Suit of the Week: Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein Novelty Texture 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.

Hmmn. Hmmmn. I am intrigued by this Calvin Klein “novelty texture” jacket (although, really, calling something a “novelty texture” is about as drool-worthy as calling something a “ladies’ fashion top” — they couldn’t be just a *bit* more descriptive on the name?) ANYWAY: I like the collarless jacket, the black and white color scheme, the ladylike skirt length… and I have high hopes for the actual pattern looking kind of cool, although I think this one needs to be seen in person for the final determination. From the right angle the pattern looks like a lace/chalkboard effect… but from the wrong angle, online, it looks a bit like a diagonal paisley. This is usually the kind of thing that a simple Google search fixes because you can see it on other sites, but Dillards appears to have the exclusive (at least, I can’t find it elsewhere). The jacket (Calvin Klein Novelty Texture Jacket) is $139, and the skirt (Calvin Klein Novelty Texture Skirt) is $79.

Calvin Klein Novelty Texture Jacket Calvin Klein Novelty Texture Skirt

(L-5)

Comments

  1. I received my Aleysa bag last week and I am very pleased with it. Definitely an improvement. And, I can manage to fit in a pair of shoes, too. The only qualms I have are that the lining is black and the zipper teeth are very scratchy.

  2. I’m debating buying a new digital camera, but most of the time I don’t feel like I really need it because of my cell phone camera. But I’ve got a big trip coming up and think I might want a real camera. I’ve got an old and sort of broken (5-6 yr) Panasonic Lumix that I really liked and would get again. Is it really worth it? Also, I’m not sure I’m going to bring my computer-just my ipad. Does anyone have any experience with an ipad/camera adapter and can speak to their experience? The reviews on Apple’s website aren’t stellar.

    • I recently got a small Canon camera and I really like it for vacations. I was able to take much better zoomed action shots of my nephews on water swings than I would have with my phone. I don’t think my phone would have done that at all!

    • Calibrachoa :

      I don’t have a specific camera recommendation but I would suggest something lightweight and mid-range so if some kind of holiday malady befalls it, it won’t be a great loss.

      I would recommend a card reader over a camera adapter, something like this: http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/ipad-cf-sd-reader/

    • I have an iphone and I don’t see much point in my Canon point-and-shoot digital camera anymore. It’s a nice one, and it has settings that can be changed, but I rarely mess with them. Someone with more working knowledge of cameras may get more use out of them though. The phone takes really nice pictures, but zoom capabilities are limited. Personally, I think the only other camera I’d consider buying now is a digital SLR.

      • a “real” camera v. a phone camera will generally give you better resolution & ability to take photos in low light. the iphones have some pretty great abilities in both these areas, but they aren’t as good as a newer digital camera. my personal view is that the camera you have is the camera you’ll use, and if you’re not a big photographer/shutterbug, live with your iphone (or equivalent) but if you care at all, there really is a big difference between a real camera and a phone camera, presuming you’re in the same era technology-wise. (e.g. a 2005 digital camera will be worse than an iphone 4s, but a 2013 digital camera will outperform a phone).

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I use the ipad adaptor for my memory card all the time. It works great to get the pictures onto the ipad. The key is to have enough space available, which is usually more than I think I need. The one downside is that it seems impossible to remove the photos from iPhoto on the ipad, if that is what you are using. You can delete them from the photos app, but there isn’t a way to delete them from iPhoto. The only workaround seems to be getting them onto your computer (which is easy with photo stream) and then uninstalling and reinstalling the iPhoto app. Other than that, I think it works well. I used this method during a cruise I went on in April with a ton of pictures.

    • SoCalAtty :

      Nikon has a new “rugged” type point and shoot, and it is waterproof up to 10 meters or so. We have the panasonic version and it is great – you can drop it, get it wet, and it takes pictures that are FAR superior to the iPhone.

      Then again, I also travel with a Nikon DSLR and lenses, so I’m really particular about my photos.

    • I have an older phone (droid incredible), but I would absolutely take a separate camera. I was recently on a hike and wanted to take a picture of an animal, and the phone just could not cooperate in time, whereas a point and shoot would have gotten it (turn on, zoom, click, done).

      Also, consider if you will want to have a timer to take photos of yourself and whether or not your phone has that. Do you think you’ll ask random strangers to take pictures of you and your travel companions? Are you comfortable doing that with your phone? Could be me being paranoid, but nice/new phone + not pw-protected since it’s on for the camera seems risky.

    • I adore my Lumix, which is pretty much the same vintage as yours. At this point, were I to replace it, I would probably just get a new version of the same. I can’t imagine just using my iPhone on a trip – I notice such a difference with my Lumix – the picture quality is amazing and the zoom works so well.

    • I have a samsung that can upload photos to Picasa / Facebook via wifi. Might be an option if you don’t want to lug along a computer?

    • I have the adapter for the ipad to read a sd card from my digital camera. I took it on a 8 day trip and down loaded photos onto my ipad daily. If you have gmail/picassa, you can get the paid app (I think it is about 3.99 or 4.99) and you can post your photos to your picassa album after downloading (wifi access needed since my ipad is wifi only). Worked well enough and I didn’t have to lug a laptop around.

  3. Hi! I posted a few days ago but wanted to follow up. I’m a 1L and applied for my dream summer internship. They are accepting applications until March 1. Today I got an email that said “thank you for your interest. We should be getting back to applicants at the end of the month”. Should I respond to the email? Reiterate my strong interest and how I think I would be a great fit? Any advice?

    • There is nothing for you to do at this time. Wait until they get back to applicants at the end of the month.

    • Olivia Pope :

      No. At this point, you just have to go through the terrible process of waiting.

    • Unfortunately, your reply will probably go into some black hole of an account that is rarely, if ever, checked.

      Try to channel that energy into other apps, stellar grades, brushing up on your interviewing skills, etc. Good luck!

  4. Anon for this :

    TJ- I’ve just finished reading the article about blue-collar husbands, and it’s done wonders to ease my mind. I am now wondering if any of you ladies with blue-collar SO’s have any relationship advice and/or things to keep in mind?

    My BF is a forklift driver and I’m a non-law professional int the early stages of my career. He’s whip-smart, knowledgeable, well-read and well-traveled but also not going to be embarking on any type of a “higher” career any time soon; I am perfectly OK with that but because I am neurotic like whoa I am wondering what hurdles might await us further down the line.

    TYA!

    • I don’t have any first-hand experience, but I imagine that, if you are cool with it, and he is cool with it, then the only “hurdles” you’ll have to deal with is how to respond to jerks with stupid questions. Because the one thing you can count on in life is that, no matter your circumstances, there will always be jerks. With stupid questions.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Re the jerks with stupid questions: usually the one I get is “oh you’re husband’s not a lawyer?” to which I respond “OH NO you don’t want two lawyers living in the same house.”

        • SoCalAtty :

          They REALLY shut up when I say “yeah, he’s the smart one…he makes 2.5 more than I do!” The sad part is that it’s true. Makes the crisis of “Why the H did I go to law school again?” a little worse.

          • Oh man, me too. BF is a site admin for a commercial construction company. Almost twice the income, none of the loans.

      • Research, Not Law :

        And the jerks will have to shut up when they want his help doing something handy.

        I thought the hardest part was at the very beginning, when we met friends. I was worried his friends would think I was uppity (and maybe they did), and he was worried my friends would think he was ignorant (and maybe they did). But it’s been fine. Nothing but love and respect. Besides, I’d have a hard time being friends with someone who couldn’t recognize the amazing wonderfulness of him and how happy he makes me just because he didn’t have the right job.

        You’re good, really.

        • Anon for this :

          Thanks! We’re lucky that we’ve known each other for a long time- little over 6 years – and have met majority of each other’s local friends and a lot of them are mutual. In fact, I briefly dated his best friend all those years ago so mostly I’m not concerned about any of our friends. :D

          It was funny, actually, when he finally met my BFF who lives in London; she was not particularly impressed because of our somewhat muddy beginnings but when he started quoting dead languages to her, she was all “.. okay. seal of approval.”

      • Olivia Pope :

        Yes, so true. There is no life you can lead without some idiots making comments.

        My fiance is pseudo-blue collar and will never have a professional degree. It is fantastic. I love being with someone who does not think in the same way I do. Neither one of us has any insecurities about our life choices, so there is no problem.

      • TO Lawyer :

        haha agree on the people will always be jerks comment. My SO is in a fairly lucrative field and I often get told that I’m lucky I found him because he’ll be loaded and that I’m clearly gold-digging….

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Me too, first a gold digger, and now that he is mid-career change and I am the primary earner, people are puzzled. He’ll be making more than me again soon though, and I’ll happily reclaim my gold digger title ;-)

    • SoCalAtty :

      My husband is an electrical contractor. Some college, but didn’t finish. I like it. I think if I was married to another attorney or something like that I’d get really tired of talking shop. We’re in the same industry now, and I STILL get tired of talking shop.

      The only time it makes me cranky is when he tries to explain a really complicated legal issue and does it totally wrong. And then I laugh at him and he stops it. It’s reciprocal, though – when I try to explain a complicated electrical issue and totally sound like a moron, I get laughed at too! Keeps our ability to spout BS to a minimum because we call each other out on it. We’ve been together 15 years, so be careful with that….we’re VERY comfortable with each other!

      • Anon for this :

        Sounds like myself and him when it comes to technology and history! :D Like I said above, we’ve known each other a good 6 years at this point, although we have not been seriously involved very long so we’re pretty comfortable when it comes to, well, calling each other out on BS really. We get into a lot of arguments about Stuff but not into real fights – we got the big screaming fights out of the way during the Unmitigated Disaster of Attempting to Date of 09. XD

    • midwest anon :

      My husband owns his own landscaping business (sole employee as of now) and I’m an attorney. I told him at the beginning of our relationship, when I got into law school and he expressed some anxiety about not being able to give me the life that I “deserved”, that I didn’t care what his job was or how much money he made, as long as he worked as hard I worked every day and was always striving to reach new goals. That seemed to allay his fears and we haven’t had a single (not kidding) fight about it in five, going on six, years.
      Many of the hurdles you might face are going to be personality-based. My husband isn’t a money spender, so I have never had even the opportunity to feel that he was taking my higher earnings for granted.

      • Anon for this :

        That sounds wonderful :D

        Yeah, we have some big personality differences which have caused us some drama but overall they’re pretty complementary. (In other words, I am the one who gets ridiculously excited and he is the laid back one- and I’m the big planner while he is the “dunno what I do tomorrow, let alone next week” kind. Amusingly enough he’s the one who is amazing with money though – I was under the impression he made more than I do for the longest time because he has a lot of disposable income for things he’s seriously into due to iron control in other areas. Whileas I… well.Lets just say I am gonna be very happy to let him manage our money when that becomes an issue.

    • I was a pretty serious student when I was younger, whereas DH was not (probably part immaturity and part undiagnosed reading / attention problems got him conditioned to thinking he wasn’t that bright and expectations for him were lowered). It seems to chafe him from time to time that 1) he wasted so many opportunities when he was younger and 2) not understanding why gifted (or not underperforming) children might need special attention when there are so many academically needy children (an issue sinc we now have children). And occasionally I get it with an “if you’re so smart, then [insert whatever here].”

      It’s not that I’m smart and he is stupid, it’s that we are very different people with different talents and habits. The world treats us in ways that have not been to his advantage sometimes and it is not good to have me as the comparison point. Also, it is not good that he was a late bloomer and has come to regret some of his choices and a lack of early intervention. It’s not an all-the-time-thing, but sincere regrets can be rear up in unexpected ways when one is not completely happy.

    • anon in tejas :

      I’ll also add that it is something worth considering further down the road. The idea that your SO may not have the hours/days off/holidays as you (because of his work and your work compatibility) may be an issue for you. It certainly is an issue for me.

      My DH is going back to school for nursing. Although I am happy that he’s seemingly found his calling, I am not looking forward to his non-business hours work schedule, working holidays, etc. My idea of “making it” was when neither of us had to do that. Also, this means for some work/social functions, I’m on my own. That’s okay, and will take some adjusting. But it’s something else that I’ve had to come to grips with.

      • Obviously, “making it” is defined differently by everyone. It’s funny, though, how many people hold up physicians as a pinnacle of making it, and how many of them are subject to call schedules that ruin nights/weekends/holidays regularly. Even practicing law requires weekends and holidays sometimes, albeit with possibly more control than a shift worker. So maybe making it is more of a having some control over your schedule, not necessarily more favorable hours?
        Your point is well taken though. My brother works at a golf course so his summer hours are insane. He will never be the one to take the kids to school or anything like that.

      • Anon for this :

        That is a very good point and at the moment we are dealing with it… ironically,because the IT project work I am doing often has utterly unsociable hours. I often joke that we could live together and still never see each other, but thankfully this should be changing soon enough. We’re both pretty flexible and neither one of us minds if we can’t see each other every single day or spend every significant occasion together. :)

    • My SO never finished college and was in law enforcement. By the time he left, he was an administrator and our work was actually very similar. FWIW, I loved the fact that he was passionate about his work and committed to his career. My ex, who had a Ph.D. was floundering. At any rate, SO is a really smart guy who writes beautifully when he tries, but who also knows how to fix almost anything and can do electrical work. I love that!

    • Coach Laura :

      Kat had a feature on Blue Collar husbands (link to follow) on 1/26/2012.

    • I love this outfit, but the pencil dress may be to tight for my tuchus.

      Regarding this specific OP, I do NOT think it matter’s if your SO is a lawyer or a NON-LAWYER. What is important is that he is NOT a skirt chaser, and NOT a drunk. FOOEY. I would settel for a blue collar JOE even if he did NOT have a law degree, as long as he was willing to put ME FIRST.

      I do NOT like guy’s who are just interested in SEX, or who are SELF centered drunk’s. I had enuff of that stuff. FOOEY.

      My dad says I have alot to offer a man — Brain’s, Beauty, and EARNING capacity (not to mention my 401K). But I do NOT want to have to carry a lazy guy who drink’s and then takes money out of my undies drawer. FOOEY on that also. Mr. Sheketovits, if he is abel to read, knows what I am talkeing about, and if he’s not, My dad says that Mrs. Shek, his mom, can tell him if he is sober that he lost a smart beauty in me.

      Roberta called to ask how her case’s are going. I told her that the Manhattan judge put off 8 cases on the docket b/c he was getting a BUNION operation on his foot. I thought only women had to do this b/c of high heels! Evedently judge’s get bunion’s from sitting on the bench? Whatever. So she was OK with that. I am going to meet with her and Myrna if there is NOT a snowstorm Saturday and eat BRONX DELI. YAY!

  5. TO Lawyer :

    Someone please talk me out of this bag. I love it SO much but it is really expensive…

    http://www.marcjacobs.com/marc-by-marc-jacobs/womens/bags-and-wallets/m3123068/too-hot-to-handle-tote?sort=

    • I was all prepared to come to your aid and insult some ugly tassle thingys or blingy logo or zippers going every which way, but then I looked at it and … OH IT IS SO PRETTY. Sorry.

    • My advice would be to wait for a Bloomingdales/Saks/other fancy department store’s 20% off Friends & Family sale. I’ve snagged all of my Marc by Marc bags that way! :)

      I did order that bag in black & while I LOVED it, I ended up returning it because it was a bit too big for my frame for everyday use. But my goodness, it was pretty.

    • Oh my. That is lovely. I was going to try to find flaws in the bag, but I really can’t, so I’m going with flaws in the purchase – it is VERY expensive, particularly for an “accent color” bag. Do you have room in your shopping budget for it? Do you *need* another bag/have you been looking for one? How many days a week would you carry it? Is there a holiday coming up that someone might want to give the bag to you as a gift? Would the color clash with your wardrobe? Is there something you should be saving for? How long have you wanted it?

      Ok, so these are generic questions, but hopefully they help. The bag is definitely gorgeous.

    • springtime :

      Um now i want that bag. and i’m not even a bag person.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Nope! Cute and nice springy color!

    • phillygirlruns :

      oh. now **i** want it.

    • I have the bag in black and love it! perfect size to fit my laptop, large notebook, charger, other random necessities. only complaint is it gets very heavy and strap is a smidge to short to swing over my shoulder easily with a big coat on. i ordered mine from saks when they had a $100 of $500 going on.

    • anonypotamus :

      I am an enabler – I can’t talk you out of that bag! My favorite purse is red and I get way more use out of it than my black or neutral bags, and I always get compliments on it. The shape is classy and looks functional. Either wait for a Friends and Family discount or sometimes opening up a department store card gets you 10% off your first purchase (and sometimes you can combine with other discounts) though many times designer brands are excluded, so YMMV.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I have a beautiful black bag which is why I don’t want it in black. Nordies has a peacock blue but I went to Holts and tried on the red and loved it.

      I can’t get it through a department store because the duty/shipping to Canada works out to be astronomical.

      I feel like if I have this many smart and accomplished ladies telling me to buy it, I must buy it…

    • If I saw it correctly, it was about $50 cheaper on Amazon.

    • I looked at the bag and then for some reason moved to “special items” area of the site. And now I can’t unsee them.

    • Sadly, that is a really nice bag. And I hunk red is a neutral :-). Maybe all the other posters will cause it to be sold out?

    • I mean, it’s not that expensive, as handbags go….

  6. midwest anon :

    quick advice needed from the hive:

    I am having a meeting with the partners after hours today (3 partners, small office) and I anticipate they will be letting me know what they decided re: maternity leave for me. They have never had to make this decision in the past, so this is new territory. I gave them a proposal when I told them I was expecting. I admit, I aimed higher than I think they will agree to, but not unreasonable, IMO: 5 weeks paid, 3 weeks unpaid, 4 weeks part time at half pay. I just need to steel myself in case what they have decided is cr@ppy. I want a sort of canned response so that I can have it ready to go and not get emotional about it. If it’s a cr@ppy deal, should I say anything other than “Okay”? I am not particularly confrontational (great quality for an attorney, I know) and cannot see myself attempting to negotiate after they deliver the news, but I wouldn’t mind having a polite way of telling them that I am disappointed. Or maybe I shouldn’t do that. Help?

    • Ask for some time to think it over and request a follow up meeting to go over it once you’ve had time to consider it more carefully. They had time to think over your proposal, right? Why shouldn’t you have time to digest theirs before responding? Be clear that you’re thinking not only of yourself and your baby, but also about what makes sense for your clients (and therefore the firm). They can’t say no to more input from the lawyer who actually knows the most about her cases (i.e., you).

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think you can listen to what they present, thank them and let them know how appreciative you are they took the time to think about this, and then tell them you’d like some time to consider this and will come back to them with an answer by X. Take copious notes and summarize by email to them after the meeting, so you can be sure you are all on the same page.

    • Meg Murry :

      I think you need to look at what you proposed and decide which of it you care most about. Is it getting paid for 5 weeks? Is it having 8 weeks off and then 4 weeks at part time? You should make sure you are working under the same definition of part time – is it 50% of the hours? Working only 3 days a week? Etc.
      Also, if you come to an agreement, you should make sure to say something about “barring major medical complications”. If for some reason you wind up on bedrest or having complications where it isn’t recommended that you go back to work after 8 weeks, will they be willing to discuss?

      • midwest anon :

        I care most about being paid for the maximum amount of time possible while I am off, then I care about the 8 weeks total. I don’t care much at all about the part-time. I threw that in there so they could cut it out if they wanted to axe something from my proposal.
        Thanks for adding the two cents about medical complications. I hadn’t thought of that and definitely need to address it. And also address the definition of “part time” if they agree to that as part of the deal.
        The partners prefer to operate without specific rules and policies so that they can remain flexible and apply different rules to different employees. (Not kidding.) That’s what makes this a sticky wicket.

        • I work in one of those office too. Are you a favored or disfavored person? This can help you plan what to expect. ie: Do you usually get the benefit or the shaft from the loosey goosey policies?

          • midwest anon :

            Favored, for sure. I am the only female attorney. The partners profess to like me, want me to stay on for the “future” of the firm. I have *always* taken all my implied 10 days of PTO each year and maybe even a couple days extra here and there for bereavement, family crisis, and they have never breathed a negative word about it to me.

        • Meg Murry :

          If the 8 weeks is what you care about most, then be prepared to make suggestions if you think there is any room for negotiation. “Ok, 3 weeks paid off sounds good (if that’s what they offer), but I really need to take at least 8 weeks off total” etc. Just FYI, most standard disability claims are 6 weeks for an uncomplicated birth and 8 weeks for a C-section, because it really does take your body that long to heal.
          Also – do you get a set amount of PTO and does taking this leave mean you use up all your PTO for the year, or will you still have PTO when you come back from leave? Do you have health insurance through the firm and is there money deducted from your check for that? How will that be handled during your unpaid weeks?
          You should also be discussing who will handle your workload while you are gone and what your plan is to make the transition smooth, both for the person picking up your workload and your clients.

    • midwest anon :

      I would like that to be the way our office works… but it is my fear that if I respond by saying that I will think about it and respond after giving some consideration, or come back to them with an answer, they will flat out tell me that there’s nothing to consider because that’s what they’ve decided to offer. They aren’t opening the door for communication with this discussion, they’re giving me an answer.
      (Perhaps I should have prefaced the OP by saying that back when I started, they told me that they thought they’d probably offer two weeks paid, remainder (unspecified amount of time) unpaid, but that the longer I was an employee “the more time” they would consider giving. Very nebulous and noncommittal. I told them after some months had passed that 2 weeks of paid leave was insufficient. Then, more time passed, I got pregnant, and I gave them my proposal, so this isn’t really the beginning of the negotiations, it’s really more the end. And clearly, I’m not optimistic about this.

      • I guess if they have zero interest in discussing it any further, then there’s nothing for you to do but said “okay, thanks” and go home. But it sounds like you don’t want that. Take this with a grain of salt because I never have issues with what other people call “confrontation” (I hate that term — it sounds like a battle when it’s really just a conversation), but what do you, in your heart, think you deserve? Do you think what you’re asking for is fair? If your friend was asking for it, would you think she was being fair? Would you ask someone for this on her behalf? What if one of your co-workers was pregnant and got the deal you’re asking for — how would you feel about that? The bottom line is whether you can make a strong argument for why you should get X, Y, or Z. Make sure you don’t think of this as asking for a favor. If you think you’re asking for a favor, they’ll feel they’re being generous. Remember that you have something they want: you. If they’re jerks to you, you’ll look for a job someplace else. They have to know that or they’re not very good at their job.

        • midwest anon :

          You’re right, and I definitely need to adjust my POV to this, but it’s hard with the environment here where it seems “everyone is replaceable.” That was said to me by a partner when I lost my amazing secretary after I fought to do what we could to keep her happy. I made sure to let them know that three other firms have contacted me about making a move, all within the last four months, when I submitted my proposal. (Of course, they heard rumors about that anyway – it’s a small legal community.)
          In my heart, I think I am asking for something reasonable, and I think I am “worth it” as an employee to receive that time. If they don’t see me the same way, then I do plan to make a move.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            IMO — then you do have an option to “take some time to think about it.” Because if they say “There’s nothing to think about, this is what we’re offering” you get to respond with, “I understand that, and I appreciate you negotiating with me on this and attempting to meet me halfway. I need to take some time to consider if what you’re offering is what I can accept.”

          • just Karen :

            Please update us tomorrow on the outcome of the meeting!

          • midwest anon :

            I definitely will update you! It’s getting ready to start soon, so I am just trying to kill some time between now and then and not be nervous.

  7. Research, Not Law :

    Reposting because I was late on the morning thread.

    I’m looking for a sleep chemise with built-in shelf bra. This seems like a product that would exist, but yet I can’t seem to find it. Has anyone seen one?

    – Victoria’s Secret is out. They never fit my large bust and small rib cage.
    – I’ve checked out Soma (thanks NOLA!) and some items were close but not quite right.
    – Norm Thompson has a nightbown that’s what I want structurally, but it’s aesthetically more matronly that I’d like.

  8. anon for this :

    Hi Ladies,
    TJ question – how to ask HR to transition into part time role? UK specific. I’m a UK based professional, relocated here from North America in 2012 to live with my partner until we feel that we’re ready for marriage and moving back to N.A. (where we ultimately want to end up – timeline is probably by mid 2014). I left a blossoming (non law) career – no regrets – but I am a bit of a workaholic and love positive stress of a job.

    I just started a new job in an AMAZING company which I absolutely love. We also are about to move into an AMAZING house. The downside? The commute is 1.5 hours each way (ouch). After thinking about it we agreed that the house is a keeper (its financially a massive win for us in terms of resale when we want to move, it’s exactly what we need space wise to live from our current cramped accomodations), but the long time away will not be good for the relationship.

    I’d like to ask HR to see if I could have a part time role. I literally started this week. The commute is already crazy hard. But the company – and the role – is absolutely amazing (environment, people, work, location) – so I’d love to continue to work there in any capacity as long as I could be home before 7pm!!

    Any advice on whether this is possible? Specifically from EU folk?

    Thank you very much!

    • I know nothing about the housing or job markets in the UK, so you can probably stop reading this now. But if you were in the US I would say it’s crazy to buy a house if you plan to sell within two years, and it’s crazy to ask to go part time at a new full-time job you just started this week. You could ask about the part time role, but you should probably expect your request to change your employer’s perception of you (not in a good way) since you recently accepted a full time role and you haven’t been there long enough to build any credibility. Keep in mind they haven’t invested much in you yet and could still easily replace you.

      • I agree with all this. At most, I think you could ask to be able to work remotely for part of the time, although this is really something you should have brought up before you accepted.

    • London based :

      Depends what type of job you do. I work in London in a global financial services company, and I have an agreement to work remotely. I am lucky in that my manager is flexible, so I work anywhere from 0 to 4 days a week at home depending on what i have on (eg meetings etc).
      I should also mention that I had been at the company over 5 years when I negotiated this, but I know many employees who do it and have been there less. I also check my blackberry off hours every now and then so I have a reputation of being a solid worker

    • I would say that if you just started, and the company hired you for a full-time position, they are going to expect you to be there full-time. Having lived in London myself before, the other thing I would point out is that there are lots of people there who have that kind of commute. At one point I had it myself. It kind of sucked, but that was life. I think you need to stick with what you were hired for at this point, and after a few months, perhaps evaluate your boss’s flexibility re your hours, working remotely once a week, etc.

      • PS You say you have relocated to the UK from North America. In my experience, an expat’s employer usually takes a large role in helping the the expat to obtain a work visa. Not only that, in many industries these days, a UK employer really has to justify hiring an expat in order to obtain the visa – it isn’t easy. Have you considered how changing to part-time could affect your visa, and your employer’s ability to justify hiring you? Just something to think about.

        • Saacnmama :

          All of that was true for me when I lived in Germany. What was ALSO true (and amazing to me) is that te definition of FT could be as little as 32 hrs per week. Do you know the UK definition for FT work?

    • My experience is US-based, so not sure how helpful it will be, but thought I would throw it out there.

      I started a new position one month ago. The office is located 50 miles from my home; the commute is typically an 1:10 in the morning and 1:30 in the evenings (although it has been up to 2 1/2 hours). I work from home 2 days per week, which was something we agreed upon before I accepted the job. Depending on the office culture and the type of work you do, I think an employer would be more likely to consider an arrangement like this vs. switching you to part-time.

    • Why did you take this job?

      Did you not realize the commute was so inconvenient? Did you not talk about it with your partner before you accepted?

      This is kind of a lesson for all the other readers of this site.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      The commute might be something you could get used to. At least for awhile until you’ve built up your credibility and could ask about working remotely some days. I used to drive anywhere from 1-1.5 hours each way and then lived about a 1 hour commute on the subway away from my job. It’s certainly not fun, but you can get used to it after awhile.

    • Anne Shirley :

      This sounds ridiculous to me, speaking as an employer. I just hired you. You just voluntarily took on this commute. You’re getting home at 7, which sounds reasonable to me. If the job really is amazing, suck it up and do it.

    • Saacnmama :

      London has great public transit; you can use the commute to catch up on emails and review work on the way in, and to chill out and get ready for your event on the way home. When I have to drive in traffic, I get home & just want to flop, but you can get through that on the way home-if you get a seat on the tube!

    • anon for this :

      oops. Not London, smaller city/town, but otherwise fair and useful commentary. thanks for the feedback, everyone.

  9. Random addendum to the last thread, which was an awesome topic and I’m sorry to have missed. I’ve given up on eye makeup almost completely! My lids and the skin around my eyes just won’t let anything stay. Eyeshadow and most eyeliner just streak or fall off. No primer has ever helped. So I gave up a few months ago and settled in to a makeup routine of nude eyes (mascara and liquid eyeliner just at the lash line, where it barely shows but does stay put) and bold lips. Lipstick is considered high-maintenance, but putting and keeping it on is a breeze for me compared to eye stuff. I’ve enjoyed building my lipstick wardrobe and I no longer mind that I can’t do bold eye + nude lip as many women do. If anyone else is also in this sitch and wants to talk lipstick, hello sister!

    • I only ever wear mascara and liquid liner at the lash line – I didn’t realise that was considered “nude eyes”!

  10. Cookies and Wine :

    I’m hoping for advice from the hive on two unrelated topics. One, my husband and I have our five year anniversary coming up. I want to get him something special but am drawing a blank on what to give him. He is not really into most material things and rarely buys clothes, shoes, electronics, etc. I thought of an “experience” type gift, but am worried about finding a time to do it — free time is very limited right now as we have a 2 year old and a newborn and both work full time demanding jobs (he often works weekends as well). He does like spas/massages, but very rarely goes; but I discarded that idea for the same issue of having time to do it. Any suggestions on great gifts you’ve given?

    Second, I am really loving these Miri mid-heel suede pumps at JCrew in blush stone. http://www.jcrew.com/browse/single_product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524441831215&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302062761&nav_type=PRMNAV&bmUID=jOrzFmp. It’s more than I would typically spend on a shoe though. Do you think the color is kind of a neutral that would go with everything, or more of a pink that would be like a special occasion type of shoe? I can really only justify the price if I think I could use them for a variety of outfits.

    • Famouscait :

      I have a pair of patent leather peep-toes in this same shade. I find I’m able to wear them with reds, greys, brown, camel, etc. I think its a pretty versatile color. Not quite nude, but neutral enough to go with lots of colors.

    • I’d get him babysitting and a date night. Seriously. As someone with one kid and a demanding job, that’s what I want more than anything else.

    • Give him a massage from you!

    • Cookies and Wine :

      Thanks for the suggestions. These are great ideas. I decided I will think about the shoes for a few days. If I still love them, then I’ll go for it. I’m tired of always wearing my same old black or brown heels (not that these are so wild, but it’s a start for branching out).

  11. Need some advice. Graduated law school in May 2010. First job is a Biglaw firm (though my office only has 15 attorneys, the national firm is 850+), but I don’t get paid Biglaw money. I hate my current job for numerous reasons. Just got another offer that is MUCH closer to home, small/mid-sized firm. But, higher billable hour requirement, worse bonus structure, and they offered me what I’m currently being paid. If I take it I also forgo my raise (back paid to Jan 1st) and bonus from last year that aren’t paid out until the end of March- probably around $10K. I’m torn b/c of the pay cut and more work being required on top of it. Any suggestions?
    Also, my DH and I have been trying to have a baby for a while and the first pregnancy ended in December from ectopic. So, what would I even tell my new boss if I get pregnant right away?

    • Regarding the last part of your question, I strongly think that you shouldn’t worry about what to tell a new boss if you get pregnant right away. Getting pregnant isn’t doing anything wrong, and you shouldn’t make any excuses. The only thing to tell them (when you’re ready) is that you’re pregnant, and what your plan is for transitioning your work to someone else while you’re on maternity leave.

      I get it that you want to build up credibility before you take time off for maternity leave, but it’s not like you’re taking a vacation; you’re taking leave to recover from a physically demanding event and to care for a baby, which is something people have done for millenia. I think it’s important not to treat getting pregnant like doing something wrong – if we treat it like a bad thing then employers will, too, which is nonsense.

      • Anonymous :

        Truth. I am working on dealing with issues as they actually present themselves, not what I think might happen because so much is unpredictable. Based on thissite, I’d say that goes double for TTC concerns.

    • Anonymous :

      Is the small/mid-sized firm good at all? From what you wrote, it just sounds like a change, which can be attractive when you’re struggling, but not a good long-term strategy.

      • Second this. :

        That was the sense I got as well. It sounds like you may end up making less money, and while you will spend less time commuting, you will spend more time at the office, which isn’t an improvement (or at least wouldn’t be for me). You would also be giving up a very generous biglaw maternity leave policy. I would stick it out at your current firm for a while, and/or keep interviewing until you get an offer at a firm that offers you better hours or is otherwise a step up, life-wise.

    • Can you negotiate a signing bonus to make up for the bonus you would forego if you move?

      • I thought about asking for a signing bonus or possibly asking if they would push back my start date- but that would be asking them to wait 8 weeks.
        The location is a HUGE plus, as it’s 2 miles from my house as opposed to 30+ miles. I think the work environment would be much less stressful and I’ve met nearly every attorney at the firm and they seem to be genuine. The turnover there is also minimal, which is a huge plus for me b/c my current firm has lost 6 attorneys in the last 10 months, three of which were partners. I work under the MP and I’ve been here 2 1/2 years. I’ve worked for her for longer than any other associate in firm history. Most quit and some just request a transfer to another partner, which isn’t an option for me.
        I’m overly paranoid about the pregnancy thing b/c of how the last one ended and I know I’ll be required to go to the doctor at least once a week during the first trimester. Thanks for all of the advice!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      So my first question is have you countered? If not, ask for more in comp to offset the hours increase (Is it material or just more?). You said you work in BigLaw but not paid BigLaw salary – are you a staff attorney, and if so, is this new position on a career track or also staff? Back to hours – you have a higher requirement but is their sufficient work/relationships to actually make them?

      I’d tell them thanks for the consideration, but that you were looking for X in compensation, and while you’d be excited to join there team, to do so prior to Y date would require you to forgo your bonus of Z, which you are quite willing to do if an equivalent signing bonus was available. $10K isn’t that much from a signing bonus stand point, and now that they have offered, you do have some leverage to negotiate…

      • Anne Shirley :

        And is the new firm big enough that you’d get maternity leave right away? Check that.

        • Just as a data point- I work for a Vault 50 firm where, to be eligible for the (generous) maternity leave, you have to have been with the firm for a full year prior to taking the leave. Might be worth some research if you are hoping to get pregnant in the very near term.

    • How important is the BigLaw paycheck? I sounds like they wanted to match your BigLaw salary but need you to support that salary by working more hours. I’d try to negotiate for a lower hours requirement and lower salary in return for a better bonus structure.

      Re: bonus and back pay. It’s expected that BigLaw lawyers wait until bonuses are paid out before leaving so set your start date for April. If they “need” you before then, ask for a commiserate signing bonus. I would be surprised if they gave you the signing bonus when they figure out your expected bonus amount.

    • Another S :

      You’ve received good advice in response to your questions but I did want to add that I’m sorry for your loss. I also had an ectopic last year and it was one of the more difficult things I’ve gone though. I’m impressed that you were able to keep up with the job search. Good luck with the new job and TTC!

  12. shiny lids :

    Eyeliner TJ! I use L’Oreal Infallible eyeliner now, but I’ve used similar products other brands (Sephora, Revlon, etc.). It’s one of those crayon-y pencils. Well, I have oily eyelids, and within an hour I notice that it has smudged on the upper part of my lid! I’m constantly washing it off and reapplying. What can I do? I apply foundation and powder to my eyelids before applying liner, but it doesn’t stop the smudging. Should I just switch to liquid liner or another kind of crayon liner?

    • Browneyedgal :

      You can try three things: (1) Revlon Colorstay – which usually wont budge or (2) put on your regular liner and then dust your eyelids with some powder to set it or (3) try and eyeshadow base – that might help with the liner.

    • Have you tried cream or gel liner? I use, and love, Clinique in a small round pot, but several drugstore brands also are supposed to be very good. I am sure Allure has a rating of these things.

      • Seconding this–crayons never work for me. Also, definitely try an eyelid primer under your foundation. That one little thing made a HUGE difference for me.

    • http://www.temptalia.com

      Look through the reviews. Trust me – it’s worth the time.

  13. Austin or San Francisco? :

    Reposting because I think I was too late on the earlier thread.

    DH and I want to take a long weekend in May and have narrowed it down to San Francisco or Austin. I’m leaning towards Austin because it is closer and we only have 3-4 days.

    We are foodies and I will ask for food recommendations later, but right now I’m just trying to find some hotels to choose between. We both like more modern, clean hotels like a Mandarin Oriental or a W, but we are trying to keep costs down on this trip. Not really interested in somewhere like a Holiday Inn, etc. Would like to stay somewhere in either city where we can easily get around. Suggestions?

    • In Austin-Hotel San Jose, the Driskill, or Stephen F Austin are my recommendations. Very cool, historic and/or fun. They are not contemporary design, but completely “Austin.”
      Enjoy!

    • SV in House :

      The Argonaut in SF is a nice option http://www.argonauthotel.com/

    • Off the top of my head, for downtown SF, consider the Mystic or the Clift. Small rooms, but nice, not crazy expensive, and not foofy/old fashioned. I’m a boutique hotel fan, myself. For big and modern, I like the Intercontinental much better than the W.

    • I posted in the earlier thread as well, but the Hotel Saint Cecilia is a great option in Austin. Beautiful boutique hotel on South Congress Avenue.

    • anon in tejas :

      it may be difficult to find a place to stay in austin, as legislative session will be ending. Driskill is awesome, but will be pricy.

      stay away from omni south austin. It’s not a great location, and not up to regular omni quality.

    • For SF — right across from the Ferry Building (which has wonderful food, esp. the Sat. am farmers’ market) — check out Hotel Vitale. Sleek and eco-green (supposedly) vs. chintz. But if you want to consider more traditional old-school, the Fairmont all the way!

  14. So secret romance PSA (since I know Marilla loves the updates): If you are having a secret romance, you should probably not have coffee at the Starbucks a block from your office. He told the boss today (we meant to this week anyways but the fact that we were holding hands on campus and a co-worker walked by provided some incentive) and she said, ‘yes, I know, everyone knows’.

    Before you start airmailing me NGDGTCO en masse, I’m a student in a completely different field and work there 10 hours a week as a PT job.

  15. In honor of the snowy forecast, I’m shopping for a new winter coat. Tis the season, right? Hopefully one of you amazing shoppers will be able to help me out.

    I’m looking for:
    +knee-length (on 5’3″ me)
    +defined waist
    +hooded!!!
    +wool or cashmere (or wool- or cashmere-blend) so that I will be toasty in twenty-degree weather
    +lined
    +a muted color (black, gray, maybe dark blue or dark green or dark red–preferably no camels or jewel tones)

    I am kind of crazy in love with the Trina Turk Wool & Alpaca Blend Wrap Coat at Nordstrom’s (link to follow), but I’m afraid that at 35″, it might be shorter than I had in mind. I also have no sense of whether it seems warm enough–anyone have experience to share?

  16. Frou Frou :

    Ladies, how do you know if your swim wear bottoms fit? I have a slight amount of love handles that “poof” out (erm … over?) the side of bikini bottoms. Is it a matter of going up one size? I’m afraid that if I do, they’ll be baggy in the bottom and fall off when wet. I usually wear swim shorts to hide this problem, but I’m going on a beach vacation in April and I am determined to wear a bikini sans shorts. At least some of the time. Help!

    • I wouldn’t wear ones that cause muffin top. It may not be size as much as fit, finding one the right rise. Swimsuit shopping unfortunately requires a bit of time to try on a lot before you find one you like. I believe the last time I bought one it was from Target.

    • I’ve had luck with bottoms that have a regular fitted part and then an additional sash (or something along those lines) right above it. They stay up fine, but no muffin.

      • I think it depends. Are they love handles because the bikini is too tight or because you have hip indentations causing perma-love handles?

        ( Picture of hip indentations – it’s a nonexplicit drawing of the female form so may be NSFW where you are http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m06h38surW1qfeqoxo1_500.png )

        If it’s the size of the bikini, try sizing up. If it’s the way your body is, unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do. I will always look like I have love handles, in every bikini, basically always. It’s just the shape of my bones – high-set hips, I guess.

        Things that have worked for me – a slightly higher rise, as noted above, boy short bottoms, surprisingly, ring-connector bottoms. Things that have never worked for me – string/tie bottoms. I don’t know how anyone gets those tied so they don’t come loose, but they are not so tight they’re digging into your skin. Plus they exacerbated the problem.

        • Nice drawing. :)

          I also suggest trying on as many different styles of bottoms as you can find. You may also need a different size on the bottom than on the top.

          I was in Sears last week and their Lands End section has lots of different styles. Lands End is known for their flattering and well-fitting suits. You can mix-and-match styles and colors and sizes. Target is also nice in this regard.

          Higher-rise bottoms were in last year, and the trend may just continue. (Or you could do like me and wear last year’s trend and hope no one notices.)

        • Frou Frou :

          Thanks for the drawing! I’m sorta hip indented. But it’s not because of the bone, but a bit o’ fat. It used to be muscle (oh ballerina body that I took for granted), but now it’s not. :( Thanks, I have a hard time finding suits in stores (busty), and I was hoping to order something from Athleta. But the bottoms look kinda teeny and I don’t think I can do a skirt.

    • I have this same problem so I only wear tie bottoms. I don’t like the string styles, but the thicker part that ties works well for me!

  17. ASOS peg pants :

    Has anyone tried the ASOS peg pants? They are available in what seems to be a million colors and prints. I need comfy but stylish pants for a transcontinental flight (US to Asia). It’s not work related so I don’t need to roll out of the plan looking perfect. But I’ll be 6 months pregnant and am looking for loose fitting pants that are not sweatpants. Any ideas?

  18. Okay, I don’t really have anyone else to share this with because for the most part, I am very lucky to be in a very different financial situation than my friends and family and really don’t want to talk money matters with them, but

    we finally got approved for our construction loan for our future home today! At a very favorable interest rate. I think my husband submitted a ream of paper in supporting documents, but we are going to be building a house in the spring and I am so excited!

    • anonypotamus :

      YAY! I haven’t been through it myself, but I hear lots of patience and a sense of humor are necessary :) My in-laws are starting a remodel on a large portion of their house in the next week or two, so we’ll get a glimpse of what it is like. Congrats and good luck!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      YAY! I am hoping to build our next (and last home) – good building karma….

  19. You know, I seriously considered responding to the Anonymous yesterday who posted some gratuitous dig at Duke (wouldn’t have been anything terribly vitriolic — something along the lines of “Ouch!”), and then decided not to bother since I didn’t see the dig till late afternoon. Given the story that just came out about the frat acting like complete a s s hats, I’m glad I skipped it. Sigh.

    • My alma mater was recently in the news for juicing their US News and World Report figures. SIGH.

      • Did you go to school in Atlanta? If so, we’re fellow alums!

      • I hope these discoveries will bring USNWR college rankings back to being a moderately useful source of information… their importance now is ridiculously inflated.
        Smart consumers will always take this data with a grain of salt.

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