Coffee Break – Jerry Belt

B-Low the Belt Jerry Belt This looks like an amazing belt: it’s leather, with super-saturated colors, and it’s intended to be long enough to wear buckled normally or tied up in a decorative knot. I honestly can’t decide which color I like best, but I’m posting the neon orange to show you the knot. It’s available in both neon colors and jewel tones at Shopbop for $86. B-Low The Belt Jerry Belt




  1. Cute belt. I have a similar one in bright pink from JCrew that I got for about $15. I probably wouldn’t pay $86 but the idea is one I highly recommend. It really helps “edge up” my boring outfits ;)

    On an aside, if anyone feels like doing some shopping, you can take an extra 25% off all Bloomie’s sale items and there are some great deals. Today only. Code JUNE25. Enjoy.

  2. momentsofabsurdity :

    I think this trend (neon skinny belts) is too much of a “trend” to pay that much money for or even to spring for the actual leather in, TBH. And I *love* skinny belts.

  3. Does anyone have advice for someone looking to begin a career abroad – specifically England? England because foreign language skills are non-existent, but I want to go to Europe. I currently am a mid-level project manager in government, and all my googling has come up empty. I know this is probably the worst time, economically-speaking, to be giving this a go, but ce la vie. Any experiences with this or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • consultingpoint (dot) co (dot) uk (slash) index (dot) asp

      Make sure you know the qualifications for a working visa, not all companies sponsor them. And good luck! How exciting!

    • Kontraktor :

      It’s really, really, REALLY hard to get a visa to work in the UK as a non-EU foreigner. Plus, even the companies that do sponsor work visas are often obligated to fill the position first with UK candidates, then with EU candidates, and only then can they even consider other foreigners for positions. I am not sure I’d hedge your bets on this being something that is likely to happen. Is there any possiblity of doing a detail or some training abroad? That would probably be your best bet.

      • Brit in US :

        That’s not really true. The same treaty applies to the English trying to get to the US and it’s not that difficult. Networking is your best bet to find a job.

        • Don’t rule out the northern EU countries; you can get around without speaking their languages. There are a lot of US HQs in the Netherlands (Starbucks, Nike come to mind) and Germany. Also, take a look at Ireland.

          It is easier to get a transfer from within a company, but not impossible to get a job without that. It’s not half as difficult as getting a H1B here in the US!

          Look for international recruiters and consulates. They will usually have good links to resources.

    • Education might be a way in, if you can afford the time/cost of tuition. It’s much easier to make connections to a new place when you’re already there, and there are plenty of interesting programs (er, programmes?).

    • As a 2-time London expat, I recommend using the immigration site “London Link”. Google it. They give great guidance on updates re the Points system and all the rest.

      It is much harder to get jobs there than when I was there (nearly 10 years ago, egad!), but not impossible. The trick is that you have to go there as a tourist, interview, leave, re-enter with your work visa.

  4. Anonsensical :

    Anyone have any experience with Bloch flats? I’ve read tons of reviews saying the sizing is odd and that I should size up anywhere from a half-size to a size-and-a-half. Trying to get it right the first time and not have to order and return repeatedly.

    • I wear between a 10 and 10.5. I bought a pair in a 40.5 and they are really comfortable after they stretched out a little. If I were to buy another pair I might buy a 41 if they had it, but I don’t think I would size up more than that. The ones I have are more elastic (like the Luxury Ballet Flat on Zappos, not posting link for moderation) than some of the other ones they sell, so they might be more forgiving.

    • I’ve worn Bloch ballet shoes and they are sized like most ballet shoes. I sized up a half size for my toe shoes, but no more than that. FWIW, these were ballet shoes, not street shoes so, YMMV. In general, I found them to run larger than most other ballet shoe brands (Capezio, Freed, Gaynor Minden, etc.).

  5. TJ – Any pointers for someone wanting to incorporate belts into their everyday professional and casual wardrobes? I’m pear-shaped and love the contrast between my waist and hips. Is there a difference with skinny and thick belts? Thanks!

    • I have an hourglass figure, I do much better with skinny belts. They don’t look like I am trying to “hold something in” with the belt.

    • Former MidLevel :

      A lot depends on your shape, your preferences, and the particular outfit. Personally, I am pear shaped and like 1.5-2″ belts at my natural waist over dresses, cardigans, basically anything. But I know other people who swear by skinny belts. I think it just takes some trial and error to figure out what works for you.

      • yeah, you need to try out different sizes worn at different places on your body. I am also a pear, and i wear skinny belts with some outfits, and wider ones with some others.

        Sal at Already Pretty has a great suggestion, start by taking a scarf and fold it into different widths and tie it over different outfits (with the knot in the back) to try out different widths, and that gives you an idea of what sizes of belts to try.

      • Agree! Depends on the outfit, your style, and your shape. I am a size 16-18 hourglass, and I recently began a love affair with belts. It started with this: in red, which totally plays into my personal obsession with anything red patent (seriously, ladies, I may have a problem). I wear it most with my $12 Old Navy high-waisted A-line skirt and something blue tucked in. It makes me feel retro and feminine, and I LOVE it. Then I started thinking “Wow, I had no idea belts could be so much fun!” So I ran out and bought a few of the skinnies at Target (patent, naturally), and I wear them pretty much whenever I can. Today, I’m wearing black pants, a long-sleeved Gap tee with horiontal pink and blue stripes that ends at my hips, and a cream skinny low on my waist, and a black blazer over the tee and belt. Without the jacket, the belt helps break up the long top and emphasize the narrowest part of me, which is awesome. Like Hel-lo (below), I can’t seem to make belting cardigans work, but I keep trying with different belt/cardi combos. Grab some a cheap belt or two in a neutral color (or a non-neutral that will go with a lot, like teal), and start trying it out! :)

    • I’m somewhat of an hourglass, too. Belting cardis has never worked for me. But I have started tucking in tops when I wear suits and wearing a skinny belt in a contrasting color. Think gray suit, green top (tucked in), and a teal belt. I’m loving this combination. I’ll also add a bag for court in a different color like coral or yellow or something. (I have several bright bags, big enough to hold files, from Target/TJ Maxx/Ross.) And shoes in another neutral – brown with gray or navy suit, etc.

  6. TJ

    feeling blah bc estranged sister is about to have a baby any second (and I was totally shut out, not even invited to the baby shower) and guilty about feeling blah because she is my baby sister.

    • Do you want to reconnect? Maybe after the baby is born, if you can find a picture of yourself holding her as a baby, get it framed and send her a note saying how much you miss her and how much you wish you could reconnect. And send something for the baby like a baby blanket or a keep-sake.

      It might work or it might not — but sometimes the coming of the next generation makes the squabbles of the prior seem insignificant.

    • Nothing says you can’t send a gift and a nice card.

  7. Gift ideas? :

    I realize that people ask for gift ideas here all the time, but I was wondering about any ideas for my best high school friend, who has really been there for me lately. It’s her birthday this weekend. I do have time to shop in the evenings (single, government summer internship). She just finished her first year of pharmacy school, and for my birthday she gave me an awesome sweatshirt from my law school’s bookstore.

  8. I know the feelings on jumpsuits/rompers are mixed, at best, but I really love them. The problem is that I’m relatively tall, so it’s hard to find ones that fit well. The strapless ones feel like they’re going to pop down below my b ** bs, and others give me a very unfortunate look around the c * rot * ch. (Sorry for TMI). Anyone have suggestions for one that might work? Or a brand that carries them in tall sizes?

    Thanks in advance!

  9. Totally unrelated rant:

    I hate when I have to find a new hairdresser. I’m not particularly fussy about my hair, it is straight and pretty easy, but I hate the not knowing what I am going to get with the new person I’ve never met before. I also hate the obligatory talk about nothing that you do with someone new.

    I also hate that I have no idea what I want done with my hair – which makes the whole going to a new person thing even more stressful.

    End Rant.

    • I know! This sucks. I went to like 5 salons in my city before I found one I liked. You don’t have to wait the normal 6 weeks between appointments. You can go to a new place every week! :)

      One time, I got my hair cut by one dude, but I wasn’t thrilled, so I went somewhere else. Turns out he had changed jobs, too, and was my stylist at the new place too! Talk about awkward.

    • Well, you could start with what you DON’T want for your hair. Also talk about how much time you want to spend (or not) on maintenance. This could help the hairdresser at least get started suggesting some option.

      I’ve actually done this. And also looked through the magazines they usually have at salons, to get ideas of what I might want and what I totally don’t want.

    • I totally agree. For about a year after I moved to a new city I drove 3 hours so I could continue to visit my previous hairstylist (dresser? coiffurist? whatever.)! Now I’m good at telling a new stylist exactly how to cut my hair. I still have to deal with the akward we-don’t-know-each-other-but-let’s-pretend-we’re-friends-by-gabbing-about-reality-television-and-Jessica-Simpson thing – boo!

      End addition to rant.

      • I never know what to talk about. I end up chit chatting about the latest episode of whatever I’m watching. However few people in the hair biz nerd out about Doctor Who or GoT. Haha, where does one find a nerdy stylist?

        • That’s why I kind of like my current stylist – we’re both ok being silent. He likes to work/be creative on my hair (I trust him!) and I like to veg out and get pampered.

          Also, there is lots of gossiping going on in the chairs near us. And, as my elementary teachers used to say, you can’t listen with your mouth open.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Ugh, I know! It took me years to find someone! GL!

    • Very late for reply, but…
      If I am tired or don’t feel chatty, I just mention, politely of course, “long day/week/watever, I hope you don’t mind if I just sit back and relax through this.” Hairdwssers spend their careers making smal talk. They will probably appreciate the break!

      *sent from slow-@$$ smartphone , please disregard typos

  10. My JSFAMO mug arrived yesterday! My mom saw it, chuckled, and remarked that her mother used to say FOOEY! Which begs the question: is Ellen the ghost of my grandmother??

  11. preg anon from yesterday... :

    This seems like a wild question to put out there, but I’m always pleasantly surprised at the versatile knowledge this group has. We’re looking for health insurance for my husband.

    He’s going to be self-employed for the next two years. He does not qualify for COBRA coverage, since he’s under my coverage now and I’m switching jobs to a firm that will pay my health insurance (and my understanding is that unless I elect COBRA, he cannot elect my COBRA without me…). If he were to be added to my coverage, we’d pay his premium, which is $530/month. He’s 31 years old, nonsmoker, in perfect health, and that just seems insane to me.

    So, he’s going to get some independent quotes, but he wants to look at a high-deductible policy, low cost. He’s perfectly healthy and in great physical shape. Does anyone have experience with a high-deductible “catastrophic” policy? Alternatively, does anyone have resources to share? (We’re in Virginia.)

    • What kind of deductible do you have with the $530 premium? What kind of services are provided with that plan. Frankly, it’s not totally out of line. I know it costs $700-800 for family coverage (2 or more people) for a $4000 or $6000 deductible (for the family, not per individual) for my employer, and the employer pays 50%.

      When I was between jobs, I did Blue Cross/Blue Shield (Not in VA, though) and paid like $150/mth for an $8000 deductible (this was probably 5 to 10 years ago). Most of the major insurance providers are doing single payer plans, so just do some looking.

      If your employer does flex spending, they might be do individual premium reimbursement and you could run his premiums through your employer and at least pay them pre-tax.

    • Solo Practitioner :

      I followed a ‘rette recommendation and went through They’re an online broker, and will find local plans in your area. Highly recommend.

      (Before that, I had a high-deductible plan. Lots of people do. Just make sure you have the budget for the deductible.)

    • just Karen :

      I had an individual coverage insurance policy for years, and was very frustrated at the number of things they were able to exclude because it was not an ERISA (employee provided) policy. After a few hikes in my premiums over a short period, I went with an HSA and was very happy with it (mine was BCBS, but definitely shop around). There was an out of pocket cap that I could theoretically afford (I had that much in savings), so if something catastrophic happened, I’d be okay. It sucked to have to pay the full amount for office visits and what-not, but I still got my prescriptions discounted (not much, but better than nothing) and with my previous $1000 deductible, not much got covered anyway. The best thing for me was that I could still get dental coverage while on it – my total (age 30 at the time) was around $200 a month. I would definitely do that before I got an individual policy because I think the individual policy coverage sucks, and as long as I’m going to have crappy coverage I’d rather know ahead of time, pay a lower premium, and get a tax break.

    • Not a long-term answer, and honestly COBRA would probably be just as expensive if not moreso than the $530/month, but I am pretty sure that as your federally recognized legal spouse, your husband would have his own right to elect COBRA under your old employer’s plan since he would be losing coverage due to your termination from employment. But again, the COBRA premium would most likely be 100% of the actual premium cost with no employer subsidy, plus up to 2% more to cover administrative costs, so would be about the same as if not more than the $530/month you are balking at under the new plan. Health insurance is freaking expensive. You could look at the new plan’s premium as a 50% subsidy by your new employer – really just paying $265/ea for the two of you. Really that’s a pretty good deal. I think my individual coverage is something like $480/mo, and that’s WITH employer subsidy (FWIW).

      Also – with an individual policy, I don’t think you have the same HIPAA protections that you do with an employer plan, so far as being protected against extended pre-existing conditions limitations (under the individual policy, though it sounds like he is pretty healthy now) or earning creditable coverage against preexisting conditions limitations (under the next group plan that covers him). I am not totally sure about that though, just something to think about/look into.

      • scratch that last – pretty sure you do get creditable coverage against preexisting conditions limitations (under the next group plan) with an individual health policy.

    • preg anon from yesterday... :

      I feel like so much of this doesn’t make sense.

      My health insurance will be Anthem Keycare30, with a $3K deductible, and will be $450/month. His would be $530/month.

      Yet, when I go to Anthem’s Virginia website it suggests that he can get individual coverage that, when I compare the charts, is actually better coverage than what I’ll have, for ~$170/month.

      Note – if I keep all the variables the same except change male to female, the coverage is $350/month. But still, why would my group insurance coverage be $450/month? I feel as though I don’t understand some basic facet of health insurance, and I don’t want us to be tricked into paying for coverage that doesn’t actually exist.

      • preg anon from yesterday... :

        I think this post comes across like I’m Ellen. I FEEL like Ellen. Seriously, I’m a competent professional, and I feel like a child when I try to understand our health insurance options.

        /end rant

        • And this is why I want to bang my head on my desk when I hear proposals to make people “more responsible” for their healthcare/insurance dollars. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, and there’s no way I could figure out what exactly is covered on my policy, let alone how much a given procedure or office visit SHOULD cost (and really, what does “should” mean, given the deals that insurance companies cut with providers) without lots of work and headaches.

          I already have one full-time job, thank you very much. Sorry for the rant, this just really pushes my buttons. I’m sorry you have to deal with it, and while pregnant no less!

          • I have been having the same headache lately. WHY wasn’t my routine blood test, performed during the routine physical that my doctor (understandably) insisted upon before renewing a prescription, covered? I recently received a bill for $530 for a routine BLOOD TEST. No warning. Has always been covered in the past. From what I can tell, there is no document – not the plan’s summary, not the highlight chart things, nothing – that actually spells out WHAT is COVERED. Calling the insurance company, I literally receive a “we have a high call volume, sorry, call back later *click*” message. How do you know, until you start receiving the 3-4 separate bills from separate labs and doctors and whatnot, what is even being done, let alone which parts are covered by insurance? The whole industry is such a disaster when it comes to organized care and managing costs.

            While I recognize that it’s not the doctor’s office’s responsibility to deal with how I am paying them, on some level – since they do the same tests/procedures all the time, and actually, hopefully, understand what services are going to be performed and how many sets of eyes are going to have to weigh in, and deal with the same insurance companies all the time – doesn’t it make sense that they would take the reins here? I would never just unleash local counsel on a client without warning them of the applicable billing rate and likely cost of the project. GRAGH! Commence head-desk-banging again.

          • Sorry for unleashing my own rant here. It is just so maddening!!

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I’m an attorney (hence the screen name) and very well versed in health issues since I have many of them. I spent SIX HOURS trying to compare the six options my federal employee husband was offered. They specifically design the plans so you can’t compare apples to apples. Some have co-insurance, some have co-pays, some have deductibles, some have different percentages for in-network, some have different tiers for prescriptions. I went round and round and round with customer service trying to find out what tier my prescriptions would be in that were not listed on the formulary. At first they wouldn’t give me info because I wasn’t a member. I tried to explain that I wouldn’t become a member until I knew how much of my medications they would cover. It was absolutely infuriating. At the end of six hours, I had most of the info I wanted, compared them all, and found that the Blue Cross Basic (the cheapest plan!) provided me the most benefits for what I would use it for. Go figure. So, no advice there, just commiseration.

            Regarding the difference in prices between you and your hubs, health insurance companies charge more for females because we get pregnant and run up bigger bills. Sad but true. Their is currently legislation pending to stop this. It is against the law in some states already.

            Also, an individual plan may be cheaper than your group plan if your group has lots of old people, lots of women, or lots of people with pre-existing conditions. Pre-health care reform, people with pre-existing conditions couldn’t get coverage individually. They would just be denied. So they would have to get insured through a group employer. If the group had a lot of claims, the rates would get raised for that group. A lot of that is a thing of the past but since your state can charge women different rates, they might not have yet adopted the health care reform changes. If you husband is healthy and your group isn’t, going out of the group might be cheaper. If it is, see if your employer will pay a health care stipend in lieu of your health care premium.

            My employer’s plan sucks and I’m on my husbands. What I pay to be on my husbands is less than they would pay for my plan here so they cover it for me.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            PS – that “i’m a lawyer stuff” wasn’t to say “here is legal advice.” It was to say “if I as a lawyer can’t understand this crap, how are people not versed in legalese supposed to understand their plan?”

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            The how much a given procedure “should” cost question always blows my mind. I work in med mal defense, so we have doctors examine plaintiff. Catheter insertion=$500. Medicare reimbursement rate for catheter insertion=$57.

            So am I getting overcharged, or is medicare way undercharging? It blows my mind.

          • Blonde Attorney – During open season, OPM has a link to a website that will rank the insurance for you based on different variables. For the straight cost it will ask various questions about # of office visits, surgeries that may be occurring, etc & rank then on the projected out of pocket expectations. A second ranking will ask questions like “I could rather have a $25 copay for an office visit versus a $500 deductible” and rank the policies based on general coverage & how you answer.

            My agency offers 20-odd options so this works out to be a good filtering tool to decide the one that really need to be looked at in depth.

      • Sounds like a good question for your HR/Employee Benefits rep at your employer. They should be able to point out the advantages of using their plan, which presumably has some sort of negotiated benefit. Or they are seriously overpaying and need to renegotiate their coverage.

        Keep in mind that an employer’s plan premium often depends on how much the insurance company has had to pay out for that plan’s participants in previous years.

        Make sure you are comparing deductible and total out of pocket (which are different).

      • dancinglonghorn :

        Its actually pretty straight-forward and I think you can understand it if you think of it in the simplest setting:

        When you have ERSIA coverage through work, you are pooling risk with all the other employees at your specific firm (or group). That means that your ERISA coverage is adjusted for the average probability of everyone in your group getting say cancer. So I’m a 27 yo female, my probability of cancer is .3. (For example). But the average age of my ERISA group is 50 and the average probability of cancer is .6. So my rates with the ERISA coverage are going to reflect the average rather than my individual risk. So I find it very believable that your individual coverage is “cheaper.”

        HOWEVER, the big risk with individual coverage (that several commenter s have alluded too) is that they will drop you if you actually get cancer. An ERISA cannot drop any individual but individual coverage can stop at any time, similar to employment at will. My family/friends network is currently engaged in two separate legal battles over this (that they will both probably lose), and my understanding is that medical bankruptcy is the #1 cause of bankruptcy in the US. One family friend will lose everything – his fully paid of house, car, retirement account, kids college savings, etc. because his insurance dropped his coverage after he got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

        Anyway, with insurance, it really depends on what statisticians call “risk preferences” – how much you are willing to gamble and for what odds you are willing to gamble. I think you should take a moment to get away from the numbers and just think about the big picture. How much risk do you want to take on? How would you feel if you or your husband actually had a serious illness? Do you have substantial savings, regardless of income, as paying out-of-pocked for high-deductible coverage can add up (ie, plan as if you will pay all of your deductible each year).

        Personally, given the situation in the US, I would not take individual coverage and I have spent a lot of energy trying to keep my mom off individual coverage and on a group plan. We have too many entrepreneurs in my family who have been burned with it! But then, I’m a saver and I am risk averse and don’t ever gamble – especially with my health! I also had an emergency when I was 21 that I had to pay over $25K on for insurance deductibles while a full-time student, which has really poisoned me against high-deductible plans.

        • dancinglonghorn,

          Can you explain this further? This would be my one fear, that even if all the premiums are paid every month, that after a diagnosis the health insurance company would just decide to ‘drop’ you before any treatment.

          I’ll post again in today’s thread in case you don’t see this.

        • Hearing this – “One family friend will lose everything – his fully paid of house, car, retirement account, kids college savings, etc. because his insurance dropped his coverage after he got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer” makes me want to bang the heads of some insurance executives against my desk. That is just so cold.

    • My alumni association offers low deductible catastrophe policies. I had one for about a year; the premium was around $100 a month and the deductible was $5000, I think. It was fine, and even though I never met the deductible, I still benefited from paying the lower insurance-negotiated cost of medical visits rather than the much higher cost you pay if you’re uninsured.

      • By the way, the point of my comment was to look into plans offered by your alumni association. Some even offer group coverage similar to what you’d get from an employer.

    • You can use e health insurance period com (you know…scrunch it together :P). It let’s you put in some basic info about yourself and will give you quotes and show you the comparisons of deductibles, coinsurance, copays etc. You can elect to include or exclude prescriptions.

      Just tossing in male, 31, 20110 (random Virginia zipcode)….I got quotes between $42 and $350.

    • I’m in VA, went through ehealthinsurance and have been with Anthem for 2.5 years. I have a PPO that is $226/mo for medical & dental. It’s a pretty decent plan with good prescription coverage. I can’t remember the details of my plan, but I think I got quotes from Cigna and Aetna as well. Quick turnaround too through ehealthinsurance.

  12. Reposting from the morning thread: Any favorite sushi restaurants in the city, preferably in Manhattan? I feel like you can’t ever have too many sushi restaurants to visit.

    • I like Blue Ribbon Sushi. Second the earlier recs about Bond Street (although I have been in a few years). For good, affordable sushi in the Times Square area, I like Haru.

      The New York Times just raved about Kyo Ya in the East Village.

    • In east village, Kanoyama on 2nd Ave. Amazing. Also Takahachi on Ave A, Jewel Bako East 5th.
      If you’re by Chinatown/Tribeca, I like Quan on Broome and Sun Cafe on Reade for inexpensive but good, fresh sushi. Quan is literally the same size as my office, maybe smaller. But I love it.
      In midtown, Hatsuhana on E 48th between Madison and Fifth.
      By Union Sq., Yama – East 18th?
      If you want something a bit more special – Sushi of Gari. There are two locations: one in midtown and one on E 78. I like the uptown one better but both are amazing. For best experience, just sit at the bar and tell the chef you want the omakase.

    • Working Girl :

      Sushi of Gari and get the Omakaze.

      Sushi Yasuda.

    • a passion for fashion :

      Bond Street. delish!

    • Most authentic Japanese restos: Sakagura and Ise.

      Most posh: Sushi Yasuda, Sushi de Gari, Morimoto, Bond St.

      Fancy, mid-range, new: Sushi Shop on Madison Ave.

      Midtown cheap thrills / lunch specials: Sushi Shop (fancy and good specials); Ayama ($15 for choice of any 3 rolls, soup + salad); AKO; and Fusia.

  13. Ladies, Land’s End Canvas has all of its dresses on sale for $34 right now. And you can use promotion code ICECREAM with PIN 1040 to reduce the price to $27.

    I just bought the navy eyelet dress. And then I bought a pair of boardshorts for my dad for Father’s Day. They were $8 with the promotion code.

  14. Pants? Shorts? :

    Hey guys! Im going on vacation in a few weeks to a rainforest and bustling city. I have plenty of nice tops and dresses but no bottoms except for jeans. I dont think jeans will be comfortable in the humid and hot weather, so I’m looking for a nice alternative- cargo pants? Cropped khakis? Bermuda shorts? I’d like something that is nuetral, not too short, and can work with a lot of tops. I’m 5’7, size 8 apple shape. Calling the hive to help me find some suitable bottoms!!

    • I really like REI for stuff like this. Check out all their pants. You might consider the convertible pants or a pair of capris and then a pair of chinos. But also for the city I’d consider a skirt as well, because sometimes I feel like I scream “tourist” a bit too much when I’m rocking capris. But meh.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yes, no jeans. +1 on REI. I wore almost entirely REI during my honeymoon in Central America. I also found myself wearing the “travel dress” + leggings a lot when I was sick of the pants. I’d bring another dress next time, and a skirt. They roll into nothing and layer well. Athleta is probably a good bet for all of this stuff, too.

    • soulfusion :

      Do not wear jeans . . . but depending on what rainforest you will be visiting, you will most likely want long pants to protect your legs from bugs but I’ve been to some rainforests where biting bugs aren’t an issue so shorts or capris work. Either way, REI and Athleta both carry good light weight pants that would work well. I just boght the “Cute Capri” from Athleta and I loooove them. Wore them all day Saturday walking the dog, running errands and for a yoga class – super cool and comfortable (I’ll post a link below). Convertible pants sound horrific but I have a pair by Mountain Hardware I love and a quick look at Athleta shows a good pair that is on sale! That way you can have the coverage in pants if needed but wear the same pants as shorts (and sometimes I roll the hem in shorts mode so they aren’t as obviously converted). Have fun!

    • Try the island hemp pants from Patagonia. They seem to be made for humid traveling, and they come in capri form also!

    • Linen might work. It’s nice for summer.

    • just Karen :

      Check Sierra Trading Post for deals, and always search for a coupon code – you can frequently get an additional 30% off. I had great luck with them in finding similar clothes, and their returns are fantastic (they let you tell them what you’re returning and go ahead and use the credit for something new before they receive the old order back).

      • Second the STP recommendation.
        They have tons of hiking/touring/outdoorsy clothes. I especially like the Horny Toad brand – because of the name, of course :)

    • Heh. Land’s End Canvas has slim cargo pants on sale right now. Along with the dress and board shorts I mentioned above, I bought a pair to reach $50 for free shipping.

      I just went to link to them, but they’re already gone. Sorry.

    • i agree with all of the recs on pants for the rainforest. But for the city, I would also bring one skirt to wear with your tops. I like the below knee skirts that are sold as ‘travel skirts’ thru Athleta, etc, or the jersey fold over skirt from Old Navy, lots of colors but comfy and easy to clean.

    • I have linen cargo shorts and pants from Victorias secret that I use to bum around the beach. Not expensive, usually in some neutral colors, casual style of course lightweight enough to keep you cool.

  15. I’m going to a baseball game next week with clients. We’ll be in a box. I tend to want to be more formal than the occasion requires, so I want some feedback. It’s supposed to be low 70s, and it’s an evening game. I was thinking dark wash jeans, ballet flats, a nice tee, and a casual 3/4 length sleeve sweater. Would a blazer be complete and utter overkill? Curse my overly formal fashion sense!

    • I’d either do the blazer or the 3/4 sleeve sweater, but not both, over the tee.

    • I don’t know if you need both the sweater and the blazer. I’d probably choose one. Without the sweater, I think it’d be a perfectly appropriate outfit for an outing like that, and the blazer might be a nice touch given the weather. I’ve been to games like this and the hosts are usually much more formally dressed than the guests.

    • If you have a relatively fitted team shirt, I think it might look nice to rock the blazer over top of the team shirt. If not, either of the outfits you described would be fine (assuming you meant sweater or blazer, not both).

    • No blazer at a baseball game. The outfit with sweater sounds fine. Make sure your tee is in team colors, or wear a baseball cap.

  16. nose pain help? :

    OK, ladies..for the past 2 days or so, the skin on my nose has been extremely tender. It is puffy and swollen as well, and is slightly present in the skin on my cheeks immediately next to my nose. The pain is getting worse.

    I don’t have health insurance (or any money, basically) but will go to a clinic if I have to. Google hasn’t given me consistent answers…anyone have any theories/experience with this? (Doctorettes, I am looking at you!)

    • nose pain help? :

      OK – sorry for posting 2x but my comment was in moderation for using a form of this site’s name, so I am just going to take it out and re-post to get as many responses as possible.

      Here’s my question:

      OK, ladies..for the past 2 days or so, the skin on my nose has been extremely tender. It is puffy and swollen as well, and is slightly present in the skin on my cheeks immediately next to my nose. The pain is getting worse.

      I don’t have health insurance (or any money, basically) but will go to a clinic if I have to. Google hasn’t given me consistent answers…anyone have any theories/experience with this? (Doctor-chicks, I am looking at you!)

      • layered bob :

        have you had a zit in the tender area recently?

      • Not a doc, but a few follow up questions may help you get the best info: is the area red? have you done anything unusual as far as skin care or sun exposure recently? Does the inside of your nose hurt as well, or is it just the surface/skin? Is any redness/swelling symmetrical or is it more on one side? Have you tried any pain meds (like ibuprofen, aspirin) or ice and if so, does it help? You said the pain is getting worse- has the swelling/reddening also worsened?

        Sorry to give more questions and no answers. Might be worth a shot to go to one of those walk-in clinics

        • nose pain help? :

          Thanks everybody. I haen’t done anything different in terms of skincare, the pain is only on the outside, is equal all over the nose.

          Cold feels soothing but doesn’t seem to have a lasting effect (likewise warm compresses) and I haven’t tried ibuprofen yet. I frequently wrinkle my nose to adjust my glasses, and now it is painful to do so – skin feels stiff/tense and swollen.

          • you might have a superficial infection of the skin of your nose. If it is painful to wrinkle your nose, that’s concerning to me. You need to see someone, sooner rather than later. If its a superficial infection, antibiotics should make it better but you need to be starting them sooner.

            Take yourself to a clinic. Don’t let them blow you off. Facial infections can be disastrous if not treated appropriately (not to freak you out)

          • I’m not a doctor, but once I had cellulitis on the right side of my face due to an infected tooth, and it was kind of like that, the side of my face from under my eye to my jawbone was swollen and tender. Maybe something like that?

      • Get checked out :

        My SO has had this happen to him and he had to take some antibiotics due to a skin infection

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        The skin right under my eyes and around my nose gets very tender when I have a sinus infection. Mine sometimes clear up without antibiotics but not always.

        Can you go to a minute clinic?

      • Could you possibly have a zit or ingrown hair *inside* your nose that’s causing external pain? That’s happened to me before.

  17. layered bob :

    I think the dry cleaner is stretching out my pants. Is that possible?

    Wearing a suit that I picked up from the dry cleaner yesterday. Pants fit perfectly on Friday; today they are too big. I *definitely* did not lose weight over the weekend.

    • My dry cleaner always seems to shrink my pants, I’d like to go to your dry cleaner.

      • layered bob :

        my dry cleaner is great in so many ways! But now I’m thinking about my other wool pants. And I think they have all seemed bigger afte the dry cleaner. And I’m really not losing weight or changing shape… as far as I know. weird. and frustrating.

      • Mine shrinks everything too! I now only take things in for dry cleaning that are too big (cheaper than alterations!) and use Laundress on the stuff that fits.

    • Maybe they gave you back the wrong pants?

    • Anon 3L - GRADUATED! :

      YES!! This happened to me. Totally ruined some of my best clothes. It happens when they use too high of heat. For my wool items, I ran them through the wash on handwash gentle and air dried, then took to a better dry cleaner. They mostly went back to their original size. My $$$ interview suits? I took straight to BB and asked them to alter them, which they did, for free.

  18. Regular poster - but who knows who reads this, so anon... :

    This is an update to my post in the TPS report, for those of you who requested updates (and thank you, it’s nice to know you gals care :) )
    I spoke with a senior co-worker today who spoke to him today. Supposedly he knows his behavior was way way way out of line and will not be repeating such behavior. The senior thinks the best thing for everyone is to try to work this out at our level before involving partners. At this point, knowing my office and the politics, I tend to agree, though I did make it clear that if I get a whiff of this ever again, then I will immediately and without hesitation go to the partner. In the meantime, I’ll document everything (thanks for the idea to screen shot the text apology, especially without the name and with the phone number!), and be a professional if and when I have to work with him. And I’ll never let my guard down in the slightest. Sigh.

    • Hugs. Also, be sure to document as much as possible – write down everything that you can remember happening, coworkers you spoke with, what they said, etc., and send it to yourself in an email. This way you have a clear record of what happened.

    • Definitely document your convo with your co-worker; it’s a good marker for future bullying (and believe me, it will probably happen). If it does, perhaps try to move the interaction to a more public space – the more witnesses the better.

      Have to add that it is truly hard not to let your guard down. After so many instances of bullying in different workplaces, I am always so surprised when it happens. Sometimes we really want to believe that people won’t act like that. Chin up!

  19. Thanks for the 80s flashback. The belt “knot” may be back in, but I will follow the “if you wore it the first time, you are too old for it now” advice and pass. It did bring back some great junior high dance memories, though.

  20. I am trying to learn to do my hair for the office in some new ways (other than down or ponytail). My hair is sort of thin and flat, which makes it a little tough. For example, I tried a sock bun today, which looked sort of weird because its obvious I do not have that much hair. Problem is that when I just do a bun with my own hair it looks like a sad little bump. Any recommendations for accessories or tutorials? TIA!

    • Would half-up work for you? Or pulling the sides back with bobby pins or barrettes?

      • Mountain Girl :

        Goody Spin Pin minis – If you hair is thin and/or fine the mini spin pins work great. They come in a pack of three and with a clear elastic band and three spin pins I can make a great messy bun that has lots of volume.

        This blog has some great tutorials for easy/messy updos.
        www. thesmallthingsblog. com/

    • Pinterest will have tons of suggestions!

    • Hello Hair twin. I have the same kind of thin flat hair, and have been recently using tutorials from the LetsMakeItUp1 channel on YouTube. She has a bunch of work updos that are super cute. She does a lot of braids, so that might not work for your office, but she has buns and twists as well.

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