Wednesday’s TPS Report: Seasonless Wool Sheath

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

Seasonless Wool SheathTalbots has this lovely wool sheath available online and it looks like a great basic. I like the little ruching/pleating detail at the neckline, the short sleeves, and the “gorgeously drapey seasonless wool.” It’s available in navy, tan, gray and black, but sizes are going fast — was $159, but today there’s a promotion of 20% off full-priced items (no code needed) so the price comes to $127. (While you’re there, check out the 90% off online clearance outlet — big sales.) Seasonless Wool Sheath


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  1. Oh, I love this! Would look great with one of the brooches Kat featured from her collection. I wish it came in more colors.

  2. SF Bay Associate :

    Love it! I’ll have to go to Talbot’s this weekend to try one on.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Ooh, the brushed-back wool sheath #D07225 is also really cute, and comes in emerald, cranberry, and black.

    • I love it in theory. But sometimes “gorgeously drapey” in Talbots speak means “fits like a potato sack” in real people speak.

      I think trying on before you buy (or making sure you get free shipping/free returns) is essential on this one.

      • Ooh. Check out this Nostalgia Tweed Sheath also people.

        Okay, I’ll stop looking at their dresses now, it would be bad for my wallet.

      • Yeah, I love the look on the model, but I don’t see any shaping around the waist area, so this would probably hang straight down from the bust in a not so flattering way. I really love it in theory, though.

      • I kind of like this, but in a DIFERENT color, mabye.

        I have been geting all this work with litiegetion from Jim–now I have an active case load of 233 cases, but I STILL have no suport. I asked the manageing partner if I could get my OWN asistant, b/c I share a secretary, and she is ALWAYS jelous of me, and my clotheing allowance.

        I tried explaning to her that I HAVE to make apearaneces in COURT, so that is why I MUST look conservetive and PRESENTEABLE.

        She on the OTHER hand, just has to SIT and answer phone’s and take dicteation from me and the other partner, who give’s her alot of work.

        I am NOT sure she underseatants, b/c she is NOT admited to the BAR, so FOOEY on that.

        Right now, I am going to eat my COBB salad. YAY!!!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Oooh, and most of Nordie’s Anniversary Sale is now on hard-markdown (50% off). I re-bought several things so I can return the new items with the old receipt for a DIY price adjustment.

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Nordie’s black belts: Does one actually have to buy new and return old to get the adjustment? Can you nordie-fu them into just giving you the adjustment?

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I haven’t had much luck with that, but they will themselves suggest a DIY adjustment.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Ok, they did a price adjustment. I bought the adjusted items on July 11. It’s TWO MONTHS LATER. Nordie’s, I love thee a thousand times and a thousand more.

        • if you bought online it’s worth it to have an online chat with a customer service rep to see if they’ll do it – I’ve had luck

      • MaggieLizer :

        Triple points Sept 12-16 too.

      • Thanks for the tip, I just check nordies website and on my way to order double kint blazer (#526777) and Nordstorm collection ‘cambon’ tweed pencil skirt (#529743) .

        Has anyone tried this skirt? How does it fit for pear shaped figures? I am desperately in need of skirts like the old version of “THE skirt” in terms of fit. I have had good luck with tweed skirts before so hoping this fits.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Anyone know if Talbots is usually TTS? I have the impression their items fit kind of um… grandmotherly.

      • The fit is less boxy than it used to be. I’m a curvy 4/6 in most brands and usually buy a size 4 dress at Talbots, provided there is enough ease in the hips.

      • I am a 16/18 and wear the same size at Talbots as I do elsewhere. Talbots has a lot of different size ranges (Misses, Petites, Woman, Woman Petites) and, for example, Woman sizes are cut much more generously in the waist. They also have different fits in their jackets (some of which are boxy) and pants (some of which are high-waisted). In terms of Misses dresses, I find that they tend to be cut for a less curvy figure, so I buy a bigger size to accommodate my hips of justice and have the waist taken in. I have found that the waist seam (not applicable to this dress) on Talbots dresses tends to be higher than my natural waist, which is pretty high as it is.

    • Oh man, I’m on a shopping ban but now I’m looking at Talbot’s dresses. I like a v-neck — has anyone tried the ponte sheath and know anything about fit?

      And I’m wearing the talbot’s dress in the link below today, love it and it’s on super sale ($27!), petite sizes through medium only. The fit is less blousy and big on me, I love it (and paid a lot more than $27, sadly).

    • Yay for a Talbot’s feature! Over the last few years, thanks to the proximity of a Talbot’s outlet to my parents, I have been gradually amassing a significant number of their clothes. If you’re willing to wade through some seriously frumpy stuff, there are often some gems, especially if you like a conservative look. Their jackets can be superb and I’ll basically grab any ponte dress they make.

      I’ve found their sizes run a bit big lately, but I’ve found that for many places these days (hello, Loft). There was a discussion a little while back about how vanity sizing is starting to get beyond the pale and I think Talbots is part of that. I’ve been dropping sizes legitimately (the lovely method of working with kids has been doing the trick) and I am probably a real life 4 and now wear 2 in Talbots. And ladies, I am no size 2. But YMMV depending on your body shape. When I was curvier I found Talbots had sort of a retro style at times that totally worked.

      And if you’re near a Talbots outlet, you can do *awesome.* I’ve gotten beautiful dresses for $15, depending on the sale. I’ll also say that their jewelry is good work stuff, for those still looking to add to the collection per yesterday’s post.

      • aesthetic intelligence :

        Agreed, there are some real gems among the frump.
        I find the sizes run large for the tops and TTS for the skirts.

        • I agree with this. I’ve learned to size down two sizes for any top, but keep my usual size for skirts (probably because I also have Hips of Justice).

      • I so miss the Talbots’ outlet near me. The closest one is 1000 miles away now. I got almond toe black patent leather pumps for $8.75 and $12 cardigans, $15 wool work trousers. I can still get these things online, but often need to try on and sometimes they’re on “final sale”, which I’ve learned isn’t worth the risk.

    • Oh hey, thanks for the heads up on Talbot’s everyone. I just bought the red sweater jacket with navy trim and the tweed skirt with kick pleats. (Not, I hasten to add, to wear together.)

      I was tempted by the dresses but I know I generally reach for skirts every time. Did anyone order the v-neck birdseye sheath? That was the one that I almost bought but I was worried I would feel self-conscious about my mamabelly in it.

  3. So much for limiting September purchases. Between the NAS colors of the skirt and this sheath… alright, this is it for the month, I swear.

  4. a passion for fashion :

    I love, love. love this. This looks so much like Marlowe dresses (which are $1200, not $120). This isnt the best way to begin my new life on a shopping budget, but its better than dropping a grand for the dress, right?!

  5. I feel like this is a dress that you could buy and then wear every seventh work day for the next three years, feel pretty and comfortable in it and always look appropriate. It would be worth getting it altered so it fit exactly right and you’d always feel like a million bucks.

    • Yes! Agree. Too bad I’m 20 weeks pregnant and am therefore on a real-people-clothes ban. BOO.

    • agree, I bought a sheath dress at a consignment shop that fit my hips but was too big on top, and took it to my tailor, just to test out whether a shift dress could be altered nicely with a ‘test piece’ so that I wasn’t losing money on something brand new, and it worked out beautifully! I really like the way it looks on me, and now i want MOAR SHEATH DRESSES ;o)

      I am so massively tempted to buy this one a size up and do the same thing, it is so beautiful and simple! But I also really want to buy some riding boots for the fall… ack decisions decisions…………….

  6. Pretzel_Logic :

    Quick and totally neurotic question:

    I got a call from a local employer last night (after business hours). He left a message. I’ve tried to call back a couple times to leave a voicemail but there’s an automated message that the mailbox hasn’t been activated–would it be kosher to send an email at the end of the day if I can’t catch him on the phone? I’d like to be back in touch within 24 hours of his message. (His email is right on the office’s website)

    • Why not call the company directly and ask to be transferred to his line? If you are still getting the VM error, perhaps one of the admins can help you.

      If that tactic doesn’t work, I think an email would be okay- depends what the call was about, though…

      • Pretzel_Logic :

        It’s a government office and I have no idea how much admin support they actually have…and I think it’s his office cell phone.

        • Baby Lawyer :

          I interned in a local government office for a semester and worked with an (older) attorney who refused to activate the voice mail on his work cell phone. He said that the rules only stated that he had to carry it with him at all times, not set up voicemail or even answer the phone. :P

    • Yes, fine to email and say you got an error message from his voicemail. Otherwise, he would probably think you didn’t get his message or that you blew him off.

  7. I could use some advice…

    I recently applied for a new job. I had two interviews, both of which went well (I think!). The 2nd interview was one week ago. The interviewer (a senior person at the company – also my boss, should I get the job) told me that she was deciding between me and one other candidate, and would let me know her decision on Monday (Sept. 10th).

    I didn’t hear anything on Monday, so that night I left her a voicemail to “touch base,” see if she needed any additional info from me, and to find out when I might hear from her. No response.

    Do I keep following up? I want to appear eager and enthusiastic about the position – but not a crazy, nagging stalker. Thanks!!!

    • At this point, I don’t think it will help to do any more. There are two possibilities:
      a) They have offered the job to the other person and they won’t tell you anything at this point because there is no guarantee that they’ll get the other person and may go to you if it doesn’t work out; or,
      b) Something else has intervened (someone was out or not available) and they haven’t made a decision yet. You have done everything you can, so calling to find out won’t speed it up.

      Good luck!

    • One of two things: 1) she hasn’t decided yet/hasn’t ironed things out with HR enough to make you an offer [your calling won’t help] 2) She has made an offer to the other candidate and is in negotiation [your calling won’t help].

      I am ABSOLUTELY the sort of person who would be following up like crazy, but I think in this case you give her to the end of the week. She got your voicemail; she hasn’t forgotten about you.

      Now, the exception here is if you want to/can afford to play hardball. In my last job search, I was recruited to apply for a role that they took absolutely FOREVER to decide on (I was contacted in June and told “We want the person to start in July!” I finally got an offer in September, after chasing them down CONSTANTLY. Like, weekly emails/calls to and with the hiring manager). But I had a job I liked, so I was able to say things like, “I need to know where this is going and what the hold up is. I am interested, but I have commitments to my current employer that cannot be put on hold indefinitely.” They then told me that I was their candidate, they want to hire me, the finances/budget/HR dept were holding them up since they were creating a position for me. So I stuck it out and got the job.

    • I think if you’ve already followed up once this week you have to let it go a little longer.

    • You’ve done all you can do. Balance is the key– your VM lets her know you’re interested, one more call or email is likely to tip the scales towards “pest”/”immature”.

      It’s hard to wait, but it’s better than derailing oneself. Good luck and keep us posted!

    • After my interview for my current job, I was told I would hear back within 2 weeks. Those 2 weeks came and went and I heard nothing. I contacted the recruiter – no answer. I contacted the person who was referring me, who was at least able to tell me they were still running the numbers. Then I finally heard back from the recruiter maybe 3.5 weeks after my interview and they wanted me to start stat! So you never know. After being here for several years, I now know that they just take forever to make decisions. If it was up to the recruiter they would probably get back to candidates within the promised timeline, but typically hiring decisions require buy-in from enough senior folks that travel/are busy/can’t meet until next week that they rarely keep to their promised timelines.

      • I would not follow up again this week. However, I would keep in touch going forward. If you did not get the job this time there will likely be other openings there in the future, and you may be considered for one of those. My perspective as a hiring manager — there is a fine line between persistent and stalker, but if you can hit it your determination will play in your favor.

  8. I have this dress from a previous season where Talbots used crepe rather than wool. I had it tailored (I have everything tailored, expecting things to fit OTR just leads to disappointment!) and it is beautiful. Great coverage up top, and the sleeves embolden me to take off my jacket if I’m hot.

    I’m not sure I’d buy it in the Talbots Seasonless Wool though, because I have a number of other items in that fabric, and it does crease a fair bit when sitting.

  9. shopping help tj! I have a BR suit from last season that I love and feel great in, and realized it’s because the skirt has a wide, curved waistband that fits my body well. Does anyone know of any other brands at around the same price point that have this? This season’s waistbands are more like jcrew with a straight, more narrow band. The thicker band seems to really hold everything in better!

  10. Thank you to whomever recommended the Merona blazers the other day when Target had their fall flash sale. I just received the Merona tailored blazer with binding (looks similar to the Gap academy blazer) and the Merona tailored blazer in Orange Flame. They are both very cute! I feel very Kate Middleton in the orange blazer with skinny jeans (it’s a red-orange). I got them for an amazing $24.49 each!

    No one is going to mistake these blazers for high end, and they might look better with jeans than with the work wardrobe, but they’re a great value overall (regular price is $34.99).

    • Former mental health worker :

      I bought two as well. I work in a more casual environment and think they will be very versatile. I tried on the knit mossimo blazers as well, but they seemed to have no shape.

    • *nitpick* After wading through reports on her at PopSugar where she’s constantly referred to as Kate Middleton – I really wish people would stop referring to her by her old name. After the wedding, she’s not Kate Middleton any more. (And, if reports around the engagements were to be believed, she used to go as Catherine among friends/family anyway…)

      What’s the advantage of marrying into that family if she can’t tout her title? (Er… except the jewels, of course.)

      *gets off the royalty trivia geek podium*

      • You know, most of the people on this website are Americans and many Americans are not down with the whole royal title thing unless we’re subtly mocking it.

        • I’m an American who doesn’t mind the titles at all, but I am actually curious what her legal name is now. (Does she have a legal name that doesn’t include all the titles – like, would she have changed her last name to Windsor?) I can understand the reluctance, in a pithy blog post, to use the full formal title each time you use her name.

          Or we could all copy Tom & Lorenzo and call her Cathy Cambridge :p

          • Senior Attorney :

            In the photos from the Olympics, her official credentials (the card hanging around her neck) said “HRH Duchess of Cambridge.”

          • Woods-comma-Elle :

            In fairness, everyone here in England still calls her Kate!

          • hm, in some Let Me Google That For You updates, apparently William’s actual “last name” is Mountbatten-Windsor. So if you’re not using HRH Duchess of Cambridge, I guess Catherine Mountbatten-Windsor it is??


          • I believe that legally, she has no last name – she’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

          • And also that “Mountbattern-Windsor” isn’t used by William or Harry, I think, because they’re princes in the royal line.

          • I love “Cathy Cambridge”. Hadn’t heard that one.

          • This thing reminds me of a Daily Mail story I read (okay don’t ask why I read a Daily Mail story, that’s a problem for another day) where she went in to rent scuba gear at a store in Wales or Scotland or wherever they live when William is on base, and the owner didn’t recognize her. And she had forgotten her money (I assume she doesn’t carry her wallet much) so he agreed to hold it for her and he was like “and your name ma’am”? And she apparently said “Mrs. Cambridge” and he said “oh…that’s an interesting name.”

      • She’s probably glad that we are using her old name and haven’t reduced her and Prince William’s names to some horrible mash-up, like Katilliam or something.

      • This whole conversation reminds me of the stories about Prince Harry in the military, where they call him “Captain Wales.” Makes me giggle every time.

      • Oh, whatever. I referred to her as Kate Middleton, because that’s what the fashion blogs call her and that’s what I was referencing (e.g., her Olympic style). Why bother sharing a fashion PSA when someone’s going to nitpick about something stupid? Find something better to do.

        • I think N was very nice about her nitpick and hey, it spurred a detour into the website of the British Monarchy! Agree that it’s a cute blazer.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Agreed. I thought the nitpick turned into a lovely tangent.

            And I do love me some tangents.

  11. Oh wow, great pick, Kat! All-around great dress.

    For we who are still on the maternity clothes review hunt, I have a less exciting pick: I just got this dress in “bing cherry” from yesterday, and am wearing it this morning: For maternity, I like it quite well. Nice length, the arm-holes aren’t gape-y at all. The crew neck seemed a little stuffy to me at first, but it admits a necklace very nicely. I’m wearing a chunky pendant with it, but an opera-length necklace would work well, too. It’s a good transition to fall dress, since it has the sweater look, but it actually pretty lightweight. Add a cardigan and tights, and I think you’d be set into the frosty months.

    FWIW, I’m at 35 weeks, and it’s fitting well now.

    • Ooooh love this! I just got a Target debit card…time to try out that 5% off and free shipping! Do you think I could wear a long-sleeved tee underneath to transition through winter? I’m not due until the end of January.

      Also: Midori, EC MD and Lyssa (and all other pregnant ‘r e t t e s) — any recommendations for over-the-belly maternity leggings? I got a pair from Old Navy that I like all right but am in search of additional pairs (to wear with boots/under skirts, instead of tights). Opacity is my friend.

      • Sugar Magnolia :

        I am 36 weeks tomorrow, and couldn’t find a decent pair of over the belly leggings anywhere. I bought large ones from Old Navy (non-maternity) and have been wearing them under my bump. Recently, the baby dropped down, and the under the belly thing isn’t working well anymore, so I am anxious for a response to ANP’s question.

        • Yeah, I learned from my first pregnancy that under-belly is a real no-go for me…which I sort of couldn’t believe given how ridiculous the over-belly stuff can look!

          I may have to go back to Old Navy FTW. The opacity isn’t terrible, but I’m of “the more blockage the better” camp when it comes to keeping my pregnant rear end from being visible.

      • Hmm, no advice here on the leggings–I’ll defer to others. Re: the dress, yes, I think you could wear a shirt under it, but it would need to be pretty fitted in the sleeves, since the dress armholes are actually pretty snug (not tight, but snug). Also the neckline of the shirt is likely not to show–this dress has a pretty high neck, so just know that. I threw a 3/4 length cardi over mine. I think I saw it styled on the website with a denim crop jacket, which was adorable (though maybe not for every office).

      • I actually found a pair of fairly nice over the belly leggings at Burlington Coat Factory. Not the most reliable choice, and I haven’t worn them yet (way too hot here still), but they were cheap!

        Though I have to admit that I’m not sure how to wear leggings – with boots, I guess, but I’m afraid that mine won’t fit and I would hate to buy new boots for such a short time period (since boots are usually a bit more expensive than shoes). I’m not sure about the leggings with flats look (plus it’s not very warm, which would seem to defeat the purpose of leggings in the first place). So may just wind up sticking with tights and just wearing the leggings around the house with cushy socks.

        • I also looked for decent over belly leggings and couldn’t find any, and the ender belly didn’t work for me. At 37 weeks now I’m trying to ban myself from buying any clothes at all until I’m a few weeks post partum. We’ll see if I can do it. I made an exception today for a pair of Athleta yoga pants in a size larger than usual that I hope will serve me well for the first few weeks after the birth.

          I have been considering the hue wide waist band yoga pants as the reviews I’ve seen have mentioned that they work well for the post partum belly.

          Also, it’s not leggings, but I just got a long jersey maxi skirt (maternity) from the gap online and it has been a life saver these last couple of weeks when all of a sudden all my maternity clothes have become too small or too short. Surprisingly flattering and very comfy.

  12. Is it just me, or does that model have a great haircut? She’s all over Talbot’s website and everytime I see her I want to cut my hair short again. It seems versatile too — she has it flipped out in some pics and tucked under in others, and both look pretty darn cute.

  13. TJ: I need some advice on how to deal with my husband’s unemployment. He recently graduated from a graduate program and has been job hunting for about 5 months. The market is rough and he’s having a hard time even getting interviews. In the meantime, he has been great with cooking and cleaning and doing housework while I work 60+ hours a week. I make enough money that we are comfortable paying our bills, though we have some significant debts that we will not be able to begin paying down until he gets a job.

    My question is, am I allowed to be frustrated? I’m frustrated that he hasn’t found a job yet. I’m frustrated that he gets to stay home all day while I’m working long hours at a job I don’t like. I’m frustrated that I don’t feel safe starting to pursue new job opportunities until he’s secure in his field. I’m frustrated that sometimes I don’t think he’s trying as hard as he could be to find a job. And I’m frustrated that he doesn’t really want to talk about it.

    But, I know he’s the one looking for a job, and he’s the one not having any luck, and I know it is very difficult on him emotionally. So am I allowed to tell him I’m frustrated? Or do I keep my mouth shut because he’s already feeling much worse than me?

    • I know it’s tough, but I don’t think you’ll help matters at all by putting him on the defensive. If you need to vent — which is understandable — you should probably do so with a supportive girlfriend/mom/sister, over a glass of wine, and not let this turn into WWIII.

    • I’ve been in the “theoretically employable but can’t find a job for months and months” shoes within the last year, and, man… It’s really, really, really hard on the ego. Like, depression, developing anorexia self-hatred hard. I don’t know your husband, or what his realistic job prospects are, but if it’s anything like my experience was, the last thing he needs is to hear from you that you don’t think he’s trying hard enough or that it’s his fault. I get that you’re frustrated, and yes, you’re allowed to be frustrated. But realize that he may be even more so, and he might need you to believe in him more than anything in the world right now.

      • I so, so agree. Nothing says soul crushing like being a newly minted PhD who’s looking into barista jobs or collecting social assistance. I will also say that 95% of the “helpful” suggestions that I got from concerned friends and family during my job search were not at all helpful, either because I had already tried them or they just weren’t relevant for my field. It made me feel even more depressed to be asked “well, have you tried this and this?” — it made me feel like people were blaming me for being unemployed and like there was really nothing else that I could do, since I had already tried everything people were suggesting.

        • +1

          • +1000000. You can be frustrated with the situation (if you’re clear that you’re mad at the economy/his field/stupid employers who don’t know how great he is) but *not* him. Go vent to your girlfriends about that. He does not need it from you. (As for staying home while you go work, please don’t go there. If he’s like most people in his situation, he would love nothing more than putting on grown up clothes every morning and going out to work with everyone else.)

        • Absolutely, on the bad suggestions are far worse than no suggestions front. I had this argument with my husband several time while I was looking, too (though I was, luckily, never completely out of work). He would be all “Well, just apply places!” when I’d already applied to literally every law firm in town with more than 5 employees, and had gotten even the curtesy of a rejection letter from maybe 5%.

          KMD, I know it’s difficult, and you’re allowed to be frustrated, but I do think that you should work on keeping that frustration to yourself. Believe me, he is frustrated, too. It stinks all around, though.

          • Yeah, I had the same experience. DH was trying to be helpful, but (1) I really had applied to in a 40-mile radius (and a few beyond that), and (2) he’s in a totally different industry, where hiring works very differently. Every time he’d try to make a helpful suggestion, I felt like it was a thinly-veiled “You’re not trying hard enough” (even though I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way).

            All the think long term advice here is most excellent. That’s what got me through it in the end–that, and a job offer (after 8 months!).

    • I second anon and Midori’s comments. Job searching is soul-crushing and depression-inducing. You are absolutely allowed to be frustrated and vent to friends/family about it. But letting your husband know you’re frustrated will probably make him feel worse which will probably lead to him doing even less (worst part of depression…). I’m sorry you’re stuck in a job you hate because of it though and I hope he finds something soon so that you get a chance to move on!

      • I would try to vent to as few people as possible, especially in a way that blames him.

        The more people you tell the greater the chance that he’ll hear about it.

        Also, the more time you spend talking about it (other than occasional venting), the more focus it has in your life and the worse you’ll feel about it.

        • Agree. Vent here if you absolutely must.

          Most of us are supportive. Ignore the trolls, or ask me to smite them for ya, hon.

        • Totally agree on that last point (and the others, but especially the last one). The more you focus on the complaining, the bigger part of your life it becomes. It’s a bit of a spiral.

          Also – why does he need to be set in his career for you to look at other job opportunities? If you don’t like your job now, what is keeping you from doing some job hunting of your own to get you into a better position? Maybe taking that step for you will keep you from feeling trapped by his unemployment and the debt you can’t address right now.

          Good luck to both of you!

        • Is it possible for you to call your company’s EPA hotline and complain to them/ask for tips/tricks for how to deal with this situation? They are an objective 3rd party and they won’t possibly/accidentally tell your SO that you are frustrated.

    • Of course you can be frustrated, but if you know he is trying, than I would vent to a close friend and leave it be. If he is actively pursuing employment and not getting any interviews, he is probably equally frustrated. I think you could make (careful) suggestions on the whole process if it doesn’t seem to be working (i.e., try a recruiter, change resume, network, etc.) I think it is great that he is picking up the slack at home, too! I would cut him a break in this market, encourage him in new directions, and try to remain as neutral as possible – I am sure he feels crummy about it and does not need his partner in life making him feel worse. Of course, if you really don’t think he is trying, than a different tactic may be warranted. Just my opinion!!

    • Honey Pillows :

      Or, y’know, vent here!

      • Exactly. Agree with the others that there’s such a thing as “too much venting” – i.e. you’re spending all your energy worrying/focusing on it. But if you absolutely need to get something off your chest, that’s what this wonderful group of gals is for! :)

    • Regardless of whether you’re “allowed” to be frustrated, you obviously are, and it’s probably best to deal with your frustrations rather than ignore it because you’re not “supposed” to feel that way.

      Being unemployed is so difficult. Your husband may be feeling rejected and worthless every day. Your husband should be doing absolutely everything he can to move his job search forward, talk to him about what he’s doing each day and suggest what more he could do if he’s leaving stones unturned. He needs to maintain routine, so he could perhaps search and apply for jobs for 20 hours per week, call contacts and network 10 hours per week and do housework for 10 hours per week. Not everyone will agree with me, but after 5 months of being unemployed, I’d encourage him to get something part-time (as a math tutor or a barrista or a cater waiter) so that he is still contributing financially while having plenty of time to continue the job search.

      I’ve dealt with this issue from both sides (I recently had to find a new job because my contract was ending, which was very stressful as it’s my bigger income we rely on) and my husband has been unemployed a number of time. If you’d like to chat more via email, I’d be happy to.

    • It’s understandable that you’re frustrated, but it’s not okay to let him know you’re frustrated. I agree with those who say to vent here or to a very close and understanding friend. Definitely don’t vent to your family, lest they think less of your husband.

    • I think it’s OK to be frustrated along with him, but not AT him – like, you can tell him that you understand how hard this is, you feel bad for him that it is so difficult and that this economy stinks, and offer to help in any way you can. Give him hugs, thank him for doing housework, and try not to discuss the job search during off-hours (just like you generally wouldn’t discuss work very much in off-hours). He needs a break from that just like you need a break from your job.

      And from a person who desperately needed a supportive spouse while I was job searching, no, you should not tell your partner that you are frustrated with his lack of effort. He will share so much more with you and have more energy for the job hunt if he knows that you’ve unconditionally got his back. And one day, you might need him to have your back in a similar situation, so set the precedent now for how you want that to look later.

      • Thank you, everybody. This is helpful. I suspected this would be the response, but I’ve been holding this in for a while now and I just wanted to put it out there and see what people thought. I will keep my mouth shut with my husband re my frustrations and try to be more supportive and helpful to him in any way I can. Thanks again!

    • While your feelings are definitely understandable, they are also very one-sided and short-sighted. I think if you acknowledge that your feelings are real (and legitimate), but work on broadening your perspective you will be happier in the end (and less likely to have your marriage start falling off the rails).

      In an ideal world you and your husband would each be doing less of what you are currently doing and more of what the other is doing. There is a difference between “getting to stay home all day” and not having a job to go to. There is also a difference in having a job you enjoy and one that merely pays the bills. Is your husband currently looking nationwide? Are there constraints on his job search that stem from priorities that come from being married rather than single? If so, then he may harbor similar frustrations towards you. Married people are generally not able to make the same decisions they might if they were single. Coordinating lives is tough work.

      And this is where the long-term perspective can help. Right now you are carrying the water on the financial front. But if you plan on having a marriage that lasts decades, then I find it easiest not to try to balance the scales week by week, or even year by year. Priorities, career goals, market conditions all change over time. You are hopefully in a great marriage where you are able to lean on each other and have two people supporting the same goals. Right now it’s your “turn.” Who knows exactly how long that will last, but hopefully it is just part of a cycle where each of you will be doing somethign at time X that may not be ideal, but is building the road to goal Y that is something you share.

      To that end, rather than focusing on the short term problems (which I am sure your husband is well aware of), you could start a discussion about long term goals. Where do you each want to be in 5 years? What are some opportunities each of you would like to take? What are some roadblocks you might face. If you can talk about what you both want, then you can start rolling the conversation backwards to steps that will need to be taken to get there. In this context you can address why your current job is not ideal and the timeline you would like to take for looking for a new opportunity. You can also discuss plans b, c, d, and e for your husband’s job search.

      Hopefully, making the leap of faith that he finds the current situation less than ideal, plus the two of you working on some shared (and concrete) long term plans can help you get over this hump!

    • Been in almost exactly your shoes, except I love my job and am not looking to change, but for the better part of the last 5 years dh has been hoping for permanent employment in his chosen field. He’s had a couple of temporary contracts, but has resorted to taking work that is semi-related to his field but not nearly as satisfying, but this was after 10 months unemployment.

      Dh was frustrated, I was frustrated, it was tough on everyone.

      My advice is the same as everyone else. You absolutely are allowed to be frustrated. However, please don’t vent to him. Also, something I found helpful was asking dh how I could best support him, and what I could do to make things a little easier on him emotionally. Thinking more about how to support him helped ease my frustration with the situation because it took my focus outside myself. Also, my dh has a history of mild depression, so when I could see he was getting extra down I’d sit him down & let him know I was concerned about his mood and helped him think of other things he could do with his time to help him feel more fulfilled. For him it was writing – he has a great idea for a YA fantasy novel (IMO) and so he worked a little on that & other writing exercises. It really helped.

      Good luck! I hope your dh can find work soon.

      • Yes, this! When I was unemployed, my husband saved me several times by dragging me out of the house (and out of my little burrow of shame and afghans on our couch) to just go for a walk or try a new restaurant (now’s the time to go try all those cheap little hole-in-the-wall places!). On one particularly bad occasion, he insisted we splurge on a three-day beach weekend. It helped me get some perspective, took my mind off of the search, and made me feel like myself again.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’ve posted about this here before but full disclosure – I ended a long term serious relationship (we were looking at rings) with a live-in BF because he wasn’t doing much/anything to get a job after law school; as in, he has a better resume than I do (and I think mine’s pretty darn good) but didn’t have an interview for 1.5 years, refused to apply to anything but biglaw, didn’t go to networking events, or call alumni, or offer to take someone to coffee, or reach out to former professors, or take advantage of the MANY networking opportunities I had by virtue of being a working lawyer, or do much of anything except email the same handful of firms over and over again. And he refused to talk to me about it. And he stopped taking his SSRI. It was infuriating and destructive and finally I’d had enough.

      I think the most important thing is that you both have to approach his job search like you’re a team. It’s not OK for him to shut you out or refuse to talk to you, and it’s not OK for you to do nothing to help his search (though I’m sure he’d resist right now) but still criticize his efforts. Let him know that you’re there to help and support him and that it’s OK for him to accept that help; that’s what being in a committed relationship is all about. And you really can help – even if you’re not in the same field as H, you have a professional network and someone in that network could know someone who knows someone, etc., and you can help him brainstorm other job searching opportunities.

      If you’re more involved in the process then you’ll probably feel less frustrated because you won’t feel so helpless. Whether you’re telling him you’re frustrated or not, I guarantee it’s coming through in how you speak to him and look at him. If he knows you’re on his side and supporting him, he’ll feel a lot better about himself and your relationship, too.

    • I’m in your husband’s position – graduated 2 months ago and am looking for work. Financially, we’re okay, but my school debt has to wait until I’m employed before it can be paid off. I’m trying to find work – but there is only so much you can do. Also – I thought I’d love the time off and I don’t – I’m bored and feel useless and like I can’t do much for fear of spending money I haven’t earned. I’m not very domestic, so things like taking care of the house and dinner and all that stuff is no fun and challenging for me. I really want to find a job. If my husband told me he was frustrated, it wouldn’t help. I would vent to your friends. Of course, you’re allowed to feel however you feel. But maybe be cautious about how you express that to him.

    • I was in a similar position KMD, for about 3 years. It was no fun and I completely get your frustration.

      You’ve gotten some really good advice on this thread. However, here is what me and my husband did, which is a bit different:

      I was also unhappy (my job plus other circumstances), so we agreed that my husband had until X date to look for a good position. After X date, he agreed that I could begin my own job search and we could move or live on less money, even if that meant some sacrifice on his part for his own job search or our lifestyle. We put the date on our calendars, and it really helped both of us. I no longer felt so resentful of him. He did not feel so much daily pressure from me. I don’t know whether or not our agreement changed his job search methods, but he did find a position about two months before our agreed “deadline.” The deadline was about 10 months in the future when we set it.

      Now our situation is reversed. He works longer and harder hours than I do, for more money. In a few years, it might go back, just like DealCube said.

      I realize this advice runs counter to what others are saying on here, i.e., you can’t put him on the defensive. But we were getting to the point that I was not sure that the marriage would have survived if things had gone on. It had been a 3 year situation for us–unemployment plus additional training in his field Waiting on him for another 3 years just wasn’t an option. Once I had that thought–I can’t do this for 3 more years–I knew that it would be fairer to discuss it with him. My approach was: Here is why this is not working for me (focusing on my own unhappiness and circumstances not related to his unemployment); I want to be able to review my own career options and look for new jobs; When do you think is a reasonable time for me to be able to begin a job search even if it would involve a move?; Do you think we could live on X salary if I took a job like this next year?; etc. It worked for us, although I am sure that conversation did not give my husband a huge ego boost. But we needed to have that talk and make that decision.

      Good luck to you. I really, really mean that.

  14. anon for this :

    i have lost my motivation to workout and need some words of inspiration.
    i used to be an enthusiastic gymrat, but after a 6-month period of not exercising (vacation, illness), i! help!

    • Commit to *do something* that counts as a workout today. Even if it’s just 5 minutes. Just start doing something.

      You can do this and you will feel better once you do it.

    • Do you have a tangible, trackable goal? Do you make it easy and convenient to go to the gym? Can you pack your bag in the morning, pick a class at a specific time or spend 15 minutes over lunch walking the stairs? Can you find a yoga studio with drop in rates or sign yourself up for a race to scare yourself into working out again? Perhaps a friend or coworker is also trying to get back into the habit and you can bully each other into being active?

    • a passion for fashion :

      Things that help me in that situation, and beyond:

      (1) write down what you do to exercise — but everything counts. just keep a calendar/diary of your exercise — actual work-outs + walking to/from store/bus/train whatever, playing with kids — really anything that isnt jsut sitting on your a$$. In the beginning it also helps to go on to the one of many websites that lets you plug in the work (traditional and non-traditional) and gives you your calories burned.

      (2) sign yourself up for a class that you have to go to or you lose money — i do bar method classes. you have to sign up ahead of time and if you dont show, you still get charged. so i show.

      (3) try a bunch of different stuff — running, biking, pilates, bar method, eliptical, yoga, rock climbing etc.

    • Make yourself a new workout music playlist. Seems to do the trick for me! Also, promise yourself that if you work out x number of times for x amount, you get xxx. Bribe yourself! Good luck!

    • I got off the couch by joining some local hiking and outdoorsy meetups. It got me outdoors, meeting people and doing something, not just slogging away at the gym. Meeting healthy fit people was inspiring and got me motivated to get off the couch on other days so I wouldn’t be panting away every time we went up a hill and could tackle some of the tougher outings.

    • Baby Lawyer :

      Grab a friend/dog/stranger off a park bench/etc. and go for a walk! It might not feel like exercise, but you’re just trying to ease back in to regular workouts at this point. Anything that gets you off the couch and moving is a great start.

    • Set your goals very, very low at first – something you know you can achieve. Tell yourself that you’re just going to go for a half hour walk, or do 20 crunches and 20 jumping jacks, or something like that. I promise, the hardest part is getting off the couch! Once you actually get moving and realize it’s not so bad, I think you’ll be able to start doing more challenging moves. Also, buying a fancy new workout outfit was always a great motivator for me – I felt like I spent money so I had to go to the gym and show it off!

    • phillygirlruns :

      while everyone else has given good suggestions as to finding new stuff, figuring out what exactly it is that you’ll do, etc., i find that the only real “motivation” is to just go do things whether you want to do them or not. eventually it becomes a habit, or you start to enjoy it again and get motivated – whatever that means for you.

      i find the tumblr “unfXXX your habitat” and its related iphone app to be very helpful. it’s aimed at people who want to keep their houses clean and liveable, but the general philosophy transfers really well to just about everything else.

    • Plan, plan, plan.

      I’ve found that when I have my bag packed and have class or routine picked out and ready to go I’m more likely to go.

      Also, I don’t do morning workouts, I never have, never will. When I figured that out, and started going after work instead of trying to fit it in before I was more likely to go. Figuring out what works for you, instead of what everyone says you should be doing is helpful.

      • In this same vein, I had to make sure I had dinners prepped for when I came home so that I wouldn’t be all “Ugh, I don’t want to work out because I have to make dinner after, ugh, I just won’t go, ugh.”

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’ve posted this before, but I use a little trick that is silly but ridiculously helpful to me. I get up at 5:40 a.m. to go to the gym at 6, and 5:40 a.m. Senior Attorney NEVER wants to get out of bed. But I remind 5:40 Senior Attorney that if she bites the bullet and gets her butt in gear, 7:00 Senior Attorney is going to be super happy and grateful. Whereas if 5:40 Senior Attorney rolls over and goes back to sleep, 7:00 Senior Attorney (and All Day Senior Attorney, for that matter) will feel like crap. Stupid, I know, but it works. And I make sure that 7:00 Senior Attorney always remembers to thank 5:40 Senior Attorney for having made the effort!

      Or, in one sentence, commit to doing SOMETHING, and remind your present self that your future self will be happy if you get off the couch, and unhappy if you don’t.

      • I love this! And it’s so true.

      • hahaha, I was talking to my mom yesterday and ended one topic by saying “eh, Future Cat will have to deal with that problem.” It probably works better your way…

      • I motivate my son the exact same way. I get him to pay attention to how he feels when he does his homework and how glad he will feel in the future to have it done. He’s started noticing that and even saying, “Thanks, past self!”

      • MaggieLizer :

        Thank you for posting this (and please keep reposting!). I started this when you posted a few weeks ago and it’s helped me so. very. much. in the mornings.

      • Senior Attorney, I have said this before, but I LURV the way you articulate this, and I have told your exact story to several IRL people, b/c it is so awesome!

        and, i’ve been meaning to tell you I actually managed to put this into practice ONCE so far, not for anything as good as a morning workout, but for something really little, but still!!! It totally worked and I was so proud of myself for thinking about Future Zora and then thanking Past Zora, and I hope I can do it more with practice. So, thanks again for imparting your awesome advice to us chicks that aren’t so much over-achieving as much as we’d like sometimes! ;o) XOXOXO

  15. Speaking of the NAS... :

    I bought the skirt during the NAS and it doesn’t fit me right. I took the tags off and threw them away, but I would like to return it. Will they let me?

    On another note, can anyone suggest another wool or wool-blend camel colored skirt for, oh, $60 or so?

  16. Love this dress, it’s a good thing they dont’ have my size in any good colors or I’d order it.

    I’m seeking input on two things:

    1. Due to some weight gain, I’m in the market for a new trench. Any thoughts on Jones New York versus London fog? I would like one with a hood, I don’t need the removable liner.

    2. I’m thinking of trying a BB cream, any recommendations? I have oily skin and usually just wear a powder foundation, I’ve never liked any tinted moisturizer, so I’m wondering if I’d even benefit from one. Any oily skin girls have a BB cream they like?


    • This reminds me of a threadjack I was pondering – what is a BB cream? I’m seeing them everywhere and I don’t know what they do. (Marketing fail if the cosmetics companies haven’t convinced me I need to fix X problem and this product is just the ticket!)

      • I think it stands for Beauty Balm and it’s like a tinted moisturizer, although I don’t know if the differences are just in name. For Holly – I have tried several tinted moisturizers, but I don’t have oily skin. My issues are sensitive skin/eyes and scent (can’t tolerate it). I’m in the process of trying the Josie Maran and Urban Decay tinted moisturizers. I got samples from Sephora. I think I like the feel of the Urban Decay better but I need to keep trying it because it may be causing me to break out.

    • Amelia Pond :

      I have a super oily T zone and I have found that the Stila 10 in 1 BB cream works the best for me. I am not very tan and the color is perfect, so if your complexion is darker it may not work. What I did was go to Sephora and ask a gal about BB/ primers. She made up a little sample of 3 different kinds for me to take home and try out. You could try that and then purchase the one that worked best.

    • kerrycontrary :

      If you are looking for just a primer try Smashbox primer light. I have oily skin and it works well/doesn’t make me breakout or oilier.

    • Turtle Wexler :

      I love the Boscia BB cream. I was not at all convinced by them until I tried that one, but it goes on like a dream and gives me just the right amount of coverage.

    • 2) Your skin is exactly like mine, and I swear by Bobbi Brown’s BB Cream. Medium smoothing coverage without looking like you’re caked, and it’s just one step – I usually power over it, but you don’t need to, and no primer needed either. Bobbi Brown counter person told me their BB cream is better for oilies (dries should use extra moisturizer)

  17. I’m not sure that I agree. I feel like, even in the States, you would always hear about “Princess Diana,” for example.

    That said, I’m not sure I know what the proper appellation for the-former-Ms. Middleton would be. Duchess Catherine?

  18. Bloomies Friends and Family :

    Does anyone know if/when Bloomingda!e’s has their family and friends sale? Is there one coming up?

    • Bloomies Friends and Family :

      Forgot to ask if there are any restrictions on brands or internet purchases.
      They don’t have a store in my state; so I’m hoping for a really good deal with the free shipping and no tax.

    • They usually have it end of September/early October. There are always brand exclusions, all super-high end brands are excluded. Usually brands like Theory, Vince, and other contemporary brands are included.

  19. web hosting recs? :

    I’m starting my own practice. I need a website. Any recommendations for web hosting? How about layout design? So much to do!

    • I use weebly — it’s sort of an all-in-one solution & their code can be customized by a designer. I set up my pages & had someone versed in design (& CSS coding) take it & “spruce it up”. Been a while since I did the hosting piece, but I think it’s all in one place via weebly.

  20. Need advice from the legal hive (not legal advice, but pointing me where I should start to unravel this holy mess).

    I’m a midwest-based consultant that worked as a technical matter expert sub to a 8A firm based in MD on 4 different federal contracts over 5 years. Into year 4, payment became kind of erratic, but I would see $$ now and again & I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Toward the end of 2011, was owed ~ $13K (that the company owner had submitted and received reimbursement for); had a come-to-Jesus and learned of financial troubles, owner swearing he’d repay by 7/2012. With about 6 months left on the last contract and a sh*tload of work left to do, I chose to finish up the work to maintain my reputation with the federal agency. Add another $23K to the tab that we (there’s another sub in the same boat as I) believe has not been submitted for reimbursement because owner knows $$ will be seized by the IRS once it hits his bank account. The SBA nor the federal agency have been helpful as we’ve tried to get at least this last chuck of $$ paid directly to us as subs. It’s a mess and I’m out $40K. Any advice or do we just need to sue the company owner personally? Any recs for a DC area attorney/firm who I could talk to to handle this disaster?

    • Not a lawyer but I know this problem. Can you talk to COR and see if they will sole source you a contract? It’s unlikely but worth a shot. Not defending the 8A but this economy has been so hard and whole payments have been really slow, the owner had probably been using that money to cover his costs. Honestly, I’m not sure you’ll see any of the money, but I do think you need to lawyer up at this point. And yes, the IRS will take everything they are owed before anyone else gets a penny. N

      • Sorry, typing on phone….I’d search for a local lawyer but I would also speak to a business accountant as well. Perhaps they can give you advice on some things you can do before the end of the calendar year. I’m sorry, this must be so stressful. You really ought to consider stopping work though…I know you’re in a rough spot here and you want future business. Good luck.

        • The work was completed in June and the contract has expired. The owner has been trying to get the federal agency to pay us directly so the money isn’t seized by the IRS – no go. My question – do I need to get a MD attorney or can I get someone local to me? And what kind of attorney do I need?

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