Tuesday’s TPS Report: Brett Colorblocked Blouse

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

Equipment Brett Colorblocked BlouseHmmn: I kind of like this silk blouse from Equipment. The colorblocking is interesting but not too wild, and I like that the buttons on the blouse go all the way up to the top. I think for the office I’d wear this with really structured pieces — a pencil skirt, under a blazer, or — if worn with a cardigan or by itself — belted with a wide belt. It’s $208 at Shopbop. Equipment Brett Colorblocked Blouse

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Comments

  1. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    Like the blouse, but I’ve sworn off button-fronts.

    Threadjack: Does Anthro do discount codes? If yes, does anyone have one. My Google skills are failing me spectacularly.

    • Not to my knowledge (obsessed Anthro shopper). I have their card but I never get codes emailed to me or anything. They have further mark-downs of sale goods a few times a year. Also, the in-store prices on regular sale items are often better than the price online (25 verus 39 for a slip I just bought).

    • Not really, but if you sign up for their loyalty card (free), they mail you a 15% birthday discount for your bday month.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Thanks ladies. I guess I shouldn’t be too greedy, but if I don’t like paying for shipping.

  2. This looks like men’s pyjamas to me.

  3. I really like the colorblocked look (in fact just picked up a similar blouse off the sale rack at Talbots – cream, with the same type of navy banding and cuffs, but with a simple round neck trimmed in navy rather than the full collar).

    But – this top is too sheer, Equipment!! Look at how much darker the pocket is than the rest of the blouse.

    • The sheerness was the first thing I noticed, too!

    • I know I’m in the minority, but I just don’t like sheer tops for work. At all. They seem to suggestive to me (even if you’re wearing a tank underneath). I suppose the exception in my mind would be if you’re wearing something over it that would be acceptable sans blouse underneath. But whatever, I’m a prude for work, despite being late twenties. Perhaps it’s because I look young and I find that people take me more seriously when I’m dressed conservatively?

  4. darjeeling :

    Can I complain about Target.com for a minute? I ordered a couple of things from there and I want to return 3 of them without having to go to the store but it is giving me 3 separate UPS labels- so I would have to spend $20+ to return this cr@p when it was low-priced to begin with. I get that they prefer you to return to the store where you’ll buy other stuff, but this is ridiculous.

    • That is super annoying.

    • BigLaw Optimist :

      Ew. That would make me angry.

    • Anonsensical :

      Just use one and send them all back in the same package with the packing slip indicating which items you’re returning. You can call and check with a customer service rep that this is OK, but it should be fine.

    • You definitely don’t have to use all three. Just use one on one box, full stop. Their sending three was a courtesy, a default redundancy, not a command.

      • I don’t know, I would be a little nervous about this. Returns are handled so mechanically, especially somewhere as huge as Target, and I’m guessing each label is hooked up to a specific item. I’d be nervous that if you only use one, they may miss that you included the other two. So I would call customer service to make sure.

  5. BigLaw Optimist :

    Ladies — sorry for the very early TJ, but you were all so incredibly helpful with my last interview-related question that I thought I would try again.

    I have an interview next week for a position I want very, very badly. The problem is it’s a super-casual environment (details would probably out me). Most of my screening interview questions were about making sure that hiring a lawyer didn’t cramp their cultural style. I’m afraid if I show up to the interview in my “navy-interview-suit-with-a-button-down-and-pearls,” I will confirm every lawyer stereotype they have and they won’t hire me. So the question — what the heck do I wear?

    I feel like if I wear my typical interview gear, I look stuffy. But if I show up in jeans and a blazer (and I WILL the most “dressed-up” person in the office in jeans and a blazer), I’m afraid I’ll look like I’m not taking the job and position seriously. I was thinking of wearing suit separates (think: navy suit skirt with bright-ish blazer), chunky jewelry, bright closed-toe shoes, and trendy nail polish. Yes? No? Am I over thinking this? Helllllp! :) TIA!

    • I don’t know, I think the average age of the people hiring you might factor in here. If this is a company that is not only casual but young, and they have made it clear from their questions that they have some reservations about hiring a lawyer because they feel like that might mess with their culture…I think your proposed outfit is still a little stuffy. I might do jeans and a blazer, if I knew how the top people in the company dressed for meetings and that was still ‘dressed up’. But, if you want to be a little safer, I might go with actual separates, (ie, things that never came with other matching pieces) not suit pieces. And I probably wouldn’t wear a suit skirt suit, that’s pretty stuffy, if I were going to wear a skirt I’d go with something with a looser fit. Personally I’d probably wear slacks and a fun blouse, with jewelry and shoes that were fun but not campy.

    • darjeeling :

      Do you have a pantsuit? That and a brightly colored patterned top (stripes?) would look cool and not stuffy I think. Although, I’m going against received wisdom here but it sounds like you’d be fine in a blazer and dark jeans.

    • Anonymous :

      I think that despite the super-casual environment, most people want their lawyer to, well, be a lawyer — they want you to be a little more uptight than everyone else.

      That said, I’d probably wear casual clothes but very very nice ones — or something like a rock T shirt w extremely nice jeans and a blazer or the equivalent.

    • Sounds good to me!

    • Former MidLevel :

      I don’t think you’re over-thinking it. This is a tough one. Your proposed outfit sounds okay, given the circumstances. But I don’t think it’s skirt-suit-and-pearls or nothing. You might also consider wearing the suit sans pearls with and a brightly-colored more-casual top (maybe like those t-shirts Kat featured the other day) plus the type of bright accessories you’ve described.

      • I agree. You’re definitely not overthinking it. I’d just second the no-jeans suggestion. I may be a little stuffy myself, but even in a casual environment, I expect job candidates to show up for interviews in suits. Here, it sounds like a suit might be too much, but I think you still want to convey that you are taking the job and the interview seriously, and that you understand how to look like a lawyer if necessary. Let your personality communicate that you are not going to cramp their style!!

        • Agree with the two above, my new office environment is so casual I get weird looks if I wear a jacket at all (learning to love cardigans!) and was told twice to dress down. But I interviewed in my nicest black skirt suit, etc…

          That said, I really like the outfit you mentioned at the end with the suit skirt, bright blazer, bright shoes, nail polish. You want to show that you will fit in with their culture while still respecting the interview process and I think that outfit hits that note perfectly.

    • The outfit you’ve planned sounds great. If the industry is science/tech focused, you might consider swapping in trousers. Don’t wear jeans to the interview. If they’re at the point of hiring an in-house lawyer, they’ve probably gone through financing rounds and met people who would never take a business meeting without a blazer who also have a very good grasp of their business/industry. Plus, aren’t you going to work some portion of that day? Wear what you would wear if you were trying to bring them in as a client.

    • No jeans. Pants suit, fun blouse (with or without pattern, but something bolder than a white/light blue button down,) fun jewelry (think kate spade gumdrop-type, or something with color but still somewhat modest in style), and maybe a pair of shoes other than plain pumps.

    • Can you do something fun but still buttoned up? I’m thinking (from my closet) The Skirt in magenta, a medium grey blazer, bare legs, nude pumps, and a blouse that complements the pink but brings in the grey? That says “hello I’m a fun and kooky lawyer” to me while still being respectful and addressing the “lawyers should be more buttoned up” idea.

      • I’m wearing the skirt in magenta to my super-cazh office today. I’m wearing it with a navy v-neck long-sleeved tee and my pink skull and crossbones flipflops.

        Regarding interviewing, I don’t own a suit that fits and I didn’t wear one for any of my interviews. I wore separates – either black blazer and black pencil skirt, black blazer and black print skirt, or black houndstooth jacket and black pencil skirt to the interviews I went to over the past year.

        This company is anything goes for workwear. I wear jeans at least twice a week and my boss wore jeans when he interviewed me. I wore a black Ann Taylor suit jacket (the matching skirt is too big on me) with “the skirt” in black and a blue printed top to the interview. I wore it with wedges and no hose.

        So I vote for separates.

    • I work for a biotech startup and while we wouldn’t ding a lawyer in a suit, but I honestly think the trendier separates you suggested would be better and would alleviate some concerns about fit.

      As for “people expect the lawyer to suit up” – meh. For an interview, MAYBE (and I stress maybe). Our IHC wears jeans every day and potentially even did for his interview – I can’t remember. We certainly don’t need or want him to suit up for work and I don’t think we’d love the tone it set if a lawyer showed up every day in a suit. We only expect him in a suit when he’s in a meeting that requires it (just like everyone else here).

    • I’d wear an Ann Taylor type dress with a blazer and statement necklace. Maybe even go for peeptoes or something! Pretty much something structured with personality but not suit-like.

    • BigLaw Optimist :

      You ladies are the best — thanks for all the replies!

      I was leaning toward what mezzaluna suggested (houndstooth suit, bright blouse, fun jewelry, pretty Kate Spade pumps, navy polish), but I do also have the Skirt in bright green and I could wear it with a camel blazer I have that’s fun with nude pumps and fun jewelry? Any suggestions on how to stealthily figure out which of the two outfits to go with? I would call the HR manager, but I know that she’s interviewing me!

      If more info will help (I’ll try to give it without outing myself), they’re a startup but are used to dealing with BigLaw firms. They wouldn’t be totally shocked and horrified to see me show up in a stuffy suit, but as everyone has pointed out, I’m not sure that’s the impression I want to give. I will absolutely plan on wearing jeans and blazers everyday if I get the job to fit in — I’m very much looking forward to it!! I’d also note that there’s a casual dinner a few hours after the interview with some of the higher-ups — I planned on wearing the jeans-blazer-rock tshirt-flipflops then.

      • just Karen :

        I think either of your outfits would be good, but lean towards the green and camel personally. Part of my preference might be the reference to navy polish on the other outfit – I would skip it for an interview just because I think it has the potential to turn someone off, and that’s not worth the risk on an interview. The balance of professional and creative sound great otherwise.

      • I think outfit 1 sounds perfect. I actually love the navy polish idea – it’s professional but also a little bit more interesting and trendy. I’ve never seen the Skirt in person but I’d be a little worried that it’s almost too comfy of a fabric for interviews..

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Dress and blazer. Assuming this is an in-house type position and not a law firm. Add some fun/color. Maybe not the nail polish, but definitely the fun accessory. Remember what CoCo, look in the mirror and take one thing off before you go….. (accessories, not clothes!)

      • BigLaw Optimist- I’m late to the party but agree with Divaliscious11. I think a mod dress with blazer or statement jacket plus necklace or statement accessory. Look at online photos of Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook. She is often wearing a knit dress, statement necklace or earrings and sometimes a jacket. She is obviously wearing makeup and looks like she fits in but also that she’s in charge. I think the polished details (makeup, nail polish, good jewelry) speak to professionalism and status, which are good things for in-house counsel. Good luck with the interview.

    • I had an interview with an informal office (on casual Friday, no less) and I just bit the bullet and wore a suit. The interviewer was wearing white jeans and a sweater, so I think I would have been fine in separates. But I don’t think anywhere will ding you for wearing a suit to an interview for an attorney position. If you have a job right now (Biglaw, from your handle?) then maybe they won’t bat an eyelash since they know that Biglaw can be much more formal. I guess my two cents is – a suit probably isn’t necessary, but I wouldn’t go with jeans.

  6. lawsuited :

    TJ – So, I need some perspective. I’m a new call and have been at my current firm for the last year. They recently told that they can’t offer me a permanent position because they need to add more experienced associates to their practice groups rather than new calls, but asked me to stay on for the next 4 months on contract. Recruiters have told me that I will struggle to find a permanent position without post-call experience, so I agreed to stay on figuring that money for the next few months is better than no money and some experience is better than no experience. Also, some of my co-workers commented that if I put nose to the grindstone and billed a ton, they might offer me a permanent position at the end of the contract.

    SO, yesterday a new associate started work at the firm. She’s a new call without any experience in the area she’s been hired to practice in. Very few people were told that the firm was interviewing (I would have asked for an interview) and no one was told that a new associate was starting work yesterday. Most people in the office are shocked, especially me, seeing as I wasn’t hired permanently ostensibly because of my lack of experience.

    I’ve already agreed to stay on for the next 4 months, but I doubt that I will be offered a permanent position here no matter what I do. I feel hurt and rejected, and unsure how to handle this. The firm feels toxic (I’ve also had to haggle with the finance department a few times in the last few weeks over my paycheque and vacation days which is awful) and I’m not sure I can continue to work there. I think I need to JSFAMO and focus on planning my next career move, but do I do it now or in 4 months?

    • Stay where you are until you find something better. Hang in there – it will get better.

    • Start now. It will probably take you close to four months anyway.

      • Seconded.

      • As in, leave work and focus on finding something else? So far I haven’t been able to keep up with work and routinely check job postings, draft cover letters and send out job applications in a really effective way.

        • No – stay and somehow make time for it. If that means you spend each Saturday sending out applications… unfortunately, that’s what you will have to do. But don’t give up the paycheck and your status as “currently employed” before you have to.

          • Cornellian :

            I agree. It will probably make for a crappy four months, but it seems like the best way to keep your options open if you can manage it.

        • No! Don’t leave! Search for a job while working. It is much harder to find a job when you don’t have one.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          No, as in stay at work and check postings. Who knows why the other new person was hired… maybe she’s the daughter or wife of someone important to one of the bosses in your firm. It’s not a comment on your work product, just your unfortunate lack of connections. Life is not fair, and the situation really sucks. I’m sorry you are dealing with this, but doesn’t mean you should behave as badly as they are.

          It doesn’t sound like you’re in the US (“cheque”), but at least here, it’s easier to get a job if you have a job already. Also, who knows how many bridges you will burn if you leave now after explicitly agreeing to stay on for four months – your boss’s spouse’s cousin-in-law may be the boss of the firm you are trying to get a job with. The world is small, and people’s memories are long. The converse is that if you work hard and do a good job, maybe your colleague’s spouse’s cousin-in-law is the boss at a firm you are targeting, and that person will give you the connection you need to put your candidacy to the top of the pile.

          So, sleep less and get your work and your job search done simultaneously. No, it won’t be easy. No, it’s not fair. But this is a character-building exercise, and it’s only for four months.

          • Second SF Bay Associate’s excellent advice. Could not have said it better.

            I would take your lunch “away from the office” (e.g. a local coffee shop with Wifi and personal laptop) and devote your midday to getting a good jobsearch done. Do not de-prioritize your search in favor of “wowing” at a firm that has not guaranteed you anything. You must prioritize both, no matter how hard or how tired you are.

            Good luck.

    • I’ve been in a similar situation for the last while. You can absolutely job hunt while working. Once you have a good solid cover letter worked up, it generally need only light tweaking, unless a job is especially unique. Same with resumes. And you should just develop a system for checking job sites, but as long as you do it every morning, it really doesn’t take much time (and some are only updated weekly).

      Do NOT quit your job. Milk them for every nickel they are worth and also its much easier to job hunt while having a job (plus, presumably they will know you are job hunting, so like up references with those you have good relationships with now.)

    • I second/third/fourth/fifth what everyone said. Work your tail off, get your paychecks, and send out applications. I say don’t take not being hired personally. My instant reaction was that the new associate knows someone. If most people in the office are shocked, then it is not a comment about your work product.

    • Equity's Darling :

      You’re in Ontario somewhere, yes? I recall you posting about your cattle-call bar call. Regardless, it’s sucky what the firm did, hiring a new associate, but…assume it was just fit and they didn’t want to tell you? If that’s they way they operate (the new associate, haggling for cheques?), you’re dodging a bullet. This is the chance for you to find somewhere you can actually grow.

      I’m going to say that the people that I know who weren’t asked back are all staying and seeking work- from our experience and understanding, that extra 2-4 month contract period is 9 times out of 10 a given in out Canadian markets. When that extra contract is not given, it makes everyone think poorly of the firm.

      That extra time is bascially de facto paid job searching time. Usually the new calls are given terrible work (if any), and all the lawyers they’ve gotten along well with try to call in favours for them. You’re not usually expected to work the usual articling hours, because the lawyers completely understand that you’re no longer invested in the firm (though the protocol is to always offer to help as much as possible, since you don’t want to leave a bad impression). Honestly, with the people I’ve known, they’re often given time off to attend interviews, etc. It’s not like people are confused about the fact that you’re job hunting.

      Now, bear in mind that I am across the country, in a city that has a much better economy and a very different legal market (just in terms of the atmosphere), so I’m not sure whether my advice holds true, but essentially, I’d start looking now, and asking the lawyers who you’ve worked well with to make a few calls. Good luck:)

      • Equity's Darling :

        *the extra contract time is given in our Canadian market* (sorry, trying to listen to voicemails while typing a response was a bad idea)

  7. Cornellian :

    Remember my problems with my estranged, delusional, alcoholic, abusive, and probablly narcissistic personality disorder father trying to initiate contact? (http://corporette.com/2012/06/08/frugal-fridays-tps-report-scoopneck-cotton-top/ at 10:16 AM)

    He found me! I got an unwanted birthday card in the mail yesterday, and apparently he’s trying to convince my sister to come visit the building I work in and do a “tour”, without telling her why he really wants to come. I feel trapped and I don’t know what to do. Do I contact him and tell him I don’t want any contact? Do I wait to see if he comes? My sister mentioned him wanting to come on Friday, do I try to work from home that day? Warn the front desk so I don’t look like a Jerry Springer participant? I don’t want to feel like a trapped rat all week (or for the rest of my life, for that matter), but there’s also something appealing about confronting him and having security remove him in a public place where he can’t deny what happened and rewrite history.

    His note said there had been a “misunderstanding” and he was coming to New York face to face to clear things up. There was no misunderstanding… he disowned me and I have been okay with that for the last few years. I definitely don’t want anything cleared up face to face, but since he found my work address (I’m not on the website), I’m sure he can find my home one if he tries.

    • Take control :

      This is going to be difficult but this man is abusive and harassing you. If you cross boundaries like this, he will always cross them and you will feel trapped. Speak to HR. Tell them to inform security that they are not to put his calls through and to escort him out if he arrives. Speak to your sister and explain that if he comes to your work, he will be escorted out and may be arrested. I would send ONE email to him stating that any further contact will result in a no contact order. I would call a DV shelter and get their advice and maybe speak to the police. Basically, let him know that he can’t force his way into your life and that you will take action to stop him violating your boundaries if he does.

  8. Just wanted to thank all of you ladies again (especially nona, who came up with the winning idea!) for helping me figure out what to do for my Dad for Father’s Day. He loved the little framed picture of him holding me when I was 3. He left me the sweetest message last night – he kept going on about how young he looked in the picture (it was 1968 and he was 31). He wasn’t home for Father’s Day – my brother took him and my nephews on a golfing weekend, so he got it yesterday. He was really touched.

    Oh and to follow up on a previous discussion, when I talked to my brother on Father’s Day, he kept saying “my Dad” when he was referring to OUR Dad. What a goober.

  9. Cornellian :

    Remember my problems with my estranged, delusional, alcoholic, abusive, and probablly narcissistic personality disorder father trying to initiate contact? (last Friday’s yellow scoopneck post at 10:16 AM)

    He found me! I got an unwanted birthday card in the mail yesterday, and apparently he’s trying to convince my sister to come visit the building I work in and do a “tour”, without telling her why he really wants to come. I feel trapped and I don’t know what to do. Do I contact him and tell him I don’t want any contact? Do I wait to see if he comes? My sister mentioned him wanting to come on Friday, do I try to work from home that day? Warn the front desk so I don’t look like a Jerry Springer participant? I don’t want to feel like a trapped rat all week (or for the rest of my life, for that matter), but there’s also something appealing about confronting him and having security remove him in a public place where he can’t deny what happened and rewrite history.

    His note said there had been a “misunderstanding” and he was coming to New York face to face to clear things up. There was no misunderstanding… he disowned me and I have been okay with that for the last few years. I definitely don’t want anything cleared up face to face, but since he found my work address (I’m not on the website), I’m sure he can find my home one if he tries.

    • Not a whole lot of advice to offer, but in regards to the building “tour”, I would say to your sister something along the lines of “If you guys want to do that, that’s all well and good, but I really hope you weren’t hoping to see me while you’re touring the building. I’ll be working and won’t be able to get away.”

      • Cornellian :

        Sorry, I was unclear. My sister was not interested in hanging out with him all day in any case, and now that she realizes what he’s trying to do, she’s furious with him, as well. He’s put her in such an awkward situation. If he comes I imagine it will be solo.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I may have missed this earlier, but can you tell your sister that you do not want her to bring him to your building? I would do that and tell building security not to let him in.

      Good luck — This sounds really tough.

      • This. Plus, from what you’ve written previously he probably doesn’t think you’ll have the ladyb a l l s to do it. He is probably betting that he’ll come across as a hero by coming to visit you at work. Cue everyone in your office saying, “Aww isn’t Cornellian’s dad just the sweetest??!! Coming to visit her in New York and surprising her at her office. And Cornellian was a (insert word of choice here) and didn’t appreciate it at all.” He’s manipulating you, you know that. Don’t let em up. Oh, and people that really want to clear things up don’t do it this way. But, you know that, too.

    • If you are able to – I mean, if it will not hurt you professionally – please inform the front desk and security. And ensure that if he shows up, he will be removed publicly and that a written incident will occur. And you don’t even have to see him.

      I have the mentally ill SIL that’s I’ve posted about before. Even though its so uncomfortable, this is the better way to do it.

      • Anon, I was reminded by this new query about your SIL. How are things going on that front? (She’s the one job-hunting at the firm located just within spying distance of your job, right?)

        • I talked to my firm, who talked to that firm, who did not offer her the position and did not inform her why or that they had spoken to my firm, per my firm’s request. Since then, everything has been quiet.

          There seemed to be a lot of similar statements here – I felt trapped like a rat, I go out of my way to avoid Jerry Springer moments, etc.

          • Cornellian :

            That’s good news!

            I really wish other people understood a bit more what it’s like with one of these people in your life. I am not generally drama prone. I spend lots of time with other elderly and difficult family members. I haven’t cut anyone off. It’s hard to get across that I am not an awful ungrateful brat, and that he is the one with the problem, to strangers.

          • anonypotamus :

            Oh Cornellian, you are not at all alone! If anyone I know is reading this, I’m about to immediately out myself…

            But my pregnant sister is moving to Europe in a few weeks for work, and my dad, who sounds an awful lot like your dad, except with a hearty helping of extreme paranoia, has decided that he is going to take a freighter to this foreign country (because, duh, the FBI has put him on the “no fly list” because of some of his “activities”– this is all absurd, btw) to be there when my sister gives birth. The icing on the cake is that he’s going to bring his new wife with him. His new wife is the woman he cheated on my mom with for 15 years.

            My sister is not returning his calls and is going to basically get the European version of a P.O. box so he can’t track her address. He currently doesnt know where I work, where I live, or what my phone number is.

            Long story short, she and I are both normal, fairly well adjusted (thanks medicine and therapy!) fully functioning members of society. I bet that some of your co-workers who seem totally normal and together have family members that are just as insane, destructive, and horrible as our dads. Hang in there and know you are not alone!

          • That is really good news. I’m glad you were able to intervene successfully !

          • Oldest Sister :

            You are not alone.

            I am the oldest of my father’s 7 kids: 2 from wife 1, 3 from wife 3 and 2 from current wife 4. I am 45, and the youngest is 3.

            In my case, my father was a wonderful parent who gave me all kinds of opportunities and experiences and encouragement that a lot of girls growing up in the 1970s did not get. He taught me how to be entirely self-sufficient, encouraged all my activities and paid for any and every school I wanted to attend. He also spent a lot of time with me (and with sister #2).

            The turn came as he switched families/wives and as I grew into my 30s and beyond and stopped bending to his every will. Finally, 3 1/2 years ago, he told me he never wanted to see or talk to me again. I was heartbroken, but frankly, given the way he had treated me in the few years immediately prior to his announcement, my life was a lot calmer without him. He manages to create chaos everywhere he goes: in his businesses (successful serial entrepreneur), in his personal life (many former friends are now “off limits”) and in his family life.

            Strange thing is, since he told me that he never wanted to talk to or see me again, he has demanded things from me on about a half-dozen occasions: legal help (I am a lawyer), for me to invest money I don’t have in his business, for me to do things for my younger siblings that they don’t want and I can’t do (get X into ABC college, when X doesn’t want to go to ABC and I can’t get X in anyway), show up at his house for holidays and pretend everything is fine, etc.

            Coincidentally, I just heard from him again yesterday (“Was I that bad a father?” in an email — presumably because I did not send him a Fathers Day card, to the home where he moved without telling me that he moved or what the address is? Right.) and again today (“Wow, your non response speaks volumes.” in an email — because I did not respond to the first).

            I just set up an email rule to send all his emails to a separate folder. I can’t figure out how to do that on the iPhone, though, so I will still see them there.

            I have two issues that you might be able to comment on:

            1. When he dies, I don’t want to feel guilty. He was a great father for many years. I was a great daughter during that time. And I have thanked him profusely over many years for everything he did for me. But I still think I should do more, and I feel guilty that I don’t want to. He is 74 and in poor health. (Though not too poor to be married to a woman who is 46 — yes, 1 year older than I — and to have 3 year old twins with her.)

            2. My middle siblings are 24, 22 and 20. What and how much do I say to them? Only the 24 year old speaks to me. (Long story, but when their mom and he were divorcing, she threatened to take everything if I spoke to them and he threw me under the bus. So for several important developmental years, I had no contact with them and they are still reacting to that.) You have older and younger siblings with a similarly large age range. How do you handle this?

            We are all thinking of you.

    • Seattleite :

      Make contact ONE time to tell him “I do not want any contact with you, and if you show up at my place of business I will have security remove you.” (Read “The Gift of Fear.”) You have to be able to demonstrate that his attempts to contact you are unwelcome. As icky as this sounds, think now about a restraining order six months down the road. It may not come to that, but better to have your ammunition in place than to have to build a paper trail after he’s already created havoc.

      • I agree. The best thing is to call him (block your number if he doesn’t know it) once and tell him that if he shows up at your workplace you will have security remove him. State very plainly and calmly that you have no interest in seeing him or hearing what he has to say. If you ever change your mind, you will contact him. I think this is better than ignoring him, which may encourage his pursuit even more. Better to confront head on and nip this in the bud. Then tell security/the front desk about the situation. If you get the impression from the phone call that he is still planning to come, work from home that day.

        As for a restraining order- in my state, you’ll need to prove that he has threatened you and that you fear for your safety. The fact that he has tried to make contact and you don’t want him to won’t be enough

        • Cornellian :

          The phone call is an attractive option, except then I have no record of me clearly saying I wanted no contact. In my state I can record conversations without telling the other person, but in the state where he lives I can’t. I need to figure out if that means I can or can’t record conversations between the two states.

          Previously documented incidents are, I think, enough to get a temporary restraining order where I live, although I bet he’d show up to court to contest it at the hearing. I’d like to get as much recorded/in writing as I can.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Could you mail him a letter instead? If you are worried about him finding out where you live, drive a few towns over to mail it so it has a different postmark place. Or mail it to a friend that lives across the country and have her put it in a new envelope and mail it to him.

          • I definitely recommend saying it in a letter, sent certified.

          • Migraine Sufferer :

            text message?

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Yep, I was thinking FedEx, just like how we ensure service on opposing counsel.

          • You could just tell him you are recording the phone call. In fact, I think that will only further emphasize your point.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I would tell security and/or the front desk that he is not allowed in to see you under any circumstances. If necessary, make it clear that you are scared for your safety.

      How involved is your sister in this and how is her relationship with him? Could she tell him that you don’t want to see him and make it clear that you don’t want any contact? I know that puts her in a really awkward spot, but if she is willing and comfortable with it, it could be a solution.

      I think that Seattleite’s suggestion could work too. I had to cut off all contact with my mother years ago and it was a really long process. I tried ignoring her and avoiding her at all costs but that wasn’t enough to deter her. I was in high school and college when this all happened, so it wasn’t the same as having her show up at work. I ended up writing her an email equivocally stating that I wanted to have no further contact with her and that I would not respond in any way should she try to contact me in the future. I then promptly changed my email and phone number, which it sounds like you wouldnt have to do since his only way to find you was through your work website. Ultimately, it worked for me and she hasn’t tried to contact me in years. The only real risk I have is running into her when I’m visiting my hometown, but it hasn’t happened thanks to my sister who is always willing to find out where my mother is on any particular day if I need to go somewhere that she might be.

      Good luck with all of this. I understand a piece of what you must be going through and know how awful that can be.

      • Cornellian :

        I feel awful for siblings in these situations. I’ve been on both sides… when my older half-sister wanted no contact, my father used 5 year old me to reach out, and now he’s doing the same thing to my youngest sister. Gross.

        My father knows very well I want no contact… but he’s still hiring private investigators on his 42 year old daughter 27 years after her say no more contact, so I don’t think reminding him will do it.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I feel terrible for my sister as well and have made it clear that if she wants to cut off contact as well, that I would help her. Our mother calls her at least 4 times a day and refuses to get off the phone. My sister hasn’t reached a point yet that would want to cut off contact like I did and it doesnt affect her mental health in the same way it affected mine, which I’m incredibly glad about. Luckily I’m so rarely in town that I hardly ever need to get location information from her.

    • Can you afford to hire a lawyer and have your lawyer contact him?

      I would definitely tell building security and reception that you do not want any unscheduled visitors, and I would give them your father’s (and sister’s, if you think she’s trying to help him with this scheme) name and tell them that if he attempts to see you, under no circumstances should they let him in and if he refuses to leave they should have him arrested. But I’d be fully prepared for him to be lurking outside the building waiting for you, if not on Friday, then on some other day, so figure out an alternate entry route to your building. If you have security in your apartment building or residence, tell them too and consider installing some sort of home security system.

      Also, I think that unfortunately, he’s going to find you eventually. It would be better if you can do it on your own terms; otherwise, he’ll sneak up on you on the street or in front of your house or something. Perhaps have your lawyer arrange a face to face meeting at a secure location? And then your lawyer can tell him in no uncertain terms to get lost or face legal action.

      • By the way, in my first sentence, I meant have the lawyer contact him and tell him to stay the eff away. Also, should you need to escalate to a restraining order, the lawyer will be a big help in navigating the system.

        • Cornellian :

          Yeah, I’ve thought about it. Ironically I’m a lawyer myself and I’ve even done some domestic abuse-related stuff, but not as a law school graduate or in this state.

          • I don’t think it’s the best idea to represent yourself here, since that would give him what he wants (contact with you).

            I have been in this situation myself. It’s embarrassing to have to talk to security and reception, but it’s necessary. You need to look out for yourself.

    • Ixnay on everything! Protect yourself. Don’t be the polite good girl who gets run over that we’re often trained to be. Clarity and black-and-white finite definition N-O are your tools here.

  10. AnonInfinity :

    Mamabear — Please update us on your super formal letter yesterday. Did you get Thursday dude’s name?!

  11. This blouse is SO EIGHTIES! I know. I was there.

  12. Heading to Denver in August for business…. any must see/must do/must eat recommendations?

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      What are you into? Shopping? Outdoor activities? Working out with a gorgeous backdrop?

    • I’ve only been there for business, so locals can feel free to overrule me, but if someone else is paying I strongly recommend Rioja in Downtown Denver, it was amazing.

      As far as what to do, walking around the Downtown corridor is lots of fun. If you have time to rent a car for a day and drive out to Rocky Mountain National Park, its basically the most beautiful thing ever.

    • Hopey Glass :

      Must eat: Z Cuisine, Potager, Euclid Hall, Lola
      Must drink: the Green Russel
      Must do: Denver Art Museum (too bad you’ll miss the ysl retrospective!), the view from the top of the Museum of Nature and Science, walk along the cherry creek path

      If you can be more specific about what you’re into, I can provide even better recommendations.

    • Must do if you like jazz: El Chapultepec
      If you like jogging: Jog along the Platte River, Cherry Creek or in Wash Park (all are very pretty, so whatever is close to where you are staying)
      If you like books: Tattered Cover on 16th street is fun to browse
      For happy hour: Earl’s is nice in the summer – several locations in the city

    • I was going to send a similar inquiry soon — I’ll be in Denver for a few days in August with SO and teenager son (also spending a few days in Boulder). I’ll hang on to these recommendations — any others? We’re vegetarians and would be into easy to moderate hiking, hanging out in bookstores and cafes, hearing some music, especially folk and bluegrass.
      Thanks!

    • mezzaluna :

      Thanks!! To Ms. Basil E. and Hopey Glass: shopping, light outdoor activities (not the super athletic type but not opposed to some beginner / intermediate hikes). And any recommendations for live music venues would be great (other than Red Rocks, already checked the calendar and nothing works).

      • Red Rocks is still a beautiful place to visit, even if you’re not going to a show. There are also a few easy/moderate hikes there – plus it’s only a 20 minute drive from the city.

        If you’re in Denver on a Sunday night, City Park (where the Museum of Nature and Science and the Zoo are located) has Jazz in the Park from 6-8 pm every week in the summer.

        Must eat: Cuba Cuba on 12th and Delaware. Best mojitos anywhere.

  13. Ugh, quick rant! Why is it that the 99 things I do well go unnoticed by my boss, and the 1 thing I mess up on catches her attention??? As a result, she thinks I’m an idiot!

    Okay, enough whining!

    • I feel your pain.

    • Today, my boss was visibly annoyed when I gave him a status update and there was nothing to critique, since all projects are moving ahead as scheduled. He looked like a lost lamb — “Oh… um… okay. Well, I guess you can go.”

    • Perhaps you have made mistakes in the past. Usually, if you were slow to learn things/screw up certain things in the beginning, then you are pegged as office/lab/floor idiot, no matter how much you excel afterward. I should know, I have experienced it.

    • karenpadi :

      I used to feel that way but now I do more administrative/high level/managing-type work. I do notice the 99 things people do right every day (and thank goodness for those things every night). I just don’t always have time to acknowledge it–I’m lucky if I can remember to send out a big generic “thanks for everything you did last week”–where I knew it was a horrible, complicated week for them.

      I also don’t know that the “one thing” that was messed up was actually your fault. I now know that messes occur when several people mess up and usually one person ends up having to clean it up. I don’t think the “cleaner” is an idiot–they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and are now stuck with it.

      Chin up! It’s not as bad as it seems.

  14. I like colorblocking in moderation but the black with pastel is too stark for me. And blouses with buttons just always end up making me look like I dressed up as a lawyer for Halloween.

    On another note: I’m taking a short trip to Hawaii (Oahu) for a wedding in late August. Anybody have interesting and off-the-beaten path suggestions? I have all the standard tourist recs, but would love ideas of cool, different stuff to do. My “date” is a my best friend, so ideas that the single ladies would enjoy are especially welcome.

    We only have four days, one of which is the wedding, so I think trips to other islands are probably out.

    • No advice but this trip is the perfect opportunity for you to buy more stuff. Just cuz. You had better update us or *RAWR*.

      • I think Godzilla should be the official [this blog] enforcer.

      • Ha Is it bad that I emailed the bride and said, “I’m so excited about your wedding! Here are links to the five different dresses I’m thinking about buying! And I’m getting a new bathing suit!”

        (She’s not having attendants, or I would be a bridesmaid, and she loves me and knows that I am incapable of buying clothes without encouragement, so fortunately she wasn’t offended)

    • If you’re going to have a car and are willing to get up early, I highly recommend taking a power glider tour with Paradise Air on the North Shore.

    • Try the book “Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond (Oahu Revisited)”. I’ve used books by the same author for other islands and they’ve got a ton of into.

      • Second the rec for the “[island] Revealed” books. I haven’t used Oahu but both Maui and the Big Island were excellent (with the caveat that I found the restaurant reviews not very on point, but for that there are sites like Yelp). The books were very helpful for planning activities, beaches, snorkeling trips, etc and finding hotels.

  15. Dress question :

    For an outdoor wedding in the mountains (but at a swanky lodge in the mountains), is this dress cute or too hippie?

    http://thedressshopgirl.com/2011/09/09/anthropologie-autumn-bulbs-maxi-dress/

    • I was digging it until I got to the layer at the bottom. That put it in hippie country for me. Wish it had gone straight down from the waist or slightly a-line. Otherwise the rest of the vibe was good imo.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yep, bad, bad ruffle at bottom. If you’re otherwise into the dress, maybe you could hem that part off and turn it into a knee-length dress, which would be very cute.

    • Oooh, that’s a toughie. I love the pattern, and I love the whole dress up to that knee-length ruffle thing. I think styled well, and on the right gal, it could be really cute. Styled poorly, you could end up looking like you fell into a bucket of paint on your way to the marked to sell your prize-winning pig. I’m not sure how one ends up on the right side of that line. With evening jewelry and cute black shoes, maybe? Plus a clutch, and with cute hair? The more I think about it, the more I think it would work. Good luck!

    • eastbaybanker :

      If you have fallen in love with the dress and muct have it, is the sash removable? You could dress it up a bit and add some structure with a gold skinny belt and a bright envelope clutch. I would also consider having a tailor remove the sleeves. With so much volume at the bottom of the dress and wide sleeves as well, it may drown your frame.

      I just realized in my head I am converting this from a Anthro dress to BCBG!

  16. Ugh sore throat today… no fun. Do any of you know of some good at-the-office remedies? I am already rocking the green tea and honey. Thanks!

    • If you can get to the store, Zicam is great. It really helps when I’m sick at work, along with honey water. (I put in a lot of honey, some water, and heat it. It’s both delicious and helpful.)

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Second Zicam. I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect or actually works, but I swear by it. I like the strawberry chew ones best (which I am religiously eating every 3 hours today. Vacation in two weeks, cannot afford for my runny nose to turn into a full blown cold. Must make it to vacation…)

    • I find gargling with warm salt water to be somewhat helpful.

    • I love Hall’s Fruit Breezers. They taste good (I can’t stand mentholated cough drops), and they relieve the pain in my throat when it pops up.

    • D Train South :

      If getting to a store is possible, Tylenol Sore Throat. It is the best.

    • One of those really salty ramen noodle cups. I had a really bad sore throat a couple of years ago and the only thing I could eat was ramen noodles. The combination of heat and salt was very soothing. And, I like chicken-flavored salt better than just plain saltwater.

  17. Any suggestions on a clothes steamer? I’ve been looking at past threads (http://corporette.com/2011/12/06/cheap-suits-how-low-can-you-go/, http://corporette.com/2009/05/18/reader-mail-how-seriously-do-you-have-to-take-the-dry-clean-only-warning/, http://corporette.com/2011/09/28/wednesdays-tps-report-curvy-twill-wide-leg-trousers/) but was hoping for more current recommendations or any further advice. I want this for some of my nicer clothes, to avoid having to iron (which needlessly makes me nervous, even though I’ve never had an issue and been ironing for years), and isn’t a huge hassle. I’m going to be mostly using it in my place, so durability in terms of use is important but in terms of dropping it/travel is not so much. (I mean, it’d be great to have a travel one, but I’d rather have a really good one for home and then worry about a travel one if that ever comes up as a need.)

    • Another Associate :

      Do it! Getting a steamer (Jiffy 2000) has changed my life. I can now own silk blouses and not have to factor in dry cleaning costs. In fact, the thing has probably paid for itself and then some over the past 2 years just in dry cleaning savings alone.

      There is a learning curve to using it (a few burnt fingers), and my steamer takes a few minutes to heat up, but overall steamer has been great. My routine is to do all of my steaming for the week at a single go, so the slow heat up is not really an issue. Bonus if you put on a facial mask before tackling the wrinkled clothes so the excess steam doesn’t go to waste.

      Reading over my post, I had to take out a few exclamation points so I don’t come across as a paid advertiser. But the steamer really has changed my wardrobe routine!

      • Hubby and I have a Rowenta steamer and LOVE IT. It has also saved us tons in dry cleaning expenses. We keep it stored in our guest bathroom and just plug it in each morning. Its easier than the iron bc we don’t have to put it away each day (which never happened and the ironing board just turned into a place to throw clothes) and we just store the steamer in the closet when we have guests. I highly recommend purchasing a steamer.

    • lucy stone :

      Do it! We have a commercial grade Rowenta and love it. I bought it two years ago and it was worth every penny and is still in great shape.

  18. I asked this late on the weekend thread, but does anyone have any suggestions/tricks/tips/stories for cold wax? I’ve never waxed my legs before and am trying to cold wax later this week (probably tomorrow, actually). I bought the Veet one, because a) it was a recognizable (in a good way) brand to me and b) it was one of the few options at the store. I know when I researched them (a while ago), the Veet one seemed to be good.

    • I use veet. And to supplement the wipes they provide, or if I run out, I rub olive oil on my skin after waxing. It gets the stickiness out like a charm. Oh, and rub the waxing strips between your palms before you prise them apart.

    • long time lurker :

      I do the Veet every now and then. It doesn’t really seem to get all the hair off my legs (or maybe I am just bad at it), but I see it as a means to reduce the hair so I can get away longer in between shaving. Ditto the olive oil rec, the cleaning packets are just mineral oil that I can tell. I get a few tiny bumps but nothing major and it goes away in a few days.

    • I use wax strips pretty often and those are easy – you just warm them up between your palms. Exfoliate before and after. I have never tried them on my legs but make sure your hair is at least 1/3in long so the wax has something to grab.

  19. interview attire :

    Related threadjack to BigLaw Optimist above. I’m interviewing for a position that manages creatives and is generally in a creative industry (think marketing, graphic design, website development, etc.). The company has pictures of team members online, all wearing jeans/blazer, khakis/cardigan, etc., and this industry is generally pretty laid back. It’s in SF Bay area, so again, generally a more casual dress code. I’m thinking about a black sheath dress with a turquoise skinny belt, chunky turquoise/grey/black necklace, and conservative black pumps. Does this strike a “professional yet creative” tone for the interview? I don’t have a jacket to match the dress, so can I go without a jacket? Do a complimentary blazer? Cardigan? Like BigLaw, I don’t want to be too stuffy, but I don’t want them to think I’m not serious about the position. Company culture is extremely important to them, so I need to show that I’ll fit in.

    • I think what you’re planning sounds great. Is the necklace bright? It sounds like incorporating color is the way to go. If you can rock a sleeveless without your arms being distracting (in either the “Why aren’t those wings covered?” way, which is what I would look like, or a “Tickets to the gun show” way), then I think you’re okay, although I’d prefer a blazer. Non-matching doesn’t sound like it would a problem at all here. Good luck!

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Your outfit sounds fine to me, though I do think the bare arms thing would be a little unusual… some of the C-levels of startups around here tend to be more conservative about some things, especially the C-levels who are immigrants. I’m thinking of my former Israeli and Indian bosses, specifically. I don’t think I ever had bare arms when I met with them. So throw a cardigan on over the dress, and wear the belt over the cardigan to cover arms as needed, or a non-matching blazer. Definitely +1 on using color.

        • interview attire :

          The bare arms was my concern, but the dress comes just over my shoulder. It’s not quite cap sleeves, but definitely covers almost all of my neck/collarbone and all of my shoulder. It’s a high v-neck, but the chunky necklace covers most of the space between the top of the dress and my neck, and a knee-length hem, so definitely not showy at all. My upper arms would be bare though. I’m interviewing with two different women, both in their 40s.

          • karenpadi :

            FWIW (as another person in the Bay Area/Siliocn Valley tech scene), I cover my upper arms everyday for work.

            The Bay Area is casual but modest (for women). Short sleeves (to elbow or nearly there) are OK but cap sleeves or off-the-shoulder necklines beg for a cardigan.

    • BigLaw Optimist :

      Good luck on your interview! Obviously, I’m clueless about anything other than formal interview attire, so no advice here! :)

      I think HR should start giving “dress code” information at the bottom of interview schedules. Like on a wedding invitation or something. This stuff is killer.

      • interview attire :

        Thanks, good luck to you too! I totally agree with the HR dress code advice :) Interviewing seems like such a game anyways, I mean, I can whoever you want me to be. You want fun, laid back creative? I’ve got a bright turquoise skirt, animal print cardi, and faux snake skin heels on stand-by. Buttoned-up, conservative professional? Pant or skirt suit with pearl studs is ready to go! This is also difficult because I’m flying in for a day to interview, so I need to be somewhat comfortable on the plane, but ready to step off and interview within an hour of landing. Cheers to getting new jobs :)

      • LOL, like “creative business” or similar.

        • Agree on the HR advice. With both your posts I was thinking “I have absolutely no idea what I’d ever wear to an interview if it wasn’t a navy skirt suit and white shirt!” Good thing I’m a DC securities lawyer! Nothing says stuffy like DC. Or securities. Or lawyer.

  20. Y’all… rookie mistake…

    I brought the entire bag of goldfish crackers into work rather than pouring some into a ziploc baggie. If I don’t eat at least half of this bag today (and then feel really gross and indigested) its going to be a miracle.

    I just had to share. Le sigh.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’d be impressed if I could have a full bag of a snack w/ me and only eat half. I tend to polish off entire bags of chips, boxes of cereal, bags of nuts, generally anything I can reach and stuff in my mouth from my desk.

    • Pour a reasonable amount out now and then store the rest in the office kitchen or in a friends office, somewhere where you have to walk to go get them. Sometimes my laziness and/or embarrassment overcomes my desire to snack. Plus, if they get stolen or eaten, well then I feel like I’ve learned my lesson.

      • This suggestion is fraught with peril! Reasonable minds may differ about what constitutes a “reasonable amount.”

        PS: What?! I thought those were single-serving bags!

        • Hush, I refuse to accept these comments. As far as I’m concerned, they’re all single-serve bag. Unless they’re Family Sized. Then that’s a bag for 2 people. I have a minor in Math, I know what I’m talking about.

    • Equity's Darling :

      That’s one of those mistakes that I make repeatedly…I never seem to learn my lesson….

    • MissJackson :

      I realize that this does not help you, but it makes me feel better that I’m not the only one who has to pre-portion her snacks.

      Once I pulled a very late night at the office and ate an ENTIRE box of white cheddar cheez-its (for “dinner”). Do you know what is worse than being at the office at 2am? Being at the office at 2am with the knowledge that you just ate a million calories worth of artificial cheese/carb stuff and absolutely zero nutrition. Not my finest hour, all around.

      I just cannot have big boxes of this kind of stuff around when I’m working at my desk.

    • Um, I never DON’T have an entire bag of goldfishes at work. I get a new bag before the old one runs out, so I’ll never be goldfishless. Duh.

    • My weakness is olives, I will literally eat the entire jar/can of black and green olives, garlic-stuffed, jalepeno-stuffed, greek marinated, you name, I will polish them off in one sitting. When we host family, I generally make one full recipe of olive salad for all the guests to share, and one full recipe for just me. Olives don’t stand a chance in my fridge! Man, now I REALLY want something with olives for lunch…

    • Oh goodness, I did that with m&ms yesterday. I don’t even _like_ m&ms! I brought them in for someone at work, but she wasn’t here…and I got irritated…it was horrible. I also had a huge thing of peanuts that I just JUST! finally parceled out into baggies and I am slightly appalled and saddened at how small the servings are :-(

      • SoCalAtty :

        I do that too! Salt and Vinager potato chips are a problem for me. I only keep Larabars and fruit at my desk because of it! Ok, that isn’t quite true – I keep a bar of 60%+ dark chocolate and a jar of almond butter in here. If I’m really crashing, a square of dark chocolate with almond butter usually saves me.

        • Hive Mind :

          This thread makes us feel better after yesterday’s “What I eat in a day post.”

          “Coffee for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, salad for dinner, and an apple for dessert! Tee hee!”

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