Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Jersey Dress

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

BOSS Hugo Boss Jersey DressHappy Monday! I am dying for this great “grape” dress from BOSS Hugo Boss — the neckline, sleeves, and hem length all look fabulous for work, while the jersey material, ruching, and wide waistband look really flattering. I’d wear it with a simple, delicate necklace at my collarbone (for me, probably one of my initial necklaces from Maya Brenner) and a brooch on the shoulder. The dress is $345 at Bloomingdale’s. BOSS Hugo Boss Jersey Dress

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Comments

  1. Darn. Got really excited about the dress having sleeves, then remembered it was Splurge Monday. Still pretty though.

    • Ha! That is, verbatim, the series of thoughts I just had.

    • It is pretty, but do people here feel comfortable wearing jersey dresses to work? That fabric feels too casual to me, and is also very unforgiving to those of us who don’t get to the gym every day.

      • Not all jersey dresses are created equal. Thicker jersey knits are more forgiving, especially if they are lined. Otherwise, I think that as long as the design is professional (not a t-shirt dress for example), the fabric is fine.

      • Seattle Freeze :

        Also, we have such things as slips and jackets :)

        • Slips don’t help camouflage saddlebags, which show up quite clearly in jersey dresses.

          I know, I know, love your body, etc. I’ve made peace and come to really appreciate my big, strong ribcage. And my booty. However…I just don’t like my saddlebags and of late, there’ve been so many jersey dresses and they’re just the worst, IMHO.

      • AnonInfinity :

        A couple of weeks ago, I went to a client’s facility with a partner and wore a jersey wrap dress. It wasn’t particularly fancy–I got it at BR a few years ago, and it is magenta. Partner commented that I was more dressed up than usual and he felt casual in comparison. In the office, I usually wear a pencil skirt or suit pants and a blouse that is not a t-shirt. We’re business casual, so no jacket most days. I was shocked that he considered me more dressed up than normal, and it made me realize that some of the “rules” about what is more formal is personal taste. Either that or most men do not understand the hierarchy of garments on the forma/casual continuum. If it’s the latter, I am hopeless because almost all the partners in my firm are men, and maybe I just can’t win.

        • I think it’s a combination of both. Sometimes when I wear jersey dresses (they’re generally black, so that might have something to do with it), people ask why I’m so dressed up. Considering most days I’m wearing a pencil skirt, top, cardi combination, I see the dresses as a more-casual option. Maybe it is male lawyers are just clueless, though?

          • This happens to me as well. Could it be that you look more “dressed up” because that same jersey dress is something that you could go out for an evening in, while you probably wouldn’t go out in your pencil skirt/cardigan combination? That’s my one concern when I wear some of my jersey dresses… Do I look like I dressed to go out after work?

        • Sounds like he thought you looked dressed for a party. A jersey wrap dress often needs a jacket over the top to look like office wear.

  2. Lovely dress. That ruching may emphasize the belly. The commute in today was a bit of a pain but I did get a laugh out of all the women I saw trying to walk on the ice in heels.

    • Silvercurls :

      I’m trying to suppress the urge to make snarky comments by reminding myself that because many citizens of our global world did not grow up with northern winter weather they are just plain unaware of how best to dress for the weather.

      However, my inner cartoonist suggests that if one wears heels on ice (either as high-heeled boots or plain old shoes) one might want to accessorize with ski poles for balance. It saves the trouble of grabbing onto lamp poles, street signs, parking meters, mail boxes, other pedestrians, etc.!

      • I think the ladies wearing heels are often style-conscious New Yorkers, while out of towners go over the top in buying winter wear. I could be wrong.

        • Carrie Preston :

          Ah – you never know – my most embarassing moments have involved wearing heels in snowy cities (& needing help crossing the street) because where I live, I never have to think about footwear in the winter – for me, cooler temps mean a coat and scarf.

        • In my experience, it’s the out of towners in weather-inappropriate footwear in NYC. A lot of the long-term citydwellers go with waterproof or otherwise sturdier footwear not just because it sucks to step into an “NYC-mystery puddle” but also out of a studied effect to not look like they’re trying too hard.

      • I decided against wearing heels to a meeting with a judge this morning because I didn’t want to be one of those women (although to be honest, I’m one of those women when out on a Saturday night). But still – even in my boots, I was scared of falling!

      • They were otherwise well dressed for the weather so just opted for fashion over practicality. Everyone in court today was wearing boots or shoes with treads. I’m lucky enough to keep my balance in sensible shoes.

    • Yes – this is the time for the penguin shuffle.

      • lucy stone :

        Indeed it is. This is the time of year when I wear my cutest heels in my office because I am wearing gigantic boots outside.

        • I also don’t understand being okay with your feet being THAT cold. I’m miserable if my feet are cold, why would I subject myself to running around in thin leather shoes when I could be wearing my cozy boots.

          • I can’t live with cold feet either. Though, I have to admit, I belong to the sort of women for whom my feet always comes first, style second. I don’t wear heels in the summer either because I can’t commute long distances in them without my feet being hurt. I admire those women who can, though. In winter, it always amazes me to see women in court shoes with sheer socks or pantyhose. I’m happy with my warm feet in my snow boots, but f they’e not feeling the chill at subzero temperatures … well … that’s something, I definitely couldn’t dress myself that way.

          • Cold and wet feet are the worst. They never seem to warm up. It’s boots all winter long for me.

          • Yes, this is why I love living on the casual west coast. I wear boots half the year because I just can’t stand having cold feet exposed to the air. {{{ shivverrrr}}}}}

    • Baconpancakes :

      Sorel’s Joan of Arctics all the way!

  3. Aquatalia Rhumba Boots :

    Anyone have these boots? Are they comfortable to wear all day?

    Any suggestions for finding them on sale?

    • I just bought an older version of the Rhumba at my local Off Fifth (Saks outlet). I believe they were $250ish. Very comfortable so far but have only worn them twice. The zipper goes all the way up on mine, while the current Rhumba looks like it’s only got a 1/2 zipper.

      • Aquatalia Rhumba Boots :

        This is a good suggestion. We have an Off Fifth, a Last Call and a Nordstrom Rack here, so I will check all three. Thanks.

        • Check stores in person! I got mine from a regular Saks for around $200 after a very mild winter, but they weren’t on sale online.

    • I put off buying a different Aquatalia boot while I tried to find it at a lower/sale price. Eventually I ended up paying full price at Nordstrom the following season. My size 7 is too common to wait for clearance.

    • Anonymous :

      Have them, adore them, paid full price for them (by far my most expensive shoes, but I was pg and needed sturdy heels), and would buy them again, full price, without question. I’ve worn the daylights out of these boots and you can’t tell. Love love love.

  4. Looks like a good dress – out of my price range for a dress, though.

  5. For those who work out before work: This may be a silly question, but what do you do if you’re bringing your lunch that day? I usually go to the gym after work, so I’m toting empty tupperware. Do you take your lunch for the week in on Monday? Put it in an insulated lunchbox? Take things that can be frozen (like soup) for lunch? I’m leaning towards the lunchbox, but figured someone else has probably dealt with this before.

    • I bring all of my food for the week on Monday. But I’ve had this issue when I’ve had a dr appt before work on Monday. Fortunately, my house is between the clinic and work because I usually have to stop and pick it up. I would probably do the insulated lunch box. My ex had one that could be subdivided between cold things and anything that could remain at room temp. It worked very well.

    • I don’t work out before work (or after) but I often bring lunch that just doesn’t need to be refrigerated (farro or other grain salad, vegetable pies, etc.), so perhaps that’s an easy solution? Plus, even things that are better refrigerated will usually be fine for 2- 2.5 hours without a fridge, particularly in the colder months.

      • Second your last sentence . To tell you the truth, I leave my lunch (leftovers – soup, pasta, rice dishes, etc) at my desk (in an uninsulated plastic bag) as often as not until I’m ready to eat (i.e., 4 hours or so), and it’s never been a problem. I wouldn’t leave them in a hot car, but in a normally air-conditioned office, it’s fine, and I’m sure that the gym would be the same.

      • Same here – we have a fridge at work but if I forget and leave my lunch (usually quinoa salad) in my purse, no big deal.

      • I have a fridge in my actual office and I still often forget to put my lunch in it. Love your first sentence AIMS.

    • anon-oh-no :

      I go home to shower after working out, so this isnt really an issue. Every once in a while though, I have to go straight to court or somewhere else and on those days, I either plan to buy lunch that day or I bring something that doesnt really need a fridge — a turkey sand, can of lentil soup, etc. Also, depending on the salad, that can usually hang out in my bag until i get to the office.

    • Yay! Pricey Monday! I can almost afford this dresses’s like this! I like the neckline b/c there is NOTHING for Frank to stare at also! YAY!

      As for the OP, yes, I walk in to work and I bring a tupperweare container with celery and carot’s so that I have something to snack on (other then the cookie’s the manageing partner has Lynn bring in every day). I still am 3 pound’s over where I should be b/c of all of the Thank’sgiving meal I ate. Mom is also trying to loose weight by walkeing with Dad with a new FITBIT! YAY!

      I told Rosa all about Fred and she did NOT like that Fred stuck his hand inside of my sweater. She said he “should NOT be lookeing for his key’s there!”. I agreed, b/c he is NEVER getting the key to my heart, either. FOOEY on FRED! Rosa said he has ALOT of nerve for thinkeing that my boobies could be rented out for the price of a cheap meal. He would NOT even let me eat a second appetizer and I did NOT even have an entreee either! FOOEY on FRED. Myrna’s dog did like the biscut’s tho. So Fred was not totaly wortheless. But I could have gotten Xilo some biscut’s without haveing to have a guy squeeze my boobie’s. FOOEY!

      Myrna told me about a guy she met who wanted to marry her last year, but he wanted her to keep workeing b/c she made alot of money and he wanted to be a “housefrau”. I do NOT even know what that mean’s but she said NO. She would NOT suport a guy who just would lay around waiting to give her sex at night. That is what Alan was turneing into, I said and she agreed! We will hereinafter pass on any man that just want’s us to work while they play. Myrna showed me an articel about this in the NY Times that the HIVE should read. We will NOT ever become this. FOOEY!

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/business/economy/women-as-family-breadwinner-on-the-rise-study-says.html

      If I am doieng all the work, should I be also have to come home and start doieng all the housework? NO WAY HOZE! We want men to work and to suport US, not the other way around. FOOEY!

    • I’m sure this has been discussed on this website before but I can’t find it. I just started in BigLaw and am trying to bring my lunch every day (so I eat better, save $$ etc). Does anyone have suggestions for a work appropriate insulated lunchbox? I walk to work so something thats not really bulky or makes me look like a kindergartener would be nice.

  6. I’d just like to thank this site for just being here. It didn’t exist back when I desperately needed an answer to this question:

    I am in law school at a school that isn’t in a major city. I have two suits I use for interviewing (one: dark green, double-breasted jacket, long straight skirt; two: camel, double breasted with longer jacket; long straight skirt). Both of them are wool and I think the camel one is wool flannel. The good news is: I got a 2L summer job! I get catalogs from Newport News and Victoria’s Secret that have some linen-and-cotton suits in them. I can wear these, right? A suit is a suit? What about dresses? I’ve tried looking at the Talbots in the city that’s about an hour from me — they seem to stock things that are for church or weddings or maybe country clubs. This would be OK in a pinch? Help — I will need some clothes but the clothes fairy hasn’t appeared yet.

    • Love this dilemma! I interviewed for my real first job (not law) in a navy suit with a long, pleated circle skirt and an ivory turtleneck. I looked like a 1950s flight attendant. And my first day at that job I think I wore an orangey-red fake linen suit with, again, a long skirt. At the time I thought I looked quite professional and appropriate – and maybe I did! It was a long time ago.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      It depends a lot on where you’ll be working. Cotton and especially linen suits won’t cut it in super-formal offices. Linen especially wrinkles a lot. I’d shoot to find at least one navy, black or charcoal wool suit if you think you’re in a formal office. Try secondhand stores, discount stores like N-strom Rack, or outlets.

    • I wore a camel suit to my first day of my first summer clerkship, thinking that I looked great and professional, only to find out that I was the only female clerk, and the 5 guys all looked eerily similar (all same race, dark haired, similar heights, etc.) and were all in dark suits. I felt so awkward! After that, it was dark suits only, unless I’m feeling casual!

    • I recall some ugly floral dresses that I wore as an intern.

    • Macy suits were my go to in law school. You can get a suit for $100ish and they are having a 25% off sale today.

  7. Styling suggestions?

    I ordered a pair of work pants that I thought were light gray but are more like sky blue. They fit and are comfortable, so I’m trying to avoid returning them, but preppy or sweet looks really are not me so I’m struggling with how to wear them.

    • I was going to suggest a black cardigan with a crisp white buttoned shirt, but that’s preppy. What would you have worn with gray?

    • To avoid preppy, avoid pairing with white or pastel colors. I think charcoal would look nice. Or orangey red if you are bold.

    • What about one of those leather-accented tops that are everywhere now to toughen it up a bit? Or an embellished sweater for a textural contrast? Something oxblood could look really nice with sky blue and wouldn’t seem to be too preppy a color combo. You could also always do a classic button down shirt and a funky necklace and booties.

    • Camel sweater or long-sleeve T + tan loafers ? Still preppy but not exclusively (I’d see this combo from time to time on stylish colleagues from Milan).

    • Thanks all! I got some good ideas here. “Toughen up” is exactly what I need to do, one way or another, and I need more than one outfit that works, so this is a great start. I’m getting a very chunky black watch that I think may need to be involved every time…

    • Brooklyn Paralegal :

      A charcoal tweed could look nice with that. I’ve seen a few nice, structured tops in textured materials that would still look professional and feminine, but would circumvent the preppy look.

    • R in Boston :

      Where did you find these pants? I would love sky blue pants for work.

  8. Teva "de la Vina" boots :

    Has anyone tried these boots? I had an REI gift card to use and needed boots and these were the only ones that somewhat fit my style/needs in the winter. Can anyone comment on the fit or quality? TIA!

  9. hellskitchen :

    Emergency wardrobe TJ – I just realized this morning that the waist of my pencil skirt is gaping a little bit. (I have been trying to lose weight so yay!). It’s not going to slide down but the gaping is enough that when I walk, the waistband sort of folds over and my silk blouse starts coming out untucked. I also have to go to an event this afternoon so hiding at my desk is not an option. The skirt doesn’t have belt loops either. Ugh. Is there any way I can hold it all together in pinch? I have a Walgreens close by but no other store.

    • Safety pin a tiny pleat into it?

    • thatsnotmyname :

      tuck your blouse into your tights/hose/underwear (pull a little out for the ‘blousy’ effect’

    • if it’s really bad, I’d do a temporary tailoring job by pinching in both sides (so that there’s not a big bunch of fabric in one place) and securing with safety pins on the inside.

      if it’s mostly a slippery shirt problem, can you tuck into your tights or underwear?

    • Clementine :

      This has happened to me before and I often just safety pin my blouse into my skirt so it stays tucked in. If people look really closely, there’s a small gap but it keeps you looking neat and put together.

      I have a long torso so I also do this if a blouse is just a touch too short to stay tucked in.

    • Blair Waldorf :

      Agreed with the safety pin advice.

      Alternatively, if there’s a fold of fabric at the waistline, you could safety pin your shirt to the skirt so it doesn’t come untucked.

    • hellskitchen :

      I tried tucking the shirt into my tights but then the top of the tights showed when my skirt slid down, so went with the safety pin route. That, and a heavy lunch, did the trick in keeping things where they should be. Phew. Thanks ladies!

  10. AttiredAttorney :

    Any gift suggestions for a one year old (12 months) little boy? I’d love to find something that’s challenging/educational but fun for under $25. Someone suggested Melissa & Doug toys, but they either look too young (9months+) or too old (24 months).

  11. mad at FIL :

    I’m having a petty, angry morning. I’m getting ready to order family Xmas cards for this year and have found myself surprisingly angry at my father in law, who on numerous occasions has mentioned typos I’ve made in family albums and so forth in the past. I enjoy making albums as my own way of commemorating our memories but I’m way behind — last one was August 2012 — and I’m realizing this morning that my FIL’s pickiness is a big reason — this just isn’t fun for me anymore. (The man is sick with cancer and I’m imagining having down-and-out screaming fights wit him about what a piece of sh$t he is, why doesn’t he try making a damned family album while being the breadwinner and having a family, nice of him to criticize me when he can’t even be involved in our lives, etc, etc.)

    I just spell-checked half of the place names in the cards (fine, Natural History Museum becomes American Natural History Museum, etc) and I realize I’m INSANE because he’s MAKING ME INSANE. Is it totally petty to not give my FIL/MIL a copy of the photo books and yearly calendars anymore? (They are expensive, and we can always give them to them later.) (My MIL is amazing and adores our kid, but we rarely see my FIL — the last time I heard from him directly was him telling me about perceived typos (questioning whether I could really call the album “Months 5-10″ when they were technically the 6th-11th months of my son’s life — but we called him Month 1 at the end of the first month so that’s what I’ve kept up.) Is the answer that I just need to be more careful about typos? This is supposed to be fun for me and having him go through the albums with a red pen makes me want to stab him.

    • Make them and tell your FIL you left a couple typos in for his own editing enjoyment.

      • lucy stone :

        I love this! Maybe give him a red Sharpie too?

        • Love this, too! Add a little note to the Sharpie that reads: “You’ll have twenty minutes to complete the test.” When he asks what test, you can tell him you’re checking to see whether he’s gone senile yet. ;)

    • To quote Stephanie, how rude! Ignore FIL and go back to enjoying your less than perfect albums. You’re probably perfect in plenty of areas of life. The pressure is just too much. Albums are a hobby meant to be enjoyed, not obsessed about.

    • Has he always been annoying and petty, or is it possible his illness is causing him to act this way? (Even if the illness itself or medications aren’t causing personality changes, the psychological stress of having cancer can certainly do so). Either way, take the high road and don’t deny him the album. But complain here as much as you want.

      I got into an argument with my very elderly father yesterday about men’s and women’s roles. It seems that my husband is not doing 50% of the housework/childcare – newsflash. My dad basically took my husband’s side. We’ve been married many, many years but I still want my parents to take my side. OTOH, my father is a) a man and b) in his tenth decade. So blah.

      There were 2 articles in yesterday’s NYT that probably set me off. I’ll try to link. One about breadwinning wives with stay at home husbands, the other about how women take housekeeping more seriously than men and all would be right with the world if we lowered our standards to theirs.

      • No surprise to me that your Dad took your husband’s side regarding housework, but I have mixed feelings about giving people a pass for being old(er). I’d like to think that as long as we’re treating someone as a competent adult (no dementia, etc) we’re expecting that person to think critically and be able to defend their positions with arguments other than “that’s how we used to do it” or “I’m too old to reconsider.” I know I hope to be challenged in this way for as long as I’m mentally alert.

        As for the OP, I agree she shouldn’t withhold the album. Maybe it would help to physically hand it off to MIL instead, but either way don’t cut them out. Do whatever degree of editing YOU feel like doing, and when FIL complains of a typo just either say “yes, I’m sure I missed a few things, but it’s just for fun anyway” or, if you’re up for being more playful, “so you DID find it! I put it in as a test!” I really understand how annoying and unappreciative his behavior is for you, but chronic, painful illness can bring out the worst in people sometimes. Who knows what this may be about for him.

      • That NYT housework article totally started a fight in our house yesterday!

      • Seventh Sister :

        That op-ed about cleaning just fried me. The only thing that quells my rage is to imagine saying to the guy who wrote that, “you know, I am SO GLAD I’m not married to you.” (This also works for pretty much anything that Ross Douhat or David Brooks writes.)

    • Diana Barry :

      I would ask your spouse first – but otherwise YES, totally fine not to give them to your FIL, particularly given how he’s behaved in the past!

    • Ugh – no fun. You try to include him on something nice, and all he has is criticism.

      My 2 cents? Stop giving him a copy. Ignore his edits – you aren’t making it just for him, right? You are making it for you (and the people who actually appreciate it). Make one for yourself (and label it however you want), give one to your MIL and whoever else you want, but don’t give him one. He’s made it clear that he doesn’t appreciate your efforts. If he still gets a copy and marks it up, you can tell him that it wasn’t a proof copy, so you weren’t looking for typos.

      So, no, you don’t need to be more careful about typos – you just need to enjoy what you are doing instead of trying to get an impossible man’s approval.

      • This times a thousand. There’s no pleasing people who just want to be cranks and they get their just desserts when everybody around them stops trying. There’s a wonderful poster that’s making its way through Tumblr and Reddit and a few other places. Am probably paraphrasing it badly, but it’s: Subtract people from your life who subtract from your life.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Ugh, how annoying. I would simply ignore his comments, or reply “Oh, thanks for letting me know” and feign indifference. If he persists I would just reply “Well I can’t do anything about it now, and it if bothers you so much just don’t look at the album.”

    • I’d still give him a copy and if he gives you a marked up copy back, I’d throw it in the trash and I would relish throwing it in the trash. To me, this seems like one of those occasions where what you do isn’t for the FIL’s sake at all, but rather, for your husband and the fam more generally. Also, I do not think you should not spend any extra time proofing other than what you ordinarily do to put them together.

    • Next time your FIL makes an comment about one of the albums, I would say something like, “I make albums for you and MIL because I thought you would enjoy seeing the photos. If you do not like receiving them, just let me know and I won’t send them anymore.” You could also ask your husband to have this conversation with his father, outside of the context of specific editorial comments on an album (“You know, Dad, mad@FIL sends these albums so you and Mom can see how our family is doing. You need to lay off the editorial commentary, it is unwelcome and unappreciated.”).

      You could make their album without captions, but I’m guessing that your MIL probably likes having them. I wouldn’t punish your MIL for your FIL’s behavior (either by changing the album or not giving them one at all). Or you could make a special one just for him with totally ridiculous and wrong captions and send it to him with a set of red pens. There are a lot of possibilities here, the more I think about it.

      • This last suggestion could actually work very well. I would append rosie’s idea to my post above as another option. It takes what could be escalating anger and turns it back into the ridiculous silliness that it is.

        • mad at FIL :

          You guys are the best, thank you — I may just have to take Rosie’s suggestion. Yes it means I have to make a separate album for him, but it may be an awesome way of having fun with it and ending it.

          Another part of me hates tipping my hand that it bothered me at all (and giving him any feeling of power over me) but I may have fun with the typos and see how it goes.

          • Honestly I think making a separate book full of on-purpose typos is very petty and immature. Yes – your FIL is in the wrong for being so nitpicky and rude, but do you want to stoop to his level?

            Either continue sending the books for your MIL’s enjoyment and try to let FIL’s comments roll off your back, or don’t send them at all.

          • I think the spirit of the action is what matters. She’d be making the special, typo-written version as a joke, and signaling that she takes his edits in good fun too. It’s such an over-the-top thing to do that it’s pretty hard to interpret it as aggressive. Denying the album, on the other hand, easily looks like an angry move.

          • I’m all for a good joke. But I agree with Orangerie, it’s easy to come off as petty.

          • prof on a bike :

            I thought this suggestion was pretty funny, but I guess it depends on whether it’s likely to lighten the mood or make FIL angry. If it was me, I’d probably send the album addressed to MIL and a set of red pens addressed to FIL with a joking note suggesting he can correct his own copy.

            I definitely don’t think proofreading more is a solution, it’ll never be enough (I mean is 5-10 vs 6-11 months an “error” that you would have been able to catch?). I’d be even more annoyed if I spent precious time proofreading and then he still found errors. I think finding a way to make light of it or ignore it entirely is the better solution.

          • Merabella :

            It is in situations like this that I play The Ridiculous things my family members say Bingo with my sister – K in Transition introduced it to me a while back when I was complaining about my overbearing mother. Somehow this game makes all those things far less important to me.

            My favorite spots on the board: “When mom comes over she will rearrange my pillows, comment on how I could better arrange my furniture so it is more attractive, or say back handed complements like ‘I love how you don’t let things like feeling the need to really deep clean your house get in the way of your enjoyment.’”

            It is a game you can play alone, but it is much more fun with friends. :)

    • Some people are honestly just built in a way that they point out errors or things that aren’t straight or whatnot without intending malice. If it were malice, there are far nastier ways people can be. Honestly, just except that this is his quirk and don’t take it personally. Maybe it’s because I work in a field where I’m constantly receiving edits from all sorts of people (some of them are brilliant, others are complete morons), but I’ve learned it’s best just to learn from what you can and ignore the rest. You’ll drive yourself crazy otherwise.

      I was a newspaper reporter for my first job out of grad school. I used to have an old man send me red lines of my articles pretty much weekly (his town was in my beat). I hated him with a passion. One day, he showed up at the office. He said he was in the area and wanted to meet me, and then he complimented me as being one of the best reporters they had ever had for the area. I still shake my head at that one. Who knows, when he’s gone, you may actually miss the quirks. (I know, hard to see now.)

      • Yes–my family is overly critical & I have old people in my life that I think nag /complain because it is the only way they know how to love… sad, but true. In his mind, he might be saying– I read your photo book so closely & so regularly that I noticed the errors. Both of my grandmothers & father are like this… is it infuriating? insanely so… Do they love me less? I think their actions of always putting family first speaks much louder than their words.

        • BTW I also had a hiring partner once give me back my resume covered in red– I got hired, but it was kind of a horrible thing for him to do.

      • Brooklyn Paralegal :

        I don’t know, while I largely agree with you on this one, I also think that there is an integral difference between a weirdly charming curmudgeon who reads the paper you report for and your father in law who regularly puts down highly personal projects you put a great deal of time into.

        (That being said, when I waited tables , there was an octogenarian who was a real prick and one day I told him that it wasn’t OK for him to speak to me like I was an idiot, and after a brief moment of offense, he came to really like me and gave me a bunch of really old, awesome editions of Paul Auster books.)

    • Ugh, how annoying! I’m a proofreader IRL and I would never dream of doing this to someone who made me a calendar as a gift. (Not to mention that you’re doing this calendar for family, not as an official record in any sense — who cares what the “official” name is of a museum?!)

      I think this is something your husband needs to tackle — telling pops to cool it otherwise, no more calendars for him. And if he has the gall to return it to you helpfully marked up, then you can scratch his name off the recipients’ list. I know this will hurt MIL, but she’d probably be the last person surprised to hear that her hubs is a jerk.

    • I don’t know the dynamics of this situation at all, but maybe just stop letting it get to you? I understand that it’s annoying and you’re busy and stressed, but calling someone a piece of sh$t for pointing out typos seems like an overreaction. He’s probably a bored, sick man, it sounds like he’s not going to be alive much longer, so just nod and be like, “oh, ok” when he says those things. They don’t really matter.

  12. The end of the year snuck up on me. My assistant is Jewish. Was I supposed to give her my holiday/end of the year present already? I celebrate Christmas, as did my assistant in years past, so it didn’t occur to me to give the present (cash and flowers) early.

    • Naw. It is ok. Please give it to her before Jan 1., though. My last boss gave me my gift well after Jan 1. I’m probably being petty, but it was like “oh, gee, sorry to make you go out of your way”.

    • What can I say except I am Jewish and I am giving our Jewish babysitter her bonus on Christmas. I wouldn’t care whenever I got my gift. But some people might feel that their ethnic/religious identification was being ignored, so if she’s the type to get offended or if she has a real religious identity, you can note in your card that “the end of the year snuck up on me” just as you did here, and you hope she enjoyed her holiday.

    • I treat it more as a year end bonus/gift than a specific holiday gift, so I think you’re fine (I’m Jewish, if it matters).

      • +1 – I have always treated tips/bonus/gifts as end of year rather than a specific holiday. In my mind, that’s the purpose of an end of year bonus, to award someone for excellent work during the year.

    • Most people will not care, I think. If you want to be cautious, just write “Happy New Year, best wishes for a fabulous 2014″ (or the like) instead of Happy Holidays/Merry C. I am Jewish and Orthodox and give holiday tips (e.g. to my non-Jewish cleaning lady) as a New Year gift rather than a Christmas gift (around the same time anyone would expect a Christmas gift).

    • Thanks, everyone. She’s not at all sensitive and only celebrates Hanukkah for her son.

    • My in-laws are Jewish & my fam is Catholic & the way I deal with this awkwardness is to have them send each other gifts for new years (my fam always sends them champagne). I think it’s kind of fun. :)

  13. A Nonny Moose :

    PSA… Kate Spade site is 30% off today, Green30 is the code. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen them have a store-wide sale like that. MUST RESIST.

  14. Silvercurls :

    Question for the hive from a mature administrative aide: Any suggestions to boost my work style from pulled-together Business Casual to pulled-together Business Formal? Is it okay for an admin to wear coordinated separates (e.g. blazer & pants) instead of suits? What about my preference for machine washable clothing (with a few exceptions, mostly for jackets) over Dry Clean Only?

    Related question: Do expectations re dress style of admins vary depending on the workplace expectations for professionals…or on whether or not the admin seems likely to move up to a professional position? Re the former, I’ve worked mostly in academic or nonprofit settings; re the latter, my goal is to excel–but as an admin not as a professional or principal.

    My budget is modest but I have a good eye for quality construction, classic style, distinctive accessories, and color coordination. Attributes highly unlikely to change: my preference for silver-rimmed glasses, minimal makeup, and cute but low-heeled shoes. Hair (curly but tamed by a short, good cut) is a combination of silver/steel gray and salt-and-pepper.

    It feels odd to ask for assistance here, after posting only responses, but life involves receiving as well as giving help. Thanks in advance.

    • I think it’s 100% okay for an admin to wear coordinated blazer/pants combos. I think it sounds very professional, in fact. I think you sound very put together!

    • Yes. I’d say “dress for the job you want.” I would not worry about being overdressed or inappropriate as long as you don’t dress more formal than the more/most senior people.
      I think coordinated separates can look very chic and modern. I strongly suggest a blazer or two than be coordinated with slacks or a dress. Maybe get one suit, a shift dress and a scarf? These can always be mixed and matched.
      As far as dry-clean only vs. machine washable. I think you may need to bite the bullet and get one or two dry-clean only blazers or suits.
      I don’t know how old you are, or your body type, but what about Chicos or Eileen Fischer?

    • anon-oh-no :

      I think you can absolutely wear seperates in business formal environments, just always have a blazer. This is one area where women have more leeway than men i think — men can really only wear a suit or slacks with a navy blazer. Also, there is a difference in my mind from attending a business formal event (where you should probably wear a suit), and working in a business formal environment, were you should wear suits, but can also mix in blazers, dresses, etc.

      I think the machine washable issue is a bigger one — not because there is anything inherently wrong with machine wash, just because you are less likely to find much business formal appropriate clothes that is machine washable. YOu can probably find a couple pair of slacks (Halogen slacks are machine washable) and some tops, but most blazers need to be dry cleaned.

    • Our admins all have the same dress code but the ones who dress more professionally do seem to have a better reputation. I think separates strike a good balance in your situation as non-matching jackets read more than casual but not trying too hard.

      • Silvercurls :

        Thanks to all. I will proceed without further worries about my clean, neat, and presentable exterior.

        My inner comedian says, “It’s a tough job, seeking to gain employment and make a positive social contribution without benefit of three-inch heels, but somebody has to do it!”

    • christineispink :

      Silvercurls – it sounds like you might enjoy the stylings of amidprivilege DOT com. She’s based on the west coast and somewhat recently (in the past year or two) moved back into a managerial role (I believe). But I think the combination of wanting to look professional BUT at a west coast slightly laid back level, might jibe with what you’re looking for.

  15. Hmm, I’m sure the “correct” answer depends on your relationship… but if it were me (I have a critical but kind FIL who is not sick, and a sensitive MIL) I think I know what I would do. Make the albums as you normally would — proof-read, but NOT like a crazy person. In this time, remember that you’re creating this treasure for your son, your SO and yourself. A normal response to typos like that is to think they’re endearing… so tell yourself that’s how you three will feel about them. Then give a copy to the in laws, with a card attached that says they are for MIL to enjoy, and FIL too — provided he keeps his edits to himself this time. I’d throw in a winky face for good measure. Then, call him on it if it happens again, “FIL, you’re going to lose your album rights if you don’t watch it!” said with a smile and a swift change of topic should do it. Good luck! The criticism can really grate, but it feels good to demand respect occasionally.

  16. What do you do with jewelry you don’t want?

    My dad has a habit of getting me horrible jewelry – too expensive for him, not at all my style, and sometimes downright antagonistic to my wishes. For example, he got me a gigantic diamond studded cross a few years ago that I never wear. I’m sure that some people would find it beautiful, but its just antithetical to my views on religion to wear a symbol that is so… big and visible and expensive. He’s also gotten me things that are just strange coming from a father to his 30-year-old daughter – heart shaped Valentine’s things, for example.

    I’ve told him over and over to stop getting me these things, but he doesn’t care that I don’t want or like them. I’ve tried returning the things he gets me, but he gets them all from Kay Jewelers and their return policy is horrible – they won’t even give me store credit. So I’m stuck with them in my jewelry box. I’m looking to get them out of my life – suggestions?

    • eBay?

    • Well, try to look at this as it being the thought that counts! I’ve received a few not-my-taste items from my husband over the years and we laugh about it now (rule: no heart-shaped ANYTHING, honey!). I would try and emphasize to your dad that you don’t really want/wear jewelry and give him some specific alternatives — he’s probably giving you these items b/c he doesn’t know what else to buy for you.

      As for getting rid of them, you could either take them to an independent jeweler and see if it’s worth pulling out the stones (i.e. taking your diamond cross and putting the diamonds into a circular pendant or something) or eBaying, as was mentioned above.

      This also might be a good question for Kanye East.

      • It’s really pointless to get him to stop. The succinct version of the conversation is:
        Me: “Dad, I love you and I appreciate that you think about me, especially around the holidays. But it would make me really happy if you didn’t go into credit card debt to buy me jewelry. I don’t want/need it, and your financial security is more important to me than anything you would ever buy.”

        Dad: “I don’t buy it for you because you like it. I buy it for your because it makes ME happy to give you expensive things. You should be happy because I’m giving you things that I like.”

        It’s really a pointless conversation to have.

        Has anyone had success with eBay? Any tips for listing things? I honestly don’t know the value or quality of most of this stuff, so I was hesitant to go that route because I can’t really speak to what I’m selling.

        • You can look up ended listings on eBay to see what similar pieces sold for.

        • Can you get a sense for how much they cost from Kay (if you know that’s where they are from)?

          • I’ve looked at their website, but some of the things are rather old so I’m not sure if what I’m looking at is the same as what I have. I would just hate to say “giant diamond cross thing” if its really cubic zirconia in the version I got. Getting it all appraised seems like a lot of trouble.
            Would it be a huge problem to say something like, “I think its the one from Kay’s priced at $200, but buy at your own risk cause I have no f-ing idea about this kind of stuff.” ?

          • No, it’s not a problem to say that on eBay. If you think it might be cubic zirconium, by all means, say so. But even if you were 100% sure that the real retail price was $200, expect to get a fraction of that.

            But at a certain point, getting $50 for something on eBay is not worth the hassle of photographing, listing, and mailing. At least for me. I did once sell an unneeded, brand new electronic device won in a raffle, and it was totally worth it to clear $400+. But to clear $35 for a necklace after listing fees and PayPal fees – I wouldn’t bother, myself. I’d just donate the darn thing to charity or give it to a friend with different taste in jewelry.

          • I don’t have any experience with ebay–I think the best thing to do would be what tesyaa suggests and look at other similar listings. However, I am not sure how much luck you will have–would you buy something without knowing whether it was diamond or CZ (unless it was a pretty low price)?

            I think if you have a trusted jeweler, you could ask her/him if it is worth trying to do something else with the stones. Otherwise, maybe just donate the items. I donated some random jewelry pieces (stuff from Loehmann’s-type stores that I was gifted, just not my style) to an org that took business clothes and suit donations. While it sounds like at least some of your pieces aren’t necessarily office-appropriate, they could be for some people, or they could be items someone else would like to have. Selling them might be more trouble than it’s worth.

    • Could you use the stones and/or metal to create a new, custom piece you’ll enjoy wearing?

    • We have several local jewelers in our area that will appraise items and even buy them for the gold/silver or stones depending on the piece. If there’s someone in your area that does that, it might be easier than trying the ebay route. You can usually bring in a bunch of pieces and they will tell you if its worth anything or not. You obviously won’t get top dollar, but it’s better than hanging on to a bunch of jewelry you don’t want. I also like the suggestion of having the pieces made into something more your style.

      Good luck!

      • This. Search online for local jewelers in your area that say they ‘buy.’ You could exchange through them for some things you actually like. Or just take the cash. If it was me, i’d rather do that and know they are getting purchased or made into new things, rather than just sitting in a box on my dresser.

      • +1. You could also go to a trusted pawn shop if you want to sell or have the pieces appraised. The National Pawnbrokers Association can direct you to a good shop in your area.

  17. Shopping challenge! I realize that I may need to post on the afternoon thread but figured I’d give this a whirl.

    Scenario: company holiday party at a nice but not super-swanky restaurant this Saturday. There’s currently snow on the ground where I live. I would LOVE to wear sequins — either a skirt or top — but do not currently have such an item in my wardrobe. A fully-sequined dress would probably be too much in this situation. In total, I’d like to spend less than $100 on this outfit and we have no good stores nearby so it needs to get here by Friday PM/Saturday morning.

    I looked at the Limited and I like their sequin pencil skirt but it’s out in my size (8 or 10). Ann Taylor is charging too much for their sequined items. Any other thoughts for me, stylish ladies?

  18. lucy stone :

    My boss is resigning. I was passed over promotion at the time he was hired because I lacked the minimum years of experience. I now have the minimum years of experience. What can I do to make my application stand out this time? We’re a small government agency and I am the only internal candidate who is qualified.

    • How well do you know the decision-makers who will be hiring your boss’ replacement?

      Did you have the opportunity to get in front of them while you worked for your boss so they could see your abilities? If no, between now and when they make the decision, are there opportunities esp now that the boss is leaving and probably transitioning stuff to you, for you to show them what you can do?

      • lucy stone :

        Very well – I’m in front of them at least twice a quarter providing updates on information and they see a large amount of my work product every month. I meet the minimum requirements but am young for the role so I want to make sure I am presenting myself as able to handle the job from day one.

  19. LLM in BsAs :

    Thought thissite readers would appreciate this.
    As my user name suggests, I am a lawyer working in the Big-Law equivalent in Buenos Aires. General office attire is from Business formal to Business Casual, depending on the day/meetings, etc. We started our casual summer today. Dress code for casual summer is: no shorts, no t-shirts, no jeans, long sleeve button down shirts for men.

    HR comes around with brand new hire, fresh out of law school.
    She’s wearing a casual white button down (I guess with a cami?) with sleeves rolled up… and JEANS.
    Yes, really. Dark-ish blue skinny jeans.

    Seriously? you don’t even think to ask about a dress code?

    (and yes, I’ll check in with her office-mate to give her a small heads-up re: appropriate office attire).
    *continues to scratch head*

    • Maybe someone told her it was casual summer instead of business casual and she thought it meant jeans? Where I’m from, casual means wearing jeans to the office.

    • Are they actually denim or are they twill pants styled to look like jeans? (Writing this as I sit here in my rust colored J Brand twill pants in a business casual office.)

      • LLM in BsAs :

        Actually denim. Twill styled to look like denim is also not allowed. Until 8 or so years ago, women were not allowed pants at all in the office. Skirt or dresses only. And until last year, cords were not allowed even on casual Fridays.
        The dress code for usual days is business (although women are not required full suits, men are). On “casual fridays” it’s casual, but conservatively so.
        I’ve sadly had to explain to a couple of new hires that if you are wearing a skirt so short that you sit on your actual bu**, it’s definitely too short for the office. Likewise, if you wear it to a club Saturday night, chances are it is not office appropriate either.
        I feel old…

        • Why isn’t your HR staff providing better guidance to new hires prior to their first day? I am responsible for on-boarding new attorneys and no matter how much I think they should know what to wear and can be annoyed when they don’t, I keep those thoughts to myself and always provide them with a copy of the dress code plus a translation for what things like “no denim” actually means IRL. I feel bad for the person who shows up dressed inappropriately. Maybe it’s their first “real” job, maybe they are the first person in their family to have a professional job and had no one to ask. If they got guidance/policy info and chose to ignore it, then shame on them.

  20. Brooklyn Paralegal :

    Thank you, everyone, for your great advice over the weekend re: my impending move to Chicago–I’m sorry I wasn’t able to check in throughout the weekend. I really appreciate all the kind words…I’m pretty intimidated and still a little dizzied by the idea of moving cities, but I’m excited! I will definitely post any Chicago-specific questions I have in the future.

    Thank you all again!

    • Hey. I am based out of Chicago. Welcome! Let me know if you want to meet up or have questions about Chicago!

    • Lady Harriet :

      If you’re ever out by O’Hare and looking for good, inexpensive food, go to Frannie’s Beef in Schiller Park. I’m from Wisconsin, and it’s so good that we make sure to stop there every time we go to Chicago. My college roommate got married in Chicago this summer and it was the only non-wedding-related place I went the whole weekend.

  21. I was just asked to be fill in at a black tie optional lawyerly event in NYC for tomorrow evening.

    Do any NYC ladies have tips for what they’ve seen other women wear to such events?

    Thanks!!

    • I went to a similar sounding (maybe the same?) event at the Waldorf last year. I was asked the day of to fill in, so I just wore the suit that was in my office. Many of the women were more dressed up, in cocktail dresses (the younger women) or even floor-length dresses (some of the older women). Some of the men were in tuxes, while some were in suits.

      If I were going again, I would probably wear a black or otherwise more formal cocktail dress.

    • If it’s black tie optional, you can wear a cocktail dress. You don’t “need” to wear a formal gown. I would not wear a typical business suit.

      • Suit is fine. I’ve been to a lot of these types of events in NYC and I always wear a black pants suit. You can wear an interesting top to make it less business-y. Some women do get really decked out in gowns, c*cktail dresses but I have never felt uncomfortable in a suit.

  22. So, I inadvertently got pregnant, and I have a one year old. Assuming I carry to term, this means that my kids will be 21 months apart. (Obviously, I feel fortunate that I am able to get pregnant, etc.) I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the proposition of having two under two as a Big Law attorney. Any good stories of hope and encouragement?

    • Miss Behaved :

      My sister’s 2 oldest girls are 360 days apart. She’s not a lawyer, but she’s a vp for a major financial firm. She didn’t think she could get pregnant while she was still breastfeeding.

      The second one is named Moxie because my sister kept saying “this kid’s got moxie.” There are actually 3 girls now and they are 10, 9 and 7 1/2. She had 3 under 3. They are awesome. You can do this, too!

    • I know several women who are either (1) in-house counsel (so not as crazy as BigLaw but still a serious career path) or (2) spouses of deployed military (aka single parents for the duration of the deployment) and they’ve all managed. I think it’s helpful to go into it remembering that nothing is going to be perfect, and that nothing has to be perfect – as long as the babes are fed, clothed, and the house isn’t a bio-zone, you’re good :)

    • A friend of mine has three kids and her two youngest are 19 months apart. One is about to turn 3 and the other turned one this past August. The kids are really good playmates (most of the time). You can do it!

      (FWIW, my brother and I are only 22 months apart and we are really good friends. It was nice to have someone interested in the same stuff as me at the same time, especially since we grew up in neighborhoods that didn’t have a lot of kids our age.)

    • I had twins as a BigLaw associate. You just plow through. Honestly, you made it work with one. You’ll make it work with two. And you are still in the “baby” routine. Just remind yourself that it’s only a few months that are really bad, with no sleep, etc. And if you need it, use the BigLaw salary for the occasional night nurse to help you sleep!

    • I can’t comment from experience, but in considering spacing my future children (planning on having 2), 2 years apart does sound good for keeping the kids roughly in the same life stage — i.e., they’ll both be a good age for Disney at the right time, both be ready for more adventurous travel later, you’ll only be juggling dueling school schedules (like elementary school is 8:30-3:30 while middle/high are 7:30-2:30) for two years… when the life stage is diapers and can’t do anything by themselves, maybe not as fun, but better later?

      • Away Game :

        Mine are 19 months apart. I think the first two years are pretty tough at various points in time (two babies, two toddlers), but then it’s easier than having two spread farther apart. They do basically the same activities, are all in school (at the same school, not at different schools/daycare), and can be dragged to the same errands with similar stuff. Mine are in early elementary, and I feel bad for the working moms who have to deal with daycare plus school, huge shift in naps/schedules, etc etc. I have one friend with one kid in daycare, one in elementary, and one in middle school and her schedule is just frantic. Frankly, there just isn’t a perfect spread for everyone.

    • I’m a BigLaw associate with kids 18 months apart (the second one was a happy, surprising, blessing). The baby is now 4 months old and I can tell you that it’s difficult but certainly doable. You survive and learn to adapt with your new normal, just like you did the first child. We basically divide and conquer when we’re home – my husband does all things Toddler while I’m feeding and caring for Baby. Our toddler LOVES his little brother and the baby is just getting to the point where he smiles and laughs at his big brother.

      Honestly, being 9 months pregnant and taking care of a toddler was harder than actually having two. You can do it – good luck and congrats!

    • Big Law Anon :

      Mine are 20 months apart and I work with several people who have theirs 18 months apart or closer (so they tend to see me as junior varsity to their varsity with baby spacing). We all think of it as the baby season in your life, to be followed by the toddler / preschool season in your life. I loved it. Now that we’re at 3.5 and 5, I miss having anyone who consents to snuggling. I have same gender children and they are BFFs and share a room (since the smaller was 6 months old). Yes, we had two cribs at one point and just put Amazon on perma-diaper delivery, but you get really efficient at these things. And we do the same (very few) activities (so no one in football and the other in ballet — they both do X at the same time). Think of it as like twins in terms of upside, but much easier.

    • Another vote of confidence: I don’t have children of my own, but my sister and I are seventeen months apart. I am sure that there were points in our babyhood and toddlerhood that were very difficult for our working-full-time parents, but honestly, being so close in age is wonderful. We’re very, very close, and should we ever have children of our own, we would both hope to keep the close spacing in age.

      You can definitely do this, and your kids will be so glad to grow up together.

  23. I am a 3L without a job offer. When should I give up trying to find a legal job and start applying to non-legal jobs?

    • 2 or 3 years from now? Tons of people graduate without job offers. Continue applying. Study for and take the bar in a state you want to practice in. Hiring seems to pick up some after bar results come out. Just because you aren’t employed at graduation doesn’t mean you should give up on legal jobs.

      Even if you take a non-legal job because you need money, don’t stop applying to legal jobs if you still want a legal job. It might take a while to find something – that’s just the economy these days. Volunteer if you can find the time to make sure you stay involved in the law.

    • Not yet. You haven’t even graduated.

    • FedTaxAtty :

      Don’t despair yet! It’s only December. I didn’t get my job until March of my 3L year (I graduated in 2011) and most of my friends didn’t get jobs until the summer when they were studying for the bar. A lot of smaller firms won’t even look at you resume until you are barred. If you haven’t already, talk to your career office about possibly broadening your search. Go to networking events. Talk to your mentors. Finding a job can take a long time.

    • If you want to be a lawyer don’t give up. I took a non-law job & 3 years later everyone I knew that was struggling to find work at the time eventually did & I kind of regret not sticking it out.

    • I agree that it’s too soon to give up. Even if you have to get a non-law job down the road to pay bills, still try to keep connected to the legal market, even if it’s through an unpaid clerkship.

    • +1 to all of the above. Small firms and non-profits don’t hire more than a month or two in advance, and may not even want to consider you until you’ve passed the bar. If you truly want a legal job, you are no where near the point where it’s logical to take something else.

    • I am a banana. :

      You haven’t even taken the bar yet! Be kinder to yourself. You are employable, you just need to get your license first.

    • Blair Waldorf :

      Everyone has their own timelines for this, but I would say it is way too early to give up!

      I had friends in similar situations during 3L year. Within one year of graduation, almost all of these individuals were employed at paying, legal jobs, and about half of these individuals were employed at firms. Many got jobs within the first 6 months after graduation.

      Research whether your school provides a fellowships stipend for post-grads. Sign up for the bar exam in the jurisdiction you want to live in, pass, and make yourself available for interviews. Treat applying to jobs as a job in itself, and intern somewhere, even if it’s for free. Your timeline will be up to you, based on your available funds and living situation, but law school is such a large investment and I would not transition to a non-legal job before 6 months after graduation.

    • Double-Bingo :

      Definitely don’t give up! I got offered my job on the first day of the bar exam. The uncertainty is awful, but stick with the job search and you’ll find something.

  24. Thrilled because DH was offered a promotion and an expat assignment in Asia. Disappointed because I had hopes of starting law school this fall. I’m already 29, at this rate I don’t think it is likely that I’ll ever go to law school between starting a family and walking away from my increasing salary/experience in my current career. Mad at myself for not going soon.

    • law school is overrated. the majority of lawyers I know wish they’d done something else. consider it fate pushing you in a better direction.

    • Hmm. In some ways I agree with the commenter above me – there are plenty of 29-year-olds who regret having gone to law school, and had you gone straight from undergrad or a year or two out, you would have graduated smack in the middle of the recession and a very difficult legal job market. And then you’d be regretting going (I did, for my first few years out of school). So don’t fool yourself into thinking everything would have been rosy if you’d gone to law school a few years ago. But… why do you want to go to law school? I don’t think starting a family and going to law school are necessarily mutually exclusive goals (it may well be easier to have a child in law school than while starting private practice), but increasing experience and earning power in your current field isn’t to be dismissed, either. Unless you really hate it.

    • On the other hand, this could be the start of something much cooler for you that you couldn’t have imagined stateside. You’ll be in Asia, possibly raising a family, and experiencing so many new things. Another opportunity — just as good as you imagine being a lawyer would be — might happen. Or it might when you return stateside.

    • you dodged a bullet!

    • Silvercurls :

      Don’t be mad at yourself! You probably delayed law school for some good reason, even if it just feels like procrastination to you.

      Before you and DH relocate to Asia, figure out how you can use your overseas time to gain a future professional advantage in another field (business? international development? art history?). If it won’t be possible for you to work, volunteer, or intern (because you’re going to a country where wives are not encouraged to work outside the home? or DH’s employer has protocols that restricts spouses’ activities?) seize this wonderful opportunity to become completely fluent in the local language. It may be surprisingly helpful back stateside in areas ranging from international commerce or nonprofit/development work to US-based fields such as providing social services, translations, or political outreach to emigres who speak that particular language. Learning the local language will also deeply enrich your expat experience. As a language-loving but stuck-in-English and stateside-only American, I’m getting jealous.

      If time and energy permit, you can extend your language fluency into learning about the cuisine, educational system, or artwork or crafts in the new country. Think of this experience as an opportunity for enrichment rather than as a barrier to law school. Bonus if your current career has any connections to this nation (if you want and are able to step away from, then return to, your current field).

      • Thanks all. I should have mentioned that I will be working in a global role in Asia as well. Honestly, I am not in love with the work but by the time we come back from our assignment I’ll have a decent amount of experience (and pay) in this field. Even though I am not crazy about it, it is hard to imagine walking away and starting all over even for another career I am excited about.

        Part of the reason I’m really down on myself is that I thought I’d have completed some type of grad school by now and I haven’t yet. I feel like people look at me and see someone who 1. gave up her dreams 2. unmotivated and 3. follows her husband’s career (since his has led to multiple relocations)

        • Silvercurls :

          Glad you’re OK (if not thrilled) by the work that you’ll be doing overseas. No need to apologize for not going to graduate school, because lots of productive citizens don’t go to graduate school, and others finish the degree but end up doing something completely different anyway. Also no need to apologize for following your husband’s career, especially if you love him and both of you are happy together! Life has tradeoffs. You may not be monopolizing all news outlets with your professional achievements, but a satisfying personal life is no less an accomplishment. Think of it as providing a stable base from which you can share happiness or make positive professional contributions. (And no, I’m not saying that a woman’s highest ambition should be to become the best possible Mrs. Spouse!)

        • You’re probably smarter (and richer) for not having gone to grad school! And honestly, someone is always following someone else’s career. Don’t feel bad that you are following your husband. It could just as easily be the other way around.

    • What would you do if someone handed you $100k right now? Go to law school? If not, don’t worry. You’ll be fine!! :)

    • You are not too old. I went back to school at 32 to complete my BA. I’d had only 1 year, so it was 3 years of college + 3 years of Law School. Some of the people in LS with me were about my age, some were in their 50s and 60s. You can always go back.

      If you’re planning to have children, this may be your opportunity. Then you’ll be able to concentrate on LS and career later on. I say this with no personal experience, since I had no children.

      But enjoy the the exotic adventure. Good luck.

    • Lady Harriet :

      Law school will still be there later if you want it. Everyone in my extended family in my parents’ generation has gone to grad school, but almost all of them have done it later after being out of school for a while. In fact, both my grandmothers also got Masters’ after having kids and going back to work later, in a generation where this was definitely not the norm. Even my great-grandmother got a Master’s later in life (at 93!) My point is that if grad school is right for you, it is definitely possible to go later in life. You may even benefit from it more by having greater experience in the world and a better idea of what you’d like to do.

    • 35 year old 1L here. I took longer, but I am having a great time in school, and recruiters fawn over my resume because I have legit work experience. It’s not too late, and it won’t be once you’re back. I promise you.

      I do have several good friends who have husbands who work for multinationals. This is going to sound sexist and terrible, but they looked at assignments where they could not work or could not get a job that was comparable to their home job as a great time to pop out a kid. When their husbands were on expat packages, their income didn’t take a hit…it was a win-win. Yes, they regret their careers being a little less advanced than they would have been if the were to have stayed in their domestic jobs. But the benefits of having lived in XYZ countries are also huge on their resumes.

      Sometimes being an expat is a bit lonely…at first. But I find that being an expat is a great way to find a lot of friendly, outgoing, accomplished friends. And some of my closest friends, more than a decade later, are from my years as an expat. I found a lot of bada$$ accomplished lady friends!

      Have a wonderful adventure!

    • Where in Asia? It could be a great opportunity to see something of this side of the world.

      • I live in Asia (DH’s job promotion/transfer as well) and it’s the best thing that has happened to me/us. Onwards and upwards!

  25. I went to a continuing education conference last Friday. I always enjoy checking out people’s outfits at these types of events. I saw a number of women in tights, knee high boots, and tunic sweaters. I would never think to wear a tunic and boots to an event like this. Sure it’s comfortable, but would you do it?

    There were four different presenters – two men and two women. The men looked great, the women on the other hand not so much. One was wearing a dress that was skin tight and she was bulging in all the wrong places. The other one was wearing a pant suit with the jacket buttoned. The pants and jacket were much too small. The pants gave her camel and she had VPL and the jacket was so tight that the buttons were pulling. She was trying to pull the jacket down during her presentation because it kept creeping up.

    These statements may seem highly critical but it made me realize how important it is to dress for the part. I found that I perceived the men to be smarter and more knowledgeable about their subject area than the women. I’m thinking it was simply due to their attire. I was so distracted by this lady pulling down her jacket that I wasn’t really listening to her presentation.

    • I really wish this were higher up on the page so we could get more discussion because YES, I TOTALLY understand what you’re saying!

      I was at a (women’s) conference last week too and the dress code was fascinating. At least half of the young women were in some combo of miniskirt + leggings or sweater/tunic dress + leggings. I remember thinking that it’s interesting how this is now an acceptable “business casual” dress.

      And I definitely agree on the looking put-together. I think men are taught to go to tailors in a way that women are not. Tailoring is like a luxury for women’s clothes (even though it’s not any more expensive than men’s tailoring).

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