Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Printed Pleated Shirt

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

Express PRINTED PLEATED SHIRTI’m a bit surprised to say this, but I love this blouse from Express. The fitted details, the light pleating at the back of the neck, the rounded hem — love it all. I’m a fan of this gray checked version the most, but it also comes in a black and white colorblocked version. It’s $49.50 at Express. PRINTED PLEATED SHIRT

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Comments

  1. Yay! Fruegel Friday’s! I love Fruegel Friday’s! Kat, I love the blouse, but an Express Blouse at $49.50 not that fruegel! Besides, FRANK would be stareing at my boobie’s with this one. Way to low cut and I do NOT want him getting free looks at me, especialy b/c I think he is lookeing at dirty picture’s on the INTERNET instead of workeing. FOOEY on him b/c he is MARRIED and should NOT be lookeing at picture’s of women other then his WIFE, and even then not NOT picture’s of her without her clotheing on. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    The manageing partner want’s my dad to come out this SUNDAY to go for a boat ride in his NEW boat, and talk turkey. I did NOT think my dad wanted to go, but he doe’s and he is goeing to tell me all about it. I am not abel to go b/c I promised Roberta that Myrna and I would do some VOLUNTER work in the Bronx this weekend at Wave Hill where Roberta volutneer’s. The manageing partner was thrilled that I am so freindly with the cleint. He says for me to talk a little buseiness so that I can add in a littel BILLEING’s as long as I am goeing and he said I should pay for lunch for all 3 of us and bill it back later. I said that sounded a little creepy b/c this is NOT buseiness, but he said he would find a wayto do it; mabye by tackeing on some more hourlei’s for Lynn on their account. I said she doe’s NOTHING for Roberta’s account so she should NOT be billeing, but the manageing partner says she review’s my breif’s with him b/f we file them.

    Have a great weekend to everyone in the HIVE. I hope I meet a guy @ Wave Hill b/c I still have NOT figured out how to cook anything better, and Philip is NOT texteing me. FOOEY!

  2. Bacon pancakes :

    I’ve been looking for a medallion printed blouse for weeks! Thanks, Kat!

    What’s everyone wearing today? It’s drearily rainy in DC, so I’m doing a muted plaid shirt, cozy navy cardigan, and cropped black trousers with black ballet flats today. Comfort over fashion today. :-(

    • manomanon :

      Also in DC… casual Friday at my office so it’s a polo layered over a tank top with a khaki skirt and Kiel James Patrick bracelet…. The rain is not helping my productivity levels, nor is the fact that this outfit is essentially what I define as sweats.

      • Do you have tips for working in such weather?
        I have a hard time explaining why I get depressed (zero productivity) with gray sky..

        • I’m in the same boat. Tropical Storm Andrea meant my window was a wall of water yesterday. Blargh. Extra caffeine helped.

        • My way of dealing with it is to break the day up a little more often than I normally would, come here and see whats happening, walk to my boss’ office instead of calling her, things like that.
          And I will probably take a trip to Starbucks later which I try to avoid during the week

        • Maybe I am in the minority, but I LOVE rainy days at work. I don’t feel bad that I’m not outside because it’s gross out, and my office actually feels like a nice/cozy/dry place. So much better than being stuck at work on a gorgeous day.

          • I love them too. I get a lot done. So much so that I use http://rain.simplynoise.com/ to simulate a nice rainy workday, because I live in sunny Southern California.

          • manomanon :

            I love rainy days… for everything except the office primarily because I use thunderstorms as white noise to help me fall asleep. I find them soothing and relaxing which means by the time I get to my office even if there isn’t thunder outside I am ready to curl up and sleep- not great for productivity.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      We have a charity dress-down day today (normally business casual) so I’m in jeans, a turquoise top with pink and purple tropical flowers on it and black shoe-boots. I feel a bit frumpy, if I’m honest, as today was a non-hair washing day and I very rarely wear trousers or jeans!

      But it’s grey here in London, too, though not raining. Where’s the summer?!

    • Today is Casual Friday:
      - Black 3/4 sleeves flowy shirt with gold detailing (from Zara) long enough to cover the bum
      - Gray ponte legging pants (from Uniqlo) they were inexpensive and look unexpectedly put together
      - Then I’m wearing black wedges
      To break the sad colors, I have a very bright yellow leather satchel.

    • I’m wearing this today because we have business casual on Fridays, but I think I may have pushed the envelope a bit too much: https://www.rosiepope.com/product/RPM-318-RPCOLOR80

      I thought putting on nude heels would help, but I don’t think it helped enough. Bah.

      • If you’re pregnant, you get a bit of a pass on things that normally wouldn’t fly. I bet you look great. Don’t worry about it!

        • Thanks. I am pregnant. It’s a fine line to walk between getting a pass and still wanting to look professional and not lowering your standards.

    • Miss Behaved :

      Also rainy and in the 50′s here. Black yoga jeans with black belt, red and gray striped long sleeved tee from Shade Clothing ($8 with free shipping), Tidewater printed flip flops.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m in So Cal and we’ve got some “June gloom” going on this morning, although it will probably warm up quite a bit by the afternoon. I’m wearing a purple/orange/yellow/white print jersey dress, white tuxedo jacket, and white pumps, with a purple “croc” satchel. Easy peasy for a busy Friday.

      • I’m in Northern California and the sun is peeking out. I never dress down on Fridays because it requires a whole new wardrobe and I work for a county where we still have to see clients, even on Fridays. Regardless of the day of the week, my work wardrobe consists of 1) court attire (suit); or 2) non-court attire (dresses, skirts, cardi or blazer, and heels).

      • I hear ya on the June gloom – it’s the worst!

        I’m wearing GAP dark wash skinny jeans, a oversize white, slightly open knit sweater & a large blue/white/green print scarf recently picked up at the Nordie’s sale, with bronze open toe Anne Klein stacked heel sandals. My office is completely casual, FWIW.

        • SoCal Traffice :

          Overcast days after a series of beautiful weekends are the worst :/ I hear it’ll be highs in the 80s this weekend though :D

          I’m wearing dark grey trousers, plain black sleeveless shirt with interesting ruffle/v-neck thing going on with a cheery kelly-green 3/4 sleeve cardi over it.

          With….my first brooch attempt ever pinned to the lapel of the cardigan. :D

          Why are brooches so hard to wear? Any advise ladies?

          • SoCal Traffic :

            ANDDDDD I can’t spell traffic. Looks like Starbucks run just got moved up by an hour…..

    • Mountain Girl :

      Friday is jeans day so I’m wearing jeans and a company polo. But, I have good hair today so I’m feeling good!

    • It was a little cooler here this morning, but probably hot now. I’m wearing a casual dress with sliver wedge sandals and a cardigan. Low sandals because I have re-aggravated the knee where I have a torn MCL and it’s 2 weeks until I can get an appointment.

    • Smoke and mirrors.

    • blushy pink Trina Turk belted jersey tanktop with embroidery and leather paillettes, black shorts, olive green platform wedges with a cutout, olive green sun hat, raw crystal ring and jade studs. It’s 80 and sunny here and I took a half day to go play outside.

  3. I’m a fan of this shirt. My summer work-appropriate shirt wardrobe is woefully bare.

    And an unrelated question: I occasionally see people comment as “frequent poster, but anon for this.” Now, I understand wanting to go anon for certain topics, absolutely. But what’s the mindset behind claiming that you often post? Although I don’t think it’s the intent, it comes across to me as “You should definitely pay attention to this because I’m a regular poster” or “you should try to guess who I am.” Am I missing something? It seems like just going anon or using a different name should suffice.

    • I have to admit, I don’t entirely understand that either. I’ve heard people say that when they see that, they try to figure out who it is, which kind of defeats the purpose, although if someone was an infrequent reader or just a visitor, they wouldn’t be able to pin it on a particular handle. If I truly want to go anonymous, I just use anon or Anon, not even Anon for this. Posting with a regular handle gives people context, which I like, but there are times when details under my handle aren’t appropriate or would out me.

    • Maybe it is to say that they are familiar with the standard advice of the hive and can skip ahead or or are otherwise comfortable with the vibe of the community. Not sure that really changes things though.

    • I always thought it was to ward off Troll accusations.

    • I do think there’s a bit of “pay attention because I’m one of the regulars” to it, but I don’t necessarily think it’s inappropriate because it’s not so much a “my question is important because I post a lot,” but more of a recognition that people who post regularly tend to get more feedback at times. Not sure why, but that’s just something I have noticed. That, and the troll issue (which honestly is more of a many people don’t understand the term troll problem, imo)

    • I always read it as a way of saying – I do contribute to the community also, as opposed to just taking advice and not giving. So please help me out this time.

      • I really like that perspective, and it’s something that hadn’t really occurred to me. Glad I asked.

      • When I do it, this is what I mean. I frequently do it not so much because I don’t want regular posters to know who I am, as because I don’t want it to be associated with this name, and subsequently with me, in a google search.

  4. SAlit-a-gator :

    I’m in the market for a white summer blazer…everything I keep trying is see through and/or looks like a labcoat. Has anybody cracked this summer conundrum? I want something that is lined (to solve the see-through problem), with preferably two buttons (since I’m large chested), that I can throw on top of almost any color that will dress up my outfit, but also look summer appropriate. I also have mixed feelings about linen, as it wrinkles into a hot mess so easily. If you own or have recently bought a great white blazer, where should I be looking?

    This is the only thing I’ve found that really fits the bill but I hate to spend this much money:
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/kate-spade-new-york-alix-jacket/3427593?origin=shoppingbag

  5. Has anyone ever tried Optifit Bras? I read an article about them, and was thinking of ordering one, but it’s kind of a process, they are made in the UK, and you have to order a special measuring tape to measure yourself before you can order. Supposedly, they are more comfortable and provide better support than other bras. Lately, every bra I try is so uncomfortable, even after begin fitted recently so I know I’m wearing the right size, they just don’t feel good, and most of them don’t really provide good support. My shoulders hurt, and I have so much back fat! I’ve gained weight, which is I’m sure most of the problem. If anyone has tried these, I’d love to know if they live up to their marketing.

    • Here is a link.
      http://www.optifitbra.com/

    • I’ve said this before, but I feel like it is worth repeating here:

      Not all bras are created equal. You may have been sized, but have you tried different types of bras? Full Coverage, Demi, Wireless, Plunge, etc? And not every 34DD is the same across the board. Try different brands, and try different styles and see which one is comfortable.

      And where you get sized really matters. Go to a reputable place. Nordstrom has a lot of followers here, and I have found that their fittings to be fairly accurate, but you should also check out a high end retailer (Not Victorias Secret). Getting fitted at several places also helps with the making sure you are wearing the right size bit.

      • I went to a specialty lingerie store in my city, wish we had a Nordstrom in OKC! May be worth a trip to Dallas soon.

        • I am such a Nordie’s bra devotee, even though I live in Canada, every time I visit Seattle or Las Vegas I make a special trip to the Nordie’s underwear department. It’s going to be a highlight of my trip to Las Vegas next week.

  6. Cute top, but am I missing what the fabric is? Can’t find that mentioned.

  7. calling Philadelphians :

    I know there are some other Philly folks on this site–any recommendations for sympathy food baskets from places in the city or out on the Main Line? One of the people killed in the building collapse was the daughter of a former colleague, and everything at DiBruno’s seems too festive to send.

  8. Don't Wanna be a Mean Girl :

    Need some help with an office politics question. There is a new hire in my group that is struggling to find her place, socially, in the office. While I consider her to be a fine co-worker, she’s not someone I click with as a friend. Which should be fine…right? Unfortunately she is struggling hard to be “friends” and fit in. She’s not picking up on the social clues, and as a result her feelings are often hurt. She says passive aggressive things that make it clear she feels excluded. She is always included in work-related or group activities, but bristles when left out of more informal things. I’m starting to feel like a “mean girl” around the office, due to her hurt feelings. Truthfully, I take a while to make friends, especially at the office, and the friends I have there took a long time to develop. So I am not comfortable with how hard she’s been pushing on that front, and I’m sure I have noticeably pulled back–in contrast with how I treat my long-time co-workers. Hive, any suggestions for handling this situation gracefully? I want this person to be more comfortable with all of us, and want to help create an environment where that can happen.

    • Even if you don’t click with her one-on-one, why not include her in the more informal group things?

      • Don't Wanna be a Mean Girl :

        For example, someone else organized a small going away lunch for a colleague in another department. New hire had never met this person, but was upset about not being invited. Should I have brought her along anyway?

        • No. That is just silly of her.

        • I think now that you know she would like to be included, it would be nice and help the situation if you did. She might like a chance to meet/get to know people outside your department. Granted, I think it’s off-putting that she’s telling people she’s upset about not being included – that would really rub me the wrong way – but I think being the bigger person here is the best way to go.

        • Well, I would say that depends on if everyone else in your department went. If everyone else went/was invited, I would probably have included her. Yeah, she never met the person in question, but everyone else is going and it gives her a chance to meet and interact with other people in her department or other departments.

          Is it your responsibility to introduce her to people, not necessarily, but it’s kind of the nice thing to do when someone is the new kid on the block. Did someone do something similar for you? Would you want someone to do it for you at your next job? She’s not helping herself by being pouty about it, but I can understand her underlying frustration.

        • This is slightly pushing it too far. It is an event where she knows no one and will not relate as people say anecdotes on the colleague leaving …

    • yeah i think the way to not be mean is to stop being mean. not to be harsh but i do think it’s mean to purposely exclude someone from informal social gatherings, at least when she first starts at your company and hasn’t done anything to warrant being excluded. put yourself in her shoes.

    • Anne Shirley :

      If these informal things are tied to the office enough that she’s hearing about them (ie not talking about 2 coworkers getting a Saturday drink together) then you are being mean and should invite her. She just started. Of course she wants to fit in but doesn’t get everything yet.

    • Stop being a Mean Girl and invite her to things? That should solve the problem. Honestly, you sound quite smug about your friendships that took you “a long time to develop.” Why not just be a nice person and include her? She’s making it clear she wants to be included and you are deliberately excluding her. I don’t see the harm in having her tag along if she wants to.

      • I think it depends on whether OP is getting together with one or two friends (out of an office of say a dozen women) or if it’s pretty much all the women in the office getting together informally…except the new girl. If the former, it’s okay for co-workers to have particular friends in the office, but the latter isn’t nice.

        • Don't Wanna be a Mean Girl :

          Let me clarify, when there are any kind of group activities in the office, she is invited. We are all professionals, and no one is intentionally being mean or exclusive. The problem is her perception that we are excluding her. At times, there are meetings that she is not invited to simply because they don’t involve her portfolio. Or perhaps I ran into a colleague in the hallway and we grabbed a coffee on our way back together. There’s no malice here, I promise.

          • Sounds like she’s oversensitive. I’m sorry. I hate dealing with that kind of BS in the office (or anywhere).

          • If it’s a case where it was just coffee or a meeting that didn’t involve her – tell her that, over and over if necessary. If she’s not picking up on the unspoken social cues (and it’s annoying you) than verbalize it.

            I’ve got a relative that is kind of like this, and in my approach is just to keep living your life and gently/matter-factly explaining that “no, this wasn’t meant as an affront to you. If just happened organically and you didn’t factor in this time. You’re still new and I’m sure that will change after you’ve been here for awhile”.

          • As someone who is (sort of) in the same situation as your new coworker, I would ask that you make an effort to include her for a little while. It sounds like you’re distinguishing between “in office” events and social activities that occur during lunch or right after work. It can feel very isolating when you aren’t invited to after-work events that you know large groups of your colleagues are attending. You don’t have to invite her to everything, but think about asking her to the next happy hour, or coffee break you go on. Maybe once you get to know her a bit, she’ll let her guard down, relax, and become a much more pleasant person.

          • Is she young-ish? Maybe she doesn’t get enough professional attention from a mentor. Perhaps you can have coffee with her one-on-one just to check in and see how she’s doing. Do it maybe once a month or quarter or just once. Let her feel like she’s a bit special.

            I also think many people just don’t get that coworkers do not equal automatic friends. But it is hard starting out in a place where everyone seems to be bffs. Part of being professional is to nurture some level of comfort between coworkers.

    • No advice really, but I did want to commiserate. I have a co-worker who has on several occasions made very embarrassing passive-aggressive comments in front of our boss, and even one time in front in front of a client! I truly feel that the office is no place for that kind of behavior.

  9. Flying Squirrel :

    Pregnancy TJ:

    Any of you ladies have tips for dealing with acne while pregnant?

    I’m 9 weeks and my skin is worse than it was in puberty. I get occasional breakouts as an adult, but the things I normally use are out during pregnancy: salicylic acid and clindamycin (may consider the latter in second trimester, but not now).

    I’ve heard tea tree oil could help, anyone had succcess with that? If so, any specific product recs?

    Thanks! Not only am I miserable and unable to eat much, now I’m worried about acne scars…please tell me this pregnancy thing gets better with time.

    • darjeeling :

      this happened to me too and I had some modest success drying it up with Queen Helene mint julep mask (a few dollars at any drugstore). By 14 weeks or so it went back to normal though; think it’s those early hormones acting up.

    • Maybe this would be a good time to try the Clarisonic brush? I am TTC, and I can’t take my usual medication that keeps my acne under control. I can use salicylic acid right now, but I always figured I would switch to the Clarisonic brush if I ever actually get pregnant. Sorry you are feeling so miserable! I hope your second trimester is better.

    • Tea tree oil is magic. I use pure tea tree diluted with water on any major problem spots. It works quickly on any kind of acne, whether it’s little bumps or the big uncomfortable ones. For something a bit gentler, I also use Lush’s Grease Lightning spot treatment, which has tea tree oil and witch hazel.

      The other natural thing that works great in my experience is a vitamin A supplement, though, having never been pregnant, I’m not sure if there’s any risks associated with that.

      • I’ve read that too much vitamin A can be harmful to a fetus, so vitamin A intake should by discussed with a physician.

        • Retin-A, which is very strongly forbidden during pregnancy, is a vitamin A derivatives. Not all vitamin A-based compound are created equaly, but yeah, I’d be careful about messing around with vitamin intake while pregnant.

    • Jenna Rink :

      The Body Shop has a tea tree oil face mask that I love when I’m having problems with breakouts.

    • Nordies Lover :

      I’m not/have never been pregnant, but I’ve always struggled with my skin. Everyone’s skin responds to different things, but, FWIW, this is what I’m currently using and it’s working great: DermaDoctor Litmus Test face wash with a Clarisonic followed by Oxy (this stuff seriously is the best break-out-preventer I’ve ever used). If I get a zit, I use a strong benzoyl peroxide–currently using a Rodan + Fields one, which works wonderfully but is a bit expensive.

  10. I really want to pierce my nose. I’ve been a lawyer for about 5 years, and I just love how a small stud looks. Can I pull this off? I’m in-house at a large corporation.

    • No b/c you wouldn’t be able to take it out for important events/meetings etc. for the (months?) after piercing.

    • Totally know-your-office situation. I’ve seen it look inconspicuous and professional, but I know it would be distracting/off-putting to many, especially older, people.

    • a passion for fashion :

      i think yes. there are at least 3 people at my biglaw firm with nose piercings and its totally fine. I should say, however, that they have the tiny speck of a diamond one (which i love, by the way). If you were thinking of somehting much bigger, that might be a different story.

    • I wouldn’t say its a categorical no like “no absolutely not, not ever” – it may depend on what type of company you work for and how well established/comfortable you are there and how flexible they are about personal style (does anyone else have visible piercings.) And frankly there are certain cultural groups who can get away with nose piercings more easily because they are part of a cultural tradition – and if you are a member of one of those groups, I think you’re probably fine.

      All that being said, if summer is a low-key time for your corporation and you work at a low-key flexible place, then maybe. If you work for a place where most people wear suits or button downs and trousers everyday and where dangly earrings or a colorful scarf is out of place – I’d give it some thought and whether it would impact people’s view of you as a professional and whether you want to deal with that. In the end though, its your nose. And if your work is really good and continues to be good, they probably won’t care too much (you’ll just be that crazy one down the hall…lol.)

    • Darn – I’m in moderation – but the TL;DR version was know your office but its your nose and your career so if you really want to do it, you can, and you’ll just have to keep being awesomesauce and you might just be known as the “funky” one if your office is more staid.

    • I’m re-re-posting this as an experiment to see if I CAN get out from the mod-bot jail.

      Darn – I’m in mod– but the TL;DR version was know your office but its your nose and your career so if you really want to do it, you can, and you’ll just have to keep being awesomesauce and you might just be known as the “funky” one if your office is more staid.

    • Formerly Pierced :

      I had my nose pierced in college. (1) When I went on an interview at a law firm my senior year for part time work, I had my small stud in my nose. I had never had anyone mention it to me as unprofessional. I was coming from highly ranked program and planning on entering law school the following fall. I had met with advisers and prelaw advisers (or whatever undergrad calls them in the career office). No one had ever mentioned it to me. The partner who interviewed me sent me home and told me to come back when my ring was out of my nose. This was at a mid size NYC firm. She was an old school partner. and (2) my grandfather told me he could barely look at my face when I had it in.

      So my 2 cents: It might just be a generation thing, but you will likely encounter someone professionally that thinks it is unprofessional, whether you care what that person thinks is up to you.

      • I have an unconventional piercing and it’s fine but it’s done. If you get it done now it swells, bruises and you need uglier jewelery for it. So, if you get it done, plan for that, and get it pierced during a down time when you won’t have to be impressing folks.

  11. Friday Big Picture Fashion Question:

    How do you keep from dressing too young or too old, both at work and in life? As I find myself suddenly in my early 30s, I keep having odd experiences of realizing my outfit is something my mother would wear, but then also realizing that I shouldn’t shopping with the 20-somethings at Forever 21 either. This is compounded by the fact that I’m a size 12, so I think I have a tendancy to look frumpy in a lot of things. Has anyone else experienced this? How do you look like a cool 30-something who isn’t trying to be 20 but isn’t ready for the retirement community either? Do you have any mature-but-not-too-mature fashion role models?

    • I think Kate Middleton is a great “fashion role model” for someone in her late 20s/early 30s. And I think a lot of her looks would work on a plus-size woman.

      • Since when is 12 plus-sized?

        • I believe it is cultural. In biased Morocco where I come from, anything over size 8 is chubby and at size 12 you are plus size. I’ve had a salesperson tell me “we no longer have larger sizes” – I was a size 10 at most.

      • Not OP but don’t think size 12 is plus-size. Just me?

        xoxo,
        Size 14

        • I regularly wear anywhere between a size 8 and a size 12, depending on the brand, and my BMI is smack dab in the middle of the normal range. Since when does having a perfectly normal weight make you plus size?

      • Not the OP, but I don’t think 12 is plus-sized. Is it just me?

        xoxo

        Size 14

        • 12 is not plus sized.

          • Depending on where you shop, plus size may start at size 12, 14 or 16. According to fashion industry standards, plus size are sizes 12-24 — making 12 the size where plus size begins. In the modeling world, 8 and up is considered plus size.

          • A plus 12 and a regular 12 are two very different sizes.

        • I’ve been a 12 and above. I don’t consider a 12 plus, but if I’m a 12 and want to layer, or wear outwear with a sweater underneath, I have to be aware of plus sizes in the way a size 4 does not. So yes, a 12 is not plus but a 12 is where you have to be aware of your size and know what is more flattering in plus sizes and what is frumpy. So, get it girl, OP!

      • I’m pretty sure plus sized models are generally around size 12 and up. That being said, 1) the idea of a size 12 as plus sized is silly, and 2) plus sized model is a different than a woman with a plus sized body.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I don’t think your size has anything to do with looking or feeling frumpy. That’s all in the attitude.

      That being said, I share your size and age and have really enjoyed working with a Nordstrom personal shopper. One of the keys in dressing my age for me has been adding more accessories, and thinking about them more. Since I think this is an actual skill that I don’t have, I outsource :)

      • I think accessories are really what make classic pieces seem less “old lady.” I have found that intentional accessorizing really elevates an outfit, a well placed necklace/belt/scarf really makes a difference.

        I would also say that tailoring keeps you from looking frumpy, and it is one of the great things about getting older/having more money – you can afford nicer pieces and have them fit to you.

        And getting the right undergarments – right sized bra & underwear can be the difference between awesome and frumpy.

        • +1 on the tailoring. The larger sizes of off-the-rack items often just aren’t as well designed as smaller sizes, tailoring can make a huge difference in making things look non-frumpy. I’ve figured that out as i went from a 4-ontop/8-onbottom to an 8-ontop/12-onbottom. My tailor is now my best friend.

    • I don’t know. I struggle with this, too. I don’t want to look foolish, like I don’t realize I’m no longer 22, but I also don’t want to look middle-aged. I tend to just go with the more sophisticated styles I wore when I was younger. So cardigan+button-front+pencil skirt = yes, but pullover+button-front+pencil skirt = too schoolgirl/young. I also used to wear a fine metal headband with my ponytail to tame flyaways. On my 30th birthday, I went to put it on and realized “nope, no more headbands for me now” (but I still do ponytails). On the up side, I’ve always loved how a big sun hat and pareo looked over a bathing suit at the beach — so elegant — but never thought I was old enough to pull it off. Until now. And it looks as good as I’d hoped (plus conceals my not-22-anymore thighs).

    • espresso bean :

      While I agree that Kate generally looks great, I think her look works for what she is — new royalty in a highly visible, formal role. It might be too formal for weekend wear.

      For casual/street style, I love almost everything Olivia Palermo, Miranda Kerr, and Penelope Cruz wear. They still look fashion-forward, but they don’t look overly trendy/young.

    • I struggle with this too but I’ve found that trying to define my style has helped a lot. I’m also a size 12 and I’ve realized that I can appreciate some trends aesthetically but trying to pull them off makes me look frumpy. I’m very comfortable being pretty classic with sheath dresses and pencil skirts but I try to add a little funky flair to make me feel less like I borrowed my mom’s clothes.

      • I think this is a good point – style evolves and so if you have an idea of the type of image you’re trying to portray, it’s easier to figure out what suits you and is age-appropriate.

        I think fun accessories go a long way in making your outfits age appropriate – for example, my mom and I can wear the exact same outfit to work but she’ll probably pair it with more delicate (and expensive) jewelry and will look age-appropriate (she is a very stylish 50-something). I would probably wear a funkier statement necklace or something and will also look age appropriate while still being professional.

        Classic shapes and materials never go out of style IMO. Even at 25, I try to stay away from anything too trendy.

    • I have LOTS of mature but not too mature fashion role models, though a lot of them are in my real life which doesn’t really help.

      I love Kate Middleton as one, but she’s kind of out of budget obviously.
      For a more edgy look, I like the clothes that Kate Beckett wears on Castle.
      For a lawyerly look, I like Olivia Pope (though I don’t watch Scandal) and Diane Lockhart (and actually the whole cast.)

      Really my best fashion inspiration comes from blogs. Or sometimes I just google image search “professional maxi dress” or “peach blazer style” and I find lots of styling ideas for the item I’m trying to come up with styling ideas for.

      -On tumblr itself I follow a blog called “Whatiwore [dot] tumblr [dot] com” most of her stuff is a bit more “stylized” fashion but I like to see her for general ideas.
      -I really like using insideoutstyleblog for ideas about dressing particular body types (I think her blog is great actually) though I don’t always love her specific clothes recommendations.
      -Also – I would just look for fashion bloggers (I consider fashion bloggers to be the ones who show off their outfits) who are the same shape as you (whatever that is) and whose fashion sense you like – they can be great inspiration. I mean, I’ve seen tons of really petite, skinny fashion bloggers who I think are great, but their outfits would never work on me. But then I happened upon one (I can’t remember its name right now) where the blogger was built a bit like me, and suddenly I liked ALL THE THINGS.

      Anyway – those are my tips. And you can always write into my blog. :-P I give advice for all different body types and sizes (oh and I’m not touching the plus size nonsense with a 10 foot pole, not only because it silly but because it literally doesn’t matter. We’re the sizes we are – who cares how the clothes makers label it.)

    • Thanks everyone; you’ve given me a lot to think about. I started a pinterest board to collect inspiration on, and I bought some spiky jewelry. :)

  12. I know we’ve discussed laser hair removal a bunch of times, but I was wondering if anyone that wasn’t pale has had success? Does it last for years or are more touch ups required?

    I think I’m going to book a consultation regardless, but just wondering. For frame of reference I’m on the lighter side of biracial, but certainly not pale.

    Also, other methods of hair removal that are more permanent?

    • Tired Squared :

      I’m Indian (medium-brown, definitely not pale!) and it worked wonders for me! I only did my legs and the regular non-Brazilian bikini area. I loved it so much I’m seriously thinking about doing my lady-stache and underarms next.

      • nice cube :

        since you all brought this up – i am always looking for recommendations on laser places in DC. ive been to azure dream day spa and thought it was just ok.

  13. Has anyone had any good hard liquors lately? I’d like to get my husband something nice for our anniversary. He likes scotch a lot, but I usually just wind up standing in the aisle staring at the bottles in confusion. He likes pretty much everything else, too, though. Something a little bit out of the ordinary (i.e., aged in a special way or something) is usually a hit. I know that I could probably just ask the clerk, but I find that to be hit or miss. Looking to spend probably between 50 and 100, but could be flexible.

    • Do you know what kind of scotch he likes? My husband’s favourites are probably Laphroaig (very peaty, can be an acquired taste), Macallan (lighter) and Balvenie (I think this one is closer to Macallan but couldn’t say for sure). See if they have any special, limited edition, gift type bottles though — those will usually be displayed pretty front and centre on the shelf.

    • Ooh, will be following this thread. For ME. I do love the brown liquors, plus I have a wedding anniversary coming up…flowers and bourbon anyone?

      • Chicago S :

        Check out Angel’s Envy, Kentucky bourbon finished in port wine barrels. I got my sweetie a bottle for Valentines day and scored major points. Google the name and it will take you to the website to learn more.

    • How about bourbon? Four Roses has some nice single barrel and small batch options and Basil Hayden’s is good too. You could add some nice crystal glasses -either the special bourbon ones or double old-fashioneds and maybe whiskey stones to round out the gift.

    • When I want a nice bottle, I always go for Balvenie 15 year single barrel. It’s delicous. It’s usually around $80-100 and universally well-liked but not overdone (like say Glenfiddich). I’m also not a fan of the overly smoky scotches and this one, to me, is perfect; but my SO loves scotch that is smoky and he also loves this one, so totally a winner!

      Or, what about a nice bourbon? There’s a great small distillery in Upstate NY that makes this really great small batch bourbon. Not very expensive but still unique and special and, most importantly, delicious. (http://www.tuthilltown.com/products/aged-spirits/hudson-baby-bourbon-whiskey — you can’t buy it here online but a lot of stores have it (at least in NY) and maybe there are other sources online? Anyway, highly recommend.

      PS: Happy anniversary!

      • You could also add some cool ice cube trays. I got these and my SO loves them. http://tinyurl.com/n3kb2do

        Bear in mind that I could get a new couch and he wouldn’t notice but the trays, he went nuts over. A friend of mine got some similar ones for her boyfriend and he loved them too. Not sure what it is (other than they do look cool) but they’re a surprising hit.

    • Bacon pancakes :

      Where are you geographically, and how much are you looking to spend?

      • Tennessee (so who knows what I’ll be able to find), and probably between 50 -100.

        Oh, and I’ve actually gotten him some glasses already – they’ll be here tomorrow, I hope (I really hope, since Sunday’s the anniversary – procrastinator that I am.)

        • Not sure if (Nashville-based) Corsair has made it to Knoxville, yet, but they have a Triple Smoke Whiskey that has a scotch peaty-ness to it that’s quite good. Willet Bourbon and Willet Rye are nice (and the bourbon comes in a very different bottle). If you can find any of the Buffalo Trace single oak projects, they are interesting and delicious.

          There’s a liquor store that is off Cedar Bluff and North Peters Rd (McScrooge’s) that has a good selection, if memory serves.

        • Not sure why I assumed you were in Knoxville… have you mentioned that before? Odd.

    • Two brilliant sources for scotch are K&L Wines and Beltramo’s. Very well curated, excellent descriptions. I hate scotch, but DH loves it, so I rely on K&L or Beltramo’s to guide me.

      • I do too. And it helps that I know the Beltramo family personally and K&L RWC and Beltramo’s are a stone’s throw away from me. We’re so lucky to have such great wine/spirits shops here in the Bay Area!

        • For real. The K&L website is great too, which we’ve used to ship to BIL. Please pass on my heartfelt thanks to the Beltramo family. My DH absolutely adores their store.

    • My husband is a bourbon fan, and he really loves Bullit and Blantons. Though most scotch lovers don’t like bourbon in my experience, you are either one or the other.

      I’m a Tequila fan, and I really love the Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia anejo, it is dark and rich – definitely not your college Jose Cuervo. It is great neat or over ice, and sometimes I make fancy pants margaritas with them.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I recently discovered Wild Turkey American Honey, which is about $20 per bottle. You could combine it with a couple of fancy glasses. My favorite cocktail with this liquor is what I call a “Blushing Recruit” (since I discovered it while my son was in USMC boot camp!): 2 parts Meyer lemon juice, 1 part Wild Turkey American Honey, and a spoonful of strawberry puree, served over ice. I had this at a fancy pop-up restaurant and came home and experimented until I got it right. (*hic*) Yum!

    • I’m about to pimp my local watering hole, but High West Distillery does a very solid rye.

    • 1)Made in Kelso, Tennessee- Prichard’s (rum or whiskey). Boutique distillery.
      2)The Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Madeira “Charleston Special Reserve”. This is a dry, complex Madeira. Can even go with food.
      3) Hendrick’s Gin. And hit up a specialty/upscale grocery store for Fevertree tonic water. Tried this and said “goodbye” to my old friend Bombay and tonic.

    • Ah…where to begin?! For scotch, I like Oban or one of the Japanese brands like Yamazaki 18 (and I’m a Brit so that’s saying a lot). I also drink Crown Cask 16 – hard to find but smooth. For bourbon, I like Angels Envy, Ri and Bookers (it has quite a bite). For rum, Zacapa is a favourite. I’ll stop now before you get the wrong idea, although you probably already did!

    • There was a great article in the New Yorker a couple of months ago about some scotch distilleries (In Scotland, obvi) that are supposed to be amazing. you might look up that article and pick out something mentioned in there. If I was rich i would want to try ALL of them. ;o)

  14. Power Swabs? :

    Has anyone tried these for teeth whitening? I don’t want to damage what enamel I have on my teeth… Have heard about them “on the radio” only. Seems like I’m getting little to no effect from the “whitening” toothpastes from Crest and Colgate. Yeah, I drink tea all.the.time…

    Thanks. Happy weekend and safe weekend to those on the east coast with the rains and rains and rains

    • Anne Shirley :

      You only get one set of teeth, so I’d ask the dentist before trying anything.

    • Ask your dentist for custom trays. Seriously, it is worth it, you only have to do it maybe once a month or every other month and it makes a world of difference.

      I got laser whitening, and I have super sensitive teeth and it was the WORST experience that I have ever had. I had to take super duper pain medication to dull the pain – breathing hurt.

      The trays give me sensitivity, so I only use them occasionally, but I think that the average person would be fine with them. They do get great results.

      • Second this For me, it was $40 per 2 week set of Zoom gel and I think getting a tray made was around $200. My insurance didn’t cover either of these. My sensitive teeth didn’t have an issue with it. Definitely look into this option.

      • Anonondrama :

        Ah, Merabella . . . if laser whitening was “the WORST experience” that you have ever had, requiring “super duper pain medication,” you have lead a pretty fine life. I’m jealous.

    • Try Crest Vivid white (it might be called something like Crest 3D Vivid now). It’s the only whitening toothpaste that whitens.

  15. Young Consultant :

    Dating Etiquette Question-

    If you go out with someone just once and decide its not someone you want to see again, do you need to formally tell them that, or should you just not return their text/calls? My friends seem to think ignoring someone is “nicer”, however I think it is rude but much easier than “I don’t really see this working out”. While this question holds true no matter how you know the person, I think it may be relevant that I met these people through online dating and have no mutual friends with them. What do you all think?

    • darjeeling :

      You are right of course; it’s nicer to just say you didn’t feel there was a spark or whatever rather than just ignoring them. Ignoring is obviously easier but after going out just once it shouldn’t be too awkward to just decline to go out again, and you’re saving the other person from the uncertainty/anxiety of waiting to see if you’ll ever respond.

    • Ignoring is incredibly rude. Just write or text back saying no thanks.

    • Better to respond. When I was dating, I’d respond with “I had a great time but I’m just not sure we’re a good fit.” My impression was that most guys appreciated me treating them like big boys who can handle a polite “no thanks.”

      • Along similar lines to TBK…

        My favorite radio personality is Dr. Jenn, she always says the best approach to this is to say:

        “You are a really great guy, but I just don’t think you and I are well suited to one another, but if I have a friend I think you’d work well with I’d love to set you up.”

        It lets them know that it isn’t personal, you just aren’t compatible, and it creates some good dating karma.

        If you can’t think of anyone for them, I think it is perfectly fine to say:

        “I had a great time on our date, but I don’t think we are compatible.” like TBK said, they are big boys, and if they can’t handle it, you won’t be seeing them anymore anyway, so why does it matter?

    • Young Consultant :

      Thank you, more experienced adults!

    • MaggieLizer :

      Caveat to the above – don’t give an unnecessary rejection. If it didn’t go well and you both know it – i.e., the guy never calls/texts again, or only texts something neutral like, “Thanks for coming out” – then there’s no need to tell him you don’t want to see him again, just let it go. I’d only explicitly tell someone “no thanks” if it’s clear that they thought it went much better than it did and want to see me again.

  16. Anyone have recommendations for blazers for a petite, short-waisted, but curvy girl (5’0, 100lbs, 32DD)? I’m usually a O petite and most clothes that size fit just fine, including sheath dresses etc. but I feel like I’m drowning in most blazers that I try on. I think I need something that comes in a bit at the natural waist as opposed to something boxy, and maybe a cropped style would help. Suggestions?

    • I’m 5’3 130 lbs, short waisted 34D and I feel the best in cropped jackets, particularly with 3/4 sleeves or bracelet sleeves. I have some form Limited, which doesn’t have petite but maybe their XS would work and Talbots petite, but I think they only go down to a 2.

    • Unfortunately, I think you’re probably going to have to buy what fits your bust and get the waist tailored. I’m 5’3″, 30D, 105-110 lbs. and a lot of brands are too small in the bust and/or boxy for me, so maybe they will be even more so for you.
      For example:
      BR (0p)- boxy in general. AT (0p)- slightly tight in the bust and roomy in the waist. JC (2p)- perfect fit for me in most cuts, but the Aubrey blazer is way too boxy. Halogen (0p)- slightly boxy and fits weird in the arm/shoulder area. T Tahari fits me well, but I wear their smallest size, 0P, which might be too long in arm and big in other spots for you? idk.

    • Unfortunately, I think you’re just going to have buy blazers that fit your bust and get the waist taken in. I’m 5’3″, 110 lbs, 30D, and most brands are boxy and/or tight in the bust for me, so they may be even more so for you.
      For example:
      BR (0p): too boxy in general. AT (0p): too roomy in waist/slightly tight bust. JC (2p): decent fit, except for the Aubrey (waaaay too boxy). Halogen (0p): weird fit all over, i don’t remember why except the arms were super tight but shoulders too big. T Tahari (0p): good fit, but 0p is their smallest size, which may be too long in arm and length for you since I am taller? idk.

  17. Hope I’m not too late for this piggyback threadjack. Piggybacking on Wednesday’s discussion about getting a college student to take kids to the pool/babysit for short periods of time. This is exactly what we need, and I am so glad to have clicked on that discussion, because we have a college basically in our backyard.

    Here’s the thing, though: How do I do this in this day and age? Is this a Craigslist thing? Does a college have an internal job posting? In the dark ages before Internet, I suppose I’d have posted a paper listing in the commons. How do you veteran parents do this sort of thing? I appreciate all suggestions!

    • My undergraduate had an online off campus job board on its website, where people posted stuff like this – you could probably contact the school to find out if they do. You can definitely still go and post things on noticeboards on paper (just make sure to have tearoff sheets for your email etc) — most colleges still have those. Ask around about where is the best placement/visibility. Also, I think Craigslist would be just fine too.

    • Young Consultant :

      I worked for several families in college, and most of them had posted on the Universities internal classifieds (similar to a craigslist, only for those associated with the university). You may need an account to be able to post there, but if you have a friend who works at the university they may be willing to post the position for you. Additionally, you could put an add in the Student Newspaper. A lot more students read those than you might think. I also don’t think a paper posting in the commons is a bad idea, I saw a lot of jobs and other such things posted in my libraries and cafeterias in college.

      I also found some of my babysitting jobs on craigslist, but I do think you have a potential for more unsavory applicants this way.

    • Call the college’s career services department and ask if they have a specific avenue for advertising these sorts of things to their students.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      Check out sittercity too. My sister is in college and used that site for all her business.

      • A Nonny Moose :

        Posted too quickly. Sittercity is great because it’s very sortable. Basically sitters post their resume/qualifications/pictures, anything else– they set up a profile page. You can then sort by geographic area plus any particular qualifications you want– CPR certifications, etc.

    • Miss Behaved :

      I work for a university and there is definitely a job posting internal site

      • Bewitched :

        +1 I’ve used a local university job posting site. I had to “register” as a new employer, but it was easy to do, and my posting was made available on-line. I think this replaces the flyer outside the cafeteria concept, although you could certainly take the flyer approach too!

    • OP - Charlotte :

      All great responses — thanks for your help!

  18. Anyone looking for super awesome pink or mint heels? (Well they look awesome, I haven’t tried them on just got this in my email as a rec from Amazon but I think I’m in love!) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ref=pe_252640_30177340_pe_rowb2_/?ASIN=B00B4SCPXW

  19. TJ – What do we think of this coat? http://www.londonfog.com/Womens-Spring-Collection/London-Fog-Jordan-Balmacaan.asp Is it waterproof? Is the pink inappropriate for wearing to the office? I need a professional raincoat.

    • It looks waterproof, London Fog usually makes nice rain stuff, and it’s totally office appropriate.
      Personally, I tend to get bored easily of any ‘fun’ designs, and veer toward the classics in my raincoats so for me a classic double breasted khaki is where it’s at and I have a short navy trench for diversity’s sake (but it’s really not all that diverse), but I think this is totally cute and if you like it, I say go for it. I bet you’ll get a lot of compliments.

    • That’s adorable! My raincoats are bright red and baby blue. The red is a waterproofed fabric, the blue is the full on plasticy material. Though, the baby blue one is looking a bit dirty, I guess I should spot clean it with a wet cloth?

    • Wow, it has a hood, buy it! I can’t understand why so many raincoats come without hoods. Kind of pointless in a raincoat.

    • I happen to like pink, on that coat I think it just makes it less sombre, adds a touch of fun. With the hoodie it’s even better. I would buy it.

    • Miss Behaved :

      Very, very cute. Wish I had money in my budget for it.

    • I like it! I’m a fan of cheery colors on grey rainy days.

  20. Hey gang, not sure if this is too late in the thread, but I’m planning a trip to the Finger Lakes area–any suggestions for places to see/stay?

    Thanks!

    • The Women’s Rights museum in Seneca Falls is pretty amazing and fun if you’re interested at all in history. Have a great time!

    • Such a pretty area. There are a number of vineyards around there with gorgeous views. Because the area is heavily German and the growing conditions are similar to parts of Germany (not a coincidence I’d say that German farmer immigrants settled in an area with conditions like Germany) the German-style wines, such as rieslings, tend to be the best. Light-bodied whites in general are the best bet (the reds or chardonnays, to the extent any vineyards do them, aren’t worthwhile).

      • Second the light whites. The Gewertraminer (sp?) and the dry reislings are great.

        There are several great places to eat, but they may change throughout the years so check with the folks who work at the wineries.

        You can also check out Ithaca and it’s cute shops and Moosewoods (vegetarian fare).

    • Anonymous :

      Schedule a wine tour! There are companies that drive you around in a van and they can recommend places to go if you don’t have particular wineries in mind. I just did this a few weeks ago with friends and we had a blast. I am only familiar with the Ithaca area but I recommend the following: Treman State Park (my favorite waterfall, you can swim right up to it and sit underneath), Taughannock Falls/Park, Ithaca Farmers Market (great choice for brunch on a weekend), and Purity ice cream. I also have to put in a plug for my alma mater and suggest that you at least take a drive through Cornell’s campus because it really is beautiful during the summer.

    • I’d check out some of the state parks — Watkins Glen is lovely, especially in the summer when you can escape the heat for a bit by walking through the cool gorge and under waterfalls and stuff. I’m personally not too much a fan of the local wines, but I thought Bellweather Cider (somewhere north of Ithaca) was quite good.

    • Great, thanks so much, everyone!

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