Suit of the Week: BASLER

BASLER Tweed SuitFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

I love the little details on this suit from BASLER. For example: the floral print at the bottom of the jacket and on the cuffs, as well as all of the interesting stitching on the pants, the jacket, and the skirt. The jacket (BASLER Donegal Tweed Jacket) is $695, the pants (BASLER Donegal Tweed Pants) are $350, and the skirt (BASLER Tweed Pencil Skirt) is $325 — all exclusive to Bloomingdale’s. (Not pictured: the matching dress, BASLER Donegal Dress with Floral Top, for $475.

(L-7)

Comments

  1. Someone pay me $325 right now so I can acquire that skirt. The rest of the suit….meh. But the skirt….I WANT.

    This has been a bad day for my acquisitive side.

  2. Interesting suit, but I think I prefer something a little more classic. It’s always fun to see a new take on the same concept, though!

    TJ: Can anyone comment on settling? I have a nice job with good pay and good hours in a field that is more or less interesting. But I always pictured myself with a more exciting international lifestyle. I thought I would devote my career to international matters (Ha! This is a tough field to get in to!) and have the opportunity to see the world through work. I feel a little like I have let myself down because I now have this regular job with a regular house in a regular city in the US. I just feel like I’ve given up on my dreams, and I don’t want to shortchange myself. At the same time, my life is really nice and I am happy with the way things are. Plus, I can still travel and see the world on my own time. Has anyone else decided they are okay with the status quo? Is that allowed?

    • Well, there’s a difference between settling and changing. Do you still want an international lifestyle? Or do you like your more stable lifestyle and feel guilty about giving up on the “dream”? I’m getting a sense of the latter, and I think that’s pretty normal. Just because you always picture yourself doing a certain thing doesn’t mean that would actually make you happy, but it can be hard to accept that. For instance, I think of people who “always wanted to be a lawyer,” so they go to law school and stay in that career, even though it doesn’t make them happy. My life now isn’t necessarily what I would have envisioned 10 years ago, or ever really, but I’m happy with it. Give yourself the freedom to evolve.

      But if you still want an international lifestyle, is there anything preventing you from getting more international exposure? Do you speak any foreign languages? If not, maybe pick one and start learning it. Are there any employers or volunteer opportunities in your area that would let you get international experience? Maybe you can’t have the exact international life you envisioned, but you can still get a bit closer to it.

    • FWIW, “I have a nice job with good pay and good hours in a field that is more or less interesting…in a regular city in the US…Plus I can still travel” is my dream life. I only think it’s settling if you’re unhappy with the way things are (in which case I advocate for changing the status quo). But if you’re happy, how are you settling? Isn’t being happy a great life?

    • I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently, and in my view, there’s a big difference between settling and having your goals change. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that things that would have looked like settling ten years ago aren’t settling at all — instead, they’re just a reflection of new goals. For example, a good friend of mine just moved back to her hometown to be closer to her parents. Ten years ago, that would have felt like a sudden death to all of her dreams. But as she’s gotten older, she’s realized that her dreams aren’t about living in a glamorous city and going out to fancy restaurants — instead, her dreams are to play golf with her dad once a month, to drop by her parents’ house for dinner, to be around when her mom has a doctor’s appointment, to have children who know her parents and are part of a big family.

      I also think, as a mid-thirties professional, that life can be joyful and wonderful, but it can also be hard. I feel like if you’re finding a way to be happy, to take care of yourself and your family, to do good things for the world in whatever form, then you’re basically winning. It is so hard just to meet that baseline. If you’re there, you’re already a winner, regardless of whether you’re meeting the dreams you had for yourself at 18.

      I don’t mean to say that I don’t believe in ambition. But I do think that I’m ambitious for different things now than I was in my twenties, and that’s okay. I’m not betraying the 25-year-old I was when I pursue the dreams I have now.

      • This – exactly. Just because your goals change (which is a part of life) doesn’t mean you’re settling. My goals have changed several times over the years, and it’s OK.

      • Anon for This :

        anon – I am only 27, but I totally and 100% agree with this.

        For instance, I just gave notice last week at a job I took right out of law school because I wanted to chase the brass ring and be the high-powered lawyer that my 18 year old self envisioned. After about 10 months of that life, I realized that I am just simply not cut out for it. My physical and mental health were suffering.

        Instead, I’m doing something I never thought I’d do in a million years – I’m opening up shop for myself with a family member who’s been an attorney for years. It’s uncertain, and certainly risky, but I’m lucky to have a spouse whose income allows me to take such a risk.

        I don’t see this as failing or as giving up on a dream. Instead, I tell myself that I’ve changed courses, and to pursue a new goal and dream that will allow me to have more balance, more control, and hopefully more sanity and happiness.

        • In the Pink :

          This.

          I worked in a large group practice for several years and then when my stress was wreaking havoc on my health (very high bp at <30 years old), I stopped. When and worked in a hospital. I was not on call ever – let alone 24/7. I was doing assessments, not individual sessions. After 3 years seeing that I was the "wrong kind of dr" and could not advance, I returned to my dream. Solo practice a la Bob Newhart, but with kids and families.

          Now, 22 years on, I am happy. But the balance of my practice has changed. I am now doing 98% assessments. Why? It is more time to write reports and that is all non-billable personal time. But again, I am not on call, I don't have to deal with the consequences of parents not following my advice, and I don't have to cope with the ever increasing pseudo maturity of "children" who make decisions based on hormones and not their still-immature cognitive functions. So it is a change of the dream.

          I adore play work with kidlets, but I am very choosy.

          I spend more home time (nights, weekends) writing reports, but the trade of is in stress levels. I also get home at a decent hour and can hit the gym 4/week to deal with ageing body and stress and frozen shoulders, and keep my cardio and muscles happy.

          So, yes, the dreams change. Or you can't step into the same river twice!

          Fit the current dream to the present, not the past and not the future…and smile.

      • Research, Not Law :

        So very true. I’m not living the life that my young adult self pictured. At times, I have a twinge of, I don’t know, embarrassment or remorse? But the reason that I’m not living that life is that my mid-thirties self doesn’t *want* to live that life. I want the life that I have, as much as my 18 year old self may not have understood that.

      • 100% agree with this. Well said.

      • Yes, exactly. This is what I was attempting to say above, but clearer.

      • This times a million. My best friend and I were just talking about this the other day, how even at the ripe old age of 24, we both wanted *such* different things than we did when we were younger–both of us, for example, always saw ourselves living in big fancy cities, with big fancy careers. She, in fact, achieved the big fancy city, big fancy career dreams, but 1. hates how far from friends and family she is where she lives, and wants to move back to the East Coast; and 2. the job has turned out to be a soul-sucking nightmare, and she just decided to quit. So yes. Plans change. Ambitions change. Goals change. And that’s okay.

      • Up In The Air :

        This. Here is what Vera Farmiga’s character said on the same issue in “Up In The Air:”

        “You know, honestly, by the time you’re 34, all the
        physical requirements just go out the window.

        Like you secretly pray
        that he’ll be taller than you.

        Not an asshole would be nice. Just someone who
        enjoys my company, comes from a good family.

        You don’t think about that
        when you’re younger.

        I don’t know…
        someone who wants kids.

        Likes kids. Wants kids

        Healthy enough to play with his kids.

        Please let him earn more money
        than I do.

        You might not understand that now,
        but believe me, you will one day.

        Otherwise that’s a recipe for disaster.

        And hopefully some hair on his head.

        But I mean even that’s not
        a deal breaker these days.

        A nice smile.

        Yeah, a nice smile.
        Nice smile just might do it.”

        • Up In The Air :

          Just realized I left out the best part:

          “I don’t mind being married to my career.

          And I don’t expect it to hold me in bed as I fall asleep.

          I just don’t want to settle.

          You’re young. Right now you see settling as some sort of a failure.

          It is…by definition.

          Yeah, but by the time someone is right for you, it won’t feel like settling.

          And the only person left to judge you will be the 23-year-old girl with a target on your back.”

    • If you want to see exotic places, then create a bucket list and a plan (savings plan, vacation plans, etc.) that will let you get there. If you want to feel like you’re experiencing the lifestyle of someone who lives there, then rent an apartment instead of staying in a hotel and try to stay in one location for longer rather than taking a “if this is Tuesday it must be Switzerland” trip.

    • As someone with an international career, let me just chip in that one of the most devastating things in life is to be in Beautiful Exotic Location and see nothing but the inside of conference rooms and courthouses.

    • I agree with what everyone here said. I think it’s really about learning who you really are and what you really want. I’ve heard all these things said in the context of finding a partner (and I agree) — when I was 20, I wanted someone tall, exotic, and flashy. When I was 30, I wanted someone warm, loving, and thoughtful. Both are perfectly valid sets of criteria but I think the latter comes off as settling sometimes when it’s really just having a better sense of what you really want. Also, when I was younger, I wanted things without knowing what having those things really meant. I wanted to be the Attorney General or the Secretary of State. At the very least I wanted to be a big and powerful law firm partner. But do you know how much time that all takes? If I could snap my fingers today and wake up tomorrow as Secretary of State AND be able to survive with zero sleep (so I had a full 24 hrs a day to get everything done) then sure! But do I really want to work 100 hr weeks when I have a warm, loving, thoughtful husband at home? No way. In that light, it’s the opposite of settling because it’s being clear about what’s really important to you. (Anyway, if you want to travel, you don’t want to travel for work. You only see the inside of hotels and most of them look the same everywhere you go now. Make money and travel for pleasure.)

    • Maybe this is patronizing, but I think that part of growing up is realizing that sometimes the simple life is a happy life. When I started residency, I planned on pursuing a high-powered academic surgery career in a technically demanding field. I planned to do a prestigious fellowship wherever I got accepted; I planned not to marry until after all of this was accomplished; I hadn’t really factored in kids.

      I’m now a general surgeon in a small town, totally unprestigious practice. My work is not my life, I have a happy marriage and am excited to be a really-present mother to my kids.

      One thing that I reflect on is that in my early 20s, I could only conceptualize a life that centered around my profession. Now, in my almost mid-30s, my goals for balance are more important. I didn’t anticipate that marriage and children and hobbies could be so fulfilling and that work could be a source of joy and happiness, but not the central source of my identity

      I’m rambling, but I think being aware that you are happy where you are is great, even though it’s not 100% what you imagined.

      • I agree 100% with this. People denigrate and mock a stereotypical happy family life, but if that’s what makes you happy, then go with it. There’s something to be said for the simple life making you happy.

    • You are all right. I feel like I have been seeking permission to say, you know what I am happy with the way things are and there is nothing wrong with that! So I am giving myself permission to enjoy things as they are and to be open to changes as things evolve. Thank you!!

    • I think that everyone who has commented so far is very wise! If you are happy with your lifestyle, then embrace it. I grew up in a major Costal City and always pictured myself there. Most of my family is from a Midwestern Small Landlocked City. I went to college in Small Landlocked City fully expecting to go back to the coast after graduation. Now, years later, I wouldn’t even think about moving back to Coastal City. The Midwest suits me, being near so many relatives is awesome, and everything is cheaper. I still travel to Coastal City (once or twice a year) and that is actually more than enough for me.

      I do not have the life that I pictured when I was younger, and thank God for that!

      Also, if you want an international lifestyle you can have one. Travel, get involved in a local immigrant community, etc. Internationality (not a word, but who cares?) does not have to be a major part of your career to be a major part of your life.

      • I want to echo what everyone has said about change or settling. I struggle with this too. But the real thing I wanted to mention was living the international lifestyle while at home. I love taking cooking classes when I’m abroad and bringing back some recipes to cook here. I’m in a major city and have been able to find some cooking schools that do a series of international cooking classes (alternating French, Indian, Asian, Italian, Mexican, Argentine, N. African, etc.) that have been really fun. I try and do immigration cases for my pro bono and I like doing both of these things because they are both so different yet still let me feel connected to the broader world professionally and personally.

    • The book Good Enough is the New Perfect might be an interesting read for you. It helped me when I was asking some similar questions. Also, I agree with all the other comments that it’s ok to change goals/dreams/priorities as you move through life and that doing so isn’t a bad thing. You can’t know what will make you happy until you get to that point in your life. It’s silly to be beholden to whatever idea you had at 22 of what your life should look like at 32, well, because you had no idea how you mindset and priorities would change in those 10 years, IMO.

    • So many great comments on this thread so far… I will only add, I have the “international” life right now, and it was frankly a shock to me how much I miss home. I have lived overseas before, several times. I have traveled internationally, extensively. I thought that I would be a natural at this. But for me, having family and friends that I am very close to at home, moving overseas was and is a huge adjustment. Sure, I can hop on a train to Paris, or take a long weekend in Italy, or pop up to Scandinavia (sorry – Euro-centric here, ymmv), but I have missed weddings and reunions and other events that I would have loved to attend. I also struggle with keeping in touch due to time differences, and as exciting and fun as the new adventure is, I realize that I had stronger ties and more of a life in the US than I appreciated. I know, grass is always greener… but I now appreciate the life I had in the US far far far more than I ever did when I was living it. Moving to Europe was a dream, but it didn’t come without cost, and for me at least it won’t be permanent at this point, though I am trying my best to enjoy the heck out of it.

    • Late to this thread, catching up while having dinner at the office and 3-4 hours of work ahead of me. So I may not be the most balanced person to comment on this.
      I am someone with sort-of international lifestyle, but in the reverse direction. i.e US is the foreign land for me, came here for college, joined wall street and chugging along in my late twenties now. In some way I am living my childhood dream of being an independent career women (though I never knew what was wall st. growing up). I am proud of what I have accomplished so far through hardwork+right timing/luck given my modest background and glad to have some financial cushion.
      Sometimes I do wish I was closer to my family, childhood friends and had a wider social network, or at least someone I could reliably put down as an emergency contact if at the hospital. I am still not at a stage to change my priorities entirely but I do wonder if all this would really make me genuinely happy/content 5-15 years from now. This is definitely different from early twenties when I never gave a second thought to the opportunities in front of me, no matter how far it took me away.

  3. sigh, i wish i could afford to have interesting and unique suits like this one, instead of my boring black BR boring blah suits. Although, I’m not sure how the 4 button thing would look on me. Any thoughts about high-buttoning jackets on a pear-body-type on the A-team?

    • It’s all in the fit. If the jacket hits around the high hip and has waist shaping, the high-button thing can be fabulous. Boxy high-buttoned jacket are the enemy, though.

      • that totally makes sense. I am terrible at articulating these things, but you’re right, hitting at the high hip is ideal for my shape. I have never tried any 4 button jackets on, so this really helps me figure out what to look for when buying online without having to try them on. Thank you, NYNY!

  4. 2/3 attorney :
  5. Anon for This :

    Early TJ. Very awkward situation with another attorney and I’m not sure how to approach it. Occasionally, when I am on a conference call with an attorney much more senior than me, you can hear him breathing very heavily. We work in different offices, so I am not sure if it is a case of using a different headset or why it only happens on some calls. But it is very distracting, and I’m sure that clients can hear it based on conversation rhythms and the fact that I am on another line and I can hear it. So my concerns are (1) it is weird for clients, and (2) I am a young female and the other attorney is male and the breathing pattern could make some callers think that something fishy is going on our end (not all clients would know/realize we work from separate offices and that we aren’t in the same room). The second may seem like a weird concern, but the breathing pattern really does sound like the soundtrack to certain types of films. And I don’t normally watch those films, so if I think that then it must be fairly obvious.

    What do I do? I have thought about calling his assistant, who I am close with and would feel comfortable raising this issue, although that seems cowardly. But I’m also not sure how to bring it up to him directly, as I don’t feel like I can just say “Hey, your breathing is really heavy and distracting on some conference calls.” I definitely am not comfortable saying what the breathing sounds like on his end.

    Any ideas on how to approach him? Or is this the type of thing that an assistant could delicately broach better than I could? (I feel like if the situation were reversed, I would rather hear from my assistant than another attorney, but on the other hand I wouldn’t want all the assistants gossiping about me. His assistant is discreet, but I still feel like that would be a risk with that approach.) I’m lost on what to do, but feel like I need to do something. Any ideas?

    • This happens with some regularity. I think you might be overthinking it. . . just say, “Not sure if you know, but I’m hearing some background noise or something when you’re not on mute. Mind muting your line?” I’ve done this in the middle of calls.

    • I would take the call from his office and help him mute it in between talking. Or schedule the call in a conference room and then you can just mute it yourself.

      • Anon for This :

        Thanks for the muting suggestions, but he is usually the “leader” of the call, so being on mute isn’t practical. Plus, we’re in different offices (miles and miles away), so I can’t arrange for a conference room.

    • If it were me, I think I’d appreciate being told that I tend to hold the phone in such a way that I’m breathing into it and it makes it difficult to hear the other parties on the line when they speak, and could I please hold the phone a bit further from my mouth? But if that doesn’t work, don’t bring it up again; he clearly doesn’t care. IMO he probably sounds like a weirdo breathing into the phone like that, but it doesn’t reflect badly on you – I wouldn’t assume anything seksi was going on just because I heard a weird breathing pattern from one of the conference call participants (although maybe he’s an uber-weirdo and is getting off, who knows. Ick.)

      Don’t tell his assistant. That’s putting her in a weird, bad position. What is she supposed to say – some anonymous attorney complained that he’s a mouth breather? It’s much better to tell him yourself. I’d resent you for asking me if I were the assistant.

    • Ok no one is thinking number 2) It might sound like that to your mind, and maybe even to theirs, but no one actually thinks that. I feel like every fifth conference call there is a heavy breather. They need to learn to put the phone on mute when they aren’t talking. Seriously no one is thinking that

      • Research, Not Law :

        This. I’m on a lot of conference calls, and there’s almost always a heavy breather. We’re not imagining anything other than someone holding the phone too close to their mouth.

        If you feel comfortable letting him know that he’s holding the phone too close to his mouth, then give it a try. I’ve never had the guts to tell someone. I would leave the assistant out of it.

    • Could you blame the air con/area? As in, hey when we’re on calls I always notice a tonne of background noise from your end. A couple of clients have mentioned distracting noise pollution too. Maybe we can mute the phone unless we’re actually speaking?

    • I’d talk to the assistant. Not necessarily to get her/him to talk to him but more of a “here’s a problem — have you noticed this and do you have any thoughts?”

    • Here’s a different approach. Try to enjoy it! Heavy breathing on conference calls is often inadvertently hilarious. CRACKS. ME. UP.

      But if you really must address it, best way is to interject when you’ve got a large group on the phone and say, “Hey, it sounds like we’ve got some background noise here. Someone breathing into the phone or something,” and then just let it go.

    • I think this happens when people are not using a headset, and are trying to hold the phone handset with their shoulder. If it were me, I would start by telling him directly, cause I think that’s less embarrassing than doing it ‘in public’ on the call. Just tell him straight out, but try to do it kind of lightly, like it’s not a big deal, b/c that should help you both be less embarrassed. Just say something like: “Oh, by the way, I have been having trouble hearing the clients our calls lately, it seems like you might be holding the phone in a way that you are breathing right into the phone? Oh, and {change subject} I have [those numbers] for that [thing] you wanted.”

      But there are noise problems and general conference call technical problems all the time, we all do them sometimes and deal with other people doing them sometimes. It’s good to get used to just gently addressing these things when they crop up and not letting it be embarrassing.

    • Anon for This :

      Thanks to everyone for the advice! I think I’ll leave the assistant out of it and try to gently raise the issue in private like it is no big deal.

      • awesome, good luck! :o) I am on conference calls every week, and there is almost always someone making some noise that makes it impossible to hear, ugh. I don’t know why it’s so hard to talk on a phone normally!

  6. 2/3 attorney :

    Ok sorry to thread hog but I have a question for the hive: when you’re traveling, what do you carry your make up and jewelry in? I have to carry/send pretty much my entire work wardrobe across the country either in a box or in my suitcase, and these two areas are boggling me. A roll up jewelry case? A train case? Blergh, this makes me feel like an incompetent kid!

    • Not sure about carrying or sending but I put all of my jewelry in the little pill ziploc bags. It keeps everything separated and protected. Then you could put it in anything (even a big gallon ziploc) to travel. I’ve had a train case and it wouldn’t be big enough. A roll up jewelry case will just have everything in pockets and things could tangle. Anyway, just a thought.

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Where does one who is not a street pharmacist get the little pill bags?

        • LOL – they have them by the pharmacy in my Walgreen’s and I’ve also found them at the Vitamin Shoppe. I also use them to parcel out my medications for trips and throw them in my bag.

          • 2/3 attorney :

            If you put necklaces in one bag each, do they not even tangle up in themselves?

          • I think Kat has posted a tip before that you can wrap tangle-prone necklaces around a business card. I’ve never tried it, but my necklaces always get tangled and I have no patience for untangling them, so maybe I should.

          • Actually, no, they don’t. I can’t explain why, but it could be because they sort of lay flat in the bag. If I put them same necklace in a zip pocket of a roll, it moves around and gets tangled.

          • My MIL taught me this trick- lay the long-tangly necklace out as if you were about to put it on (so, in a loop with the clasp closed). Wrap one side of the necklace tightly in tissue; then zip in the ziploc.

          • Also, I wear fairly delicate jewelry so I don’t have much that wouldn’t fit into a pill bag. I guess, it you have larger items, you could use a sandwich bag, but you’d have to do something to keep longer necklaces from tangling.

          • 2/3 attorney: seal the bags, but leave the ends sticking out. It’ll keep your necklaces from getting tangled.

            #protip

    • If I am travelling with just a little jewelry, I use separate little pouches. If I am travelling with a lot of jewelry I use a case like this.

      http://www.mytableware.com/p-49618-pisa-zippered-jewelry-case.aspx?gclid=CJP4yYLbtbECFQff4Aod2DMAow

      For make-up my go to is separate quart size ziploc bags. It is not a glamorous solution, but I can’t stand products spilling onto each other or onto my clothes. I separate brushes, powders and face makeup from eye makeup. I use ziplocs for toiletries, too.

  7. Mock Interviewer :

    Since I know there are some women here that are just entering their professional careers, I was wondering what you look for in a mock interview. I’m volunteering to do mock interviews as an alumna and am torn on the approach. On one hand I feel like it is much better for a student to hear criticism from me rather than have their resume tossed in the trash. On the other hand, I worry about too much “tough love.”

    What kind of balance are you looking for?

    [FWIW, for every critique I work with the student on ways to correct it.]

    • Mock interviews are to help people do well during the real thing. They WANT constructive criticism from you or they wouldn’t have signed up. As long as you also emphasize the things they did well and are providing ways to address the things they need to work on, tough love is the way to go.

      • 2/3 attorney :

        I agree. I have had mock interviews where the interviewer essentially said everything I did was great and may as well have patted me on the head. Frustrating and not helpful. Tell them what you really think would help them improve. The career services people are there to inflate their egos/boost confidence if need be.

    • Absolutely please please please give tough love.

      I had a mock interviewer during law school who basically redlined my entire resume and told me after my interview every thing I did “wrong” that would have kept me from getting a call-back (or a first-round interview) from him. It was a bit traumatic at the time, but like you, he worked with me on the areas of criticism, and as a result I was a much, much stronger applicant to all future jobs. I wrote him a glowing note of thanks after for taking the time to help me.

      So, all that to say: please don’t worry about embarrassing or discouraging the mock interviewees. They’ve signed up to get the experience. We all know that the market is tough, and want to put the best foot forward that we can. So long as you’re providing help in fixing the areas that need work, I don’t think you should limit the “tough love.” That said, if an interviewee does something good, please also point that out. In the instance above, I remember my interviewer specifically mentioning that I was engaging when I allowed myself to relax as the interview went on, and that I asked informed, well-tailored questions.

    • If it were me, I’d want as much critique as I could get IF (and only IF) it were things I could correct. So…make more eye contact. Fix this in your resume. Shake hands better. Instead of saying “no I don’t have that experience” say “I have this similar experience and am excited to get that experience.” Whatever.

      But its really, really, really unhelpful when interviewers or whatever give me constructive criticism that is beyond my skill to fix. Like get more experience. (Or I don’t know, get better grades, or have taken different classes, or don’t have a lisp, or whatever). That’s my only exception to the more critique is good rule.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’ve only been to one mock interview, when I was in high school. The woman slammed me. Sit up straight, know the official name of the company and the interviewer’s position, look interested, ask questions, have concise answers without “ummm…,” wear clothes that fit and are professional. It was definitely harsh for a 16 year old (especially one who had to borrow clothes to be there and was lined up in a cafeteria and pointed at random to an interviewer), but it was actually a very good learning opportunity. I honestly reflect on it even today for interviews and other business interactions. So, I think she was a b, but a helpful one. It would have been nice if she could have said ONE nice thing, though.

      Your approach sounds like a good one.

      • I would be pretty brutal. I’ve been interviewing undergraduates in their last year, or just graduated, for internship positions at my company and….wow. I wish I could give them feedback on their non-mock interviews!

        • My husband came back from a job fair once with this this same attitude. Particularly about their clothing. He, who goes to work in a Ghostbusters tshirt and a pair of ripped cargo pants regularly, told me he wanted to take one girl aside and tell her that “The slit in your skirt isn’t suppose to be on the front.” The undergrads especially need all the help they can get!

          • I had an undergraduate ask me if the slit in her skirt (in back) was too high. Apparently, the stitching had come loose because it was waaaay too high. I told her she definitely needed to change. I think she had asked a boy with her and, of course, he told her it was fine.

    • Agree with the tough love if it’s something they can correct. Also, you might mention the first impression, since interviewers start judging you as soon as you walk in the room.

    • I think it’s good to have a balance. For instance, I worked abroad teaching English as a Second Language for a few years and came back with certain habits that were out of place in a typical American workplace. I used my hands a lot, my speech patterns were different, I didn’t maintain eye contact, etc. It seemed a bit harsh when someone gave me what I thought was harsh criticism, but it really was helpful for me to know what I did wrong so I could work on fixing the problem.

      Additionally, the main problem most of these alumna will have is that they don’t have enough experience. I know when I was interviewing for entry-level positions, employers still seemed to expect I’d have experience doing A or B and that would throw me off guard for the rest of the interview. In many cases employers end up using stock questions, so I think helping these women learn strategies to use when they may not have as much experience as other applicants will be greatly appreciated.

  8. For those in the UK..

    I love British tailoring but they only brands I have access to are Thomas Pink and Ted Baker. I am currenlt looking for a new navy blue suit and I’d like to find something from a British designer. The two I mentioned aren’t carrying anything blue in the USA right now – according to the website. Can you recommend some places I can look??

  9. I know it’s ridiculous to care, but I am so. grossed. out. by the Kristen Stewart/Sanders cheating scandal. He’s married with kids cheating with a woman who is in a public long-term relationship. Shame on both of them. Her public apology is not going to make Pattinson nor Sanders’ wife feel any better about what she and Sanders did. UGH.

    • Okay, I’m embarrassed to have an opinion about this, but I sort of feel bad for K.Stew in all this. She’s 23. She started playing Bella Swan at 17 — not exactly an age at which most of us decide whether to sign away our privacy for the rest of our lives. 23 year olds f*ck up. Sometimes they break up with their boyfriends, sometimes they work it out. But no matter what, its not front page news. I don’t know — something about it makes me sad for her, especially since she’s always seemed so uncomfortable with the public attention she’s gotten since Twilight.

      Now the 41 year old. He’s a d*ck and I have no pity for him — but of course, he barely gets a mention, because he’s not “famous”. But what would you say if it was just some RANDOM 41 year old and 23 year old. I feel like your reaction would be different.

      • Oh…and I should say, that I’m no K.Stew fan. I think her acting is something akin to a wooden plank.

      • Yes, 23 year olds f*ck up, but even at that age, it’s known that sleeping with a married man (whose wife you worked with and know!) is wrong. I do feel badly for her to a degree, as I’m sure the sudden fame has been incredibly hard. But, she literally and figuratively made her bed by choosing to sleep with her married boss, so she gets to lie in it.

        I totally, totally agree with you that Sanders is an utter douchebag who deserves not an iota of pity. What a pig.

        • I kind of assume the public apology was an attempt to try to get the story to die down more quickly.

          I assume it was not the first nor the last apology. None of us, of course, knows whats going on. But public apologies in situations like this are quite common.

      • The statement she released was kind of devastating. It seems likely she was taken advantage of, not too different from a 23-year-old intern who gets hit on by the CEO. I feel bad for her too. God knows I did a lot of stupid, hurtful things when I was 23.

      • No way. I was 23 just 4 years ago and I knew (and know) not to hook up with married men! or to cheat on my boyfriend! And she knew the wife and kids. Just awful behavior

        Of course normal 22 year olds aren’t front page news. they are also not millionaires. But if the 23 year old hotshot in my office had an affair with the 41 year old married partner, hell yes I’d have the same reaction. I don’t feel bad for her at all. She was picking him up to have the affair. She was in a committed relationship. She reaps all the benefits of being famous so you get the bad stuff too.

        (This was focused on Kstew because you said you felt bad for her. But he is a huge doosh and I have plenty of really mean things to say about him too. I don’t like the term homewrecker cuz it implies he didn’t invite her in with arms wide open. He is totally to blame for infidelity. But she is still gross and shady too even if I blame him more)

      • I agree with TCFKAG. She’s actually only 22 (ashamed to say I looked it up). It’s been driving me crazy that the headline is that this 22 year old cheated on her boyfriend (hardly surprising), not that a 41 year old married director cheated on his wife with the 22 year old actress cast in his most recent film. Not only is there a huge age difference, but also a power difference (She’s a popular actress, but he directed her first major non-Twilight film and will be directing the sequel, in which she is supposed to star).

        It’s not that she shouldn’t know right from wrong because she’s 22, but 22 year olds make stupid, selfish mistakes. It’s hardly unforgivable villain territory. And it is infuriating that more anger/shame is being directed at her than Rupert Sanders. It’s because she’s more famous and she’s the woman, and homewrecker always sells better than philanderer. For that, I actually feel a little sorry for her.

        Of course, I feel sorry for the wife most of all, because her husband is a disgusting pig and now the whole world knows it. And she supposedly played Kristen’s mom in the film, which must sting even more. But she was betrayed by her husband, and I wish people wouldn’t forget that.

        • I think most of the anger has been directed at the husband. He is just less famous so there is less talk. But every article I’ve seen about it says that obviously he is to blame for hurting his marriage. But then it goes on to talk about kristen because she is the famous one.

    • Ok, I just googled it. I barely know who these people are, but I hope RPatz dumps her. Who the hell issues apologizes in a press release to People magazine?! Gross. If I were him, I would issue a press release to Vanity Fair that said, “F.U. We’re done.”

      • guessing their contract is up after they finish promoting the last of the Twilight movies – it comes out in November. Good groundwork, K&R, although boo that it was a married director.

  10. I’m looking for the thread from a while ago about things to do in Chicago, but am having the same problem that Coalea mentioned this morning–there are a million different threads that mention Chicago and some people post with Chicago in their name. First, the easy question: Does anyone have a link to the “what to do in Chicago” thread? Second: How the heck do I find the post/thread that I’m looking for when the word I’m searching for is something mentioned a lot? If I could remember anything about the thread or knew anything about Chicago I would just look up a less recurring word, but, since I don’t, I can’t.

  11. Does anyone here take boxing classes? Does anyone do fight-type classes where you actually hit and get hit? Are bruises common? Do you get really buff looking?

    • Anon for this :

      Yes – although kickboxing, not boxing. I have taken boxing classes in the past, however. I’m involved in other martial arts as well. I guess you would consider all of it to be “fight-type classes” because all of my training involves full-contact sparring (be it stand-up, ie kickboxing, or ground fighting). If you do full-contact sparring, then yes, you’ll get bruises and scrapes from time to time, or a bloody nose, or knocked out. If you stick to cardio-style classes (where your only opponent is a punching bag) then you shouldn’t get bruised.

      As to whether or not you get really buff looking, as with all things, your body will be a combination of what you do, what you eat, and your genetics. At the risk of pulling an ELLEN and comparing myself to GWYNETH, I’m pretty buff (think Jennifer-Garner-in-Alias), but again, this is a combination of factors at play, not just the training.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I did martial arts for years and love it. But yes, I had bruises all. the.time. I did grappling and stick fighting and sparring and you name it, and it was quite common for me to have bruises around my wrist from somebody grabbling me and pinning me. Shin bruises, always. Black eyes, a couple of times. Broken fingers, once a year for about four years. Broken nose, check.

      And the worst one? A couple of months before I was supposed to be maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding, I got hit in the chin while wearing a helmet with plastic chin guard, and it drove the plastic into my chin, and the resulting bruise looked exactly like a black goatee. For, like, weeks. It was a near thing whether it would be faded in time for the wedding.

      Good times, man. Good times.

    • The thing that gives me the most pause about a sparring class is the potential for visible bruises, though picturing someone with a goatee shaped bruise is pretty funny.

      I love the way boxers look, so that’s mostly why I’m interested. Plus I think it would be great stress relief to picture someone’s face on the punching bag…

  12. Basler is really trying to turn its image of a pastel-loving grandma brand around since hiring ex-Escada Brian Rennie. They even made an apperance at Berlin Fashion Week last year. Loving this suit – even though the price tag is hefty. However, as Basler is one of the very few retailers that still produces in Western Europe, pays fair wages and their stuff is really well made it might be worth it.

    • interesting! thanks for this background. I will keep this in mind when/if i’m ever in the income bracket to buy the pretty suits from the responsible manufacturer.

  13. Can anyone recommend a good natural deodorant? Looking for something aluminum and triclosan free.

    • Not a recommendation, but I will comment that I tried Tom’s. About 30 minutes later, it felt like someone had poured gasoline on my armpits and lit a match. Holy hell it burned.

      • Tom’s just does nothing for me. My armpits still smell, and I don’t think I am even more sweaty/smelly than the average woman. I’m interested in recs too. I tried some sort of salt crystal deodorant a few years back and it was also ineffective. Like you may as well just not wear deodorant at all.

      • Two cents :

        YES! I used Tom’s for a few days and broke out in a rash. I called and complained to customer service, and they sent me a refund check in the mail! Great customer service (but bad deodorant).

    • Check out the soapwalla deodorant on etsy. It’s amazing.

    • Ive started using old spice – one of their beachy scents that’s a deodorant but not an antiperspirant so no aluminum. I think it has been working well and I’ve mostly gotten over the fact that I smell like a guy ( but not really it’s not that strong)

    • I love the sandalwood and lime deodorant from Lush. Body Shop also has some good options.

    • Deodorant Rec :

      Crystal. I prefer the spray on because it’s easier to apply. They sell it at Whole Paycheck.

    • I’ve tried several different natural deodorants, and here’s what I’ve found works better than any store-bought variety:

      Equal parts corn starch and baking soda, with just enough coconut oil to hold it all together. Add a few drops of an essential oil if you want.

      In cooler temperatures, it will have the consistency of regular deodorant; in warmer temps, it will liquefy a bit. I keep it in a small glass container with a plastic lid.

  14. Maine Vacay! :

    Yo peeps. Considering a mid-September vacay in Maine. I’m not planning on frolicking on any beaches, in part because I anticipate it will be too cold. However, I was thinking of flying in to Portland, staying there a few days, maybe seeing some lighthouses & walking along the beach, and then heading north to a cabin for some hiking / other outdoorsy stuff.

    Re Portland… worth it to spend a few days in the city? I’ve never been to Maine before. Google pics on Portland look uber cute. Any day trips I could make if I decided to scrap heading north and just used Portland as a home base?

    Anything else I should consider?

    • long-time lurker :

      Portland is a cute city and a good home base but I’m not sure I would keep myself busy for more than a day there. Peaks Island is supposed to be pretty, I’ve never been. Portsmouth NH is close-ish and I liked it better than Portland. I recall lots of cute stores.

      Near-ish to Portland, I love Wells Beach which is just a beautiful beach for a walk even in September. Nearby Ogunquit has nice restaurants, etc.

      When you go to Portland you must go to Five Fifty Five restaurant and order the lobster mac and cheese. SO GOOD.

    • Even if you don’t plan to hit the beach, I highly recommend driving along the coast on route one. It is very scenic, plenty of places to Aton for lobster rolls, you can check out the Neddick Lighthouse, and stop anywhere that catches your eye. I went to grad school in NH and would drive this way through Maine throughout the year just to relax – it is really beautiful.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Love Portland, Maine! Agree that you probably only *need* a day there, although it’s nice. Second the rec for Peak’s Island – it’s gorgeous and worth spending a day or so wandering around. If you’re into beer at all, both Allagash and Shipyard offer brewery tours, I believe, and both are very cool (and great beer!)

      Spend your day wandering around the Old Port – lots of yummy restaurants, cute shops, etc. Flatbreads is pretty good, as is Gelato Fiasco. If you want to pamper yourself, there’s a foot spa (seriously!!) called Soakology where you can relax and soak your feet in essential oils. Skip DiMillo’s (the restaurant on the boat) — not worth it, the food isn’t that good and the “I’m eating on a boat” novelty isn’t worth the price.

      Lots of fun and doable day trips from Portland as well. Brunswick is a really cute little city, and the outlets at Freeport are fun to check out as well. Meandering around Kennebunkport is fun, to see how the superrich live and to check out the views. However, the real fun stuff in Maine is a bit far for a day trip – stuff like Mt Desert Island and Acadia National Park, the White Mountains, etc.

      • Have a distillery tour at Cold River Distillery in Freeport!

        I would really recommend getting up to Acadia if you are at all outdoorsy. It’s a fair drive from Portland, but it is so, so beautiful. There are lots of b&bs in that area, and Bar Harbor is a cute town, and although some stores may be shutting down for the season (depending on when in Sept you go), most places should still be open.

        Try MDI Ice Cream for some really interesting flavors. There is a location in Portland and in Bar Harbor.

        • Also, I like the Freeport outlets, as others have mentioned. Horny Toad in particular has a good store, if you like their stuff (comfy dresses, plus they have a fancier line). The Chinese restaurant on the main street in Freeport has a good lunch buffet, and definitely try the lobster chowder at the Harraseeket Inn if you are a lobster fan.

      • Ditto on Soakology! I really like Portland. I think that on Peak’s Island, you can actually rent bikes and go biking around — we thought that was very fun. There’s a good 36-hours-in-Portland column on the NYT website you should look up. There’s a really great rug store called Angela Adams that you should see in person, too. Oh, and the Portland Repertory Theater (I think that’s the actual name) might have something good up. It’s not New York theater, but it’s a good, solid regional theater. Oh, and there’s an amazing brunch place — Bintliff’s. Delicious.

    • There are some great outlets near Portland (and LL Bean) as well.

    • Diana Barry :

      Go to Acadia! I am from near there and it is gorgeous in September, a bit chilly but the leaves will be starting and the crowds will be gone. There is a ton of hiking and nice places to stay. If you stay in Bar Harbor, go to Ben & Bill’s for chocolates and ice cream, and to Havana for dinner (mmmm).

  15. In the Pink :

    Has anyone purchased from the line Damsel in Distress? I only found them online via John Lewis in the UK. I was pleased with 1 of the 2 items. Shocked that I had to pay duty upon it arriving in NYC. I live in Tx. It’s been a fiasco. Wondering if it is worth it to try again.

    I haven’t had to pay duty when using Boden, but I know they have a PA address which helps on that end. I also have never had to pay duty when getting hosiery from Shapings dot com out of Burlington, Ontario.

    If you’ve tried this wiht John Lewis and sent something back, how did the returns go?

    Can anyone find Damsel in a Dress lines sold in the U.S. my google … work is striking out.

    @TCFKAG ??????

    • Sorry, do you mean the nail polish?

      • If so, it appears that nordies carries it, as does several other US companies (search either shop style or google shop).

        http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/essie-nail-polish-purples/3242033?origin=category&cm_ven=Linkshare&cm_cat=partner&cm_pla=10&cm_ite=1&siteId=J84DHJLQkR4-u0f4F9PrYlXxxcvTIL0h3A

      • In the Pink :

        I didn’t know there was nail polish.

        Sorry, TCFKAG, it is a clothing line.

        • In the Pink :

          jacket I just received…lusted after one shown on WhatNotToWear a few weeks ago and zippo on the website about it. I was the OP asking and followed advice. Clinton’s email said they couldn’t remember as it was “too long ago.”

          The jacket in no way manages to make the bow like the picture! It is too short. Besides that there is tons of material pooching out on either side and the fabric when you tie is bulky enough to look like the alien scene from “Alien” … My seamstress is going to open up the seams, see if she can straighten out all the pooching, and then see what’s what with the ties. They are doubled fabric, if you understand, folded over and one seam sewn shut.

          Cannot imagine what the piece of fabric must have looked like when it was cut out of the bolt. Almost like a jacket front with an elephant mutated trunk.

          The seaming on the back and covered sleeve buttons are georgous…FWIW

          To make it even more strange, the ties are not separate from the front of the jacket. They are all part of the same pieces of material. Very odd. I am hopeful yet very frustrated.

          http://www.johnlewis.com/339769/Product.aspx

          • In the Pink :

            OK so I fell for the analogy…

            the clothing line is called Damsel in a DRESS.

            Not

            In.Distress.

            Although, with the lusting for it, finding it, and then receiving it saga, it must be a Freudian Slip as I am in Distress.

            LOTs of money, incl. duty paid, and then …. well, ….I am in distress.

        • Sorry, I got nothing. :-P

    • Okay, TCFKAG. Voicing my totally unsolicited opinion that you should start a fashion blog and become a style consultant / personal shopper for clients throughout the US.

      • I have a tumblr now and have no idea what to do with it. I guess people can come ask me questions there. But, I kind of like the law and would actually LIKE to be a lawyer…you know, once I find someone to hire me for a permanent position.

        • {{movie trailer voice}} High-powered, brilliant lawyer by day…. jet-setting international fashion consultant and stylist by night….

          ok, someone more creative than me, come up with the plotline??

          • Lawyer by day, stylist by night: T defends clients and dresses them, too. She seems to have everything going for her. But when a tall, poorly dressed plaintiffs’ lawyer walks into her life, T’s faced with a lawsuit she can’t solve — and a man she can’t dress. Will T be able to overcome the pleated pants and the product liability case to …. STYLE HER HEART?

          • YYYYAAAAYYYY, thank you, anonymous creative person. That is so perfect! :oD

  16. I am headed to San Francisco in a few days and trying to decide what to pack. I am receiving mixed signals from those that have visited about what to wear. For those that reside in the area, any recommendations? I’m planning on being both a tourist but also have reservations at a few nicer restaurants. I’ve already checked the weather, unlike my last vacation, but any insight would be helpful.

    • Well, the perpetual answer to what to wear in SF anytime of year is: Layers Layers Layers Layers
      but, to be more specific, it’s still pretty chilly right now. You definitely want something covering your arms & a summer scarf in the morning, but it might get warm enough in the afternoon that you’d want to be able to strip down to short sleeves. I am still wearing boots most days, because even tho it seems weird in the summer, my feet get cold, so i’d rather have them covered most of the day.

      Also, however, the SF bay area is like hella crazy micro-climate land. There are literally different weather forecasts for neighborhoods 1/2 a mile from each other. So, check the specific weather for exactly where you are going to be. If you will be up in Sonoma/Napa, it will be totally different than SF city proper, and if you are down in the Southern peninsula, it will be a whole other thing!

    • karenpadi :

      Second Zora. I was in SF on Monday and it was sunny and warm by Yerba Buena. Then I drove through Sunset on 280 on my way home and it looked chilly.

      When I head to SF for the day, I usually wear jeans and closed-toe shoes, a t-shirt, a sweater (cashmere–doesn’t get too warm but can be warm), jacket that blocks the wind, and a scarf. I think the scarf is the most important piece of clothing. It comes in handy and SF residents seem to wear lots of scarves so it has the added bonus of looking like a “native”.

      At nicer restaurants, I wouldn’t worry so much about dress code. San Francisco is pretty casual. For a normal evening at a good restaurant, I wear jeans and a “going out” top with flashy accessories and a wrap. For an “event”, I wear my LBD with knee high boots or tights (layers! cold!), flashy accessories and a wrap with an overcoat. For evenings, think London-like weather–cold and damp.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Fun! What “nicer” restaurants are you going to? zora and karenpadi’s recs are spot on. karenpadi’s suggestion of a day outfit is exactly what I wear :) The light scarf is key.

    • Where are you eating?? (I like to live vicariously.)

      In general, very few restaurants in SF are so fancy that, say, dark jeans and a dressy top would not be out of place. Layers are key. The past week has seen the 80s and the 50s in the city proper.

    • Second Karenpadi’s advice. SF, even when dressy, is a town of ballet flats, scarf, going-out top, cute blazer, dark jeans. If you are planning to go to, say, Napa, bring a sundress–it’s 25 degrees warmer. If you are going to Marin, plan on 10-15 degrees warmer, once you leave the fog bank. Also, bring comfy walking shoes…SF does not have good public transport other than slow busses or a few muni lines (which generally do not cover all the sights you’d want to see), so you will be hoofing it quite a bit, sometimes on hilly streets.

      If you need restaurant recs, I really like San Francisco Magazine to get a good browse going. My favorite bar of late is The Alembic (Haight)–delish c*cktails and really yummy, but pricy, small plates. SF has an amazingly good food scene and SFMagazine’s recs are spot-on. If you don’t have time to leave the city to go wine tasting, California Wine Merchant on Chestnut (Marina) for really great, reasonably priced wine selection and well-edited wine menu (obvi focused on CA producers, no food). The Marina can be a little fratty on weekends though–but that bar skews a bit older and quieter than its neighbors and is my go-to for a yummy glass or ten yummy tastes :)

      • In San Francisco we have reservations at Slanted Door, Michael Mina, Atelier Crenn. Napa reservations include Ad Hoc, Bouchon, Auberge du Soleil. The reservations are currently heavy on French/Thomas Keller, but that is my current love. I still need to decide on a few casual options in San Francisco and make reservations in Carmel/Monterey.

        • anon @ 8:31 :

          You sound well-researched – would consider Cotogna or Perbacco/Barbacco in SF and/or Redd or Bottega (Yountville) to round things out a bit… if you want. :)

          • I think redd is better than french laundry. If yiu cant get in there redd wood (their casual sister restaurant) is great too.

        • karenpadi :

          Good choices. I’ve been to Slanted Door and Bouchon. Great choices! Also second Perbacco and Redd.

          Sundress for Napa, yes. But bring a wrap if you are going into wine cellars (tours and barrel tastings) and wear comfortable shoes (flats or low wedges).

          Enjoy!

        • karenpadi :

          Casual in SF: Prospect (I just had brunch there) by Embarcadero; Little Star Pizza or Arinell’s Pizza in the Mission; Rosamunde Sausage in the Mission; Suppenkuche in Hayes Valley; Ike’s or Home in the Castro; and Chloe’s Cafe in Noe Valley come to mind.

          Carmel/Monterey: people will disagree with me and maybe it’s my uncool side coming through but I like the Monterey Fish House. Closer to Santa Cruz is Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant in Aptos–kind of a dive but the food is super!

          Bring warm clothes for Carmel and Monterey. I usually wear my thickest fleece and a winter hat (don’t forget the scarf either!) down there at night. Daytime, it’s like SF.

          • karenpadi :

            This was bugging me. I forgot my fave casual French Restaurant in SF–Garcon in the Mission. It’s hit or miss with people but I like it. The steamed mussels and grand marnier chocolate mousse are to die for!

        • On outfits, slanted door is hip/you see more dresses and heels and outfits here. MM is pretty special, I’d dress for it — not opera fancy but LBD and fun accessories/heels. Havent been to atlier crenn. Ad hoc is super casual/anything goes, bouchon yousee everything but more people in sundresses/cardi/maxidress looks. Auberge is the fanciest ofyour napa places, it has a “rich” feeling in dress – lotsof white/gold/tan and good handbags. Hope that helps!

          Ps. Go to zuni cafe in sf.

        • Confessions :

          Monterey: The Fish Hopper
          Carmel: Roy’s at the Inn at Spanish Bay on 17 mile drive

    • My weekend uniform is lulu yoga pants, hoodie, scarf, flats or flips. I dress for dinner out more as others have described, jeans, scarf, heels. It feels like winter these days and it’s a really casual city overall. Lots of black, grey, etc. As others note, outside the city is warmer, people tend to dress to wine taste (sundresses, sandals, wedges, accessories). No one bats an eye anywhere though no matter what you wear.

    • Check out the blogs sacramento street for some good sf fashion sense and sf girl by the bay forngood localnwhat to domrecommendations.

  17. Long Tall Sally :

    I am so done with pencil skirts – when will A-lines come back?

  18. For those who liked the Nanette Lepore dress from a few days ago, here’ s a similar version (more colors available in the store, and Macys is always having a sale so don’t pay full price).

    http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/ak-anne-klein-dress-cap-sleeve-belted-textured-a-line?ID=636938&CategoryID=5449&LinkType=#fn=DRESS_LENGTH%3DKnee Length%26SPECIAL_OCCASIONS%3DWear to Work%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D121%26ruleId%3D72%26slotId%3D96

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