Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Linen Workwear Blazer

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

ASOS Linen Workwear BlazerWell, well: cute linen blazer from ASOS. I like the dark pink, and think it would be a fun way to dress up your average sheath dress or neutral pants/top combo. I’d definitely throw in another color somewhere, though, most likely as a necklace — a dark orange, maybe even a red. It was $66.28 (and is still available for that price in both white and black), but the pink is now marked to $19.88 at ASOS. ASOS Linen Workwear Blazer

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Comments

  1. Cornellian :

    Who else is under a self-imposed shopping ban?

    I broke mine yesterday, but I used BR rewards, and not money…so it doesn’t count, right?

    • I probably should be, but I’m not. Apparently I am channeling the stress of my new job into compulsively buying lipsticks, which I guess is more financially responsible than compulsively buying clothes? Maybe?

      • Doesn’t your job involve being on camera? If so, then I think lipsticks are: (1) necessary, and (2) deductible?

        • Cornellian :

          vague memory of a series of cases on business attire and accessories being decidedly non-deductible, unfortunately.

          • Obviously The Patriarchy wrote the tax code.

          • I think it can be deductible if it’s something that you can’t wear outside of work. For example, a hot dog stand promoter who had to buy his own costume could deduct it. Same if we lived in an imaginary world where pro football players had to pay for their own uniforms and pads.

            So, if someone was on TV and had to buy special stage makeup that was so heavy it couldn’t realistically be worn off-camera without looking like a clown, I think you could deduct it. It’d probably be an audit red flag though.

        • Ha, only once a year, for a training video. I wish I had a makeup budget!

          • Ah. I thought I recalled one post where you said something about being on camera for your job, and I extrapolated. I had fantasies that you were a legal commentator (commenter?) on TV.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I’m friends in real life with a legal commenter on TV. They saw her do a few press conferences on behalf of her client, thought she “looked good” (yes, tragically it is more about how you look than speak for some news stations) and offered her an occasional legal analyst spot.

          • Alas, it’s nothing that glamorous. Good memory, though!

    • MissJackson :

      With my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchases, I’ve used up this month’s and next month’s shopping budget. So I have to be good for the next 6 weeks, at least unless I send a lot of stuff back.

      I am thinking about starting to use one of those outfit designing/closet cataloging programs so that I stay well aware that I really don’t *need* anything and so that I can channel my shopping energy elsewhere. I’ve heard of “go chic or go home” and played around with a bit yesterday. Anyone else use one of these and/or have any suggestions? Maybe I could just do a “what I wore today” tumblr? (I know, just what the world needs.)

      • Kontraktor :

        I think the app I am debating downloading is called ‘My fashion closet.’ I just don’t know if I have the energy/patience/stamina to take a picture of everything I own to catalogue it. I’d also like to do a tumblr with something like ‘wear something different each day for 100 days’ or ‘see how long it takes to wear everything in my closet once’ but I can’t imagine my husband being too excited to take a headless picture of me every day.

      • I downloaded Stylebook, which was recommended by a friend, but I could never get the pictures to work properly and gave up trying to use it.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Wait, Cher’s wardrobe management software actually exists??

        • MissJackson :

          Yep. Pretty impressive. You can use pictures of items that are online instead of photographing your entire closet yourself (which I just can’t envision ever actually doing). At least for recent purchases, you can just grab the photo from the retailer’s website. I think that it would take awhile to set up, though, even using web photographs. Still, it would be fun once you got it all set up.

      • I’ve been on a self-imposed shopping ban for exactly 3 months now. This isn’t an app, but I got my inspiration and many ideas from a site called “My Year Without Clothes Shopping.” The author is a recovering shopping addict who now runs essentially a rehab program for others. I don’t feel I fit the criteria and have not signed up for the actual program, but the free reading is fascinating stuff. It’s helped me think about how much is too much, why I shop, and how to use more (all) of my wardrobe. I actually enjoy fashion more since the ban, I find!

        My exceptions to the ban are: 1) I can accept gifts (so far I have only gotten one, a scarf from my mom) and 2) I can replace specific items. I just made these up myself.

        I fell off the wagon once, recently, while visiting my sister. She had waited to go clothes shopping with me (awww) and honestly I knew it would probably happen. The total came to about $50, and the purchases were justifiable outside of the ban. I admit there is one more hypothetical item I am looking for, but otherwise I consider myself back on…tentatively for the full “year” recommended by the website. I’m not being super hard on myself about it, but it’s a nice challenge, something I’ve never done before, and has certainly brought new ideas to the surface. If anyone wants to compare notes, I’d love to.

        • Wow, Monday, I’m impressed. I have been thinking about things like this and “Project 333″ because admittedly, I have a shopping habit that I don’t need and am I am trying to be more diligent about curbing it. Instituting a monthly clothing budget was a good start for me but I am now considering going further. You have inspired me!

    • I had put myself on a self-imposed shopping ban for about 6 weeks. I’m still kind of operating under a “I shouldn’t buy anything unless I really need it” policy. However, I did just buy the Skirt in black because I know that it will soon be no longer available. But I think of that as a necessary purchase.

    • Correct, BR rewards spending does not count as shopping. I once bought a maxi dress from there for one cent out of pocket using my rewards (and a gift card).

      • I’m on a self imposed ban too. Did it for all of June, broke it to take advantage of 4th of July sales, but reimposed. And no, BR rewards definitely don’t count.

        PSA: Banana currently has 70% markdowns right now.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Me… and this blazer would be completely cute with my outfit today! But I have bigger objectives so…..

      • Am trying but it is tough! Especially when even the grocery store has cute clothes and jewelry on sale (shakes fist at Joe Fresh). Would like to make it through the rest of the summer, but for if I make my goal to run for ten straight minutes (as part of training for my first 5K), I get to buy new sneakers and running stuff.

    • yup me too! Agreed it doesn’t count. Although technically my ban isn’t entirely self-imposed but is a pact with my boyfriend. Apparently though, he can spend ridiculous amounts of money on a night out and that’s ok but buying a $15 accessory is breaking the pact. I’m the lawyer – how am I losing this argument?

    • My SO suggested that I treat myself to something fun once this big building move is done. He thought shoes but (LOL) I’ve bought myself two pairs in the past couple of weeks. I’m thinking about a bracelet to match the necklace I just bought from Kanye East. Hmmmm….

    • I’m not under a shopping ban.

      Just a buying ban.

      • Heh, likewise. I put things in my cart. And then I close the browser window. It’s ALMOST as good.

        • That is surprisingly satisfying! I do it too, sometimes.

        • I do this too! If I’m not still thinking about it the next day (or, even better, at the end of the week), it’s not necessary. If only I could do this 100% of the time, I’d be set.

        • I do this too, all the time!

          You know, it’s surprising how often I then completely forget about the item(s) within hours. What does that say about the impulse nature of shopping?

    • Shopping bans don’t work for me, I feel like what most women with this issue really need (myself included) is to change their attitude about shopping/acquiring/consuming. A lot of it comes from boredom at work and the draw of pretty fashion pictures and daydreams of what to wear where. If I were actually out of the office, frolicking in the sun I’d shop a lot less and enjoy my time and the clothes I already own much more.

      It’s really unhealthy, I’ll be the first to admit. And much like dieting, shopping bans have only led me to relapse and binge. While I am not in debt and spend only a modest percent of my net salary on shopping, I still think it’s too much, as evidenced by my overflowing closets and desire for more pretty things I will seldom wear.

      Can anyone else relate – that a shopping ban is a bandaid for a larger issue, or a relapse waiting to happen? I am trying to be measured about it, though I continue to consume (this website certainly doesn’t help with its great daily offerings!). I guess I’m feeling more doom and gloom about it than the commenters above.

      • Also YES to this. I eat my feelings and shop my feelings. It’s been particularly h*llish at work lately, and my poor wallet is suffering for it.

      • Yes. I’ve struggled with this a lot. I want all these things for a lifestyle I do not actually have. And when I’m living my life and doing the things I really love, I don’t think about clothing much at all.

      • I agree that the right approach is that you purchase good items (fit well, go with many other things, work/life appropriate, good color, well made, not trendy so will wear many years) at good prices as you find and need them — instead of going overboard. Much like the appropriate approach to eating is eating real food (not cr#p) when your body needs it (and not when it doesn’t).

        Question about the 333 thing:

        For an entire year you can wear only 33 items, including shoes and accessories? How is this possible? What if you live somewhere that is bathing-suit-hot in the summer and down-coat-cold in the winter? What am I missing?

        • No, 333 is 33 items for 3 months, not a whole year. Then, if you want to do it for a further 3 months, you can switch out your 33 items.

          The “real” method is to include accessories and shoes in your 33 items. But for the life of me I can’t imagine how I would do this. Most of the people I’ve seen on the Interwebz who try this adjust the guidelines by not including accessories (and, in some cases, outerwear such as winter coats) in the 33 items.

    • I was. Until I badly sprained my ankle, realized I wouldn’t be able to wear heels to work for awhile, and have only one pair of suitably dressy looking flats. Now I’m in the market for a couple of pairs of cute, not too expensive flats, for work wear for a couple of months.

  2. Blonde Lawyer :

    Booo. Only left in size 4. According to their size chart, I’d be a 12. I normally wear 6-10 depending on name brand so I was surprised.

  3. Frequent lurker :

    Help, corpor#tt#s!

    Three weeks ago I got a call from an out-of-state head hunter about a good job, not a dream job but the kind of job that would make me move, most likely. It’s a big reach for me — specializing in an area I’ve worked in tangentially, but I figured what the hey.

    So for about ten days I talked to the headhunter every day for 30-45 minutes, pulled together tons of material for him, was constantly getting emails from him…. it was wearing me out, honestly. Last contact was, I sent him some final materials on Friday June 29. Since then, I haven’t heard a thing, which was weird because he’d been SO persistent.

    I thought about it in passing last week and suddenly last night I realize that I’ve let two weeks go by without following up. He had been so persistent about calling that I hadn’t had to do any of the reaching out myself.

    So now I feel like a jacka$$ and am convinced that he saw my last materials and decided I was completely unqualified and doesn’t want to call and tell me. But I really do need to circle back, to be professional (and in case he has other good jobs down the road).

    At this late date, can I just send him an email that just says, “I’m following up to see if there are additional materials you need”? Do I acknowledge that I’ve let 2 weeks go by? It feels SO awkward, like I’m so unprofessional that I would let an outstanding business item sit for two weeks without following up. Would love to hear what the hive thinks.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Send the email. Don’t mention the time lapse–you don’t need to. And good luck! :)

    • My husband’s a recruiter–absolutely reach out. It’s very easy for job orders or candidates to get buried if something pressing comes up, and they always appreciate signs of active interest from candidates.

      Your instinct about maintaining the relationship for the future is right on too. A good recruiter will want to keep in touch with you as you move through your career in case you’re ever in need of someone to help you hire to expand your department.

    • My guess is that he pulled together all of the materials and submitted them to the employer, and now he’s just waiting as well. Headhunters can be very, very aggressive — that’s how they make their money, after all. I wouldn’t start doubting yourself or blaming yourself. Just shoot him a quick email that says “Hey, I just wanted to touch base on the status of [the job].” No need to tiptoe around or apologize. Remind yourself that he’s the one working for you here, not the other way around!

      • Frequent lurker :

        Thanks, everyone, for making me feel better! Will send the email now.

      • Totally agree with Fiona. The headhunter should be working for you.

        Also, keep in mind that last week was pretty much dead at a lot of businesses thanks to the weird middle of the week holiday. So some delay is probably in the headhunter’s review as well as the review and receipt at the targeted company. Honestly, I think it would have been surprising to hear something as soon as in a week or two anyway. Definitely don’t take offense or feel weird.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Agreed. Especially if its an in-house job. Hiring is often fits and starts… Mad rush to gt candidates, then when an acceptable pool, things often slow down to a snails pace, then rev back up again.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Follow up – the week you missed was a holiday week so totally acceptable to be out of pocket that week.

  4. Former MidLevel :

    Good morning, ladies – early threadjack. Does anyone have any recommendations for good networking groups in Oklahoma for: (1) women in law or (2) IP lawyers? In the latter category, I’ve seen that there is an IP Section of the Oklahoma Bar Association, but it either isn’t very active or doesn’t like to update its website. So I’m not sure what to think on that one. Other ideas? (Also, if anyone’s interested in a meet-up…)

    • I don’t have suggestions, but I have a very good friend who is moving to Tulsa and is very eager to get to know more professional women in the area (she’s a doctor). Any chance you live in Tulsa? If so it would be great to trade emails.

    • Find out which firms in OK have hosted the annual AIPLA women IP lawyers event. Call the specific attorney(s) at those firms who served as the hostess(es) and invite them to lunch, ask how you can get involved etc.

    • Bar associations are very bad about website updates in my experience. Don’t assume the section is inactive b/c the site hasn’t been updated. It’s just that the members of the section can’t update the site themselves and probably rely on bar association staff to do it for them. (Kind of a game of telephone)

      I would look up who the last chair of the section is and call them. It’s a good excuse to call someone in your field, and odds are if she was active enough to become chair, she also enjoys networking.

      Good luck!

    • The Linn Inn Alliance has been tring to increase number of IP Inns of Court nationwide. If you meet some folks, you might suggest starting an inn. I belong to one in DC and it’s fabulous.

      • Former MidLevel :

        POSITA, I think you and I would be good friends because we seem to think alike. :) This is actually something that I have been looking into…wish me luck!

  5. Almost done :

    Friday morning fail. I took home a big file to work on last night (big, as in, all the papers related to the project) and left it on the laundry room counter this morning and didn’t realize it until I was getting out of my car in the parking lot at work.
    It was at that exact moment that I realized I am also still wearing the flip flops I slid on to take the dog out this morning instead of the heels sitting by the door that I planned to change into.
    Luckily, I’m working today in one of our regional offices that is much more casual than the corporate HQ where I usually work.

    I’m only 10 minutes from home, but decided to try to sneak in with feet unnoticed and work on the project via electronic files as long as I can. Hopefully I can make it until lunchtime and then stop home and try again.

    • I’m having one of these days as well.

      • Me too! I think (hope) my phone fell out of my purse onto the dryer, cuz it’s not in my purse. I didn’t notice my 6 year old left his backpack in my car at daycamp drop off, so it’s with me here in the office. Friday the 13th!

    • I did the shoe thing once, but with Crocs that I use to walk the dog in the morning! I feel your pain.

    • I feel your pain also! It feels like I’ve had several of those days. On the advice of a colleague, I now keep a pair of black pumps (cheap pair that don’t fit that well!) in my office behind the filing cabinet at all times. Got nervous during the winter when I’d wear Uggs to work (not a good look in a meeting!).

    • my yesterday was a day from he!!, and it was 11.5 hours long (I don’t get paid NEARLY enough for that cr*p) …. and i won’t be surprised if today turns out the same. Ugh!

    • TurtleWexler :

      I’m having A Morning Like That, too. Had a super hard time getting up, then the cat got sick as I was on my way out the door, and in the rush to get it cleaned up and go, I forgot my phone. Now, the scone I got to make myself feel better is really not doing it for me. I hope the day gets better from here…

      • eastbaybanker :

        This SO happens to me. Why do the cats pick the exact moment you’re frantically leaving and late and juggling a purse, a lunch bag, and keys to do something gross that requires paper towels and floor cleaner?

  6. AnonInfinity :

    Awwww man! I hate those days. It can only go up from here?

  7. long story short. new job. first week. it SUCKS big time. I didn’t realize how much I liked being a c–porette until taking a lower key position and it doesn’t help that the position isn’t what was described. logically i know i need to give it time, but how much? do i keep my eyes peeled for things and just own up to the mistake? i’m afraid i will be labelled a job hopper.someone kick some sense into me!

  8. Muddy Buddy :

    I’ve been at my firm for almost a year, and I’m getting tired of just having my diplomas on the walls. Francis Bacon is my favorite artist, but most of his paintings are probably not appropriate for the office. I found a print online of one of his tamer paintings, so I’m wondering if y’all think this one would be ok for the office?

    http://www.art.com/products/p10398445-sa-i1257237/francis-bacon-georges-a-bicyclette.htm?sorig=cat&sorigid=0&dimvals=0&ui=464d9065a19d4fbd9b3625c87152c7d3&searchstring=francis+bacon

    The common areas of my firm are decorated with modern art, and most of the art in people’s offices is pics of their families or outdoor scenes. I don’t think I’m going to be judged harshly for hanging something different; I just don’t want people to think my office is too creepy.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I don’t think this is creepy. But that just a one art major’s opinion. :)

    • I think it would be fine. If you use a light color for the mat, it doesn’t look as dark/creepy.

    • It’s a little creepy to me, but that’s the difference in taste. :)

      Maybe the solution is to hang it where you can see it, since you enjoy it and that’s why you buy art you like, but so that it’s not immediately evident to the other people that come into your office?

    • emcsquared :

      Yeah, if I was your co-worker, I would prefer not to have to stare at that while I talked with you. OTOH, I think it’s totally OK to have it at the office; it’s objectively fine for the office, just taste-specific.

    • Anonsensical :

      Oh come on, why not the figure with meat??? :)

    • that’s not creepy at all! Creepy would be eyes staring at you or something. It’s kind of dark color-wise, but i don’t think it’s creepy. If i was your coworker i wouldn’t mind looking at that when i was in your office at all, and i would just be a little jealous that you have more sophisticated taste in art than me ;o)

    • Slightly creepy. I guess its more like “not cheerful” but its not inappropriate. I think the strongest reaction anyone would have would be “hm I wouldn’t want that in my office” or “how is riding that bicycle when the kickstand is obviously down”

    • that’s totally fine.

  9. take 2…. sorry if this posts twice.

    long story short. new job. first week. it SUCKS big time. I didn’t realize how much I liked being a c–por*tte until taking a lower key position and it doesn’t help that the position isn’t what was described. logically i know i need to give it time, but how much? do i keep my eyes peeled for things and just own up to the mistake? i’m afraid i will be labelled a job hopper.someone kick some sense into me!

    • First week? Whoah, give it time. It may still suck, all your instincts may be right, but give it time. Like 3 months and maybe more. Nobody knows you yet, what you’re capable of, probably half the stuff you’re going to do hasn’t been set up properly yet.

      I hate starting a new job, but a week is enough time to not like it but not enough time to figure out if you’ll like the job you’ll eventually be doing.

    • emcsquared :

      First weeks stink. I left a terrible job for a much better job, and the first month still left me in tears at the much better job. They may also either (1) be testing out what you are capable of or (2) not really prepared for you to start so they haven’t gotten a good project ready for you. If the job responsibilities don’t start approaching your expectations by the end of the first month, take your supervisor out for lunch and have a conversation about it (make sure you have concrete suggestions for additional responsibilities you’d like to add, and existing tasks you’d like to delegate).

    • I felt the same way with my job when I started. I honestly did not think I could last 4 weeks. Give it at least 6 months. I started looking for a new position about 4 months in. Most interviewers did not think I was a job hopper because I had spent a decent amount of time in my prior job. I just explained how the position did not turn out to be what was described to me. One option though is to consider speaking to the person who hired you and diplomatically say how you are not happy. This worked out for me and my situation changed. I stayed with the company instead of leaving. I’ve been here 7 years now.

    • The same thing happened to me… took a lower-pay, less-stress job, but it wasn’t really as advertised and left me with a lot of “free” time. So I networked like crazy internally until someone threw me a few extra projects from another department and eventually made it through my contract until I got my current position, which I love.

    • I’ll be the voice of dissent here:

      Yes, give it more time than one week, but also nail down exactly what SUCKS. Are they things that are likely to change or that you’ll get used to or learn to work with/around? If not, don’t keep banging your head against a wall.

      I left a job after several months to come back to the preivous one that I had liked much, much better. Best decision ever, and I knew after the first week what I needed to do. The only thing waiting did was prolong my misery in the new job. Could I have made the new one work? Probably, but if you have better options and don’t like where you are, why suffer?

      Since you’re in DC, I also want to point out that, depending on your field, job-hopping might not be the stigma that it is other places.

      • I tend to agree. I think it’s better to leave sooner, because then it is clear that the job was just a bad fit. If you stay for a year and then move on, that looks more like job hopping to me.

    • Thanks for the advice from both sides. You’ve given me some great constructive ideas to think about.

  10. My husband’s company wants to move him cross-country and are willing to provide him with a financial package to assist us in making this transition, but they were open-ended in terms of dollar amount and what would be included.

    What sort of things should we be thinking of asking for? We’re not trying to be greedy, but don’t want to negotiate against ourselves. So far we have thought of the actual moving expenses, any fees associated with breaking our lease, and corporate housing for a few months. Is there anything else to budget for?

    • Cost of living adjustment? If you’re moving to an area with a higher cost of living, ask for a raise to reflect that.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Any change in transportation costs in the new locale? (ie, if you are moving from NH to CA, gas prices will be higher, or maybe you will not be able to live on public transit and will need to budget car expenses, etc?)

    • Im in process of moving. Here’s what my co covers. Real estate fees, closing cost on both ends, cost to pack , move, 90 days of storage, unpack – don’t forget washer dryer hook ups, hanging TVs or large art work/mirrors, pool table etx. Temp living and eating out which we have done lots more than normal. They will ship one car and pay mileage for up to two more. Then they do one month salary grossed up to cover utilities, tags, liscense and other incidentals (pet boarding for instance). Also I think the tax impacts are confusing and hard to estimate. Good luck!!!

    • Motoko Kusanagi :

      My response assumes that (1) you are currently employed and (2) you can’t keep your current job from your new location -

      I’d ask for assistance in locating a new position in the new city. Contacts with companies/firms, recruiters, etc.

      • new york associate :

        Ask for them to cover the cost of a fact-gathering trip (basically, a trip for you to go out there, look at housing, etc.). You could also call it a house-hunting trip. I think it’s pretty standard.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      These are all great. I relocated once and was just given a set dollar amount and had to send receipts to show how I used it. I used it for all of the above – fact finding trips, movers, packing, getting husband a job (his travel for his interview, etc) registering cars and pets. If you can estimate your costs it might be easier to negotiate a dollar amount instead of what will specifically be covered. Then you don’t have to feel like you are nickle and diming them b/c it is your money to spend.

  11. I haven’t been able to chat much recently but have a question for the hive and would really appreciate any input you have!

    I’m going for a job interview next week (first one in 7 years…egads) and am currently out on maternity leave. My firm knows about the interview, so that isn’t the issue. But rather I would prefer that the place I am interviewing not know that I have a newborn. I don’t want to give them any reason to doubt my ability to do the job and worry that some of the interviewers might come to that conclusion if they know I have a little baby. How far out of my way should I go to avoid the subject? I obviously don’t want to be evasive and don’t have reason to think that my personal life will come up. But I want to be prepared and would appreciate hearing what you think.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Its shouldn’t come up….

    • Motoko Kusanagi :

      We actually hired someone for a position (law) and found out after she started working that she had an infant. It was a non-issue. As long as it doesn’t come up in the interview (and I’m not an employment attorney but can you even ask someone if they have children in an interview??) then I wouldn’t worry about it at all.

    • emcsquared :

      I’ve had interview questions about whether I have a family – it isn’t legally supposed to come up, but I always felt like the people asking about family mostly just want to know more about me from a culture-fit perspective. If the interviewer has pictures of his/her own children on the walls or talks about their family during the interview, I wouldn’t worry too much about this line of questioning.

      Also, any employer that is going to negatively perceive a new mom’s capacity might *not* be a great fit for a new mom…just sayin’.

      Unfortunately, I don’t see any way to gracefully shut down a line of questions about your family. It’s probably best to have a casual but vague answer prepared if you get a question about family – reference the newborn as “the little monster” or “the baby” and hope you don’t get a follow up question regarding age.

    • Kontraktor :

      In theory it shouldn’t come up. If they ask you about something like hobbies as a casual question, just say something like ‘reading’ or ‘gardening’ and don’t bring in the baby/taking care of the kids or anything like that. But otherwise, I don’t see how it would come up in the context of appropriate interview questions.

      I think people here have mixed feelings on how you should handle an inappropriate, direct question like ‘Do you have children’ if it’s given to you point blank. I tend to think it’s better to just address simply and matter of factly rather than trying to avoid the question. I would say, ‘Yes, I have one,’ and then don’t elaborate any more. If they keep pressing, answer each subsequent question with a similar small amount of information. People might say it’s bad to acknowledge these things if asked point blank, but I think a) it could create the impression that you are being confrontational if you avoid answering (which could be negative), b) if an employer would discriminate against that answer anyway, they might not be the best place to work for, and c) just because you answer a dubious question with the truth doesn’t mean the result won’t be positive (I got an offer from a job where I was explicitly pressed/asked about what my husband did and then grilled about being a military spouse).

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I sort of disagree with the people who are saying it won’t come up. While your interviewer may not ask you directly “Do you have an infant?” they might ask you, for example, “What kind of projects are you working on right now?” Obviously, you are on maternity leave, and I’m not sure how to address that question (or similar ones) without lying. Perhaps just being vague, (“I’ve worked on a variety of cases, from X to Z, taking roles like A and B, etc”) even if that’s not ideal.

      • Kontraktor :

        I would probably take ‘right now’ to mean the most recent projects or the ones she will return to. Unless the leave is 6 months long or something and there are giant time gaps, I think it’s reasonable to talk about what you did a few weeks ago and what you will do in a few weeks as if you are doing them ‘now’. Or, if the OP’s job is pretty regular (at my old job, I had a very defined set of certain tasks/deliverables/responsibilities that never changed, in addition to ad hoc things), she could talk about those types of tasks and consistent deliverables she is responsible for.

      • Since it’s definitely going to come out after you are hired that you hopped while on leave, you might run into some people who think nondisclosure was odd (particularly if you’re on a Biglaw 6 month leave). So do consider the employee relations post-hiring in this. Some people would understand why you did it, but it might rub others the wrong way/feel dishonest to them, which may not be how you want to start the job. The fact that you have a kid is nobody’s business, but currently being on a lengthy leave is, in my mind, a potential employer’s business.

    • On the flip side, I was open about having a family in my recent interviews. It gave me a chance to see how family friendly the firm was (so far, they are true to their word). Most of the people that I interviewed with were parents themselves and sympathetic to life with a small child.

    • Asking candidates about marital/family/pregnancy/children status is a big no-no, but that doesn’t mean interviewers don’t ask about it all the time. They do.

      If you really want to shut down those questions, you could just say, “I don’t think you’re allowed to ask me that,” but delivery is everything. I get more mileage with sarcasm, but you do you.

      You could also go the route of “Yeah, I have a kid, but my career is my real baby.” Of course, that’s kind of gag-worthy.

      • This is a great point. It’s unnecessary to ask about kids, yes, and possibly even tacky, but it isn’t illegal. It may be illegal to discriminate against you on the basis of your answer, but you’d have to show that you were the best candidate for the job.

        Having said that, I really wouldn’t worry that much about it. It may not come up, but even if it does I don’t think being currently on maternity leave reflects that poorly on you. If you’re going to try to avoid it, that’s fine– follow others’ advice about answering questions with things that are neutral. However, if you go too far out of your way to avoid mentioning your kids, you may give the impression that you’re not being forthcoming (which you aren’t). I’d be really careful about that, because I think it would hurt you more than the truth in this instance.

  12. I'm Just Me talkin' bout The Skirt :

    Regarding the skirt … I contacted Nordstrom by email yesterday and got a response back from Dana. She asked what it was that I liked about the “old” skirt and what I did not like about the “new” skirt. I mentioned this website and the devotees of The Skirt and how I found it and fell in love with it from the posters here.

    I would urge everyone to contact Nordstrom, either by email, phone, or chat. I don’t necessarily know that it do any good, but I think they should hear from customers who are disappointed.

    • I second this. And, don’t forget the reviews on the website, if and when the new skirt is up.

      • 2/3 attorney :

        I’m letting my ignorance show – what, exactly, is The Skirt, please?

        • Yes, please, someone link to The Skirt.

        • I'm Just Me :

          The Halogen seamed pencil skirt, I will link the old in the new in the next post.

          • I'm Just Me :

            The old The Skirt:
            http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-seamed-pencil-skirt/3093787?origin=keywordsearch&fashionColor=&resultback=211

            unfortunately, in the black it is hard to see the seaming, but the seam comes straight up the front and then over to the side seam at the hip line.

            Ok, now I can’t find the new one on the website. Let me search a little more.

          • I’m so confused. I swear I ordered the exact one you linked to as I have 3 other The Skirts and love them, but I got it in today and (1) it’s a different material, (2) the seams don’t go all the way down at all (so it can’t even be confused with the new Skirt) and (3) when I put the Order Number on my packing slip in on nordstrom it doesn’t find any item. My email even shows that I ordered the Halogen Seamed skirt in Black at $24.97.

            So sad. So very, very sad. I’m going to try the skirt that I received on, but I have a feeling it will be going back.

    • The new one is on the website, but it’s in the cardholder-only anniversary presale section. I submitted a review and wrote customer service. I get that some people like the new skirt better, but that does not justify discontinuing the old one!

      If you (a) are hippy or (b) have big thighs, the new one is not going to be your friend.

    • AnnonDiva :

      Is THE skirt discontinued by nordstorm?? That is the ONLY pencil skirt that fits me so nice, I call it my magic skirt. I only bought two of them and was waiting for once they have it in stock again. This is tragic, where would I find another skirt that fits so well, please Nordstorm, don’t take it out.

  13. Any good recs for therapists in NYC area? How does therapy work? I know it may not be covered by insurance, but how often does one usually see a therapist?

    • Can’t recommend a specific therapist but can give some info on therapy/insurance.

      How therapy works depends a little on what you want to get out of therapy and the methods used by your specific therapist. But the good news is that there are no hard and fast rules so it’s fine to walk in and say “I don’t know how this works but I think I need therapy” or “I don’t know if I need therapy” and ask them how they typically do things. Any good therapist will be used to hearing those types of things as an opening. (They’re also used to hearing “I have an issue about X that I want to talk about”). Depending on the severity of the issue, most people see their therapist once a week or every other week.

      Definitely check with your insurance company to see what/who they cover. There are often insurance differences between psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, etc. However, often if your insurance won’t cover it, the therapist will work something out with you so that you might not have to pay full price. Just ask if you find out you don’t have coverage.

    • I know that Psychology Today has a great search feature. I found mine on there and loved him. You can tell a lot from how they describe themselves and their services, I think.

      Mine was out of network so after paying my $500 deductible, I paid a certain percentage of his fee.

    • I recommend Ginny Laracy in NYC.

      Frequency depends on the person, the insurance situation and the issues. I’ve had times where I feel the need to go every other week and sometimes when things are going well, I might not go for months.

    • I am friends with a practicing therapist, but he works in NJ. However, he has two guidelines that I’d pass along:

      (1) An ethical therapist will work cooperatively with a patient on how frequently the patient should see the therapist. It should not be a top-down “you will see me X times per [time period]” issued by the therapist.

      (2) An ethical therapist will also know when to shut down the patient-therapist relationship when it is not progressing anywhere and most reasonable avenues for progress have been exhausted by patient and therapist.

      (3) An ethical therapist will cut you loose if you’ve resolved your problems successfully enough for her/him to do so.

      #3 is very important. I have a friend who got sucked into a bad practice (two therapists in that practice, both manipulative and IMO, very unethical.) They wanted him to come see them every 2 weeks FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. Their tagline was: you’re never cured, the problems are never fully fixed, you just manage them better and we help you with that. That applies in certain cases, but certainly not to my friend and his particular issues. They basically saw him as a walking annuity.

      He has since switched therapists, and dealt with his issues to the point that he’s been given all the tools he needs to tackle the issues by the therapist. He’s used those tools, dealt with his issues to his satisfaction, and the therapist said, “you don’t need to come for more sessions. There’s nothing more I can teach you. All I’d be doing is taking your money, and there are plenty of things you enjoy in life, so use your money on those things!”

      • 3 guidelines. Really, I can count.

      • This x1000. If I wasn’t feeling better and more able to manage my issues after 2 or 3 sessions, I’d find a new therapist.

        My visits to therapy were never much more than 10 visits once per week. I once did 6 visits in December and went back in June for 6 more. But I was dealing with some crazy issues and new issues relating to my original issue had come up in the intervening time.

      • Anonymous :

        I’d also add that a good therapist will know if s/he is not the right person for your case and will work to refer you to someone who is. Feel free to ask questions about what a prospective therapist sees as his or her areas of specialty — a good one will have specific answers to those questions and will probably note (if enough information is available at that point) how well your issues fit within those parameters. I was referred to my current therapist by another therapist who felt that my problem was too far outside her areas of expertise, and because of her I was able to find someone who is way more of an expert in treating my kind of case than I would have found on my own.

    • If your employer has an EAP (employee assistance program), they usually cover therapy at 100% for 6 sessions (renewable indefinitely) if your issues are “affecting your ability to do work.” It’s worth looking in to, they take just about any excuse!

  14. I'm Just Me :

    And in other Nordstrom news, I had ordered the Pleione CrissCross Top in green stripe (the black was a frugal Friday post here on June 29th. The price has gone down and I got a price adjustment from $39.90 to $24.97 via chat this morning. If anyone else ordered it, you should contact them.

  15. All lovers of “The Skirt,” I bought a new skirt yesterday as part of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale. I sized up and didn’t notice any major difference (from the previous versions I have). I ordered my usual size online earlier this week but it hasn’t arrived yet, so I can’t compare and contrast. In other words, I couldn’t discern any changes they made to the skirt. YMMV. The new fall colors are really nice.

  16. Just wanted to thank everyone who chimed in with their handbag recommendations on yesterday afternoon’s thread. I didn’t get a chance to check back until last night, and was blown away at all of your suggestions. Thank you!

  17. Friday Law Clerk Tip :

    ATTN Law Clerks, don’t let this be you: A law clerk in our office has a 30 minute phone conversation with one of her parents EVERY MORNING when she gets to work, and calls to update them on what sort of projects she’s working on throughout the day. I get the complete wrong vibe from this – no independence, immature, etc. Maybe I should chalk this one up to helicopter parents?

    • AnonInfinity :

      Are you in a position to her about it? I think folks who are raised with overbearing parents often don’t know how inappropriate this type of behavior is.

      Also, I’d be concerned that she’s telling privileged information?

      • Friday Law Clerk Tip :

        Unfortunately I am not in a position to speak with her but if it did get to the point of breaking privilege I would definitely report to her supervisor.
        Like the poster below, I just don’t even know how to respond. I know her parents are in the same time zone so its not a matter of needing to chat during the day.

    • I don’t even know what to say about that. Wow.

    • Equity's Darling :

      My parents would LOVE if I did that for them. Do not let word get out, otherwise my once a week phone call this weekend will involve a lot of complaining on their part.

      They may be helicopter parents, but she needs to set some boundaries.

    • Kontraktor :

      That’s a little strange she does that at work/at her desk. Could you maybe suggest she come in a half hour early and tell her parents about the projects from the coffee shop downstairs/down the street? I don’t necessarily think it’s weird she talks a lot with her parents, I just think doing it at work in front of everybody/on your work time so consistently is a bit awkward. These personal conversations would be much better had at lunch or during a break.

    • Agree that it’s not weird she talks to them every morning– I talk to my dad every single day… but I would never call him from my desk at work. Do you have a policy about personal phone calls at work that someone could gently remind her about?

    • Oh my. You have just made me feel significantly better about my relationship with my parents (who can be overbearing, but nowhere near to that extent). Yikes.

    • I talk to my mom and/or dad every single morning. While I am driving to work… And I am very independent, mature, etc.

      Is there a way you can casually suggest that she make the call elsewhere? The fact that she talks to her parents every day is a non-issue IMO, but talking to them in earshot of co-workers is a bit bizarre. In fact, any personal phone call at work that lasts 30 minutes seems a bit odd to me.

    • 30 year old law clerk here. I talk to my mom on my commute in every day. Nothing wrong with being close and it certainly does not indicate lack of independence. It’s unprofessional to do it at work, but talking every day isn’t an indication of immaturity.

      Oh, and my mom came to court to observe one day. My judge loved it. And most people were shocked that I was the type to bring my mom to work.

      • I don’t think it’s the talking to her parents in and of itself that shows immaturity, it’s the having a daily conversation with them at her desk. There is something there about the boundaries between work and personal. I also talk to my parents daily, but it’s on my own time/space. And also, the checking in throughout the day ABOUT her work. I agree, it’s a fine distinction, and i never would have thought about it before hearing this example, but there is something about doing it at her desk that is odd and unprofessional.

        But like someone else said, it is also just a lot of time to be on any kind of personal call, if it’s every single day. I think someone should talk to her just about that alone. That is just a basic office/professional issue.

    • Its not the fact that she talks to her parents everyday that bothers me, its the fact that its at work, where other people can clearly hear, and its like a status update on what she’s working on mixed in with other personal things about dating and friends and how expensive her hair cut was.
      The immaturity/independence comment was connected to the during work hours + the fact that its usually more than once a day.
      To me, this is what 5 PM – 10 PM is for or early in the AM.

    • It seems unprofessional given that she’s doing this during business hours.

      Also, it’s not the talking to the parents that seems weird, but the subject matter. It’s like a 5-yr old providing the minute details of her schoolday and every assignment completed. I didn’t know grownups gave status reports to parents. Heck, I would never work for a *boss* that wanted such status reports.

      I wonder if she also recounts every detail of every date to her parents for their “approval.” Ugh.

    • Anon Mom & Daughter :

      Have to chime in here, because lovely as it is as an adult to have a close relationship with one’s parents, I happen to think there *is* something a bit odd about talking with one’s mother every day. For those of you who do this, can you explain? For example, all of you who said you talk to your mother every day: do you have husbands or significant others? Do you live near your parents, or are you far away geographically? Did you speak to your mothers daily throughout college, and law school/grad school if you you attended one of those?

      This is not meant to be critical or snarky in any way. I’m negotiating my relationship with both my mother and my grown daughter, neither of whom I talk to every day, so I’m genuinely curious.

      • I think it’s just a thing that depends on your relationship and personality and it’s a to-each-her-own situation. My family is small and moved around a lot when we were growing up, so we are super close. But now I live across the country, so my mom and i chat basically every day, and I also talk to my dad and my sister frequently. Our level of communication has varied i guess at different times in my life, there were times when it was more like once a week, but we have always been very close and talked about pretty much everything, no matter how often it was.

        I think it’s a combination of our super close and talkative family, and my own very talkative personality, where i process things by talking them through, and no, I don’t have an SO, so my mom and I do that with each other. And also my mom and i have similar interests, so a lot of times we’re just chatting about some New Yorker article or Fresh Air interview that we both heard and what we think about it, stuff like that.

        • ok, i need to shut up, but i wanted to sum up: I think there is a way to be really close to your parents and still have healthy boundaries around it. And I am not saying I think my family’s relationship is the ‘right’ way to do it, I think the level of communication is up to each family, and it can be just as normal for another family to not talk as much. But there still should be healthy boundaries, and you cross those boundaries when you are talking at your desk at work, or checking in constantly during the day on each and every task.

          I think….. but what the heck do i know? ;o) ok, shutting up now.

      • My mom lives about an hour away from where I do. I have a serious boyfriend. I have talked to my mom almost every day during most stages of my life (college, law school, while I was in single, while I’ve had a boyfriend, etc.). And to be honest, sometimes I do give her periodic “status updates” about my work (and I still don’t think that makes me less independent or immature).

        Everyone has different relationships with their parents. My mom is one of my best friends. It is not bad/odd/weird that someone else might NOT talk to their mom every day. Bottom line, I don’t think it is fair to judge someone’s ability to be independent or be a good employee because they may (or may not) have a close relationship with their parents.

        As I previously said though, it is 100% fair to judge someone’s ability to be a good employee if they think having a 30 minute personal phone call at work is OK.

        • Very similar to me. I live about 1-1.5 hours away from my parents (and much of my extended family). I have always had a close relationship with my parents, but my mom in particular. I have also talked to my mom almost daily during most life stages. I’m currently single, but this was the case even when I did have a serious SO. Sometimes we talk about serious things and other times we just chat about whatever. I like having a close relationship with my mom. She is definitely still my mother, but she’s a good friend. She is also a lawyer so she is interested my work. (I’ll tell her in very general terms, such as “Oh, I just got put on a big fraud case” or “We finally settled this really big case that has been at the firm since before I started. Yay.”) I don’t have the same relationship with my dad or sister (who also probably talk about every day/every other day) but I am still close with them. My mom and I have pretty clearly defined boundaries. I tried to make it a point to not complain to my mom about my SO unless there was a big problem and that has worked well. I don’t talk with her at the office, unless there is an emergency where she will actually call my office phone. I also probably see my parents about once a month or once every 6 weeks, depending on the time of year (holidays, niece/nephew bday parties, random dinners, family visiting from out of town, etc.). I’ve never thought it was particularly weird, nor have I thought that people that don’t have such close relationships is a weird thing either. Different strokes and personalities.

      • love my mama :

        I am a single woman in my mid-20s. I speak to my mother every day. I live on the opposite coast from her, but even when I was in college in the same state, we spoke every day. I do think at times I am coddled by my parents/siblings, but then again, what matters more than family? Having a close-knit family is integral to who I am and how I approach work, school, and all else. For what it’s worth, it might also be a cultural thing. My cousins do the same.

      • Constance Justice :

        I chat with my mother almost every day. It is a rare day that I don’t. I did not speak to her every day through undergrad or law school, but mostly because she would get so worried about my stress level. I don’t currently have a SO, but I did talk to her every day when I did have one. I believe the current pattern started out when she retired, and I was worried she would be bored at home. But then I found that as an adult, I genuinely like my mother. I enjoy hearing about her projects, or new recipes she is trying, and she the same with me. I am one of four, and we all talk to our parents just about every day now. Interestingly, I do not have the same pattern with my siblings…

        All that said, if I do have to talk to her in the office, I generally try to keep it under 5 minutes (unless it is a super emergency).

      • On the other hand.... :

        I am in my 40s, separated, and live about 5 miles from my parents. I talk to my mom every day, as I drive home from work, when we’re both in town. When either of us is away, more like once a week. Not sure why the difference, but I think it’s in part because she expects to see me a lot when we’re both in town, and talking to her a lot alleviates the stress of trying to fit in a visit. Which is a horrible thing to say, now that I typed it!! I am making a mental note to visit my parents on Sunday. So that’s why I have a pervasive sense of guilt…..this is great therapy, ladies!

      • I am not a big talker and the idea of having to speak with someone on the telephone every day exhausts me. I love my parents but I don’t think that I could maintain that level of involvement. Like some posters above I think my parents would be helicopter parents if I let them. Young people need to learn to draw boundaries that work for them (understanding of course that some people do want to speak to their parents every day.)

        I have found that scheduling recurring hang outs and phone calls really works for managing my family. It makes my parents feel like they have a regular connection to me and my life without my getting a million calls from them checking up. I once left both my personal cell phones at home on really long, stressful day at a job with a national-ish profile and I came home to 37! voice mail messages from my parents growing increasingly frantic that I wasn’t getting back to them. Crazy-town.

      • I am married, mid 30s, live about 3 hours away from my parents, and talk to my mother basically every day. On weekdays, it’s during my commute and more/less chit chat, updating with any news or interesting things we found. It’s probably stuff most people would send in an email, but my mom is just barely starting to email – recipes, something we saw on the news/in a magazine, etc. – and is usually only a few minutes at a time.

        When I was younger (college/grad school /early post schooling), it used to make me crazy that she wanted to talk to me so often, but when I finally realized it was because she loved me and thought I was interesting to talk to, it became a privilege to talk to her daily instead of a burden. Granted, we are both very talkative people, so it’s not exhausting to be on the phone that much.

        My sister, on the other hand, does more of a weekly call with both of our parents, which tend to last longer (an hour plus). She’s not much into talking just for socializing’s sake, but I imagine our average weekely phone time is about the same, hers in one big chunk.

    • I think the clerk is acting inappropriately. I’m sorry, but unless there is a major personal crisis, nobody should be having 30-minute personal calls at work.

      I’m kind of jealous that so many of you have really close relationships with your moms. My mom and I get along fine, but our relationship is so surface level and I can’t seem to bridge the gap. We have two interests — my son and house/garden stuff — and beyond that, we don’t have much in common. There are so many key things about me that she doesn’t know, even though we see each other weekly. :(

      • love my mama :

        Don’t be jealous. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to family: only doing what makes you feel healthy and happy. And as much as I talk to my own mother, there is still a lot I don’t know about her or understand, as she is guarded with her own feelings and her past. I try to share poetry she used to read or videos of her hometown to spark her memory and encourage her to share her past with me. Some things that might bond you and your mother are taking a trip together, or extended visits. Those deeper glimpses into each other’s lives will bring you closer, or at least give you a better understanding of each other.

    • I call my parents from work (although not every day). There’s a significant time difference, so those hours are just easier. I don’t think I would want to talk with them for 30 min every day and I wouldn’t want my colleagues to overhear the conversations, but if she’s ok with that, more power to her. You probably spend those 30 min on this site, she’d rather talk to her parents. Same difference in my opinion as long as she works hard the rest of the day.

  18. Can any of you recommend a good quality professional looking black tote bag that is not leather? I am leaning toward the Longschamp Planetes Tonal, but am looking for other options. Thanks.

  19. I just bought this dress….looked flattering and I can do with the camouflage to hide the baby pooch. Is it The Dress? I’m familiar with the Skirt but not sure which one is the Dress…

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/suzi-chin-for-maggy-boutique-double-v-draped-jersey-dress/3287800?origin=keywordsearch&fashionColor=&resultback=0

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      I’m pretty sure this is The Dress: http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/suzi-chin-for-maggy-boutique-ruched-faux-wrap-dress/3036369?origin=related-3036369-0-0-1-1

      But I like the one you got and it think it will definitly camuflage any pooches :-)

      • You are right. I see that dress has over 300 reviews, Mostly ‘r e t t e s I guess:)

        In praise of Nordies…they gave me a large price adjustment on a dress I bought 3 months ago. I was almost ashamed to ask, but then figured what the h*ck…they can only say no.
        And I got it! Just like that! Honestly , they’re the best.

      • I’m embarassed at how bad that dress looked on me. I love it so much in theory

        • @cfm…do you mean the one I posted, or The Dress?

        • Not to be too personal, but what’s your body type cfm? I’ve been debating pulling the trigger and buying it, but am not sure if it will work on me.

          • The Dress looked terrible on me. I got it when I was an 8 I am more 8-10 now. I am busty and have a little extra in the middle and its like the seems weren’t aligned. The middle wrap part was just all sorts of messed up on me. Honestly I like it so much I’ve thought about trying it again in the 10 to see if that fixes it maybe it was just a touch to small.

          • @cfm – try the 10. I had to size up a size and it sounds like we have similar body shapes. The middle is tight and if it’s a bit too small I imagine it would squish your tummy in a very unflattering way.

          • So I just read the 1 star review and remember what was wrong with it. “I had to return this because the ruching at the side made it look like my hip (on one side only) was protruding.” It totally did that! my left side. It made me all lopsided and my left side tried to escape from my body

          • DC Kolchitongi :

            I would love to know also! I’m a 2 on top and a 4-6 on bottom, so I pretty much can’t buy dresses that are fitted around the hips. From the pictures, it seems to have enough ‘give’ that I could make it work, but some of the reviews are saying that it runs small on the bottom and big on top — and if that’s true, no friggin way is it gonna fit.

            This dress is so perfect for work! I want it to fit so badly! Do any other pear-shaped ‘r e t t e s make this dress work for them?

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Wow, so pretty! I see why you call it The Dress. I’m wondering if anyone has it in midnight – is it too dark of a blue to wear a black blazer over? I’m debating between midnight and currant (because of course I must buy everything that strikes my fancy).

        • I have it in midnight. It’s a deep blue, not navy. I wear it with black heels and a black and white necklace, so I think it would be fine with a black blazer.

      • Yep, that’s the dress. And if anyone can help me find it in currant in a size 16 I will be eternally grateful.

    • academicsocialite :

      Would it be possible to pump in The Dress? How “faux” is the wrap of the bodice?

  20. SF Bay Associate :

    Another Nordie’s PSA. Piperlime has the Kate Spade Karolinas on promotion for $228 instead of $298 (as well as a bunch of other fall shoes, a la Nordie’s Anniversary). Nordie’s price matches and carries the Karolinas in black patent, camel patent, patent leopard, and cream snake :). So livechat with your lovely Nordie’s rep, ask for a price match to Piperlime, and get the best heels ever from the best customer service and best return policy ever for a great price. I’m finally going to have sorta-nude-for-me shoes!

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      Thanks for the heads up. Also, just fyi that Nordies will price match even a discount website like 6pm – I did this with a pair of jeans and saved about $30.

  21. The NerdWearsSkirts :

    TJ: I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on the book Overdressed: the shockingly high price of cheap fashion, by Elizabeth Cline (whose npr interview here I just finished listening to: http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/06/06/the-high-cost-of-cheap-fashion). I’m about halfway through the book and totally think this needs to be discussed with you ladies!

    (The book is about how fashion is getting ever cheaper, but, that has consequences – goodwill and salvation army are overwhelmed and send lots of it to textile recyclers, who ship lots of it to Africa; huge environmental effect in the countries where our clothes are manufactured; ever poorer quality garments, etc. I’m finding it a fascinating read).

    So, who’s read it? What stood out to you most? How is this going to affect your behavior?

    I’m reeling from reading about the environmental impact of textile production. I think for me, this is going to make me change from thinking of buying clothes as something pleasurable to thinking of it more like…I dunno, spraying pesticides on peaches. I don’t think I ever really thought about the costs associated with clothing before.

    Also, I sew, quite a lot, so as a secondary TJ would be curious about where other sewist find good organic cottons, wools, etc to sew with.

    • I haven’t read it – it’s on my list. But over the past few years I have noticed that retailers are counting on our habits to drive purchases, not eagle eyes. So a $68 blouse that used to be silk (or even cotton) is now polyester. You might not notice if you weren’t looking – it’s still a blouse, and it’s still the same price. But the materials are inferior. I think it’s the fashion equivalent of the 64-oz orange juice now being 59-oz for the same price.

      • Agreed. I haven’t read it but have heard a couple of interviews with the author. She also mentioned how terrible tailoring is now–the stuff is not only poorly made, it’s also ill-fitting due to manufacturers’ not bothering with as many seams, etc. I think this also explains why SO much inexpensive clothing is stretch jersey now: plenty of margin for error in the fit.

        She said that one reason so many more people shop at H&M or Forever 21 now (examples) is that they just don’t see a difference in quality that justifies the way higher prices at the mid-market retailers like BR and J. Crew. They figure, might as well pay cheap if you’re going to get cheap. That rang true for me, alas.

      • Yes. I just returned two items to Talbots because they were linen lined with poly. WTF is even the point of that? They were not cheap – should have been silk or at least something that breathes for what Talbots charges.

      • Yes, exactly. The problem is that stores wanted to charge $79 or $89 for some shoddily made, unlined pants. If I can get the same level of manufacturing quality at $29, why not? I might pay extra to buy American, but not 300% of the price and not if the quality is no better. It’s the reason I’m more likely to buy something at Old Navy than J Crew. The quality is similar, in my experience, so why pay more? The last piece of clothing I bought at JCrew was a pair of cropped pants (the minnie, i believe) that ripped straight up the crotch seam the second time I wore them. I sewed them back together but um… completely unacceptable.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        This is not related to the book in general, but I’ve found myself really happy when some of my blouses turn out to be polyester, because then I can machine wash them. I still have some silk blouses, but then I have to worry about drycleaning.

    • new york associate :

      I haven’t read the book, but I’ve read a lot of the coverage about the book. My personal frustration is that I have no idea where to go to find clothes that are more ethically and responsibly made, especially because I’m plus sized. I would be willing to spend more money on well-made clothing, but I don’t know where to find it in my size. Any suggestions.

      • This is my issue as well. Suggestions to find clothes at thrift and consignment stores don’t really work for me because I am both petite and borderline plus-size on top. I have a hard enough time finding things that fit in regular stores.

    • Ada Doom Starkadder :

      Yay! I’m delighted that others have read this, too. I’d flagged this in a previous thread, and am so glad that I’m not the only one to have felt…that something was off about the way I shopped.

      I’m on a long-term shopping ban, because I do, like the author, have tons of clothes in storage that I never wear, because I went shopping so darn often. It really was a bad habit, and not great for my finances.

      I think she did a great job showing how the critical mass of companies that have outsourced have made it a race to the bottom (price & quality-wise) for the rest of the retailers. Good also that she tagged high-priced mass produced crap (I would throw Tory Burch and some of the other Tahari lines under this category) as well as $5000+ items that are luxury goods being the other extreme. The stuff that used to be of good quality, priced in the middle has been squeezed out by the extremes.

      Also interesting that she flagged how retailers have also exacerbated the problem by effectively training customers to only wait for sales.

    • I haven’t read the book, but spend 8 years in clothing product development for a department store. The fact is, the “middle” price points disappeared because cost increases drove them up (especially for domestic products), and simultaneously shoppers demanded lower prices. Items that we had been selling for $69 had to go to $79 or $89, and then stopped selling. Meanwhile cheap imported cr@p we brought in to sell at $29 was a bestseller. There is a lot of lip service to wanting American-made clothing, but consumer behavior doesn’t follow. The readers of this blog are probably on the higher-end of who this store targeted, but the average shopper killed nicer American-made clothes and the Brooklyn and LA shops that sewed them.

      • well, i see what you’re saying, but i would make one addition: “The average shopper and 40 years of stagnant wages in the US killed…”

        • Stagnant wages of the garmet workers or the clothing consumers?

          • of the consumers, wages of average Americans have not kept pace with rising costs of raw materials, and ‘demanding lower prices’ isn’t happening just because people are greedy, it’s because people just have less and less discretionary income to work with.

          • Agree re the stagnant wages and less disposable income. Another factor is the change in culture to want lots of “disposable” clothes. (And I’m as guilty of that as anyone.) I think 40 years ago women probably had fewer, but generally higher quality clothes in their closet (pre Target/H&M/Old Navy). Would be interesting to see statistics on that.

  22. Last day at work :

    Do I have to stay till closing? What is the etiquette here? I don’t really have much else to do now…

  23. 2/3 attorney :

    This is random, but thought it might be interesting/useful. I got a new app on my Android called Slice, also available for iphone. It organizes all of your online shopping receipts and finds all of your tracking numbers to keep track of where your packages are with little maps, and alerts you when something is out for delivery or has been delivered. No more obsessive UPS/FedEx checking (or am I the only one?). I’m just loving it. Oh, and it’s free.

    • Ha! my co-worker told me about this app yesterday. Should I be worried i’m doing too much online shopping when my coworkers have noticed i get a LOT of packages??

    • You can also signup with UPS to be automatically notified of any packages coming to your name/address. They send you the e-mail. You don’t have to have a tracking number for this to work. It’s called UPS My Choice.

      http://www.ups.com/mychoice/

  24. Personal grooming question for the hive:

    I ended an 8 year long marriage last year, and am finally out there on the dating scene again. I’ve been seeing a really nice guy, and we’re going to be taking a weekend trip together soon. We have not yet been intimate, but I expect to be on this trip. My question: are Brazilian waxes relatively common these days? I have never gotten one, but think I would enjoy giving it a try… but I have no idea if those are mostly sported by Hollywood or young 20-somethings (I’m mid-thirties), or if they are common enough that it wouldn’t be remarkable to my new amour.

    Any feedback/insights appreciated!

    • anonforthisone :

      I would say among my mid20s peers, fully shaving or a brazilian is almost 100% common. My mother thinks it’s ridiculous though, for whatever it’s worth. I feel like it’s a standard thing among my friends to get rid of functionally all of the hair (occasionally giving a landing strip).

      Do whatever makes you feel comfortable, though – it’s your hair! It really shouldn’t turn him off if you have it and if it does, he’s kind of gross (and maybe watches too much p_rn and is going to hold you to an idealized standard in other ways). That said, I don’t think he’d think it was weird if you did get a brazilian (just because you said you might like to give it a try) because it is so common in p_rn these days.

      • I would advise against, but I am biased :

        I only did it once (shaving, not wax, at age 19), and totally regretted it. Itchy, ingrown hairs, looked like I was prepubescent. Haven’t done it since, and no partner of mine has ever complained.

        Not to say that everyone who does it is wrong, just to say that if you weren’t otherwise inclined to do so, I wouldn’t do it just because “that’s what the young folk are up to.” So far as I know, most of my friends don’t wax, either. Also, if you do it the first time, it may be more expected (if you turn out not to like it, a problem; if you don’t mind, then I guess it doesn’t matter).

    • I think they are pretty popular, and frankly, I find it a little annoying, because it seems like you can’t just be yourself (neatly trimmed, of course) anymore — now you have to invest $30-50 a month to be a certain, p_rn-approved way? I’ve had one and felt totally weird and naked, so I prefer regular bikini waxes, but to each their own. Do whatever makes you feel most comfortable. By all means get one if you’re curious, but don’t worry about what he’s going to think.

    • Not for me :

      I think they are reasonably common among professional women in their 20s/30s in certain metropolitan cities. However, from a guy’s perspective, I think they are a range of thoughts on whether guys find it attractive. My own DH finds it disgusting because it’s too reminscint of a pre-pubescent girl. On the other hand, I’m sure other guys find it hot. But since you are doing this for yourself, I say go for it if you want to try it. As for me, I’ll stick to my infrequent bikini waxes. Brazilian sounds so painful.

    • I’m in my early 30s in NYC and I think that it’s common enough that you shouldn’t feel embarrassed if that’s what you’d like to do, but I hardly think that the majority of women actually do it. In my circle of early 30s, trendy, lawyer friends, I’d say it’s about 1/3 Brazilians, 1/3 regular wax, and 1/3 shaving somewhere in between.

    • Something to consider if you’re not in the habit of aggressive waxing: if you do a Brazilian, there is a regrowth period during which you will itch and, perhaps, not feel like being intimate. It could be inconvenient if that regrowth period is the couple weeks after your trip when, presumably, you will want to continue being intimate. Perhaps a more conservative approach would be a “good grooming” bikini wax that cleans up the margins, perhaps even pushes the margins in a little, but isn’t so aggressive that it causes regrowth issues.

      • anonforthisone :

        Just a note – whereever and however you remove hair (a clean up, a bikini wax, a brazilian, wax, shaving, Veet, etc) it will probably itch with regrowth and it’s important to take care of your skin during the regrowth process.

        Definitely would recommend Bikini Zone cream and Bliss Ingrown-Eliminator pads, whatever (if any) hair removal method you choose. I would say in general, waxing irritation in the bikini area isn’t as bad as shaving irritation – but that’s just my skin, yours might be different.

      • I always wondered about this. When I do hair removal, I exfoliate regularly to prevent itching during regrowth (works great). But obviously you can’t do this in some of the areas (un)covered by a Brazilian – so doesn’t it itch like holy heck?

        • anonforthisone :

          Why can’t you exfoliate for a Brazilian? The only areas you couldn’t exfoliate would be areas it’s unusual to grown hair, right?

          • As far as I know a Brazilian includes waxing in some pretty private places, but maybe I’m wrong about that?

          • DefinitelyAnon :

            Agree– why can’t you exfoliate? The hair is going to regrow on the outside, right? It might even be, er, fun?

            Also, the euphemism confusion in this thread is making me giggle.

    • LaLaLa Anon :

      I always thought the no hair look was ubiquitous (especially on younger women) until I started going somewhat regularly to women’s saunas and baths (both here and overseas). I was shocked to see how many young women (<30) were either all there or just trimmed. I think it's actually less common to be bald than we are led to believe. I think being neatly shaved on the sides and trimmed very short elsewhere to be the best of both worlds. Another thing to think about getting a wax- if you're never gotten one before, you might not know how your skin will react. And for some people, the first one doesn't give the greatest results. I would suggeset shaving as you normally do and possibly trimming a little extra if you want to feel spruced up for your weekend.

      • This. I started using the locker room at my new gym. Having not really seen other women naked ever (didn’t play sports and never seen p*rn), I was so surprised at the variety of, well, everything… shapes and sizes of all body parts, and bikini trimming preferences. I know it sounds silly, but I had never really thought about how different we all look naked. I am sure you will all be shocked to know the magazines are lying to us. Do what you like, OP. If Mr. Really Nice Guy is anything but completely thrilled to be intimate with you, regardless of your bikini line preferences, he is actually not that nice.

      • Yup. I shave the sides low and trim a “landing strip” for myself.

        I know quite a few ladies in their late 20s who won’t even wax their eyebrows, so they clearly aren’t waxing down below. Unless you want to wax, by a “lady trimmer” from Target or Walmart and take care of it yourself.

        • Haha, I am the opposite. In my thirties and I regularly wax “down there” but if another manicurist asks about waxing my eyebrows, I am going to punch her! My eyebrows are fine thank you very much!

          • Looool! Well, I don’t know then! My friends won’t do the bikini wax for the pain, and that’s what they always say – no eyebrows, so HELL no to bikini.

    • I’m 27, and of the friends with whom I’m close enough to discuss such issues, only one has ever gotten a Brazilian. I also have never gotten one (I just shave, and I think that’s what most of my friends do, too). However, I live in the middle of the country; it sounds like this might be more common on the coasts. That said, I think you should do whatever you want. If you’re curious, go for it, but don’t do it just because you think that’s what this guy will expect. Just because of its association with p*rn and young girls, I would find it kind of weird if a guy expected a Brazilian, or were turned off my the fact that you in fact had p*bic hair.

    • Totally anon for this :

      I will just give a shout out for Brazillian grooming. I don’t know how popular it is, but I love it. I first tried it in several years ago and like the results to much I never went back. It is just so much cooler, cleaner and more comfortable to me. I suggest you try it. It hurts the first time you get it done, but if you go back it won’t hurt so much because the skin gets used to it and the hair gets thinnner over time. I now only have to go in every 2-3 months to maintain. For suggestions on where to go, I suggest looking on yelp.

    • I’m a few years younger than you and have never gotten one. I don’t even wax at all (but I don’t have a lot down there). However, if you want it, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get one! No guy is going to object, and if you don’t like it you never have to do it again.

      • One thing to consider — if you get it done, he may think this is typical for you and, if he likes it, may hope you’ll keep it up. I’ve done it a few times but, seriously, it ALWAYS hurts for me. And hurts A LOT. (I think I’m unusual, though. The woman doing it is usually very distressed by how much it hurts me.) My husband loves it and I know he’d love it if I kept going, but just too painful for me (plus I’m no good at keeping up with going to salons — just realized it’s been four months since I trimmed my bangs and probably eight months since my last hair cut!)

    • also anon for this :

      I’m sure most women my age (mid-40s) have never considered it but I shave ever day. It started out as a surprise for my boyfriend (who never asked me to, but talked about it a lot). We both love it so much that we’d never go back. He also shaves and trims. It feels great!

  25. Last ditch effort.. :

    I am looking for the Ted Baker Dalita jacket in size 2 and I can’t find it anywhere. Was hoping the c*rp*rettes could help me track it down! I have already contacted Ted Baker and they only carry it on their UK website which doesn’t ship to the USA. I have already tired Bloomies, Nordies, and Sax. And Ebay. Any other ideas??

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