Suit of the Week: Ann Taylor

Ann Taylor Olivia Tweed Jacket and Tristan Tweed SkirtFor 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.

Oooh: I love this black tweed suit from Ann Taylor. The salt and pepper tweed! The nipped-in waist and shawl collar! That little bit of faille trim at the collar and pockets! The jacket (Olivia Tweed Jacket) is $228 at Ann Taylor, and the skirt (Tristan Tweed Skirt) is $118, both available in regular and petites.

Olivia Tweed Jacket Tristan Tweed Skirt

(L-5)

Comments

  1. lawsuited :

    Love the jacket, but wish the skirt had a waistband.

    • 2/3 attorney :
    • lawsuited :

      Pants-Only Dress Code explanation (for posters who wondered about it in this morning’s TPS Report. For others, the background is that I am starting a new job in October at a firm where the dress code does not allow skirts and dresses):

      I was told about the dress code after I accepted the offer (the new job shortens my commute, increases my salary by 25%, provides better career experience, offers more support staff and resources and is generally great), so I didn’t freak out about the dress code or ask too many questions. Also, I will be the second female lawyer at the firm, so thus far, the dress code has been aimed largely at female support staff. There is talk about updating the dress code to allow skirts and dresses if worn with opaque pantihose.

      With those caveats, it seems to me that the pants-only dress code is meant to:

      1. Allow management to avoid policing skirt lengths by not having skirts at all. I guess it’s easier to have an argument about whether a skirt is a too-short skirt than it is to have an argument about whether a skirt is a pair of pants?

      2. Prevent the men in the firm being accused of looking at women’s legs or up their skirts when they bend over or something. I am extrapolating from a comment that was made about skirts being inappropriate when support staff have to a ladder to retrieve files from storage.

      It’s weird for sure, but it’s also good job for me, so I’ve decided to be cool with it.

      • Huh. Thanks for the explanation. Not sure I really “get” the policy, but I get why you decided to be cool with it, took the job, etc. This does have my feelers up, so I’ll be interested to hear about your experience in general at this firm. Seems pretty antiquated and rigid to me, so I’m wondering whether this is an overall attitude permeating the firm that will manifest itself in other ways, or an outlier resulting from Something Very Bad happening previously related to Women Wearing The Skirts.

        • lawsuited :

          Totally. It seemed to me that it was a reaction to Something Very Bad in the past, which I’m interested in finding out more about once I’m accepted into the fold.

          • Now I’m curious about the mystery of the ill-fated skirt. Sounds like some sort of bad thriller plot…

          • Honey Pillows :

            The Thrilling Tale of the Very Bad Skirt on The Woman, and What Happened After…

      • This is so funny b/c the manageing partner does NOT have a dress code for female lawyers, but he will NOT aprove any kind of pant’s or slack’s for my reimbursmennt (20%), so it is the opoosite of this firm where they do NOT allow dresses.

        The manageing partner would NOT looke up my skirt ever — FOOEY on that, and my skirt’s are NEVER to tight or short, but he does like me to look fasheionable; that is how I landed 3 cleint’s this YEAR ALONE and alot of new work from Jims’ company (which MUST be kept confedential).

        The manageing partner told me that if I look good and profesional I will land cleint’s and he will reimburese me 20% for my clotheing YAY!!! (but NOT includeing handbag’s –FOOEY!).

        So that works for me and I look good for onley 80% of the cost of the clotheing, especialy b/c I am such a great shopper! Yay!

      • That does seem weird, yeah. Only to think that half a century ago, the dress code for any female staff or even lawyers would probably have been “no pants, skirts only”… and that would eventually have been seen as antiquated. The more things change etc.

        • Ironically, I’ve heard of rare cases of present-day dress codes for women being “no pants, skirts only.” Not sure if it’s just urban legend… anyone who has actually experienced this (or know someone who has) want to chime in?

          • I worked at a place with a skirts-only dress code during college in the late 90s. It was a private dining club (kind of like a country club, but in a high-rise and without the sports facilities) , female servers had a uniform that was a skirt (w/ button-front shirt and vest), and then it was skirts-only for the only other women: a couple of catering salespeople, and the receptionists (including me). I was so annoyed by it that I rebelled anyway I could, mostly by buying a maxi-skirts, mostly in stretchy velvet or black jersey (it was the 90s) and whenever I had to come pick up a paycheck on my day off, I would wear pants just to pi$$ the general manager off.

            Even then it felt very outdated, throw-backey, and sexist to me.

          • PharmaGirl :

            My sister worked at a consulting firm (not law) in the late 90s/early 00s and was required to wear skirt suits for client meetings (pant suits were allowed when there were no clients around).

          • I worked for a bank in the early 90’s that had no a no pants for women policy. I heard it finally changed around 2000. And then worked for a law firm – in the very humid South – that had a policy that hose needed to worn whenever any portion of leg could be seen – skirts and pants that showed anything above the foot. Whether you feel that cropped pants are ever acceptable in a work place, I can assure you they are NOT when paired with pantyhose! That policy only changed in the last couple years and only after years of complaining by the very uncomfortable female associates in every annual review process.

          • When I took the Bar in VA in 1996, women were required to wear skirts. The Roanake convention center was about negative a million degrees, so most women were there in their skirt suits with sweatshirts on top. Oh, and we had to wear soft shoes, so as not to make noise while we walked, so we had sneakers on, too. It was moronic.

            In the years after that, I had several unbelievable comments about my legs, one of which was from a judge. Wearing pants at that time was still outre in the area, however, so I sucked it up a bit longer. Now, if someone commented on my legs, I would laugh it off as a sexist a-hole (and hey, they are nice kegs (-;). The more miles you have on you, the more confident you are in your practice, the less this crap matters.

          • Until somewhat recenTly my State’s Senate had a “skirts only on the floor of the chamber” rule for female Senators! The House was more enlightened and allowed pants.

          • Good to know. Now the comments seem to be a lot about the 90’s and maybe the early 00’s. So I’m guessing the skirts-only rule is unheard of now in 2012? And what about the pantyhose-required rule? Do any firms *today* still actually have these rules?

        • Kate, Above the Law did a thing recently about dress codes at BigLaw firms, including the no-sleeveless and no open-toed shoes rule. I have a friend in a DC firm who has to wear hose and no sandals or open toed shoes. Women’s shoulders apparently do not terrify her firm, as she can wear sheath dresses.

  2. TJ:
    My husband has been having difficulty communicating lately with a recent hire in his workplace. From what Husband tells me, it sounds like this person both has kind of an abrasive communication style and doesn’t complete projects to Husband’s liking. They are on the same level in the corporate hierarchy, but if Husband wants to keep working on projects that interest him, a lot of them will be with New Hire. I was thinking he could use a book along the lines of “How to Manage Your CoWorkers” to help him bring out the best in New Hire and so they can work productively together without Husband coming home all cranky-faced. Any suggestions for a book on this subject?

    • It’s not a management book, but I found Crucial Conversations to be a good book for difficult situations.

    • No Problem :

      Has he considered approaching it as a new hire issue? For example, although New Hire may be experienced, he’s not experienced in working with your husband’s company and may need a more direct initiation into the company’s culture. If people at the company don’t communicate in such an abrasive way, there’s nothing wrong with pointing out to New Hire that he’s noticed he communicates in a style that is not typically used in this company. He can explain how this is off-putting to him, and therefore is likely to be (or already is) noticed by more senior folks. If your husband has the opportunity to provide input in a new-hire review (my company does a mini-review for all new hires after three months just to make sure everyone is on track and nip problems in the bud) he should do so.

      The part about not completing projects to your husband’s liking is another issue that I’m not really sure how to address, but should also be discussed sooner rather than later (but also included in any new-hire review).

      • Unfortunately the company is rather small and discourages typical “management” type things – they’re an internet start-up and value their laid back, non-confrontational atmosphere. Exacerbating the problem is that New Hire works from another office, so most communication is over instant messenger or email. He assures me though that its not just a problem with tone, and that other people have noticed it. I thought he should mention it to his boss in a casual way and ask if Boss has any tips on how to best communicate with New Hire, but Husband really prides himself on being able to work with people of all personalities and wants to improve. Usually Husband would have had some say in the hiring process for this position, since they work closely, but that didn’t happen here.

        Husband says the biggest problem is that New Hire will jump on things he doesn’t like and say they’re “wrong” even if they’re just not the way he wants them. Like, “H, you set the meeting for the wrong time. It should be at 2pm instead of 4pm.” even if NH has no authority over the meeting time, it wasn’t wrong, and 2pm was really just NH’s suggestion. It’s put H on the defensive and is kind of exhausting for him. He doesn’t know how to respond to such things except to say “Not wrong. Meeting still on for 4pm.”

        • No Problem :

          I think all of my comments except the new-hire review still fit. It’s great that your husband wants to be able to work with people of all personalities, but this guy is definitely an outlier and being just plain unprofessional. I can’t imagine EVER telling someone (manager, peer, direct report) that they put the wrong time on a meeting unless it was actually wrong! Your husband’s response that the time is not wrong is fine, but he may need to be more firm in the future to prevent future behavior of this sort: “Hey X, I’ve noticed that you use the term “wrong” to indicate that you do not prefer the option I selected. In the future, please use this term only to indicate that the selected option is an actual error and simply state that you prefer something else when that’s what you mean.” (with more casual langauge as needed) This guy is a bull in a china shop, and if other people have noticed his behavior as well, it’s time for the come to Jesus talk.

        • Is there a language/cultural barrier along with a difficult personality?
          NH sounds like a FOB who is not very familiar with the ways of an American office. In some cultures this abrasive, argumentative style is acceptable and even respected.

    • Do you think this may be related to NH working in a satellite office? I worked in a somewhat similar environment in a previous job. I was in the HQ while everyone else in a comparable position to mine was in a satellite office. Two of these people in particular came across as being pretty abrasive at times, and in many cases they just felt like they were often left out of the loop or that they were being ignored when major decisions were made. The abrasive behavior was mostly because they were so frustrated with the situation and felt they had no choice but to adopt that kind of defensive stance.

      In your husband’s case, I think it would be a good idea to try to figure out if there may be an underlying reason for NH’s behavior. From your meeting anecdote, it sounds like NH may also be feeling like he’s not totally on the loop in things and has no clue who is in charge of what. Perhaps if he has some sort of point person he can contact in the HQ who can direct him to who is in charge of scheduling meetings and whatnot, NH would be easier to work with?

  3. TO lawyer :

    I love this! This makes me really excited for the opening of Ann Taylor here, which I think is happening in October.

    On that note – Toronto meet up? I think someone else broached the topic a couple weeks ago but I don’t know if anything’s been done.

    I set up an anon email address: toronto dot [this site] @ gmail dot com

    If you’re interested, email me and we can coordinate something through an email list!

  4. The skirt is a bit too fitted (doesn’t seem to fit the model properly and the website mentions a “curve-flaunting peplum back” which I would not personally be comfortable in at the office) but I love the fabric and the jacket.

    Travel advice threadjack — I’m heading to Montreal for a week in early October to visit parents/see friends etc. As a compromise with my husband to get some real vacation in there, we want to hop out of the city and spend a day/night somewhere like Mont Tremblant (we figure there will still be what to do with walking around the village, hopefully some good walks/hikes in the fall weather, etc, plus hopefully it won’t be too crowded in between summer and ski season). Does anyone have a hotel recommendation in the area? Or suggestions of other places to stay within a 2ish-hour drive from the island? We can’t do anything restaurant/winery-focused because of dietary restrictions, so looking more for cute towns, good walks, nice hotel/inn, etc. Thanks!

  5. 2/3 attorney :

    Has anyone tried/owned the new 3/4 sleeve dress at Nordie’s from Suzi Chin for Maggie Boutique? It looks versatile and flattering, but that one front overlap piece seems to hang down weirdly from the bust area, hmm. Link to follow.

  6. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Shoe PSA – Jessica Simpson Oscar pumps, probably the most comfortable heels I have ever owned. I got a snakeskin pair when over in the states a while back and just ordered another two pairs from DSW. First time I have ever ordered anything from the US, but it will be totally worth it!

    I think they are going out of circulation, as e.g. the nude ones only had a couple of sizes left, but love love love and wanted to share my enthusiasm!

  7. Nonny @ Equity's Darling :

    How was your call ceremony and the weekend with your parents?

    Congratulations on becoming a lawyer!

    • Equity's Darling :

      Thanks for asking! And thanks re: becoming a lawyer! It’s so much easier to describe my job now- no one really knows what an articling student does.

      The call ceremony was great! My judge was so nice, and my principal’s application was hilarious, and the reception was a hit (well, the food was a hit). The robes I borrowed were too big (and sort of hot to wear), I’m so glad to be joining the solicitor side of things, so the robes won’t be a common thing. The family was tiring, but it was nice to see the siblings and get out to the mountains.

      I’ve been so worried about being negligent for the past 2 days, I hope the fear subsides at some point.

      • Glad to hear it went well! I can’t promise that The Fear will go away anytime soon, but at least I can tell you that you are not alone, if that helps. Everyone feels The Fear and actually I think it is kind of healthy because it keeps you on your toes.

        But don’t worry, I think you are with one of the big firms and there are tons of smart people there to learn from, so you will be fine. My mentor used to tell me to surround myself with smart people and stay humble. I still think that is good advice.

  8. Love this suit. I’ve been trying to rein in my shopping (so hard with Labor Day sales!) but may have to purchase this suit (as soon as I can find a coupon for Ann Taylor).

  9. I need to bite the bullet and order a complete plus size suit. Not just separates. Nordies is failing me (gasp), I’ve tried Elloqui, but their jackets are tent like. Any other places I’m missing. I’d like one nice interview quality suit so I don’t have to be self conscious about my size/worrying about fit.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I got a nice Anne Klein suit at Lord and Taylor. You could try Talbots too, but of Ellquii’s jackets are tent-like on you then I’m not sure Talbots would be any better.

      • Thanks! I will look there too.

        Maybe it was the style I got, but it looked like a jacket from the ’80s. Really long (covered my butt). and just boxy. I’m going to have it tailored if possible, but definitely not what I was hoping for.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Which one is it? I’ve tried the Classic Fit Peaked Lapel jacket (which I thought was long and boxy) and the Modern Seamed Blazer (which I kept because I couldn’t decide on and missed the return window but it fits better than the other one did). I also think that I just look weird it suits, but I’ve never had new tailored to fit me perfectly.

          • Classic Fit Peaked! I missed the return window thanks to some family drama, so I figure I can have it tailored down some.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I wish the return window was just a little longer! I’m so spoiled by Zappos that the 30-day window seems to slip past so quickly.

    • Don’t know what size you are, but I wear a size 18 and plus sizes don’t work at all on me – way too boxy. If plus size jackets are tent-like on you (which is the case with me), could you try a size 18 or 20 suit from Talbots or Ann Taylor? Otherwise I’ve heard good things about the plus-size line at Talbots.

      • Interesting. Maybe that’s the issue. I will have to do some measuring tonight when I get home!

      • yes, Talbots is great for this. For many things they havea 16,18, 20 “Misses” and a 14, 16, 18, 20 women’s as well. Their size charts don’t make it easy to compare, but I believe there is a difference in the bust/waist ratio and length between misses and plus.

    • lawsuited :

      I have 4 suits from Talbots, and their quality is good (even though their Canadian customer services sucks to the max). Order a range of sizes (I wear 18 pants and a 16P jacket) and you should be able to get a good fit.

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      I live in Jones New York Plus pieces. They have a wash and wear line that looks much, much nicer than you’d expect and the pieces (jacket, skirt, pants, dress) aren’t too terribly expensive. I’m a skirt-suit-only girl (pants make me look frumptastic!) and I’ve never found a better fitting skirt. I usually snag mine from Macy’s, but just had phenomenal luck at the JNY Outlets. Like the posters below, I’m also a fan of Talbots (including Talbots WP sizing). Second the recommendation for the Grace fit over the Kate fit, since the Kate was tent-like in a hideous way. Other people swear by Tahari, but my Tahari attempts have been hit or miss.

      • new york associate :

        Talbots has an amazing range for plus sizes, and most of it is available in both W and WP. If you find that jackets tend to be too long on you, try the WP sizing. I’m tall and still use WP sizing, especially for jackets.

    • The Louben jacket and skirt at Nordstr are really nice – I love them. I have had good luck with Jones New York too, although the quality of their fabric varies. Talbots suit separates have worked for me sometimes too.

  10. Macys, Lord and Taylor?

  11. I am in love with this shirt (though perhaps a more reddish-orange would be more fall appropriate). It’s sold out….can anyone find me something similar?

    http://www.polyvore.com/french_connection_high_summer_silk/thing?id=56525998

  12. momentsofabsurdity :

    Things that are getting on my nerves today: Hearing 3 people (2 coworkers, 1 friend) use the term “rape” to refer to trivial unpleasant events.

    “This client is just raping us when it comes to travel.”

    “I just want to get out of my Verizon contract – they are raping me with the add on fees.”

    Etc. Usually I just let things roll but today (maybe because I’m hearing it everywhere) it’s really starting to bug.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I hate that. I’d call a friend out on it, but it would be more difficult with a coworker.

    • “Your cell phone is forcing you to have intercourse against your will? You guys should probably rethink your choice of words.”

    • WHAT? NO. Please, educate them that their usage of the rape is NOT PROPER. You’ll be doing them and everyone else a favor.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Tried that (with my friend) who proceeded to quote me definitions 7 and 8 of the dictionary definition. I just told him I was disappointed he would use such an emotionally charged term in a situation where any number of other terms would work just as well and I was disappointed he did, regardless of what the dictionary said. He told me I was being oversensitive.

        Grr argh grr.

        • You tell him he’s a jerk, straight up. There is NO defending his usage. No rationalizing, nothing. You are not disappointed, you are ANGRYFACE.

          • “Poor word choice. RAWR.”

          • Honey Pillows :

            Godzilla, you should offer stomping and roaring at a low, fixed price to teach DOOSHes what is and is not appropriate.

        • It really irritates me when people use “you’re oversensitive” to excuse their own misbehavior. Perhaps I *am* more-sensitive-than-average to X, but if X is a rude/jerky/obnoxious thing to do/say, then my oversensitivity in no way excuses your as**ole-ishness.

          • “You’re being overly sensitive.” = classic mansplanation of man’s own a$$holish behavior.

          • THIS. THIS. THIS.

            And Honey Pillows, maybe I should. The Godzilla School of Etiqu3tte. Godzillaqu3tte.

          • did we discuss this article when it came out? It’s by a guy saying that guys just use the “you’re being sensitive” or “you’re being crazy” to try to excuse their own behavior, and they know it and they should stop it. When I first read this article, I was all: OH EM GEE YES I KNEW IT!!!

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yashar-hedayat/a-message-to-women-from-a_1_b_958859.html

          • Zora, I was about to link that article! F that sh.

            FWIW, I called a coworker out on using gay as a pejorative yesterday, and it was equally awkward. At least she agreed to refrain from using it in front of me. But really, why must people be so…icky.

          • aw, a., i love it… you ~~~~wavelength~~~~~me ….
            but srsly it is a mindblowing article. and i really wish people would think about their words more.

        • Anonymous Poser :

          You are NOT being oversensitive. I *hate* the use of the word “rape” to mean anything but, well, rape.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I threw down with a senior partner over his use of that term earlier this year. We had worked together a few times, and he used it discussing a case. We are corporate lawyers. I was stunned. He kept talking and once it was my turn in the conversation to speak, I said that “before we go back to discussing the case, in no way did anything opposing counsel do constitute rape. Using that word in this context completely trivializes sexual assault. Nothing is like rape except rape. Say they are fraudulent, say they are liars, say they should be disbarred, say we should sue for defamation, but what they are doing is.not.rape.” He stared at me, and my not-kidding face, and as I was thinking “am I about to get fired??” he actually apologized. He used the term a few more times in the months ahead, but caught himself and apologized. I haven’t heard it since. There are some things I absolutely won’t stand for, and that’s one of them. Holocaust is another. Is someone murdering tens of thousands of people? No? K, then, use a different word.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Still regret not speaking up when the managing partner pulled this out at a summer event on negotiation. Didnt get the offer any way, and any lawyer who thinks rape is the end result of a bad negotiation is never getting my business.

      • In the Pink :

        SF Bay, you get the Corp************ Star Award of the Quarter ! That’s what we are all about. Women and our position and our right and our safety and our intellect and our fashion….in that order.

    • Ugh! I was in a meeting and someone used the term “Facebook rape” after acknowleding that they hated the term. I chimed in (in probably a pissy tone for voice) that couldn’t we just call it what it is, a Facebook hack?

      Don’t make me sit and listen to touchy feely discussions of communications and sensitivity and then use rape to describe something that it is nowhere near an equivalent.

  13. Two cents :

    My husband and I would like to travel to Aruba in November and I am looking for a good Groupon/Living Social hotel deal. What is the best way of finding one through these sites? Do all Groupons/Living Social sites by city have the same “Getaways” options or do I actually need to sign up separately for Groupon-DC, Groupon-Boston, Groupon-NY, etc.? Or is anyone aware of an alert I could sign up for when an Aruba deal comes out?

    Thanks for the help!

    • I think you need to just sign up and see what comes your way. There are dedicated travel sites — LuxuryLink.com is one — that have significantly marked down travel deals. This might be a more reliable way to go, especially on your tight time frame and looking for a specific location.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Vacationist is a travel-specific groupon-like site you might try.

  14. I love this suit. I can’t wait to buy it many months from now when it is on sale, since I am a law student on a law student budget.

    Compensation TJ:

    How much should a small, public interest, immigration law firm pay an experienced legal intern for work during the semester in a small Midwestern city? My friend, a 3L with plenty of immigration experience, will be working for an immigration firm part-time during this semester. They are going to discuss compensation later this week, but she has no idea how much she should be paid. I thought this would be a knowledgeable group to ask. I thought between $10-$15 an hour was reasonable.

    More info:
    – She will be working very independently. She has experience in this type of work with this particular immigrant population, and she’s multi-lingual.
    – The attorney who she will be working for bills $180/hour for the work that she will be doing.

    • Cornellian :

      I’d probably ask for something like 12, yeah. I suppose it would depend on how flexible they were otherwise, if I could do some work from home, etc.

    • lawsuited :

      I don’t know anything about compensation in small, public interest, immigration law firms in the Midwest, but when my billing rate was $180, my salary was $60k.

    • I think your friend shouldn’t feel uncomfortable -asking- for $20 an hour, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the law firm had an internal ceiling of $10-$15. As an inexperienced 1L, I got paid $15 an hour working at a public interest law firm in a large northeastern city (my boss helped me cobble together grants and a small amount from her department’s funding and capped the contribution from her funds so that I got paid $15/hour). As a 2L and 3L, I got paid over $30 an hour, which I considered somewhat overpaid, but I know other people who were working part-time for small law firms/solos who made $20 an hour.

    • I would say $15 – I am in the twin cities and made this as a 2L/3L in a small civil firm as well as a non-profit.

    • Thanks for the comments! Helpful as usual.

      • It sounds terrible, but as a graduate who had taken the bar (awaiting admission) I worked at 2 law firms part time until I found my full-time (better paying) gig. They both paid me $12-$15 an hour, which was pretty abysmal, but I graduated in 2009 and lost a big firm gig at the last minute, so I was behind on my job search and took what I could get for the time being. However, talking to classmates in similar situations, it was the norm. NYC and suburbs.

    • Not in this field, but in my senior year of college a number of years back, I made $16/hr babysitting. These rates seem ridiculous to me.

      Also – not entirely clear to me if she is being billed out at $180/hr (in which case she should definitely ask for upwards of $50) or the partner bills at that rate. I at first assumed the latter but see that another commenter seems to think the former.

    • I clerked for a small firm as a 2L -3L around 2008-09, and it was a similar circumstance (I had some experience in the field, was largely independent, and we were in a small city in the southeast, which has a similar cost of living to the midwest), and I was paid $17.50/hour, which seemed reasonable. So, I would recommend that she ask for something like $19, and be willing to accept $17-ish. Maybe be willing to accept a little bit less as she’s looking at public interest, while mine was completely for-profit. (Plaintiff’s work, though, so there was no billing rate of the partners to compare.)

      Good luck to your friend!

    • Badger Anon :

      But your friend is a 3L, not a licensed attorney, and needs to keep that in mind. In Madison, Wisconsin where I went to school, these jobs generally paid $12 per hour and people were happy to get it. And by 3L year, most people are “experienced interns,” but being an intern is way different from practicing law where your own license is on the line. You claims the friend will work “very independently” but in reality, MUST, under supreme court rule in WI be completely supervised by a licensed attorney. Not very independent.

      Keep in mind that this lawyer might bill $180 per hour, but whether she can collect that money from her clients is another issue entirely. The lawyer is also unable to bill that same amount for work your friend does, because your friend is NOT a lawyer.

      Public interest law jobs are very different from regular law firm jobs. Very different. Your friend should ask for $16 a hour, and expect less.

  15. Wondering :

    TJ – Anyone else ever get “shooting” pain from your neck into your head that causes a bad headache for a few minutes and then goes away? I get them every once in a while, sometimes to the point of being incapacitated for several seconds/almost a minute, but yesterday and today they’ve been pretty frequent.

    I’m wondering if it’s stress or something.

    • hellskitchen :

      Please get this checked asap. At best, it’s a pinched nerve or something that’s causing this. At worst, it’s a sign of something deeper. The fact that it only lasts a few minutes has me concerned, as that does not sound like stress pains which don’t go away very quickly

    • emcsquared :

      When I switched offices, my new desk was a lot higher and I’ve been struggling with the shooting neck pains as well. For me it is related to having to stretch/reach for my keyboard and mouse all day. If your company has an OSHA/ergonomics expert, that can be really helpful – even if they don’t, you should consider hiring one yourself for a 1 hour consult. It made a world of difference in my old job.

  16. Ladies, I need your help. I need to figure out a way to educate my parents on nutrition. Particularly, healthy eats for Papa Godzilla’s specific medical conditions and food preferences. I would take them to Weight Watcher’s, but they’d never go. They also avoid doctors like they’re demons or something and would never visit a nutritionist.

    Background info:
    1. Papa Godzilla is a heart patient, with high cholesterol, blood pressure and type II diabetes, as well as heartburn. He can’t eat sour foods because of the heartburn. He’s also really smart and incredibly stubborn and takes firm stances on things based on his understanding (ie fried foods are ok because it’s vegetable oil – I know it doesn’t work that way but that’s how he’s reasoned it out). He HATES bell peppers, non-fish seafood, tomato sauce and soup. He wants meat for lunch and dinner, which is chicken. Every day. He’s good about the no-red-meat rule. He limits his meal portions and then gorges on processed food during a continous “snack time”. Sugary and fried stuff is his favorite, especially sugary fried stuff. He takes pills to manage all his conditions. He only eats whatever is cooked at home.
    2. Mama Godzilla – portion control. She eats all the right food, no junk but eats too much of it. She did well with food diaries but then she got lazy. But her health is ok. She loves Dr. Oz (which is hilarious, actually).

    I ask now because Papa Godzilla is FINALLY open to losing weight and working towards it via diet. He’s very active (but doesn’t exercise in the general understanding of the word). I need ideas on how to educate him without making it sound preachy or commanding. It’s a HUGE PLUS that he doesn’t eat out (and in fact, only Mama Godzilla’s cooking is acceptable) so she’s essentially controlling 2/3’s of his calories. But I don’t know how to address the addictive snacking. Is there some sort of movie or video or brainwashing tape I could install in his clock radio? HELP.

    • No advice, but I *wish* my father was open to actively losing weight. Good luck!

    • Maybe a visual aid to show them what a serving size looks for each type of food. If it’s processed junk they seek, there are lots of 100 calorie packs/snack size servings for chips, cookies, ice cream, cereal, all the way to healthier items like fruit and hummus. That may provide a little more external discipline. I don’t know how old your parents are but my experience is that some older folks just don’t get enough fluids and it leads to mistaking hunger for thirst. Also, aging means that your sense of smell and taste decline as well. So you seek out salt bombs like chips because you don’t notice more subtle flavorings.

    • Could you buy them a gift certificate with a healthy in house personal chef for cooking classes? Or would that offend Mama Godzilla? Maybe you could put together a book of *your* favorite recipes and share that with them. Or maybe sign them up for a fruit and veggie delivery service, especially if they’re the type who wouldn’t want stuff to go bad.

      Maybe you should make an appointment with a nutritionist and figure out what strategies would be best and can try to deliver those messages? If there’s a brainwashing tape, can you mail it to me when you’re done?

      • Mama Godzilla would LOOOOOVE it if they had a personal chef or meal service. Papa Godzilla would not touch that food with a stick, to be honest. I suppose I could go to a nutritionist myself and see if they have brainwashing techniques ( I could use the help myself, to be honest).

    • I love this suit. I do not love that the jacket is not available in a Tall. I have a sneaky feeling that this, just like every other jacket at AT, will be exactly .5′” too short in the sleeves (there is never enough room to let them out), and hit too high on my hips.

      I can get away with regular length AT pants (as long as I wear flats), and skirts are generally ok as well…BUT I NEED AN EXTRA .5″ IN THE ARM!

      I also hate that this company somehow makes a 4L suit jacket that fits perfectly, but I have to go to an 8 in regular sizing and get it tailored down. My arms are not freakishly long! WTF. /rant.

    • No Problem :

      What is he doing while he’s snacking? Is he sitting around watching tv or reading or perusing the Internet? Or taking breaks between tinkering in the garage or the basement? Or something else? As someone who does a lot of sitting, it’s much easier to wolf down gobs of food while sitting around doing something else than it is if you’re out for a walk or doing something that requires your hands. Not to say he needs to change his habits entirely, but if substituting 1 hour of tv watching for 1 hour of walking/playing an instrument/running errands gets him eating a bit less, that’s progress.

      I agree with SAB that they both need to better understand portion control. Maybe it’s even ok for them to eat 2 or 3 of the 100 calorie packs to start (as long as it’s less than what they were eating before) and then slowly work down to smaller snacks over the course of a couple weeks.

      • He snacks badly while watching tv and while driving (while commuting to work in NYC, which is as terrible as it sounds). I don’t think I can get him to give up mindless tv time at the end of the evening, it’s how he falls asleep.

        • In the Pink :

          How about inserting movement/exercise into the tv watching time? I know he tries to fall asleep, but maybe during primo snacking?

          Gotta link up movement or “healthy” foods with his favorite activities.

          Gotta replace one unhealthy choice wi th another and since you haven’t found that in food, what about the other half of the equation – movement.

          Or, you manage an activity that uses one’s hands so snacking is less likely to occur. Hard to do for Pappas though.

          Calling other behavioral specialists to help out here. Papa Godzilla has a long history of fighting battles AND inspired our own Godzilla.

      • No advice, just sympathy. Have similar fears for my FIL, who is not particularly open to a change. We’ve kind of given up. He’s not a child, knows that what he’s doing to himself isn’t healthy, knows HOW to change, but just.wont.do.it. It’s probably a lot harder than I give it credit for, and at the end of the day, I realized that I’m being patronizing for nagging and hinting. It’s his life. If he doesn’t want to live to see his grandchildren graduate, it breaks my heart, but I can’t make him.

    • lawsuited :

      My daddio doesn’t need to lose much weight, but does have high cholestrol. My sisters and I (we range in age from 13 to 26) had a talk with him about how we want him to be around forever because he’s the only dad we have, and now he’s all over the low cholestrol diet. We helped by making default shopping lists and meal plans for hectic weeks, and he’s allowed to eat whatever he wants on Sunday.

      • Your father sounds reasonable. Papa Godzilla is….not. We have friendly “discussions” about how he doesn’t want to live like a patient and would rather eat things that taste good and die sooner than live long on terrible tasting food. I do not have a counter argument to that.

        • Eat smaller quantities of good tasting food = living longer. Best of both worlds. The counterpoint would be not everything healthy has to taste bad either.

          • Yes but then he’s HUNGRY and he is Mr. CrankyPants when he’s hungry and he just RAWRS RAWRS RAWRS. And then the acid production increases and then it physically hurts him and more RAWRs ensue. I told him to speak to his doctor about acid medication but his doctor is not so diligent (and we stay away from otc stuff because we don’t want to mess with drug interactions).

        • I hate to say it, but it sounds like he knows exactly what he’s doing, and he’s made an informed choice – it’s just not the informed choice you would like. Ultimately, you can’t force someone to do what’s best for them. Express how much you love him and want him around for the long haul, and then let it go. He’s an adult.

    • You might look into something like SparkPeople – its technically a weight loss site, but I like it because it makes menus based on dietary restrictions, and lets you print out a shopping list, make substitutions, etc. Its very specific about portion control, and also lets you select for other things like low cholesterol, gluton free, etc.
      I had a friend who used it when she went vegan because it tracks your nutrient intake.
      If Mama Godzilla can work with a food diary, this might be a good way for her and him to work together – it would show her the portion control she needs, and help her make a meal plan that’ll work for his medical conditions.
      Also, they should buy a food scale. Nothing shouts Reality!! like realizing the portion that you thought was 1 oz of cheese and 100 or so calories is really 10 oz of cheese and is your entire calorie budget for the day.

    • Would they be open to seeing a dietician? I found this very helpful to understanding food and how it worked in my body (or really didn’t work as was the case)? If not, what about starting to log food using an app do they see how much they’re really consuming v ideal?

    • Two cents :

      Your dad sounds a lot like how my dad used to be. Heart patient, Type 2 diabetes, and he used to be about 60 pounds overweight. He’s a small guy, only 5’3, so the extra weight was really dangerous.

      He ended up having a medical scare and that was what it took to give him a wake up call. The biggest change he made was going on a 3-4 mile walk every.single.day. Before he would always go on a “45 minute walk” which in reality was no more than 0.5 mile, given how slow he walked. Then we started walking with him and bought him a pedometer, and slowly but surely he started to lose weight. He kicked and screamed but he did it. He has lost 40 pounds so far and I’m so proud of him.

      RE: food, he’s probably addicted to processed foods because they’re just fluff and don’t fill him up. Has he tried a handful of nuts, some peanut butter on an english muffin, or some low glycemic fruit like cherries or strawberries? My dad also really likes Fage yogurt, although the sugar content can be high (even the plain kind) so it’s more of a treat than anything else.

      It’s really great that your mom is controlling most of his food, sounds like his biggest problem is the snacking. If he can eat more healthy snacks and walk every day, that will be a huge step in the right direction. After that you can tackle the excessive meat consumption, but one step at a time.

      • He’s had 2 heart attacks before he turned 50 (he’s 57 now). So, I don’t think scaring him will work. He won’t have peanut butter because it’s “fatty” but he’ll have the entire container of cashews because nuts are “healthy” (as per the news). He says he’s too tired to walk or exercise, and I believe him. He breathes REALLY VERY HARD when walking over a certain distance because his heart has to work really hard. Also, are there gyms for heart patients? Is this something covered by health insurance?

        • My friend is a cardiac rehabilitation technician, and they meet with patients 3 days a week at a nearby hospital. I think they mostly focus on heart function, and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Each technician gives presentations on things like exercise and diet and how to manage post-heart attack, etc. Not every hospital has it, but here in the Seattle area, we have a few of the major hospitals that have a similar program. Maybe look up cardiac rehabilitation and see if there’s a program that is in network and covered by insurance? It sounds like he would be a good candidate, but might need a referral from his doctor.

        • emcsquared :

          In the twin cities, we have a gym that is specifically for heart patients – there is on-site medical staff and they coordinate with cardiac clinics locally. So they do exist….

        • Two Cents :

          So did my dad. He breathed super, super, super heavily and kept saying that he was going to collapse if he walked. He didn’t collapse, needless to say. It’s really, really, REALLY hard in the beginning because your dad is so not used to exercise, but if you can just get him to walk even one mile, you will be amazed at how much quicker he will eventually get. Your dad will likely make up every excuse in the book. Obviously, if he is having chest pains he needs to stop walking, but don’t let the breathing heavily stop him — that’s just natural from lack of exercise. My dad still walks slow but definitely not as slow as before, and he only starts to breathe heavily if he walks for a long time (more than a few miles).

        • My mom eats well and is not overweight, but she has severe heart problems. Her cardiac specialist put her on a walking regime, but it was really hard for her because initially she could not do much before getting badly out of breath. However, she persevered. What worked for her was setting up a treadmill at home and putting it in front of a TV. She does 45 to 60 minutes of walking on the treadmill every day while watching cooking shows. I don’t think she walks particularly fast, but she boasts that at first she could only walk for 10 minutes at a time, but is now up to 60 minutes – so obviously there has been a great deal of improvement. I don’t know if something like that would spur on your dad? My mom feels so proud of herself and now really complains when she misses a day. It isn’t the level of exercise that most of us would consider sufficient, but it is what works for her.

    • We had a family health scare a year ago that resulted in us completely changing our diets. Here are some things that work for us.

      * Switch to smaller plates and bowls. It sounds stupid, but it helps. We eat off “lunch” size plates now instead of “dinner” plates. The bowls we use for cereal and such are more ramekin size.

      * Get a scale and/or use pre-portioned food (like 100 calorie packs).

      * Plan for snacks. For us, that might be a piece of fruit or a 100 calories of almonds or a Babybell cheese.

      * Find new desserts that taste sweet, but don’t pack a huge sugar/calorie punch. One of my favorites is a small handful of frozen blueberries (I buy fresh and throw them in the freezer.)

      * Buy ziploc steamer bags and learn to steam vegetables. It’s *so* much quicker than frying (and a lot easier to clean up, too). Add massive amounts of pepper or other seasoning, if needed, to get the taste he needs. This one you can totally pull off by gifting them to Mama Godzilla as a “look-what-cool-thing-I-found” present.

      * We had to learn new recipes, too. Our basic chicken dish is a casserole dish of chicken breasts covered in sauce (barbecue, pesto, hickory, spaghetti sauce), with the dish covered in foil. Bake for ~20 minutes (until chicken is done). Add cheese to top of chicken and return to oven to melt cheese (2-3 minutes). You can throw in mushrooms and/or bacon at the beginning, too. Our basic fish dish is a casserole dish of fish fillets covered in a seasoning packet or green enchilada sauce baked until the fish is done. You can cook veggies (asparagus, yum!) in the dish at the same time as the fish, especially if you use the enchilada sauce.

    • Can you help him figure out both why/when he snacks and what it is about that particular processed snack that he likes? So maybe he always snacks while bored or watching TV, so then you can help him figure out something else to do during that time so that he doesn’t snack. (My husband will fold socks while watching a football game. My grandpa always did the crossword puzzle while watching Wheel of Fortune, LOL)

      Then figure out what is is about the snack he chooses that he likes and try to replace it with something healthier. Like if he likes chips and dip because he craves something crunchy and likes to dip, then can he switch to cucumber and hummus? Or if he likes cheese snacks, can he have a low-fat cheese stick instead? I also find honey roasted peanuts really satisfy my need for a sweet and crunchy snack (though it’s easy to overdo it on these! Pre-portioned containers would be good.)

      Also, when I exercise I find I naturally crave more vegetables, less processed foods and water. So maybe if he can get into the habit of walking or something that will also help.

    • Can you make them trays of healthy snacks so that there’s something to reach for already there? For me at least, processed foods are so convenient, but if I have a veggie tray or some fruit kebabs waiting in my fridge I’ll gladly eat those instead.

      For education, maybe find some kind of tv show (buy some Dr. Oz dvds?), magazine subscriptions (I used to subscribe to Diet & Nutrition), or it might be fun to browse library healthy cookbooks or internet recipes with your mom.

    • My dad had similar issues. He was never overweight, but he really liked fried foods. One thing he does that I think helps a lot is that he will always portion the food out into a small container or have pre-portioned items like a precut cheddar slice. The pantry is downstairs and the main TV is upstairs, so that helps him stick to the original portion size.

      My mom has started to get him into daily exercise. She’s taking it one step at a time and they have started out doing a fairly short workout DVD and are slowly moving onto longer routines as they get more fit.

      They also go out to eat twice a week for dinner. I think if you allow yourself to enjoy certain forbidden food once or twice a week as a treat, it makes maintaining the diet the rest of the week more manageable. Since your dad doesn’t eat out, perhaps he can allow himself 1-2 treat days each week where he can have the sugary fried snacks that he loves so much?

    • MissJackson :

      You say that he wouldn’t *go* to Weight Watchers, but would he follow the program online? It’s hugely eye opening to see what the “points value” of foods are, and it teaches you pretty quickly how to get a better bang for your buck, so to speak. Plus the online WW program is extremely well priced (I think I pay $16/month).

      (says the girl who learned that her favorite homemade chicken and brown rice dish is 17 points per — very reasonable sized — serving last night. le sigh.)

    • Are they readers? Maybe something like In Defense of Food would open their eyes to portions, and natural vs processed substances.

      Also consider one goal per week – it can be tough to modify your whole diet all at once. First goal of drinking 56-64 oz of water a day. Second to walk a decent distance (maybe a half-mile?) 4x a week. Then build up to cutting snacks, or swapping fruit for a sweet snack once a day.

    • I saw this article on the NYT yesterday, and thought it sounded like a great, easy, non-diet solution for people who don’t know much about nutrition or proper portion sizes.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/02/business/lifesize-a-weight-loss-strategy-from-an-unlikely-pair.html

      • Interesting. Yes, when I mention to Mama Godzilla that a cup of rice is 5 points, she breaks out the coffee mug =). I point her to the tea cup and she doesn’t believe me.

        • Would she use the Weight Watchers serving spoons – I think they have ladles and spoons, etc that are specific sizes, like 1 cup and 1/2 cup ? The key for me on portion size is to measure, if you make it “one ladlefull” that’s easier than breaking out the measuring cup.

    • Would Mama Godzilla be open to something like the weekly menu plan from Savingdinner.com? If she is would Papa Godzilla be open to trying Mama’s new recipes?

      • anonymous :

        I hope I’m not too late in joining this thread.
        They should read the book Eat For Health. In fact, if anyone wants to re-think how and what they eat, this is an absolutely fantastic book. If you follow his way of eating for at least half of your meals, there’s almost no doubt that it will change your life.
        If your father and mother adopted his way of eating, it would not surprise me a bit if they lost significant amounts of weight quickly, kept it off, and felt better than they ever have before.
        Might be the best $20 I’ve ever spent.

    • If he’s open to reading a book, The China Study offers pretty darn compelling reasons, research and advice on how a diet change can significantly improve one’s health. There are also specific chapters on cancer, diabetes etc. I wish I could force everyone I card about to read this book.

  17. I give up. Today I wheeled maybe 25 lbs of books and laptop to school and back. One contracts book, one crim law book, one laptop, one binder, one charger cord, and a small lunch. MY HIP IS STILL HURTING!
    What did y’all do when you were in LS? Did you bring your books to school, or keep them in a locker, or have a better knapsack than I have?

    If you have a rec for a bag, it would need to be something on wheels, light frame that can carry a lot when I need it to, and not too expensive.

    Thanks for letting me vent!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Get your books cut into sections and just bring whatever section you need for that particular day. I lived close to campus and never had to do this, so I’m not sure where people were getting this done, but it was a popular option for people with longer commutes–I think maybe copying places did it?

    • I kept all my texts in my locker at school and only took home what I needed to study on any given night. This made Friday afternoon trips home interesting, but otherwise worked really well.

      No backpack/rolling bag recommendations – I used a big backpack that had previously seen me all the way through undergrad, and can only recommend putting a backpack on both shoulders rather than hanging it off one (something I am very bad at).

    • Cornellian :

      -locker, definitely.
      -carry fewer books. few people can do law school work in less than 90 minute chunks at home (the assignments don’t lend themselves), so you don’t really ever need to be taking home more than two books, max.
      -consider taking notes on paper. There have been countless studies on who ends up with better grades in classes when taking paper vs laptop notes, and paper notetakers seem to won. It worked well for lots of us to take paper notes then summarize them digitally, fill in blanks, etc at night with the book.
      -wheeled bags are a terror for everyone else in your law school. Fair or not, if you’re not pregnant or physically challenged, people will be unhappy with you for using a wheeled bag.
      -see if your library loans laptop chargers so you don’t need to lug yours around. Also keep your wi-fi off at all times. it’ll keep you focused, and make your battery life that much better.

    • I carried one shoulder tote on each shoulder on days I needed to carry several books. I liked being able to distribute the weight, and dislike the giant backpacks many students used (I always feel like I’m sticking out my chest when I wear one). I also had a cobblestone-filled walk to school so rolling bags were a PITA.

      One was a sturdy leather tote that I used for my laptop; the other was one of the vera bradley quilted bags (not the crazy patterns) – nice for books because the bag itself was lightweight.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      My solution was just to study at the library. Maybe you need a locker for this or maybe you can keep your books in your car (what I did). Have you checked with your school about study carrols? Studying at the library knocks out two birds with one stone – you don’t have to lug your books around, and it’s SO much easier (for me) to actually be productive at the library rather than at home. Well, three birds, really – you won’t need a wheelie bag, because I agree, your classmates will hate you for that (yes, it’s petty). Imagine trying to keep that thing out of the aisle when you’re digging for books in class – impossible. Please, don’t be the wheelie-bag girl.

      Only other thing I can think of is pairing up with a friend in your section, so each of you brings half of the books you need for each day (i.e., you bring Ks, she brings crim).

      • I respectfully disagree — I need a wheelie bag b/c carrying my books in my backpack, even only the books I need for that class (not to mention when I don’t have time to go to my locker between classes) wreaks havoc on my back. Sorry I have no back & ab muscles… yes I do back exercises… and my bag weight is probably 50% (most of the time) of my body weight… but I don’t really want to sacrifice my back b/c my classmates are annoyed.
        FWIW, 1) I’m conscious of keeping my bag way out of the aisle, next to my seat, on the floor in the elevator, etc; 2) I have a locker & study in the library almost exclusively to minimize carrying too many books around; and 3) no one appears to care that much… but I guess maybe they could secretly hate me.
        So, I have this wheelie backpack (and do carry it on my back as much as I can), and it’s not too ugly: Dakine Wheeled Campus Pack (link to follow). I’m a 3L, pretty hard on my bags, and it’s holding up really well so far.

    • how big/heavy is your laptop? during law school i had a monstrous thinkpad laptop because i wanted the bigger screen for long hours and i had a heavy extended battery. i had a separate laptop sleeve-bag for it that only held the laptop and charger since it was so heavy. i only had 2 classes during any given chunk of time, so there was no need to carry more than 2 books around. lockers are definitely your friend

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Oh also – get yourself elected as a 1L rep of a student org and you could probably keep your books in their office :)

    • Are you sure a backpack isn’t a better option than a wheelie bag? I carried my laptop (13 lbs) and two or so casebooks around with me most of the time in a big backpack (one with good structure and padding). It was big and I hate backpacks (from a purely asthetic standpoint) but it did the job and I walked to and from school.

    • If you have a locker at the school, get an extra charger and keep it at the school. No need to carry that around.

    • In law school I wore a messenger bag that held just my laptop and then I carried 1-2 books home with me and used a locker for the rest. I rarely needed more than 1-2 books on any given night and I would never have used a wheelie bag…under any circumstance (and when I started law school I had recently had major leg surgery and could barely walk, much less go up stairs or carry heavy loads). So yeah, no wheelie bags even when I was legally handicapped.

    • Didn’t realize there was that much hate for wheelie bags. I store mine under my chair so it’s not in anyone’s way. And yes, I’m pregnant. :)

    • I used a wheeled bag. And, for the record, I was responsible and polite about it. But seriously, carrying law books is terrible for the back! Take care of yourself.

    • First Year Law Student :

      I feel you, fellow 1L! I lucked out and live close enough to the law school that I can run home during lunch and exchange my books so I’ve only got one or two at a time. I guess as an alternative to this, you could keep them in your car, or some kind of locker? Or we can rent study carrels in the library, that could be an option at your school too.

      Are you sure you need the laptop charger? I know my laptop can make it pretty much all day, especially if I close it when I don’t need it (at the library studying). Turning off the wifi would also make it last longer. If not, I see a bunch of students borrowing laptop chargers during class/in the library, so if you know somebody with the same brand laptop, maybe that’s another option? Alternatively, some people use ipad’s to take notes on. I don’t think I’d be able to type on it because I like the tactile feedback of a keyboard and have pretty large hands, but it seems to work for some people, so that could be an option.

      As far as bags go, I’m still using the same backpack I bought when I started middle school 11 years ago, and it’s holding up nicely. It’s an Eddie Bauer, although there aren’t any that look even remotely like it for sale now (not surprising) and they only have one rolling option that only comes in really bright colors so I’m not sure that’s a good one to get either, but it might not hurt to look.

      Sorry I don’t have any more advice, as I’m still just also a 1L, but I hope that was at least semi-helpful. We can do it!

    • I printed out the cases on westlaw and took notes on a palm pilot w a collapsable keyboard (it was a while ago) but it all fit in a purse. I’d just line up the case with the casebook at home so inread the right sections. Headnotes were useful too.

  18. karenpadi :

    So I have a question (and tell me if I’m being overly sensitive).

    I work with mostly men and every time we have a “and spouse” event, I get so many comments from their wives that they had no idea what to wear and were so concerned about not wearing the right thing.

    Our next event is a formal happy hour (firm is bringing in floral people and caterers) in our new offices with all the partners from all over the country. It’s a Wednesday night, shortly after work so it could swing business formal or c-tail for women (men have it so easy in these situations). We have a photographer coming in for the event but she’ll be taking headshots earlier in the day. So, me and two other female attorneys decided we would stay in our headshot attire and not change into c-tail attire.

    At our weekly lunch meeting, the event came up and I added that, if their wives were asking, we (the female attorneys) would be in business formal because of the headshots being taken earlier in the day. One female attorney came up to me after and was like “I don’t think it matters what people wear. We shouldn’t tell them what to wear.”

    So am I over-thinking this?

    • I think so. Remember, you are attending As Lawyer. The wives are attending As Spouse. Since you are attending after work, it is pretty much a given that you will be wearing business attire. The wives don’t necessarily have such a restriction, though presumably some of them will be coming straight after work as well so may very well be in work attire themselves. I wouldn’t worry about it – I am sure that whatever they wear will be fine and they will figure it out. For what it’s worth, I don’t think *they* should be too concerned either – I am sure they all look great.

    • I think it’s considerate of you to pass on information about what you are wearing and leave the choice up to the attendee, especially considering the prior comments you received from non-employee guests. Ignore your co-worker. You didn’t tell anyone to wear anything, you gave information that may or may not make it home to the wives.

    • karenpadi :

      Thanks! I appreciate the sanity-check.

    • It seems like the wives have sought out information in the past as to what to wear, so providing a guideline in explicitly saying to the men you work with that the dress code (for the wives) is in the range of cocktail/business formal isn’t really telling anyone what to wear – it’s providing information that has been previously requested.

      And yes, it probably doesn’t matter what anyone wears (in the sense that they would barred at the door for wearing the wrong thing), but it’s nice to give people an expectation of what the level of dress is for the other guests, so one doesn’t feel out of place because they under or over dressed.

    • If the spouses often comment to you that they didn’t know what to wear, I think it’s fine to mention it like you did. You didn’t tell the others to tell their wives to wear business formal, you mentioned that that’s what you would be wearing if they wanted to know. I get the “wear what you’re comfortable wearing” thing to some extent, but at some point I need to fit in to be comfortable.

      I think it was excessive for the other attorney to come up to you afterwards and say that–if she had a problem with it, she could have clarified that there wasn’t a dress code for the event during the meeting. You are probably overthinking it here, but now we can overthink it with you.

    • I think what you said was not inappropriate; and you not told them what to wear, just indicated that any female guest wearing a suit will not look out of place.
      It is also a good idea for the men to let the wives know there will be a photographer, not just the range of dress codes.

      • karenpadi :

        hmm, not a bad idea. The guys I work with are great but, in the end, they are guys who sometimes don’t see why this information is critical. I need to get email addresses from The Wives so I can do this more discreetly and without being so reliant on trusting their husbands to pass along such important information…

        • Anne Shirley :

          No. You don’t. You are not the social secretary, and there’s no penalty should they were the wrong thing. This isn’t actually really important information. I do think the other Atty was over the top, but you sound overly invested in what seems to have been idle cocktail chatter.

        • Wow, do not do this. You are not the firm’s social secretary. The other female attorney is probably embarrassed for you.

        • I agree with anon, I think this is where you are overstepping. Its not that it was rude to tell the husbands what you are wearing, but they are grown ass women they can figure it out!

    • lawsuited :

      I don’t think your comment was prescriptive. *If* female spouses are asking, then the male co-workers *could* pass on what the female co-workers will be wearing, and the female spouses *could* take that into consideration when choosing their own attire.

      Your fellow female co-worker is right that it doesn’t matter what people wear, but often spouses stress about what to wear to these things so the information is useful without telling anyone what to wear. I’d say you’re good.

    • I agree with SAB – I have a colleague who always tells me his wife wanted him to ask what me and other female attorneys are wearing. I think you’re fine.

    • Seventh Sister :

      As a spouse who is a non-law-firm-lawyer, I think it’s actually very considerate to let people know what you are wearing. Some things I could figure out, but I was grateful to my husband’s co-worker who let me know that ball gowns were not required for the fancy holiday party.

      Likewise, I was ticked when my husband told me that a firm dinner was “at a steakhouse” when what he meant was “at the trendiest restaurant in the entire city.” I felt like Emily Gilmore at Fashion Week or something.

    • I think what you said was perfectly fine, and you weren’t telling anyone what to wear the way the other attorney accused you of doing.

      However, I do agree that your attire and wive’s attire will probably be different, and that’s okay. I’d actually find it odd if we had an after work event where my coworkers’ stay-at-home wives showed up in business formal (as opposed to c-tail dress).

  19. Does anyone know how long you have to return stuff to Nordstrom’s by mail? I couldn’t find it on the website and I have a box sitting in my car that I meant to drop off at the post office a month ago… whoops.

  20. Wedding gift question – An acquaintance eloped and I was invited to a dinner held months after the fact to announce/celebrate her nuptials. I rsvp’d I couldn’t attend and figured I would send a gift later. It’s been 4 months and I haven’t sent anything but would like to. Is it strange to send a gift now or is stranger yet not to send anything at all? And what would be an appropriate gift? They specifically asked for cash in their invitation. This is someone I see seldom, but whom I like and I’m in touch with maybe once a month for work related reasons.

    • I don’t think it’s too late to send a card or gift. The asking for money thing would bother me, though, it seems gift-grabby. If you’re comfortable, cash is always a good gift, but I think whatever you wanted to give would be fine–a gift card to a home goods store, a traditional wedding gift (picture frame, vase, etc.–nice to include a gift receipt), or a gift card for a date night. Spend as much as you feel comfortable–I also think sending a congratulatory card without a gift would be fine.

    • they asked for cash… in the invitation… to a dinner…. after they eloped…..

      consider my pearls clutched

      • haha right?! My eyes almost popped out of my head as I was reading that.

        To answer new anon…I don’t think it’s too late, and a card would be fine, with or without cash.

      • +1

      • lawsuited :

        I’m trying not to judge but….seriously. Seriously.

      • If you send cash, at least do it in $1 bills (assuming you’re in USA).

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Ok, so. They eloped (which is an awesome choice). They are hosting a dinner party with friends and family to celebrate (also awesome, of course friends and family want to celebrate your wedding, even if they weren’t there). They sent out invitations to said dinner party (lovely). But they asked for gifts in the invitation?? They asked for CASH GIFTS in the invitation ?? And you’re an acquaintance?? From WORK? GTFO. Best wishes to the happy couple, and no further effort is required. You don’t get to demand gifts out of people just by inviting them to your wedding/reception.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think the ettiquite rules say you have 1 year from the wedding to send a gift, but I don’t know how that translates if they elope. I think your fine sending something now. We’re they registered anywhere? If yes, I’d probably get a gift card to that store but if no, I think cash is fine. Especially if they specified that would be the preferred gift, although I think that is an odd thing to do.

      • I think whatever ‘etiquette’ might have ruled such a situation was tossed out the window when they asked for cash in the invitation. Just…no. To me, that isn’t a ‘tradition’ thing (I wore a silver prom dress at my wedding, lol, I could not care less about tradition) it’s just tacky.

        If you would like to send a gift, send one. I wouldn’t worry if it’s ‘too late’, as mentioned you technically have a year from a wedding.
        I almost never give cash to anyone as a ‘gift’, I’m not a bank. But that’s just me.

    • lawsuited :

      There’s nothing strange about not sending a wedding gift if you’re not attending a wedding, and certainly nothing strange about not sending a gift if you can’t attend a dinner party.

      If you really do want to send a gift, it’s never too late. I’d give a gift card. It’s just as useful without being as awkward as cash in an envelope.

    • Pearl clutching aside, if they asked for cash, I would give them cash. You “can” give them whatever you want (or nothing at all), but since it’s someone you like who you see professionally and you’re trying to do something nice, I’d give them what they actually want – cash in an amount equal to whatever you’d normally spend on a wedding gift for similarly close friends.

      In my circle (relatively affluent NYC), registry gifts (or general household items and other physical gifts if no registry) are given at engagement parties and showers and cash (typically a check) is given as the wedding gift. If this isn’t what you’re used to, I could see having a hard time with a cash gift. But my advice still stands. :)

      • Yes, I think the cash-for-weddings thing might be somewhat regional. I understand it’s kind of the norm in the midwest, where I got married. A lot of business associate guests gave us cash (no, we didn’t ask for it!!), and I have to admit, it WAS pretty useful. Especially considering we didn’t need a lot of the standard registry-type things. We’d been living independently for a while and had three toasters already. What we needed was a down payment on a house.

        But yes, asking for it is a bit awkward. Some poor friend of the bride, bless her, probably told her, no, it’s fine, go ahead and put that in the invitation!

    • I changed my mind. Give cash and maybe you’ll get a thank you note like this:

      http://instagram.com/p/Oz_169PWFl/

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