Tuesday’s TPS Report: ‘Gretchen’ Cowl Neck Crepe Sheath Dress

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

Black Halo 'Gretchen' Cowl Neck Crepe Sheath DressBlack Halo has been around for years, but I haven’t noticed this sheath dress in their lineup before — love that cowl neck, the cap sleeves, and the ladylike length. The cowl neck, in particular, looks gorgeous — it’s not so cowl-y or low to be fussy, but it’s a different feature than I’ve seen on most sheath dresses. Nordstrom has it in “sangria” red, pictured, for $345, while Revolve Clothing has it in bright yellow for $242 (limited sizes only). Black Halo ‘Gretchen’ Cowl Neck Crepe Sheath Dress

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  1. Ladies, am I crazy for considering a coat with a giant bow?


    With the markdown + sale, it’s finally in my price range. As much as I adore the pink, I’m considering the camel. Does that tone it down? Or is it still way too girly? I’m in my 20s fwiw.

    • Ladies, am I crazy for considering a coat with a giant bow?

      (Link removed for moderation – it’s the JCrew bow coat)

      With the markdown + sale, it’s finally in my price range. As much as I adore the pink, I’m considering the camel. Does that tone it down? Or is it still way too girly? I’m in my 20s fwiw.

      • My only concern is whether the bow will flop to one side if you don’t wear the jacket coat completely buttoned up.

      • I really liked that coat also, in the wine color, but decided against getting because (i) I don’t need another coat, and (ii) I decided it was indeed too girly-preppy, when my style already trends that way, sometimes too much. I am also in my 20’s. However, I don’t think this means you shouldn’t get it – some people can rock that look. I’m afraid I’m just not one of them. The coat is really cute, though.

        • Sorry, meant to reply to Bow Coat, obviously.

          • I think something’s wrong with replies. We all tried to reply to the Bow Coat posting and all ended up as separate postings.

      • Gosh that is cute and I really like the pink. I was imagining a butt bow which I did see on a coat last week and I was all WOAH #1989.

      • I agree that it wouldn’t look right unless it was fully buttoned. It’s a certain look – retro 60s, Jackie O – and pretty girly even in the the camel, but if it’s a look you like, then go for it. It’s, unfortunately, not the kind of thing that will stay in style for long.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        It’s not really the girliness that’s the problem. Girly to me would be pigtails on either side of one’s head, with bows on each of them.

        Here, the placement of the bow looks like the wearer is making a present of her b**bs to someone. That’s the problem with a lot of bows, their placement makes the wearer look like she’s presenting herself to be opened/undressed.

        If this were something off to the side, or at the collar, it’d be less …”Hi! I present you my b**bs!”
        Still, YMMV.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          Sorry, meant to reply to Bow Coat. Ugh. I find that if I don’t click the reply under the exact message I was replying to when I get a ‘posting too fast’ error, I end up starting a new thread. Stupid stupid.

      • It’s a bit…something for me. I think it’s the placement of the bow which, as other posters have mentioned, will flop if you don’t button it all the way (and I say this as someone in a bow festooned sweater today, so I like bows.)

      • The camel looks beautiful! I think the pink would be over-the-top girly, though.

        I had not realized there was a sale and am now debating over a bunch of stuff. Enabler!

      • Diana Barry :

        I like it, but Zooey Deschanel was wearing a better one (IMO) on last week’s episode of New Girl – in a bright blue. Bigger bow and it looked more deliberate.

        I do like the pink though.

    • I love it, it’s gorgeous! Buy it and wear it every single day!

    • The pink color made my eyes hurt.
      Agree with the b00b-present comment. The bow should be removable.

      • I wonder if you could remove the box with a seam ripper and add some snaps so that the bow was optional.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I like the pink….and I NEVER like pink! Its a fun coat.

    • S in Chicago :

      I love it. I think any of the colors but pink when paired with an outfit in neutral colors (especially all black) would seem really sophisticated. The pink reads more casual and yes, girly, to me–but still would be really great for weekends.

      FWIW–I don’t see the boob present thing at all. No more than I think toes look like a present when a bow is on someone’s shoe.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        The bow is right over the opening of the coat, like pieces of wrapping paper.

        A bow on a closed shoe doesn’t quite have the same look of something openable. Or, a bow on open-toed shoes, does tease at the idea of undressing/revealing because the toes are already out.

        I would say the presenting someone your boobs says quite a different thing than presenting someone your toes. You can decide better or worse, but I assure you, they make a different statement.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          My god, I’m so typo-ridden.

          What I meant to say was, there’s no “tease” with a bow on open-toe shoes because they toes are already out. It’s a bit different with a closed-looking top, right over the boobs. The two sides of the coat can look like giftwrap pieces opening for the big reveal.

      • I agree, S in Chicago. I don’t think anything about the coat really screams b**bs. It’s not form fitting in the least. If someone sees that and thinks of b**bs, then they’re going to think of it no matter what you do; they’re obsessed.

        • Charlotte Peloux :

          The thing is, the bow is right over the chest. For those of us who have a large chest, it’s the last area I want to highlight around people I know professionally.

          • Chilled Coyote :

            I love the blue one, but the pink one is somehow too… minimalist for me – it kind of screams “Helmut Lang found a bow!” Maybe I’m just really weirded out by coats that don’t have collars.

  2. Sydney Bristow :

    I’ve got a few Black Halo dresses n my Nordstrom wish list. Can any e speak to the fit and quality?

    • phillygirlruns :

      excellent quality, narrow fit. their size chart is pretty accurate. i am a 4 or 6 at j.crew/AT, occasionally a 2 in j.crew pencil skirts, 32dd/28.5w/36ish hips, and an 8 in the jackie dress for black halo is a work-appropriate fit.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Black Halo’s Jackie dress was super unfriendly for my pear shape. Alas.

  3. OMG, this dress is so cute! But no way with with my tuchus being what IT is now– HUGE!!!!

    Frank and the manageing partner would be stareing at me way to much!

    Does anyone in the HIVE have a INTERNET LINK to a POWERPOINT presenteation on how to do diliegience that I can use, so I can give the manageing partner a presentation for his CLE class?

    I know alot about it, but do NOT have the LEGAL underpinneings that HE is lookeing for. The CLE peeople at the bar are askeing for a copy NOW, and I have NOT even started on it! FOOEY!

  4. VioletBlue :

    Do any rettes work in clinical psychology?

    I am interested in making a career move and I am exploring the idea of a PhD in clinical psychology but I have a few questions for someone familiar with the industry:

    What schools are generally well respected in the field? Do you need to go to a top 10 university to have a shot at a good job?
    How competitive is the field? (I have heard it is very difficult to find a job as there are an oversupply of candidates)
    What is the typical salary in a large city 1-2 yrs in? What about 5-8 yrs in?


  5. momentsofabsurdity :

    I just want to share the a-MAZING pair of shoes I got yesterday at Bakers for $15. They are going out of business and liquidating so I got a pair of boots and these incredible sparkly heels for $45 total. I got the “purple multi” color which is actually more of a navy/gold/maroon that changes depending where you look at it from.


    Now I just need a fun event to wear them to!

    • I am in awe of your heel walking prowess! Hope you have a fabulous time in them :)

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Surprisingly, they were incredibly comfortable/easy to walk in (and I’m okay in heels, but by no means excellent). I think it’s the height of the platform on them?

      I mean, we’ll see since I haven’t actually worn them anywhere. If they end up being one of those “only wearable to events where I am sitting down for 90% of the time” they were still $15, so it’s okay.

    • How did you get them so cheap? it says they are 60 on the website

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Bakers is going out of business (at least in my area – the website doesn’t say so but they are closing a bunch of stores) so the store I was at was liquidating all their inventory. They were also doing a Buy One Get One 50% Off sale so the boots I got were $30 (marked down price), and the pumps’ sale price was somewhere ~$30 (marked down price), or ~$15 when half off. I ended up paying about $45 for the two.

  6. Sweet as Soda Pop :

    Does anyone have gift ideas for an 8 year old girl? She is my boyfriend’s niece and her parents have had a rough time recently with personal things, so we haven’t been able to get a list from them. I’ve already gotten her a make your own duct tape bracelet kit, and one of my favorite books from that age, but I’m stuck on what else to get her. They live in another state, and we don’t know sizes or interests (see lack of Christmas list). We’d like to spend $25-$50. Thank you!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I used to work at a summer camp and Klutz books of all varieties were always really popular with girls that age. There are outright girly things like nail art or jewelry making, but there are also some that all kids tended to find interesting – things like lanyard making, origami, window art, etc. The nice thing is, they come with all the supplies to do the projects and most of them are projects the kids can figure out on their own.

      • I highly recommend origami. Fun activity and great for developing spatial reasoning.
        Also, origami gifts are awesome. She’ll never be at a loss on what to give as presents.

        We had a googly eyes kit from Klutz and it was loads of fun. Used it all over the house!

      • I was obsessed with these books growing up. We’ve given a few to my niece who’s about the same age and she loves them. If she’s anything like the little girls I know she’ll want to start using it immediately.

      • Lady Harriet :

        I gave and received many Klutz books as a child and enjoyed all of them very much. I had several on hair braiding, kits to make beaded bobby pins and rings, friendship bracelets, & c. My brother and I also had one that came with a stopwatch and book of activities to try with it. I also have very fond memories of a science one called Zap.

    • Any Roald Dahl books! Danny the Champion of the World, the BFG, Matilda, The Witches, Boy, etc.

    • American Girl has great books (both chapter books and A Girls Guide to…) and craft kits. Even if you don’t buy into the dolls and all their accoutrements, the books are still great. There is also a set of books called, I think Scribble? They are big black and white books with sort of directed drawing. You could do those with a nice set of colored pencils/art markers.

    • I got my 3 nieces (ages 6, 8 and 9) Curious Chef items because they love to help in the kitchen:

    • I have a 7-year-old niece who’s WAY into arts and crafts (cooking as well, but A&C usually requires less adult supervision). Not sure about your or the parents’ feelings on this but nail polish can also be big at that age.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Some of the Diana Wynne Jones books targeted towards younger readers:

      The Ogre Downstairs
      Earwig & the Witch
      Aunt Maria
      Witch’s Business
      Enchanted Glass
      Eight Days of Luke

      • OMG I LOVED Diana Wynne Jones growing up. I still read Tale of Time City and Charmed Life once a year.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          I love _Tale of Time City_, maybe a bit much for an 8yr old, unless she’s super-advanced in reading, but that was awesome. Also, _Dogsbody_ made me cry rivers, but it was just so good.

          • I can’t do Dogsbody. I’m a huge dog lover and the whole part with the puppies in the beginning tears me up. I read it once and never have again, and that’s the only DWJ book I can say that about.

    • Sweet as Soda Pop :

      Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions!

    • The Daring Book for Girls would be a great gift for that age.

    • I love the “color your own” bags, there are a variety of different styles made by Alex. You can get them on amazon.com or in some toy stores.

    • SV in House :

      My 8 yo daughter is getting lots of crafty things this year. Michaels has a bunch of American Girl craft kits, which punch two tickets at once. Also, reliving my youth with a potholder loom.

      Also, thanks to the ladies on this site, a Brother sewing machine from Overstock will be under the tree.

  7. Kat, replies are being wonky this morning. xoxo

  8. Mouse in DC :

    I really like this dress. Question: would you consider it to be business casual or business attire? Would you need to wear it with a blazer in order for it to be business attire?

    I’m having issues with my blazers. They look fine with the pants/skirts I bought them with, but I’m unsure matching them with other items. I can see that a tweedy jacket with a ponte skirt might not go – but when they are both synthetic fabrics, how do you match them? Similar weights, similar textures?

    • I think it’d look beautiful and business formal with a grey blazer.

    • I think the issue is that you shouldn’t try to “match” different items from different suits. They’ll just look off, you need to be able to mix the items in a complimentary way. Try having one item be a neutral/non-textured and the other be textured or colored (or both!).
      Why wouldn’t a ponte skirt and a tweed jacket work? I’ve done something similar and it looked great – royal blue ponte skirt, cream herringbone blazer and black tee.

    • I’ve actually found the opposite: that contrasting textures/fabrics look better together. It’s clear that they are not a suit, but separates put together. Like with my smooth black pants, I wear the grey flannel jacket, or with the lightweight wool black jacket, I wear the black & white tweed skirt.

      I think a ponte skirt could look great with more textured jackets. But honestly, I just have to put things together and see how they look, I haven’t found a perfect formula yet. ;o)

      • Agree with all of this. Sometimes not matching is good in a deliberately contrasting way.

    • Mouse in DC :

      Thanks – it sounds like that’s the problem I’ve been having, it looks like a mismatched suit rather than a purposeful wearing of two separate items. I will revisit my assumptions about what goes/doesn’t go together.

      You know, I should just take an afternoon and pull out all of my clothes, and do a crazy dress-up party. Put things together that I’d never normally do, laugh at the failures and note what unexpectedly works.

      • Crazy dress up parties are fun. I love trying out new combos on Sunday night, helps get me excited for a new week!

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          Yes, this! And in my obsessiveness, I keep a giant spreadsheet of combos that work well enough. Some hits, some misses (like today!) nevertheless.

          • Wow, that sounds so cool at least in concept! How do you list your clothes on your spreadsheet?

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            Here are my column headings:

            Day, Activity, Top, Top Layer, Bottom, Dress, Shoes, Other, Bag, Jewelry, Notes

            Activity tells me if it’s a normal workday or I’m at a conference or work party, etc.

            If I’m wearing a dress, the cells for Top and Bottom are N/As. Top layer is jacket, cardigan, etc. Other is for tights, mostly.

            When I note which top, I try to be descriptive like: Banana Republic (BR) aqua blouse. At the end of the year, I look to see which brands I’ve relied on more, out of curiosity.

            Notes: I also leave notes on how the combo worked. If it says, “wrinkled like crazy,” or “I felt fabulous wearing this,” it’ll certainly influence how often I want to use that combo again.

            Yes. I am crazy. But it’s a nice way to pass the time if I’m bored. :-)

    • Anne Shirley :

      I wouldn’t consider it to be work appropriate at all, and certainly not a suit alternative. It’s clingy, low cut (even on the not-amply-bosomed model) and that combined with the cap sleeves and tight fit takes this out of the running for me. Although in that gorgeous red I think this would be a great dress to wear to a SO’s office party.

  9. Blonde Lawyer :

    I have a late response to the request for ideas for the Newtown, CT community. Last night I read about a team of nine golden retriever comfort dogs (and handlers) sent by Lutheran Charities. Prior to this tragedy, the group was comforting in NY and NJ after the hurricane. From the reports I have seen and the facebook comments from Newtown residents on their page, it seems like these dogs are doing a world of good. They are at memorials, at counseling sessions and spending time with first responders that are decompressing. They have a donation page for their group in general as well as one that specifically helps fund this trip.

    I am not Lutheran or in anyway related to this organization. I also like that if they raise more money than they need, the money will likely go to their next comfort trip. Link below to avoid moderation.

  10. Miami conference! :

    Still seeking suggestions for work conference (with clients / competition) in Miami this winter.

    I understand that my Miami size is a size or two smaller than my actual size, but am not sure that the world needs to see that. :) Sheath dresses, maybe with a v-neck cropped cardigan in a different color?

    I am in an industry where I already stand out b/c of gender, so do not need any va-va-vooming.


    • I’ve never been to Miami for a business purpose, but that sounds about right. I also agreed with the commenter yesterday generally. Have fun!!! I love Miami and would love an excuse to go for business.

    • Apparently_Unhappy :

      I love the cardi-over0-dress combo. It is definitely the female power suit in Silicon Valley. However, my husband keeps telling me that men see cardigans as super feminine (sometimes s*x kitten, sometimes granny). Think about it… do you ever see men at the office in cardigans?

      So if you are trying to downplay your femininity, you might want to stick to blazers.

      • She said she doesn’t want “va-va-vooming,” not that she was trying to suppress her femininity. There’s a difference.

        • Is there a difference? Can someone tell me where the line is? ‘Cuz I can’t find it.

          We are d@mned if we dress nice and look too s#xy, and d@mned if we don’t and look frumpy. I give up.

          • Charlotte Peloux :

            Not gonna tell you where you should draw the line, but I’ll tell you where I draw the line for myself.

            I try not to show too much skin. Skin draws the eyes. I’m as hetero as they come and yet, if a woman shows a lot of skin, my eyes are inevitably drawn there.

            I have a curvy shape and I don’t dress in a sack. It’s clear from my clothes that I’m feminine, but at the same time, I don’t show much skin either. Definitely no cleavage, and I don’t do sleeveless. This dress I’d avoid as the neckline sort of sits right at the rise of the breasts and shows quite a bit of skin. Being covered doesn’t make one frumpy.

            It’s too simplistic to say there’s only sexy vs frumpy. I think of it as just challenging my own sartorial sensibilities to strike a nice balance.

      • I never see men in the office wearing skirts now that I think about it :)

        cardigans are appropriate when sweaters are appropriate. If you have a blazer/jacket workplace, you shouldn’t be in a sweater.

    • Miz Bizcuit :

      Colorful waterfall cardigan over perfectly tailored sheath gets my seal of approval. Black cotton crew neck cardigan over double knit shift does not.

      Give us some more background, maybe we can come up with more specific ideas. Are you meeting exclusively with Miamians? What image to you want to project? Industry? Current wardrobe? Figure type?

      • Miami conference! :

        One local conference participant, otherwise we’re dealing with finance types from elsewhere.

        I am a skinny pear, so lots of structured and tailored shifts (some ponte — does that doom it as double-knit?) and merino or cashmere cardis (fitted round or cropped v-necks; the boxy ones for weekends); also some sheath-with-jacket combos.

        Somehow, I don’t feel that I sparkle in pants; even though they’re OK for every day, I’m wanting to do better than that the one time that people may see me. The skirt suits I have seem (too black, wool that is heavy, etc.) to be Not Miami Enough.

        I want to look like someone to be trusted with lots of complicated things but with more of a Miami pallette and some . . . softness (not the usual Goth Business Attire — too much black, regardless of season).

        • Miz Bizcuit :

          Ah, yes, finance. I am familiar with the funereal uniform. Look at just about every pic of Erin Callan ever published.

          To convey trustworthiness, authority, and competence, you need to look like you have your sh!t together. So everything must be perfectly tailored, well maintained, and high quality. Hair and nails perfectly groomed. You know the drill. This is more important than looking “softer” or Miami-appropriate.

          You can make the Goth Biz look work in the South if you keep the fabrics seasonally appropriate and temper it with a show of skin (I mean legs and collarbone, not cleavage). Imagine a black button-up dress shirt, sleeves rolled up and collar popped, paired with a black pencil skirt, wide black obi belt or gold statement necklace, bare legs, and kitten heels.

          Black is actually trendy right now, even in Miami. I see a lot of 80’s style all-black, or black paired with burgundy, cream, blush and/or camel.

          The easiest look for you would probably be to take your most climate-appropriate outfit and add a statement piece. Your jacket-over-matching-sheaths sound perfect, if they’re perfectly tailored and not too heavy. To add Miami pizzazz, try adding a wide belt or a large, colorful necklace, or unexpected shoes (leopard shoes go with *everything*!).

          If you want to soften up your palette, try camel, beige, cream, blush or taupe (whichever flatters you). These mix nicely with colors and other neutrals. Wear blue if you want to project trustworthiness: navy, periwinkle, whatever.

          I agree; most women look much better in skirts/dresses than pants, and men think we look more professional. Cardi-over-dress is good, but I am concerned that your cardigans (cropped and round-necked) may look too juvenile and could sap your authority. I suggest at looking at blazers over dresses instead, or maybe a more structured-style cardi.

          PS: My rule on ponte is this: If a *man* can’t tell it’s a knit without touching it, then you can wear it. Men can be very judgey about women’s attire (they have no idea how much harder it is for us!), and they tend to feel that if they aren’t wearing knits, then you shouldn’t either. So if they can’t wear a golf shirt, then you can’t wear ponte.

  11. Mini-review! I just got my Lo&Sons bag last night, the Mott Crossbody. It was smaller than I expected (perhaps because I can’t do math without a calculator) I have a Kate Spade checkbook wallet that doesn’t fit inside, but other than that I really like it. The strap is the right length to wear crossbody without it being at my knees and I love that the outside pocket zips. It’s also the right size to stick my ferry/plane confirmation in without getting lost.
    I will be keeping it since I don’t use the big wallet often, I am more of a stick my debit card or a $20 in my phone case and go type of person, but for occasions when I do have that wallet I will have to keep looking.

  12. Any ladies around here gossip girl fans? I know the finale was last night – I think I gave it up around season 4 but is it worth it to catch up so there’s a resolution to the show?

    Secretly, I just really want to know who gossip girl is.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I didn’t watch but I looked it up (who Gossip Girl is). I heard it was surprising but a lot of people had guessed already.

    • I watched and I think it was pretty good. I particularly liked the amusing cameos of people guessing who GG was and the surprise couples at the end. Also, the first half was mostly the stars talking about the show and some montages from the previous seasons.

    • I watched the finale; haven’t been an avid watcher but past episodes were on the Tivo as filler. It brought everything to a conclusion, whether you agree or not with the outcomes.

    • I have been an avid GG watcher since the beginning! I always found the show entertaining, so if I was you, I’d probably watch the last couple seasons. It is pure mindless entertainment. With some amazing clothes thrown in.

      And although I never would have guessed who actually was GG…it does kind of make sense when you think about it.

    • “Fan” is a stretch. I started watching the show because Richard Lawson’s recaps on Gawker were killer funny, and ever since he moved on, I demoted the show to Hate Watch status.

      I’m a few episodes behind and I haven’t watched the finale yet, but I’m hoping against hope that Gossip Girl’s big reveal is “I’m . . . Chuck Bass.”

    • I watched it. I loved it. Chuck wore a hideous tux.

  13. I received a gift basket from a pro bono client of mine that, according to the card, appears to be both a “thank you” gift for a victory I secured for her and a holiday gift. Should I write a thank-you note? (no worries about ethical issues in receiving the gift, it was not of great value and did not violate any firm client gift policies).

  14. Diana Barry :

    Ladies, review of the Lady Day coat that I got from J Crew:

    I sized up 2 sizes from my normal jacket size, and also got a tall so the sleeves and length would be longer. It fits pretty darn well. You will have to size up 2 sizes, as opposed to 1, if you are generous of b**b. (One size up fit, kind of, but I was popping out of it around the chestal area.) I didn’t find the sleeves to be particularly restrictive, though.

    It is kind of a rough material, so if you are looking for a smooth wool/cashmere coat (Maxmara or sim.), this is not it. But definitely worth the $235 that I paid, IMO.

    • Totally agree on the sizing up at least 2 sizes for the lady day. I was debating on trying the metro coat and called customer service to get the measurements – and for giggles had her do the lady day measurements as well – and wow, 3 inch difference in the waist for the same size.

  15. hellskitchen :

    Can we talk about the Gossip Girl series finale? a) Do you all think the revelation of who GG is was pre-determined from the start of the series or somehow made to fit at the last minute b) where am I going to get my fill of a “guilty pleasure” show? I have sworn to not watch the Carrier diaries because I hated SATC. So what’s next?

    • Do you watch Revenge? One of my favourite guilty pleasure shows!

      I gave gossip girl sometime last year because it was just getting too ridiculous. But I love well-made guilty pleasures!

    • Yeah, I kinda didn’t like the GG reveal. I think Dorota would have been awesome. Hart of Dixie is my guilty pleasure show.

    • Scandal is great if you haven’t seen that.

    • I posted above too, but I have loved GG since the beginning. I was fine with the reveal. And I think it actually kind of makes sense.

      I’ll had another +1 for Revenge. Love love love it. Smash and Nashville are also pretty great.

  16. Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

    What Are You Wearing Today? Threadjack

    I kind of dislike my outfit today: White Button-down shirt + Black J.Crew Super120s Pants. I look like a waiter. In nice pants. #firstworldproblems, I know.

    Thankfully, I have some blingy Alexis Bittar jewelry on today, but still, I feel the gap between what I’m wearing vs what I could have chosen. It’s the difference between getting a B+ in an easy course vs an A in a tough one.

    • I’m a total slob today. I went to yoga this am and then ran errands (only working a few days this week and done teaching for the term). I hate being out and about in sneakers, running pants, and a hoodie but overcame my dislike and got a decent amount done.

    • I’ll play! I actually don’t hate my outfit (which is rare these days as I’m in my final 6 weeks of pregnancy). Black trousers from Gap Maternity, grey-with-red-diagonal stripe 3/4 sleeve jersey shirt w/cowlneck from Old Navy Maternity, red beaded statement necklace, flat black knee-high boots (under pants, not over).

      • I’m in moderation, but your post cracked me up because I’m in my final days of pregnancy and HATE everything I own, except one red shirt that I wore on Sunday and needs to be washed. I bet you look adorable.

        • Smooches, EC MD! From one pregnant lady to another…

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          @ EC MD and ANP,

          Good luck, you two! Here’s hoping you both have easy deliveries and happy, healthy babies. :-)

    • I am due in 4 days. I have 2 pairs of work pants that still fit. Therefore, I’m wearing black full panel maternity pants (from AT Loft — not quite the pair of pants of my dreams, but they’ve ended up being a total work horse for me this pregnancy; they still look decent after I’ve worn them 1-2x per week for 6 months) and a peacock colored long tunic-y sweater from Gap maternity with a thin black long sleeve shirt underneath.

      Shoes? I’m now down to clogs only. These are dark blood red. So ready to get back into real shoes.

      Please think laborious thoughts for me. I am officially over pregnancy, even though I have nothing (NOTHING) to complain about as far as big picture problems.

      • Are you still at work? Because, if so, I would be thrilled if you were my physician. I think your outfit sounds lovely – clogs and all, although I totally remember the pain of wanting to get back to real shoes, even 13 years later!

        Here’s hoping that baby wants to get out here soon so we can all be virtually introduced!

      • EC MD – I’m so excited for you baby to come!!!! Yay!! I feel like we’ve been with this baby from the start!

      • Legally Brunette :

        EC MD – best wishes for a safe and speedy labor and a healthy, beautiful baby! I will keep you in my thoughts. And hope that you return the favor in 6 weeks, when I am due. :)

      • Thank you all so much!

        I am still working, though a reduced schedule (mostly because I would go crazy at home).

        I’m walking the dog an hour a day, staying hydrated and generally trying to be zen about the arrival of #2.

        You guys have been with me this entire pregnancy — and I appreciate it so so much!

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Good luck EC MD. We’re thinking of you and wishing you the best!

        Has anyone heard from Lyssa? Hopefully her c-section went well yesterday too!

    • I’m wearing a black LOFT sweater with a giant bow on it (a slightly regrettable purchase since it’s a tiny bit sheer in the arms) with a purple no. 2 pencil skirt from J.Crew. Black tights, black Frye Regina flats. No jewelry because I was running late this morning, and it’s hard to coordinate necklaces with Giant Bows.

      The purple skirt is the only thing that makes it look like I made much effort.

    • Diana Barry :

      I am PO’d about being in the office today, but I look nice – brown boots, tights, brown embroidered Boden skirt, olive tissue turtleneck, gold Boden cardigan, brown Boden blazer. (these are all different browns btw, so not so monochromatic)

    • Fuschia pink neck-bow sleeveless shirt (cotton jersey), dark gray cardigan, dark wash skinny jeans (my office is letting us go casual for the rest of the month), and black flats. Meh.

    • J Crew Minnie ( i think?) ankle-length black pants, TB revas (black and gold), grey turtleneck, long pearl necklace doubled.

      Comfy but polished!

    • I’m wearing back leggings, a black tank top, and I haven’t brushed my hair yet. Ah, the pitfalls of working from home.

    • Ponte black sheath and a cardigan with cute flats…. totally blah but it suits my splitting headache and bad mood

    • Red short-sleeved mock turtleneck cashmere sweater from Brooks Brothers with chocolate brown suede knee-length skirt, black tights and black wedges, as well as silver bangles, large red drop earrings and black tank watch.

      There’s a christmas party at the university president’s house today. It starts at 3. I can’t wait to have a glass of wine.

    • I barely have a reason to be at work this week. I’m in black jeans, a black and charcoal striped tunic, gray leopard flats, and a gray linen scarf.

    • e_pontellier :

      I’m wearing the same thing I wore yesterday and the day before (it’s finals, hopefully no one will notice), because I haven’t been home. *sadface*

      • How are you doing? What do you need to hear? Do you need some clothes?

      • e_pontellier, I don’t know whether there are safety concerns, but if not, can you give a friend (or friends so they can go buddy system) your keys and have someone go pick up some clothes for you? I know it must feel very uncomfortable to ask, but I’m sure your friends would gladly do this for you.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        This makes me want to scoop you up from your last final, bundle you into a cab, feed you vast amounts of tea and panettone (I was gifted a 3+lb one and while I’ve got a hearty appetite, it’s really too much for one person), and take you shopping all over NYC.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        E, what size are you? Maybe one of us could meet up with you later and loan you some clothes to get through finals.

        • e_pontellier :

          Oh gosh guys, thank you. I’m almost done with finals – I go home tonight; there are no safety concerns; my exams will be over in about 5 hours!!

    • Red v-neck sheath dress, black and white polka-dotted (small dots) fitted/cropped blazer, 5-strand of pearls, pearl studs, silver/gold watch, black patent CL simple 85 pumps.

    • des-pairing :

      Dark red with abstract black print shift dress with black tights and ankle booties. It’s a half-day at work, we’re going to a group lunch later.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Grey & black striped tissue weight cowl under a teal V-neck sweater, dark charcoal ponte pencil skirt, teal cable-knit tights & black boots. Still cold and will probably put on another sweater and fingerless gloves.

    • I’m in a PowerPoint training today (snooze) out of the office so I’m in jeans (on a Tuesday!!) a blouse, and riding boots. My colleague who is here with me and I are eagerly awaiting lunch at the sushi restaurant across the street. Hurry up, 11:30!!!!

    • Charcoal grey pinstripe pants, black & white lace print jersey button front top and mustard yellow cardigan. Black heeled oxfords. Not my best look, but the yellow is a great color for me, at least.

      One more day of work & then I’m off for a week. :)

    • Red cropped cardigan, grey and black wool skirt, black tights, jet necklace. We had REAL SNOW where I live last night and I strongly suspect the buses near my house will be cancelled tonight if it continues, so I came to work in proper snow boots and am dressed for the strong possibility I will have to walk a fair distance home after work.

    • I’m wearing a navy blue suit, a Boden shell, and gray pumps because I had a job interview today. Which I think went well.

    • cuffed wool pants – (the horror) and a dark pink sweater. And cookie crumbs.

    • My dragons.

      (Found them.)

    • Lady Harriet :

      Black sleeveless knit dress with a red belt, black patent Dansko Sissy sandals (it’s still warm in FL), lime green Anne Klein blazer, silver jewelry. The dress is way too big, but the belt makes it passable, and since the semester is over not many people are here and I’m way more dressed up than most of them anyway.

    • Chilled Coyote :

      Black trousers, filmy tan blouse with black polka dots, suede booties, pearls. At least it’s super comfortable!

  17. Almost There :

    Hi hive, I’ve missed you! I had a lovely time in NYC, thanks for all of your recommendations! Didn’t get to do top of the rock cause it was too cloudy/foggy, but we did take a carriage ride through Central Park, took pictures in Times Square, went to Tiffany’s, etc etc! We went to Chicago, not Book of Mormon as I was hoping (actually he had BoM tickets and got the impression I didn’t want to see it and sold them – heartbroken, but he was just trying to make me happy). He loved the dress I ended up with. Even though I had my coat on over it most of the night. Anyways just wanted to say thanks for all of your advice and encouragement!

    Today I am at the hospital while my mom is having her knee replacement. I was supposed to stay to help care for her until the 24th when my brother is coming, but I got a job interview (state Supreme Court clerkship!) on the 21st so I have to go home for that earlier than expected (I live half the country away from her and the interview is near my home). And we can’t really afford for me to fly out for interview, fly back to be with her a few more days, then fly home again. So I feel bad about leaving (and certainly have received the guilt trip – my family doesn’t understand that you change your schedule for an interview with a judge, not the other way around) but its what I need to do. I guess other than general advice about that, I don’t really have a question, just venting.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Hey! I’m glad you had a good time in NYC. :-)

      Sorry to hear about the timing of your mom’s knee replacement surgery and the interview. Ignore the guilt trip, it’s often just family members either wanting to present themselves as exemplary teacher’s pet types or projecting their own guilt for not doing more on you, they can STFU. Also, because they don’t know what they’re talking about (w.r.t judge interview), so again, they can STFU.

      Good luck with the interview and let us know how it goes!

    • Sorry to hear about the carriage ride. Besides circulating the smell of horse sh!t and urine, you are supporting a terrible industry that injures and endangers to horses, passengers, drivers, and pedestrians.

      • Almost There :

        Next time I think of circulating horsesh!t and urine, I’ll think of you.

        • I just neighed so hard.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :


        • While Amy’s phrasing wasn’t the kindest, I kind of agree with the general message that CP carriage rides are bad on a lot of levels. Maybe you didn’t know, but the animals are treated really badly and because they are skittish and so large can injure anything around them (59th St traffic, CP tourists etc). I would just say that for anyone else thinking of taking a carriage ride, you might want to do some googling first.

          • I agree with the general premise of what she said too (carriage rides can be ethically questionable due to the poor treatment of horses and danger to others on the roads) but I can’t see how this was a productive way to bring it up if one actually wanted to change people’s minds. Just like yesterday’s NRA comment. No one is going to change their mind if you tell them they’re an @$$hole, particularly in this situation where someone might actually not know about the condition of tourist-carriage-ride horses.

      • god everyone has been so b*tchy lately

        • little advice :

          I kind of think Amy = Elle = the same commenter who has been posting a lot of these pseudopolitical/inflammatory comments lately. Someone, apparently, has a chip on her shoulder.

          • hmm they do seem to be in the same tone. there was a third one in the weekend thread too I think

  18. Gang, I need a recommendation for a great body moisturizer. Winter weather (+ pregnancy) is wreaking havoc on my skin. Drugstore brand preferred unless you have a truly WOW recommendation on the more expensive side…I’m a desperate woman!

    • I’ve just been using oil (I have a big jug of cosmetic grade almond oil: it smells like cake batter). It absorbs into my skin and I don’t need to worry about extra chemicals. If you don’t like the smell, you can add essential oils (I like bergamot but then I am dying for a cup of tea)

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        I love Marks & Spencer Sicilian Lime & Bergamot Body Butter. I bought a bunch awhile ago and am rationing it at this point.

    • Nivea extra moisture is the best one I’ve tried so far. I also sometimes break out the jojoba oil if I’m extremely dry.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Suave coco butter is surprisingly effective for the price. I also like organix coconut milk lotion. Body shop body butter is pretty great. They have been having tons of sales too. Rite Aid has a new fancier brand hand lotion (sold in the “nice” section, not near the dial) that is about 6 dollars a tub and pretty awesome. I use it on my hands and feet. It looks like a fancy organic brand but when you read the back it says “distributed for rite aid.” I can’t remember the name of it. I also love bath and boyd works Shea Cashmere and Silk hand creme. I’m kind of a moisturizing addict.

    • Drugstore: Curel Daily Moisturizer (Amazon Prime eligible)
      WOW: Kiehls Creme de Corps (you do have to let it set for a minute or two; it feels greasy but absorbs very well and I find there isn’t a scent).

      • East Coaster :

        I read they recently modified the formulation for the Kiehls one so it’s a little bit easier to absorb. May be worth a try.

        • Obviously this means I need to do some market research.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            Ooh, more brands for me to try!

            *Ahem*, I meant: “I should also research the effectiveness of these compounds. Part of the scientific method is independent verification and confirmation of results by other research teams.”

    • jergens ultra healing

    • Almost There :

      Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion! I had super dry, very itchy winter skin and this cleared it right up, I absolutely swear by it. The only thing is it usually doesn’t come out of its pump because it’s too thick, so I usually cut the top off the bottle and dump it in a Tupperware or jar and scoop with my fingers to use.

      • Merabella :

        This is such a great idea. I always have trouble with it being too thick too – I will have to try this.

        I also like Palmer’s fragrance free lotion.

        • Lady Harriet :

          I generally don’t use really heavy-duty lotion, but I think the Gold Bond one is quite nice. For day to day use, I like the St. Ives one with oatmeal that’s supposed to be good for itchy skin. It’s not too greasy to use on my face and it smells nice.

    • For whatever reason, lotion tends to give me a sort of razor burn, so I use Bio Oil just after my shower, before toweling off. It works wonders.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Also pregnant (and generally have really bad dry skin problems) and have been doing a combo — first all over with Palmer’s Oil or Bio Oil, then slathering on Curel Intensive Healing on top. So far, so good. The Curel Intensive Healing is nice on its own, but like Eucerin is so thick that it’s hard to spread. The oil layer first helps is spread more evenly. (I call the entire thing my “greasing up process.”)

      • Also pregnant, also miserably itchy and also doing a combo. Mine is jojoba oil (from Trader Joe’s) and Aveeno Skin Relief lotion (there’s a dark blue band across the label).

    • My favorite is the Vaseline Intensive Care Extra Strengh lotion. Works best for me out of anything else I’ve tried.

    • Quasi-Minimalist (and also preg) :
    • Divaliscious11 :

      WOW reco – Kiehl’s Creme de Corp —

      Drugstore – CeraVe, Aquafor or Cetaphil

  19. I really like Lubriderm Advanced Therapy (the pink capped one). Lotions work much better when applied to slightly damp skin, so right after you dry off from the bath/shower. You may want to change your body wash to something moisturizing too.

    • In the winter, I keep my lotion in the shower. The water heats it up while I shower. And then I’m slighly damp (still standing in the shower, but have dried off) when I apply it. I hate cold lotion in the winter!

  20. Working during bar prep? :

    Did anyone work part time during the time between graduating and taking the bar? I might be in a position where I’d need to. I would plan to take off about 3 weeks right before the bar, but was thinking of working half days or so until then. Any thoughts/experience? Thanks!

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I’m taking the bar in Feb and working full-time in Big Law, so I’m obviously convinced that this can be done. I would have thought that (i) if you can get away with not doing it, that’s way better but (ii) if you have to work, it’s all about diligent time management and studying smart (quality over quantity).

      Of course ask me again in the summer when my name does not appear on the list of names passing the bar…

    • Greensleeves :

      I worked full time while studying for the bar. Went to barbri in the evening, studied weekends. Took two weeks off before the exam. Passed first try. It was a crazy couple of months, but I also worked full time and attended law school in the evenings, so it wasn’t that much different! I realize that approach isn’t for everyone, but I do think it’s possible.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I had a friend who did this in a state with a low pass rate and passed. I think she worked afternoons for 4 days a week during the first few weeks of the summer and dropped down to 2-3 days a week until the last 3-4 weeks when she didn’t work. She was definitely hating life, but everything worked out OK and now she’s glad she didn’t have to take out even MORE debt to cover living expenses while studying.

    • I didn’t do this, but I know several people who did and I kind of wish that I had. Bar prep becomes so all-consuming, a lot of people say that it’s nice to have something else to focus on for part of the day.

    • It is definitely doable. Can you start studying early? Even if you just get a jump start on the MBE by doing multiple choice questions on the weekends, I think that would help a lot.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        Good point – because I knew that I would not have a full two months before the exam, I started back in October by going through the outlines. I’m taking Themis, so it’s all on demand and I started that last week. Of course if you are doing BarBri or another classroom prep course, this won’t apply to you, but it has helped me to get a headstart as it makes it a bit more doable (I hope).

    • AnonForThis :

      My husband just started doing this; he works full time in big law as a student associate and just started studying for the Feb bar. So far, so good, although he’s only a few days into it.

    • Totally doable, I’d say. I enjoyed my downtime last summer, but I could have done less movie watching and something more productive, probably.

    • During my bar study summer, I slept and had fun in such vast quantities that I could have had a job in that time.

    • I worked full-time as a summer associate before starting a clerkship in August, took Bar-Bri for the July bar exam at night. I might have taken the last week before the bar off work, I don’t really remember, but studying for the bar definitely would not have been a full-time occupation and I was glad I worked. (And glad I took the time to go with my then-BF now husband to his conference in San Francisco in June. Because life is too short not to go to San Francisco whenever you can. And obviously it was the right choice, because all these years later I don’t remember the bar prep that well, but I definitely remember the trip to SF!)

    • Moving to the City :

      I full-time for a month and then studied hard for 23 days. You can definitely make it work. I kept up to date with the videos by watching at night and then outlined on the weekends. The key is just to identify your weaknesses and work on those in July rather than feeling the need to do everything that the bar prep company recommends.