I know I am supposed to wear a suit on the first day but i have questions about necklines after that day.

    I have a very small chest, like a small B cup. I never have cleavage. I have several nice blouses and dresses that have deep V necks that would not be appropriate if I had cleavage, but are they OK if I don’t have cleavage?
    here’s an example of a neckline that I’d consider wearing, but won’t if it’s inappropriate:

    http://www.anntaylor.com/ann/product/product%3A278874/AT-Modern-Dance/Asymmetrical-Cascade-Front-Top/278874?colorExplode=false&skuId=11220183&catid=cata000010&productPageType=fullPriceProducts&defaultColor=6918

    here’s a link to a dress I actually own that has a lower neckline, but isn’t indecent. I’d pair this with a cardi:

    http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/shopsale-dresses2/24176356.jsp

    survey says?

    signed,
    freaking out about my SA.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I think this is probably totally fine. I have similar amount of (non) cleavage, and the issue that I have with tops like this is that I FEEL they are too revealing (even when probably no one else cares) and I worry about it all day. To that end, if that is how you feel, don’t make yourself worry about it when you should be working–especially with those silky tops, sometimes it does slide down a little bit and then I feel that it is revealing. Just wear a camisole underneath (this also protects from the hanging down that the v-neck can sometimes do when one is bending over).

      Also, you can get a better sense by seeing what other associates are wearing.

      Good luck! Summer’s are awesome–go have amazing food :-).

    • I don’t think either of those V’s are too low as shown, but would take them for a thorough work environment test drive (pretend you have fingers on keyboard and swivel to greet someone at the door; bend over a desk / table to hand someone a document or to fill your plate at a SA event).

      Agree with Alanna that if you’re concerned about the V, better to skip it even if it IS appropriate – save yourself the stress!

      And good luck :)

    • I have cleavage and wouldn’t have a problem wearing either of those necklines! I thought they were very professional looking.

    • If you are on the shorter side, make sure to ask someone taller if they can see down your shirt/dress. If not, you’re fine.

    • Mountain Girl :

      Before I had kids (and cleavage) I actually found I was more self-conscious about necklines than I am now. I found like my lack of chest support actually made the necklines lower than they would have otherwise been. I think they don’t look inappropriate but you need to try them and and see for yourself. Other factors like your height, shoulder build, etc will also make a difference in how this fits. I like the idea of giving it a work trial in the fitting room before you make a decision and take someone along who will give you an honest opinion.

    • Smallish chest region here, too. IMO, the dress would look fine with a cami underneath – especially useful if you bend over. The blouse would look less-fine with a cami because of the ruffle detail, so I might skip it until it’s not your first day.

      I wear camis pretty regularly. It probably makes me look a little bit demure and possibly kind of old-fashioned, but whatever.

    • Totally agree with Alanna. The tops are perfectly appropriate, and you should not hestitate to wear them if you’re comfortable in them. I have several low cut v-neck blouses and I rarely wear them any more as I’ve realized that I spend the whole day pulling down the back of my blouse (to pull the v-neck up higher) and looking down my front to see if you can see anything.

  18. I ripped out my favorite (and much worn) pair of jeggings this weekend… embarrassing, and it seems that the model I have is now discontinued. Arg. Ladies, what are your favorites? Not that it matters too much for super stretchy clothes, but I’m 5’4″ and usually wear a 10-12 in pants.

  19. I posted a while back about how I just started wearing full make-up. I’ve been wearing makeup for about 2 months now. I think I look more polished and haven’t gotten the “omg you look so tired” comments in a while. The only problem is my skin seems pretty ticked-off. I get little minature break-outs, usually of the mini white head variety, in random places like my cheek, lower eye lid, and upper lip. Before makeup, I would get the occasional break-out in my t-zone, but that was about it. I’m weaing high quality makeup and washing my face religiously in the morning and evening and do the whole moisturization routine (which I also did pre-makeup). Eating habits, etc. the same. The only thing that’s changed is make-up use.

    Is this normal? Do i need to try new makeup? Will my skin start getting used to it? I love my more polished look but I don’t know if it’s worth dealing with the break-outs.

    • What type of makeup are you using?

    • A couple of things could affect this:

      How often do you wash your make-up brushes? What do you use?
      What do you wash your face with? You might need a “stronger” cleanser now that you have foundation/blush/concealer
      Is your makeup hypoallergenic? Or non-comedogenic?

      • associate :

        I clean the brushes once a week with some random cleaner the people at Ulta handed me. I didn’t think of hypoallegergenic etc. I’ll look into. Thanks!

    • Mountain Girl :

      I switched to a tinted moisturizer from a foundation a few months ago and my skin is loving it. I always cleaned and moisturized regularly but tinted moisturizer seems to work better for me. I thinking I will especially like it as the summer days heat up.

    • new york associate :

      What products are you wearing? I generally have skin trouble with foundation (especially mineral foundation). Try skipping the foundation and just use moisturizer and concealer for skin.

    • karenpadi :

      I have ultra-sensitive skin as in soap makes me break out.

      FWIW, I would say try changing the soap you use to wash your face or your moisturizer. I use a non-foaming cleanser from Aveda and their “sensitive skin” moisturizer. Ask for samples at Sephora.

      If that doesn’t work, try switching foundations. This one might not work for you. I personally have the best luck with powder foundations and tinted moisturizer makes me break out. I found my foundation by asking for samples at various make-up counters.

    • I would like to add that the “quality” of makeup really depends on your particular skin type and how you react with it. It sounds like your skin is reacting with the LM foundation and concealer. There is no reason that you can’t wear these products or that you have to switch to a tinted moisturizer, you just need to find a brand that works for you. High-end makeup counters would probably be happy to give you a sample if you tell them you have had some bad reactions and would like to make sure that the products work with your skin before purchasing. You may not even need to switch away from LM as they have different formulations and you just need to find one that is right for you. Although, I would recommend trying different brands, there is a lot of amazing makeup out there. Faves: Clinique (*great* for skincare too), Bobbi Brown, Nars..

      Good luck to you and glad you’re liking your new look! Anything that makes you happy and confident is a plus in my book.

  20. Are You Kidding? :

    Random Vent: I’m in a major metropolitan area (not NYC) and we just had a baby three months ago. At an event yesterday, a friend told me that I should get our baby on preschool wait lists, which seems crazy to me but okay. And so today I am poking around while the baby sleeps and see that preschool costs anywhere from $14,000-$25,000 a year. NO JOKE. My husband and I are both lawyers (and I am at a big firm) and we can stretch to get it in our budget but WTF? How do people afford kids? It literally may be cheaper in the long run for me to quit, and for him to work, and for us to live in Wyoming for the rest of our lives (which has its own appeal but we’d prefer to make that choice as opposed to having preschool thrust it upon us).

    • Not in NYC, but yikes! Although, I wonder how that compare to the price of daycare? Would preschool complement or replace daycare, when it comes to that?

    • This is why people move to Westchester and Jersey. Taxes there may break the bank, but they’re still cheaper than Manhattan tuition.

    • In many cases people use free pre-K (universal pre-K) through public schools. That’s around here, though, I have no idea how people in NYC do it, but I’ve heard so much about pricey private schools there anyway, so there’s probably quite a bit of variation. Free and public is how poor people do it, anyway. :D

      • One hiccup is that redistricting happens a lot in Manhattan. You could buy an apartment specifically to send your kid to a particular public school, then get rezoned a month later. There are some great (and when I say great I mean Great) public schools in NYC, but many of them aren’t.

    • Yep, that’s how much it costs. Particularly fun when you have two in preschool at the same time! We have great jobs and feel totally poor. We’ve paid anywhere between ~$17000/yr and $23000/yr.

      Also, not to scare you, but wait until school age and you need someone to care for them in the summer. Camp for my daughter is costing us $6000 for 8 weeks!

      It never ends, kids are expensive. You just figure out a way to work it into the budget, particularly if you have good jobs and have the luxury.

    • Romans et al. :

      Here in Houston (TX) there are reports of the same sort of prices if preschool is attached to a private K-5 or K-8, or K-12 school. However, I believe it is cheaper if preschool is associated with a church which offers only preschool. Best wishes, and happy new-mommy-ing! (Check out “Your Child at Play” book if you want to have some fun soon…)

    • This is why I don’t have kids. I know my biological clock is ticking and I am in a great relationship with someone who I would love to have kids with and who feels the same, but I just don’t feel like I can afford to do it yet. And in NYC so it’s all that much worse. Sometimes I think about my life and it would just 1000 times better w/o children. Other times, I just wish the US was France.

    • new york associate :

      I totally understand.

      We use a nanny share, which has been a godsend for us, but is going to get more complicated when we have multiple children. It is just so hard to figure out how to make it work. I always want to kn0w how other people manage childcare — not because I’m judging but because I’m so desperate for more information. I read a blog that did a series on “How Moms Make It Work” but all the moms were work-at-home bloggers. I need that same series from the perspective of real-life full-time working-out-of-the-home moms. Kat, if you sponsor this, I’ll do a guest post!

      • SpaceMountain :

        Seconded. I’ve done so many things for child care, including: work part-time, nanny share, emergency back-up care at office, flew my mother to town for help when nanny quit, bringing kids to work with crayons as last possible resort, preschool at local high school’s child-development class, normal preschool, in-home daycare provider, telecommuting, my husband taking time off work or telecommuting, moving to be closer to my parents for more help, leaving children with my mother for overnights when my husband and I both had to travel for work, my mother bringing kids to work with her, and more. I love to hear how other parents make it work. It’s even harder as the children get older because they need more transportation for their activities.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Not sure if these exist in cities but my mom is one of two teachers in a small pre-school in my hometown. The school is in two rooms attached to the owner’s house. There are two classes with about 10 kids per class. The school is fully accredited and sooooo much cheaper than traditional chain pre-schools or pre-schools associated with private schools. If there are small at home options, it is worth looking into.

    • this is why NYC couples move to Westchester or CT after they have kids – good public schools outweigh the commute, I guess. The folks I know staying in the city after they have kids either have insanely well-paying jobs or can’t afford anything but the public schools. We are a two-career couple and the preschool years were the most expensive for child care (no public school option, you still need a nanny, plus gymnastics/dance/ whatever classes…). But we still moved someplace we could use the public schools with confidence, not sure what the public schools are like in your metro area but in NYC it’s an issue.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      You budget, plan and give up a few extras…. because wait until you are paying tuition plus for activities ……

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