Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: ‘Nathalie’ Print Scarf Collar Top

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

Rachel Zoe 'Nathalie' Print Scarf Collar TopOooh: I really like this fun blouse from Rachel Zoe. I like the silk, the red/navy combination, and the v-neck scarf collar. It seems much more modern than other scarf collar tops, and I think it would look great with a blazer, a cardigan, or by itself. It’s $275 at Nordstrom. Rachel Zoe ‘Nathalie’ Print Scarf Collar Top

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  1. Always a NYer :

    My inner rocker chick is loving this!!! Red and animal print together, love.

    Is anyone else really, really excited for the return of Castle tonight and that long awaited morning after scene? I know I am =)

  2. Don’t like this blouse. The colour combo reminds me of a chinese restaurant decor…..

  3. I hate clunky shoes :


    Do any of you sew your own clothes? How about for work? I’m thinking of trying this as I’m fairly successful at sewing curtains and pillows and would love some victoria beckham style length skirts ( but at 5’9″ everything is a few inches above my knee) and am soooo tired of that.

    Any advice? Is it hard? CHoices of fabric ? Thanks!

    • I’m in the same boat as you. Finding clothing that is long enough and fits well can be a challenge (and paying for simple alterations adds up!).

      I haven’t touched a machine in years (I did sew quite regularly as a teenager), so I actually just signed up for a weekend sewing class. Googling sewing classes and your city will probably turn up a few fabric shops and adult education centers that offer different options by skill level. I’d suggest taking a few of those related to clothing to get yourself comfortable with patterns and fabric types. Some stores also have open sewing nights where you bring your own project and sew/socialize for a few hours (similar to a quilting bee or knitting circle). These can be great because you can pick up so many useful tips and even ask the owner/others for help with your project.

      Good luck! Can’t wait to hear how it goes :)

    • I do my own alterations (and quilt and Halloween costumes) but have done sewn my own work clothes. Skirts I have heard though are a great place to start, fewer pieces than an item with sleeves or pant legs. I would try out first with some inexpensive muslin to practice and get your pattern right before moving on to your real fabric. Good luck!

    • I sew a lot of my clothes and skirts are a great place to start. A few thoughts:

      1. Choose a simple pattern such as a plain pencil skirt or a plain A-line skirt. Make a muslin (basically, a draft garment) out of cheap fabric before cutting your good, expensive fabric. You will be able to work out the quirks of the pattern without wasting a lot of money.

      2. You will probably have to make some adjustments to the pattern. You mention being concerned about length. You might have to lengthen the pattern. Find a skirt you already own that is the right length, measure it and compare to the pattern.

      3. If you are unfamiliar with pattern sizing, it is very, very different from ready to wear sizing. Take your measurements accurately and do not fudge the size because it feels like the number is too large. Recognize that the size numbers for patterns have absolutely nothing to do with the size numbers in something you buy off the rack. It sounds obvious, but it can be hard to get past the large number on the pattern envelope.

      There are a lot of great sewing blogs out there with fantastic tutorials. If you find a pattern, search for the pattern number. Often you can find people who have written about their experiences sewing it.

      • I just wanted to seriously second the DO NOT ignore the measurements on the pattern rec. This isn’t like store size charts. They mean it.
        Pattern sizing has not changed, like, ever. So you will probably be 4 or 5 sizes larger in the patterns than what you buy off the rack.

      • I hate clunky shoes :

        Thanks! By the way, are you in silver spring? I’m in Bethesda so if so, any advice of fabric stores would be super appreciated.

        Thanks again everyone!!!

    • I have found fabric options to be the most limiting factor in making garments. There just isn’t a lot out there that is easily available. Most fabric stores these days are catering to the quilting/crafting crowd (lots of fleece and printed cotton).

      That being said – skirts are probably a good place to start. 1) Find yourself a pattern and just go at it. 2) Accept that your first few pieces will probably have a lot of mistakes (find inexpensive fabrics to try out) as you learn what works for you. 3) Have a buddy to help you tailor – Heisenberg Rule of Garment Making – You can not both wear and tailor a garment at the same time. 4)The finishing details make all the difference. 5) Find a couple good sewing bible/reference books as most patterns assume you know how to do the technique, and will build that assumption into the directions. The directions are pretty basic and not really geared for beginners.

      Good luck!

      • Research, Not Law :

        “Heisenberg Rule of Garment Making” – Well done.

        Really good advice here, so I won’t duplicate. The only thing that I’d add is to take absolutely the time to prewash, straighten, etc your fabric and dry-fit your pattern pieces before you cut. Also, consider doing a muslin the first time before jumping in with your more expensive fabric.

    • I sew most of my own clothes these days, including work clothes. I’m slowly phasing out store bought stuff and adding in my own things as I have time to make them.

      I second the advice above to spend time on fitting — it’s tedious, but the whole point of sewing your own clothes is to have custom fitted garments. It’s no longer really cheaper to sew your own clothes (unless you have the skills to replicate really high end looks that are more than the cost of nice materials), so spend the time on fitting. I’d say about half of my hours spent sewing are actually spent fitting.

      Nice garment fabrics are hard to come by in local sewing stores (like a Joanns or so), but you can easily buy stuff online, and some cities have wonderful brick and mortar stores where you can find wools, silks, etc. For online shopping I recommend GorgeousFabrics dot com (she has consistently good stuff), for B&M shopping I recommend the garment district in NYC. Whenever I’m near there for work travel or so I make sure to squeeze out an afternoon to go stock up on fabric and supplies.

      For first projects, a skirt is probably a good place to start. I’d jump in and start with wool right away, because it’s so much easier to shape and press than anything poly. If you want something blouse weight, I highly recommend silk cotton blends — it’s an easy fabric to work with because of the cotton content, but with the sheen and feeling of silk (best of both worlds!).

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Britex in San Francisco was my grandmother’s favorite fabric store. They have *everything.*

    • Tons of great advice here. I’d also like to recommend patternreview dot com – a great website & community for sewing. Reviews of patterns is just part of it.

      • Hey! Yes, ever since I took a class to make a sloper (a flat pattern tailored to your measurements) – I have about six pencil/Aline skirts – all sewn by me. I’m an environmental attorney and have a blog (pammieandtheps.blogspot.com) (although I’m not a frequent poster – too much work lately) – and check out the Blog by the Sewing Lawyer (you can google)….It’s so much fun and very rewarding to be able to make exactly what you want. I can’t do jackets (yet) though! Slapdash Seamstress i great (re: above post).

        • Also forgot to mention that the top featured above – is similar to a much favored Jalie pattern – check it out!

  4. Threadjack – I’ve been reading lots of fashion/styling/”You are what your wear” type books and after going over their must have pieces, it has me wondering, what are the must have wardrobe staples of C o r p o r e t t e? I know we all have very different styles and tastes but it seems there’s a general consensus on what we should/shouldn’t wear to work?

    After going through my closet and based on my short experience in the corporate workforce so far, these are my staples:
    Charcoal suit (with trousers and pants)
    Black cardigan
    Long sleeve blouses
    Short sleeve basic tees (to layer under a blazer or cardi)
    Pencil Skirts
    Black and Nude Pumps
    Knee Boots

    What are the must-haves you’d add to the list?

    • Wrap dresses
      Ballet or pointy toed flats
      Cashmere (or wool if you’re less itchy than I am!) pullover sweaters in the neckline of your choice (turtleneck, bateau, crew, v…)
      Camisoles – no lace trim – for under the wrap dresses and sweaters as needed

    • Sheath dress
      Couple of button front shirts, if you like them
      Nice bag that won’t go out of style

    • Jacqueline :

      Jewel-toned blouses and cardigans
      Wrap dresses
      Pointy-toe or almond-toe nude, black, and taupe/stone/grey (not sure what to call this color) pumps
      Black and cognac riding boots
      Black ankle pants
      Ballet flats with interesting details

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My basics are pencil skirts, sweaters or dressy tops (short, 3/4, and long-sleeve), cardigans (also short, 3/4, and long-sleeve), black and gray dress pants, and dressy flats.

      My large chest means I have trouble with button down shirts, so I quit buying them.

      Extra items I like to have available but don’t wear that often are sheath dresses and short-sleeve dresses.

    • I don’t have a lot to add to this, but I am building a truly professional wardrobe and would love to see lots of replies to this thread!

      So far, my uniform has been:

      black pencil skirts (and one grey-ish silver one)
      black blazers or cardigans (and one purple cashmere cardi that I love)
      short sleeve or sleeveless shells/tops
      black Air Talias (LOVE them! I was at work for 17 hours on Thursday, feet were fine. Amazed.)

      I have a gorgeous brown handbag and brown pumps but didn’t buy any clothes on the first round to wear with them. Any suggestions for colors for basic pieces that I could wear with both black and brown accessories?

  5. sad shedder :

    Threadjack: I know we’ve talked about hair loss on here before, but has anyone been able to link hair loss to birth control? And when you went off of birth control, did the hair grow back?

    I suspect that may be what’s causing mine, so I’m considering going off of it. My doctor has already ruled out other causes (thyroid issue, iron levels, that kind of thing).

    I know in the grand scheme of things some hair loss isn’t a huge deal, but I find it so distressing and upsetting. I barely want to style it or wash it because I dread seeing more hair fall out.

    • I have no scientific evidence, but I’m certain that’s what caused my thinner hair (I haven’t gone off it, so I don’t know if it would return if I did so). The hair loss did plateau off after a certain point, but I believe that was about 4 years in. I started taking a multivitamin and seriously upping my veggies (esp. carrots) , and it did grow back a bit then.

    • I started to lose a lot more hair when I got my Mirena IUD, and in the 10 days since getting it removed, there’s already a measurable decline in hair loss. That was progesterone only, FYI.

    • Whoa you may have just blown my mind. I’ve been losing a lot of hair in the last few months (more than normal) and it could be because I’m on hormonal BC…

      As a side note, does anyone ever get scared by the potential side effects of BC? Esp since they can seem so minor/subtle in isolation? I’m confident that it’s the best BC option for me but when I really think about it, I’m not so fond of the fact that I’m essentially unncessarily pumping my body full of hormones

      • I certainly do get scared about the idea of taking hormones every day. Which is why I don’t — we use natural family planning, and it’s worked for 6 years. But dang, it’s certainly not the most convenient method.

      • sad shedder :

        I do worry about it, but these are pretty low doses, and once you stop taking it, the hormones are out of your body within days. For me, the benefits of being on it once outweighed being off, but I think the scales have tipped in the other direction.

        I’m more upset that my doctor never mentioned this significant potential side effect. It’s a pretty big deal!

      • There is one very weird, very unexpected side effect. A study done (I’ll try to find the link) showed that women naturally are attracted to men who COMPLEMENT their genes. No one can figure out how this works (odor maybe) but it was significant and consistent. Natures way of getting a better baby outcome. But on the pill, they consistently chose men who MATCHED their genes. I’m off to find the study…..

        • http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20080812/bad-sex-pill

          Here’s one link- there are others. I want to tell you guys- I’m older than most posting here. Please don’t be surprised at doctors not telling you about side effects. They just don’t. Anytime you are prescribed anything, please do your due diligence. Research it like your life depends on it because it does. And if you still have to take it, research ways to help your body deal with it. I speak from (very unfortunate) experience.

          • Research, Not Law :

            Wow to the article.

          • karenpadi :

            I gotta disagree. I think that for *some* women (including myself), the Pill is a godsend.

            Fact is, before family planning, women had far fewer periods and spent more time pregnant or breastfeeding. This entire article is interesting but I found part 2 the most fascinating:


          • Got totally sidetracked from the question below (which is actually kind of related because I started bc originally for my acne)! Anyway, I actually had a terrible reaction to birth control– the pill made me pukey for 6 months straight & then I tried depo after that for about 9 months and it just wrecked my body– I had NO energy, gained 30 lbs, had a pretty-heavy-flow period for the entire time and just felt completely awful and sick the entire time. I was REALLY surprised at the experience I had. And the doctors acted like I was crazy when I suggested that my symptoms were tied to the bc– low & behold, I stopped the bc & my symptoms went away completely. I just think that we have been taught that hormonal bc is completely harmless– yes for many the benefits may be greater than the negatives, but I’m definitely a little less bc gung-ho after what I went through.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Any time you change your body’s hormone-balance, you’re going to see side effects, and lots of them. Add to that the individuality of responses. It’s going to be hard for your doctor to list them all out for you. Hair loss doesn’t exactly pose a huge health risk. It also may not occur consistently enough across women to be a statistically significant side effect warranting documentation. You’ll find there are lots of quirky effects of BCP that some women experience and others do not that aren’t every on a package insert.

        I stopped taking BCP years ago and never looked back.

    • Not from birth control. But I seriously think that my previously extremely thick hair thinned to only slightly thick after two courses of Accutane. When I reported it to my dermatologist, she said it wasn’t in any of the literature. The good news: when you get old enough to start taking iron supplements, your hair gets thicker again.

      • Has anyone else had this response to Accutane? I’m thinking of going on it but don’t want to lose hair!

        • Accutane was one of the best uses of medicine I have made in my life. Yes, while you are on it there are inconveniences (no sex because no pregnancy allowed, no sun because even 5 minutes will burn you, skin SO SO dry that I went through a tube of lip balm each week). But by the end, my skin was literally glowing from within alabaster and, 15 years later, it is still gorgeous.

          • You’re lucky– 2 yrs later & my skin is gross again. It was so amazing for abou 12 months though to have glowing perfectly clear skin.
            Post accutane, my joints feel a little click-y and I think my eyes/scalp are a little drier– but I’ve always had so much hair on my head that I probably wouldn’t notice if I lost 25% of it.

          • Anon for this :

            Me too. I used it in high school and am now 30. I still don’t get acne after years of really struggling. I do have some scars, but I’m not sure if that’s from when it was worse while on Accutane or if I would have had it anyway.

          • Anne Shirley :

            Errr no sex? Not a requirement of Accutane. Careful use of birth control coupled with the knowledge that you’re fine with getting an abortion in the unlikely event your two methods of birth control fail also works.

      • A friend of mine used accutane in high school. It definitely cleared up her skin, but I think she was mildly depressed on it. Plus, her hair did thin some.

        If you haven’t tried it, I recommend Clear Light. It is a laser treatment – you basically sit under a light for the treatments (I did 20min treatments 2x a week for 4 weeks). No side affects – no reddening, dryness, or anything. I had really bad skin at the time, and it cleard up so much over the four weeks and continued to improve after.

  6. Manomanon :

    I never made it back to the weekend thread so I didn’t get a chance to post my Irish Car Bomb cupcake recipe.

    The edits I made to it were: using 1% milk instead of sour cream, mixing milk and butter to make the ganache rather than heavy cream. (These were substitution I made due to a lack of proper ingredients – not because I have a problem with those ingredients so you may want to try it the way it is written.
    Everyone loved them and nobody knew the difference but me so it worked.
    I will post the link in reply to avoid the moderation monster!

  7. Praxidike :

    Wow, these changes are something. The ads take up nearly half my screen and run actual videos without me hitting “play”. If you’re going for more page hits, that’s not the way to do it. I don’t want to listen to stuff I don’t actively choose to listen to.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I’m not getting any videos, and the only “ads” I see are the ones for the different media outlet this site has been mentioned in. Is this browser dependent? I’m using Firefox on a PC. (I say this by way of trying to be helpful for Kat to figure out what the problem is with the videos popping up if this is a mistake)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m using Chrome with ad block so no ads here. Not sure what ads I’d have if I turned off adblock.

  8. I hate clunky shoes :

    Ugh, I keep getting all these video popups. Will have to abort until this is fixed, as I cannot have this at work (and really, I am only on this website at work).

    Hope it’s resolved, I’m not a weekend or night checker ever.

    • I don’t get the video pop ups on my I pad, but I hate the new look of this site. There, I said it!

      • Yeah, not a fan. I don’t like the new logo. It looks a lot less professional. Also, the new blog format looks less professional, too.

      • I am seeing that every comment kind of gloms together – I can’t tell the difference between new comments and responses to other comments. On the previous version of the website, the responses were sort of indented, which was nice because you could more easily browse through a thread for a specific topic.

        • Oh, just noticed the boxes corralling comments and responses together. Guess my eyes are too old to notice that!

          • I have young eyes and find it difficult to follow. I’ll give myself a few days to adjust and make sure I am not just be grumpy and hating anything different, but I have to admit: I think the site looks a lot less professional. A lot.

      • Also not a fan. The new “comments” format is weirding me out and certainly not as easy to follow as the old format.

    • I’m in Safari (and FWIW, anyone commenting on the site redesign, it’s helpful if you mention what browser you’re using) and i’m not seeing the video popups, and the relative size of ads isn’t any different than the old site.

      It would be nice if the comments headers didn’t have the avatar box, and if the commenter name was a few points bigger.
      And if the indents were bigger so it was more clear where the replies are.

      And also if there was a Next Post-Previous Post option, i like when it’s at the bottom of the post itself, and at the bottom of the comments.

      Thanks for listening, Kat! ;o)

  9. I worked all weekend on my case’s and am in court right now for calender call. I did NOT wear my red dress b/c it had a musterd stain on it, so I brought it to the dry cleaner’s.

    Also I did NOT see the manageing partner b/c I came straight from home to court, so I will explain all that later, but I jet off for Tenessee later, so my post’s may be limited. Jim is already there. He says the hotel is “grand”.

    Harold is a good roller bladder.

  10. GRE Prep Courses :

    Does anyone have any recommendations for GRE study classes? Would prefer something in person, but online would work as well. Thanks ladies!

  11. Sorry Kat, but the more I look at it, the less I like the redesign. The ads are massive and distracting. The content and comments are restricted to a tiny strip in the middle (what is up with the left margin being so big?). And trying to read the comments is giving me a headache. I love [this website] but um, please make some tweaks.

    • PS. I do like the shirt.

      • I don’t mind the comments being on only half the page as much, but I hate that it’s no longer easy to see who is replies to what. Trying to distinguish between shades of grey when I’m taking a five minute break from work is a bit headache inducing. Is there any way to change it to show clear delineations again?

    • Agree about the new format, its really difficult to read. The blouse I think could work if not paired with leather pants (its a bit hard to judge as currently styled).

      • I dislike how everything is in a row, it’s much harder to tell what’s a reply vs a new comment.

        • +10. Really not easy on the eyes.

          • Okay, now I feel better that I’m not the only one having a hard time distinguishing comments and replies. I liked the indenting better.

          • I am already squinting and I just started reading the new format a few minutes ago. It is really difficult to read.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Yeah, I’m having a hard time with seeing which thread is which and who is replying to what thread, too. Need more color or something. Too much gray.

          (Snaps to Kat for taking negative/constructive feedback with grace and an open mind, and snaps for trying to improve the site and not be afraid of change if it’s for the better).

          • SF Bay Associate :

            and I’m a Firefox user. The hover over the “Post Comment” is pink, so maybe we could have more pink or purple, or Kat’s favorite blue for each thread in the comments, and maybe also a numbering system (comment #47)?

          • Yeah, the comments are really difficult to read. There needs to be more spacing between threads to help differentiate.

    • This.

    • Yeah it does seem to be harder to see where people are replying to a thread. Very confusing!

      And I’m not wild about what I call “bow blouses.” Too matronly on me and they remind me of something my grandmother would have worn. She looked great but not a style I want to emulate.

    • Actually, having the same reaction. Initially it didn’t seem that much different, but now that there are more comments (as there always are) it’s really hard to follow. All the text I want is condensed in a very small, disorganized column. I don’t know enough to make an intelligent suggestion other than that the old format was way more manageable, so in terms of spacing and threading maybe just go back to something more similar.


    • Weird how we are all seeing different things. My left margin is normal but the right is very large. No videos and no more ads than I used to see with the old formatting.

      • Me too. I am using firefox but must have adblocker because I never see ads. I can see that response comments are slightly indented, but I have to pay close attention to determine that. My left margin is narrow, less than two inches, but the right margin (where I assume the ads would be if I didn’t have adblocker) takes up nearly half the screen.

      • I am on Internet Explorer (sorry, don’t know the version) and left and right margins are both huge. In fact, “margin” is an inaccurate term because really all I have is a tiny strip of comments in the middle of the screen.

        • eastbaybanker :

          I’m in Explorer that comess with Office 2007 and the comments fill the left half of my screen. I agree that there needs to be some space between each comment.

    • ALSO DO NOT LIKE THE REDESIGN. I don’t mind the advertising – there was advertising in the old design, and I get that it’s necessary to pay for this blog – but the comment design is sooooo frustrating and hard to follow. I’m so frustrated after 2 minutes that I begin to doubt how often I’ll be visiting this site in the future.

      • I guess I should clarify that I don’t mind seeing ads; I know they’re financially necessary, and I certainly want Kat to be able to get the money she needs to keep this website running. But somehow they seem much more…intrusive with the new design. Like with the old one, I noticed content first, then ads; and with this one the ads are sized much larger, proportionately, to the content area.

        • Just wanted to say: THE RAIN IN SPAIN STAYS MAINLY IN THE PLAIN. Now I can grow up and move along.

          • Actually, the rain in Spain stays mainly in the mounTAINS where I live ;) and I’ve had variations on that rhyme as my Facebook and Gchat statuses for the last two days, since it started up.

            Seriously though, it is so foul outside, and unlikely to get better, apparently, before April. I just bought a waterproof puffer jacket with a hood. Thank you, Zara.

          • PS. When I went in to get my coat I saw this one and really want someone to buy it, since it’s incredibly fabulous and dramatic, but not even remotely what I was looking for: http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/us/en/zara-us-W2012/269183/868521/COAT%20WITH%20APPLIQU%C3%89S%20ON%20THE%20SLEEVES

          • Oh man, that is such a cool coat. We had lovely weather in VA here over the weekend and I am the recipient of many apples from your neck of the woods.

          • Oh, I do love the coat. Probably not so practical, but the sleeves!

          • mmm apples :) I was sad it was a bit too early to go apple-picking before I left. That’s one of my favorite fall traditions.

            And KC–the coat is so impractical it’s ridiculous. It doesn’t even have a way to close the front, except at the neck. But it’s so beautiful and lux-feeling that it almost doesn’t matter.

          • I love that Zara coat. I found it recently through a mag – possibly Real Simple? I am thinking it has to be Real Simple, as I doubt that would make it into Garden & Gun (which I am also in the middle of at the moment).

    • I posted my comments/recommendations in the redesign post. But would like to change my recommendation that comments take up 2/3 of page. I think 1/2 would be better (especially for those with larger monitors).

    • SpaceMountain :

      I’m getting a headache from reading the comments, too. Don’t know much about typesetting, but something is off here. The style? Background? Closeness of the letters? It’s very hard to read.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree. I’m having a hard time trying to find the the beginning of each post. All the posts and their subposts look the same.

    • Oh, and I’m using Firefox.

  12. In-House Europe :

    Early threadjack! I am attending a wedding in LA in a few weeks and have a dress that I plan to re-wear, but I am having trouble styling it. It is navy blue silk with one shoulder strap and a long ruffle that descends from the shoulder strap down the front of the dress. It also is vertical pleated (flattering on the tummy!). So it isn’t super busy and I’d love to have some super cool accessories. Especially shoes. I have a reputation to uphold regarding shoes. Ideas? Color suggestions?

    • What’s your price range? And for navy blue the obvious choice would be silver. But I think it would be really fun and cool if you did gold accessories and shoes. Or something in a bright turquoise or something (since you’re going to the land of eternal sunshine, why not stick with a summery color set?)

    • Give us more on your shoe reputation. Do you tend to wear edgy styles, or more classic but just fab? How high a heel will you wear and does height tolerance depend on the chunkiness of the hell? (Do you even wear chunky heels?)

      Navy is neutral enough that I would look for colorful shoes that I love – red, orange, turquoise, yellow, metallic, color-blocked – and then work the other accessories based on that. I think one-shoulder dresses fight necklaces, so I would go with great shoes, big earrings, and a wrap in case I get cold. You could also do a bracelet or statement ring, probably with smaller earrings.

    • Senior Attorney :

      How about those awesome shoes from Friday’s open thread, in the bright pink with gold? I think they would be fantastic with a navy dress!

  13. Chicago Meetup! :

    When: Thursday, Sept 27 kicking off at 5:30pm (I’ll be there until at least 8pm)
    Where: Encore Liquid Lounge in 312 Chicago (136 N LaSalle Street)
    Near the Clark/Lake el stop
    Valet parking is $12 for 3 hours
    Terry (ChicagoC o r p o r e t t e at gmail.com)

  14. definitely anon for this one :

    I don’t love the tininess of the site (maybe that’s made so that it works in different browsers, not sure) in Chrome.


    A friend is staying with me and seems to keep … pushing the end date … of her visit. She lives locally (well kind of) but is somewhat “between apartments” right now. She’s been here about 9 days now and it’s fine if she’s really on her way out reasonably soon, but I’m not cool with her crashing on my floor forever. She’s a good friend who’s struggling with money right now, but I think is also struggling with general procrastination/laziness about finding a place. She keeps saying things like “the plan is to move into my new place on Tuesday” then Tuesday comes and the plan changes and she wants to stay another night. Additionally, a mutual friend let me know she’s going to look at an apartment tomorrow (she told me she already had a place but was just waiting to find a good move in date) so I’m a little confused on what the situation is.

    I’m trying to get myself to be an adult and remind myself just because I didn’t have the relaxing “alone” weekend I wanted (my (actual) roommate is out of town so I was looking forward to having the place to myself) doesn’t mean I get to stamp my feet and be rude about it. It’s just exhausting to have someone in my space, we have different levels of cleanliness (to say the least – my place is honestly starting to smell)… I don’t know.

    I would like a firm (and soon) date that she’ll be out by, but I also want to be a good friend and recognize she’s struggling right now, she’s helped me out in past situations as well and deserves to have me pay it forward, and be sensitive to the fact that she’s struggling right now. I also, of course, don’t want to throw her out onto the streets if she has nowhere to go.

    To complicate things, her uncle owns the company I work for so even if I did want to say “Get out, get out now” that might not be the best course of action in this situation.


    • Jacqueline :

      I think you would be doing both of you a favor if you set a firm end date. Otherwise, you may end up resenting her more and exploding after keeping all your anger inside (at least, this is how I am in these situations). Nine days is more than enough time for a guest — no wonder you’re feeling frustrated!

      If you really feel like you owe it to her to stay there, then set firm expectations about cleanliness, picking things up, etc. It’s your place and she’s staying there for free — you make the rules. But I think for your sanity and for the sake of this friendship, you’d be better off telling her that you need her to leave by X date. Then you both know where things stand.

    • Could you invite someone from out of town to visit you, say, two weeks from now? Then you could tell her that she needs to leave to make room for your buddy.

      • Not just you, but people on this site are often recommending really roundabout ways / insanely passive ways of making totally reasonable requests. You don’t need to invite a new guest to kick out an old one. You can just say you’re glad you spent time together and good luck with the job search, but you and your roommate need your living room back, so guest needs to find a new housing arrangement by X day.

        • No kidding!

        • phillygirlruns :

          +1. she’s the one who is being rude here. it’s unfortunate that she’s taking advantage of you and causing you to make an uncomfortable request, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s completely reasonable to set an end date on her couch-surfing.

    • When is your actual roommate coming back? Soon enough to say “Friend, Roommate will be back on DATE, so you’ll need to be out by then. This space is fine for 2 people, but not really set up for 3.”? Or alternatively, “Friend, Roommate will be back on DATE and I don’t feel comfortable forcing a long term guest on Roommate. I’ve enjoyed having you here, but I need to get back to normal life by DATE.”

    • When is your actual roommate coming back? If it’s relatively soon, then I think you could say “my roommate is coming back on X, so I think it would a good idea if you moved into your new place by then.” Not easy, but your roommate didn’t sign up to pay half of the utilities for 3 people to live in your place!

      • definitely anon for this one :

        My actual roommate hasn’t been home for the past week or so so he has missed the bulk of this. He is coming back by the end of this week though so thanks for the suggestions above – I may be like “Roommate’s coming home so you should probably be out by Thursday” (which is still a LONG visit) but she will see/be around him in the future so I don’t necessarily want to make him the “fall guy” that she resents.

        I want to do tough love in a way that it doesn’t sacrifice our friendship or make me out to be mean, but actually pushes her since I think that’s what she needs right now. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m being selfish though, to not give her my space indefinitely to crash until she figures out the next plan. I know that’s crazy but that’s the feeling I’m trying to rationalize myself out of.

        • I would go with “be out by Thursday” and just leave off the probably. And you don’t have to make the Roommate the fall guy – you can frame it as YOU not wanting to impose a guest on Roommate, if you want.

          And you aren’t being selfish by not allowing indefinite mooching. Your guest is being selfish (and insensitive) by overstaying their welcome. She’s a grown up, and you are not required to provide shelter to a grown up, friend or not. Give her a deadline and let her know that you were happy to help her out for a time, but that she needs to move on so you guys can stay friends.

        • I don’t think you need to make your roommate the bad guy. I think what nona suggested is actually great – “friend, Roommate is back on Friday, so I think you should move into your place by Thursday. Our apartment isn’t really set up for three people to live here.”

          I would feel guilty too – you’re not alone!

        • I don’t see that your roommate would look like the bad guy here. I think it’s entirely reasonable for someone to like a roommate’s friends but not be okay with those friends effectively moving into the apartment. I would think that the polite and respectful thing to do here is actually to put your roommate’s feelings first (even if he never says a word, it’s not really polite to have long term overnight guests when you share an apartment), which would mean having the friend move along.

    • How does your actual roommate feel about this situation? That has to be a concern, too. I think some tough love is in order here since she sounds like she needs it. She knows she is being a loaf but she also probably needs some prodding in the right direction since it sounds like she is an otherwise good person that is in a funk right now. Recommend addressing this issue tonight before the resentment/anger build up and your friendship is permanently affected. There is nothing wrong with saying “I am happy to help you but this was never a permanent solution; what is your plan and how can I help?”. Good luck. (My former father in law always said that guests should never stay longer than 3 nights; he was right, but he was also a fussy old lady in many ways – ha.)

    • Don’t feel guilty. You should feel guilty right now that you are enabling her to be lazy and an imposition and clueless. You would be helping her by making her act like a grown up and take control of her living situation.

      So kick her ass out. Thursday is drop dead, and I mean, friend, you’re checking into a hotel drop dead.

  15. anon for this :

    Ack – I hate the new website. I can’t put a subject line to ‘warn’ you this is a pregnancy issue…

    I’m a regular poster who has been AWOL for about two months as we moved and I started a job with a new, smaller firm. I’ve been at work with my new firm for 4 weeks…and I found out this weekend that I am 5 weeks pregnant. (Very wanted, although it def. happened at a time we weren’t ‘trying’, but too busy to realize when was when.)

    Now, I weigh the same thing I did a month ago, yet my pants are incredibly tight and when I measured last night, I discovered that the low waist where I wear my pants has grown by 2 inches since I measured it July 1 as part of a fitness challenge. When I weighed the same things.

    I don’t want to let work know that I am pregnant until I make it through the first trimester, but I seem to be expanding in the waistline RAPIDLY. Does anyone have shopping suggestions for clothing to wear to diminish/conceal a pregnancy as long as possible. I don’t mind spending a couple hundred dollars on some good pieces if it will keep me looking not-pregnant for an extra two months. And at this rate, I’ll need new clothes in the next week anyway. Definitely business professional – dresses, shirts, and skirts needed.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Diana Barry :


      I got a couple of suits and pants, etc., in the size 2 sizes up from where I was. They were slightly too big when I got them and then became too small pretty soon – like you, I felt like I expanded right when I got the positive test. Spanx tights also helped me to fit into my ‘regular’ clothes for about a week more. The suits are also helpful for when you are postpartum and decreasing in size, but not yet back to ‘normal’ size.

      I would also look for *print* tops, in a busy print, at least one size up, and more loose fitting but NOT empire waist. Kind of blousy, and woven material is better than knit. I got quite a few of those to last me through week 12 – I told work at week 13. I found them at AT outlet, Forever 21, and Banana (on sale). Prints were better for disguising the shape.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      I had exactly this situation, and wore a lot of scarves or long necklaces with my work clothes. These helped distract from looking at the fact that my clothes were getting tight. The advantage to being at the new job is that people don’t really know you, and therefore don’t notice changes in your body type as much as you might think. No one here noticed I was pregnant until I announced at 18 weeks, and I went up 2 full sizes of clothing during that time.

      I have a slightly more casual environment here, so I wore more dresses with waterfall style cardigans than I normally would, which helped.

    • A few suggestions: First, I found that the “smock style” shirts hid my pregnancy much better than any other style of shirt. I looked “chubby, not pregnant” in those for much longer than I was comfortable with. Also, as other commenters have noted, anything that draws attention elsewhere, such as big necklaces, scarves, flowy cardigans, etc. — even bright lipstick or dangly earrings.

      I disagree with any advice to buy interim pants in a larger-than-normal size. Wasted money, IMHO. Just take the plunge and buy your maternity pants now. They are elastic waisted and very comfortable. Use a belly band if necessary to keep them up for a few weeks. You’ll never want to put real pants on again, trust me. I really liked the Gap maternity demi-waisted ones. I bought three pairs — one black, one charcoal pinstripe, and one beige — that lasted me through my whole pregnancy.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I agree to buy pants that will carry you through the point when you want to announce at work. I would not wear maternity pants until after announcing. The first time, I pushed through unbuttoned with a rubber band or belt. It worked well and no one was the wiser, but the second time I wore my sized-up pants (from post-partum after first baby) and was more comfortable. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who immediately slip back into their pre-pregnancy pants, you’ll use the size-up pants again.

      I do prefer dresses at this stage, though. Avoid empire waist or anything too clingy. I find skirts with elastic waists, wrap dresses, and dresses that gather to a twist or diamond under the bust good at camouflaging. If you work in a casual environment, leggings and tunic hides well.

      Agree on the banded/smocked hem tops (really, anything that hangs from the bust), patterns, and scarfs. Layering also hids a lot, so luckily fall styles are coming.


  16. TJ – office politics tips?

    I did get the new position I interviewed for a few days after my grandfather died–thanks all for your advice! I also just discovered that the other internal candidate for the position is a close co-worker who I’m sad to have made sad and disappointed. We work face to face frequently, but my gut instinct is that saying something to her in person is the wrong choice. Should I email? Write a card? And what do I say?

    • Nothing. Do not write, do not say anything.

      • Agree. Say nothing. You didn’t do anything wrong. You were the better candidate in the organization and the dynamic stinks. But mentioning something makes it a big deal, you have nothing to apologize for, and it would probably be weird for her if you did. Also, I don’t normally say this and mean it to be helpful: pretend that you’re a man. He wouldn’t feel guilty at all.

      • I have to say I disagree. You know she knows, and she knows you know she knows, so I think, in her situation, that I would want some kind of acknowledgement. Personally, if you didn’t say anything, I’d be afraid you were kind of–internally gloating? Especially if she’s someone you consider yourself close to.

        If you don’t think face-to-face is the right choice, I’d go for a short, two or three sentence max, email saying that you’ve enjoying working with her, acknowledge that the situation is kind of awkward and that it sucks there was only one promotion, and say that you hope the two of you can continue to work together well going forward.

        And of course, congratulations on the promotion!

      • This. Be nice/cordial to her, of course, but do not mention the new position.

    • hellskitchen :

      no no no. I wouldn’t bring this up with her unless she does. I know you are just trying to remove the awkwardness but if there is even a tiny bit of risk that it may come across as insensitive, then I wouldn’t do it. If she comes up to congratulate you, you could say something about how you are excited to learn and grow in this new role but that’s it. This is one of those situations where pretending you don’t know who your competition was is a good move

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Agreed. Don’t say anything. She’ll deal with it in her own way but it’ll feel awkward for her if you send her an email or a card.

      Don’t run around the office yelling “I got a promotion” and throw yourself a promotion party in the break room either.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      It depends on how close you are. If this is someone who is your “work BFF,” where you saw each other outside of work hours (went out for drinks or dinner or shopping or something), then it is a totally different situation, than if you just talk at work.

      If it is the “BFF” situation, you should say something, but be prepared for it to not really help, and for your friendship to take a while to recover. Please do not email! I would just ask if she wants to get a drink/dinner after work and say something sincere, but be careful not to sound gloaty. This will be difficult.

      If this is just someone you are friendly with at the office, do not mention it at all.

  17. Concerned friend :

    Hi – Does anyone have any experience living in East Africa?

    I have a friend on a lawyer program in Tanzania and would like to make her a care package. Was planning to toss in some tiny maple syrup and similar Canadiana and some high end beauty products but was also wondering about everyday useful things she might find hard to find in Tanzania.

    Read more: http://corporette.com/2012/09/24/on-redesigns-2/#ixzz27OpI3ahM

    • Tired Squared :

      I don’t have personal experience, but several friends did Peace Corps/post-college stuff in East Africa, and their typical requests were (1) peanut butter, (2) Nutella, and (3) feminine hygiene products, for the ones who hadn’t switched over to Diva Cups.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I don’t, but one of my best friends is in the peace corps in Uganda right now. Her past requests for items in care packages have included: hair bands (like the elasticy ones for working out), pasta (I guess it’s hard to get american-style pasta?), beef jerky (as she doesn’t entirely trust the whole slaughtering a cow and picking your cut of meat after it’s been hanging in the sun for a while system), and candy (I usually send Swedish Fish because they hold up well in the mail). So it’s kind of random, but it sounds like any american (or Canadian, as the case may be) product that will ship well would work.

    • I haven’t lived there, but have experience sending care packages to sub-Saharan Africa and feel I need to warn you that the post is incredibly unreliable. Unless you have someone actually taking the care package over for you, you need to be prepared for the possiblity that your friend may never receive the care package at all. In one case, I tried to send a care package to Lesotho and it was returned to me two years later, through a series of redirections, at my parents’ house. While that demonstrates that the postage system actually works (in a theoretical way), it doesn’t say much for the possibility of delivery in that part of the world. But I was surprised that it was even returned to me at all – there is a high rate of theft from overseas packages, or at least there was in South Africa and Lesotho at the time. Not to say that will happen to you, but it is a risk.

    • If she’s near Dar, she’ll be able to find almost anything. I would send things personal to you two, like a magazine with sticky notes from you, some photos, or a letter with funny stories.

  18. I’m having a weird problem with mascara. I have a gap in my top eyelashes on my right eye from a chicken pox scar. It’s not a huge gap but it’s noticeable when I’m not wearing eyeliner. I used to think that mascara made it more obvious but I got over that. I’m having continuing problems with putting mascara on those lashes without having it clump on the lashes that are there, especially on the inner part of my eye, because there isn’t anything there for the brush to grab onto. You’d think, since I’ve had this gap since I was 7, that I would have figured this out, but it’s been really problematic since I bought a new tube of mascara recently. Any ideas? Should I use an eyelash comb?

    • Not sure on the comb, but what about those individual-lash false eyelashes? I know I’ve seen them where instead of a strip of lashes, it’s just one, or a couple. Have you tried those?

    • My lashes are sparse all around, and I recently discovered “three dots” eyeliner, which is very effective for filling in gaps. It doesn’t look like eyeliner, it just looks like you have fuller lashes than you actually do because it makes a very subtle dotted line pressed right into the lash line (where my additional lashes should be!) The tip of the pen is forked into three nubs. It’s also pretty mistake-proof. I have one by Too Faced but Clarins also makes one. Only downside is that if black won’t work for you, I don’t think they make any other colors. Maybe in the future though.

      • Sugar Magnolia :

        I decided this is perfect for me, but unfortunately, it is limited edition on the Clarins site, and is already sold out. Bummer!

    • LadyEnginerd :

      FWIW, I love my Tweezerman eyelash comb (bought off amazon). It’s a finer comb than the ones that are designed for br

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Brows, not bro’s! (yeah, dude, this comb makes my lashes so rad, yo)

      • Oh, great to have a specific suggestion! I feel like I’m getting mascara on my upper lid and it’s so annoying to have to fix it.

  19. DC Jenny's Ghost :

    My trial is over! We won! I am still in a zombie-like state due to the months of crazy work that went into it. Therefore I am spending the day planning my fantasy, never-on-a-government salary wardrobe. In persuing the Saks website I came across this gem and had to share. Where would you wear this suit? http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306427543&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446515162&R=848793006058&P_name=Veronica+Beard&N=306427543&bmUID=jDTNmwg

    Also, do you this would be ruined by wearing it with a shirt? I have to take these sorts of practical concerns into consideration for my fantasy wardrobe. http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306427543&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446492684&R=630443197984&P_name=Donna+Karan&N=306427543&bmUID=jDTPCYB

    • What in the … that first link leaves me with far too much to talk about. Is she wearing an athletic zip up under that suit? Wow. Thanks for sharing that gem. :)

      As for the second – I’m inclined to believe that the jacket could possibly work with a shirt, so long as you’re 1) small busted and 2) the neckline of the shirt was a low scoop. However, this is just conjecture.

  20. financialfashionista :

    TJ – my first one ever!

    I’m looking for a quality pair of tall boots for this fall. This will be my first splurge on quality shoes, and so I want to make an informed decision. I’d be willing to spend somewhere in the range of $200, and am looking for something that’s comfortable enough wear for weekend errands and nice enough for a casual day at the office. Durable sole is a must!! Any suggestions?!?!

    • I think Born has some nice, simple knee high boots and it’s a good quality brand, within your price range. I’ve also had good luck with Miz Mooz (styles are a bit funkier), Kenneth Cole, and AK Anne Klein. I will say that I’ve been finding it harder and harder to find leather (seems to be a lot of synthetics out there) tall boots in stores – be sure to go through Zappos and Endless/Amazon (I join the chorus of those upset by this merger).

      Athleta sells tall boots, usually a bit more casual – I think the ones they have are usually Born or Ecco, but their site might give you an idea about styles to look for.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      How fun for you!

      You don’t mention heel height or color, but I’m guessing for casual you might be thinking flat. I have this pair from Banana – the leather is nice and they’re super comfortable with the “exclusve padding system.” And I do believe you could get 30% off today only with code BRSHOP. Happy shopping!


    • financialfashionista :

      Thanks guys! I did some looking today, and found a really wonderful looking pair from Born that I’ve bookmarked, and will probably end up ordering – very classic style and rave customer reviews. Might do a little more looking, but having a “jumping off” point was so helpful!