Wednesday’s TPS Report: Cashmere Ruffle Trim Open Front Cardigan In Black

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

Chelsea & Theodore Cashmere Ruffle Trim Open Front Cardigan In BlackHappy Hump Day! I like this long, open cardigan from Chelsea & Theodore — I think the ruffle looks feminine but not overwhelmingly so, and I could see this being a great layer on top of a number of different outfits, from blouse-and-trousers to sheath dresses to tee-and-pencil skirts. I’d try wearing it with a long necklace. It was $358, but is now marked to $119 at Loehmann’s (sizes S-XL). Chelsea & Theodore Cashmere Ruffle Trim Open Front Cardigan In Black

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Comments

  1. I'm Just Me :

    I like this sweater.

    Immediate tj … I need help styling a teal pencil skirt. I wore it with a grey scooped neck t and a grey sweater jacket yesterday and felt it was a little …. blah. What other colors can I wear with it?

    And what about oxblood? I bought the same skirt in oxblood as well.

    • Love teal with black and white (or black and white with a grey accent), any neutral works, including navy. I don’t venture out too much further with color combos, but that’s a good start!

      With oxblood, what about a mustard/goldenrod color? Browns and warmer neutrals, and deep purple would all look good too.

      • I wear navy and teal a lot. I do the opposite in that I have a navy pencil skirt and a teal sweater- but I love the combo together.

        • I just looked at my outfit today and my sweater is teal, navy, and a brown/gold paisley on a cream background… must’ve been inspired :). I love that combo too.

    • I wrote my teal pencil skirt yesterday with a camel colored top and a black cardigan. Kind of blah as well but it worked. I wanted my color on the bottom and my neutrals on top, which is what it sounds like you went for as well.

      Loving this sweater as well. Good pick Kat.

    • Anonymous :

      I love chocolate brown with teal. Brown turtleneck, brown tights, and boots with silver jewelry would be my ideal styling.

      I also own The Skirt in teal and love it.

    • Senior Attorney :

      YMMV, but I love leopard with teal! If you don’t want to do leopard, try the component colors — tan/gold/brown. I also love purple with teal.

    • Also love a golden, fall-toned mustard yellow with teal. And brown. And coral for the spring/summer.

    • hellskitchen :

      I wear a teal top with a red skirt and it looks really good. Kind of a play on red and green but much more sophisticated. I am sure a teal skirt with a true red top would work. Another unexpected combo is green and teal. It’s in the same color family so it actually makes you look long and lean. A deep forest green would look great with teal.

      • I love green with teal! Lighter greens like lime or Nile green also look great with teal, but this combo should probably be saved for spring/summer.

    • I like olive and teal but there seems to be a dearth of olive tops this season. I’d love a midweight (not wool or cashmere) olive cardigan. Not boyfriend style. Crew or v-neck is okay, long sleeves preferred.

      Anyone up for shopping for me?

      I am wearing maroon/oxblood pants today with a leopard print sweater. I like it. Otherwise I will probably stick with grays and blacks, but may get daring and try mustard or navy.

    • other blues, eggplant, other purples

    • I LOVE my teal skirt. I wear it with a black and white polka dotted ruffle blouse and khaki blazer most often.

    • RookieRette :

      Seconding the idea of a good deep purple with teal. One of my favorite combos.

    • Sky blue with teal? I’m thinking sea glass colors

  2. Ahh bar results will likely come out this week in my state! I’m nervous!!

    • Deep breath! Whatever the result is, you will be just fine, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it now.

    • phillygirlruns :

      breathe breathe breathe…and good luck!

      • Former MidLevel :

        This. And be sure to tell us when you get the good news. :)

        • Thanks! I’ve been calm up until this week. Now when I have a new email message I freak out thinking maybe it’s my results. Soon it will be over, so hoping I passed!

          • AnonInfinity :

            Good luck!

            My state’s results come out at a date and time certain every year. I remember being calm and confident until the week of the results (they came out on Friday). I got progressively more nervous that week until I was completely on edge on Friday morning. Then I hit “refresh” at least 10 times per minute for the entire day until the list came out.

            So, I know how you feel. GOOD LUCK. I hope the next email you get is the one!

    • Oy! PTOOEY on the bar results!

    • Ours are scheduled to post at 4:45pm on Friday. Its like the slap countdown on HIMYM. Makes it so much worse than it needs to be. Good luck to you!

  3. Early threadjack…
    SO proposed last weekend (yay! some idea it was coming, but he surprised me). Started looking at venues in DC/NoVa right away, since we’re looking at spring of 2013 (we’re ‘old’ and don’t want a long engagement). It looks like most venues we’d go with would require us/outside vendors, so I’m trying to figure out how to best estimate cost and organize.

    Does anyone have a good rec for a site that lays out average cost for things like catering and table/chair/place-settings rentals? I’m sure it’ll vary widely.

    What about the cost of hiring a wedding planner? Does anyone have any recs for the DC area?

    • that should be “require us/outside vendors to supply everything but the space”

      and also — Thanks!

    • 2/3 attorney :

      No recs but congratulations!! Have fun planning :)

    • Congrats. I can’t help you but can give a rental suggestion: DC Rental in Shirlington.

    • I am getting married in a few weeks so I can totally relate to your current situation. I highly recommend getting a wedding planner. We also picked a venue that required us to bring in our own vendors for catering, etc. and my planner was super helpful in assisting with understanding the costs and picking vendors that were right for our needs and budget.

      Unfortunately, I’m in Baltimore and my planner only really does weddings in the immediate area, so I can’t recommend her. Prices for planners can vary widely depending on what services you need/want (day-of-coordination versus full event planning). I found my planner through reviews on Wedding Wire. I am very happy with my decision and found the reviews to be 100% accurate as compared with my own experience so far.

    • Our wedding planner was a disaster but our outside caterer was fabulous and covered a lot of the day of planning. This was years ago, but we worked with Sue at Corcoran Caterers http://corcorancaterers.com/
      The food was amazing and they also provided all the rentals.

    • One of my best friends has a wedding planning business, and they planned our wedding. They’re delightful (Something New LLC), small business, personal attention and really creative awesome people. Strongly recommend.

    • Sara from Belle Notte. She is a friend, I have no personal experience with her services. http://www.bellanottedc.com/

    • Emilie at Bliss Wedding + Events is currently doing my wedding, and we love her!!

    • Candy from candy+co – she is a dear friend and I also recently played music at a wedding planned by her. She is amazing to work with on all levels. http://www.candyandco.com/

  4. Need Accessory Help! :

    Can anyone help me dress up this dress for a wedding (link to follow in comments)- I was thinking a statement necklace but haven’t found one yet. Also, what about shoes? I’d wear black tights and pumps with every dress if I could to hide my pale, vein-y legs, but for a wedding? Are black hose really back in? I’m pushing 40 (ugh) but don’t want to look like it!

  5. What I wore to my impromptu job interview in last night’s anxiety dream:

    –drapey silk flared-leg pants
    –a sheer denim shirt (yes, sheer denim)
    –a black bra with a bright floral print that evidently was significantly too small for me. Showing clearly through the shirt. (I do not actually own any of these items.)

    I looked down to see this outfit and thought, “well at least this shirt has buttons and a collar, and the pants are a neutral color!” The first interviewer, a young woman, seemed unimpressed with me and my outfit, but the second–a no-nonsense older woman–was totally sold and started asking scheduling questions, like about hours and when I could start. Thought y’all might enjoy this.

    • phillygirlruns :

      sheer denim. love it.

    • I hate those kind of stressful dreams, where you wake up and actually feel stressed. But I have to ask, do you actually have a job interview coming up or was that all in the dream? (I wanted to say good luck! :0) )

    • Wait, I’m wearing that right now. What are you saying about my outfit?

    • PharmaGirl :

      One of the caregivers at my daycare wears completely sheer shirts (white or animal print) with a leopard print bra. I’m tempted to complain to the director but the 2-year olds don’t really care or notice so I let it go.

      • If she’s a good caregiver, then what’s the fear? That your kid will catch a case of the Tackies from her? ;-)

      • Well I don’t have kids, but I think it shows poor decision making skills to wear something that inappropriate around children and their parents.

        • I do have kids, and I agree. I wouldn’t search for new childcare based on one caregiver’s wardrobe, especially if everything else is high quality, but it definitely would give me pause, and I’d possibly mention it in an offhand manner to the director. My youngest (son) was obsessed with breasts at around 3yo – when he was attending daycare. If he had a caregiver wear that type of outfit he would definitely have noticed & commented. More than once. Thank goodness he outgrew that stage!

        • Well, people should pick the people they’re comfortable leaving their kids with, so the parents should do whatever they prefer here.

          If it were up to me (it’s not), I’d cut the woman some slack.

          I know plenty of tacky people who have excellent decision-making skills. They may lack social polish and veneer, but I don’t extrapolate from tacky to poor decision-making.

          Think of all those badly dressed people we notice in many of our corporate environments– some have been excellent coworkers, employees, etc., who haven’t shown poor judgment, just poor taste. They’re not the same thing.

          • But isn’t this more than just a badly dressed person. This is a woman who is interacting on a daily basis with impressionable young children and their parents and who knows that, but makes the decision to continues to dress in an inappropriate manner.

    • It just goes to show that anything can happen as long as you remember to wear closed-toed shoes and a neutral manicure.

    • Last night, I dreamt that I put on my underwear backwards and only realized how uncomfortable I was while I was commuting.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m a little disappointed in you for forgetting to wear the hair tie around your wrist for the interview. That obviously would have won over the first interviewer!

    • That is hilarious! I was having stress (budget-related – over one stupid detail!) dreams last night about bugs hatching in my bed. Really weird.

    • CPA to be :

      I actually had *both* a stress dream about an interview last night and an interview today.

      What I wore in my stress dream:

      A nice, conservative, black suit
      No shirt

      In the dream I barricaded myself in the bathroom and refused to come out until someone brought me a shirt. I got the job.

      In the actual interview I wore a nice, conservative, black suit AND a shirt. And it went well. Results pending.

  6. phillygirlruns :

    have any of you fine ladies been to buenos aires? (has this been discussed before?)

    i’m planning a solo trip SOMEWHERE in december and am currently smitten with argentina and buenos aires. would welcome anyone’s input on great things to do, neighborhoods to stay in (looking at renting an apartment in palermo), etc etc etc.

    • How fun!! Actually, a couple weeks ago I asked about my friend traveling alone in buenos aires, and these lovely ladies had some great suggestions. I wish I’d saved them for you at the time, but if they don’t repeat them here, you should be able to google and find the thread.

    • Anon in sf :

      I was in Buenos Aires about 2 years ago. It was fun, but I wouldn’t race back. It’s fun to walk around and absorb the culture, go to shops, etc, but there really aren’t many historical site-seeing type things to do. Actually, my favorite part of the trip to Argentina was time spent in Mendoza, the wine country, and in Patagonia. Patagonia was really spectacular, even if you are not super outdoorsy.

      If I were to make another trip back to Latin America, I would 100% go back to Peru, and probably add on a few days in Chile, where I’ve never been. Machu Piccu and the other Inca ruins in the sacred valley are amazing, and surprisingly not crawling with tourists. Also, the city of Cusco is incredibly interesting, worth a couple of days on its own. I don’t know about Chile, but I’ve heart Santiago is fun, as is Valpariso. You could continue down to Chilean Patagonia.

      Have fun!

      • Anon in sf :

        Also, Buenos Aires in December is *hot* and I found it unpleasant to walk around too much.

      • harriet the spy :

        I’ve been to both and would take two weeks in Buenos Aires over two weeks in Santiago any day. You could always do a side trip to Chile and if you do, I’d just do Torres del Paine or the Atacama Desert, and skip Santiago.

    • I love B.A. and disagree with Anon about a lack of historical sites. There was definitely enough in B.A. to keep me occupied for 2 weeks.

      • I love Buenos Aires too. Tons to do and see, especially if you’re willing to go to the provinces. Ive been both in our summer and winter and the summer was hot and humid. I did really appreciate though that Christmas was a 2-3 week thing rather than 2 months (maybe I’m a grinch?). I also studied abroad in Peru and absolutely loved it. I honestly don’t think you could go wrong with either. Agree that Chile is less interesting.

        • phillygirlruns :

          from what i’ve seen, the summer temps there at the time i’m looking at average mid-80s, which seems fabulous to me – i can deal with humidity.

          i did find the prior threads, thanks to petitesq’s tips. thanks to all who weighed in…i am really excited for this trip.

    • I lived in Buenos Aires for 4 years as a single 20-something. It’s amazing if you love just walking around cities and soaking in the atmosphere, exploring little boutiques, enjoying a cafe con leche on the sidewalk while people watching…I moved back to the US two years ago, and I do think some of the politics of their current president have been causing a lot of upheaval since, and inflation is pretty out of control (but that would just make the exchange rate better for you). It’s an interesting combination of Old World Europe with the unpredictability of a developing nation. Palermo is awesome, and that’s actually where I lived. What streets for apartments are you looking at? There are definitely some areas that are less nice in Palermo, or that aren’t actually in Palermo but that rental agencies try to claim are in Palermo. If you like beef, pasta, wine and gelato you’ll enjoy the food. If you’re a vegetarian you won’t :) Activities – wander around Palermo and Recoleta, cafe con leche at sidewalk cafes, yummy gelato, eating out too much, shopping, great leather goods, Casa Rosada and Plaza de Mayo, exploring all the art galleries & antique shops in San Telmo, Sunday flea market in San Telmo (go all the way to Plaza Dorrego for the old stuff), weekend markets in Plaza Francia by the cemetery & in Plaza Serrano (all the Argentines go here for inexpensive & fun clothes & jewelry). Plaza Serrano is also a good place to go out for beers and people watch in the evening. Museums – the MALBA (modern art), Bellas Artes, my parents really like the decorative arts museum when they visited…check out the Recoleta Cemetery – it is unreal. Go to a tango show for a fun touristic show, or a milonga to see regular old Argentines dancing tango. La Cabrera was my absolute favorite restaurant for yummy beef, but also try to find restaurants that serve traditional northwest food. If you like designer shopping, then Recoleta is the place to go. For more local designers, Palermo, or upscale malls like Alto Palermo, Patio Bullrich or one other…totally spacing on the name. Not sure of your budget, but you can set up day trips to an estancia in the Pampas and have a traditional asado, ride horses, etc. And, you can do a day trip to Colonia, Uruguay on the ferry. If you have a few extra days, then Iguazu Falls is amazing. If you have lots of time, then Mendoza (wine country), Northwest (beautiful scenery & local culture), or Patagonia (awesome outdoor stuff) are great extensions. I don’t have a fake email address, but if you have any questions write back here, or on tomorrow’s threads.

  7. Going back to the sweater discussion from yesterday, and the advice not to buy “cheap” cashmere: What do you all consider to be “cheap”? What are the best sources for cashmere that will last for years?

    • No representations as to truth, but the included link seems to have some tips on how to figure out what is worth the money you are spending.

      http://moreintelligentlife.com/content/intelligent-life/sceptical-shopper-cashmere

      Personally, I’ve had more luck with Lands End than BR/JCrew stuff. It seems a bit more substantial and doesn’t pill as much.

      • I agree re BR/ J Crew and again would say that Lord & Taylor cashmere holds up very well over the years. I have many different styles of their cashmere and still love it all.

        • Seconding Lord & Taylor cashmere. Also their merino wool sweaters. Soft and warm, but not bulky. I don’t think their stuff is too boxy/dowdy either, as someone mentioned here with respect to some higher-end brands. I mean, it’s fairly basic, although each year they seem to offer something a little “different” (zip-up hoodies, drapey open cardigans, that sort of thing).

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I buy my cashmere on clearance from Neiman’s and Saks’ house brands. I hear good things about Lands End, too. Other than LE, I think if the sweater wasn’t originally priced over $150, you’re at risk of cheap cashmere.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I don’t know, I personally am ok with some cheap cashmere and think it has it’s place. I have about 12 (seriously) turtleneck and cardigan cashmere sweaters from the Isaac Mizrahi for Target line from about 2006/2007. They all still are in good condition and, other than having to replace some buttons on the cardigans, really don’t show any signs of wear.

    • I’ve had great good luck with Uniqlo – basic jumpers maybe USD 100 and I think there are a couple of stores in Manhattan. My experience with the traditional upmarket specialists like N. Peal is that the styles tend to be dowdy/ boxy, even if the quality is good.

    • My source: Brora.

      But I’ve also gotten sweaters from Uniqlo that have held up remarkably well for the price.

    • I buy cashmere from Loehmanns or from high-end store brands like NM, always watching for the original price not being too low (and my cost being below $60). I usually buy it at the end of the season.
      So far the items from Loehmanns have held up the best. I have one Lord & Taylor sweater and it pills.

    • It’s not just a price point thing–the main thing that you want to check for is that the cashmere yarn itself is twisted relatively tightly. What that means is that if you look at the sweater in the store, it’s not super-fuzzy (because that’s not twisted enough). So while I am not advocating buying scratchy cashmere from the get-go, know that _super_ soft cashmere is far more likely to pill. You want something that feels a bit more smooth (because the yarn is tighter), and less fuzzy, when shopping.

      If you have the funds, Brora is the BEST cashmere. I have several sweaters from there from ~2000 that still look lovely.

      If not, my go-to’s are Land’s End, Lord & Taylor and Brooks Brothers (although their cabled sweaters are so thick that they are hot in an office environment). I have had so-so luck with Garnet Hill, certain Bloomie’s sweaters and JCrew. JCrew is a good example of cashmere that looks and feels great in the store, and looks pretty shabby six months later due to excessive pilling.

      If you want “disposable” cashmere, Macy’s is good for less than a season.

      Also, Talbot’s cashmere is much nicer this year and I am loving the color selection, but in years past, their cashmere was scratchy and yucky.

      Yes, I am a cashmere aficionada!

      • I second everything that was said. I bought a Bloomies “C” brand cashmere cardigan in 2009 and it has held up extremely well. I bought another one last season (2011) and already the pilling has made it unwearable. I also bought a J Crew cashmere cardigan last year (2011) and it too has pilled so much that I don’t wear it anymore. The best cashmere I have purchased has been from Mark Shale (2006) and from Tse (although the cut is boxy and a little frumpy). I also own cashmere from nordstrom collection label, lord and taylor, saks label, and neiman’s. They have all held up well. I will never buy cashmere again from J. Crew or bloomingdales because of the propensity for pilling.

  8. Anne Shirley :

    What time of day is the wedding? I’m loving sheer black hose in general, but I’m not sure I’d try to take this dress up enough for an evening wedding. Feels more like a work dress for me.

    • Need Accessory Help! :

      It’s an afternoon ceremony outdoors, then evening reception. In this area things aren’t very dressy, so I was hoping to pull this off (and not spend $$$ on a new dress). It’s either that or a BR black wool sheath.

  9. PharmaGirl :

    Love this cardigan but the sleeves are looking rather long.

    I have a boiled wool jacket in a similar shape and love it to pieces. Structured enough to feel professional but the ruffles give it a little zing.

    • The sweater is just too big for her. The shoulder seams are droopy and the sleeves are too big for her arms as well. As someone with sleeve length problems though, there is no such thing as sleeves that are too long.

  10. circle of life :

    I’m obsessed with these shoes. Does anyone know if they’re comfortable? Does anyone have them? There are a few different configurations of these Field Boots.

    http://us.burberry.com/store/womens-shoes/ankle-boots/prod-38437651-the-field-boot-in-polished-leather/

  11. anonymous101 :

    I mentioned the Bubble necklace in response to Need Accessory Help!, but I need some help myself. Does anyone own the J.Crew Bubble necklace or any of its “j.crew-style” cousins from Ebay?

    Is there a way to style it for the office? I am wearing it today but think it’s waaaay too loud/crazy and am hiding it beneath my blazer for the most part. Thoughts? Can it be done? Ideas for weekend wear styling as well.

    I love crazy statement necklaces!

    • Yes, I have two (black and coral/red) that I bought from eBay and wear them quite often to work. Most frequently, I will wear them with solid button downs and pencil skirts-so that the necklace is the only accessory. I think you’d be fine with anything simple on top, so that the necklace doesn’t fight for attention.

      • anonymous101 :

        I am just really self-conscious of the sheer enormousness of this necklace, it’s like wearing a beaded anchor around your neck!

        • A beaded anchor of awesome! In all seriousness, one of our more fashion-forward summers wore this necklace, and it was surprisingly appropriate. What made it not “too much” was that she wore it in navy, over a navy (perhaps navy and cream pattern?) dress. It looked really nice. Can you do it in a tone-on-tone color palette?

          • anonymous101 :

            I attempted to do this, but ended up in the same color family rather than exact matching. If you see the purple dress “Need Accessory Help!” linked to and the necklace I linked to below, they are more or less tone-on-tone?

          • Ooh. How pretty. It’s more contrast than I was referring to, but it IS lovely. I guess with that color, the equivalent of the look would be over something like this sweater: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/sweaters/crewnecks/PRDOVR~46725/46725.jsp in heather sandstone (although I realize the sweater may be casual for your purposes… it does exist in cashmere, too). Elz’s approach is good too – keep everything else simple, formal/businessey (black/white/simple neutral), and let that be your “pop”.

  12. TJ-Has anyone gotten the lining of a skirt replaced? If so, what am I looking at (ballpark) pricewise? I love the skirt, have had it for about 4 years and, other than the lining coming apart, it’s in good condition. I’ve tried to find a replacement (for years) in the event that something happens to it (to no avail), so getting it back to “like new” condition would be my best bet–provided it doesn’t break the bank.

    • In the Pink :

      Yes, I have actually had several skirt linings changed – in lace skirts, to have a different color combination. I use a seamstress all.the.time for every.piece.I.own it seems. So I can’t say about pricing. But it is a relatively easy job if the waistband is a simple one. GIve it a try as you love the skirt!

      I wish I had done all sorts of things to make my original The Skirts last … this just reignites my mourning and hopes that Nordies will put out both lines in the spring collections. A fit for all. One can only hope.

    • Highly recommend doing this as well. I had the lining in my wool jacket replaced, as I loved the jacket. Cost a pretty penny (since they did the entire jacket) but worth it. I’m assuming it would be cost of the lining plus workmanship.

  13. Former MidLevel :

    LinkedIn etiquette question–I got a request to connect from someone I can’t stand (law school classmate who is a terrible human being). Accepting doesn’t signify endorsement/approval, right? Or that I’ll help him when he tries to break into my new industry? (That last part is not being mean; I just can’t, in good faith, tell people he will be good colleague.)

    • I think accepting does imply that. I wouldn’t accept if you feel that way.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        +1

      • I tried to reply on my phone, but I feel so strongly about this that I had to chime in to agree with everyone else. I wouldn’t put my professional (or personal) reputation on the line for someone that I have observed untrustworthy or unethical behavior (or any other type of bad behavior). Sometimes there is a gray area and maybe the observed behavior isn’t representative of the whole person, but I don’t want my judgement questioned – why is eek linked to x person, they are terrible. Also, I figure if I’ve witnessed said behavior, other people have as well.

      • Sugar Magnolia :

        +1. I do agree with you. Especially since we have similar names. :)

    • I got one of those and I just left it in request purgetory.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Thanks, ladies. My main concern is that my new industry is super-small and he likely will get in at some point.

      • doesn’t matter. Not being connected to one person is not going to make or break your career. Just leave him in request purgatory.

        • and, if it ever comes up in real life (which is extremely unlikely) play dumb/Oliver North: ‘I don’t recall getting a request from you, weird” – Change Subject

    • Similar LinkedIn question, what about a request for an endorsement? The guy who sent it to me is great and I enjoyed working with him but I also knew him from because he worked with my mom a long time ago and had more of a personal than professional relationship with him. Because I’m a huge fan of him personally, should I endorse him professionally?

      • eh – I’d probably ignore unless you feel like writing something generic that speaks your interactions personally and professionally. You can say I worked with Big Bird at Sesame Street(which people will see was 10 years ago).

        The thing is, all the job hunting “experts” say you’re supposed to have endorsements on your linkedin profile. It’s likely this guy has requested endorsements from others as well. I wouldn’t sweat it; if you’re like me you’ll be really concerned about responding initially, but then you’ll forget entirely.

        • You could always just shoot him a note saying that you don’t do endorsements (I don’t!) but you’d be happy to serve as a personal reference. And give him your contact info.

      • There are two separate things: recommendations and skill endorsements.

        Recommendation is a paragraph of accolades and I don’t give or request those… not going to go into reasons here.

        However, a LinkedIn member can specify his skills and you can endorse him for the select skills, e.g. you have observed him working with accounts payable and endorse his AP skill, but not his skill in tax preparation, because say you left that company before he was assigned the tax task. I am comfortable with this level of endorsement.

        • True – recommendations v endorsements. I was writing about the former when you may have been asking about the latter. Endorsements crack me up. A former colleague was a Naval officer and LinkedIn asked me if Bobeknows “Navy” and I said he did. Just cracked me up so I had to click on it and say yes.

    • I have gotten so many weird LinkedIn requests – from job applicants who were turned down or people I’ve never met. I wish LinkedIn would allow me to deny a request or ignore. Instead I get reminders that I haven’t accepted. The only time that ever worked was when I hadn’t met someone at my university who wanted to connect so I ignored it, then I started working with him a couple weeks later, so I accepted. But that’s really rare!

      • SF Bay Associate :

        You can delete LinkedIn requests at some point. I’ve done that with a law school classmate who I did not want to be associated with in any way whatsoever.

  14. Wish me luck? Medium sized academic hurdle in few hours and I am nervous as heck despite knowing I passed and having a rough idea of the questions I will face.

    At least my outfit is cute?

  15. I missed cardigan talk yesterday. But several people mentioned Land’s End sweaters. Has anyone tried their “school uniform” cotton sweater? It looks exactly like what I want, but their size chart doesn’t indicate how long the sweater is. I like mine really short (top of hip bone), which is hard to find.

    http://www.landsend.com/pp/school-uniform-fine-gauge-cotton-cardigan-sweater~105146_1187.html#BVReviewsContainer

    • You could probably call and get exact length; in general Lands End runs large (I am not what you would call a medium sized person, but their medium is generous on me) but not necessarily long. I’d call.

    • Have you tried asking their customer service for a neck to waist measurement?

      My experience with LE is that they run a bit short for me – sleeve length and shirt length – so it might be fine.

      Do you have a LE Inlet or Sears store nearby to try on? Otherwise, they have a pretty go return policy.

      • If you have a Sears near you, you can return it no questions asked for free. I order tons of stuff from Lands End for me & the kids and wind up returning about half of it (I’ll often order 2 sizes or 2 colors with the intent of returning one). They’ve always been great about the returns, never even blinked an eye.
        Also, they almost always have coupon codes going on – check out retailmenot or sign up for their emails. Never buy Lands End full priced, if there isn’t a deal going on right now there will be one in a week.

  16. Just a note, there’s a code (25WD) that takes 25% off, bringing this down to 89.99.

    I purchased it, even though my enlarging belly will stick out in front of it. I’ve found drapey cardigans are really helpful during maternity wear times. They cover a multitude of sins.

  17. Is anyone familiar with the Master’s in Applied Economics degree?

    I’d like to earn an advanced degree to move into consulting and I like to be able to offer a different skill set/perspective than the traditional MBA. I am not sure how this degree is view though on the marketplace. I’d also like to earn an advanced degree for my own personal enrichment as well so this isn’t purely a cost/benefit decision for me but I would like to know the degree is marketable.’

    • Are you interested in management or economic consulting?

      • I would be open to either. I have been leaning toward management but specifically business strategy.

        • What would the program be like? Is it a lot of econometrics, stats, programming (SAS), etc? I am a consultant for a software company, and the product that I work with has many econometric components. Most of the people that I work with either have a PhD/MS in Stats, PhD/MS in Industrial Engineering/Operations Research or a PhD in Econ (this is what I have).

    • If you are trying to land a job at one of the top consulting firms, McK/BCG/Bain etc., then I would do an MBA over a more quant-ish degree–business strategy involves understanding Ops and Marketing and a whole host of other subjects covered during the MBA. That said, the top firms do cherry-pick grad students from top schools/top programs or via web recruiting (if your grades are very good), so…my question back to you would then be, “Is the MS in App Econ from a top school or very well regarded Econ program?” Note, as EB0220 said, that if you are aiming be a true quant, your degree will be seen as slightly “less quanty” than some of the more hard core degrees she mentioned (IE, Stats, Econometrics, etc.), so you could be putting yourself in a limbo land as “more quanty than the non-quant MBAs, but not quanty enough to keep up with the full-on quants”.

      I would ask the grad school admissions folks if they would put you in touch with some program alums before I threw down for a degree that I wasn’t sure where it’d take me….

      • I totally agree with this. You don’t want to be in quantitative limbo-land! Perhaps you could find a joint degree program? I think you’d be very competitive with an MBA and another Master’s in Applied Econ, Stats, etc.

    • I do financial services consulting, but haven’t heard of that degree. Some coworkers have gotten Masters in Finance as an alternative to MBAs.

      The type of consulting you are interested in will make a big difference.

  18. TJ on SO and extended family/friends — anyone else have an introverted SO that has a hard time connecting with your family or friends, and if so, how do you deal with it? We just got back from a long weekend visit to my family, and as per usual, my SO is completely worn out by it. My family is all very talkative and loud, which he finds draining and stressful, and my mother in particular likes to ask what she thinks of as “getting to know you” questions that he finds intrusive and too personal (eg, what are you hopes and dreams for the next five years?). My SO and my immediate family also have very little in terms of hobbies or interests in common, so they don’t have much to talk about aside from small talk (which he hates) or these vague personal questions that my mother asks (which he also hates).

    I feel really torn about what to do. I want to see my family, but I also hate seeing my SO so visibly unhappy when we’re there. This same type of thing happens whenever we’re in a big, loud group of people for an extended time (we stayed with some close friends of mine for a 2 day wedding extravaganza that similarly drove him nuts), and it means that my family and close friends basically always see him withdrawn and in a bad mood. They say he’s difficult to get to know, and he is, but I don’t really know how to fix it.

    Any suggestions to make it better for him? Some problems are that we’re fairly distant from my close friends/family, so when we go somewhere it tends to be for at least a few days at a time. We also are very short on cash now (and for the foreseeable future), so by the time we’ve shelled out for plane tickets, we usually can’t afford a hotel and stay with family/friends, which exacerbates the no time alone problem. I’m kind of at a loss as to how to make visits more enjoyable for him and to help him interact with my rather loud social circle in a way that will work.

    • Give him opportunities to get out of the house by himself or with you – errands to run/point out where the local thing he likes to do is, let him slip out, and then inform your family that he ran out to do a thing and will be back later. Or…can you visit your family by yourself, rather than dragging H along for visits.

    • AnonInfinity :

      One suggestion is having him schedule some alone time while you’re visiting the family. Good examples are running errands for the family like getting groceries for a meal together or running/biking/other exercising.

      Also, it might help to spend time in smaller groups to the extent that’s possible. So, take your sister and her husband out for dinner for one night of the trip with no other family members.

      This one is obvious, so you’ve probably already done it, but also explaining to him that your mom doesn’t mean to be intrusive with her questions, she’s just trying to get to know him. You could also try talking to your mom and ask her to stop asking such probing questions.

    • I have a somewhat related situation. I grew up with divorced parents, and on my dad’s side I have four very boisterous outgoing brothers. We are close, there’s now a lot of outgoing spouses, multiple small children, etc etc etc. He grew up in a quiet, academic family with just his parents and his brother. Going to my parents house for Christmas (he’s Jewish) where we spent literally hours opening presents together, laughing, shouting, debating, etc, was a lot for him. All the family gatherings are a lot for him. Additionally, my family’s idea of us coming to visit would be to spend the entire weekend (or whatever) together. It’s just too much for him.

      So we’ve compromised. Some times I go visit the family by myself, either with our without our son. When my husband does come, I make sure that there’s plenty of time for us to do solo stuff as a family that he enjoys. The easy part is they live in Portland OR so there’s tons to do. We go check out restaurants, go shopping, go to parks, etc during the day or whenever and then hang out with my family in the evenings or at other times. Its far from perfect — I bet he’d like less family time and my family would like us to take off less. But ultimately, we hit a pretty good balance.

      • EC MD, after reading your comment, I think that much of the compromising is going to need to come from my family’s side, and it may be that we just won’t get to happy for everyone, we might only get to good enough. Christmas at my house is also an entire day of presents, babies, drinking, arguing, cooking, eating, etc; and presently if I suggest that we go out to do something for a bit (take a hike, pick stuff up at the store), usually at least half the family ends up coming along and so it’s not at all a break. I think I’m just going to have to create some “protected spaces” of alone/small group activity for him to be happier.

    • Your SO sounds like me. I second the suggestion to give him opportunities to spend time alone or with you during the visit. Run errands, go for a walk, or maybe say he needs to take a nap, if this wouldn’t be weird in your family. He can either sleep or just sit in the bedroom by himself for an hour and recharge.

      In addition to asking your mom to tone down the intrusive questions, see if he can volunteer some information about himself. After being told many times that I’m reserved and difficult to get to know, I make an effort with people to tell them more about myself, even if it feels uncomfortable for me.

      • Thirding this. Whenever we go to the beach with my husband’s family I ask that we can go do a few little things by ourselves while we’re there– go to the grocery store, out to grab some ice cream, go for a bike ride– etc. I’m introverted and just need to have some time when people aren’t asking me questions or expecting me to be “on.” Doing this helps SO much!

    • I agree with the scheduling time away suggestions. I also am pretty introverted (not shy, just an introvert) and spending several days with several talkative people sounds overwhelming (regardless of how nice, generous, interesting, etc. those people are).

      I’m a morning person who gets up early every day to exercise. But I don’t like to talk to people in the morning. So if I were your SO, I’d probably suggest that I go for a run, then go to Starbucks to read and drink coffee quietly until 10:00 am, and then come back and spend four or five hours with your family. Then I’d need another break in the afternoon for an hour or two before we all had dinner together.

      I also think the suggestion of smaller groups (dinner with just two people instead of everyone) is helpful. He may find those situations overwhelming by so many people talking and therefore withdraw. But if it’s only a dinner of four people (one of whom he knows—you), then it’s an easier way to have a conversation and get to know people.

      I’ll reply to my comment with an article from Time magazine. I felt so understood, as an introvert, when I read this. I think it’s very difficult for extroverts to understand why we don’t want to talk or listen to people talk all the time (again, even if those people are interesting, nice, kind, etc.). It sounds like this situation will take some adjustment by both your SO and your family.

        • This article made it click for me too! Then I finally took a Myers-Brigg test and paid attention to the results. Once I read a longer description I thought that these people obviously wrote it having met me. I’m an INFJ and while I’m still very introverted, I can often appear extroverted because I really care about people and what they are saying/doing. Often that meant people didn’t understand that I really was an introvert because I was “acting like an extrovert.” it’s given me some new language. It might help you and your SO just for that.

          • This article was great, and certainly makes me feel a little better about being an introvert. I also need downtime after social events, or midway through if they are too overwhelming. Lalo, if you liked the Myers-Brigg results, you should take Wilson Learning’s Social Styles class if you ever have the chance – it really told me a lot more about myself than MBTI and gave me some good pointers for how to work within my social style to get things done and pitfalls to avoid.

            To n: Like your husband, I am exhausted after traveling or events and often joke that I “need a vacation from my vacation”. Is it possible for your husband to cut the trip a little shorter – like you stay for a whole week but he flies home after 3-4 days? That way you get to be with your family but he gets some downtime. You don’t have to tell your family its because they exhaust him, just say its all the time he could take off work or similar. I also like the suggestion of scheduling time with smaller groups and some of the less exhausting people. Could he take a laptop on the trip and “have to get some work done” for a few hours a day? Then he would have an excuse to retreat to a bedroom and just be quiet for a little while

        • Hm, I might try sending this article to one or two of the family members that I think might actually be receptive to it. I think it’s true that part of the problem is that the genuinely don’t understand that needing some alone time doesn’t mean that he doesn’t like or enjoy them.

          AmyRenee, now that you mention it, leaving for a few hours to work is one of the things that does help and makes sense to my family (although this fuels their perception that I’m a big workaholic). I’ll try to think of some other reasons for him to be alone that aren’t just “SO needs to be alone now or he’s going to lose it.”

    • Do you stay with your family? Because that can be way to overwhelming for an introvert. You need a hotel room so he can get some space and downtime.

      • I agree! I’m a big-league introvert — also a first-chair litigator — who needs a lot of alone time. While at work, I often go to a certain rarely used stairwell, and just sit. The best way for me to prepare for trial is, unfortunately, alone. It’s the only way I can get all the facts into my head. My co-workers, especially the paralegals who help with the depos and exhibits, want to brainstorm and just talk everything thru. We do, of course, but it’s really hard, and it’s what drives me to the stairwell.

        When we visit my husband’s family, we definitely stay in a hotel. We go to their house, then help prepare dinner, eat, chat, and leave. Or we meet them for dinner, or takes hikes with them, and then return back to the hotel.

        I know OP said finances are tight right now . . . which makes it hard to hang out in a hotel. I do like the idea of her SO flying home early for work-related or other reasons.

        And good on you OP for being so supportive and trying to make a hard — but not impossible — situation better.

    • My suggestion is that when this comes up again, be direct with your family. Tell them that SO likes your family, but he’s a quiet guy and sometimes finds social situations tiring. Tell them that he is like this with his family and friends as well (so they don’t think it’s personal or just them). And say that, really, all he needs is some down time when you guys are visiting, so that he can recharge. I echo the suggestions for small groups, but also, think about a relatively low-key person in your family (someone who doesn’t require a lot of interaction), and try to find ways to pair the two of them together.

      And, for your SO, I’d say that he needs to learn how to “wander off” for short periods of time while visiting family/friends for an extended period of time, and also how to recharge in somewhat different scenarios (running errands by himself, taking a shower, etc.). Obviously he can’t do this in the middle of dinner, but when everyone is sitting around watching tv he can retreat to your room and read a book for 20 minutes.

    • I’m an introvert who gets overwhelmed by my own family. I second the ideas of scheduling him some “alone time” during visits and seeing family without him (of course, he should still see your family every so often). Smaller groups help too.

      I have an intrusive mother and I don’t like telling my extended family much about myself. I think the best way to deflect the questions is to have questions ready to go. I think you can help him too with, in the conversation, deflecting some questions. For family gatherings, I have “canned” responses ready, like I do for interviewing. The canned responses are not lies, but not exactly the whole truth. For example, when they ask “Aren’t you in the 1%?” I say, “Not even close! I am very fortunate but not that fortunate!” When they ask “Why aren’t you dating?” I say “I don’t have a lot of time outside of work and my other activities. Besides, I have two cats!” To a 5-year plan question, if were were your husband, I might say “Well, I’m not going to retire soon, that’s for sure! But I plan to spend it making n. happy!”

    • Anonymouse :

      I disagree with much of what’s been posted in response. This isn’t your problem (except for mentioning something to your mom about her weird questions and their effect on others).

      This is your SO’s issue. He is an adult, and needs to learn to interact with others, introvert or not. As an introvert, he needs to teach himself coping skills like trying for alone time in a gracious way.

      Please don’t take on his issues as your own.

      My SO is an introvert, and has had to learn to be slightly more outgoing and make an effort around my family, the same way that I make an effort to deal with the quirks of his family.

      “Family time” can be boring, awkward and frustrating sometimes. But, we can’t choose our blood relatives. We can choose to dole out time with them in smaller doses, or do things to make the time more bearable. If your SO doesn’t like chatting, why doesn’t he organize activities for everyone to do together, like walks, board games, watching a movie together, etc, that don’t involve as much talking?

      But again, don’t make all the effort for him. If he cares about you, he will want to get along with your family, and should make the effort on his own, without you bending over backwards to accommodate his quirks.

      • Its not about “taking on his issues as [her] own” its about being sensitive to his needs as a kind and caring SO. He already is making an effort by going on the trips, she’s just asking how she can make it less painful for him. He isn’t throwing fits or refusing to go, he’s just exhausted after returning and she’s asking how she can help that. Its not his job to organize other activities for HER family – if someone else’s SO came to one of my family events and tried to organize activities it would be very odd, unless he’d been around for years and years and had become part of the family already.

        That said, n, have you asked him? Don’t put him on the spot about it, just say – “Hey SO, I see you’re exausted after that trip to visit my family. Think about what we can do to make it less painful before the next trip” Maybe its one particular aspect of it thats more draining to him than any other and you can target that specific instance.

        Having a code phrase or signal for “get me out of here!” is also a nice touch. So if your SO says, “wow its really getting late”, you know that means “I’ve had about all I can take, can you please wrap it up so we can go for the night” without him having to come out and say it. The SO doesn’t want to seem rude, and the more times he visits her family hopefully the more comfortable he will be and the less exhausting it will be for him.

      • While I agree that the OP’s SO has to take on some of the responsibility himself, I do disagree with your suggestion that the OP’s SO suggest activities that “don’t involve as much talking”.

        For an introvert, it is not about whether the activity involves talking. It is about the strain of actually being around other people for extended periods of time. It is mentally and physically draining. Even playing a boardgame with other people involves mental and physical energy, and if as an introvert, you have already been around those people for an entire day, another two hours of sitting around playing a boardgame could be unbearable. I am an introvert myself, and when I am going to a dinner party or other event, even with friends I like, I often have to actually talk myself into going simply because it is so draining for me. I am always the first person to leave the party. And when I get home I retreat to my bedroom and read a book for hours, simply to recharge.

        Even this past weekend, my parents were visiting me and my SO. By the end of the second day I was getting grumpy because my energy reserves were just about shot. I had to spend much of the third day in a separate room because I could not take being around everyone anymore. And these are my family, people I know and love.

        It isn’t just about talking. Please remember this when you are caring for your introvert.

      • Well, to each his/her own problem solving strategy, but I’d rather try to brainstorm strategies to make life better for him rather than just telling him to buck up. Grin and bear it has pretty much been his strategy so far, I feel like there has to be a better way. And, I feel at this point that there will probably need to be more give/understanding on my family’s side so that he can get some time alone, and since it’s my family I feel it’s my responsibility to create those spaces and set those expectations.

        • karenpadi :

          n., I think it’s really great you are trying to help your husband and that you are willing to be the one to go to bat for him with your family. Your husband is lucky to have you!

      • Litagatrix :

        You make it seem that being an introvert is a choice — it’s not. It’s an actual biological response that one cannot change. I don’t want to sound mean, but, you seem kinda harsh on your SO. Read the Time Magazine article and other stuff on the internet.

        I know, as an introvert, that I’m perceived by some as cold or distant, but, really, I’m giving it my all. I go “onstage,” with my inlaws. I listen, I ask questions, I engage. I like them. But, it’s exhausting and then I just need to go home and be alone. This is not my choice, but it is what it is. Your SO sounds like he needs a little more empathy and sympathy from you, his beloved.

    • Same with my SO. Except we’re married. So he’s stuck with it. My mom is all up in his business (and frnakly, all up in mine, too) whenever we get together. He has gotten better over the years, but key coping strategies include:
      1. beer
      2. some kind of sports game/ board game/ project that DH can do/watch with family, thus interacting and being “Friendly” without having to actually hold touchy-feely conversations
      3. DH lets my mom talk. And talk. And talk. We timed her once. 15 minute monologue. It kills the time and makes him seem interested.
      4. Offer to run errands or do chores. My DH is very handy and often gets through an afternoon with Mom by doing a project that requires 3 trips to Home Depot :)

      For what it’s worth, DH and I are both exhausted by his parents as well, but it’s not that they’re all up in our face…it’s just that they live in the middle of nowhere and we don’t see them often AND he’s the only child. So when we go, it’s ALL DH ALL THE TIME. And they want to be filled in on everything that’s happened since they last saw us…a year ago.

    • Speaking as a nearly off the scale INTJ, please be assured that even though your SO loves you dearly, and even though said SO has love, liking and respect for his/her inlaws, if there are many of them, and they are loud, talk a lot and conduct some conversations in the form of personal questions , it really is genuinely painful and wearing for SO to be around them for any length of time. Or around any other people with these characteristics for any length of time. You have some excellent suggestions above for ways to ease his pain and discomfort. If any of your family are people who simply can’t/won’t understand someone needing to be by themselves instead of spending Every Single Available Moment wih family, AmyRenee’s suggestion above about taking a laptop and being alone to “work” is an excellent suggestion since it would allow SO to go off alone without appearing to >choose< not to be around the family. Also, please go to the website for The Atlantic and find the article "Caring for Your Introvert". Perhaps refer your parents and others to it. It and its links are humorous yet informative quick reads.

      • Oh, I know it’s painful for him — my family absolutely is an Every Single Moment Available family, and they also tend to want to do all activities together (think: ten loud people, plus babies, at a noisy restaurant, every single night). It’s just the exactly opposite of how he usually spends his days, where 80% of the time he’s alone (except for me) and quiet, and his interaction time is usually deeply nerdy conversations about work/hobbies he’s passionate about. I can see him making an effort to be talkative and interactive for the first few hours, but after 24 hours he just looks like he’s being stabbed continuously with forks.

        • I’d venture that one of the reasons why the introvert-SO doesn’t enjoy this type of interaction is that the loudness often makes up for the sheer lack of content.

          I find that with a lot of extroverts, their signal to noise ratio is no better than anybody else’s; in fact, often a lot worse. But they seem to feel insecure or weird if they don’t offer up the constant “call and response” to whatever they’re nattering on about.

          • Ugh. Posted this one before I finished my edit; couldn’t kill this post. (The next one by me is the real one!)

        • I’d venture that one of the reasons why the introvert-SO doesn’t enjoy this type of interaction is that the loudness is often there to compensate for the sheer lack of content.

          I find that with a lot of extroverts, their signal to noise ratio is no better than anybody else’s; in fact, often a lot worse. But they seem to feel insecure or weird if they don’t offer up the constant “call and response” to whatever they’re nattering on about.

          If there’s nothing really meaningful to discuss, I’d much rather people eat in friendly, companionable silence for some stretches than to mindlessly blather to fill the silence.

          • Nonsense. If I can choose talkative people without “much content” or ill mannered adults who have to be catered to like a bunch of children, I’d choose the former.

          • False dichotomize much?

            The OP’s significant other is not an ill-mannered adult. Nor is he asking to be catered to. He just needs a few breaks from the “excitement/loudness.” That’s called knowing his limitations. He’s being a good sport attending, rather than avoiding them. He’s doing his best.

            And your choice is not everybody else’s choice. Why should to OP’s SO want what you want?

        • Then I second the need for your own space. I’m strongly introverted myself and having to go back to the hotel in the evening or being able to not show up until after breakfast helps a lot. And it’s easier to recharge when you don’t have to worry about folks asking when you’ll be done with your “work” or trying to tag along on errands

          • It’s a great suggestion I’m sure it would help a lot, it’s just not feasible for us right now with my crummy postdoc salary. But, in the future, we’ll absolutely be going for the hotel.

      • Isn’t in painful for everyone? These comments are interesting to me. I don’t really know anything about introvert/extra. But I kind of assumed everyone gets a little burnt out with that kind of stuff, except for those truely outgoing people. I guess I kind of lean towards the “suck it up” post above, but recognize that might not be sensitive. What are introvert/extra disctinctions based on? Its all self indefied right? Like no one is every diagnosed as one. Is there any science behind it or its just preferences. I guess if its just preferences, that’s why I lean towards the suck it up position, within reason of course. He def should take breaks (like most people need with their inlaws or family in general!) but should try to be more outgoing and personable, like he would on a job interview/networking effort. Like most things in a relationship it sounds like there is some give and take needed

        • Introversion/Extroversion are based on observed traits – usually in the context of psychological studies. Most people self-identify as leaning one way or the other, but it’s probably something you could get from a therapist, or a psychological testing (think Myers-Briggs or similar). It has to do with what kind of environment stimulates/energizes you – being around people, or being alone.

          A lot of introverts do “suck it” up everyday – they go to work and interact with their co-workers, and then go home and get to recharge and unwind. If you are visiting family, and staying with them, you may not get that same opportunity to recharge – either because the family doesn’t understand your need to have your own space (which seems to be the issue here) or because the surroundings are not as familiar and you have to negotiate it differently than you would at home.

          And who has a 3-4 day job interview/networking event without any down time?

      • Pretzel_Logic :

        I’m also an off-the-scale INTJ, but I’m strongly agreeing with the “suck it up” advice. Sometimes going into it with a better attitude can do wonders and yes, even cure the “OMG SO MANY PEOPLE GAH.” (I’m not saying his attitude is bad or anything, but when you get into a pattern of “these people are too much for me” then it gets rooted subconsciously and it colors all interactions with said people.) I would seriously suggest staying in a hotel and giving him explicit permission to go wander off and do whatever for a while, telling your fam that he needs to work or whatever, and just not worry about it.

        I admit this comes from a bias of resenting the idea that introverts need to be treated with kid gloves. Pretty sure we’re fully capable of doing our own thang even if that makes other people uncomfortable. (My apologies if this sounds harsh, I don’t mean it to be–I know people just want to help.)

    • Good lord, put on your big girl pants and go see your parents by yourself. You don’t have to do everything in lock step with your SO.

      • Yikes, not sure what about my request for advice made you so grumpy. FWIW, the majority of the time I visit my family I go by myself, we’re talking about once a year occasions like thanksgiving, christmas, weddings, etc.

        • Kontraktor :

          Have you thought about doing the occasional big holiday alone with each respective family? I really really really dislike my in-laws, who are also insufferable to be around. We’ve been lucky the past couple of years in getting holidays all to oursevles (no family), but this year, we’re honestly probably going to split up. I am going to visit mine for Christmas and he will visit his. As sad as I am we won’t spend the holiday together, I’d take separate holidays over having to be/deal with his parents. On the flip side, we more than likely will spend Thanksgiving together sans family. It’s something to consider, that is, the occasional splitting up/going separate ways to ease emotional strain.

          • I think this might be a great solution for when we have a bit more money. Unfortunately his parents are overseas and we never manage to find reasonably priced flights to his parents’ location around major holidays. When we can deal with the extra ticket cost, though, I think we’ll give this a try.

    • This sounds exactly like my inlaws! Tons of people, kids, obnoxious MIL (who means really well, fwiw.. I don’t want bad karma). I like my quiet and alone time too. A few things that have saved me on the last few trips (15 people in an RV for a week!? I survived, but next time I’m buying a plane ticket no matter what it costs!):

      First, I agree with the alone time together even if it’s just at the very end of the day or when you first get up. Second, since starting law school, always having books around with reading to do has been wonderful. Third: Alcohol. (Just kidding… kind of).

      And honestly, if they are just being particularly loud or his mom is asking too many questions and I think I’m going to rip my hair out, I just say “I’m sorry, I have a headache” and either they quiet down to help me out or I excuse myself to be alone for a bit.

      Good luck!

  19. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Ladies, any suggestions about visiting the Florida Keys?

    Will be in Miami next week and we are thinking about taking a trip down there. Key West is a bit too far, but any cute spots nearer the mainland we should know about? Just for looking at pretty scenery and hanging out for a day.

    Also, any general Miami restaurant/bar recommendations welcome (I have OLA and Michael’s Food and Drink on my list already).

    • anon analyst :

      If you are in the South Beach area of Miami, Front Porch Cafe has a yummy brunch.

    • springtime :

      Key Largo is the first key south of Miami and it’s really pretty. There is a restaurant on the water that’s pretty famous- but I forget the name of it. It’s all seafood and would be fun to go for a midday meal.

      I find that most of the brunch spots on South Beach strip are kinda a rip-off and the service is terrible. Just an FYI.

    • Love the Keys! I recommend driving a little further down where it is less crowded. The Midway Cafe in Islamorada is cute and delicious for breakfast. There are a bunch of state parks — Long Key park is great for walks and Bahia Honda State Park is gorgeous and offers several different beaches. There is a preserve on Big Pine Key where you can go see the Key Deer, which is a quick trip (best in the early morning), and we enjoyed the Turtle Hospital. Have not paid $$ to go on the (old) Seven Mile Bridge and to Pigeon Key but that looks cool. We have had delicious dinners at the Keys Fisheries Market. Try to do lunch at the No Name Pub. Have fun!

    • laura holt :

      For food, have as much Cuban as you possibly can! My favorite place is Las Culebrinas in Coconut Grove but its hard to get to from the beach unless you have a car. Its also more of a touristy atmosphere than the restaurants in Little Havana. But they have the best bistec empanizado (breaded steak, my fave Cuban dish) I’ve ever had. On South Beach, Grazie is really excellent Italian and David’s Cuban Cafe is a really good place for breakfast/lunch (in addition to Cuban food they have some American breakfasts and they make a great cafe con leche). I agree that most brunch places on South Beach are overhyped and overpriced (I’m looking at you, News Cafe) but I think David’s is good. I haven’t been to Miami in years but those were my favorites when I lived there.

  20. Part of being an SO means putting up with family and friends so to a certain extent he has to buck up. If you have friends in town, he could do a few things with you (say dinner) and leave you to catch up on your own with the friends later (post-dinner drinks). Can you schedule in breaks during family visits like volunteering for the two of you to pick up coffee and bagels for everyone?

    • You must be an extrovert. For introverts, it’s not about “bucking up”. Read the linked Time article. It is about feeling drained when being around people. The fact that he is traveling to see her family really is the best an introvert can do in situations like n’s.

      This is also a helpful article:
      http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/302696/

      • Seconded. As an introvert, if someone told me to “buck up”, I would probably clock them.

        (Well, not really, but I would think about it hard.)

        • It’s one thing to “buck up” for a one wedding or party. It’s a completely different thing to ask an introver to “buck up” for several days spent with someone’s familiy.

          Asking an introvert to exist in an extrovert world (and a very extroverted world based on OP’s description) would be like asking an extrovert to stay in his apartment all weekend alone without any cell phone, TV, internet, etc. All he’d be able to do is exist in the quiet and not speak to a single living person and not hear anyone else talk. The people I know wouldn’t make it more than 4-6 waking hours.

          • karenpadi :

            This! Ha! My brother is a huge extrovert and he goes stir crazy even if alone for 30 minutes without his gadgets. When we backpacked through Europe together, I finally had enough after a week so he took the morning train to the next city and I stayed behind and took the evening train. I thought that was the best day of the trip. He thought it was the worst.

          • This is such an awesome analogy. Having had to be kind of defensive about my introvert tendencies in the past, I will remember it. It may come in handy.

          • Really? Youd be able to sit in a room with no reading materials, entertainment, or communication at all, essentially solitary confinement, for a full weekend. I feel that 1. everyone would find that family weekend draining, and 2. no one would be able to sit in silence for a full weekend.

          • Ok, I think silence is extreme. The more accurate introvert analogy is, Would you be able to sit in a room with things like books, solitary activities, but no real time contact with other human beings?

            And, I don’t think everyone would find that family weekend draining, obviously n.’s family members don’t, they love it.

          • I think of myself as an extrovert but I happily spend hours by myself with books, knitting, my laptop, and nobody to talk to but my kitty.

            I would personally hate the constant togetherness of n.’s family. My mother’s family is loud, boisterous, emotional, etc. I don’t spend much time with them. It makes me tired. I remember my grandmother – the only child of a whole generation in her family – just shutting down at times when her rowdy children and grandchildren came to visit at the same time. She much preferred for us to spend time with her in smaller groups – or just by ourselves.

          • When I said alone, I didn’t mean solitary confinement. Perhaps noise and conversation are better words. I can be alone all weekend just reading, working out (so going outside for a run), and doing other totally solitary activities without really talking to anyone else—and I love those weekends. For awhile when my life was really busy, I actually instituted “Hermit Day” on Sundays whereby my family and friends knew that I would not be making plans or answering my phone between the hours of 8am and 6pm on Sundays. And I loved “hermit day.” I had one extrovert friend who always called on Sundays at about 6:02 pm—he somehow thought I was punishing myself with hermit days and would be dying to talk to him after so much quiet; I wasn’t. :)

          • Yeah, part of the problem is that we’re talking about extremes here: My brother is so extroverted and hyperactive that he picks leaves off of houseplants because he needs something for his hands to do while he’s talking nonstop, while my SO spends probably literally 80% of his day in silence (he telecommutes and has very solitary hobbies, like 12 hour solo cycling trips). The other part of the problem, I think, is that time alone seems weird and anti-social to them, because they love being together.

          • zora I could spend that time with my own family, but wouldnt everyone be drained by other peoples families they dont know as well? Im not trying to be disrespectful- I just dont get this idea of labeling yourself, and then kind of refusing to work outside of that label (for both sides) I love my alone time and love “hermit days” but I just deal with it when i need to spend a lot of time with other people, I just find breaks for myself but I dont act grumpy around them or anything. I get that everyone has intro/extrovert preferences, but sometimes those have to be put aside, no? Like a give and take?

          • cfm, it’s not about refusing to work outside of that label, it’s about finding a language that helps you understand and engage with the other person. For my family, not talking = bored or unhappy; for my SO, not talking = completely fine and comfortable. For my family, retreating to be alone for a while means my SO doesn’t like them; for my SO, retreating isn’t about them or how much he likes them, it’s about being full up on noise or interaction of any kind. It’s not that it’s impossible to work outside of these natural preferences, either, but the further away you get from your comfort zones of interaction the more difficult it is.

          • @SunnyD
            I love my hermit days! I do have extroverted friends who are horrified when I admit I plan to spend all day Sunday sitting in the park reading and cooking for the week. I like socializing the rest of the week, but Sundays are my day to unwind.

      • In mascot’s defense, I’m introvert (took the Myers-Briggs test a few years back and got INFJ) and kind of agree. She’s not saying n should tell her SO to “suck it up, buttercup”. What she’s saying is that when you’re in long-term committed relationship, sometimes you do stuff for your partner because it’s important for/to your partner eventhough you may not want to.
        But n still needs to meet her SO half-way. Maybe recommend to SO a topic or two he could talk about with members of the family or that he open up a teensy bit to appease intrusive-mom. But n should also probably (gently) speak to mom about some of the questions that are being asked and request that she back off SO a bit – also schedule some time for him to be away and/or in smaller groups.
        If you and SO are married or otherwise in a long-term committed relationship, he and your mom are kind of stuck with each other through their respective ties to you – so they and you need to figure out how they can tolerate each other.

        • Yikes, maybe buck up was the wrong term. Hi, I am mascot and I am an extrovert. I also am pretty familiar with having to deal with uncomfortable family visits. Like my MIL assigning my husband all sorts of projects that take up most of his and her time when we visit them leaving me to feel very awkward and in the way. But, I still play nice because that is what you do as an SO. That was really my point to OP. She can still find ways to make him more comfortable and is considerate to do so.

        • Indeed, so far he has been just sucking it up, but it’s just not a good long term strategy. We’re married, and this has been a problem for years. We need to find a better way of dealing with it so that he doesn’t continue to dread the Christmas season.

          • You mentioned “10 loud people in a crowded restaurant every night” as one of the problems. Could you schedule a couple of nights (every other night?) where you and the husband went off on your own instead of joining the group for dinner? Or met up with some of your friends from growing up instead? Or could you either offer to cook dinner for the group or bring in catering so at least it would be at someone’s house instead of at a loud restaurant? Is he the first person to marry into the family in a while? Maybe he can sit at the end of the table with another in-law and talk more quietly to that person? Or just NOT talk to that person? Hopefully someone else will bring a new SO this Christmas and your family can turn their interrogations on that person. ;-)

            Its funny, in all this talk about introverts and family – I would consider myself pretty introverted, but I have a very large extended family and I LOVE our loud, large family parties, and I never really thought about it in terms of introvert/extrovert comfortableness. Now I’m feeling really bad for my husband – I’m the first of all my cousins to get married, and now after 10+ years he’s “one of the family”, but it must be REALLY overwhelming to someone new coming in. Note to self – be nicer to cousin’s new bf/gfs, remind family not to scare them away.

          • And n., I think it’s awesome that you’re aware of who your family is and what makes them happy, who your SO is and what makes him happy, how they all interpret (correctly or incorrectly) each other’s actions, and are trying to figure out something that works for everyone.

          • Thanks ladies, your thoughtful comments are all so helpful. I think I will try seating him next to my brother-in-law (he’s the quietest of the bunch), and maybe we’ll try staying with my sister instead of my parents next time. I think my sister would genuinely try to understand and respect his desire for down time, at least moreso than my mother :)

      • Senior Attorney :

        Uh, I have to think the Atlantic article is a satire. Because srsly, all that stuff about how introverts are so much better in every way than extraverts is unlikely to be all that helpful in, you know, building understanding. Just sayin’.

        • Cheeky, maybe, but I didn’t read it as satire – more of a stab back at a culture than praises extroversion but doesn’t know what to do with an introvert.

  21. Piggybacking off the (very helpful) article someone posted above about finding quality cashmere, how can you tell if a leather product is good quality? My brother wants a leather wallet for his birthday, and I got one at Macy’s the other day which was initially $50, marked down to $38. It feels soft to me and it looks nice; it doesn’t have any obviously bad stiching or anything like that, but the price was lower than I expected. I also looked at Brooks Brothers, but those wallets didn’t feel as soft and they were $200. How do I tell I’m not just paying for a brand name? Thanks in advance for any advice.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      It’s actually a good thing when leather is very stiff to begin with. That often means the leather is very thick and was treated well (nicely). Thick leather lasts much longer. Products that have soft leather to begin with are often soft because the leather has been shaved down (made thinner) which allows the manufacturer to buy cheaper leather and/or get multiple products out of the same piece of leather, like separating layers of tissue paper. Like tissue paper, the thin leather won’t be as stiff, and won’t be as durable. For inexpensive items, immediately soft leather also suggests it’s been treated to be soft, which harms durability. Of course, some very expensive leather is soft, but they started out with high quality leather and broke it in for you. I’m stiff leather all the way. I stalk clearances for high quality leather items (bags, shoes, belts, wallets). They are very stiff to begin with, but relax over time. The Ferragamos I’m wearing today were stiff as all hell when I first bought them, but broke in with wear and are now buttery soft and molded to my feet.

  22. MsLurksALot :

    Anyone interested in a Banana Republic coupon for 40% off a full-priced item? I’m not going to use it. So first come, first served:

    JRKFNB1ZR9PX

    ps – please use it and save me the temptation of buying something I don’t _really_ need!

  23. Blonde Lawyer :

    I just have to post about the most amazing tights I bought. I was traveling and went to a Vanity Fair Outlet. The one I was at was kind of sketch and generally not worth the trip but I picked up a pair of “Legale plush tights.” They have a thin fleece lining and have a waist band like leggings instead of like pantyhose. I usually hate all forms of tights/hose but these are like pajamas and look professional too! I wore them with a dress suit yesterday and got lots of compliments. They are a bit noticeably thicker but not in a weird way. If you see this brand at any discount house, scoop it up. I got them for $5 and if I knew how great they were I would have bought 10 more.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      Ooh, these sound great. Any chance you are also tall and found these long enough? (Or you saw that they come in multiple sizes?) Thanks!

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Yes. I am 5’7″ but with short torso and long legs. I saw them in s/m or m/l. Based on their chart, I was a m/l based on height but a s/m based on weight. I went with the m/l and they fit fine, except they are just a tad loose in the ankles. I have absurdly disproportionately small ankles in relation to the rest of my body though so I think they would fit perfect on everyone else.

  24. Relationship/online dating q:

    I have been on and off with my ex for years; we have been talking for the past year but not officially together because it was very long distance. But we would visit each other and discuss plans for the future when we could move forward in the same location. So he recently let me know that he met someone else. I’m feeling mostly numb right now and sad, but I told myself when we started talking again that if he ended things for whatever reason, it would be over for good. So contact is cut and I am trying to work on moving on. I haven’t tried online dating before and am thinking it might be good to get on a dating website. I know I’m not ready yet and need some time to grieve this, but I also know that if I don’t give myself a deadline for creating a profile, I’ll just keep putting it off – I’ve done that before. So I know it’s a personal thing, but any advice on how long I should wait before I make myself sign up? Any stories on making yourself date after something like this ending? Thanks!

    • I’m sorry. This is a tough situation. I think the most important thing about online dating is to be excited about meeting new people. It’s not something I can fake so I take pretty frequent breaks.

      For each break from online dating, I give myself a “reevaluation date.” Right now, I’m on a 3-month break (I was getting really really bitter and discouraged) and my “reevaluation date” is October 31. On that day, I will pour myself a glass of wine and, like a true introvert, think about whether I want to re-activate my profile. If yes, I do it then and there. If no, I set a new “reevaluation date.” I do this a few times a year.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        This is good advice. One of the reasons I have not been successful with online dating is that I found it too much like hard work and not fun. If it isn’t fun, then it probably won’t work for you, so I would wait until you are excited by the prospect, rather than doing it as a reactionary measure to a break-up.

        Also, I’m really sorry you’re going through this, it will get easier over time!

      • Thank you, that makes sense. I was thinking of giving myself a month and a half to grieve and pick myself up. I don’t want to try it before I’m ready and end up discouraged. But I can also see myself continually allowing myself more time. Online dating is something I feel like I should try to give myself options and see what it’s like. But the idea has never really excited me.

        • It never excited me either, and in fact I never enjoyed the process. I basically treated it as a job interview process, and that was the only way I was able to get through it. But I would never have been able to do it at all if I was that close to coming off a breakup. Give yourself as much time as you think you need and don’t push yourself to do it until you feel ready, even if you aren’t “excited” about it.

          As much as I didn’t enjoy the process itself, I found my SO that way, and we are going strong.

          • Thanks that’s good to hear! It’s definitely harder for me since my ex ended things by meeting someone else and almost immediately moving on to her. I know I need to focus on myself and just move on when I’m ready, but it’s hard knowing my ex could just move on like that. I can’t imagine myself doing that at all.

          • I strongly suspect that my (also long distance) ex met someone else which is what precipitated our break up (though there were other reasons, mainly the distance with no end in sight). I was really sad and after a month I decided to get online, mostly as a distraction. I didn’t go into it looking for something serious, I just thought it would help me to get practice dating again, get me out of the house, and maybe yield some good stories. For the most part that was true — I went out with a handful of perfectly nice guys, had a nice time, didn’t particularly want to see most of them again. Ended up becoming really good platonic friends with one, and had the best first date of my life with another, which has rapidly developed into the kind of relationship I always wanted but but had never quite found. I can honestly say this is the happiest I have ever been :-)

            Obviously there are no guarantees, and frankly I really dislike online dating (much like others who have commented, I’ve done it on and off — mostly off — over the past number of years, frequently getting fed up and just not enjoying it), but I don’t think I would have ever met the SO had it not been for online dating because it’s unlikely our paths would have ever crossed. Actually… I guess our paths did cross, it just happened to be on the internet and not “in real life.”

            So, hugs and commiseration about the breakup, and good luck whenever you decide to try online!

          • Thanks, AT! I think that’s a good way to think of it – I just need to get out there and practice! It has been a long time since I’ve been on a formal date and I need to remember how to do that/remind myself that other guys do exist. I’m glad to hear all the success stories just to know its possible. :)

    • Jacqueline :

      I found that like you, if I kept letting myself off the hook, I’d never do it. It can help to give yourself a deadline, even if not to actually sign up, to explore a few sites and see how you like them. But don’t feel like you have to force yourself. The sites will always be there, so take the time you need to move on. You won’t get as much out of online dating (which can be exciting, exhausting, and demoralizing — sometimes all at once!) unless you’re in the right state of mind.

    • Definitely don’t push yourself too hard, and I like all of the advice above.

      Full disclosure: I tried online dating for like 5 seconds and it just didn’t work for my personality so i stopped. But, something you can do at first to test the waters is make a very minimal profile, leave most things blank, or even completely made up, just to surf around and see who else is on there and if any of them spark your interest. THEN you can decide if you want to actually fill out a real profile. Don’t get hung up on writing tons of elaborate stuff on your profile at first, just get something up there, and you can fill it in as you go along, and as you look at other profiles and get ideas for what to do/not to do. (Note: this will work on sites like OkCupid and Match, it might not work on eharmony, or sites that force you to fill out an elaborate questionnaire before you can look at other profiles)

  25. Pretty sweater. Too bad the sleeves would go down to my knuckles.

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