Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Pim + Larkin Dot Print Button Down Blouse

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

Pim + Larkin Dot Print Button Down BlouseI love this fun, funky print from Pim + Larkin. The coral dots seem very “now,” and I like that they’re kind of abstract floating blobs instead of ordered little dots. I’d wear it with light gray pants for the office, and perhaps a white sweater vest. The blouse is $49 at Piperlime. Pim + Larkin Dot Print Button Down Blouse


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


  1. AnonInfinity :


  2. Really cute print, but ugh, 100% polyester…

  3. this shirt is totally me, but i probably wouldn’t style it the way kat suggests. i think it would look great under a navy skirt suit, or with colored trousers (camo green or eggplant?), or peeking out under a black sheath dress. seriously endless possibilities.

    • Or coral pants. That would be obvious but still super fun,

    • I usually don’t question the styling choices, because I know everyone has a different aesthetic and even if I don’t personally like it, I recognize how it could look nice, but . . . white sweater vest? I can’t even imagine what kind of white sweater vest would look okay over this. I picture those tennis sweater vests from the 80s. And, putting aside the idea of a sweater vest, there’s nothing about this shirt that makes me think it would look nice with white.

      • I’m not a wearer-of-sweater-vests myself, so no comment on that, but I think it would look nice with white. White + coral + navy are a super crisp, clean, and pretty color combination to me. So I’d wear it with white on the bottom. Also, since I appear to be basically integrating this shirt into my closet without owning it, maybe I should buy it for myself as an I-will-apply-for-my-50th-job-today present, even though I’m going to pay my mechanic two and a half paychecks worth of money in the next couple of days…

        • I can see white bottoms (although that wouldn’t be my first choice for a top to pair with white bottoms). Maybe the problem is that the color is reading more as a brown than a bright color on my computer. I don’t actually see coral at all.

      • It’s like Rick Santorum wanted to put a little funk in his look.

        (Sorry Kat)

  4. Diana Barry :

    More colored prints, please! I feel like all of the prints lately have been black/white or navy/white.

    I am very tired today – arr. Baby only slept from 11-3 and then from 430-630.

  5. Loved it until I zoomed in. Really don’t like the dots inside the dots. Worried it looks like flying boobs or something. Now that I’ve thought that, it would always hang in my closet being the flying boob shirt.

  6. Threadjack – I’m wearing a beautiful, silky blouse today that wants to crawl out of my skirt and come untucked. Are there any options for keeping a good tuck-in other than the underwear tuck?

  7. This morning, a coworker and I were talking about running (weekend plans convo) and she told me she used to run but stopped. I asked why and she told me she was pregnant. She seemed happy to tell me but I wonder if it was a bad thing that I asked, sort of forcing her to tell me even though it may have been early since she’s not quite showing yet?

    • She could have easily chosen not to tell you. You didn’t force her to do anything. I wouldn’t take it as license to tell others, but I wouldn’t feel bad for asking – you had no idea when you asked.

    • If she didn’t want to tell you, she could have said she tweaked a knee, got sick of it, or just took up something else. There were a million other answers. Don’t worry about it and just be happy for her. (And you can’t constantly worry that asking the most routine questions about our co-workers lives are somehow forcing them to disclose things…I mean, don’t pry if someone seems uncomfortable, but really, how else can you interact with someone???)

    • I don’t think you did anything wrong. I mean, if she didn’t *want* to bring it up, she could have said something more vague in response to your question. Or not volunteered the part about she used to run “but stopped.”

    • Did you tie her down and shine bright lights in her eyes? No. You asked a question, which she was free to dodge however she saw fit. And she didn’t, so give her some credit and let her own that decision.

      That being said, I wouldn’t go spreading that news, since it hers to tell as she wants.

    • She could have easily blamed it on a bum ankle or knee.

    • a passion for fashion :

      totally dont worry about it. she probably used your question as a way to tell you she was pregnant. its often hard to find a way to tell co-workers.

    • phillygirlruns :

      sounds like she wanted to tell you (or at least tell someone)! it’s not at all an inappropriate question and i agree with the others that she definitely invited it and could have said any number of things instead if she didn’t want to spill about being pregnant.

    • If anything (and if you’re close to her), you might swing by her office and see if she wants you to tell people. Sometimes when I have news like that that’s sort of hard to work into a conversation, I try to tell one or two people in the hope that they’ll tell others. And then they go all quiet on me and three months later I find out no one knows!


  8. MaggieLizer :

    You guys… I just got a job offer at an AmLaw 100, but I’m not sure whether to take it. Sorry for the long post and TIA for any advice!

    The good about my firm:
    – Excellent mentoring/sponsoring
    – High-quality work, even as a junior, and a lot of client contact
    – I’m very involved in firm life (I’m on two committees and I’m an associate mentor), and that involvement is frequently praised

    The bad about my firm:
    – Poor treatment of women, esp. mothers
    – Poor work/life balance, with a particular hostility for family issues
    – Though neither of these things has affected me directly (yet), I’ve become increasingly demotivated and bitter 1) as I’ve seen people I respect and admire treated like cr*p because they have kids, and 2) because I know someday that will happen to me too no matter how good I am.
    – Face time
    – People don’t really socialize.

    The good about the other firm:
    – Better work/life balance and respect for family time.
    – Awesome people. A very dear friend works there and I’ve socialized with the partners and associates I’d be working with. I think I’d really fit in there.
    – No face time. Again, my friend has assured me that’s not just talk.
    – As far as I can tell, respect for women. This office is very small, but the managing partner said many female partners have children.
    – They assure me I’ll have high quality work, but that’s an unknown really. My friend has had great work.

    The bad about the other firm:
    – I’d be taking a pay cut with base salary when you factor in the cruddy benefits at the new place; the bonus would make up for it and they assure me I’d be eligible for a full bonus, but… it’s a bonus and thus uncertain
    – Really horrible health care compared to what I have now
    – Basically no mentoring, but the managing partner is a great sponsor for the office.
    – Probably more work than what I have now, though that’s balanced by less time in the office.

    • I’m confused. You got a job at an AmLaw 100, but the offer firm has better work/life balance, and worse pay and health care benefits than you are currently? Where are you now? AmLaw 5?

      For me, when you said AmLaw 100, my first instinct was – whatever they say to you about the balance being better there is a lie – but that’s why I’m confused about your description. But if you have a confidant at the new firm that you trust, then clearly the question here is whether you want better work or better balance. It seems clear that these 2 firms represent these two sides. I’m not sure we can help you with that choice.

      • MaggieLizer :

        Thanks. I’m in midlaw now. I guess I don’t really know how much to trust the other firm and that’s a big part of my trepidation. My friend used to work at my firm and has been much, much happier at the new firm.

        • Did you work directly with your friend? It might be helpful to consider how similar you two are in personality and work styles. If she has a completely different work style (or just social interaction style) than you, it might not be helpful to generalize her experience, but if you two are similar, then you would probably be happier there, too.

    • Seattleite :

      Once you’re down the “demotivated, bitter, resentful” track, I think that’s unlikely to change. Especially unlikely since office cultures don’t change.

      Assuming the pay cut/lesser insurance wouldn’t ruin you financially, I’d take the job. Insurance benefits are changing everywhere – my own firm’s premiums are up 50% over last year, and the deductible is likely to rise as well. Beef up the emergency fund and call it a cost of doing business with respectful and supportive people.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I would go for it. If your current firm is making you “increasingly demotivated and bitter,” a cut in pay and benefits cut would be worth it, in my opinion.

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      The above doesn’t really highlight what drove you to interview at the new firm (I’m guessing the demotivated and bitter part), but look at what drove you to interview and if it’s likely to be fixed by the move, I vote move.

      Also, w/r/t the “bad” at the other firm, mentoring will come — sometimes informal mentoring is even better than formal mentoring and it sounds like you have a good resource in your friend for figuring out who to target as a potential mentor.

  9. SO and I were just having a conversation about my work. I’m working on a huge project and it has many pieces that all have to fall into place over the next couple of months. Some of it is carefully planned and some of it (like the timeframe) is out of our control. I’m pretty tired because we’re at it constantly and it involves many meetings going over details that could make your head explode. But I am surprisingly calm and unstressed. SO asked me why – I truly think it’s because of people. I’ve learned to let go of having to know how everything is going to fall – I know it’s all going to work out fine in the end. But, one person on my staff left last year and was replaced with someone who is a go-getter and high energy and who pitches in on whatever we need and does it all well. Another person, who would have thwarted this project at every step and yelled at me regularly, retired in December. It is amazing how much we allow people to do this kind of thing in the workplace, isn’t it?

    • a passion for fashion :

      yes, it is. the people you work with i think make all the difference. You can be at a firm, for example, that the whole world thinks is awful, but you work with the 6 great people there and your experience is wonderful. the opposite is equally true. My husband and I both work at big law firms . And amazingly, we both have great people to work with and ths love our jobs.

    • Couldn't Wait to Quit :

      People really make all the difference. I just quit a job where I could have coasted along for years, picking up a big paycheck for doing uninteresting work. I had been there quite a while, but a few new hires over the past year, and their relationship with my boss, just totally demotivated me and I dreaded going in every day. On the flip side, my job before that one involved high-stress, angry clients and annoying corporate overlords, but my co-workers were wonderful and despite the negatives I really enjoyed my job.

    • NOLA – Just want to let you know that your posts make me think you’d be an amazing person to work with/for. Seriously.

      • That’s so sweet! I think, in general, my supervisees are very happy. I work hard at it and try to be fair and acknowledge great work. People like the guy who just retired – nothing I could do would have ever made that better.

    • new york associate :

      People matter — a lot — but firm policies do make a difference, especially when for whatever reason — pregnancy/maternity leave, disability, part time, illness, etc. — you cannot perform at the top of your game. And no one can be at the top of their game 100% of the time.

  10. AnonInfinity :

    Completely over-analytical TJ: I’ve gotten lots of really kind, unsolicited, feedback from partners at my firm lately (YAY). It makes me want to tell them how much I love working here, how much fun I’m having, and that I’m happy to come to work every day. Too cheesy?

    • a passion for fashion :

      yes, too cheesy. that said, i would say thanks and let them know that you appreciate their comments. I dont think everyone knows how important it is to hear when you are doing good (as well as when you are doing bad). By letting them know their comments are appreciated, hopefully it will encorage them to keep giving such comments when warranted to you and others they work with.

    • Anon for this :

      As a small law partner, I would love to hear this kind of thing — that an associate is enjoying the work, is learning a lot and is happy to be with the firm. We have a part-time associate who came here with her father as part of the deal for a merger of his firm into ours. She doesn’t keep a regular schedule despite our repeated requests, is constantly “sick,” does truly half-*ssed work (the long threads recently started by young associates about proofreading, because they want to get things right, almost made me cry), is entirely uninterested in our practice area and just generally doesn’t care. (And don’t get me started on how she dresses . . . ) Maybe my perspective is skewed by having to deal with — and pay — someone who clearly doesn’t want to be here, so that I would really value an associate who is happy and motivated. But I think you can express your feelings in a professional way and the partners will appreciate it.

    • I think Anon for this’ comment illustrates that often, your supervisors already know your attitude based on your work and behavior. In her case, it’s obvious the associate doesn’t care; my guess is that in your case it’s obvious that you’re happy to be there.

      That said: recently I got a bunch of kudos from my own higher-ups after a specific task I completed, representing our unit to many VIPs. I found myself saying to each of them, after they gave the positive feedback, “it means a lot to hear that, thank you.” I didn’t systematically think it through beforehand, but I think it worked because it made clear: I care about our work, I’m glad to be here and want to continue to excel, and I value your assessment of my performance. This is basically your message, it sounds like.

    • karenpadi :

      Like you, I really enjoy working with the partners in my office and they give me great feedback. To avoid being a brown-nose, I have done a few things. At a Christmas party, during a conversation with the partner’s wife, I told her that I really enjoy working with the partner for reasons X, Y, and Z. During an informal debrief/status check on my changing responsibilities, I mentioned that this was a skill that some other mentors have mentioned I should be learning at this point in my career and that these mentors have (unsolicited) offered me a job at their firm but that I enjoy working here. I am also pretty active on the recruiting front which, for me, requires me to be enthusiastic about working here. And what better way to show I like the partners I work for than to do unbillable work that promotes the firm?

  11. From the purple pumps post a while back–my favorite are these from Cole Haan and they just went on sale! Maybe someone else can snag them at a cheaper price than I paid :)

  12. Legally Brunette :

    Reporting back on the Talbots Olivia dress that I believe AIMS recommended. I bought the teal color, which is absolutely gorgeous – a really nice bright blue. Unfortunately, the fit was off for me. My usual size dress was too va va voom and too tight across my hips. Going up a size made the dress look too big and untailored and was way too big in my bust area. It also did not nip enough in the waist for me.

    So unfortunately, the dress is a return for me. However, if you’re a classic hourglass, I think this would be a great dress for you.

    • I’m sorry it didn’t work out! Talbots is always hit or miss fit wise for me – that one just worked for me, but I can see how that would not be universal given that it is a pretty structured design and the fabric didn’t have a lot of give so it would either be right or would require some tailoring.

      • Legally Brunette :

        It is a great work dress, just not right for me. But I’m glad I tried it on because it made me feel a whole lot better about Talbots. Years ago their dresses were like sacks on me, but this was one was pretty fitted and tailored – just not the right fit on me.

  13. Just hired... :

    Question for the academics out there….do you put blog posts (that are relevant to your area of expertise, at least) on your C.V.? If so, what heading do you put them under? (I’m going into legal academia if that makes a difference.)

    • My sense is no. Given recent discussions that I have been a part of, most rank and tenure committees are looking for single-author scholarly publications or books. Obviously, people also track presentations and other kinds of publications, but I think blog postings are too informal, except for establishing reputation. I’m not in law so I checked the online CVs of a couple of our law faculty who I thought might do blog posting and they do not list anything like that on their CVs. If you are recently hired, check the online CVs of the faculty in your new department to see if they do otherwise.

    • PharmaGirl :

      I would say no to having blog posts on an offical resume but they could be submitted as writing samples.

    • River Song :

      I’m going to say no as well. I’m in the humanities, but I’ve not heard of anyone putting blog posts on their CV. If the posts have been (re)published in other formats–an online or print journal, for example– that’s another story, and I would include those. I would also double-check with people in your field. If you’re on the job market or going to be, I would check with friends who have been recently hired to see what people are doing now in your field, and what search committees might be expecting.

    • Depends on the blog. If you were invited to write a column for a good blog (not necessarily a well-known one) that is in your field and interesting, *and* you have other publications, sure. One thing it communicates is that you are tech-savvy and have contacts in interesting parts of the field.

      The random blog of your friend? No.

      • Just hired... :

        That’s a great point. I was thinking more along the lines of law blogs, especially ones that are well-read and well-respected in a given field.

        • Well, hey, [this website] is well-read and well-respected — it’s on the ABA top 100 blawg list. But we’d probably have to use real names if we wanted to cite our posts on our resumes. :)

  14. I also love the blouse, but mostely b/c I love fruegal Friday’s!!!!!

    It is JUST that I can not buy this for work, b/c the manageing partner will NOT let us wear blouses that do NOT tuck in NEATLY into our Skirt’s, and I want my 20% back!

    The manageing partner took us out yesterday to lunch and he did NOT pay any attention to me, but talked all the time to Fred. I did NOT even know people who’s name is FRED any more, but HE is a real FRED. The manageing partner thinks FRED would be good for the firm, but I dissagree.

    Fred started to look to much at me, and it was creepey! Then the manageing partner said if he joined the firm that I would mentor him. FRED grinned at me, and he has VERY dirty teeth from drinking to much coffee. Ptooey!

  15. Follow up on last weeks’ Lord & Taylor “coral” blazer–I’m returning it for several reasons:

    1. On my laptop, it looked like a bright, summery coral. In person, it’s more of a pale, pastel peach. That probably wasn’t a dealbreaker like the fit was, but did take down the excitement a notch.
    2. Poor fit that would’ve required enough alterations that it wasn’t worth it. It had shoulder pads, which I don’t need (my Butkus Award candidacy is locked up, thank you very much). And the sleeves were *huge*! I would wear this if I was looking to shoplift baguettes and needed room in the arms to stuff 2 or 3. I know I have scrawny arms compared to the average woman, but this was too much. Also, is it just me or aren’t most women’s forearms smaller than their upper arm? The sleeves were the same circumference on top and bottom, so the huge-ness was even more pronounced in the forearm section.

    I was sad to have to send it back, because I never wear blazers and thought this one was cute and feminine to break out of my cardigan rut, but I guess it’s back to looking secretarial for now ;)

    • The mental picture of smuggling baguettes in your sleeves totally cracked me up. My new-ish secretary is getting used to me laughing out loud at my desk at random moments and, I hope, no longer thinks I am certifiable.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I just got a blazer this week with the same problem at the sleeves and was also so, so confused. I know my tailor can take care of it, but seriously, if it weren’t for that it would have fit perfectly. Grrrr.

  16. Does anyone have suggestions for a memory foam mattress topper? I recently purchased a new mattress that turned out to be way too firm and I’d like to get a topper to help out, but I want to make sure I get a good quality one.

    • I got one about a month ago for $70 on Amazon – the “2.0” Visco2 Ventilated Mattress Enhancer”

      It took two days for the minty smell to evaporate but now there is no rubbery odor. We got the 2″ thickness to lay on top of a fairly firm mattress. I am a total convert – it’s not too hot (as I feared) nor so doughy it feels like you’re stuck in bed – just enough depth so that I don’t wake up with my arm having fallen asleep.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Get one that is at least 3in thick. Less than that and it honestly doesn’t make much difference and you may as well save your money.

      I have an Isotonic Structure Zone Topper that is 4in thick and I love it, but you can feel some of the ridges, even under the sheets + cover, so if that will bug you, don’t get it.

    • migraine Sufferer :

      You might find that after a month or so the mattress becomes more comfortable. The ones you try out in the store have about 30 days of use on them. Mattresses need to be “broken in.” You can try crawling around on the mattress and jumping on your knees to speed up the process.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Is it too late to exchange the mattress? Also consider getting a gel memory foam topper instead of just memory foam, which is known/notorious for heat retention. I think I saw gel memory foam toppers at Costco last weekend, so that’s worth a shot given Costco’s fabulous return policy.

  17. I accidentally returned amazon shoes to zappos–any way I can fix this?

  18. I got offered a new job! I’m excited and going to take it, but am having some serious anxiety about talking to my current supervisors. They are both wonderful people who I’d like to stay friends with after my departure (which will be a bit of a surprise). I’m not planning on presenting it as a I got this offer so pay me more and I’ll stay. My reasons for leaving have to do with work/life balance and the fact our team is consistently drowning in work with no end in sight. Any tips for communicating that while I love the substance of what I do, it is way too much for a single human being to handle? I’ve discussed this before with them, but had an offer unexpectedly crop up. Also, should I have a list in my back pocket of things that would make it worth it to stay? Any suggestions on how to ask for “more work life balance” and actually have it happen?

    • I think if work-life balance is imbalanced for a lengthy period of time, your team has been drowning with no end in sight, it is unrealistic to think you can ask for more work life balance and get it. I’d take the new job and part on good terms. If your current job loses more people due to situation, they may reconsider, but for now, I wouldn’t plan on negotiating the work volume and having it “stick” more than a month or two.

      • Thank you! I wrote that and then thought the same thing. Some times confirmation helps. Are there any things that are reasonable that I could ask for to achieve more work life balance? Regular telework schedule? Do people ever ask for these things…

        • new york associate :

          When you’re drowning in work, the only way to get out is to get more people in. Telecommuting buys you a little extra time, but doesn’t really fix the problem.

  19. So my SO, who I will probably be marrying within the next couple years, is Indian (as in from India, not Native American,) and I’m caucasian. We’ve had a number of discussions about me piercing my nose. He is in favor of it, and I kinda really want to, mainly because I think it will look well on me, and I like it’s connection to his heritage and his family.

    The problem, of course, is that I’m starting at a fairly conservative firm in October (ie, we wear jackets every day, except for Friday, where our business casual is no jackets). I know you’re not supposed to take the stud out for a number of months, in order to ensure it doesn’t heal up, so I think I’d have enough time if I got it done right away, but this would be it. I obviously wouldn’t wear it during work at all, but I’m wondering if it’ll be too much of a hassle to take in and out everyday, or if it would be visible even if I’m not wearing a stud.

    Basically, I’m just not sure if it’s worth it. Thoughts?

    • October may not be enough time to have it not heal up when you take it out. I have one, and almost a year after I had it done, I tried to put a ring in, it swelled a little, so I took the ring out and didn’t have a stud to put back in. By the time I went to get a stud the following day, I had to have a piercer repoke the hole — this is a little ick — it had closed on the inside of the nose side.

      It will also be visible with the stud out. Not hugely so, but a person can definitely see a hole if they’re looking/observant.

    • I’m Indian and the nose piercing isn’t obligatory for a wedding.
      Can you wear clip on nose rings? That should solve the problem.

    • I am from the indian subcontinent, and I did have have it a long time ago. But I just couldn’t find a way to make it look biglaw professional. I now have the resulting scar that takes some spackle to cover.

      If it helps, they do have noserings that fake a real piercing. both hoops and pretty studs.

    • anon in tejas :

      I am indian, and I haven’t done it. I would wait probably to check out your firm’s culture before doing something like that. It’s going to take a lot of explaining for you, as it is a culturally referential peircing, but not your obvious culture.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I LOVE nose rings and I think it’s really sweet that you’re considering getting one in part to connect with your SO’s Indian heritage. With that said, here a few thoughts:

      1) It’s hard to take the stud in and out. When I had a nose ring several years ago, I took it out once and literally within 15 minutes the hole had pretty much closed back up.

      2) I think it’s easier to “get away” with a nose ring if you’re South Asian because people understand that it is a cultural preference. Being white and having a nose ring AND working at a conservative law firm, I worry that you will stand out in the wrong way. For bad or good, when you’re Indian and have a nose ring, people tend to think it’s cool or exotic. When you’re non-Indian and have a nose ring, people think that you’re alternative, hippy, etc. Of course, I’m seriously generalizing here but people do have these prejudices.

      I agree with others that you should first try a clip on version and see if you feel comfortable wearing one every day. And maybe start at the firm first and see what the culture is like before getting the piercing.

    • Others have already covered your more technical questions. I am caucasian and married to an indian guy. I think the sentiment behind this idea is lovely, but I would make this decision based entirely on how much you want a pierced nose. If you wouldn’t do it if he were caucasian, I wouldn’t do it now. How many women in his family even have his? In my DH’s family, I’d put it at 50%, maybe less. A lot of the older women who did have pierced noses at one point (circa their weddings in india), haven’t worn nose rings in the 7 years I’ve know them, including my mother in law. Only a handful of women under age 30 in his family have this done and none of them currently wear studs regularly. And the nose jewelry for weddings is super traditional- I’ve been to 4 or 5 indian weddings w/ indian brides and none of them wore nose jewelry.

      Anyway, it’s hard to extrapolate from my situation to yours because every family is different. I’m just saying, as a caucasian woman who had an indian engagement, indian wedding (w/ mehndi and a bollywood-style dance), and is trying to learn the local language, my in-laws would have found it strange if I pierced my nose unless it had absolutely nothing at all to do with indian culture. Especially before we were even officially engaged. Anyway, just parse out your motivations before you make the decision and tread lightly. If your SO is anything like mine, he might not be the best barometer of social expectations. If he has a sister, I’d run it by her.

Add a comment.

Questions? Check out our commenting policy. Tech problems? Please report it to the tech team.