Suit of the Week: Ann Taylor

Wool Blend Belted JacketFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

I’m intrigued by this wool blend jacket — that shirttail hem is pretty unusual, as is the fact that you can wear it belted or unbelted.  Still, it’s getting tons of positive reviews from ladies who bought it in the stores — and I love that light brown, although it can be hard to match.  You can wear it with white, pale blue, and other browns, of course, but also try lavender and even a darker red with it. The jacket (Wool Blend Belted Jacket) is $198, and the skirt (Wool Blend Skirt) is $98. (Ann Taylor is celebrating its “big fall sale,” with prices marked up to 60% off original prices, but neither the jacket nor skirt seem to be on sale.)

Wool Blend Belted Jacket Wool Blend Skirt

(L-5)

Comments

  1. LadyEnginerd :

    Like the color of the suit, but the belt just looks weird to me. Reminds me of a bathrobe, which runs counter to the “take me seriously” vibe of a suit.

    Now for a threadjack – I need a haircut. Any stylist recommendations in either Santa Monica or Westwood? Any other recommendations for beauty/style pros in that area of LA would also be appreciated (esp. brows, nails, general waxing. and/or a tailor).

    • My waxer is awesome. I go to Smooth Skin by Simona on West Pico (near Century City). She’s in the Salon Republic Building. She does a great job and is reasonably priced ($65 for brows and Brazilian). I have only lived here for 6 weeks so I haven’t found a hairdresser or nail place I like, but I’ll be interested to see the recommendations you get.

    • Former West Coaster :

      I would recommend Alex at Queen Bee for waxing (she was great but also super down to earth). For hair, I used to go to Chrome Salon in Culver City – I went to Kenan and had a good experience with him. I am very much missing LA today!

    • I’ve gone to Byu-ti in Santa Monica for several years for both cuts and highlights. I’ve seen a couple of different stylists there and been happy with them all. I do admit about 90% of the reason that I continue to go there though is because I can walk there from my apartment and I can make appointments online.

    • Regular Reader, Rare Commenter :

      I just saw your post! Let me put in a plug for Lynn Lemon at Studio 210 in Brentwood! She has been cutting my hair for five years. She has also done highlights and colored my hair– I received many compliments on both.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Thanks so much ladies! I appreciate the recommendations and will check them out!

  2. I tried this suit on this weekend. It looked TERRIBLE on me. Cute idea, bad fabric. It’s thicker than it looks in the pictures, almost like felt. So the jacket bunches up weirdly when you try to belt it. And the skirt was too short for what I could wear to the office.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      This suit looks terrible, especially the skirt.

      In the photos, the skirt makes the model look like she has saddlebags, but only on one side of her body. I’m not sure what one can do with a skirt that makes one look like one’s hips are lopsided. Ugh.

    • I’m not liking the trend toward above the knee pencil skirts. I’m 5’9″ and this length just isn’t flattering (J Crew is a major offender in the too-short-pencil-skirt territory).

      • I agree, though check out JCrew’s Telegraph skirt (I bought mine last season, but they’re selling it again this year). It ended up hitting just at the knee for me.

  3. Continuing this morning’s conversation, helpful jewelry in case your gps fails you….http://www.etsy.com/shop/fugudesigns?ref=seller_info_count

  4. Online Dating :

    I’m giving online dating a shot; this is my first time to try this approach. When a guy messages me and just says “hi” or “you’re cute” or “how are you” or something else really short that gives no indication that he isn’t sending the same message to 1,000 other girls that evening, do I respond? And what is the proper response? I don’t expect an essay on how he thinks I am interesting and wants to be with me for the rest of his life, but something more personal would make me more inclined to reply.

    I’d appreciate hearing how others deal with this.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I never respond to messages that just say “Hey” or seem like something that could be cut and pasted to 85 million chicks. I also don’t reply if I’m not interested.

      It’s never happened that a guy I thought after looking at his profile was super interesting and worth dating had sent me a message that was so generic I honestly didn’t know what to say to it. I’m not sure what would happen if I saw that – usually my ‘hey’ messages come from guys I am incompatible with in many ways.

    • I’ve gotten those exact kind of messages before – IMO, the proper response is no response. I agree that you shouldn’t (and probably don’t want) an essay of a response, but I never responded to a message that didn’t suggest the dude got past my profile picture.

    • When I get those kind of emails, I generally don’t reply. I find that even if the guy seems not creepy, that kind of makes starting an actual conversation on my end even more difficult than if I had been the one to initiate communication.

    • Online Dating :

      Thanks, Ladies. I was thinking these were messages not worth responding to, but wanted to make sure I wasn’t being too particular in Internet-land.

    • karenpadi :

      I’m a little different and try to go easy on guys. Online dating is a numbers game and I respect that. Lots of those long messages are cut-and-paste jobs too. So I check out his profile and if I’m interested, I send a short message back. It’s just enough to show interest and get the conversation ball rolling, like “Hi! Your dog looks like he a lot of fun and a little trouble! Did you do anything fun this weekend?”

      • Online Dating :

        I am really going to have to step up my small talk game…

      • I’m curious to know–generaly, how well does the conversation go from there? Sometimes I too think maybe I’m being to harsh…

        • karenpadi :

          He usually says something like “oh, I watched the Giants game with some friends. How was your weekend?” Me: “I didn’t see the game but I heard the Giants won. I went for hike in the mountains with a friend. Are you originally from the area or did you move here?” And let the small talk grow…I usually try to have a coffee date set up within 5-7 messages.

      • +1

      • SF Bay Associate :

        +1 karenpadi, exactly. That’s what I did when I was online dating as well. No reason to reject someone outright just because he didn’t say something witty the first time he messaged me. I’d look at his pics and profile. If remotely interesting, I’d respond – “Hi! Cute dog!” or “I love chinese food too – xyz restaurant is my favorite.” Throw the poor guy a bone.

    • I need a clue here. People really just say “Hi” or “Hey” and nothing else? I get that from my 9yo niece on iMessage and it drives me bonkers. I told her mom, my sister, that I wasn’t responding to her until she types more than that. And she’s not even a grown person, yet.

      I also told my niece that but in a nicer way. It was more like “I want to hear more from you than just hey!”

      • Online Dating :

        I’ve been trying this online dating thing for a week, and I’ve probably gotten a dozen “hey” or “hi” or “how are you” messages with nothing else. I want to just reply “hey” and see what happens, but so far I’ve been trashing them.

      • K...in transition :

        Often people start with one word like that because they’re not sure if you’re busy or around or what… it’s the same way as someone peeking into your office before they start giving you the story or the update or whatever else they came to chat about.

      • Hmm….I do this all the time. I hate to send a long question on chat, just to find out that the person is away. I will have to rethink.

    • K...in transition :

      I think often it’s a shorter version of, “hey! I wanted you to check out my profile because I wonder if I’m your type and, since I’m not sure whether you’re interested in me, I’m not going to write a whole lot but if you answer me, I’ll know you’re interested (and if you look but don’t respond, I’ll know you’re not), so um… hey!”

      I typically check out the person’s profile and, if I’m maybe interested, I’ll respond, “hey back!” and let them initiate more, otherwise I delete it and move on.

    • DC Association :

      I agree with karenpadi…if they seem interesting, then write back. I think a lot of people don’t respond to emails at all so maybe some guys keep it short because they don’t want to put a lot of effort into an email that won’t be returned.

      That said, I got one of these types of emails from someone who said he was a communications professor. i wrote back and said, “Gee for a person who’s in communications, I’d have hoped to get a better email than that!” He did not reply.

      But anyway…I’m just starting out on Match too and despite what I’ve said above…I personally think I’d be more compatible to someone who at least puts forth some effort, tries to tell a little about himself or remarks on my profile somewhat, etc. One sentence emails don’t really cut it. However, since I’m just starting out, I’m giving some leeway.

    • I’ve done Match a few different times, usually for a couple months until I realize that I hate new people and quit. I’ve spoken with male friends about this, and for guys it’s a numbers game – they’re generally the ones making overtures, but they don’t want to waste a lot of time because a lot of the girls (me) don’t write back. That said, the couple of guys I had that went ANYWHERE were those that put forth the effort to write a substantive email that showed they actually looked at my profile. I think if the guy is only going to say “hey”, he might as well just wink. It shows he’s interested, then you can see if you are. Wink back, then if you don’t get some solid communication, drop him.

      • omg, thank you! I tried online dating and couldn’t deal but i couldn’t articulate why, but you just nailed it. “I hate new people” ;oP Thank you for putting words to my feels…

    • Straight to delete.

  5. Okay, just a gut check. Twice now my boss has asked me to contact someone and change how his name and title are represented on a written document. The first time it was on the agenda for a meeting of another division (and I was attending with him). The second time was on an official document from General Counsel. Today I told him that this was really between him and the General Counsel’s office and that he should notify them. I feel like he’s treating me like his secretary and I am his second in command. He just got an assistant so I can excuse the first one, but WTF?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Why not just forward the request to his assistant (CC-ing your boss) with a message that says “Can you take care of this?”

    • You did right on the second one – your gut is correct. If you forward to assistant, cc bossman so he knows (or reply directly to bossman saying “I don’t do this.” Kidding, sort of.).

  6. I am wearing a wrap dress and as I was walking into my building from lunch a gust of wind came and I’m pretty sure I flashed the entire lobby. A very cute guy was kind enough to note that I made his day.

    Luckily I don’t think anyone that I know was around at the time, but I still want to sit in my office and hide! This might be the end for this dress at work.

  7. TO Lawyer :

    So opposing counsel just notified us of several ridiculous mistakes in our materials that were the product of carelessness by an assistant. The same assistant who makes careless mistakes on a regular basis. I can’t even today…

    • This is how I FEEL when Lynn get’s lazy with my typeing. FOOEY on assistan’t's who do NOT assist! I did give LYNN my wrap dress so she should be happy. I am goieing to meet David for dinner tomorow. He said he will text me the place tomorow. I hope it is good b/c I do NOT like junk food.

      Jim is very sad b/c his CARD’s are not playeing. Mabye when we go back, he will sit still and not be busy checkeing score’s and reading sport’s magagzeines. FOOEY on that. The manageing partner want’s me to invite Jim and the General Council to lunch with me and the manageing partner. I think we might go to Spark’s or the Lamb’s Club, but it will be up to THEM. I vote for Spark’s b/c they have very good steak’s and I love the lamb chop’s too!

      Myrna and I am meeting tonite and getteing drinks and a mojito place. I normally do NOT like to drink on weeknight’s, but she know’s somebody and she said it will be fun. I hope so, b/c I realy should be at the gym exercizing not drinkeing down calerories that go right to my tuchus. Doubel FOOEY!

    • When I filed my first document at my firm, the senior lawyer said, “Look, Anon, any mistakes in this document are your problem. Not mine, not the paralegal’s, YOURS. So make sure it’s right.” It was terrifying. And I think it’s also made it hard for me to delegate work because I’m convinced that i am the Only Person Who Can Get It Right. Stories like this just feed my paranoia :)

      • TO Lawyer :

        Unfortunately, it wasn’t really a document we filed but all the exhibits that were photocopied wrong… I don’t want to delegate the assembling briefs/copying jobs now, which is probably problematic. I double-check everything out of paranoia, but this was photocopying and mailing mistakes, which I don’t normally double-check.

  8. Frustrated Anon :

    Career transition/networking question: I’m going to be ready for a change in about a year, and I want to start laying the groundwork for my job search now. My org is well-respected, but limited in scope, and I want to see what fields are out there that might use my current skills. I love what I do—mostly research—but the topics we work on are not my thing.

    How do I start exploring new areas without raising flags at work? The professional community is somewhat small, so I feel like I can’t do informational interviews without word getting around. The higher-ups are also hyper-vigilent about employee’s public personas, and may frown on me attending professional events that aren’t directly related to my job… and anything related to a cause or politics is completely out.

    PS: Graduate school is also an option, but I still need to figure out what exactly I’d be working toward.

    Any advice would be appreciated… thanks!

    • karenpadi :

      This is the kind of situation where I ask myself, “What would a man do?” Answer: Ask for forgiveness, not permission.

      Frankly, I think it’s silly that higher-ups would frown on someone attending professional events. I say go to professional events and, if needed, ask for forgiveness later.

      • e_pontellier :

        +1

      • +100. As for informational interviews, can you (1) meet with alumni from your college so it looks more like school spirit than anything else and/or (2) frame it as trying to get a broader understanding of the field (which could arguably improve how you do your current job)?

        • Frustrated Anon :

          Those are good ideas… everyone I work with already assumes I know everyone from my state, anyhow. :)

          Is it awkward to be more into “personal branding” than coworkers? My immediate team is a pretty humble group (“No, YOU be first author on our joint paper!” “No, YOU! I insist!”), and most don’t self-promote. I feel weird about highlighting my accomplishments when my senior coworkers (with more experience, skills, schooling, etc.) do not do so in their online profiles.

          FWIW… From what I can tell, male coworkers who have moved on/up have done so entirely through sports-related networking. Maybe I should forget linkedin and just learn how to golf.

          • +1 for golf.

            I’m biased though, I love the game ;)

          • Frustrated Anon ...and future golfer? :

            I am so sick of “optimizing” my linkedin profile. Golf it is.

            What’s a good way to start? Have a friend take me out, beginner classes, wii sports? (j/k about one of those…)

          • LadyEnginerd :

            I’d go with a lesson or two before going with a friend, but that’s because I am not very good at being a beginner at anything and I wouldn’t want to snap at my friend. I will also point out that some other sports have networking opportunities if golf turns out not to be your thing. I’ve heard of people getting jobs on the squash court.

          • My sister just got a very promising series of interviews (fingers crossed for her!) based on her LinkedIn profile, which makes me want to keep current with mine. I’m not actively looking but when I’m ready to, I’d like to have it up-to-date. Is it worth the time and effort? How often should I be updating it? I put up a brief set of job duties for my current job but need to expand on it for sure but is it going to flood people’s inboxes if I do a few lines at a time?

          • Frustrated Anon :

            Good for her! You can turn off “activity broadcasts” in the settings so it doesn’t send out those blasts. I try to update frequently (adding new contacts as I meet them, tweaking my job description or publications based on recent accomplishments) so that it won’t look suspicious if I change something.

    • At my last job, I looked casually at other positions for about a year….just trolling career websites and such. That helped me get an idea of what was out there; when I noticed (via linkedin) that someone I knew worked at a company with a posting I was interested in, I would reach out to them.

      When it came time to ask for recommendations for my current job, I reached out to two former colleagues who had since moved on and were both employed in Europe- no real likelihood anyone would notice me talking to them about my career switch! You don’t really mention this but my biggest fear was mostly that I would bring up my thoughts on pursuing a career change with people at work, and even if they were supportive, I wouldnt be able to find a new job, and it would look really bad, because they’d always be thinking, “she doesnt really want to be here”. However, I knew my former colleagues in Europe weren’t judging me, so I felt comfortable talking with them.

      • Frustrated Anon :

        Good call. My immediate coworkers would probably be fine, but I do want to make sure I get as much training as possible while I’m here. I’ve had to really fight for any bit of professional development, even in skills that would make me much more effective at my job, and I’m sure my current opportunities would evaporate if they thought it was less than a five-year investment.

  9. anon re: IUD :

    Just an update a week or so post IUD. I am still bleeding (blehhh) – more like heavy spotting but enough that it seems like a bit much to throw a garden party for the first time with New Guy. It’s also just getting on my nervous – this is like 10 days of period-like spotting with no signs of stopping.

    I called the doctor who said it’s completely normal, but if I want to stop it, I can try the 3x3x3 ibuprofen method (3 200mg ibuprofens 3 times a day for 3 days) which works for some women — my only question is that that seems like a LOT of ibuprofen. Have any of you guys tried this and had success?

    • anon re: IUD :

      Getting on my *nerves sorry, autocorrect.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Not tried it with an IUD, but that was the exact prescription I took in high school for different sports related injuries. After a long time, I don’t think it was great for my stomach, but no permanent harm done.

    • Merabella :

      I didn’t have this problem with my IUD, but this isn’t too much ibuprofen. You can take I think up to 4 every however many hours, at least that is what my doctor told me.

    • Whoa, that does not sound fun. What IUD did you get? I heard you can spot forever on Mirena but you don’t spot on ParaGard. I am rocking a ParaGard and didn’t have any spotting. Hopefully this subsides very soon for you.

      • anon re: IUD :

        It is Mirena. The doc said it should dissipate by the 6 month mark but up til then, I shouldn’t be surprised if it continues every day until then.

        If it does continue every day until my five week follow up visit in November, I may just ask them to take it out. I can’t deal with six straight months of bleeding.

        • Yikes 6 months! That is not how it happened for me. I definitely bled a lot for the first couple of weeks, but then it slowed down to just a little bit of spotting on and off. And not for 6 months. The spotting wasn’t enough to really bother me after about month 2. And honestly, now 3 years later, I barely remember the first 6 months. It is SO worth it now, i completely skipped bleeding last month, and most months it is just a couple of days of light bleeding. I’m having a yucky first day of Shark Week today, but my shark weeks are so much shorter than they were before the IUD.

          So, try to get through it, and try not to get all worst case scenario in your head. I definitely do it, but you could be worrying about nothing. I know it’s annoying now, but try the Ibuprofin idea, and try to think about the 5-10 years of hassle-free BC??? or yell at your uterus, that’s what i do sometimes. ;o)

          • iudiudiudiud :

            I’ve had my Mirena for 2 years—no spotting after the first 6 weeks, and no shark weeks either. For 2 years. Every now and then I cramp a little and realize I’m being extra snarky, and figure it must be “that time” but other than that it’s all good!

    • Yeah, it’s definitely not to much ibuprofen. For one, your doctor wouldn’t have recommended it if it wasn’t safe. To me, it doesn’t even seem like a lot. Ibuprofen is, all things considered, a pretty safe drug. I mean, if your stomach is sensitive to the stuff (mine isn’t; many people aren’t), take it with food.

      I also have to say: I’ve never heard of this as a method to stop spotting. I’m in month three of my Mirena, and still having spotting more days than not, which is extremely frustrating. I’ve heard so many people rave that once they got it, that was it, no major spotting, and they didn’t get their period again. So the frustration is that I’m obviously not one of those people, but I am still optimistic that it will work out for me in the end because, anecdotes from lucky women aside, the data does appear to be that 3-6 month adjustment periods are not uncommon.

      In the meantime, I’ll try that Ibuprofen idea next time I’m having spotting.

      • I got my Mirena pulled because of the endless spotting. Sadly, it seems you either get one or the other.

      • I didn’t have it for the iud/spotting, but I have had a lot of problems with excessive bleeding, and my doctor told me to take Ibuprofin, 800 mg every 6 hours. So I don’t think that’s too much, and there’s something in the ibuprofin that does something with the bleeding (Obviously, since that’s why it was recommended to me) but I can’t remember now how it works exactly.

    • Mirena or Paragard?

  10. Another Interview TJ :

    What is the best thing (book, article, whatevs) on law job interviewing you’ve read? I don’t mean attire, I mean the substance. It’s for a state supreme court clerkship if it’s relevant.

    Or alternatively, what is the best piece of interviewing advice you’ve received/can offer?

    • From experience: when you prepare for an oral argument, you have to be ready for a hot or a cold panel. Same thing is true for interviews with judges. Some judges are very engaging, like to drive the interview, and are more talkative, while others are much less so. I guess this is the same for interviewing with firms, but I found the swing with judges to be bigger than the swing with lawyers from firms.

      I found most judges like to talk about their judicial philosphy–asking about this usually gave me something to mention in my thank you notes. I also asked about whether my docket would include civil and criminal matters and how the judge divides the docket between clerks. Docket management can be a big deal for some judges and I think they like it when their potential hires are aware of this.

      Since it’s an appellate court, I’d be generally familiar with what different standards of review mean because the standard of review often is the driver for how cases come out (for example, a case getting a de novo review may come out very differently than it would if the review was for an abuse of discretion).

      • And one more thing. I have had a few law students (who I didn’t know) who were interviewing with my former judge call me and ask me about him. I was happy to talk to them about my judge and working for him. Those people got the clerkship jobs. I don’t know if other people would mind getting calls like this, but it didn’t bother me (and apparently it was helpful to the people who did this type of due dilligence).

        • I did this when I interviewed with my judge and it helped. Basically I found out that he was just going to be trying to get a feel for if I’d be a good fit– more personality wise– with the office. I agree that I’d be happy to talk to anyone interviewing about what to expect.

          I agree with the “good questions” listed below as well.

          Good luck!

        • Agreed. I’m always happy to offer some insight to folks preparing to interview with my former judge. I think it shows a lot of initiative to talk to a former clerk. The last one who did it got the job.

    • karenpadi :

      As an interviewer, I am most impressed when the candidate is prepared (has looked at the firm website, has rehearsed answers to expected questions, etc) and enthusiastic (asks lots of questions about the firm).

      Good questions: what is a typical day like? How is work allocated? (If a peer), Why do you still work here/join the firm? What is important to succeed here? How is training and on-boarding structured? How do you maintain a work/life balance in this position?

      Bad questions: Do you get free lunch often? How do you take vacations? Is travel really necessary? Can I leave everyday at 5pm?

    • I realize this is obvious but want to put it out there: be familiar with any major cases the court recently decided or is likely to decide in the near future.

      • This never hurts. Also, it might not hurt to skim a few recent opinions by the judge to get a feel for how they sound and read. The conventional wisdom is that you can get the best idea of a judge’s philosophy by reading her dissents, which is also true. Ultimately, these details may not matter a whole lot to the interview, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

    • The state supreme court judge I clerked for is interviewing soon… this makes me wonder if you’re interviewing with her… :)

      Relatedly, I agree with SunnyD — if you can chat with someone who clerked for the same judge, do it. My interview included some chatting with the current clerks, and even during that time I felt like I learned a lot. They can tell you what the judge is like, what she expects, and what you can expect during the interview.

      Ask question about the process — every judge is different in how she runs chambers and how her opinions and bench briefs get drafted. The best question I asked (I heard later it was part of what most impressed the judge) was about what her expectations were for clerks. It led to a nice discussion, and gave me insight into what she wanted from me. It’s also just genuinely good information to know — are you going to be expected, for example, to draft “top-down” opinions that support the determination the judge has already made on her own? Or is she more interested in “bottom up” drafts, where you make your own determination and then bring it to her? In another successful clerkship interview I did, we talked a lot about the difficulties of writing someone else’s perspective — always remember that it’s not your name/voice/reputation at issue, it’s the judge’s. Keeping that in mind and letting the fact that you understand that show in your answers will help a lot (you may find this hard to believe, but a lot of bright law students think very highly of themselves, and they can forget that a judicial draft is not about them!). :) Good luck!

    • Adding to all of the above, be prepared for the “so why do you want to work for me?” question. Some people apply for clerkships because they want to clerk, in general, regardless of which specific judge. Judges, imho, want to hear some reason you want to work for them, in particular. Doing your homework, talking to former clerks, reading up on their background can help you answer this one.

  11. I’m having a horrible, awful, no good, miserable bad day. Can’t stop crying (at work, no office…cube farm, so no privacy.) It’s not work related, so it’s bad, but not that bad I guess (my family is suing the man that caused a car accident that killed my Dad, and I got an updated copy of the complaint. I was stupid enough to read it, and see details I didn’t want to see.)

    Here’s to hoping the rest of my work day goes by fast so I can go home.

    • e_pontellier :

      oh dear that is so terrible. First off, I’m sorry for your loss. When I have super rough days, I read Calvin & Hobbes until I can crack a smile, and then I do my best to fake it as long as I can, and go back for a few more Calvin & Hobbes when the tears start welling up again. Good luck, and hopefully you’re close to quittin’ time (not sure if you’re east coast or west coast or somewhere in between)!

      • e_pontellier :

        PS: here’s the site I usually read from: http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/

      • I am sorry you lost your dad. It must be very difficult.

        I second e-’s suggestion. My favorite Calvin quotation for bad days is: “You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocketship underpands don’t help.”

        Hope you can leave the office soon and you find comfort this evening.

      • West Coast unfortunately. I did read some Calvin and Hobbes though, and that made me smile :)

        I’m tempted to print that quote and post it in my cube SunnyD!

        Thank you both.

      • phillygirlruns :

        i am so, so sorry for your bad day.

        and so, so thrilled to see that calvin & hobbes is a popular remedy.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      *hugs* *tea& sympathy* *wine&cookies*

      Can you go to the bathroom and hide in a stall and cry?

      • Or even go home? I’m so sorry for your loss.

      • Thank you! Currently eating chocolate cereal, which is helping a tiny bit. Anything chocolate that is slightly good for you has to help some right?

        I wish I could go home, but I have a meeting I have to be here for the last hour of work. I’m just trying to distract myself until then.

        • Oh, and the bathroom stall is an option, but my boss would notice swollen eyes, sooo…I’m trying to keep from crying. It’s just not working all that well.

    • I am so sorry. What a terrible day – i can’t imagine all the things you are feeling right now.

      I sure hope you are on EST and you get to go home soon.

    • Almost There :

      Very sorry for your loss & your tough day. This definitely sounds like something for which you could very reasonably take the afternoon off. Hope you find some comfort today.

      • Thank you. I usually could (my office is great about stuff like this), but I have a meeting later that I really need to be here for. I’m hoping for comfort too, but even more for distractions! (Which this site is excellent at providing!)

    • Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. That sounds terrible, and I don’t blame you at all for crying. If you can’t work from home for the rest of the day, can you start a really detailed or complex task that hopefully will distract you until you can leave?

      I am really sorry about your dad.

    • K...in transition :

      If only our company had a choice to deliver a RAWR! (I’m picturing us chipping in to order Godzilla to suddenly pop into Bad Day’s office and deliver her a bag of fireball candies and a hug or something.)

      lovelovelove

    • Oh no. My FIL was killed in a car accident and the family sued. I think my MIL finally took the settlement just because she couldn’t stand the emotional toll it was taking on her sons (and on her, of course, but she’d have kept fighting if it were just her). I’m so sorry. It’s an awful, awful experience.

      • It really is hard. This month in particular because my sister got married and Dad wasn’t there to walk her down, the 2nd anniversary of his death, news about the lawsuit, and my birthday. Plus trying to support my Mom, and feeling inadequate.

        I hope the lawsuit doesn’t continue to get worse before it gets better, but without disclosing too much that would identify me, I had to call a friend from a while ago and tell her that her husband was added as a defendent on our case. That was hard too. I just want to bury my head in the sand until it’s over, but as an adult…(and a human :) it’s not possible to do so.

        • Research, Not Law :

          I am so very sorry.

        • So sorry for you. Sending lots and lots of good vibes your way.

        • This just sounds so much like my family’s experience. Our wedding was 2 1/2 yrs after the accident and, while it was a happy day, it was definitely also sad for my husband and in-laws. My husband also worries a lot that he’s not doing a good enough job being there for my MIL. I’m so sorry.

    • I hope your day gets a little easier…lots of positive thoughts being sent in your direction!!!!!!!!

    • I’m so sorry for your loss and for your bad day. Hang in there.

    • So sorry for your loss.
      what works for me is drinking cold water whenever I feel the tears coming. If at all possible try to walk a bit outside and get some fresh air.
      Be strong, I’m sending you big hugs

    • I hope you’re out of the office now and able to let your feelings out. Take care.

  12. K...in transition :

    Just curious, which would you choose of the pairs and why?

    A: a job with tons of flexibility but an unstable paycheck
    B: a job with little/no flexibility but a stable paycheck

    C: a relationship with lots of financial stability but not much chemistry
    D: a relationship with lots of chemistry that isn’t always financially stable

    E: a great piece of jewelry that is a “statement piece” you can only really wear every so often
    F: a good piece of jewelry that is basic and can be worn with everything

    • Almost There :

      Interesting questions

      B – I’ve been so broke student long enough and am tired of worrying about money
      D – money can be made, chemistry can’t
      E – I’ve pretty much got my basics handled and I like “conversation piece” jewelry, and end up wearing them probably more often than I should

    • Merabella :

      B, at this point in my life I’d rather have the money than the flexibility since there isn’t really that much going on in my life that I need flexibility, but cash is king.
      D, I think that I’d rather have financial stability elsewhere in my life than in my relationship. I can work on getting stability through my financially stable but less flexible job, but if you don’t have some spark with a person I feel like it’s better to be alone.
      E, though, I’d probably still wear it fairly often, I’m just like that.

    • B
      D
      F -b/c otherwise I’d forget to wear it.

    • Hmm.

      1. B (I basically have A.) I don’t do as well with flexibility as I’d like to, and I really miss having a stable paycheck. Of course, I guess if I felt really good about the consistency of the good checks, so that I could be more ready for the bad, I might feel better about it.

      2. I’m not sure – I guess I don’t really think of financial stability as a component to a relationship. If the financial instability came from him (as in, he was a very irresponsible spender or couldn’t hold a job), I would probably choose C. But I feel like I can provide my own financial stability (or at least, enough of it – see above)

      3. D, but only because I feel pretty good with my basic pieces right now, but would like a few more fun ones. If I were starting from scratch, I would definitely say E.

    • B, because I have kids (future college payments) and like to travel and shop.
      E, because I can then buy a whole bunch of great pieces of jewelry!

      I skipped the second pair because I am already married and fortunate to have both chemistry and financial stability – yes, from two fairly inflexible jobs.

    • B- I don’t care that much about flexibility, and care a lot about a steady paycheck
      D- I don’t care at all about financial, I do well enough and part of our chemistry is that he is hardworking because I respect that, so as long as he is contributing in some way its fine.
      e- I have a lot of basic jewlery. if this question assumes you are starting from zero and can only choose one, than my answer would be 5 and I would get earrings.

    • B – this is my job, but then I don’t need that much flexibility right now (no kids)

      C – this is all I’ve ever known, I guess, and I have a low s3x drive, so the chemistry isn’t so important. But I am assuming that B permits emotionally compatibility (like BFFs + life goals are shared). Otherwise, if it’s just $, then I guess I would make up a C.1 and choose that.

      E & F (sorry, cheated)

    • B (though I’m not entirely sold) — at least until my student loans are paid off.
      D (especially if I have B….I’m gaming the system)
      E — but I don’t really believe you can only wear statement pieces occasionally so…

    • LadyEnginerd :

      B, if there’s room to grow. I don’t do well with uncertainty.
      C/D depends on what you mean by “chemistry.” If chemistry means we’re compatible and willing to sacrifice for each other, we will make do without the money, so D. But to me, people talking about “amazing chemistry” always seems to mean high highs and low lows (I usually think of volatile artist-types) instead of “spark.” I prefer warm glow to rollercoaster, so if C allows for that, I’ll go with that option.
      F, because I should buy a few basics to go with my engagement ring before I buy more statement pieces.

    • Midwest CPA :

      A: My husband has B, so I have to have flexibility to handle the kids and their illnesses, ball games, appointments, etc.

      D: If you have chemistry and are willing to work together, you can get through financial instability.

      F: If I had to choose one, I would want something I could wear with almost anything.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      B: a job with little/no flexibility but a stable paycheck
      I’m an ant, not a grasshopper; I don’t deal well with financial uncertainty. Plus, I grew up poor, and that sucked, so I’d like as many mitigants against poverty as possible.

      D: a relationship with lots of chemistry that isn’t always financially stable
      If I can’t have chemistry, I’d rather be alone. Being in a relationship with someone who I have no chemistry for would be like being at work all day, no downtime, with some pleasant but dull co-worker. It’d feel like a millstone around my neck and I’d grow resentful as heck.

      I’m totally OK with both (1) being the breadwinner and (2) being with someone who has an unstable paycheck. The caveat to (2), though is, he MUST be financially responsible. If he’s a spendthrift, then I don’t care how much money he makes, that’s a huge philosophical difference and one incompatible to the long-term relationship with me.

      E: a great piece of jewelry that is a “statement piece” you can only really wear every so often
      The alternative would bore me.

    • I have B because my husband has A

      I have D already and wouldn’t trade

      F – I lack high quality basics in my jewelry collection

    • Anon for this :

      I currently have A, C, and F. Working to get B because I like consistency and stability.

    • B: I’ve been a freelancer for about a year now and do not like it. I cannot keep regular hours and habits on my own, and my health has been suffering for it.

      C/D: Pass. Never been in a serious relationship.

      F: I have enough “fun” jewellery, it´s time to start investing in some classic pieces.

    • I have a stable job with lots of flexibility.

      Chemistry is too important. I have money. Let’s get me a househusband.

      Statement jewelry ALL THE WAY. This site convinced me to buy “classic” pieces. Which I never wear (reminder, give all boring pieces to the sister). I wear statement jewelry all the time. I’d even wear the wedding jewelry my parents got me if they hadn’t locked it up.

    • I do B so that i can afford to do D

      And i B so much that i can do E and F both, at the same time. ALL THE JEWELRIES, people.

    • B, no question. I’ve done both and hope to never do A, again. EVER, for Susan’s reasons.

      D. I’ve done C, but with average financial stability.

      F. I have lots of E, but I need more EFF!

  13. Almost There :

    I have been pondering this question for a while –

    We are all familiar with the minimize-your-closet movements and some of us have taken steps to declutter/minimize our wardrobes.

    Is anyone willing to make the other-side-of-the-coin argument – why _don’t_ you want to participate in minimizing? I’m only referring to your clothes, not the idea of decluttering your house/life as a larger whole.

    • e_pontellier :

      I’ll play! I am absolutely NOT interested in minimizing my clothes because I grew up being taught that you only needed 5 shirts, one or two pairs of pants, and pjs. No dresses or skirts unless you could wear them to church. So for me, having more than those few articles of clothing is really exciting. Now, most of my friends come over and see my 16″ wide (NYC) closet and exclaim, “YOU HAVE NO CLOTHES!” Maybe I’m not your target audience for this inquiry, but I’m definitely not partaking in the minimize-your-closet movement.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Me me me! I like my stuff. I like having it around me, filling my shelves. My weight is variable, so I like having clothes in lots of sizes. My large quantity of clothing fits in my apt just fine, causes me no stress, so I don’t see a reason to minimize. And even if I only wear my brown college interview sweater once a year, I like it on that day.

    • Here’s my try for the flip-side argument.

      1. Some people find joy in shopping (and buying) new clothes.
      2. Some people have room in their closet/house for all those clothes, accessories, jewelry, shoes, etc.
      3. Some people still have that grandma guilt “What if so-and-so has already seen this outfit?”
      4. Buying trendy clothes/accessories helps business
      5. Some people have trouble staying one clothing size, so having a large closet in various sizes is a necessity
      6. Some people get depressed wearing the same thing all the time.
      7. Some people don’t wash or go to the dry cleaners very often (for scheduling reasons or by choice). If they sweat a lot or are clumsy, the clothes need to be cleaned after every wearing. That means more clothes.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      I need separate work and play clothes. I’d do a project 666 (6 months, 66 garments, and clearly one demon) to have two wardrobes for work (pants, closed-toe shoes) and play (skirts and dresses to feel feminine after work), but it would be too soul-crushing to have to limit my clothes to things I could conceivably wear to work. But then again, I really am not the target audience for this stuff.

    • Socksberg :

      I’m not decluttering my wardrobe because I feel like I’m still building it! I lived out of a suitcase for years, so I’m still indulging in the ability to buy clothing and not have to leave it behind if I need to move on.

    • My heirs will donate my carefully curated, museum-worthy wardrobe to the Met once I’m dead and gone. Why would I want to deprive them of the glowing satisfaction their artistic and civic-minded patronage will provide?

    • Meg Murry :

      I don’t because I don’t care to take the time to, and I’m really bad about hanging on to things “just in case I need them”. I have started “donate” and “rags” boxes in the bottom of my closet though, for items of clothing that I put on in the morning and then take off because I don’t like them or because they are too worn out. I also have a box for “too small” – when that box gets full I date it, and put it away to go through a year or two later, and anything that’s not extremely “classic” gets donated. I learned this one the hard way after keeping a bunch of my “skinny” clothes because I liked them, and it took me 3-5 years to lose the weight to fit in them again. Once they fit again, I didn’t like them anymore because they were too dated, so I wound up donating them. I’ve decided to keep my really classic “investment” pants, but everything else is getting donated – if I can lose the weight again I deserve a new wardrobe!

    • I’ve got one!
      I hate my job. But I love my work wardrobe (as a self imposed rule during law school I was only allowed to buy clothes if it was something I could wear out and wear to work, so most of my closet is work clothes.) Being able to put together outfits that I love, and that make me feel good during the day, is something I would rather not minimize!
      Reason number two…it’s all just too cute?

      • Good rule! I find that I too often buy suits that are on sale that I don’t love and would never wear outside of work, just to have something to wear. But I don’t feel good wearing them! I’m trying to change that, and substitute quality for quantity, but it sure is difficult.

      • Almost exactly this. Plus I truly do enjoy the shopping, buying, wearing, and putting outfits together. I cull for fit and quality issues frequently, but am not a minimalist, certainly.

    • Research, Not Law :

      My closet already looks like I minimized. I don’t accumulate by nature.

      I do have a modest wardrobe in a couple of sizes, plus maternity clothes. I have the non-current sized clothing stored in the attic, so I don’t count it. I don’t want to get rid of it until I’m done having children.

    • I have minimized some of my wardrobe, but still keep a pretty full closet. I recently lost a lot of weight and many of my clothes became unwearable, and I’ve redone my work wardrobe to be more streamlined and minimal. My (pretty large) fun wardrobe is kind of antithetical to the clothing minimalism guidelines I’ve seen – full of prints, colors, and my valuable and precious vintage collection. I do have several guidelines to keep everything manageable:
      - Wear EVERY item at least once during a 6 month period.
      - I shop a lot, but I do it at places like Buffalo Exchange where I can sell clothes I’m tired of/don’t wear a lot. That, or I donate.
      - When I thrift shop, which I do often, I enter the store with a loose vision of what I’m looking for. I have a wish list of clothes and try to stick to it. I also have gotten much more strict about what I purchase, and it must either be something from the aforementioned wish list, pristine vintage, or an insane designer steal. This has helped me overcome the problem college-age me had where I would buy everything I remotely liked.
      - When I want to buy something new, I must think of at least three different ways to wear it before I can purchase it.
      - My work, exercise, and pajama wardrobes have become commensurately smaller to compensate for my larger street wardrobe.
      - I wear tights every day, and instead of hoarding old, slightly sad pairs like I used to with the noble intentions of doubling them up (for non-work wear), I toss them when unsalvageable and have started purchasing higher quality hosiery.

    • I don’t minimize for three reasons:

      (1) I find it a depressingly boring way to dress. I simply do NOT want to own/wear that few combinations of clothes and a very limited range of colors. I like to spice it up more then that.

      (2) I have a medical condition that can cause me to gain and lose weight at unpredictable intervals. If I cleared out everything in my closet that I hadn’t worn in six months or whatever, I would probably get rid of everything that constitutes my “sick” wardrobe or my “healthy but not exercising at all” wardrobe (actually, that’s something of an issue right now…but that’s another story).

      (3) Sometimes, I don’t wear things for quite awhile and then rediscover them. Like last week, I rediscovered a plum colored turtleneck sweater I hadn’t worn in probably a year or two (?) and realized it was (a) precisely on trend right now and (b) that my office is officially cold enough to justify it. So I was happy that I had never gotten rid of it.

      So…those are my main reasons. Otherwise, I’m lazy. And I like my clothes. But I do occasionally give stuff away or donate stuff. I’m not a complete hoarder.

    • I certainly need to do some minimizing (i.e., admit I don’t fit into half my clothes and get rid of them), but one of my biggest problems is that I have trouble finding the time to make regular trips to the dry cleaner since their business hours are shorter than my work day at both ends. I need enough clothes to stretch between visits. This is probably a terrible justification for not minimizing my wardrobe, however.

    • Kontraktor :

      I think the one of the biggest reasons to have multiple clothing options is to reduce the amount of wear and tear. Sometimes I get happy that I don’t really have all that many pairs of shoes, but then I start freaking out about what will happen when my ONE pair of perect plain black heels dies and realize I should probably be on the look out for deals on other pairs. Another example- right when I moved to DC, I probably had 3 pairs of work pants. Wasn’t going to work, given how frequently I wanted to wear them during the cold weather. Had I rotated only through 3 pairs of pants for the winter, yikes- between dirt, wear/tear and dry cleaning, they probably wouldn’t have lasted long, so I made it a point to buy 3 or 4 new pairs.

      I think another reason is public variety. I may be in the minority with this view, but sometimes I think you can tell when people don’t have a lot of clothes, and sometimes it can be kind of strange. One person at a former job rotated her clothes so often that it really looked like she only had a handful of outfits, and she did it so often that a lot of people noticed she was always wearing the same things. It just made me wonder why she wasn’t willing to invest a bit more in her professional wardrobe (especially since you could tell the clothes were not high quality) or what was going on that she only had a few shirts/a couple of particular dresses/etc.

      But, in general I am not necessarily a fan of having all the things, nor minimizing per se, but rather targeted wardrobe building where buying things has a purpose and where one thing can be utilized in many different ways.

    • Former minimalist :

      I’ve been there and back on the minimalist thing. Mind you, I didn’t have a lot of stuff to begin with (ADD and clutter don’t mix well), but ended up with much less anyway. And realized that 1/ my house felt cold, sad and uninviting and 2/ I just didn’t have any fun in getting dressed every morning . I really love clothes, so this was a big red flag for me. I also realized that I got head over heels into minimalism because I wanted to get rid of my current lifestyle – it was actually the idea that I could pack and leave tomorrow that made the thing so appealing.

      Anyway, I didn’t change my lifestyle dramatically but admitted that I’ve gone too far (for me). However, I don’t regret anything I’ve donated/sold/trashed because theywere truly things I didn’t want anymore – clothes included. And now, I shop, but in a much more conscious way : I have to fall – and stay – in love with the thing before buying it. I also don’t think twice about donating or selling things that I don’t love, even gifts. Minimalism made me very picky and it was a useful experience anyway.

      So now, no more minimalist wardrobe anyway.

    • ambrrozhia :

      Quasi minimalist here. I take comfort in having fewer choices. I did a seasonal color analysis and realized that brown is my best base color so I ditched all the dreary greys and vampire-esque blacks that made me look like I just climbed out of a coffin. I do have a notable collection of quality statement jewelry to jazz up my sparse wardrobe. My small closet is spacious and airy. I wasn’t always this way. I just got overwhelmed. Minimalist is great if you are lazy like me.

    • I’ve been puzzling over this myself and I’ve come to some conclusions:

      1. I should get rid of clothes I’m keeping out of laziness. I have some clothes hanging in my closet right now that I actively dislike. I have no intention of wearing them ever again but there they hang because I can’t be bothered to donate or consign them?
      2. Some things I’m not ready to part with yet. I tore my arch this summer and have been wearing only flat shoes since then. I have some beeyootiful heels still in my closet because I want to wear them again, even if it takes a full year to rehab my foot to wear I can comfortably wear them. Every piece of decluttering advice tells me to get rid of them if I don’t wear them for 6 months but that’s not realistic and I’d be sad if I got rid of them.
      3. Sometimes a little bit of everything is a good thing. I work in an office, play in sports leagues throughout the year, go hiking, do yoga, etc. Some clothes have a very specific purpose and I don’t like running in yoga pants nor do I like doing yoga in athletic shorts. I don’t need 100 pairs of each but I also won’t exercise if I’m not comfortable in my exercise clothes. Same goes for hiking boots and tennis shoes. Not interchangeable at all.

      I think minimalism is impractical for me because I’m in a better head-space if I feel like I have a robust enough wardrobe to accommodate whatever activities crop up.

  14. lucy stone :

    My husband studied in London during college and lived off the Ealing Broadway stop. Does anyone know where I could buy a reproduction sign for this stop? I can’t find one anywhere that is less than 700 pounds which is way more than I am looking to spend.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Can you commission a local art student to do it for you?

      Spec out what you want, tell them how much you’re willing to pay, see if there are any takers?

    • Are you sure? The Olympics has led to a recommissioning of tons of London themed stuff. I’d look around a bit more.

  15. Styling question, I recently bought a suit from Banana Republic, it’s kind of a subtle bird’s eye pattern of navy and black. I’ve been wearing it with a black shirt and black shoes, but I think that’s too dark, and am looking for suggestions. Besides white, what color would you pair with this? Could I still wear black shoes if I branch out into colors on the shirt? It actually looks more like navy unless you get up close. Thanks for any suggestions.

    • How about a jewel toned blouse? Ann Taylor has a ton of things right now in teal, royal blue, and purple. Any of those would work and you could definitely still wear black shoes.

    • I’m wearing that suit today! My top is a blue and green and teal watercolour-y print, and it looks amazing. I am wearing black shoes, and I think they’re ok. I can’t figure out what other colour would work except for maybe purple or burgundy (though I *am* considering my fire-engine-red Fluevog boots…)

      I was also thinking it would work with a dusty rose top, or even a dark red. It would definitely work with purple, and probably with teal as well.

  16. Somebody kick me in the butt to be productive. I have an article I have to finish before Thanksgiving and am like 40% done. I have all the time I need right now (and wont in a month), I just don’t want to. I tried bribing myself but it’s just not working. It’s actually important I just can’t make myself do it.

    • *takes three steps back*

      *braces to perform public service*

      *PUNT!*

      Push yourself to do it- these things always take longer than you think. That’s a great accomplishment, though, congrats!

    • This is a totally random suggestion, but I find that this time of year, when I put chistmas music on my pandora, my productivity rate increases by an average of 85.3506%. That’s just an average estimate, though.

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      Do you want to commit to posting every Monday how much progress you have made and what your goal is for next week? Sometimes public accountability helps me.

    • Future Lola will be so happy that Current Lola got her a** in gear. I am totally guilty of this – “oh, I don’t have much to do today and tomorrow, I’ll just stop here” and then tomorrow, a fire drill comes up and all of a sudden I have too much to do and am stressed about dropping the ball. Save Future Lola!

  17. In The Pink :

    Any recommendations for rose gold tone (not the real stuff) earrings? I am looking for hoops or studs with drops…oooh, pearls would be fab.

    With ALL of the rose gold watches out there,took me forever to find a loose/limp bracelet (Thanks H.Bendel … I type and write all day long).

    So now, earrings? Would want to spend <$100 as this is just a way to change up some outfits (using with red and purple outfits) … to be modern, yet will never replace my love and cache of all sterling silver.

    Thanks all!

  18. Wedding planning threadjack/vent.

    I’m kind of going nuts.

    I went wedding dress shopping recently, with an entourage of my mom, future mother-in-law, and bridesmaids. I’ve had a vision of what I’d like, but of course, the only wedding dress shop in my town doesn’t have anything that fit my vision in my price range. So we looked at a bunch of strapless A-line dresses. Some were better than others. I don’t feel crazy about any of them. Honestly, it weirds me out that I’m even in wedding dresses.

    My mom and future MIL love the idea of a veil, and I kind of hate it. I’ve been thinking of wearing one of those “birdcage”/netting/vintage-style hats, but I’m kind of seeing them everywhere now and so I kind of want to be a little different now.

    I’ve been reading A Practical Wedding like crazy. But no one ever tells you what to do if your groom is incredibly romantic and you’re not. It seems like everyone else’s weddings are so characteristic of the couple… but my vision for the wedding and my fiance’s are very different. I want cheap and simple. He wants crazy frilly and romantic. (But somehow doesn’t realize that flowers and decor are part of that.)

    Ok, I just needed to get some of that out. Thanks. :)

    • If you want help wedding dress shopping or otherwise — let me know. I enjoy on-line shopping tremendously. Also etsy is priceless for fun and different wedding decor.

      As for the “different” visions of the wedding — I think its fun to sit down with the hubs and just look at pictures and try to come to some sort of middle ground. There are definitely ways to do simple AND romantic.

      And for wedding dress shopping, I think that one of Randy’s 5 top rules for brides is to keep the entourage SMALL when wedding dress shopping. Too many opinions spoils the pot. Yes — going with all the people and having some sort of lovely moment when you all cry sounds great, but it may not be in the cards. Instead, maybe research a few stores in the area that have “different” dresses — maybe places that do vintage inspired looks or carry unusual designers and go yourself or with one friend who understands your vision. Then, when you’ve decided what you want or have it narrowed down to a couple, bring the entourage and present it as a fait accomplis. And tell them in advance. :-) And if you like the little netting veil idea but don’t want to do that, I’ve been seeing cute fascinator type things all over pinterest that are a similar look but not exactly the same. Maybe check out those?

    • karenpadi :

      Never been married but I have been a bridesmaid a few times. Can you go wedding dress shopping with just one or two people? With so many people, it just sounds like you and the dresses are under way too much pressure.

      When my mom (still in a small town) remarried, she and I couldn’t shop for her dress together even though I was her only maid of honor/bridesmaid. It just wasn’t going to happen. After trying to shop with a group of her friends, she ended up choosing one friend for dress shopping. They actually took a few trips to bigger cities with more options.

      • Where did they go? My older sister is shopping for a wedding dress (she’s late 50′s) and not finding much in our mid-size city. I think we should head to Dallas, which is the closest “big” city, but not sure what stores to go to. She has an appointment at a local bridal shop this Friday, and I’m going with her, but not real hopeful about the selection for “mature” brides. With all the aging baby boomers, someone should start a bridal shop that specializes in older brides. All the dresses would have sleeves.

        • Research, Not Law :

          Try mother of the bride dresses.

        • Kontraktor :

          I needed a sleeved dress for religious purposes and it was pretty much impossible to find anything when I was shopping in brick and mortar stores. I lucked out with a (truly random) option that popped up in a random local store I went to, but had I not found anything, I was going to head to stores (mostly online) specializing in Mormon and/or Orthodox Jewish brides. There are tons of LDS bridal gown web sites out there if your sister wanted to look through those for sleeved options.

          • What happened to sleeves anyway? Back in the day (Gosh I feel old), when I bought my dress 20 years ago, most wedding dresses had sleeves. I know styles change, but goodness, it’s like someone outlawed sleeves on wedding dresses.

          • I also needed a sleeved dress for religious purposes, and I bought mine from Dolly Couture. (this one: http://dollycouture.com/collection/pink-label/beverlywood-vintage-wedding-dress.html)

            I was able to have it custom made through them: Longer sleeves, lace to fill in the neckline and custom sized. I loved my dress! They have other options, but they are more vintage styles.

          • Sleeves disappeared because they were expensive. It’s easier to alter a dress without sleeves, and less expensive not to have to put them in in the first place.

          • When I got married the first time 14 years ago , lots of sleeves. The second time, last year, no sleeves anywhere.

            I feel the same way about day dresses, though, like for work> Where the heck are all the sleeves?

        • karenpadi :

          My mom is in Northern Wisconsin, so she ended up in Green Bay/Appleton, Madison, Milwaukee, and the Twin Cities.

          As an older bride, she ended up not getting a traditional wedding dress. It was more of a c-tail dress. I think she finally found her dress at a department store (I want to say it was a Younkers…?).

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I feel like I’m basically a professional bridesmaid at this point and totally agree with this. I’ve been dress shopping with a bunch of different brides and it was definitely easier with the smaller group. Once it was actually just me and the bride’s mother and I wasn’t even a bridesmaid. I think I’m included because I’m pretty upfront about what I think looks good or not.

        I’d also suggest going without that one person or family member who is too pushy or who you feel like you might submit to their vision of what is right for you. I think many people have someone like that in their life and I think that is what leads to feeling a twinge of regret about what you chose to go with (dress or otherwise) because it feels right in the moment but when you stop and think about it later you realize your head was clouded and you were more influenced by that person that you realized at the time.

        As for your fiancé, have you sat down to look at pictures of things together? Totally unrelated, but my boyfriend and I are redecorating our apartment right now and we have different styles to begin with but we also have different things that are important to us or see the same object in completely different ways. An example is couch pillows. I’m trying to find a combination of colors, textures, and patterns to pull together a bunch of mismatched objects in our living room. We talked about it and came to a decision that we would get a solid orange textured pillow, a patterned pillow that is in the colors of some of the items in the room but in a similar pattern as the others, and then a third pillow that is extremely neutral. That was all good until I showed him the orange pillow I picked out. What I considered “texture” he sees as a shape that doesn’t match anything even though the pillow is square just like the other ones. I know thathe sees the world with a view towards the shapes of things while I see the world with a view towards the color and patterns and I don’t necessarily notice the shapes that he sees and vice versa. My point is that what he might mean by “romantic” or “frilly” even if he points to pictures of things he likes and calls them that is that you might be misinterpreting him or the other way around. He might thing thathe color is what makes something romantic while you think that the over the top details of something are the romantic part. If it is something that you can agree on (color in my example) and take out the extraneous elements that you dnt like (the crazy details) then maybe you could find common ground. Or I could be losing my mind from becoming overly familiar with all the pillows in all the home decor stores on all of the Internet.

        • It definitely helps to hear what others have experienced. I really liked having the entourage, but I learned during the experience how each reacted to my dresses, and whether that was helpful or not. I’m really close to my mom, but lord help me, she wasn’t all that helpful. Her tastes and mine are not the same.

          Fascinators and flowers in my updo sound much nicer than a veil. I think I might stick to my guns on that one, even though my MIL was pretty sure my fiance would love a veil (and I think she’s right).

          Part of the problem is that I don’t really like the wedding magazines (so overwhelming! and so much stuff to make you buy! because you should feel bad about this or that!), so I only looked through one. Apparently lace was really in that month, because all my picks to give to the saleswoman had lace, even though I don’t really like lace that much. She didn’t quite get that I was picking the dresses for the shape, not the texture. So I tried on a few lace dresses, and the entourage went crazy and loved them.

          Writing this, I realize that I kind of let it get out of hand by not being clear about what I want. I guess I feel so much pressure in a wedding to do what everyone else wants. I am normally so comfortable bossing people around and being assertive. Wedding planning has turned everything upside-down.

          Here’s the issue with “romance”: My fiance loves me, and absolutely loves to express that affection with items and objects, rather than with words/poetry/music/other ways. He loves getting me flowers and presents. He loves cooking for me. One of our first dates included homemade dessert after a restaurant dinner. He loves horse and carriage rides. His proposal was kind of over-the-top.

          In prior relationships, I’ve only had experience with romantic gestures that were empty, like as apologies for things, or because the guy thought he should do them. With my fiance, they are actually expressions of his great love. But I still have a hard time seeing them that way. I almost don’t want as much romance, because I expect it to be empty, and that’s almost even worse than simplicity without the illusion of romance. Like I’ve turned off my romance-accepting brain.

          I really like the idea of my fiance doing most of the planning. But I really should involve myself more. We should be doing this as a team. I’m almost abdicating by letting him take it over.

          Thanks for all the help, ladies. It really makes me feel better to talk this through with people who aren’t involved.

    • I refused to wear any kind of veil when I got married, and just did a fresh flower comb thing in my hair. It’s your wedding, you don’t have to wear a veil if you don’t want to.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Me too. No veil. I was going to be like the bride in Sixteen Candles with a veil. And I’m not vintagey, so a birdcage veil was not going to work on me. I had a flower in updo.

        Talk to your fiance. What makes something “romantic” to him? What about “frilly?” I bet there’s a significant overlap in the Venn diagram between your simple and cheap and his romantic and frilly. In that overlap is what is characteristic of the couple. For example, candles are cheap and simple, and I think they are romantic. Maybe put them in hurricane vases with something he thinks is frilly either in the hurricane (shells? feathers? I’m not sure what frilly means) or underneath (like a box wrapped in lace and tied with satin ribbon a la a present). Also, I wonder if any of your “simple and cheap” are because you don’t like being the center of attention (simple and cheap means over faster and stop looking at me sooner), or have negative associations with weddings (cousin Susie’s wedding cost a fortune and wasn’t all that great), you object to the Wedding Industrial Complex on principle (hi, me), and/or you are conflicted about what it means to become A Wife (hi, me). Maybe he wants “frilly” and “romantic” because he is besotted with you and wants everyone to know it, which to him means Grand Gestures because he’s been reading too many Nicholas Sparks books. I don’t know. ASK HIM :).

        And yeah, don’t go dress shopping with an entourage. Take a trusted and very honest friend to a store or two to figure out what style(s) you want, and maybe you’ll find a dress you love. If needed, remember the style(s), take mother and/or MIL (no bridal party) to salon again, be very specific with the consultant about the style(s) you are interested in (bring in notes and/or pictures), and maintain control of your appointment.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Once I got the ceremonial mothers, sisters, friends shopping trip out of the way, I went dress shopping solo. Whew, it felt good. I cut it down to two and had my mom come for input.

      I hear you about the groom wanting to do more. Because of my husband, we wrote our own vows, had a live band, full dinner, tux and ball gown affair. The worst part was his family referring to our ‘foo foo’ wedding when it was HIM who wanted it. I recommend reviewing options with him, reminding him what decisions mean for the budget, day’s schedule, and related items. I found my husband would just grab at things he liked without really considering all the dominos. I also recommend doing it with him and having a better wedding for it. There will be lots of times in your marriage when you’ll have a different vision. It’s important to let your differences lead to the best outcomes.

    • Kontraktor :

      If it makes you feel any better, at least you had an entourage. I tried to go dress shopping with my mother, and it was horrible/she acted like I was asking her to kill a puppy or something. My BMs were geographically dispersed and didn’t care to go with me when I was in town and asked them. So… I ended up dress shopping with my (now) husband, who was also there when I bought my dress. It was fine (and utilitarian), but I admit it was (still is?) a bit sad to think how nobody wanted to go with me.

      But in general, probably a smaller group of people is better if more makes you feel pressured. Search for dresses online if you can’t find anything in person. etsy is great, as is preownedweddingdresses dot com. there are tons of other sites as well to look. I think David’s Bridal has online ordering too, and there are places like J Crew/Anthropologie/Nordy’s that have less formal wedding dress options to chose from as well.

      To your point of wanting different things, just try having some heart to hearts with your fiance and letting him know what things you think will make you really happy. And then try to look at things together to find things that are a compromise between your tastes. Make it a fun thing for both of you! It doesn’t have to be either you or him planning :-) Maybe get a pizza one night and bust out the laptops and dedicate the time to doing some searches together for the types of things you want.

      • That sucks, I would have gone with you. I’m totally hooked on Say Yes to the Dress, and dying to go wedding dress shopping. I’m 52, divorced with one son, and my chances of ever getting to go shopping for wedding dresses again are looking pretty slim.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        That sucks, kontraktor. I didn’t get that made-for-tv moment either. I knew my mother would misbehave, so I did not invite her to participate in wedding dress shopping. Alienating me has consequences, mom. So, I took a trusted and honest friend (no bridal party for me), figured out what I liked, and then found my dress used online for 2/3 the price. Win!

      • Going dress shopping with just my mom was painful for me. She was completely irrational. She refused to entertain the idea that my MIL should be invited to go dress shopping with me (like literally AT ALL – even if it took me 100 trips to find a dress, my MIL was not allowed to be invited), she also didn’t want me to go dress shopping without her, ever. In the store she would make comments about how a particular dress that I was wearing “emphasized my stomach.” Mom, are you calling me fat? And what if I love my fat stomach?!

        I bought a dress in the first store we went into – and I did like it a lot – but I really REALLY wish I had gone without my mom. I hated my dress shopping experience.

        • I went shopping with my mom and my sister and to give you some perspective, I’m 5’8″ and a size 12. It seemed like all the sample dresses were a size 6 so of course my mom started talking about how my aunt lost all this weight because she started taking something and did I know what she took? I looked her dead in the eye and said “Crack?” The bridal consultant had to excuse herself because she and my sister apparently locked eyes and couldn’t keep straight faces. I love my mom, she makes me crazy and was not helpful at all. But I’ve got some great stories from shopping with her.

          My advice is to go to The Knot or some other website where you can look at a bunch of different dresses and get a feel for the common attributes the ones you like share. Then you can know how to explain what you want (a-line, minimal bling, straps, whatever) to whoever is helping you. I think the same thing can be said for any part of your wedding. My husband needed a lot of visual aids for our planning and it was much easier to look at pictures together and decide what we liked and didn’t like rather than try to talk about it in theory.

          • The problem is that I am totally overwhelmed by all the wedding pictures, blogs, magazines, Pinterest boards, etc. Having someone else weed through all the wedding industry stuff and pick me out about 5 choices is way easier than doing it myself. (Also, I’m busy running a law practice. When do people find the time to do things like this?)

      • Awww…why didn’t I meet you before you moved????!

    • Merabella :

      This happened to me. My husband was the traditionalist, I was the spendthrift. I bought my dress on-line, it was from a bargain discount online store, and I LOVED it. It was exactly what I wanted and in the price range I wanted, and it made me feel less guilty about having it tailored to the max. I didn’t wear a veil. I toyed with the birdcage thing too, but I decided I really just didn’t want anything in my face. Do what you want here and tell everyone else to bugger off.

      As for your soon-to-be-husband. I think sometimes they have an idea of what they want, but don’t really know it until they see it. Try showing him pictures of settings you like, and have him choose from those. Maybe you can find some compromises here.

    • I recently got married. My number one piece of advice would be to only ask for someone’s opinion on something if you would factor it into the actual decision. I’ve been a bridesmaid where I felt like the bride dragged so many of us into a decision-making process, and then ignored everyone’s advice/opinions and it was incredibly frustrating, mostly because we were all forced to get the emails and spend the time on it, for nothing. (For example, some resentment crept in when a bride had us spend three weekends trying on bridesmaids dresses, trying to find ones we liked, she liked, her mom and MIL liked etc., only to have her choose a dress that nobody gave their opinion on. No problem, I’m 100% happy to wear whatever, but my THREE weekends were for nothing!)

      So, I only went dress shopping with my mom. If I loved a dress and she hated it, I don’t think I’d be happy wearing it down the aisle. Her opinion mattered too much to me. Nobody else’s opinion would have mattered enough to sway my opinion, so I didn’t ask.

      I think you’ll also find that people are much more enthusiastic and positive if you are sharing decisions that have been made rather than asking for opinions on open issues. While you’re dress shopping someone might be willing to say ew it’s ugly. If you say this is my dress, nobody will openly have that reaction.

  19. Different wedding TJ: Going to BILs wedding in a week and half and have no one to go dress shopping with (except MiL, but let’s just say our tastes aren’t exactly compatible). I was going to just wear whatever is lying around, but H just suggested I splurge a little, and I certainly can’t pass up that opportunity! I want to look awesome because there will be a lot of pictures. Since H and I eloped 9 months ago, these will be the first/only family photos that I’m in and they’ll be going on the walls.

    Also, I think I can do my own hair, but I’m clueless regarding make up. Suggestions for becoming photo-perfect? (All I own is some tinted moisturizer and both naked pallets, and I have some really bad red splotches that this regime definitely does not cover).

    • Research, Not Law :

      Wedding location, time, dress code, style?

      I would get your make up done professionally. It really pays off in photos and will likely cost about the same as getting the products to do your own. You can do it at a cosmetic counter, where it’s usually free with a product purchase, but I find it to be hit or miss and prefer to pay for the service. If that’s not possible or not appealing, then I would go to a counter this weekend to get instruction and products, then practice over the week. There are helpful tutorials on youtube, too.

      • Outside wedding, afternoon/evening with a hotel reception. I actually don’t know what the dress code is, but I get the feeling it’s pretty traditional. We’ll also be in the desert, so it won’t be any too cold. My MIL really wants me to get a dress at david’s bridal..

        I would love to get my make up done professionally, but I wouldn’t know where to go. I know we have a sephora and a MAC here somewhere, but not nordstroms and otherwise pretty empty malls. I think I could definitely go and see if I can get some tutorials this weekend. If I’m still not comfortable maybe they could recommend a place for me to go the day of?

    • e_pontellier :

      I think someone recently suggested having your makeup done at a counter in a department store, to learn how to apply what you need and possibly purchase lipstick or something. Not sure how you’d feel about that, or if it would be a morning-of option for you.

    • In The Pink :

      Recommended to me by NOrdie’s DIor and Kiehl’s staff was the “photo perfect” tube of primer by Smashbox, the purple one, if that’s important. Also, Dior’s lash primer and Smashbox totally wow mascara. I was in front of a large crowd recently, and I could tell it made a difference in the photos.

      Have a great time!

      • Thanks for the recommendations! I think I’ve heard of Smashbox’s photo finish before. I will definitely look into it. I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as lash primer. I’ll have to look into that too — maybe that’s why I always feel like mascara never works the way I want it to.

        There’s probably been a million concealer discussions, so I’ll do a search, but does anyone have recommendations for those of use who are really pale and get rosacea-like breakouts, but that won’t look like pancake batter?

    • Your MIL wants you to get something at David’s Bridal for your BIL’s wedding? I’d just get something on sale at Nordstrom and call it good. (Or even a consignment shop.)

      I highly recommend the makeup counter at Nordstrom or Macy’s or another department store for a one-shot makeup application. It’s often free, even if you don’t buy a product. I got it done at the MAC counter at Nordstrom for my work/professional pictures photo shoot, and it worked great. If you’re going to be in lots of photos, make sure to have a “full face” – foundation, concealer, mascara, blush, eye liner, eye shadow, lipstick, and powder over top.

    • If you submit a question with some general ideas about what you want in a dress (and price range) I LURVE dress shopping. Like a lot. Size parameters help too.

      Also, getting your make up done professionally is fun and kind of worth it IMO. Hair is also fun — though you can also find pretty good on-line videos about how to do a pretty fun and simple up-do yourself. But my best advice on the make-up for pictures is, if you’re doing it yourself, is to touch it up right before the group pictures. :-)

  20. e_pontellier :

    Given the recent discussions about having babies, I am very curious as to what everyone thinks about this article: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/03/the-most-scientific-birth-is-often-the-least-technological-birth/254420/

    • Research, Not Law :

      Well pin a rose on her nose.

      I am an epidemiologist who has had two unmedicated births, but I hate this cr@p.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        I agree. I feel she oversteps from description of best practices to self-congratulatory because she “won” at pregnancy and childbirth.

        • Meg Murry :

          Yup. Best for her does not equal best for everyone. I wish I could have had less medical intervention in my births, but my children would have died with less interventions. No exaggerations. Its easy to say less interventions result in less complications, but I’ll take more complications if it means less deaths.
          I do agree that having a doula would make a lot of women’s births easier on them though. My mother was with me during my births and it was really nice to have someone there who had a clue and was looking out for my best interests. My husband was supportive and all, but 8 hours of childbirth class does not equal someone who’s actually been through it before.
          And I hate the “gave birth like our great grandmothers did” argument. May women of that generation DIED during birth. No homebirth for me, no thank you.

          • My son and I both would have died without medical intervention. (I hemorrhaged.) So yeah. It’s great to have less intervention/home birth/whatever when it’s great. When it’s not great, well, there’s reasons why maternal mortality has declined in the last 200 years. My doctor actually said, in reference to the “Well, 150 years ago women gave birth without any medication!” , “Yeah, and we did limb amputations with nothing but whiskey. Did you want to try that, too?” lol

    • Smug.

    • e_pontellier :

      Awesome. I was pretty jarred by how flip she seemed, and how extremely lucky it is that she had lovely pregnancies. Thanks ladies!

    • Just give me an epidural and tell me when it’s time to push. This was my approach with both my kids and I have absolutely no regrets. It’s not a competition, and I still got my prize at the end.

  21. Can anyone recommend a good laser hair removal place in Chicago? Lincoln Park or the Loop area would be ideal.

  22. karenpadi :

    Well, you gals are awesome. I’m having some Turkey Day drama with my mom and I thought about posting. Then I heard all of your lovely voices in my head telling me “just confront her already! It’s your kitchen!”

    So I spoke to my mom in a measured way that y’all would be proud of (and would have told me to do anyway). So we have no hurt feelings and my authority over my kitchen is established. Yay! Turkey Day is saved!

  23. This is pretty late, but I’ll give it a shot – I’m looking for a large carry-everything kind of bag, for work. Ideally, it would fit my gym stuff (I can usually squeeze all of it, including shoes, into a shoe bag), maybe a stack of papers 1 – 2 inches thick, ipad/thin laptop, wallet, and other miscellaneous small items that would usually go into a handbag.

    My dream bag is the Tod’s Miky Bauletto (either medium or large) – link to follow in another comment – but I’m wondering if I can find anything else at a similar shape / size at a lower price point.

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