Thursday’s TPS Report: Ruched Sleeve Jacket

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

Olivia Moon Ruched Sleeve JacketWhoa, you guys, I think this is a first: there is a cobalt version of this blazer available, and I actually prefer the grey. (The cobalt’s up there, though.) Something about the slightly heathered gray strikes me as just a really great basic. This highly reviewed jacket is also available in black, “emperor blue,” “red clay,” and “teal sail.” It’s $79 at Nordstrom (available XS-XL). Olivia Moon Ruched Sleeve Jacket

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(L-3)

Comments

  1. Own it. Love it. Super comfy.

  2. Wearing it today. Feels like a cardigan (which is what I love about it — I hate being constricted by my clothing).

  3. I like this jacket better than yesterday’s suit of the week. Shawl collars never seem to lay right on me. Anyone else with that problem?

  4. Thank you so much for your suggestions ladies. I’ll report back on Project Brainwash Papa Godzilla as appropriate.

    • I never got the chance to respond to the hungry/cranky. Trust me, I’m there with Papa Godzilla. He could try half delicious food, half less delicious food. Or maybe better “junk” food (Smartpop white cheddar popcorn for example). Think of stuff that tastes good together. So like apples and nuts since he doesn’t eat peanut butter. Or lowfat cheese and triscuits. Good luck!

  5. In the Pink :

    Two unrelated style questions…

    1. What type of necklace should/could be worn with a floppy tied bow shirt…sleeveless, the Halogen one from NAS black w/red dots. Of course, I wear a blazer/cardi with it. Hard to determine how to “fill” open neck area, if at all.

    2. How do I align requirments for pantyhose yet still be able to wear peep toe pumps at the office? Toeless pantyhose … sort of ok for evenings, but on a daily basis…too uncomfortable and always adjusting the toe line/area..

    Help, hive.

    • AnonInfinity :

      My thoughts:

      1. I wouldn’t wear a necklace. My general rule is that when the focal point of a blouse is the neckline because it has some interesting detail there, I do not wear a necklace. Instead I’ll wear a great bracelet or style my hair in a more interesting way.

      2. Peep toes and pantyhose do not go together in my world.

    • 1. No necklace.
      2. Pick pants+peeptoes or skirt+hose.

    • 1. Unless it looks bare, I generally forego necklaces with embellished neckline shirts. If you really want to, do something simple (I’m thinking a small strand of pearls?) that mimics the general shape of the neckline (if it’s more of a Y shape, do a simple pendant, if it’s more rounded, pearls or similar).

      2. My general approach is that if it’s warm enough and casual enough to wear peep toes, it’s warm enough and casual enough to not wear pantyhose!

    • 1. no necklace
      2. nude fishnets, the kind with a small pattern

    • My opinion (and my opinion only)

      1. Instead of a necklace I’d wear dangly earring or at least an interesting stud (maybe a bright contrasting color). And I agree with AnonInfinity that a bracelet would be nice. But I think a necklace just messes with the line of a bow blouse, or most blouses with embellished necklines really.

      2. I think if you’re in an environment that requires pantyhose, its probably too formal for peep-toes. Also….peep-toes and pantyhoes are….not so great together anyway.

    • In the Pink :

      OP here. Thanks hive.

      You all validated what I was thinking about on the drive to the office!

      @Godzilla … what’s a happ -zilla sound? It applies to this response at least :)

  6. aesthetic intelligence :

    Random thought
    trying to find my footing in a new job where the work clothing culture is what
    I lovingly refer to as ‘ conservative casual’.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Does this mean vineyard vines?

    • Cornellian :

      I picture a conservative monotheist office where traditional gender roles are accepted and modesty is enforced. (Women in floor length skirts, long sleeves, long hair, etc). Where do you work?

      • aesthetic intelligence :

        LOL not quite. More like- casual as in no suits and very rarely blazers .
        Yet no jeans, t shirts, athletic clothing or shoes.
        Conservative as in no sleeveless tops or leggings etc
        I totally agree with the dress code but the dress culture seems boring, and I don’t want
        to become boring, yet don’t want to stand out too much by dressing
        too formally.

        • What about having fun with color and/or print instead of clothing shapes? A pencil skirt, but a bright colored pencil skirt, for example.

        • That sounds like Silicon Valley casual (except the jeans part and I do wear “almost sleeveless” shirts a lot but I might be the exception there). Try wearing bright colors, and fun shoes and jewelry.

      • LOL! Where there aren’t work wives, but “work sister-wives”. Where the motto is, “stay sweet.”

    • I think you just described my office. I can do the conservative part, but I’d rather err on the dressier side than go too ‘conservative casual,’ which often just looks sloppy.

    • This is my office.

      Dresses, cardigans and pencil skirts with a cute top.

    • You can lighten up the boredom by bright or pastel colors and accessories – bold jewelry and scarves.

    • Mountain Girl :

      I like cardigans and skirts or pants. I have fun with scarves, jewelry and shoes. Don’t forget the shoes!

    • My office is somewhat similar, although sleeveless is OK here.

      My basic strategy is to keep my basics pretty basic (I wear a fair number of sheath dresses, pants in boring colors although you probably could get away with more brightly colored, black skirts, usually fairly simple tops, etc.) but to wear fun shoes, hosiery, and accessories. I wear brightly colored tights through the winter, I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with Poetic License shoes, etc.

    • aesthetic intelligence :

      Thanks for all the great suggestions you guys. Patterns scare me. But color I can do!
      I think my plan is going to be unusual and unexpected color combinations, as well as interesting jewellery.

      And cute shoes :)

  7. Sydney Bristow :

    Does anyone here have a “signature style” or something like a signature piece of jewelry that you always wear? I tend to buy a lot of jewel tones and wear cardigans instead of jackets, but I wouldn’t call it a signature style. I remember someone here likes clothes that are scary or make her seem intimidating to others and I’m curious who else does something like this and what that style is?

    • Honey Pillows :

      I used to wear loose button down shirts with my hair in a messy bun on top of my head, held up with a pencil. It was definitely my “look.” Then I realized that instead of making me look like a girl-next-door lead in a romantic comedy, it made me look like a frazzled, shapeless mother of a two-year-old.

      This summer, I’ve started wearing a gold locket on the gold chain that the Dear Young Buck gave me, along with a pair of gold snake vertebrae stud earrings pretty much every day (you can’t tell what the studs are unless you get really really close or already know).

    • I’m the scary one. Rawr!

      • That’s great! What do “scary” clothes entail?

        • I would like to know too, I want to be scary!!! (I’m small and not-scary. boo hiss.)

        • Ok, the reason I like to do this is because naturally I am quite un-scary. I am short and round and soft and frizzy, not sleek and sharp, so it doesn’t come across as extreme as it might sound. Scary, for me, means hair straightened, eye-brows darkened, bright-ish lipstick. It means no bows, ruffles, puffy sleeves, prints, or anything that could be described as girlish. It means jackets rather than cardigans. It means black/white/gray or a very bold solid color. (Hello, lime green blazer.) It means heels. I will come back and give an example with links, but I have to run to a meeting now.

          • Rawr =). Your post reminded me of Houda talking about sleeking up her look, too.

        • Look up the thread on this site (google: [this site] “how to edge up your conservative look”) which I believe included some tips on how to dress a bit scary.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I loved that. I would really like to have some sort of look that I’m going for when I shop, but I’m not sure what it would be. I really liked the clothes the character Bette Porter wore on the L Word, which were creative yet professional (and I’m sure crazy expensive), but even that seems a little difficult to shop specifically for.

    • In the Pink :

      I wear a woven sterling silver loose bracelet. I also wear a sterling silver collar with a variety of pendants (all organic as someone observed). However, in the last 1-2 years, that’s been overridden by a variety of pearl necklaces about 50% of the time. It will shift back now as I see collar necklaces more than pearls in the magazines.

    • I really like to wear masculine clothes and make them feminine. My figure is boyish (no curves) but I have long blonde hair and delicate features, so somehow the look works for me. I like to wear vests, and jackets and button downs. For the vests, think what a guy would wear under a 3 piece suit. When I’m feeling funky (on a weekend, not to work), I’ll borrow one of my husband’s ties and pair it with something over a skirt and heels. Also, when I say masculine clothes, I mean women’s clothes but ones that have masculine features.

      • Praxidike :

        I would kill to be able to dress like this.

        Instead, I am5’6″, 140lbs, and pretty curvy (not a euphemism for fat, though I used to be fat). So I tend to rock the “sexy librarian” look, though obviously with less sex appeal. Masculine-inspired looks – think Tilda Swinton, OMG – are so attractive to me, but they never work on my body. OH WELL. Rock on with your awesome wardrobe!

      • I’m a big fan of this as well. I like to wear masculine and loose/straight cuts in bright colors and patterns. For example, a bright yellow blazer or a loose shift dress with polka dots.

    • My signature look is crisp white button up shirts, funky skirts with lots of colors and patterns, a great statement necklace, and fun shoes, again with lots of colors and patterns. I’d wear that every day if I could. I’ve even had people wear that to work and tell me they felt like me when getting dressed that morning. :)

    • Flower clips in my hair. I usually wear my hair half-up, with flowers at the gathered part, or all the way up, same thing. I worry sometimes that it’s a bit girly, but I *really* like it and feel like it’s my unique thing. No one has ever said anything negative about it; the flowers are generally pretty small, and I have many different colours to match my clothes.

    • Much of my professional wardrobe comes from my dress-maker, whom I’ve been going to for many years. Their skills and sensibility have pretty much defined my style – clean lines, precise fit and limited embellishment to make the most of beautiful tailoring, more dresses than suits in recent years, nothing ‘edgy’ or ‘slouchy’ (I’ve had some unfortunate experiments trying to push them out of their comfort zone on this one). I also love traditional Asian textiles, so we use a lot of these, in conservative colours, and I think these also form part of a ‘signature’.

    • I like classic with a some feminine details. Earlier this week I loved my outfit – floral pencil skirt, white button down shirt with a black v-neck sweater over top, a long necklace in a color found in the skirt (red) and black pumps. My 3 loves in my wardrobe are pencil skirts, sheath dresses & cardigans.

      I also have a mother’s necklace that I often wear. Silver disks with my boys’ names on them & charms with their birth stones (which happen to color coordinate really well).

    • I hate clothing to touch my wrists and ankles (so weird, but who isn’t in their own special way?) so I wear ankle pants and 3/4 sleeve blazers a lot more than the average gal. My signature pieces are probably chiffon blouses (I have a collection of 20 or so) and BRIGHT lipstick.

    • Boots and dresses – can be tailored and sleek (I have some killer wedge boots and dress suits for conferences) or can be casual or whimsical or very comfortable or whatever. Sandals or heels in the summer, obviously. I also am known in my office for wearing color although I think of myself as wearing a lot of black.

    • Mountain Girl :

      Skirts and cardigans – but never pencil skirts. I like skirts with a bit of flare or swing at the bottom. Belts, colorful scarves and fun shoes.

    • I have a dream signature style that I’m trying to slowly cultivate. Pencil skirts, silk blouses and a blazer or structured cardigan that doesn’t look too matchy-matchy. And heels of course. I wear a pencil skirt almost every day but I’m really trying to build up my collection of silk blouses (but they’re SO expensive!)

      • You’ve pretty much defined my existing signature style. I don’t always wear the silk blouse, though – most of my cardigans are waist-length and I just wear them buttoned up or with a camisole or shell underneath. I buy one new cardigan from my favourite source every year (they’re kind of expensive but I wouldn’t defect for anything).

      • Senior Attorney :

        That’s my signature look, too! I have pencil skirts and blazers and pumps in pretty much every color, and blouses in prints and solids to coordinate. I don’t always have to have silk, I’ll admit, but I do insist that the blouses be really really beautiful and high-quality.

    • kerrycontrary :

      My “signature” business look is a pencil skirt with a fitted blouse (no button ups) tucked in. I’ve had the same thing as an earlier commenter happen, and someone said “I stole your look today!” My office is fairly casual so not a ton of people wear pencil skirts.

    • Signature style: I wear this almost every day. Button down shirts from Brooks Brothers or various English shops, usually in demure stripes, solids or occasionally birds-eye prints with pencil skirt, heels and coordinating cashmere v-neck. In summer, no hose. In winter, fun demure tights (opaque black or pin dots). I can pull off flats too (I’m tall), but if I want to be authoritative, I wear me some killer heels. I wear pearls almost every day–have a ton of them, or, when more playful, something from Kanye’s Etsy shop. I rarely wear trousers, but if I do, I wear them with heels.

      Yes, it’s a uniform. Yes, I look like I stepped out of a Brooks Bros catalog almost every day. If I keep my shoes current, then I look classic but not dowdy. Bonus is that I can get pulled into a meeting with clients on almost any day and nearly always be more dressed up than they are (in Silicon Valley). And I never raise eyebrows as being dressed inappropriately, or have to get rid of things in my wardrobe for being overly-trendy. And my dry-cleaning bills are pretty minimal–I just do my skirts and sweaters as needed, and do my shirts at home.

    • Summer – pencil skirt, shell, cardigan every day. 2 neutrals & a color or 2 colors & a neutral. I branched way out this year with 2 *gasp* patterned shells, and 1 patterned cardigan.

      Winter is sometimes the same, but sometimes other kinds of sweaters instead.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I would love to have a signature style but I haven’t managed to cultivate one yet. I’m too busy following trends. One of these days I’ll settle down, I hope. I don’t want to be 50 and still buying patterned scarves at H&M that will be in style for 10 minutes.

    • I used to *always* wear pants to work but I’ve recently realized that I feel more powerful and productive in a skirt. I’ve tried to work skirs more often to work lately. I’m in slacks today, and I feel pretty unproductive.

    • Exotic glasses, and a shawl/scarf wrap. Pretty much what I wear with everything. Shawl/scarf: colors, fabrics, ornamentation vary according to season, weather, event, and accompanying outfit. Exotic glasses: the same.

  8. Diana Barry :

    Very cute. I don’t love the colors, though.

    Shout-out to TCFKAG, who found me an awesome purple blazer – the Classiques Entier plum one – and I got it at 50% off! :)

    Question for all cardigan-wearers out there. Where do you consider the ‘proper’ point at which the shoulder seam should hit on the cardigan? Is it supposed to be right at the widest point of the shoulder bone? Or the widest point of your deltoid muscle? Or neither? I am wearing a cardigan today (Gap) on which the shoulder seam is about an inch in from my shoulder bone. So that part seems small, but the rest of the cardigan fits fine and is even slightly big through the waist. (I know I’m probably over-thinking this, but maybe for future cardigan purchases???)

    • Yay! Glad you liked it.

      You know what would be fun…MORE QUESTIONS ON MY TUMBLR. Its been sparse lately. Come lady shoppers come (and if you don’t know how, click the link I just attached and click “ask me anything” on the right hand side and you can submit an anonymous question. I mostly answer fashion questions, but if you really must know the meaning of life is 42).

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Mine hit near the pointy bone part of the shoulder. So not out as wide as the muscle, but the end of the bone. I’ve never really thought about it before though, so it’s probably not something someone would notice.

    • I think they’re supposed to hit at the edge of your shoulder. I have a few cardigans and t-shirts (I think all from BR) that don’t and it drives me nuts and always makes me feel like my clothes don’t fit (although they fit everywhere else). I don’t think I have particularly wide shoulders, either.

    • People talk about correctly-fitted seams being at the natural shoulder, which would be what I think you’re referring to as the wide point of your shoulder bone. I often wear knits a little bit snugger than this though – prefer the sleeker look, provided the fit under the arm is ok.

    • I’ve never thought about this – I’m wearing a cardigan right now. The shoulder seam is hitting me about 3/4 of the way between my neck and end of the shoulder (meaning closer to the arm, not closer to the neck). Like ss, though, I just make sure it fits below my arm and isn’t too tight (I have wide shoulders). Otherwise, I don’t ever seem to notice.

  9. two offers :

    I’m excited to say that after 4 years of trudging through un- or under-employment, I’ve FINALLY received two excellent offers. I really want to work for Company A in California, but I have a very strong offer from Company B in Texas. I want to get Company A to increase their package. When I started the process with Company A two months ago, I named $70K as my salary to open the discussion. Company A is offering $70k base+ $5k one-time relocation payment+2.5%-5% profit-sharing (depending on hitting revenue goals as a company and the percentage based on base salary). Now, Company B is offering $72,500 base+401(k) match+tuition reimbursement in TX, for a total of ~$80k all-in. Clearly, leaving quite a bit of money on the table if I take Company A offer as-is.

    From a career strategy for DH and I, location standpoint, and industry/work standpoint, I want to choose Company A, but I don’t want to sell myself short by negotiating poorly. Should I just ask Company A what more they can do? Tell them ballpark numbers for the other offer (I’ve mentioned to them already that I had something else coming in)? Name a price and see if they’ll meet it? I feel bad because they gave me the number I named two months ago, but now I’ve got another offer for quite a bit more money, especially when you factor in cost of living differences.

    • Diana Barry :

      Is the profit-sharing actually that much less than the 401k match? Would you actually use the tuition reimbursement? I think the COL might be the biggest difference.

      I would prob ask them for the 72.5, saying you have another offer for 72.5 base – they should be able to meet it and if not, at least you tried!

      • two offers :

        I’m currently pursuing a master’s degree, so I would definitely use the tuition reimbursement. Company B waived the 12 month requirement to allow me to use this benefit immediately, since they know I’m already enrolled in the program. So, basically, ~$80k for the year(s) that I use the tuition reimbursement.

    • hellskitchen :

      Since the difference in the base salary is not significant, I’d suggest asking Company A if they can offer you 401K match and/or even tuition reimbursement. Companies are often okay with one-time payments like these because it still keeps the base low. I agree that the cost of living difference is quite high, but even if Company A matched your base salary with Company B, it may not be enough to make up for the cost of living difference.

      • Sounds like Company A has profit sharing instead of 401k (and profit sharing essentially *is* and employer match, without you having to put anything in), so that ask is probably a non-starter. But definitely ask about the tuition reimbursement and base raise.

        That being said, it sounds like you would be going for Comp A if money wasn’t an issue. Would you still go Comp A if they aren’t able to meet your counter-offer? Is Comp B just leverage, or would you really take it if Comp A won’t match?

    • No salary advice, but just wanted to say congratulations on the offers. I’m sorry you were going through 4 years of un/under-employment, but it is inspiring to hear that you were able to land these offers.

    • Congrats! I’d mention the all-in amount of the other offer, tell them that their Company is your first choice, and ask them to match Company B plus a cost of living adjustment – I assume the CA location is more expensive than the TX location. If they can match, I’d probably accept on the spot.

    • You’ve gotten good advice thus far; I would encourage you to see which state jives better with you and your husband. Where are your families located? Will you be by a major airport? What are your politics like? What are job prospects for your husband? What are the state income tax/locality taxes/sales tax/personal property taxes? Is $72.5k in cali $72.5 in Tx? What are the office cultures? Which company is best for career advancement/family friendly/etc?

      Congratulations!

    • two offers :

      I think the 401(k) match would be about equal to the profit-sharing, so I don’t think I’m able to negotiate that.

      Due to cost of living, $72,500 in CA is actually lower than $72,500 in TX. The relocation payment would be about equal to the tuition reimbursement in the dollar amount, and I’m fine with calling those equal in spite of COLA.

      I would take Company A even if they didn’t budge, so Company B is just leverage. The intangibles of fulfilling work, growth potential, and impact on DH’s career are far greater for Company A, so the negotiation on salary is really just for my own sense that I did all I could and didn’t leave money on the table/be a wimp about negotiating my own salary, etc.

      • You should be able to negotiate. Last time I was negotiating salary, I got an extra $10k in annual salary and a $10k starting bonus without the company even BLINKING. It made me wonder what I had left on the table at all my previous jobs…

        I would talk to company A. Tell them you want to work for them; they are your top choice. However, you received a much more competitive offer from Company B. Ask them if they would be able to up your annual salary to $75k and provide either a one-time starting bonus, additional relocation benefits, or a one-time tuition reimbursement/stipend. of $X.

        You will probably one, or a combination of both.

        I would also strongly suggest you have some data in your back pocket on comparable positions in the area, so you can support the salary both in CA as well as comparing it to Company B.

        Make sense?

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yes, I was just about to say that. The COLA between CA and TX is *huge.* Also consider, if this applies to you, whether what you can afford in CA versus what you can afford in TX is acceptable for your dog/kids and school district/dreams of owning a home/whatever. A friend in TX has to send her kid to private school to ensure the child learns about evolution in science and not just abstinence in health class, etc. Another friend in CA has to send her kid to private school because the only city they could afford to buy a home in has terrible public schools.

        For me, it’s CA by a landslide even though I’ll possibly never be able to afford a single-family home, but everyone feels differently about these things. But it sounds like you want Company A, so go with that.

    • I live in Texas and can tell you that even if they were offering the exact same amount of money, that would be a big difference. Cost of living is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper in Texas, especially if you ever want to think of owning a home. Plus we don’t have state income tax, so that’s more money in your pocket. I think you should definitely ask Company A for more money and tell them you have another offer on the table where your take-home pay would be more (and go ahead and calculate what the difference in income tax is and add that to the difference). The worst that happens is they say no.

      • TX lawyer :

        As a Texan, I would also say give serious thought to cost of living (based on home purchase and rent prices which are significantly lower than CA, along with no state income tax). Also, what part of Texas?

    • It’s not all about the money – you’ll have a lot more fun in CA..

  10. PSA for those who loved the AT suit from yesterday – it’s 30% off everything at AT this weekend in stores and online with code FALL30.

  11. I like almost everything about this blazer, but am I the only one who thinks ruched sleeves on a blazer are somewhat informal/not totally professional? Maybe I need to get over this. I don’t feel this way about ruching on dress sleeves or on sweaters, but for some reason I really dislike it on work blazers.

  12. Engagement thread-jack: A month or so ago, I found an antique engagement ring I simply fell in love with. My boyfriend and I live together, and discuss getting engaged and married pretty openly, and had generally agreed that sometime around Christmas was likely… give or take a few months. Thus, finding the ring early was a bit inconvenient, but it was so lovely, and unique, that I sent it to him, with a note. I explained that I didn’t want to rush things at all, and that I knew we were a few months ahead of when we discussed, but that I loved *this* ring, and that as it is one of a kind and I’ve not seen others like it, I thought I’d send it in case he agreed and was in a position (emotionally and financially) to purchase it now, for whenever we do eventually get engaged. From financial discussions, I knew he didn’t have the savings to buy it on the spot, but I just had to point it out. He thought about it and asked a few questions over the next couple of days, but before we’d really finished the discussion, the ring was gone. I was a little heart-broken.

    At date night last night, he revealed that he bought it :). I guess he called the jeweler and worked out a payment plan type thing. He asked if I would keep it a secret, and if he could make the timing and presentation of the actual engagement part a surprise for me, but knew it would make me happy (read: overjoyed) to know about the ring. I was/am just bursting with the news this morning, so thank you for letting me share it with you!!

  13. Honey Pillows :

    Anyone know of a coupon for the Gap? Looking to get the Navy Ponte Academy Blazer.

    Oh! And I finally got an apartment! Yayyy! Thanks to all the ladies who offered help.

  14. I love colorblocking, but why has it turned into tacking a piece of camel colored fabric onto a black mini skirt and calling it work appropriate?

    • I think because you’re *supposed* to wear opaque tights which makes it not a mini skirt anymore (not my opinion at all – leg = leg).

      Also, I love Nordstrom as much as the next gal (SFBA), but their recent catalog with work wear stuff was, meh. Cute stuff, but not for my environment. I was also disappointed when I was in their Petites section yesterday and there were 4 suits to choose from.

  15. Thank you ladies for the advice on the plus sized suiting and the relocation. My credit card is a little broken from my ordering yesterday (with the goal of returning all but 2 interview suits). Cover letter overhaul later. You all really give great advice!

  16. 2/3 attorney :

    Does anyone wear topshop dresses? I came across a nude ponte dress that I really like but I’m not sure about fit – any word on low-cut, too short, or what not? Do you think this is too nude-looking for the office (like, coworkers have to do a double take to make sure I’m not naked)?

    Here it is:

    http://us.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=1&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=33060&storeId=13052&productId=6425617&langId=-1&sort_field=Relevance&categoryId=208634&parent_categoryId=208580&pageSize=20&refinements=category~276010|208634]&noOfRefinements=1

    • my general experience is that top shop dresses (and other tops and jackets) are very short and run small. i wear about 2 sizes up from my normal US size in all of their clothes.

      I’m typically a 0 to 4 in US sizes (usually a 2), for top shop i always have to go for their US 6. Anything smaller than that and the chest will be tight or the sleeves too short. plus, it adds some much needed length.

    • Depends on your skin color – does it look nude on nude?

      Also, TopShop is coming to Nordstrom next week.

      • 2/3 attorney :

        WHAT!

        • I can’t remember if merchandise will be available online but starting Monday it will be in the following stores: Ala Moana (Honolulu, HI) Barton Creek Square (Austin, TX)
          Burlington (Burlington, MA) Chandler Fashion Center (Chandler, AZ) Dadeland Mall (Miami, FL) Garden State Plaza (Paramus, NJ) Irvine Spectrum Center (Irvine, CA) Oakbrook Center (Oakbrook, IL) Phipps Plaza (Atlanta, GA) The Plaza at King of Prussia (King of Prussia, PA) San Francisco Centre (San Francisco, CA) South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa, CA) Southcenter (Tukwila, WA) Valley Fair (San Jose, CA)

    • Not too nude, don’t know about the rest. I could see that with a navy blazer over it. BTW are you liking DC? Have you gotten adjusted to your walk/Metro?

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Thank you for asking. I’m still showing up at work looking like a wet dog. But today the radio said there would be highs in the high 70s next week, so maybe relief is in sight.

        I have explored a lot of the sights and find it culturally interesting, I just wish I had more friends around to do things with. It’s not as fun to visit a museum if there’s no one to make fun of the weird art with.

        • It does get better. October is the best weather around here. It’s lovely and you’re not generally overrun by tourists.

          Good! It does get better, but DC can be hard to make friends. I think it has something to do with the fact we’re all grumpy in trying to get to/from work and work ridiculous hours. Maybe we should do another DC fall meet up soon!

          • I’ve actually found it hard to meet people, but not make friends, if that makes any sense. Yes, you have to be strategic about getting out there and meeting people, taking people up on happy hour offers, movie trips, etc, but to me, people seem pretty open to new friendships. It’s a very transient region – people know that at any time, a bunch of their friends could move away, so it’s nice to keep meeting people. You don’t get so many of the kind of people my sister seems to run into in the Midwest, where they hang out with the same bunch of friends they’ve had since grade school and really don’t want/think to make room for anyone new.

            Then again, I’m also much more flexible in my definition of “friend.” I have one friend I see pretty often, but a lot more who I don’t see very much. In fact, tomorrow I’m getting together with a friend who I’ve seen maybe 4 or 5 times since the beginning of the year, but neither of us feels guilty/bad because that’s how things go here. People are busy so you just have to not take offense at their unavailability (especially if there are sincere offers made to get together, but schedules just don’t match up) and just get together when you have a chance and pick up where you left off.

    • Ditto to qwerty. I honestly think that they are so different than US sizes (even when marked as US sizes), and cut so straight, that I would be really hesitant to buy without trying it on. I’ve never ordered from them online, but I highly recommend investigating their return policy.

      Re: whether it’s too nude, that completely depends on your coloring. I’ve never been a fan of clothing that matches your skin tone almost exactly because of the nude-looking and wash-out problem, but if you are much paler or much darker than that color, I think it could work.

      • Re sizing: when I lived in the UK and went to Topshop, I regularly had to wear about 2 sizes up from my regular UK size at Topshop. Given that UK sizing is 4 numbers (2 sizes) up from US sizing, this means a full 4 sizes up from my regular North American size – i.e. I am a US size 6, normally a UK size 10, but in Topshop I am a UK size 12 or 14. Their stuff is cut for skinny teenagers with no hips.

        Also, for what it’s worth, if you are fussy about quality I wouldn’t suggest buying from Topshop. It’s great when you want something cheap and fun, but not for items that you want to have around for a while or wear regularly.

  17. houseguest woes :

    Houseguest threadjack — how do you say no to people who want to stay at your place? A friend I’m no longer close with is coming to my city several times in the next month (not explicitly to see me, but more because my city is pretty desirable and near other places she wants to visit) and bringing another friend with her. She asked if she could stay with me both times. The first time I was okay with, but now I’m starting to feel like a hotel. If it were a good friend, I would have no issues with it (but I also think a close friend wouldn’t ask this much of me), but I’m starting to feel resentful. What would you do?

    • Cornellian :

      Dear X,

      I’m sorry, I’m not available that weekend! Have you considered looking in to hotel Z? I hear there are great rates this time of year.

      Take care,
      houseguest woes

    • 2/3 attorney :

      “I’m sorry, but it’s not a good time for me to have house guests, but I hope to see you for (dinner/drinks/whatever) when you’re in town.” No further explanation necessary.

    • You should definitely feel free to say no. Just say something about how you’ll be particularly busy during that time and won’t be able to host, and offer to suggest hotels in the area if she’d like. It’s better to say no than to build up resentment and have to fake being happy to see them and so on until you blow up at them and ruin a friendship. This person is taking advantage of your kindness.

    • +1 to everything everyone else said. Also, if you feel any qualms about saying any of this (that it doesn’t sound “nice”) realize that it’s actually a kindness. When I was moving to DC, I asked a law school friend if I could crash on his couch for a few days while I searched for an apartment. He said yes, but only for two nights because another of our friends had done the same thing two weeks earlier and it wasn’t fair to his wife to have too many of his friends staying over for too many nights. I was so grateful to him for telling me that! I would have felt awful if I’d found out the wife had resented having me there. Instead, everyone was happy and the wife and I have since become friends (which might have been harder if she’d felt resentful).

    • Could you just say it isn’t convenient for you to host her this time around? If I we in her shoes, I wouldn’t ask any more questions.

    • Honey Pillows :

      You’re not under any obligation to put her up. You’re not her mother. You can tell her you don’t think she’d be comfortable there, as you won’t have time to entertain her, and that it would be more convenient for her to stay elsewhere, perhaps at a hotel. Offer her the names of a couple cheap hotels.

      If she can’t take the polite hint however, she might reply “Oh, it wouldn’t be an inconvenience for me at all, you don’t even have to be there!” at which point you’d have to be rude.

      So you might just want to go with “I’m sorry, I can’t.”

      • houseguest woes :

        Exactly! I’ve tried the “I won’t be around much” in the past and got the “No problem! Just give me a key” response. Better to just say no right away.

    • If you haven’t responded yet, just say you aren’t able to host her this time. Don’t explain, and if she asks followup questions be vague (“It’s been a crazy busy month. I hope to see you while you’re in town, but I’m not really able to have house guests right now.”) If you discommode yourself so much that you resent her, it will be very tough on the friendship.

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      I’m not good with saying “no” to these kinds of requests (I wish I was!), so I fudge the truth a little… I usually go with the super busy, have a giant project due/meeting so I just can’t have house guests or if we’re dealing with a persistent requester/someone I probably won’t see when he or she is in town, I may even say I have another house guest during that time, so sorry that I can’t help…

      • houseguest woes :

        I’m the same way. I always end up lying and then feeling terrible about it. I need to just learn to say a firm no without any justifications for the no.

        • Seriously, don’t feel badly. As your friend, she wants you to like her, not resent her. She’s probably had times when she felt houseguests would be the final straw too!

    • I had an out of town “friend” that kept using me as a crash pad to visit my city. He stayed with me twice. Both times he was a terrible houseguest (not cleaning up after himself, not offering to help with dishes or anything even though he was there for a week, being out all day from 8 am to midnight and barely interacting with me, etc). Finally, after not talking to him for over a year he emailed me acting like we were besties and asking if he could stay a third time (he does have some real friends in the area, but I suspect none of them want him becuase he is a terrible guest). I just told him point blank that he wasn’t treating me like a friend but like a hotel and I felt used. He got super defensive and ended the friendship, but I didn’t really consider us friends at that point and it was no great loss to me. If you care about maintaining a friendship you may want to be more delicate in how you put it, but otherwise I think just be honest and say you feel like you’ve been used and you’re interested in being a hostess for true friends, not a hotel – maybe the friend will reconsider how she treats people in the future.

  18. Anyone know of any way to save money on orders from the Container Store? Their shipping costs are insanely high and they don’t seem to have coupon codes out there anywhere.

  19. Off topic:

    Are any of you in the reh@sh group a curvy size 4/6? I need to do some closet cleaning and plan to post some items there.

    • Ooo I didn’t know this existed! I’m a member now – my curvaceousness depends on if we’re talking tops or bottoms :)

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Where do I find the rehash group? I have some stuff I’d like to post as well.

    • I’m not in the group and don’t really know about how to do it, but that’s my size – a solid 6 on the bottom and 4 or 6 on the top. I will try to join.

      • Google reh@sh (sub “a” for @, obviously). It’s a 60 second sign-up and then as I recall you search for groups. It’s thissitename and an open group. I’ll start looking at what I have – marathon training has re-shaped my already powerful quads and I’m not loving how some stuff fits.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I am! I’m in the group but haven’t been following it and am super slacking at posting stuff. I posted a skirt or two with my shirt raised just enough to show my naval. This confused my husband who was watching me do all this. I explained I like to know where a skirt’s rise will fall and I can only tell by seeing it in relation to the navel. So . . . if you think I just like the looks of my own stomach – I don’t, I was trying to be helpful LOL.

  20. Capitalism Failure :

    OK, gals, I just took a long, hard look at my billing for this month, and realized that my clients owe over $120,000, most of which hasn’t been paid in a while. Most of that, probably over 3/4, is for my work. For background, I am an associate, but have almost full control over my caseload, and most of my pay is based on what I bring in, so this is making a huge dent in my earnings. I do a lot of family law and the large majority of my clients are individuals.

    Now, the breakdown: $30,000 of that is for a lovely woman who is in an extremely difficult and unfair situation. I know that she can’t pay, but I don’t feel like I can break out of it, as she really does have no where else to turn for help. I feel emotionally involved, too (I’ve come home crying several times because I haven’t been able to help her as much as I want so far), so I can’t stop working on it, but it’s going to keep on growing. Almost $70,000 of that is from another case, which was a huge mess and already deep in the red when I took it, but my efforts to work super-hard to clean it up and make amends for some prior mistakes (not mine) probably only made things worse, and the bill kept growing. (The client has since broken ties, though he says he will pay. Says. We’re looking at a possible suit there.) Another few thousand go to a couple of women trying to get child support payments, which I feel like I haven’t been successful as I should have been at, so I feel bad stopping work or making demands against them when I still haven’t gotten much of anything for them.

    So, what do I do? These clients constitute almost all of my workload right now. I realize, intellectually at least, that there’s no point in doing work that I’m not getting paid for, but at the same time, I just can’t bring myself to say no when they call. I mean, how, when someone calls you crying, do you say “No, I can’t talk to you because you owe me money”? Plus, I’m stuck in this “I really want to help” these people for various reasons. But, at the same time, I also have bills to pay (though, of course, I’m still in a better financial position than many of these folks). Maybe I just don’t know how to get paying work, or how to turn down people before they get to this point. I feel like I really missed some sort of training or know-how that I should know here, and I just don’t know how to re-situtate myself to where I can actually make some money. Help?

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      Maybe “you” don’t have to say no. What does your retainer letter say about continuing to work when the bill hasn’t been paid? Does it provide for an evergreen retainer? (If it doesn’t address the issue, your firm should consider rewriting it.) Also, what is your firm’s policy about continuing to work when the bill hasn’t been paid? Have you talked to the collections committee/partner? It is a lot easier to tell a client that you can’t do X until the bill is paid because that is firm policy than to say it yourself. Also, if you haven’t talked to the collections committee/partner yet, I would suggest you do so as a CYA.

      For new clients going forward: think about what you want and put it in your new form retainer letter.

      • Capitalism Failure :

        We don’t really have any collections folks or real policy on continuing work (very small firm). Our retainer agreement does say that we stop work and request a new retainer, but it’s so hard to actually do that, particularly when you can easily blow through the entire retainer and then some in a month, if a few court appearances and the like come up. I am trying to re-route things for new clients, but they are few and far between, so it’s going to take a long time to get there.

    • Not sure how to answer all your questions, but please stop beating yourself up for the quality of your work. You might not have gotten everything for your clients that they want, or that you think is fair for them to have, but that’s not your job. Your job is to be in their corner and use your skills to do as much for them as your skills can get, realizing that you’re a lawyer, not a magician, and you’re working opposite other lawyers who are doing exactly the same thing for their clients. But don’t underestimate how much it can mean to people to just have someone rooting for them. Law is really, really scary to laypeople, especially to underprivileged laypeople. How much less terrifying would Kafka’s story have been if there was a confident, reassuring lawyer standing with the character, explaining the process to him? Even if you don’t get all you asked for, you’re still providing an extremely valuable service.

      But in the end, are you in the right practice? It seems like you might need paying work that requires less emotional investment, freeing you to do pro bono work for causes that really require your heart. Or to go work at a non-profit where you don’t need to worry about collecting on bills. Otherwise, you might just wind up burnt out.

      • Also, try the family law section of your local bar. I bet there are some senior lawyers in that group with advice on how to deal with the emotional aspect of this practice.

      • “You might not have gotten everything for your clients that they want, or that you think is fair for them to have, but that’s not your job. Your job is to be in their corner and use your skills to do as much for them as your skills can get, realizing that you’re a lawyer, not a magician, and you’re working opposite other lawyers who are doing exactly the same thing for their clients.”

        Thank you for this. I needed to read this right now, too.

    • You need to focus on 1) getting paid, and 2) making sure you don’t end up in this situation again. You are not a pro bono attorney; these clients hired you knowing full well what it would/could cost, and you are entitled to that money. Nor does it matter that you “haven’t been as successful as you should have been” for the clients seeking child support. Family court is extremely unpredictable; as long as you are actually billing for time you spent on those cases (and the retainer agreement mentions nothing about being successful in the case), you are entitled to that money as well. You need to consult your firm’s policy on this, and work out a payment plan with each client. And you HAVE to stop making excuses for yourself. These people are struggling financially – if they figure they can get away with not paying you, no matter how nice they are, they won’t pay. Be firm – this is money you earned and you deserve.

      2) is going to be more difficult. I have never been in charge of bringing in clients, so I can’t offer specific advice, but it sounds like you need to do a better job of screening cases. Again, there are pro bono organizations out there to help people who can’t pay; it’s not your job to make sure that everyone gets legal representation who needs it. Have a list of organizations at your side that you can refer people to if you think they will not be able to pay you. And do your best to talk with other people in this field to see how they handle it. Getting emotionally involved or feeling like you need to be your client’s savior is very dangerous, and I can see it leading to burnout pretty easily.

      Good luck.

      • downstream :

        This. And, get a retainer and tell them that every time the retainer falls below X, they have to re-fill before you can do any more work for them.

      • +1 to everything TBK said. I do family law in a very small firm as well, so I am completely sympathetic to this problem. I have huge problems getting people to pay their bills once they have exhausted their retainers, and it is hard not to get emotionally invested in some cases, particularly ones that require you to spend such a substantial amount of time on.

        Yes, you need to be more firm with future clients and address this issue as soon as the first bill goes unpaid. However, that doesn’t fix your problem with these few existing clients. Can you check with your managing partner and see if they would be on board with calling these clients and trying to negotiate with them to write off part of their bill in exchange for making an immediate payment (perhaps by credit card)? That has been successful for me in the past. Say they owe $15,000, but I will call them or write them a letter that says that we would be willing to accept $10,000 as payment in full if they can get us that lump sum within seven days. Not ideal, of course, but sometimes a bird in the hand….

        Also, with family law clients, I charge a fairly high upfront retainer for any contested matter (the equivalent of 15 hours of work). Yes, there are plenty of clients that do not hire me as a result because they can’t come up with that much money up front, but those are generally the ones that wouldn’t be able to come up with it when the first bill came due anyways. This helps me weed those people out right off the bat.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yes to all of this.

          Repeat after me: Just say no to involuntary pro bono. There are a million sad tales in the naked city, and you can’t take ‘em all on. In fact, you can’t take even one of ‘em on if it means you are not going to be able to earn a living.

          Many years ago an older lawyer advised me to get a photo of something I loved a lot — maybe a spouse or boyfriend or pet or child or even a house or a boat — and keep it on my desk. When the urge to work for free, I should pick up the photo and look at it, and ask myself whether I would rather work for free for this non-paying client or work for pay so I could support this thing that I loved. I thought that was pretty good advice, and although I didn’t literally do it, I always kept it in the back of my mind when I was tempted to give away the store.

          • Senior Attorney :

            And also? People don’t value what they don’t have to pay for. They will just be ungrateful and angry if/when you don’t get the unreasonable results they are after.

            Step away from the involuntary pro bono.

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