Wednesday’s TPS Report: Double Weave Angled Shawl Blazer

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

Double Weave Angled Shawl BlazerI was actually going to recommend something else today, but when I went to the Anne Klein website I realized they have a great 24-hour sale with prices up to 75% off a lot of their nicer Anne Klein Collection clothes. Among the final sale items, I love this white cotton blazer — it looks crisp and clean, but the shawl collar gives it an interesting twist. I didn’t see the matching pants, but then I’d probably mostly wear it as a separate. The blazer was $395, but is now marked to $99 at Anne Klein. Anne Klein Double Weave Angled Shawl Blazer

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Comments

  1. Cornellian :

    Does anyone else worry a lot about dressing like the secretaries, paralegals, or admin people in their firm? I do. Part of it may be than I’m 26, but I think it’s more than it’s a male-dominated field and I don’t want to appear as informal as the female support staff to the other lawyers. The male support staff also seems to dress less formally than the male lawyers, but many of them also have more physical jobs. What does differentiating yourself mean?

    For me, this means
    -no open-toed shoes, even though dress code allows them
    -no flowy shawls/sweaters/etc
    -really conservative hemlines on dresses and skirts
    -blazers instead of cardigans
    -no bare arms, even though they’re allowed
    -nothing too feminine at my desk (pictures of groups of friends, nail polish, etc)

    I think I may be being sort of neurotic, so I’m curious if other people think about this.

    • PharmaGirl :

      This is not something I’ve ever worried about. Is there a danger of being mistaken for administrative staff? I would think if your job title puts you in the position where you would be in meetings and copied on certain communications, that alone should differentiate you. Am I missing something? In my experience, administrative staff are all over the spectrum, from my former admin who wore jeans and sneakers to another who wore suits every single day.

      Also, I love this pick but still can’t convince myself to buy a white blazer.

      • Cornellian :

        we’re a small enough office that no employee would think I’m administrative staff, although I have had clients/local counsel assume I was a secretary.

        Here, at least, the administrative dress code seems to be no denim, and nothing too revealing. Beyond that it’s a bit of a free for all, but I have never seen a non-lawyer in a suit. Theoretically we haev the same dress code, but not in practice.

        I guess I’m just being neurotic.

        And, I agree on the blazer. So cute, but I can just picture the white cuffs getting brown. I can’t even keep my white cardigan clean.

      • I would think if your job title puts you in the position where you would be in meetings and copied on certain communications, that alone should differentiate you.

        Not true; more than one client has met me and assumed I’m a paralegal or administrative assistant, despite being copied on all e-mails, participating actively in calls and clear legal work, etc. And despite the fact that I’ve been dressed in a full suit.

        However, I think part of the lesson to that is that for some people, a young woman in a law firm just MUST be support staff. You can dispel it when it comes up – and I think it makes sense to be dressed really professionally around clients – but assumptions are going to follow you regardless.

        • I can relate to this. In my field, we don’t have secretaries but we do have junior staff that work off site, so a lot of admin tasks are done by everyone. A male colleague (junior to me) sent out an email to very senior people with the final version of a file that we were using for a seminar. The very last line was, “eek, please make xx number of copies for the meeting.” I was livid because it was such a complete power play. And he worked 2 offices over; hey, about telling me that the file is complete? And he was an over-caffeinated, chain smoking, tobacco dipping foolio. This person also asked me once if I was pregnant, I guess he assumed that since another colleague just announced his wife was pregnant that all fertile females get pregnant at the same time. (I was newly divorced, WTF are you trying to imply?) I told him he had 3 seconds to get out of my office.

          • Ew to that guy. But thank you for bringing the term “foolio” into my life.

        • Yep, I’ve had a client tell me he was impressed with how much I knew about his legal issues, and I should consider going to law school! Um, thanks. I’m class of 2008, licensed in 2 states, going on 3.

    • So — we’ve definitely talked about this here before and you’re not alone. But you’re also not going to convince older male attorneys that you’re not a secretary by dressing less feminine (unless that’s how you want to dress). I think it has to be more about how you handle yourself in the office, remembering your role, filling the job you’re supposed to, not ALWAYS volunteering first to take notes, make copies (or whatever … but doing it sometimes, because hey, that’s what junior associates do). And just generally acting like a lawyer and not anything else.

      I don’t know…I think if we believe somehow that we can dress a certain way and that somehow that will ring the magical bell inside people’s heads…oh THIS younger woman, she’s one I should respect. I don’t think it works that way.

      BUT…all that said. I basically follow every rule on that list except the cardigan rule (some for personal comfort reasons, I hate open-toed shoes) but others because, hey, its a place of business…y’all don’t need to see pictures of me out with my girls. And my arms aren’t that nice and my office is freezing. So, I don’t think your list is bad, per se, but its not going to necessarily win the war. If you know what I mean.

      • Oh, and I think is should go without saying that I think all lawyers, but especially junior ones should treat support staff (especially that support staff with a lot of seniority to them) with more respect than they treat their momma with. Both because its the right thing to do. But also because, they control your calendar and make sure you look good, and can make your life a living h*ll if they want to.

        So if my earlier comment suggested I didn’t feel that way, I do. I’m just saying that some older male attorneys especially don’t thing that. :-P

        • Amen. Same goes for secretaries/support staff that are not your own.

        • Cornellian :

          that would be another interesting thread: junior lawyers (or accountants, etc, perhaps?) working with support staff with 30 years experience with the firm. My secretary and I get along very well, and she’s constantly reminding me that it’s her job to type in edits, mail things out, etc., but I was really worried when I arrived about working with a secretary team all at least fifteen years older than me. There also seems to be a lot of protection of the support staff from potentially abrasive lawyers. When I organized a admin professional day lunch for my secretary with her other lawyers, they refused to invite another junior lawyer because he was a jerk to her. Anyway, working with an older team has worked wellf or me, but I can see a lot of ways that could have gone wrong.

          I guess I know my appearance can’t win the war, but it seems like it could lose it, if I royally mess up.

    • in my firm, the younger you are, the more likely it is that you *are* a lawyer… take from that what you will.

      anyway, it’s good to to try to project authority through clothing choices regardless of age. I wouldn’t worry about “really” conservative hemlines, cardigans or peep toes (or a picture of friends for that matter), but that’s just me and knowing my own office.

    • I have similar “style rules”, but I follow them because I’m young, not because I’m worried about being confused with support staff. I think dressing seriously can project some authority, but at the end of the day it’s your work product and how you interact with others that distinguishes you.

      I also tell myself that last part to justify the occasional pop of bright yellow or pink ;)

      • Cornellian :

        I think also I have some “young” or non-serious habits (playing with my hair if I’m editing at my desk, for example), so maybe dressing seriously is a way to balance those habits (or bright pink pops) out?

    • My two cents: when you’re this conservative, unless it’s really a reflection of your inner self, it can make you seem even younger and less confident. You know how summer interns always wear suits on the first day, no matter how relaxed the workplace? You know how nervous and young they look? That’s the concern. A degree of informality is a sign of confidence. You just have to judge it carefully.

      (Or, if you haven’t had this experience with interns, think about how Anna Kendrick’s character looked in the first half of Up in the Air.)

      • Always a NYer :

        Re: interns, here’s my two cents. The first day of my internship, I showed up wearing a coordinating blazer that I took off as soon as I got to my desk. When I was training my replacement, I told him that a suit would be far too formal, as would a blazer or button front. He seemed hesitant so I told him that the top boss, who’s office is down the hall from where we would sit, always wears khakis and a polo as well as being the one to make the morning coffee. He showed up in the exact outfit I described and all day was complimented on getting the dress code and not looking like the “new intern.”

        • 2/3 attorney :

          Oh man, another thing to worry about! I am starting an internship at the end of the month and had figured I would wear a suit on the first day, and now I am worried I will just look like “new intern” (because that is what I will be!). What to do?!

          • For my legal internships, I’ve always shown up in a suit on the first day. I did get one comment along the lines of, “Now we know you have it, you don’t have to wear it every day.” To some extent, I think that’s kind of the purpose of suiting up on your first day when some tasks at the internship do call for suits (important meetings, court, etc.). Also, if you get taken around the office to meet everyone on the first day, you don’t want to risk seeming underdressed if some of the people are in suits on a regular basis–I’d rather get a comment that I’m too formal than that I’m too casual. I would definitely wear a top that you’re comfortable in so that you can take off your jacket, though.

          • Rosie, I agree. You might look nervous and like the new intern, but you are the new intern – there’s some value in showing that you get your role, and then you can demonstrate your confidence and professionalism on top of that.

          • Always a NYer :

            @2/3 attorney – I was not at a law firm, so suits were a very rare sighting. But at a law firm, I’d err on the side of caution as well and wear the suit. Just make sure the top you have on underneath is appropriate for if/when you take the jacket off.

          • Senate side, if I remember correctly. Wear a suit. Feel free to have some fun with the accessories (based on what Member you’re working for), but definitely wear a suit.

      • I agree with this.

      • +1

      • Agree also.

        To OP, it may be liberating to identify when or what level of achievement would let you feel confident about a cardigan or shorter skirt – and hopefully you find yourself already on the way ?

    • I totally worry about this too. I used to be support staff. My firm is large enough (and I am new enough) that people don’t know me well yet.

      I think a lot of it means looking at other female lawyers and copying them. So, I wear a blazer because I don’t look that good in cardigans. But I think quality (and usually price) is visible, so I try to be aware of that. (Maybe a Target T-shirt, but not a shirt, pants, and jacket on the same day). Not too tight, and not “just formal enough.” So yes, a striped t-shirt with a big flower on the front is not a casual t-shirt with your favorite beer logo. But it isn’t really business. Yes, your cotton cargo capris aren’t denim, but the aren’t really business either.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I wish I were as stylish as my 65 year old secretary

    • Divaliscious11 :

      No, but I know some very well dressed secretaries, paralegals and admins.

      Does this issue bother anyone else, this not wanting to be confused with “support staff (though clearly unintended)? I have had this issue, not so much due to clothing but due to other issues (my favorite was the client who clearly hadn’t bothered to look on the firm website at my picture – who very flippantly told me to bring him a cup of coffee and let Ms. Diva know he was here! Wasn’t he surprised when I said I am Ms diva, but let me have the receptionist get him some coffee…..).

      All this to say, we should be careful about relying on appearance to convey authority or position….

    • Yesterday I got reminded that no amount of conservative dress will suddenly make people believe you are/are not a lawyer. I was wearing a classic/conservative charcoal gray skirt suit, black mid-heel closed-toe pumps, a lavendar shell, and some nice jewelry. An outfit (or something very similar) that I’ve probably worn to court and/or the office dozens of times. And how many times did I get asked if I was the court reporter? Three. (Though everyone blamed that on the fact that I had a rolling case with me to carry all my files and exhibits)

    • This used to happen every once and awhile at my old job, because I had to meet the clients downstairs and let them in (badge required for every door practically, since we did research on-site). They (men) sometimes assumed I was the admin taking them up to meet Dr. Anonahol. I think it was mainly because they were expecting to meet someone older and with a PhD, and that was not me (alas, I am young and have only an undergraduate education).

      I don’t think it had to do with how I dressed – just this cute young girl coming all the way to the lobby to collect you = admin; I don’t think a suit would have changed their perception.

      • Every place I’ve worked, the person who greets you at the door is an admin, no matter what age or gender. Also, JessC, I might have thought you were the court reporter, too, if your case looked like the typical reporter case (most of them dress pretty much like the lawyers anyway). In my firm, the admins were almost always over 40. So if someone was not a partner (and you usually knew who the female partners were because there weren’t that many) and was a female over 40, that person was an admin or a paralegal. I’m sad say, since this is DC, there was also often a racial component (I’d estimate that 80+% of the admins were African-American but none of the female partners and few of the female associates were).

      • Yeah, that’s usually my problem in my current office. It’s the receptionist desk. And if both the para’s are busy, I pick up the phone myself. Small office, whadaya gonna do? I can’t blame clients for assuming I’m not a lawyer when I get their coffee and then pull out my legal pad. But that’s how we roll here.

    • Kontraktor :

      I basically agree with the comments that say to be careful to appear too stuffy or unnaturally constrained like the nervous first-day intern. Personally, I feel the lines you are drawing seem a bit arbitrary (really, what is inherently “support staff” about open toed shoes?), namely because stuffy, formal or conservative does not obligatorily equal some sort of status flag. I guess it can, but I don’t think it’s obligatory. I think it is better to project confidence, polite authority, and overall professionalism as a more wholistic total package rather than concentrating too much on smaller details that many people might not even notice. If following those rules for yourself, however, makes you feel more confident and helps you to convey the personality traits in a more senior ranking person, then it’s good they can help you get into that mindset. But I think assuming that closed toed shoes will automatically and magically make you into A Big Boss Person just because you are wearing them is the wrong assumption.

      Plus, there is the whole thing that people who are presumptive enough to assume any female must obviously be a support staff member by default are probably the types of people to make bad and rude judgments no matter what you are wearing.

    • I think it’s partly because you’re young (not a slam), but like TCFKAG points it, it’s in how you carry yourself and the confidence you project. Work on your posture, demeanor, presence, gait, etc. Do you project authority? What is the pitch level of your voice? Do you sit up straight? Do you have a game face? Do you know your office’s politics, yet stay out of gossipy drama? Do you delegate well? Are you easy going, but tough when you need to be? Also, from what you describe, I don’t see how you could royally mess with how you dress. I don’t mean to imply that you don’t have any of those things, just some things to think about.

    • This question makes me uncomfortable. (Not Cornellian’s fault, by any stretch, just my own reaction.) I’m uncomfortable because I feel like there are so many issues intertwined with this “being mistaken for an admin” thing.

      (1) Presumptuous people jumping to conclusions is really the most obvious part of the problem to me. It’s one thing to look at someone and guess (in your mind) what their role might be, but to march up and say stuff that presumes you already know is awful.

      People like this will always jump to conclusions, and will often be wrong. No matter how you dress, these people will continue to jump to conclusions, so one shouldn’t expend too much energy in trying to signal these people towards the “right answer.” I know this is sometimes hard to do, because sometimes, these presumptuous people are also sometimes People of Authority & Power In Your Firm. As others have said, it’s a fine balance.

      (2) I don’t like that in some firms, the fear of being mistaken for administrative staff is really driven by the crappy way senior management treats administrative staff. Or, even if it’s not overtly crap treatment, it’s an upstairs/downstairs, “lords and servants, two separate classes of people” type mentality.

      I don’t like the implicit assumption of some senior managers (and some junior folks, for that matter) that admin people are somehow an inferior bunch. Again, I don’t think this is what Cornellian believes, but I do wonder if in her workplace, there are some senior people who do (unconsciously) stigmatize admin folks. If that’s a dynamic in a workplace, then for sure, people will pick up on that and just out of self-preservation (desire to avoid being stigmatized and viewed as lesser by senior people), one tries to not be mistaken for admin staff.

      (3) However, I do get that if you’ve done the work necessary to be a lawyer, then, of course you want to be given the appropriate due given your role. And this goes for whatever role one has in an organization. We all have our own demesnes, our spheres of influence, and I think it is important to be recognized at work for what that sphere of influence is.

      • Thank you. Great post.

      • Unfortunately, age and appearance (the stuff you can’t change) definitely matter in some instances. However, I believe they can be compensated with proper deportment. Walking + Sitting Up Straight, a Firm Handshake, Speaking in a moderate and controlled voice and complete sentences, a focused work attitude, avoidance of over-sharing. Now, I realize the person who can do all the aforementioned all the time sounds as elusive as a unicorn and bland as butter. But if you can pull of the majority of these traits/behaviors during meetings, it should help avoid confusion.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        This is where I was going as well…

      • I definitely get the point that you’re making, and there are people whose fear of being mistaken for support staff is rooted in an inappropriate sense of superiority. That said, in the law, specifically, there’s a long history of women being unable to become attorneys, and a corresponding long history of support roles being filled by women. So I think that the fear many female attorneys have of being mistaken for support staff arises from that background. I think that this is a particular concern for many minority women, based on my conversations with friends, because of the additional racial factor in many parts of the country – if the historical dynamic is one where the attorneys are all white and the admins are all members of a minority group, then a minority female attorney is facing an additional set of preconceptions.

      • eastbaybanker :

        Thanks for mentioning the implicit class dynamic in discussion. It’s sad to me that some people with the power to set office culture think that those who make less money have less value as people.

        I’m glad I don’t work in an office like this. Our admin folks (and custodians and delivery people) are treated with respect.

        • Well said, eastbaybanker. And you weren’t saying or implying this but I will – so what if you DO get mistaken for admin, OP? I guess I’m pretty offended by your very question.

    • karenpadi :

      Not neurotic. I worried about this for a many years as a younger lawyer. I made sure to wear nice shoes and fine jewelry (especially a fairly substantial right-hand ring) to convey my lawyer-ly status.

    • lucy stone :

      I’m 29 and I was just thinking about this today. I work for a local government and on days when I’m not in court, I tend to wear a skirt, cardigan and plain tee. I think I’m more sensitive to this right now because our gov’t has gone through big layoffs so many days I end up answering phones, greeting walk-ins, etc.

    • I have never run into the issue of being mistaken for support staff by co-workers. My firm is large, but male dominated, and they all for the most part wear suits every day. I’m not a big suit person though. If I meet with clients, then it’s suit (of course) but in my day to day I wear brighly colored pencil skirts with button downs, chunky jewelry with dresses, high heels, and, such as today, touches of animal print (all black outfit with leopard print calf hair belt). Do I stand out? Yes. Has my demeanor every been anything short of professional? Never. I also strictly follow the never-too-tight and never-too-revealing rules. I’ve never once had a complaint about my wardrobe in the sea of navy suits and red ties and, in fact, many partners have compliments me on looking well put together. Thus, even though the office culture might be overall conservative, I’m thankful that I am permitted to be who I am (within reason lol). While I don’t think you should waltz in on the first day of your new job rocking a non-traditional outfit, I wouldn’t be necessarily afraid to slowly incorporate pieces that are less traditional if that’s who you are. I firmly believe that commanding respect comes from within. There is no reason that another co-worker should mistake you for support staff. And if they do, its probably due to their own antiquated notions of traditional gender roles. Not wearing a cardigan or having a picture of your friends on your desk is not going to change that any better than a simple “Actually I am an attorney here, you might not know me because I work in a different practice group. Its very nice to meet you.” accompanied by a firm hand shake and direct eye contact.

    • financial anon :

      I don’t think you’re neurotic at all! I’m an associate at a financial advising firm (associates are mid-level in the grand scheme of things) and I paid really close attention to what others wore, both at my level and superior, when I first started to feel things out.

      Most of the men wear a suit daily, a few just khakis and a polo. The female advisors typically wear suits on days they have meetings, slightly dressed down otherwise. I follow some of your same clothing rules because I’m the youngest associate at my office by 10 years and I want to be taken seriously! I tend to fall in with the female advisors on non-meeting days – sharp blazers, knee-length skirts/dresses, fun accessories but nothing to LOUD.

      Part of it is because I know my outward appearance matters professionally, and I have a fair amount of contact with clients. But part of it is a confidence thing – I just feel better about myself when I’m dressed well but still feminine (because, serisouly, I am a woman!)

  2. darjeeling :

    love the blazer; the pants look kind of ridiculous anyway with that little flap (?)

  3. I like the cut of the blazer, but I would have a white blazer filthy in about 5 minutes!! Also, those pants are really wacky!

  4. What is your favorite kind of moisturizer with SPF? I would prefer drug store brands, but would pay more for something if it truly soaks in quickly, doesn’t make it harder to have your makeup look smooth, and provides good SPF coverage. Any thoughts?

    If it matters, I have pretty normal skin – not oily, not dry.

    • darjeeling :

      L’Oreal makes 2 great ones, Futur-E and Active Daily Moisture. Both are SPF 15, smell really good, and are absolutely greaseless. I’ve been using them for 15 years and have a stockpile in case they ever stop making them!

    • Cornellian :

      I just finished a bottle of aveeno’s spf 30 daily moisturizer, which I liked, and moved on to Neutrogena’s daily defense, whose smell I hate. I’m not sure what effect either had on my make up application, but the neutrogena seems built more for someone with regular or oily skin, or for summer use. I’d want more moisture for winter.

    • I love Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+. The active ingredient is zinc, but it does not leave a white cast. I purchase mine through vitacost (dot) com or luckyvitamin (dot) com and never spend more than $15.

    • Clinique City Block. I use it in place of a moisturizer, or on top of my moisturizer if my skin is feeling extra dry. As a bonus, since it’s slightly tinted, I don’t have to wear as much foundation.

      • Cornellian :

        did you notice their formulation changed? I used that for a few years as an older teen/early 20s and at some point it started being sort of… separated? oily? More than one tube, so I don’t think it was my problem.

        I also like their green antioxidant spf moisturizer, but it’s a bit rich for my wallet.

        • I’ve noticed the SPF 40 has that weird oily texture, but my new bottle of SPF 25 (bought in May) is nice and creamy, no separation at all.

        • Same sunscreen here; it’s the cheapest physical block sunscreen that doesn’t make my skin angry. The 25 is oily, but I haven’t bought a new tube in several months. Hopefully Midwest is right and they fixed the problem.

    • I love Boscia’s SPF 15 moisturizer. I have sensitive skin, and it tends to be dry so I use the one that has oil in it – but there is an oil-free version as well. It smells good and goes on well.

    • I love all Cerave products, and their AM moisturizer with SPF30 is really nice. It’s about $13.

      • by the way, sometimes this can be hard to find, but it’s usually down low on the shelf near the cetaphil products

      • RussiaRepeat :

        Yep, this was recommended to me by my dermatologist because Neutrogena was burning when I put it on right after a shower. Cerave hasn’t caused that problem and I haven’t noticed a makeup problem (though I rarely wear full-face makeup, just eye makeup and lip gloss).

    • Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Sun-Damage Moisture Lotion SPF 28

    • Second this request! :

      Also, if anyone has recommendations for gel moisturizers, I would appreciate it – I’ve only recently heard about these products and am a little lost.

      • Boston Blonde :

        L’occitaine precious cream w/ or w/o spf 25. Great stuff, $$ but lasts quite a while. If you buy it at Sephora you can try it out and always return it.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Paula’s Choice is the answer to both of these questions, right Bluejay :)? I use her SPF moisturizer for everyday and her gel moisturizer at night and on days when I’ll be outside and will layer on her SPF 45 sunblock.

      • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is nice, and incidentally comes recommended by Paula of Paula’s Choice fame. They also make a more expensive gel moisturizer (comes in a pink jar) that I like a lot but am too cheap to actually buy.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Along these lines, does anyone have recommendations for a tinted moisturizer w/ SPF? I’m reflect-light-into-space pale, but I have pretty sensitive skin that spontaneously bursts into acne if I use any kind of foundation except those mineral powder ones.

      • I was pretty happy with the Smashbox SPF 15 tinted moisturizer. I was using the “Luminous” one, which is supposed to enhance any skin tone, rather than matching a color (I am not that pale, though). I recently switched to Paula’s Choice tinted moisturizer. While I like that it’s higher SPF (20) and maybe less shine-causing, I cannot tell if it’s contributing to break outs (could be a number of things for me right now), so I may go back to Smashbox.

      • Cornellian :

        I’m the lightest color in make up, but not quiet hte palest person I know. I would try Laura Mercier’s “porcelain.” I’ve had okay luck with tarte, too, and they make an umbrian-clay based one that is thicker coverage.

      • I also have pale sensitive skin and would recommend Paula’s Choice All Bases Covered. Although it is described as a foundation it really has the coverage of a tinted moisturizer. Also Stila’s Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer is a real find since it has a good color selection for the very pale. But it might be too moisturizing if your skin is oily. Both contain physical sunscreens so they should not cause a reaction.

      • I recently switched to powder, but I was using Neutrogena’s oil-free tinted moisturizer for a long time with pretty good results. I am oily/acne-prone, and it did not make me break out, although I switched to powder because I felt like I was too shiny at the end of the day.

      • PharmaGirl :

        Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer is the bomb.

      • Dr. Jart BB cream. Has SPF of 25 or 45. The 25 is water based, I think. Absolutely all regular sunscreens tht I have tried – dozens over the years, from drug store to Chanel and Shiseido – make my otherwise clear skin break out in less than 24 hours. The Dr. Jart SPF 25 BB cream does not.

      • I add a couple drops of my mineral liquid foundation (Kiss my face) into my moisturizer with SPF (Eucerin).

      • Research, Not Law :

        I’m a convert to Sonia K… buncha letters one at Target. I have sensitive skin and it feels great for me. Love the coverage. For $14 bucks, it’s worth trying first.

      • Garnier BB Creme (Cream?). It has SPF, does miracles on your pores, smells great and is just the right coverage under mineral powders. I also have very sensitive skin and have had no problems.

      • I am the same type of skin type. I alternate between non-tinted Paula’s choice from the balancing line and Jergens SPF 30+ for fair to medium skin tones for FACE (it says on the front now). Goes on nice, not greasy, never streaks, smells decent. And I dont’ know what part of the world you live in but where I live, it always seems to go on sale at drug stores and grocery stores. The medium to dark is never on sale which is weird.

    • I like Oil of Olay — it absorbs nicely.

    • In the Pink :

      I use Olay – spf 15 and the “ultimate 7″ preparation because my skin is age-ing. At night I use the night regenerist pot of moisturizer because it really does lighten thos age spots and melasma (spots from hormone stuff).

    • I recently looked into this very issue (wearing under makeup, face appears oily after a few hours) and after research ordered two sunscreens to try:

      Eltamd UV Clear SPF 46
      La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid for Face

      I still have a little oiliness (which I think is just natural for me with any sort of makeup), but not as much, and both feel incredibly light on. They’re more expensive than normal drugstore prices, though.

    • Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Emulsion SPF 15.

      Swear by it. Won’t use anything else. Very oily skin. This mattifies and protects. Every day, summer or winter.

      When I am outside (running, sightseeing etc) I use Shiseido Urban Environment Oil Free UV Protector SPF 42 for Face.

  5. I like this blazer, but am having trouble getting over the top they’ve styled it with.

    Ok. This question may be an “if you have to ask you know the answer” fashion question, but I have to ask.
    Lilly Pulitzer, who I would normally not purchase things from because its not really my taste, has a collection of sorority print items. I have been considering getting their scarf with my sorority’s print for literally months, I adore it in an almost shameful way. Without giving too much away, it is one of the ones on page 1 of their collections (link to follow). I’ll probably end up buying it either way, but is there any way I could style something like this and have it be acceptable to wear to work?

      • um, now I want to buy not only my sorority’s but also Chi O, Theta and Alpha Phi. I have one of the “regular” murfees and wear it slung around my neck with button fronts and slacks to mitigate the lilly cuteness, and get routine compliments. Go for it!

      • I looked at a couple of the scarves, and they actually just look like cute fun floral prints – I was expecting something with sorority logos all over. I think they’re totally wearable for work. (I don’t work in a super conservative/formal business dress environment, though. But under a blazer, why not?)

      • We didn’t have sororities at all at my school (except for a service one, but it wasn’t social) BUT my mother in law is very into hers, is this appropriate for me to get her as a gift? Her bday is next week and this seems thoughtful and cute.

    • I would think it would be fine – I don’t think it is obvious from looking at the patterns that it is associated with a sorority in any way.

    • the letters seem really subtle, it doesn’t scream sorority. Is your question whether its acceptable or whether someone will think your a doosh. Yes its acceptable. Yes someone will think you are fratastic.

      • with the caveat that any given time Im sure someone is thinking something about my outfit is wrong.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I agree. I probably wouldn’t notice because they’re subtle and pretty prints. If I did, I might think you were kind of weird to be wearing your sorority letters post college (but I went to a school without greek life, so I don’t know if this is really common).

        • I totally agree its kind of weird. This is part of my hesitation. It’s just so adorable.

        • For what it’s worth, although I personally would think it was kind of weird to be wearing your sorority letters post-college, I think the scarves are really pretty, and this non-sorority girl kind of wants one. If your office is informal enough to allow for those sorts of scarves, you’re *probably* fine — the non-sorority sisters among us almost certainly wouldn’t recognize it. I don’t know what other members of your sorority might think or if they would recognize the pattern – but they might be excited to see it, don’t you think?

        • Not a sorority member, but these prints look awesome to me.

          And that they’re letters…well, I don’t find that any weirder than people carrying handbags with interlocked CCs or LVs, etc. (Or cufflinks indicating some sort of affiliation to some institution.)

    • darjeeling :

      is a sorority’s print a known thing to people in the sorority? I think these scarves would be a darling gift idea for some of my female family members but it would lose some of the punch if the print isn’t recognizable you know? (also, definitely work appropriate)

      • I wasn’t really aware of it when I was in school, but my sorority sends me an email with new things that they’ve added to their online store at least once a week and I recognized it from there. Even if I didn’t know the print, I still think it would be such a thoughtful gift, because it does have subtle letters, but is also in my sorority colors, and with our mascot/symbol. I would definitely pick up on the colors and symbol right away even if the print didn’t stand out as something I would recognize. I think its an awesome gift!

      • Any idea of how subtle the letters are? I can’t tell from the website. I think they’re adorable and kind of want one, even thought I was never in a sorority.

    • They’re cute and subtle. I think you’d be in the clear, possibly unless you’re a DG, because the anchors are kind of IN YO FACE

      • MissJackson :

        +1. And as I mentioned below, I’m a DG. I also covertly wear anchors all the time and have been secretly thrilled with the recent “trend” of nautical items. I am apparently still 22 at heart. But yeah, I wouldn’t wear the DG scarf to work. Between the pink and the huge anchors, it’s a bit much. Any of the rest of them look fine.

        • I think I lucked out in that my sorority’s also happens to be my (slightly more impartial) favorite of all the ones they have.
          I also covertly wear our symbol sometimes and feel like a total dork. If I see someone else wearing our symbol I have to restrain my inner urge to give her the secret handshake. Yup, if I had told pre-sorority me that this would happen, I would have judged me.

        • + 2. On all f it. Don’t love the DG anchor print on Lilly Pulitzer site, but wear a lot of anchors (for the “secret” DG reference) and love that anchors are everywhere lately.

          I’ve never worn letters post college, although all I had was one sweatshirt, which is still safely tucked away in my bottom dresser drawer.

        • I’m a DG too and I completely agree. I love wearing anchors and nautical stuff, but this is too much. It makes me a kind of sad, because they could have done it in a much more wearable, sublte way.

      • Yay for DG’s! I am in the alum group for my city and love the excuse to buy everything nautical themed :)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Greek wasn’t a big thing at my school, and I had no idea that they had “prints.” If you wore this to work, I’d think it was just a pretty scarf. I’m not going to stare closely enough at your neck to see “Theta” or whatever, let alone then think that means XYTheta sorority, and then be like, oh XYTheta sorority… those girls are [stereotype]. So, wear the scarf you like :).

    • Really cute! Boo, they don’t have my sorority. (that’s ok, red and green with lyres would probably not make such an attractive Lilly Pulitzer scarf.)

    • MissJackson :

      I adore the one from my sorority, too, even though I’m in my 30s! I think that they mostly look floral and would not be problematic for work.

      Honestly, the one from my sorority (DG) looks the *least* work appropriate of all of them. But at least it’s nautical? I’m probably going to buy it, anyway.

    • And now I want one for my sorority. I wish I knew someone pledging this year so I coudl gift her with the iphone cover or the wristlet…so cute!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Oh buy it! If your sorority experience was a good one (mine was/is amazing and can’t wait to celebrate my 25th and the sorority’s 100th anniversaries in Philly next year!), why not? And yes, unless it is over the top, almost everything can be styled. Add a little whimsy. Might be with your Friday outfit, but enjoy it!

      I have a Pulitzer flower print skirt that I love and wear to work regularly in the summer.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Alas – no historically Black sororities….. no surprise…..

        • They are missing a lot of groups, its a shame. Maybe they’ll add over time. AKA’s pink and green – that would be a ridiculously adorable print.

        • Amelia Pond :

          They add 4 new sororities a year. There is a campaign where Lilly lists every sorority that doesn’t have a print and people (women) vote online. There is a bracket system and the top 4 get prints designed. In the voting there were historically Black sororities so maybe next year!

    • Senior Attorney :

      ZOMG those are totes adorbs and I am heartbroken that my sorority is not included.

      Now excuse me while I start go a letter-writing campaign to Lily P…

    • My sorority’s print probably wouldn’t fly at the office, but I loove the tri-delt print. May have to get something for my (real-life) sister.

    • lucy stone :

      Lilly did not make one for my sorority (WHY, LILLY, WHY?) but if she did, I’d totally buy it. My sister-in-law is a Theta and I’m tempted to get her something from their collection for Christmas.

  6. I like Eucerin Daily/Everyday Protection. The SPF is about 30 and it is a barrier sunscreen rather than chemical.

  7. That is beautiful!

  8. These pants. What IS that?

  9. Anon for this :

    Ugh, I found a bed bug this morning. My neighbours have all had them so it was only a matter of time but I’m freaking out a bit. The council is going to come and inspect and spray but I just got the work order and it can take up to 7 days. Any advice for avoiding pulling my hair out / batting at phantom creepy crawlies in the meantime?

    I only have one bite so I’m guessing it is a recent addition which makes me feel better.

    • Cornellian :

      that sucks.

      FYI, you’re anon but your picture is still there.

      Wash everything you own, and stay at friend’s if possible (after making sure your person is clean)

      I would keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol around and spray the deep corners of your bed frame before you went to bed. they come out at night, obviously, but you may be able to delay them. I’ve heard about bed bug repellent like mostquito repellent, but I’m not sure if it works.

      I had bed bugs and it was seriously traumatic, even though the whole building got them. I wouldn’t be afraid to throw money at the problem and do “extreme” things in the beginning, if I had it all to do over.

      • Anon for this :

        Ha, so much for that. This is great advice, thanks. We have a spare room in the building and I have some bedding which hasn’t been opened so I might sleep there just for the sake of my sanity. I’ve spoken to the building manager and they’ll pay for my dry cleaning and laundry expenses. It’s just crappy timing, finishing up a big project and would like to feel calm and not squicked out in my own room.

        Also, since I’m laying it all out there- how do I clean my teddy bear*? He’s been in the closet for a few weeks (since I heard about my neighbors) but do I need to heat him up? Take him to the cleaners?

        *Yep, 27, PhD candidate, sleeps with bear.

        • Cornellian :

          Yeah, you need to either heat him up very high, or freeze him very cold (for a long time, I think 3-5 days, and colder than most personal freezers go).

          If you sleep in spare room, immediately undress and put you rclothing in zipped bags, then put on fresh clothing in that room. ditto your shoes.

          • Can’t resist – I was reading comments via email on my phone and hadn’t seen the part about the bear. I have to say it was disconcerting to see comments about heating or freezing “him.” Good luck with the bear!

          • I love that bear fans are coming out of the woodwork. AG bear is currently in a plastic tote (to protect him from further exposure) and awaiting the council’s verdict on the best course of action.

            Autoclaving might work, I have some students who are scientists. Do we think there is a risk of spontaneous combustion? It is like the velveteen rabbit all over again?

          • My biggest concern about heat would be melting if he has plastic eyes or whatever.

        • This 26 year old law student sleeps with a bear too! Ain’t no shame.

          • e_pontellier :

            Married law student sleeps with a teddy bear. I know I probably shouldn’t, but I grew up really fast and my DH is cool with it, so whatever, right?

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Married, 30, lawyer, sleep with a bear too. Used to sleep with a bunny I had slept with since I was a little kid. Husband started getting really grossed out by the dirty bunny and bought me a bear to “replace it.”

          • e_pontellier :

            Blonde Lawyer – that is too cute!!

          • Ayup, this is how I sleep:

            http://tinyurl.com/d34n75q

          • lucy stone :

            Married, 29, sleep with my Glow-worm. I have a spare that my mom bought when I was 3 in case something ever happens to him.

          • naijamodel :

            28. Sleeps with bear :)

        • If you’re a PhD candidate in the sciences, or have friends in the sciences, maybe you could autoclave the bear?

          • “Autoclaving might work, I have some students who are scientists. Do we think there is a risk of spontaneous combustion? It is like the velveteen rabbit all over again?”

            Combustion is unlikely; there may be a small risk of explosion though, I guess. Well, to my (unofficial! officially we deny everything!) knowledge, we have successfully autoclaved clothes and shoes, with no seams bursting, so the bear might survive intact. Good luck with whatever method you choose!

        • I think you could seal your bear in plastic for a few months and let the bed bugs die off.

          • Cornellian :

            I think it’s more like 18 mos, though.

          • This doc suggests that 20 minutes in the dryer would do it: publichealth.columbus.gov/…/Bed%20Bug%20Relief%20Guide.pdf

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Um, 27 year old lawyer, sleeps with bear on one side and BF on other. He says the bear gets annoying sometimes. I tell him I’ve had the bear since I was 1, and him since I was 19, so the bear stays.

        • Ekaterin Nile :

          I’m 38, lawyer, married, and sleep with the bear my aunt made for me when I was 8. Sometimes my husband tries to steal it from me (for sleeping), but I always grab it back.

        • I had them. HELL. literally hell to deal with. If you want to post an anon email, I will email you the diatribe of everything I learned while dealing with it. Also, make sure your apartment uses a licensed professional who has experience in dealing with bedbugs. Ours didn’t the first few times which lead to a much worse situation.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Ooooh, no suggestions, but you have my deepest sympathies.

    • Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.

      No advice, just a hope that the work order will happen sooner rather than later and that it will get rid of all the bedbugs.

    • Apartment Therapy had a couple of really good pieces on dealing (mostly emotionally) with bedbugs. http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/bed-bugs-update-from-the-trenches-168379

      Also, I totally sympathize. I’m having a little bit of my own mental breakdown right now because we came back from vacation a week and half ago and have been progressively discovering that ants moved in while we were out. I’m going through that same “IS THAT A BUG?!?” feeling every time I see a spot, fluff, or sudden movement. Bed bugs are going to be even worse, I’m afraid…good luck. I’m trying to cope by distracting myself (you’ve got a dissertation to work on, right? ;) ), and every ant-free day makes it a little better.

      Also also — up to 7 days for bed bugs?? This is not a burnt-out porch light, people! I’d be livid if my landlord told me I’d have to wait a week to handle something that pernicious!

  10. Casual shoe question :

    My office has casual days where I’m fine to wear a nice polo shirt (I usually wear diamond or pearl studs to dress it up), or in the winter a simple crewneck sweater. What kind of shoes do you all wear with these kinds of outfits? A lot of times I end up wearing my “fashion sneakers” (not athletic shoes), because I’m too lazy to bother with flats/no-show socks, etc. and it’s more comfortable to just put on regular socks and sneakers that have cushioning, but I need to replace my current pair and not sure if I should go in a different direction. I used to have a pair of loafers with a chunky heel, but haven’t found a pair since that look right. Any suggestions? TIA!

    • kerrycontrary :

      I would definitely go with ballet flats or a pair of loafers (they are coming back in style!) as well as a dark wash pair of denim jeans. My firm is casual 50% of the time so this is what most people wear.

    • Get a pair of smoking slippers — very in right now and cuter than loafers, I think (but loafers look atrocious on my feet for some reason.

      Or a cute pair of oxfords. Something like this: http://www.zappos.com/volatile-davis-cognac

    • LadyEnginerd :

      In the summer, boat shoes. Sperry Topsiders seem to be coming back in style, and they’re super comfy (even without socks).

      In the winter, I keep a pair of black Clark’s ankle boots at the office (I believe the style is the Dara) which are just about as comfortable as sneakers. I then change out of my commuting snow boots into those.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Oh, yeah, and I forgot to mention that I make these choices based on my difficulty completing an outfit with socks. I can be lazy about laundry and always seem to end up with red socks on the day my only clean pants are khakis hemmed slightly short. With the boat shoes I don’t need socks, and with the boots no one can see my socks. Win!

        For the record, I have no idea how the women who cover their hair do it. If I can’t reliably match my socks to my outfit, I can’t even imagine having a large visible scarf to add to the mix too!

    • I would wear ballet flats. You could get some in fun colors/patterns or metalics to spruce things up. I also have a pair of Jcrew loafers with a bow that I like even though I tend to dislike both bows and loafers.

    • Casual shoe question :

      Thanks all! These are great ideas – Clarks in particular seems to have lots of great options. Question – would brown leather still be appropriate in the summer? Not the boots, more like the mary jane/loafer styles?

  11. Cornellian :

    hahah, is anyone getting some romance novel as their ad on this site?

    “When Aleksandr finds Charisma under attack, he rescues and cares for her, but he knows a woman so exceptional could never love a beast…or could she?”

  12. Yesterday I posed about an opportunity to have my employer pay for my law school and if I have enough time to study for the Oct LSAT.

    Thank you for all your responses! To those of you that scored well with a month of study (I believe someone said she even scored a 179! Wow!) What did you do and how did you balance it with working full time? The main area I can pick up points on is logic reasoning.

    • I had the same issue as you with a weakness in logical reasoning. I did self study and mainly took lots of practice tests. Most of the time the practice test situation was not ideal, so I ended up doing a few points better on the real thing since I was used to loud noises during practice tests. I ended up being near perfect on the other sections. If you are good that the other sections, you should be able to pick up easy points by continuing to practice those sections.

    • Took lots of practices tests. Start untimed, and only do maybe 10 questions at a time. Review your answers closely and develop a strategy. Once you’ve mastered your strategy/approach, you can move on to timed, full-length question sets.

      Also, I swear by the Powerscore Bibles series. My weakness was the logic games, and I ended up getting a perfect score in that section after using the Logic Games Bible.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Is logic reasoning the logic games? That was the part I felt I could pick up the most points.

      I also studied for the LSAT for only 1-2 months. I got a book of actual past LSAT tests and 2 book from Kaplan (I believe) — one for the logic games and one with practice tests that had explanations of the answers. I just worked practice tests and read the answers and then devoted 1-2 nights per week to logic games. I was working full time, and I’d study probably 2 hours 3-4 times per week rather than watching tv. I raised my score about 6 points.

    • Migraine Sufferer :

      To prep for the LSAT, I bought a big book of practice tests and worked through it a test at a time. I would score it and then read the explanation on every problem I missed and then take the next test. I scored in the 90%ile. I used the same method to study for the Bar in 2 states and passed both times.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I got a book with those logic puzzles with the little boxes to practice deductive reasoning. I’ll try to find an example of what I mean. I remember doing them in middle school, so it was a fun way to add to my study regimen that followed a prep book.

      • Tecnique from cpa prep, lots of practice questions. Do a question then check answer key and read explanation. This way yoy learn as you go and avoid making same mistakes. Was very helpful for me. Good luck with your studies!!!!

    • OP here – Thanks for your responses. I should clarify my weakness is criticial reasoning, not games. I score fairly well but I think there is room for improvement since I find myself making silly mistakes.

      • e_pontellier :

        If your weakness is critical reasoning, it just takes practice. Practice to learn how they ask the questions — I found it a lot more like reading comp, and when I improved on reading comp, my critical reasoning mistakes became clearer (though it did take work on its own).

      • tcb in nyc :

        My weakness was logical reasoning, too. I had the Powerscore books and once I started identifying the common patterns in that area, it became much, much easier (not unlike the games, actually). I also had about 5 hours of a Powerscore-trained private tutor just to help me figure out how to improve–no official prep class. I found that paying for the tutor rather than the class was totally worth it and wound up with a 179.

      • Assuming I remember what everything is called, that is the section that there is two of, right (2 critical reasoning, 1 puzzle, 1 reading)? That was my weakest section, too, and the actual LSAT was brutal because the experimental section was also critical reasoning, so I had to do 3 of them (and you don’t know which is the experimental one of the three). I would suggest trying to do some full practice tests with an extra critical reasoning section to prepare for that situation.

    • I bought a 10 Actual Official LSAT PrepTests book (the ones published by LSAC) and did 2 a week for the month before I sat the LSAT. I always did them timed, so I’d get used to the time pressure, and so it didn’t take as much of my evening! Towards the end, I was only doing the logic sections because I’d found that I was slower in that section and wanted to increase my speed. You can’t get points for questions you don’t answer, so my goal was to finish every section in the alloted time. I scored 169.

    • This may sound a bit obsessive, but I kept track of every practice question that I got wrong and wrote down why I got it wrong (sloppy reading, didn’t understand it — and then I would add what type of question it was, etc.). This helped me hone in on what areas I was getting wrong and why and helped me study get my score up in a short amount of time.

  13. I didn’t get to read the coffee break thread from yesterday until just now, so I missed the shout-out thing, which was a great idea. I would like to give a (late) shout-out to cbackson, because (i) she frequently offers really thoughtful, kind commentary, (ii) she seems to have handled a rather difficult past couple of years gracefully, and (iii) she has said several things in the past that really resonated with experiences I was going through, even though I didn’t post about them here.

  14. Ms. Pacific :

    Longtime reader, first time poster thread jack! Heading to Croatia in a couple of days with a three day stopover in London; staying on the Dalmatian coast for a couple of weeks; hoping not to have to check baggage. C-rettes who have done similar trips before: what do I pack? Are there things I can wear in both Split and London and not look like a tourist and/or a weirdo? Thanks in advance, hive!

    • Well, you’ll need some sort of jacket/cardigan etc for London – you may be lucky and hit a warm spell (forecast looks good) or it may be a bit chilly. Croatia should be warmer!

      You can definitely wear the same things in Split and London – the main barrier will be temperature rather than fashion. I felt fine on the Dalmatian coast in my regular clothes – I generally dressed up a bit more than I would have for a beach holiday back home (Australia), and I wouldn’t recommend running around the centre of Dubrovnik in a bikini top and shorts, but otherwise there’s not too much to worry about. (I found fashion in Croatia to be an odd mix of styles that should have died in the 80s and ultra-chic, but I didn’t stick out despite wearing neither!)

      Beware of cobblestones and stony beaches – you’ll need shoes that can cope depending on where you’re going. Oh, and if you’re the sort of person who wears 50+ sunscreen, buy it in London or take it with you. I spent several hours searching in vain for something more than 15 in Croatia, since my natural shade is ghost and I don’t do well on beaches otherwise.

      Have a great time – I love Croatia.

    • I went to Croatia at the end of August last year, and I think it rained quite a bit while we were there. So maybe prepare for that. Otherwise, it was quite hot!

  15. SF Bay Associate :

    So I’m a midlevel in biglaw, and I’m having lunch with my assigned mentor next week to check in on my career etc. I initiated the lunch. He’s a good person and a great lawyer, and friendly to me, but we’re not close. What should I ask him/be thinking about/bring up to best take advantage of his valuable time? What do I need to be focusing on as I progress at my firm/in my career? I’m especially keen to hear from attorneys senior to me with things they wish they had known to ask when they were my level of experience.

    • I would come in with a list of goals — i.e. here are the kinds of cases I want to work on and here are the kind of tasks I want to do (things you haven’t done yet) and get his input on how best to get those in the office. Then, since you’re mid-level, I’d talk about how to start ramping up your business development (if that’s appropriate to your firm.) And possibly joining an in-firm leadership role, if your firm is big enough (I forget how big your firm is.)

      Also this assumes you want to stay at your firm. :-) If not, I’d focus on the first two. :-P

    • karenpadi :

      I would have a list of goals but start the conversation with a more open mind. Most mentees (and me at that point) I work with think they know what their goals are but haven’t fully thought through all their options or what meeting that goal entails or results in (e.g., “I’ll work really hard and make partner” but don’t realize they don’t want to do the kind of work partners do like meeting clients and putting out fires). I think the best questions to ask are “What are some options I should be considering over the next 5 years?” “What have you and your peers ended up doing since you were mid-levels?”

      When it’s time to talk goals, I would present my goals as more like options you are considering, like: “I’ve heard about people going in-house and I know some people make partner. I can’t decide between the two. What are the pros/cons?” or “Are there other career paths worth considering?”

      Then, follow-up with “How do people end up in-house?” “What kinds of things should be be doing now to aim for partner?”

      Always, always have the mentor talk about himself: “How did you (decide to) join the ____ committee?” “How do you become visible to clients or partners in the firm?” “Is it worthwhile to write papers and give presentations?”

  16. Dealing with negative feedback? When you know its coming, and you know you did your best, and it’s a your best is not good enough situation? I don’t want to seem defensive, and want to learn how to improve, but I don’t think I’m getting that across. Sorry, I know this is vague, but my coworker also love this site.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Don’t explain why you did what you did unless you are actually getting in trouble and it might affect your job. Doing that often comes across as making excuses even when you don’t intend for it to. If the person is only giving you feedback and trying to help you learn what to do next time, just say, “I understand now, thank you for your help.” or something like that. Ask follow up questions for things you don’t completely understand so that the person will know you’re engaged and actually interested in learning. Then, most importantly, immediately put the feedback into action.

    • 2 cents would be to take your cue from the person delivering the feedback – many managers simply want to know that you’ve got the message and are committed to fixing it, rather than to go through ‘he said she said’ with a defensive employee. Similar if it’s a co-worker – a sincere acknowledgement that you’ve got their message may be enough.

    • I feel your pain! I am so self-critical that it’s really hard to hear someone else say what I already know. That said:

      1) Work really hard on not reacting defensively.
      2) Where you think the criticism is legitimate, ask for help in learning how to improve. Don’t just acknowledge it. Say “Yes, I know this is a problem. Do you have suggestions for how I might improve in this area?”
      3) If you feel like the criticism is unfounded, try to find out where it’s coming from without sounding defensive and figure out a way to change the perception, if it’s wrong, always keeping in mind that it could be right.

      Good luck!

    • Do you have any ideas for how to not have this mistake happen again? What if you said “I know this wasn’t good enough and I appreciate the fact that [whatever the consequences were]. Here are the steps I’ve identified to take to make sure that it won’t happen again. Do you have any suggestions for additional steps I could take?”

    • During negative feedback, I also listen attentively with a neutral expression on my face. If there is a pause to see how you react, I think it’s always good to say something like “I appreciate the constructive feedback. I agree that I can do better in X and will focus on improving on that going forward.”

      Because no one’s perfect, so you don’t need to prove the feedback is “wrong,” and I think a positive reaction shows maturity.

  17. Honey Pillows :

    I think BigLaw Optimist posted yesterday about a property that might be coming available on H Street -is there any more information about that?

    I promise, I’ll stop posting about apartment hunting!

  18. I like the jacket but those pants are weird.
    Threadjack: I splurged on my first “designer” earrings and got the Tory Burch circle logo drop earrings. But I am accessories-challenged. Can I wear these to work, or just on weekends, or just for fancy occasions? I bought them for the latter but I love them and would like to wear them more often. Link to follow.

  19. DC Ladies,

    Any recs for a good cleaning service? I am desperate for someone to come on a regular schedule! Thanks a million.

    • We used MaidPro in Silver Spring when we used to live in the area (but they have branches in DC). Very happy with them overall and they left the house impeccablly clean.

    • e_pontellier :

      No DC recs, but I’m desperate for one in Brooklyn. Anyone?

      • I’m looking for a Brooklyn recommendation too! But I’m not in one of the close trendy neighborhoods so a lot of the Manhattan recs I get aren’t willing to make the trek on the R train. Heck, for that matter a lot of the Brooklyn companies won’t either.

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        I’d love to hear about this, too. I used Today’s Maid for a one-time cleaning and was fairly happy with them, but their reviews on Yelp are terrible for regular cleanings, so I’m trying to figure out if I should look elsewhere.

      • academicsocialite :

        Si Se Puede in Sunset Park! Only used them once but was very happy with them and like the companies’ non=profit structure.

    • Mayflower Maids. Very reasonable!

    • YES! Standarad Cleaning. They did my apartment for three years and it was always immaculate. I cannot recommend them highly enough (go see Yelp if you want more backup than just my say-so). They’d even clean my fridge. I also found their prices to be very reasonable. I used to pay $65/cleaning for an every other week cleaning of my 775sqft apartment. Just got a quote for a monthly cleaning of my 2100 sqft townhouse and it was $135/cleaning. I’ve found other places sometimes charge extra for things like baseboards, cleaning the fridge, etc. Not these ladies. Seriously. Call Standard Cleaning and talk to Ana.

    • maids in black.

  20. Does anyone know of a good way to deal with sofa cushions that have lost their fluff? Is there anything that can be done? The sofa is borderline uncomfortable at this point because of how the cushions sag in where people always sit/lay down … and it wasn’t cheap and it’s not that old, so I’d really hate to have to just give up on it …

    • Yes, you can get the inserts re-wrapped (or replaced) by an upholsterer. It’s not cheap, but it’s less expensive than a new couch.

    • Is it a sagging couch issue, or an actual cushions problem? If the couch itself is sagging in the middle, you could try that “As Seen on TV” couch-slat thing…Furniture Fix, maybe? If the problem is actually in the cushions, I’m a little stumped. I assume you’ve tried flipping/rotating them? Apparently Martha Stewart thinks we should be rotating our cushions once a week (I learned this yesterday while following up on the cleaning thread!). If possible, maybe you could take them to a dry cleaner? The cleaning process may give them a little extra fluff. Is there anyway to add stuffing to them?

      • Have you – or has anyone – actually tried that slat thing? I have seen the ad several times and wondered if it works. My couch cushions are still in good shape, but I feel like the couch itself (the springs?) are not as firm as when I first purchased it.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Assuming they zip open, you could buy memory (or other kind of) foam and cut it to fit your cushions. I did this using a cheap memory foam mattress topper I got at Target, but they also have sheets of foam for sale at craft/sewing stores especially for the purpose of stuffing pillows.

    • Thanks everyone! These are very helpful ideas.

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