Suit of the Week: Anne Klein

Anne Klein Two Button BlazerFor 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.

In general I’m a fan of Anne Klein suits and clothes — they’ve always been friendly to my curves, and their quality/cost ratio is good. This particular suit is about as boring as they come — a fine interview suit or a “I only need one suit in my closet and then not even” kind of suit, and the price is right, particularly for suiting separates. The jacket (Anne Klein Two Button Blazer) is $99, and the pants (Anne Klein Basic Pants) are $64, both at Bloomingdale’s.

Anne Klein Two Button Blazer Anne Klein Basic Pants

(L-5)

Comments

  1. I like the length of this jacket. I am seeing some that are about 2 inches longer, which would work if I were at least two inches taller.

  2. I tend to shed a lot of hair from my head. I have pretty thick hair so looks-wise, this isn’t much of an issue. However, my white tiled bathroom floor looks terrible as it shows everything. Short of actually cleaning it really often (which I don’t really need, as the floor itself isn’t actually dirty, just has hair on it.. I know, Uck) is there anything I can do a quick run over with that would catch up all the hair? Specific product recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

  3. Mrs. Jones :

    I have an Ann Klein suit that’s almost identical, and it’s great for boring court appearances and my curves.

  4. Anonymous :

    Anyone know how the pants sizes run on this? I’m usually between a 4 (BR) and a 6 petite. (Petite versions of this jacket and pants appear to be available on amazon.) Thanks!

  5. Quick Kate spade q – does anyone know of a discount code or have the cobble hill Ellen? I’ve been coveting it and its finally on sale on the site, but I would love an additional discount if possible! TIA!!

  6. Anon In-House :

    I recently (~9 months) moved in-house from a law firm and am struggling with the transition. Ladies, cheer me up — stop me from moping and feeling sorry for myself for making trade-offs I knowingly decided to make. I need to get out of my funk and invest in this new job and give it a real chance.

    This is what I find myself moping about — things about being in-house that I don’t like. (1) Less time to dig into the details of each project like I did at the law firm — instead managing projects from 30,000 feet. (2) Feeling less productive — the last few months has been an exercise in the company investing knowledge in me, rather than me producing a high volume of output. This surprisingly has made me feel much less valuable than I used to feel. (3) So. many. meetings. The corporate work environment is so different than the law firm, and meetings demand so much of my time that it’s hard to get real work done.

    Of course, there are things that are great about this job — the people I work with, the hours, the benefits, and the location. And the fact that I’m not being pressured to make rain, as at the law firm. I knew this is what I was trading — so why am I moping?

    Has anyone experienced anything similar? Is this part of the stress of the transition, while I get up to speed here and get to know my new company — or is this a sign that I should return to private practice? Or even worse, am I simply falling into the trap of always thinking the grass is greener somewhere else.

    Thanks for your thoughs.

    • Moonstone :

      I’m not a lawyer, but I changed jobs last year from a law firm to a more corporate environment. Unless you are flat-out miserable, please give yourself another year before you think about going back to private practice. Transitions are always hard, but it’s great you are self-aware enough to see that this is probably a good situation for you — just not comfortable enough yet. Also, it is appalling how much time is spent in meetings but it’s a great way to learn about your colleagues and that’s info that you will draw on for as long as you work there.

    • Please remind yourself daily of the upsides – you are not having to bill your time or even keep track of your time. This is huge! The meetings that are long and suck up all of your time – well, that’s what counts for “real work” in a corporate setting. What’s annoying is that meetings make in-house work less flexible in some ways than a firm environment, because you can’t usually just cancel them or reschedule them at will, like you often can if you are a law firm lawyer working directly with your client. Even still, I would rather be in-house counsel because you have shorter hours, lower stress, and you don’t need to worry about billing hours. If you want to feel more productive and more helpful, maybe you can come up with side projects of your own, or use your new found free time to pursue outside interests.

    • Veronique :

      Other than a summer associate job, I’ve only worked in-house but most of my classmates are still at firms. (1) might be a function of the fact that you’re still new, the type of role you have rather than an in-house versus firm issue, or it could just be a personality preference. One of the things that I love about in-house is that you’re more focused on the big picture of the entire transaction and the goal of doing business, rather than getting bogged down in little details and/or only getting to control a small portion of the overall transaction.

      (2) is definitely because you’re new. It’s a company, not a graduate program, and the ultimate goal is for you to help them make money. If you want to feel more productive more quickly, you could do some self-study on the company, industry, products, etc. Hollis’ suggestion about side projects is also good, with the caveat that they should be something that is valuable to/supported by your boss/management, not just something you think would be helpful. Often they have a bigger picture view than you about what is truly helpful, so you definitely want to get their buy-in.

      (3) As Hollis stated, often the meetings are a key part of the real work. To a large extent, you are there to protect the company and assist the business in carrying out their decisions, NOT to make those business decisions. Meetings are often where you find out where the business is going, and often help them work through what they want to do and offer suggestions on how to do it. The meetings will be less tedious if you start to view them as part of your productive work, not wasted time impeding productive work.

    • SoCalAtty :

      Stop moping!! I moved in-house this year, after 6 years in a law firm. I actually find it the opposite of what you are saying – I feel like I have time to really get my arms around an issue, rather than getting it done, billing it, and moving on. I can rewrite things as many times as I like!

      It takes some time to get used to meetings, but for me, that is one of the best parts! Collaborating with people in my firm and coming up with ideas and solutions is my favorite part of the day. Just give yourself time to learn the company and settle in, and you should be fine.

    • Frou Frou :

      I’ve done the reverse, (though I was not in house counsel, but was otherwise providing guidance – not legal advice – on issues that would ordinarily go to in-house counsel if the employer were large enough to require in-house counsel), and I think your new environment sounds pretty typical. I think the issues you are struggling with really stem from not knowing how to measure whether or not you’re doing a good job, because the markers of success have changed for you. You’re still adjusting. Give it more time.

      To succeed and enjoy it, you will need to start seeing your position principally as a business role. The importance of the gawd-awful number of meetings is relationship building (in addition to learning about the business, its style and trends). And trust me, you will need these relationships when the sh*t hits the fan and you are standing face-to-face with people who vehemently disagree with your recommendation.

      I do think it is a myth that the hours are easier. It really depends on the company. I worked 70 hour workweeks and could never unplug (even while on vacation). My schedule was never really my own, because there was always something that came up and disrupted my plans for the day. On the upside, I did get to take lunch on a regular basis. Hang in there. I think what you’re feeling is normal for such a big change.

  7. Anon for now :

    Hey Ladies,

    I have about three weeks this August to travel cross-country from NorCal to New England. Me and my car are heading East! Adventure!

    I have already lived in Colorado and road tripped across the “middle” of the USA (I-80 to Chicago), so I would like to do a “Northern Route” roadtrip–taking I-90 or I-94, going across states like Oregon, Idaho (maybe a meander up to Montana to see Glacier NP), Wyoming, Minnesota, Michigan, maybe hitting the Upper Peninsula.

    I can buy a travel book, obs, but I would love recommendations for “hidden gem” towns, sleepy resorts, state or national parks, perennial family vacation spots…anything in those areas that you have visited or just lovelovelove. These are parts of the country that I don’t know well, so if anyone is like, “YOU MUST STOP HERE” whether it’s for a diner, lake resort, winery, tourist trap sightseeing…please do add any and all suggestions so I can start getting excited and plan the route.

    In terms of budget, no five star resorts, but I am fine with paying for “reasonable” hotels. This is my “break” before I start my new life on the East Coast! Thanks, Hive!

    Also–if you have blog recs for roadtrips or there are any ‘rette’s I should visit on the way, holler! My CA wine collection is coming with me ;)

    • If you’re going to the UP of Michigan, I’d definitely make time for a trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. If you go to Munising, I think there’s a company that does lake cruises along the lakeshore, and it breath-taking.

      Also Mackinac Island makes a pretty cool day trip (no cars allowed on the Island, only accessible by ferry or plane). If you rent a bike, you can go all the way around the island in a few hours. There’s some pretty fancy-schmancy restaurants as well (The Grand Hotel).

      If you go through Ohio on I-90, you must stop at Cedar Point. It is the best amusement park ever. I might be exaggerating, but only a little.

      • Yes! As a Michigander with family from the UP, I totally second Pictured Rocks. Absolutely gorgeous – I’m pretty sure you can rent kayaks (the lake cruise is great too). I’d also suggest Copper Harbor and honestly, you could go up to Copper Harbor drive along Keweenaw Bay over to Pictured Rocks, Whitefish Bay (there’s a very nice lighthouse here), then to Tahquamenon Falls, Sault Ste. Marie – see the Soo locks, then drive down over the Mackinaw Bridge and go to Mackinac Island.

        This would be an absolutely epic road trip through the UP and my family has basically done this (although not all in one trip). I grew up going to Mackinac Island every summer for 10years and it holds a very special place in my heart. Then it’s pretty much a straight shot down I-75 all the way to Ohio. BUT if you wanted do something even crazier you go could go down I-75 then East on I-69 (pass by my hometown) and into Canada, through Sarnia etc, hit up Niagra Falls and come back to the US through Buffalo, NY.

        Obviously I have a lot of opinions on this. Whatever you do, you must swim in Lake Superior at least once! By far the coldest and deepest great lake – it’s a rite of passage ;)

  8. Anon for now :

    REPOST TO AVOID MODERATION (e t t e used by accident)

    Hey Ladies,

    I have about three weeks this August to travel cross-country from NorCal to New England. Me and my car are heading East! Adventure!

    I have already lived in Colorado and road tripped across the “middle” of the USA (I-80 to Chicago), so I would like to do a “Northern Route” roadtrip–taking I-90 or I-94, going across states like Oregon, Idaho (maybe a meander up to Montana to see Glacier NP), Wyoming, Minnesota, Michigan, maybe hitting the Upper Peninsula.

    I can buy a travel book, obs, but I would love recommendations for “hidden gem” towns, sleepy resorts, state or national parks, perennial family vacation spots…anything in those areas that you have visited or just lovelovelove. These are parts of the country that I don’t know well, so if anyone is like, “YOU MUST STOP HERE” whether it’s for a diner, lake resort, winery, tourist trap sightseeing…please do add any and all suggestions so I can start getting excited and plan the route.

    In terms of budget, no five star resorts, but I am fine with paying for “reasonable” hotels. This is my “break” before I start my new life on the East Coast! Thanks, Hive!

    Also–if you have blog recs for roadtrips or there are any ‘r e t t e ’s I should visit on the way, holler! My CA wine collection is coming with me ;)

    • This sounds amazing. I’m incredibly jealous.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      I had an amazing time traveling the OR coast. There are so many cute little towns– and breweries! along the beach. I’d definitely try to fit in some of those. Cannon Beach definitely sticks out in my mind.

    • I’m kind of jealous–this is going to be an awesome road trip. My NorCal to East Coast road trip went through the middle of the US, so I don’t have many northern suggestions, but I do have a few Oregon suggestions!

      I’d hit up some Redwoods before leaving California, and then go to Ashland for a couple of plays (Shakespeare festival). I’d also try to get in some coast (Oregon Dunes are amazing). For a cute coastal town with B&Bs, try Yachats. Its near Siuslaw National Forest, if you feel like some hiking. And hit up lots of Farmer’s Markets in Oregon (e.g., in Corvallis) before heading East. As a Californian I always felt California produce was the best in the country…until I spent some time in Oregon in the summer. Also some pretty decent wineries if your CA wine collection needs supplementation…

      • I am a banana. :

        I’d take 101 up the CA coast and then hit Highway 299 to Highway 3 for an amazing drive through the under-appreciated, mountainey, river rich, lake dotted part of NorCal. Weaverville, Etna, and Mt. Shasta are all cute towns if you wind up taking that route on the way to Ashland/Crater Lake. There is a great pizza place in the booming town of Coffee Creek (pop. 200) between Weaverville and Etna.

        There is a great book called “Blue Highways” by William Least Moon about a guy who drives all over the US on only non-freeway roads. Sounded like the most amazing trip ever, but should also give you some ideas.

        • I am a banana. :

          Oh, and try to hit up Grand Teton National park if you go to Yellowstone. One of my favorite places in the whole world.

    • Patent Pending :

      There is a “hidden gem” pie shop in Wisconsin, on I 94: The Norske Nook. norskenook dot com. My parents and I went ALL THE TIME. Anyone in MN or WI will probably tell me its not hidden :) We went to the Osseo location.

      • This place is the Holy Grail of Piedom. I am a total pie snob but this place is amazing! Lemon Meringue with an 8 inch meringue, Pecan Fudge that is soooo good, cherry that is divine, etc. Note to self – go back soon! 4 WI locations: Hayward, Rice Lake, Eau Claire and Osseo (the original location).

        • I’ve never been there, but based on your description I am ready to hop in the car right now and drive to Wisconsin for that lemon meringue pie.

      • It’s definitely not hidden anymore. Tour buses pull up to it. The pies are still AMAZING.

        And Osseo is conveniently located about halfway between Minneapolis/St Paul and Madison, WI.

        • Lady Harriet :

          I lived in Madison, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen cars with bumper stickers from it there.
          If you like kringle, there’s a bakery in Plover, WI that makes amazing ones. My dad sometimes has to travel for different parts of the state for work, and he always brings one back if he’s near there. I think it’s the bakery mentioned in the first reply here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/123505

          Devil’s Lake state park in Wisconsin is amazing, and great if you like hiking, rock climbing, swimming, or scuba diving. On the way there from Madison (on Highway 12, I believe) is a great sculpture garden called Ever Ever Land. It’s run by an artist who welds giant sculptures out of scrap metal. (Some are 30+ feet tall.) I actually had my 10th birthday party there, that’s how much I like it.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I love road trips. A few recommendations:

      1. Definitely do the Oregon coast / Willamette valley region. On your drive north, stop at Redwoods National Park, if you’ve never been. Hood River in Oregon (about an hour west of Portland) is an adorable town – highly recommend. Portland itself is really fantastic too.

      2. If you’re going to spend any time in Seattle, check out Tilth and Salumi (if you eat meat). At Salumi, get the porchetta. If you have time to check out Olympic National Park, I would do it. The summer is a fantastic time in the PNW, the food is amazing, and everybody is so outdoorsy.

      3. If you’re going to stop in Yellowstone (highly recommend), drive the Bear Tooth Highway on your way back to I-90. It’s so gorgeous.

      Have fun!

      • Yellowstone is going to be a lot more accessible than Glacier, if you take the I-94/90 route. And I second the Beartooth switch backs. However, if you go any time other than mid summer, definitely check weather conditions – you can have snow issues as early as Sept, iirc.

        I recommend stopping at the Teddy Roosevelt Nat’l Park in western North Dakota (I-94, Medora exit). Extensive badlands, often referred to as the Painted Badlands, because of the color variation in the stone layers (which makes it different than the SoDak badlands). Huge and breathtaking. You can do a quick pull off the interstate to get a flavor, or drive into Medora, which has an old-timey feel. There’s a random chateau out there too – some French Viscount founded the town and named it after his wife. They have an fun outdoor night show as well. Camp sites in the area, if you are game for that.

        If you go through Bozeman, MT, I recommend stopping at the Museum of the Rockies. They have a fantastic dinosaur exhibit – most of the specimens come from the within the state.

    • Things that I found surprisingly cool on the Northern route: The Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Devils Tower

      Also, we got snowed out and headed south to Bryce and Zion after Yellowstone so I haven’t actually been there, but our plan had been to see Glacier and Mt. Ranier because they sounded awesome.

      • Mt. Rainier is GORGEOUS. So worth the trip. We drove up to as far as we could by car and then we started walking around in snow. In July. Yes. So beautiful.

        Mt. St. Helens is about an hour away from Mt. Rainier. I wish we had planned our trip better and stayed at a motel near either one so we could’ve seen Mt. St. Helens the next day.

        • ….and if you are going to Mt. Rainier, definitely stay overnight so you can actually enjoy it. It’s a bit of a drive into the park so it would be awful to only give yourself an hour and not be able to get out and do anything. There are a couple of National Park lodges in there if you don’t want to camp – try the one at Longmire. The lodge at Paradise is bigger, but also more expensive, I think. You’ll probably have to book in advance.

          …and if you are coming up as far as Mt. Rainier, why not take a couple of days in the San Juan Islands, or cross the border into Canada and visit the Gulf Islands, Victoria and Vancouver? It is not much further and there is nothing like it anywhere else in North America. But then again, I might be biased. :-)

    • I loved Glacier. Going-to-the-Sun highway is incredible – you can drive it yourself or take a shuttle, but if you’re scared of heights you may want to skip it. You can drive into the eastern side of the park near St. Mary or the western side of the park from West Glacier. We rented a house in Columbia Falls and it was a lovely town. My can’t miss spots from Glacier would be Polebridge (cute little town with no electricity on the western outskirts of the park) with a side trip to Bowman Lake, the Hidden Lake hike near Logan Pass (through an ice field!), and Many Glacier Hotel and Grinnel Glacier on the eastern side.

    • anonypotamus :

      Post-bar, we went on a road trip that included a leg from Seattle to Chicago (many of these are food recs bc we basically ate our way across the US!). We weren’t on a super strict schedule, but mostly took I-90. We tried to stay in smaller towns and get off the beaten path a bit. Kellog ID was surprisingly fun (a bit out of Coeur D’Alene) – they have a loooooong gondola/skilift that will take you to the top of the mountain. amazing views, and you can get drinks up there I think. We were there mid August and they had a beer festival with live music up on the top of the mountain that was super fun. Same town, Moose Creek Grill – delicious food, great atmosphere. MT is gorgeous. We stopped in Bozeman and did some hiking and exploring the downtown which was cute. There is a great tapas/spanish place right off the main street. If I can recall the name, I’ll post back. Driving through the Bighorn Mountains was definitely a highlight. (And of course, do Yellowstone if you haven’t been there). Rapid City SD. There is this quirky/goofy dinosaur park on the top of the ridge overlooking the town that is fun for a picnic and views. Stop by the Corn Palace too – super hoky. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed seeing Mt. Rushmore (I had never seen it before). You can actually get fairly close and you can walk around and see if from different angles. Largest six pack in the world is in LaCrosse WI (at the mouth of the Mississippi) and actually holds beer (holding tanks for the brewery). Sorry for the novel – if you want to post an email, I can go back through our trip records and find some more recs! Yelp was super helpful for finding food places. We stayed at a lot of comfort inns, etc – esp ones that had hot breakfast included :) Have an amazing trip!

      • anonypotamus :

        I can’t believe I forgot to mention the Badlands. DEFINITELY do this – they are seriously incredible and unreal. It feels like you are on another planet. I had been wanting to go there since I was a kid, but my fiancee was skeptical. Looking back, it was one of his favorite parts of the trip!

        • I posted above, but I’ll repost here :) Depending what’s easiest, there are actually 3 badlands park in the MT/ND/SD area. SD has Badlands National Park (I-90), ND has Teddy Roosevelt Nat’l Park (on I-94) and MT has Makoshika State Park in Glendive (I-94). They all have spectacular views – I’m partial to the ND and MT ones over SD, but any are worth a look.

    • I just got back from a trip to see family in eastern Wyoming and western South Dakota, and I can tell you that the Black Hills and the Badlands are beautiful, although possibly really hot in August. Mount Rushmore and Crazy horse are must-sees. Also, the Sturgis motorcycle rally is in early August, so if you’re on I-90, you’ll see a lot of Harleys!

    • So jealous! This sounds unbelievably fun. I don’t have many specific recs, but Glacier NP is absolutely worth a detour. Other really amazing NPs I’d consider visiting if you can fit them into your route: Yosemite before you leave CA (if you haven’t gone before), Crater Lake, Yellowstone, and Badlands. Mackinac Island in Michigan is lovely and a must-do if you’re going to the UP.

    • I agree with other commenters that(i) the Beartooth Highway (between Yellowstone and Red Lodge, MT) is beautiful in an otherwordly, stark sort of way, and really fun to drive, and (ii) the Badlands in South Dakota are also really cool – when I was there I wished I had time to go for a hike, rather than just get out of the car a look around for a few minutes.

      Pictograph Cave State Park outside Billings, MT, is cool. This is where some ancient pictographs are painted on cave walls. It’s not enough of a thing to spend a whole afternoon on, but it’s an interesting stop. I’ve heard the dinosaur museum in Dickinson, ND, is great, though I’ve never been there. I have been to the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT, and can testify that it is amazing, and as someone else commented, downtown Bozeman is fun to poke around.

      • My post is in moderation, but I forgot to add that if you go to the Badlands, make sure to actually enter the national park and drive through it; don’t just stay on the highway and drive past the Badlands. Depending on how many of these you do, a National Parks Pass might be a good investment.

    • Michigan recs- Mackinac island, traverse city, bay harbor, ann arbor. Have fun!

    • Legally Red :

      Wisconsin recs: Madison–if you’re there on a Saturday morning, check out the farmers market. Sit on the Terrace at Memorial Union and have some beer and/or some chocolate chip orange custard. If you’re heading up to the UP, stop in the Northwoods on the way. Alternatively, spend a day or two in Door County.

      • anonypotamus :

        also for Madison – we had a fabulous lunch at Graze. You can sit and overlook the Capitol and people watch!

        • Legally Red :

          Love love love Graze.

          • anonypotamus :

            It sounds silly, but I had the BEST (Ellen caps-worthy) green salad that accompanied my (also delicious) walnut and beet veggie burger. Something about the vinaigrette used was perfectly light and refreshing but also had a bit of a kick. I actually wish I could go there right now…

      • Lady Harriet :

        I’d recommend wandering around the Capitol and exploring. It’s a lovely building and there’s a lot to see. If you like old churches, Holy Redeemer, just off State Street, is gorgeous. It was my parish when I lived in Madison and I still go there when I’m back in town. If you folk dancing, Madison is a GREAT town for that. You can find a different group to dance with just about every night of the week.

    • Anonymous :

      This sounds amazing! I don’t have any recommendations, but please keep us posted as you go.

  9. TO Lawyer :

    Need some fashion advice ladies. I love coloured pencil skirts but I find I only end up wearing black or white with them. Any other ideas for colour pairings? I have a cobalt blue skirt and have a citron one and a pink one in my J.Crew cart but I’m waiting to pull the trigger.

    Also – does anyone have the Ilda dress from Reiss? I’m dying to buy it but it’s SO expensive and I’m not sure what the sizing is like.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      Cobalt– all shades of pink, grey
      Citron– try navy; looks great with coral accents.
      Magenta– navy, cobalt, chambray
      Tan/khaki color goes great with all bright colors in the summer, and I love polka dots with colored skirts. I have a black and white shirt and a navy and white shirt and wear them both a lot.
      When wearing two bold colors, I usually throw in a neutral layer too (usually tan or grey cardigan, for example). Or use a second bold color as an accessory: cobalt skirt, magenta belt, white tee is a big step up from cobalt skirt, white tee.

      • TO Lawyer :

        This is so fab – thank you! I really want to branch out from wearing coloured blouses with a black or grey skirt.

        • A Nonny Moose :

          Also– my magenta pencil skirt is my favorite thing ever. It makes me very happy every time I wear it, and I fully support that purchase.

    • I think the Ilda dress is on sale right now.

      • TO Lawyer :

        It is but it’s still $180. I’m close to just giving in though!

        • I have the Ilda and I love it for date night. There is a pretty high slit in the front that would make me uncomfortable if I wore it to work. I wear a 0 in Theory and got a US 2 in the Ilda.

    • I too have difficult mixing mega colours together but find its a lot easier with a patterened top or often scarf that would include lots of colours. Eg. with my cobalt pants I wear scarves with cobalt and a bunch of other colours, and then wear the t-shirt of another colour, and it feels tied together (this includes neutrals).

      • Anonymama :

        Yes to the scarves… shortly after buying a pair of bright cobalt blue pants, I got a flowered j crew scarf as a gift that had cobalt blue, orangey red, green, aqua, and even pink and purple in it. It really made me feel more comfortable combining colors. I’ve particularly been into the cobalt blue with either light aqua or mint green.

    • I really like http://www.theperfectpalette.com for color combination inspiration. You can search by color. They typically show decor for events in the color combinations, but it might give you some good ideas for clothes too.

    • Use a color wheel for inspiration. Colors next to each other on a color wheel are more subtle combined while colors opposite each other are a bolder choice. See: http://fashionbombdaily.com/2010/04/16/the-color-wheel-how-to-combine-colors-wardrobe-accessories/

  10. I posted this on an earlier thread but since I really need some advice I’m reposting here. Sorry for the long post and threadjack!

    I need work advice. I am absolutely miserable at work. For quite a while now I have been doing work way beyond my level. I am (my role) on 5 projects (whereas most people are only on 2-3 projects). I do an entirely different job (for which people get paid a lot more money) on another project. Plus another entirely different job (again which = more money) on another project. I am consistenly told that I am vital to the company, a wonderful person to work with, well poised, yada yada. And this year I am the ONLY person who is not getting a raise. See, while I’m told (by my boss) that I do a terrific job, my performance review was crap. I was only judged on 1 aspect of my job and my boss kind of said “meh, you do an okay job at it” in writing but to my face, she told me I was fabulous.

    I have already felt that I was severely underpaid. One of my male colleagues was a level below me and three years later I STILL do not make what he did (same degree but I have more 5 years more experience). Another male colleague (who I have replaced on several projects because he did such a crappy job) makes at least $10,000 more than I do. Are you sensing the unfairness factor here.

    Plus the work environment is toxic. I get bullied by the big boss, subtely threatened that if I don’t do certain things (like act like a certain person’s secretary) that I won’t be able to get my contracts signed (which would prevent project work from moving forward). So add being the department secretary to the 7 projects…

    Add to that the fact that I am currently tied to my company because of school (I’m pursuing my PhD). If I left right now I would not have access to some of the things I need to finish up my dissertation.

    So question… do I try to stand up for myself more? Do I just count down the days until I can leave? And most importantly, how do I manage to get myself through the day to day? How can I keep the motivation to work hard and get everything I can out of what will hopefully be my last year here? I feel like a need a mantra on my computer screen that I can go back to whenever I’m feeling down like this. Because right now I’m so pissed off I can’t concentrate!

    • Anonymous :

      Can you set up a meeting with your boss and present everything that you do and the value you bring to the company in a very factual (and quantitative if possible) way and then request that the company reconsider a raise? Do some research if you can about what these roles typically pay both within your company and at others. I definitely think you need to stand up for yourself on this and be looking for a new job or starting as soon as you can.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Can you set up a meeting with your boss and present everything that you do and the value you bring to the company in a very factual (and quantitative if possible) way and then request that the company reconsider a raise? Do some research if you can about what these roles typically pay both within your company and at others. I definitely think you need to stand up for yourself on this and be looking for a new job or starting as soon as you can.

    • How much longer until PhD? Sydney Bristow has some excellent advice, but if you are almost done it may better to stick it out rather than stir it up. If you meet with your boss, try to also define your role better. It does like you’re doing a different job than people at a similar level, that should either be changed or acknowledged.

      • About 1 year until PhD. So I really need to stick it out. I really need to just figure out how to stay positive. I’ve started that by searching what’s out there and just daydreaming about a better situation. It’s sad, because I used to LOVE my job. But I’ve just been too beaten down for the last two years. I can’t take it anymore.

        • Mighty Mouse :

          Late to posting but wanted to say that I’m sorry about your situation.

          If you are T-1 yr to PhD, can you set some external goals / benchmarks to go along w the daydreaming? During my last year of training, I had a number alarm every Monday on my phone re: “how many weeks till the finish line.” (Numbered days were too depressing, but numbered weeks were ok for some reason!) I also set small fun things to which I could look forward, so that I could push through the week for happy hour / manicure / 2hr sweat session at the gym. Finally, for me it worked to have career planning mapped out by the month (when I needed an updated CV, when to talk to references, when I could actually start applying for jobs in new city, look for housing, etc. )

          Type A, perhaps, but it helped me move my mind into a positive framework. Good luck to you!

    • This sounds like either a really bad day or you’re so far out the door there is no turning back. I’d focus my energy for the next year on doing a fantastic job at only those things your boss finds important (which may not be those things you find worthy of your time) to secure an excellent recommendation. Outside of work, do the usual networking and start applying for jobs around the year mark.

      I will add – my boss has told me that department policy is to never give an above average review unless you’re performing tasks 7-8 levels above your job description. However, I know of other managers in the org. that hand out glowing reviews like candy. It might just be your boss’ way of doing things.

  11. New Clerk :

    Hi everyone, I was hoping to get some quick advice! I am starting a judicial clerkship in September. I have been invited to a happy hour with the current class of clerks and the upcoming class of clerks (my class). It is after work tomorrow at a casual brewery. So of course the current clerks are working and will be in at least business casual and maybe full on professional dress. I (and my classmates) am studying for the bar right now so I have no reason to get dressed up other than just to go to this happy hour (and all of the current clerks know this). What do you think I should wear? Any advice sincerely appreciated! Thanks!

    • Wildkitten :

      A sheath dress and sweater or skirt and sweater. I wouldn’t wear a suit because you’re not working, but it’ll be a good opportunity to change out of your Barbri yoga pants and put on some real clothes. And of course it’s an opportunity to make a good first impression. Have fun!

    • Business casual. If it were me, I’d start with what I’d wear for full professional dress, then take off the jacket and, if the top is sleeveless, add a light cardigan or unstructured jacket. The swap heels for flats. Or wear a sheath with a cardigan, flats, and nice jewelry.

    • Anonymous :

      Just the clerks? Jeans and a cute professional top.

  12. Great pick, exactly the kind of suit I have been looking for as someone does not wear suits to work but needs one in the closet.

  13. Thread jack for recent college students (or their parents) about college spending money:

    Our son is heading for college in August, three states and 8+ hours away. DH and I are trying to figure out the best way to provide him with some basic spending money, plus access to emergency funds, while he’s there. There’s no branch of our bank where he’s going, and the big national banks that do have offices there don’t have a presence where we live, so it won’t work for us to open an account here for him to access there.

    Do we open an account at a bank or credit union in his college town and just periodically send old-fashioned checks (to him or the bank) to deposit? Give him a credit card or debit card that’s attached to our account here? He won’t love it if we can track his spending practically in real time, which I can do with a debit card, but maybe we ought to. Or do we make him get a job and earn it all himself? Yeah, that’s not happening (and to be fair he’ll be in a tough program and will need to study a lot more than he did in HS).

    We’re just looking for ideas about the mechanics of providing an “allowance,” not the amount – but of course, if you’ve got some suggestions about that, post them, too! Thanks for any experience you can share.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      My parents gave me a credit card. It was my mom’s card, and she added a separate card for me. I used it for textbooks and emergencies.
      For me that was much easier than receiving checks. Honestly the walk to the bank from my dorm was 20 minutes in the wrong direction from everything, so it took me a while to cash checks, which was annoying to everyone who sent them to me. And having the credit card in my name helped me build up credit.
      I do recommend college students have part time jobs though. Maybe not first semester, but by sophomore year, if not second semester. At least to pay for takeout and beer. It helped me manage my time better. After a rigorous high school with lots of homework and sports practices, first semester of college was all “wow, I have all the time! To do all the things!” and of course studying was last on that list. When I picked up a job second semester, even working 8 hours a week was huge, because it forced me to add structure to my day.

      • Orangerie :

        +1 to a very part time job. I was extremely fortunate to be supported by my parents but still worked around 10 hours a week in college (and almost full-time in the summers) to make my own spending money.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        +1,000,000 to a part time job, even if he doesn’t “need” the money. I started out working just 5-10 hours per week in college, but by senior year, I was working 4 different on-campus jobs which probably added up to 30ish hours per week, and my grades had never been better because it really did force me to learn to budget my time (and gave me more money, which everyone always likes).

        Realistically, most kids aren’t doing a ton of studying between 12pm and 2pm (for example) when they may have a class break – for me, it was worth it to go man a desk in a college office, even for only $15 or so. A job on campus can provide a TON of flexibility but also, some really good experience.

      • Mom of two grads :

        We covered tuition, room and board, and books for our two offspring, but told them spending money was up to them. Both had jobs throughout their undergrad years — one a campus job and the other worked retail. We also gave them a credit card for emergency use only — and neither ever used it.

      • My parents (back in the year zero) gave me checks which I deposited in a local bank. Having an account in my name helped me start to establish a credit history. I’d encourage you to limit what you give him, but not to monitor his spending in real time. College students are learning to be independent and will make mistakes from time to time. It would be pretty tough to know Mom and Dad can see every transaction.

        • Also in Academia :

          + 1 to this. College students are adults, albeit beginning ones. If you are giving him an allowance, fine, but don’t monitor it. Another option might be, if his college has a smartcard or onecard ID system with a declining balance account attached, to put money on his card. Generally, these cards can be used on campus at bookstores, eateries, vending, laundry if the college hasn’t yet moved to just having free laundry,the box office if there is one (so, for on-campus concerts and fine arts events) and also off-campus at many local stores and eateries. You can often add money to his card online using your credit card and then just pay off your credit card.

      • Wildkitten :

        I went to college across the country from where I grew up. I had a part time job and also my mom deposited money into a national bank account I had (in my name only) that I could access via my debit card or the local atm branch. The combination of those two were my spending money, for clothes and going out, etc.

        You can also give him a credit card for textbooks and emergencies, but make it clear that a keg run or trip to the mall is not an emergency. I didn’t get an emergency credit card until junior year, but never ever used it. What’s really an emergency in college? Even an emergency flight home you can buy for him from home.

        • Wildkitten :

          The money from my mom was a fixed monthly account. That worked really well for me, and apparently lots of other e t t e s!

      • I also concur on the part-time job. Similar to what folks said above – it simultaneously gives a good sense of independence and self-sufficiency but also structure. My parents paid for books / room / board etc and certainly if there had been an emergency, they would have been RIGHT there… but in general, my “fun money” was what I earned at my summer job + my part-time pay.

        As far as the “tough program” goes – I agree that it can seem like it would cut into study time… but in an extensive and rigorous study known as “my family”, the one sibling who did NOT have a part time job during college (he had a lucrative summer gig) was also the one who got in the most trouble in college. I think my job made me better at school at my school work – I couldn’t be wild on the weekends if I wanted to work and get the good Fri/Sat tips. The Ivy League sibling found a job checking student IDs for a lab on campus… but it wasn’t used very often so he would bring books and study.

      • At least at my school, there were a lot of on-campus jobs that you could study during. I worked in the computer lab (checking ids, reloading printer paper, etc. – brainless) and was able to get all my studying done during work time. It was great.

        • Oh, and my parents gave me a check for $200 and bought me some groceries when we moved in. That was all, ever, and they left it up to me to manage what I needed and whether to get a job from there. (I did have a scholarship that covered tuition, books, and housing.)

          • Mighty Mouse :

            LOL, are we sisters? Same thing for me. Work study after the first semester. It was fine with a busy major and minor. And lots of great experience that turned into full-time summer jobs!

    • Orangerie :

      What if you open two accounts at the local credit union, one that he only has access to and one that you share? I’m sure the credit union offers online banking, so once the account is set up, you can arrange for monthly transfers in whatever amount you choose (assuming your main bank allows you to easily transfer funds to other banks). Once he receives the money in the joint account, he can transfer it to his own checking account and spend it that way. I had this setup when I was in school and it worked great for fixed expenses such as rent and utilities.

      Another thing to consider is giving him access to your credit card for emergencies and school expenses that can’t be accounted for ahead of time (I’m thinking mostly about books here – they won’t know what they need or how much it’s going to cost until shortly before classes begin each term).

    • I don’t have any personal experience (lived at home during undergrad and was expected to pay for personal expenses with a part-time job), but I like the idea of just sending him a cheque periodically, or a pre-loaded Visa debit card. If you only send him money once a month or once a term, he will have to deposit it in his own bank account and learn how to budget it on his own. I think that’s useful experience, plus then he only has to account to you for it if he runs out early.

      • BUT – edited to add that I agree with A Nonny Moose in that there is a lot to be said for expecting him to get a part-time job. My parents certainly expected that of me and it taught me some valuable life lessons.

    • Anonymous :

      My parents went with me during orientation to open up an account at the college. They then gave me a small check ($200 or so, I want to say) to put in it. That was the last of it, for me, but I don’t see why you couldn’t make that initial deposit more – like whatever the college recommends for spending money. Honestly, it’s better for him to figure out “oh shit, I spent all my money and now I have nothing extra” in college, when he still has housing and food paid for, and if you’re tracking, you may end up preventing that (important) life lesson.

    • Most credit unions are on the Co-op network which means you can use any credit union ATM for free without charges, even if it’s not your credit union. I would recommend setting up an account at a credit union where you live together, either make his a second account connected to yours, or just put both of your names on the one account. Then he has a debit card to use, but can also get out cash from any credit union ATM, or make deposits of cash or checks through the ATMs as well if needed. It is also easier for you to just make deposits to the account at the branch or using the ATM near you, or you can even connect it via billpay to your main checking account and transfer money directly in there online from home.

      I would also recommend giving him a set amount each month and making him be responsible for tracking his finances and how much he has left. Of course, if he needs more, you can deposit it easily on your end, but he has to learn sometime, it will be easier if he starts to learn now what it is like to have to keep an eye on your bottom line when waiting on an upcoming paycheck.

    • Have him set up an account in his college town. You can do online transfers from your bank to fund it. Most major banks will do next-business day transfers. Try monthly allowances until he gets the hang of budgeting. Any jobs that he has can also fund that account. You can also make him an authorized user on a credit card to be used for emergencies only like car repair or non-monthly expenses like booking a flight home. He abuses it, he loses it. (Bonus, this helps him establish credit). My suggestion would be a visa or mc since those can be used most anywhere.
      I went to school in a small town out of state so we had similar limitations for banking.

      • The problem I’ve had with next-day transfers is there are transfer fees. So, if the transfer is only $300, I’m paying a $20 fee. I think it’s better to be sharing one account so that transfers can be made for free.

        • Yeah, I get annoyed about the fees, but if you can get more lead time for the transfer, the fees are cheaper. Some of the online banks don’t have transfer fees which is nice.

    • Famouscait :

      Set him up with a copy of your credit card for expenses you allow (books, fees, etc.) and emergencies only.

      Have him set-up a bank account at any bank (perhaps the same as yours would be easiest) and electronically transfer funds into that account that he can access by debit card.

      I had generous parents who gave me a “cultural allowance” during college for fun stuff (plays, concerts, etc.) but I also earned quite a bit of money babysitting. As a now fully independent 30 year old, I do wish that they had used college as the opportunity to teach me to budget and manage finances. It would have been a practical yet safe learning environment. I had to figure all that out in real-time after graduation when I was on my own and living paycheck to paycheck.

    • Anon For This :

      So my parents fully supported me through undergrad and law school. The way they did it was to deposit money into my bank account on a monthly (or biweekly basis) and I was expected to pay all my expenses through that. They also gave me an emergency credit card that was connected to their account for things like books or flights home. This helped me learn how to budget, which was helpful.

      They didn’t want me to get a job because both programs were so intense but I was involved in a lot of extra-curriculars and did things like research for profs or tutoring which did add a little bit of disposable cash.

      FWIW – I am now fully financially independent and began to be right after I graduated law school. I realize how lucky I am not to have any debt and I am so grateful to them every day. My younger sister on the other hand is not quite as independent and took advantage of my parents (and still is IMO) by racking up a lot of debt.

      I think it depends on the person – I’m a self-starter and very independent so I was always very conscious that it was my parents money and was very careful. My sister not so much…

      • +1. I had an “allowance” from my parents that was fixed and automatically deposited, and don’t feel like I lost out on any life lessons. I had to learn to budget with that, and when I wanted to spend more I got a part-time job even though I didn’t “have” to work to cover my spending money. This happened both in college and law school (though I worked full-time in between, during which period I supported myself entirely). I also support myself fully now and have since graduation. Don’t think it harmed me, and certainly helped with the stress factor at times when I didn’t have to take a job during a particularly stressful time in school.

        Obviously people’s experiences vary widely, but I would think twice before requiring a first semester freshman to get a job if he wants to go out for an off-campus burrito with his friends, if he is generally fiscally responsible. maybe start him with an allowance and reassess periodically?

      • Anonymous :

        Yep, this is what I had also, a set amount bi-weekly deposited into my account, and a credit card of theirs with my name on it for emergencies (or pre-approved spending that they thought should not be included in my budget – flights home, school-related travel for conferences, books, law school application fees, etc.). I would encourage you to have a chat with him about setting the budget, so you’re all on the same page about what money is being spent on.

        I also received a “bonus” for maintaining a GPA above 3.0 (and increased bonuses for 3.3, 3.5, 3.7), which I would receive as an extra deposit, and I could use it for whatever I wanted. It was a pretty good incentive to get good grades.

        I think it was very valuable for learning how to budget.

      • This is the same method my parents used with me and I found it very effective. I think fixed monthly amounts are a good way to teach budgeting, and a credit card for emergencies is helpful. However, I also have a sibling who I think uses the “emergency” credit card a little too freely. My parents let her get away with it, so she doesn’t budget as well as I do. I think you need to be firm about what is ok for the credit card, and what is not, and stick to it.

      • Miss Behaved :

        I had something similar for boarding school, college, and business school. They wrote a check at the beginning of the semester, but it was small ($200, I think). I had an emergency credit card, too, but I don’t think I ever used it. My sister, did, though!

        In college, I made extra money to pay for gifts, etc. by joining the bartending agency and working parties (really fun!) and I sold my books back at the end of each semester. I went to college in NYC so I couldn’t store my books, anyway.

        Oh and I had summer jobs starting as far back as high school, which provided a little extra spending money.

    • When I was in college, my parents would help out with specific expenses instead of giving me a spending allowance. For example, they sent me $100 every month (by check) to pay for my public transit pass ($60) and groceries (the remaining $40). Since it was a check I guess I could have spent it on other things, but I don’t remember ever doing that. And because I knew they were covering two of my monthly bills, I had a little bit more of my paychecks from a part-time job to spend on other non-essentials I couldn’t afford otherwise.

      The bank we used at home didn’t have locations in my college town so I had to open an account with a new bank they didn’t use so having them directly deposit money into my account wasn’t an option either, but the checks never got lost so that system worked for us. But my mother also doesn’t trust online baking, so I doubt she would have done that anyway.

    • I didn’t have the luxury of having spending money from my parents in college, but my one piece of advice is to really involve him in the process of determining what would be a reasonable monthly spending allowance. Setting aside the kids that blew their money on partying and designer clothes (sadly, there were many), a lot of freshmen simply didn’t understand the idea of a budget and ran out of money at the end of the month just by getting take-out too often or seeing too many movies. Not saying that this will be your son, but it’s great to instill in advance the sense that you are not his personal ATM by working with him to think about how much he’s going to need for clothes, laundry, and the occassional meal not covered by his meal plan.

      I think it’s important too for a young adult to begin to build credit, so I would definitely recommend getting him a credit card attached to your account. Even if he doesn’t want to do his day-to-day purchases on the card for fear of being “tracked,” you should make sure the big stuff (books, plane tickets home) goes on there so he has some credit. For cash, I’d say open an account at a bank close by and you can decide how to fund it.

      Finally, I would suggest expecting him to have *some* kind of job during his college years. Maybe not during his first semester, but I thought having a job really helped me with time management – I was more productive when I knew I had to get the paper done before work than if I had all day. At the very least, make sure he does something over the summers – graduating with an empty resume is not a good sign in today’s economy.

    • This is all really great input. I especially like the idea of working with the credit unions (we belong to one locally but also have accounts with a mega-bank) so that transfers might be easier/cheaper — I’ll check on that.

      And I do expect that our son will be working eventually but not immediately. I was like MoA, at one point having 5 PT jobs in college, since my parents were limited in how much they could help me financially. Our kid is much luckier, and to his credit recognizes this. He skated through HS and is starting in an honors program that I think will be a kick in the pants, so I don’t expect him to have a job right away. However, the point most of you are making about the importance of work in learning to budget both time and money is excellent. Our son has worked during HS, but in landscaping/ construction jobs that were ad hoc and casual so he didn’t have to plan his time very much. He’s working more than full time this summer as a camp counselor (sleeps with the kids, on duty basically around the clock from Monday a.m. to Friday p.m. ) but again this requires no ability to manage his schedule and workload. We’ll definitely be talking with him about money and work before he leaves.

      Thanks so much to all of you.

      • You can also paypal your son money. I’ve done this successfully with my own siblings when I didn’t have any cash on me. Since checking accounts are linked to a paypal account, you can literally email your son money.

      • Will he be living on campus or otherwise be mandated to be on a meal-plan? My parents were much more comfortable letting me dangle at the end of the month when I ran out of money because they knew I had x number of meals already paid for and wouldn’t starve.

        • Yes, in a dorm and on a meal plan, so he won’t go hungry if he’s out of cash.

          • Unless you sell back your meal plan for cash to buy beer like I did ;)

            In all seriousness though, it is great you are able and willing to do this for your son! I don’t have anything to add, everyone has given you very good advice.

    • My spending money was in a mutual fund that had been opened as a custodial account by my dad when I was young (for the very purpose of serving as college spending money). My parents helped me open a bank account near my college and when I needed money, I called and asked my dad to pull money out of the mutual fund and he would send me a check. It worked fine. I also had my own credit card (although I think my dad had to cosign on it) for whatever I wanted and an emergency credit card of theirs for doctor’s copays, books, actual emergencies.

      I did not have a job during college and my parents were very generous and I still learned to budget and manage my time through my extracurriculars which took up a lot of time and one of which was very expensive and while my parents loved that I was doing it, they weren’t about to pony up the cash for it since they were paying for everything else.

    • Bewitched :

      I had one son just complete his first year and another about to start. I would not give either one of them my credit card, not because they are not reliable but because that’s a path I don’t want to go down. Both have their own bank accounts. I have Chase, and Chase has an awesome feature which allows you to “pay” someone just based upon having their email address. That’s what I did with my older son. If he needed money for transportation home, or some activity I was willing to pay for, I would send him money through Chase. If he needed money for social activities, that was on his own dime. His bookstore at school (Barnes and Noble) allowed me to keep a credit card on file. You could designate whether it was only to be used for books, for books and school supplies, or for anything. I chose books and school supplies since I didn’t want to be paying for 9,000 sweatshirts. He was also close to a Wal-Mart, so we would send him gift cards to go there. Wal-Mart also has an awesome shipping service which is reasonable (or Amazon Prime, which is free!). There are lots of options out there to consider.

    • Your son should have his own bank account and debit card. If you want to give him money, give him a check and let him deposit it and manage it himself. Let him know that he’ll get a certain amount per a certain period of time and let him worry about spending it like the responsible young adult I’m sure he probably is.

    • Anon - a cautionary tale :

      I just wanted to offer up a cautionary tale re: giving your son a credit card linked to your own account.

      My SO’s parents did this when he went off to college. They were financially sound, they said they would be responsible for paying it (not him), and he thought nothing of it. He was encouraged to use it freely (within reason), which he did.

      Many years later, and they are less financially sound. He hadn’t used the card in years because he is out of school/not supported by parents. After receiving multiple “consolidate your debt” letters in the mail, he talked to his parents – it turned out that they had only been paying the minimums, and the card has a significant balance on it. In his name. Which…pretty much s*cks.

      Moral of the story – if your finances take a turn, TELL YOUR KIDS. I think his parents were 1/2 afraid to admit that they were no longer as comfortable as they had been, and 1/2 just clueless about finances in general. Either way, the end result is a mess for everyone.

    • This helps us so much, you all are wonderful.

    • Look for bank that has no ATM fees for the student (e.g. Schwab internet checking, CapOne, etc). Schwab also has no foreign exchange so when he studies abroad and needs cash he can use international ATMs. While old-fashioned, I think checks still work great. If need be, I’m sure you can wire money to his account as well.

      Ditto the work study job.

      If he doesn’t already have a credit card, have him open one. I got one in high school with $300 credit line and it was great in establishing credit and I continued to use it in college for books, etc.

      My parents sent spending money now and then, to supplement my work study, which was most appreciated. It was also nice knowing that they kept a safety cushion in case anything ever came up even if they didn’t send me regular “allowance.”

    • My grandparents paid for my books in college. (My parents paid for tuition, told me I was in charge of books, and my grandparents made the offer to pay as a graduation gift!). They sent me a check each semester for something like $1000 (this was a while ago). I bought my books (used, on Amazon, from a friend, or didn’t buy them and used the library’s), and got to keep the rest as spending money. It worked really well.

      My suggestion would be to have your son open a checking account locally (or somewhere like Schwab, where they reimburse you for ATM usage), and send him/give him/direct deposit a check for a lump sum each semester. Then you’re supporting him, and he has to learn how to make it last. If there’s no money by November, there is no beer in the fridge until January :).

      FWIW, I had 1-2 part time jobs while at school. I was a double major (one hard science, one liberal arts) major, graduated in the top 10%, and was pre-med. There is plenty of time for working in college, regardless of your program. It just leaves less time for boozing (which I also did plenty of).

    • Veronique :

      Before the beginning of every school year, my parents would require my siblings and I to create a budget of the money that we would need for the year. They would pay our tuition and on-campus housing not covered by scholarships directly to the school and and other money (everything from books to food to entertainment) was included in the budget. My parents would then review the budget, decreasing it as they felt necessary and any money that we earned during the summer was subtracted from the budget. They would deposit the agreed upon funds into our hometown account monthly. We would withdraw the cash from that account and deposit it into our local college bank account. You could do that part differently by giving them a debit card to the hometown account or sending a check.

      Any money that we earned during school year was ours free and clear, which meant that it went into savings and/or entertainment. I would use mine for my road trips, while my sister would use hers for regular massages. Imo, this system was hugely valuable in creating good budgeting/financial management habits that continued into adulthood. Learning how to create a budget, manage your money until the next “paycheck,” requiring us to contribute through summer jobs but also allowing us to take the initiative to earn extra money through term jobs were all valuable lessons.

    • Wow, just a reflection that I was surprised to see so many r e t t e’s who got spending money from their parents! With tuition, room and board often exceeding $50K per year, we feel pretty generous to be covering that and books ($1000/ for one year). With two in college next year-that will be $100K, so our kids had better not think there is a monthly allowance or credit card coming their way!

      • Anonymous :

        My parents did just as you did – though I think it really depends on the kid. My middle sister and I were on our own for spending money – our parents were confident we could handle the coursework + a part time job (especially when the risk of us not working was “you can’t do fun stuff” not “you can’t eat), but my youngest sister will probably get an allowance. School in general is very tough for her, and I think for the first year, my parents expect her to focus very much on that, on establishing a study routine, etc. So it can definitely be kid dependent too.

  14. I’m just so frustrated now.

    I wanted to order some items on BR, and they had a nice sale going on and I found some items in my size. However, BR have their own European store so they refuse to ship their stuff in their US store to me … and they told me to buy directly from their European store since it was “so much easier”.

    Well, I did that, went over to their European store … and not only didn’t they have what I was looking for, they only carry the European sizes, while I want to American sizes … the smallest size the European store carries is 2, while I wanted the 00, and they didn’t have petites.

    I’m so frustrated now. Yes, shipping from the US might be more expensive than shipping from the UK, but that doesn’t help me when the UK store doesn’t have my sizes. I’d rather pay the high shipping rates and the import fees. Why, oh why?

    Sorry for the vent. I’m a bit sad. :(

    • Are you sure that the smallest size in the European store isn’t UK sizing, meaning that it’s not bigger than a OO?

  15. Fayetteville, West Virginia? :

    I’m going to a wedding in Fayetteville, West Va in a few weeks & will have an extra day on my own. I”m not an outdoorsy person & would prefer to explore a small town/towns. Anything quaint/nice to see in the area? Restaurant recommendations? The internet isn’t turning up much.

    • Also in Academia :

      I highly recommend Tamarack. It is a large store of local craft vendors (West Virginians, all). It is a gem of a place. It’s about half an hour south on 77 of where you will be. If you can swallow your reluctance to be outdoorsy, one of the hallmarks of WV is that there is a state park within an easy drive of anywhere. Near Fayetteville, you can go to Babcock State Park. Our state parks are often very resort-y — the one closest to where I grew up was like having a not-at-all exclusive country club with pools, horseback riding, hiking, lodges, cabins, golf, and so forth. You will also be near Winterplace Ski Resort, which has summer recreational opportunities as well, I think — but again they’d be outdoors.

      If you’d like to go further afield, you could drive 1 hour 15 minutes to Lewisburg, which is a cute small town. The Greenbrier is also right there so you could visit or have lunch (google their dress code, I can’t remember it). I think the Greenbrier also has a casino now! The area of the state around Lewisburg is really one of the most beautiful, I think, second only to Seneca Rocks which is probably too far for you to venture (almost 3 hours north and really rural).

      West Virginia is a beautiful state with wonderful people, although it is much-maligned. As you drive on 77, you will think that there is literally nothing there, but down the roads branching off of the interstate you will find the towns. Being from there, I never feel as if I am in the middle of nowhere, but it’s not uncommon for people driving through to think that the whole state is deserted.

      One hint — do stop for gas if your car gets down to 1/4 tank. On one of my recent trips home I almost ran out of gas because I am so spoiled by my current location where gas stations abound. Exits off the highway can get a little sparse in West Virginia.

      • Mighty Mouse :

        Even if you’re not outdoorsy, consider checking out the Visitor Center at the New River Gorge, and, if you’re up to it, walk down the wooden walkway and stairs to the observation deck. Take a camera!

        Also, Pies and Pints is a pretty delicious pizza / beer joint right in Fayetteville.

        Greenbrier is gorgeous. May have to be a guest to gamble in the casino, but I think that you don’t have to be to do the spa. I’ve not been into Lewisburg but have heard wonderful things from day-trippers.

    • I live in Huntington, which is just over 2 hours from Fayetteville. It’s such a beautiful area!

      Fayetteville itself is a darling little town, but there is not a whole lot to do. You may still have a nice time walking down the main street (the only street, really) – there are some cute antique stores and things. Lewisburg does have more going on, and the Greenbrier is just about 20 minutes or so farther.

      I know you said you’re not outdoorsy, but the New River Gorge Bridge is worth checking out. No hiking required. There’s also a fantastic restaurant called Smokey’s on the Gorge, which is part of the larger Adventures on the Gorge campus. Smokey’s has breathtaking views of the Gorge, and again, no hiking required. :)

      I also second Tamarack. It’s a great place to pick up crafts and non-souvenir-y souvenirs. Enjoy!

    • I always go to that area for outdoorsy things, but here are a few restaurant suggestions at least. Cathedral Cafe in Fayetteville has great coffee, free wi-fi, good food and enjoyable people-watching. It’s a pleasant place to hang out if you have time to waste. Later in the day, I recommend Pies N Pints (also in Fayetteville, although there are other locations throughout the state) for delicious imaginative pizzas and a great beer selection. I think there may also be a wine bar (?) that just opened in Fayetteville if you are looking for another place to hang out, although I don’t know much about it. There is also a Cajun restaurant that seems popular. As a New Orleans native, I have been too afraid to try it. Walking up and down the main street will take you 10 minutes max, so I wouldn’t rely on that for amusement!

      Summersville is close by, but there’s not much there. Unless you need a grocery store or chain restaurant, no need to go there.

      I completely agree with the earlier poster that a visit to the NRG Bridge overlook is totally worth it. It’s maybe a mile from the parking lot down to the paved path, and there is also a visitor’s center. I think the gorge and bridge are amazing. Be sure to look for the old bridge (wayyy down to the bottom of the gorge).

    • Oh my gosh, thank you all sooooo much!! The wedding is at Smokeys on the Gorge so I’ll definitely see that and you have given me such great info, I really really appreciate it!!

  16. This is such an interesting article – I tend to just brush off any/all crude remarks that I receive, but…perhaps I shouldn’t be? I also found it really sad reading through the twitter feed that I could relate to probably half, if not more, of the comments.

    http://global.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/world/europe/charting-the-impact-of-everyday-sexism-across-the-world.html

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Thank you for sharing this. I’ve definitely shrugged off those types of comments before, but luckily I can’t remember the last time I heard one. It’s such an interesting thing to really think about because when it only happens to you it’s easier to shrug off, but once you think about the collective impact of everyone doing that its harder to deal with. Not to mention the potential safety issues depending on the situation. I’m going to spend some time on her site when I get home tonight.

    • Activists such as the one in the article you posted are such a great reminder to speak up, about any injustice.

      We’re all party to casual s3xism, right? One time, I was gchatting with a male friend online and I asked him what he thought about purple hair. He replied that he’d like to meet the s1ut who sounds like she’d know how to have a good time. I asked him if I was a s1ut. He said no, of course not. But you called me s1ut, I say. He said he was just messing around and typically unusual hair color signifies other things. What things. He couldn’t really say and I said the amount of s3x/partners a consenting adult woman has with consenting adult partners really has no bearing on her morality and doesn’t deserve a derogatory label.

      I threadjacked the conversation with something completely unrelated as we typically do in our conversations and he says, “wait, stop, you can’t just drop a b0mb like that and change the subject.” Huh? “I’m still thinking about this s1ut thing. There are too many bad names for women.” Yes, there are. “And I can’t really think of that many for men.” Nope, neither can I. “It’s interesting that you as a conservative Muslim are defending a s3xually promiscuous woman.” I find any unbiased remarks on anyone’s s3xual behavior offensive. There is way too much policing of women’s actions just because they’re women. And I find it particularly offensive that the most derogatory and offensive curses are all related to women’s genit@lia. That bothers me a lot.

      I honestly expected my friend to say that I was an overreacting femin@zi (he’s charming, I know) but he actually took it seriously. Our own acquaintances and family members say cr@p like this and we have to retrain their world view because everyone else out there is teaching them that it’s okay to treat women like they’re sub-men.

      • Most of my friends are generally pretty good, but this, and the conversation here yesterday (re: lily white – I figured the OP meant nothing by it, which she did later confirm in a response), reminded me that maybe I should be noting casual s3xism/racism/other discrimination when I notice it, instead of always brushing it off (within reason I guess…I mean, pick your battles and all that)

        It usually doesn’t make me think less of the person, because it’s simply a lack of awareness regarding the language they use, and 99.9% of the time, it’s not meant to be hurtful or exclusionary, but if I at least mention it when it comes up, then at least I’m not tacitly saying that I’m cool with it, which otherwise, it might seem like I am, right? And I’m totally not okay with it, so I should probably make that known.

        • Thanks for the link… it’s sad that these things happen, but it’s wonderful that there is somebody trying collecting the stories.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          This reminds me of the discussion here awhile back about speaking up when you hear a coworker refer to a business thing as being rap*d. Hard to speak up about, especially with a boss or coworker, but the more I think about it the more I think we should be speaking up.

  17. Anonymous :

    I have a funny little question for you ladies. How would you handle a philosophical or purely theoretical discussion in a relationship about each partner’s apparently different approach to the nature of relationships in general? Say, one of us believes that it is not possible to rationally say that “we will never break up,” simply because nothing is ever 100% certain in life. The other one believes that, although it’s true that nothing is 100% certain, we should pretty much be living on the principle of “we will never break up.” Factor this into a committed and generally issue-free relationship – oh, the issue of marriage is not a problem and this is pretty much a purely theoretical/life-approach kind of issue.

    • I think it’s different to act in a way (“living on the principle”) that shows that you believe you will not break up vs. noting that it is not possible to rationally say that since most things are not 100% certain.

      You’re discussing different things.

  18. This must be the subject of a post but I can’t find it. I’m a SAHM transitioning into a WAHM. I don’t need much professional wear, but I should probably stop wearing yoga pants to the grocery store in case I bump into a potential client. Well, I will probably continue to wear yoga pants to the grocery store, but I need some casual outfits that look decent. I’d like some guidance on how to build this wardrobe. Advice?

    • Wildkitten :

      I don’t have advice but Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point dot com is a WAHM and has really cute outfits for the presentations she gives. You might look through her pictures for inspiration.

  19. What types of opportunities are there for someone in the compliance field without a JD? Will you be limited without one?

    • This is late, but I’ll answer anyway – IMO, you wouldn’t be limited without a JD, but it depends on what your other degrees are. In my field (health products regulatory), most of the “Regulatory” and “compliance” people who work at the large companies aren’t attorneys or have a JD. But they do have health/hard/engineering science upper-level degrees. I think for “product” compliance, it’s more important to have degrees where you can understand, from the ground up, the regulated product. For “services” compliance, IMO, is where you would need the JD.

    • My mom worked in financial/banking compliance without a JD, but she has an investment banking background and an MBA. It would definitely be helpful to have a degree and/or work experience in the industry or subject area that you are seeking to regulate.

  20. It’s likely many posters did not have to pay full tuition. All but one of my friends in college had some sort of academic scholarship. Many people also took out loans (in the students name) so there was an understanding that your parents gave you an “allowance” / spending money, but the students were reaponsible for paying back the loans later. I don’t remember it being common that someone’s parents would foot the entire tuition, books and room and board bill like you are describing (this is at a private university)

    • Anonymous :

      On the contrary, I imagine it’s likely that many R e t t e s (though not all, of course) had parents who could pay full tuition (though many here are so accomplished that I imagine many people did receive merit awards).

      It was very common at my SLAC which did not offer merit aid that people’s parents paid 100% out of pocket. I think something like 60% of parents did? While 40% of students were receiving need based aid of some sort.

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