Splurge Thursday’s TPS Report: Alexis Contrast-Trim Sweaterdress

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

MARC by Marc Jacobs Alexis Contrast-Trim SweaterdressI was going to start the New Year off with a sale item that I’d been eyeing for a few weeks now, until I noticed that mysteriously all sizes were still there despite further markdowns. (This is not a good sign, FYI.) So instead, let’s go with something I actually like — this interesting sweater dress from Marc by Marc Jacobs. I’ve seen a million sweater dresses by now, but I don’t think I’ve seen this one. I like the relaxed sleeves; I think the top is also supposed to be fairly relaxed, and I love the pleated skirt. Lovely. It’s $368 at Neiman Marcus (where they’re offering an extra 40% off on most already-reduced merchandise through 1/3 — lots of cute stuff in lucky sizes). MARC by Marc Jacobs Alexis Contrast-Trim Sweaterdress

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Comments

  1. Excellent selection! Any idea’s for a warm (but NOT puffy) winter coat? Now that I am a partner I must be carful to dress nice but NOT like a 20 year old. Dad says I am no Kate Moss. FOOEY!

    Dad says I should dress now like the peeople on the Today show like Brook Sheilds and Hoda Copy. I would love to but I do not have the money for there wardrobe budget. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    I am @work but I still have the old SMELLEY chair, and Madeline is the onley one here with me. Even Frank is off today b/c of the weather.

    My mom got me a pair of OPEN TOE pump’s! What was she thinkeing? The Manageing partner does not permit them and even if he did it is way to COLD to wear these in the winter! Tripel FOOEY!

    Sam texted me and wants to come over after work. Dad says he is still “in hot per suit” of me. YAY!

  2. Wow I’ve never seen anything like that, looks pretty, wish it was a little higher cut…will be thrilled it it’s not all wool (wool issues are the worst, so limiting).

    Happy New Year ladies! Hope you fellow east coasters are staying warm in this snow!

    • I love the cut of this dress. Sweater dresses are uber comfy but most of them emphasize my stomach. The defined waist and flare of this one would be very flattering.

      I just saw that the windchill tomorrow is supposed to be 1 degree here. The shearling is definitely making an appearance this winter.

      • Do love the waistband flare, was trying to tell if the top was too low cut but I’m short and find it’s always lower on me. I saw -15 degree wind chill flash by….eek!

      • Miss Behaved :

        The windchill tomorrow here is supposed to be -14 degrees

      • The air temp is currently -6 in the Twin Cities – we’re supposed to see a “high” of -1 today. I have more layers on today than an onion.

        • Don’t worry – the high on Monday is -11F. So, you have that to look forward to.

          Is it April yet?

          • Well, I’ll be traveling to Cincinnati on Monday and the high is going to be 7. I’m packing my bikini.

          • It was 40 degrees a couple days after Christmas and I was running around outside with only TWO layers on. It was awesome!

  3. Miss Behaved :

    This post is sort of apropos. I was hoping to get the burgundy colorblock sweater dress from Ann Taylor for Christmas. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. And now it’s all sold out.

    So I’m looking for a sheath-style long-sleeved or 3/4-sleeved sweater dress with more of a pencil skirt, as opposed to the pleated skirt above. I’m looking to spend no more than $80. Any ideas?

    • I saw some sweater dresses on the Last Call NM sale the other day… and there are some amazing things in the garnet hill catalog I was drooling over yesterday… basically I just want All The Sweaters tho

    • Keep an eye on J. Crew Factory. In the past they have had exactly that item and things tend to come back around there. In fact it may be there right now- I’m just not in a position to check.

    • Bursting out :

      Bloomingdales had some like that in cashmere. Probably on sale now.

  4. This is an interesting dress.

    I kind of like the pleated dress under the Anthro jacket (that she didn’t post) better.

  5. I like the style but I absolutely cannot, CAN NOT, wear that colour. Sorry. I wish they had it in a jewel tone or something.

  6. ??? This dress looks like a bad cross between track wear and Tron.

  7. Checking accounts :

    I know that we’ve talked about this before, but what is the hive’s current preference for checking accounts? I currently have a small hometown bank that offers no benefits, so I am looking into opening a new one. I’ve read good things about the ones offered by Charles Schwab and Capital One. Happy New Year!

    • Why not both?

      I have a local bank one for just getting cash, paying bills, where the paycheck goes. I have an online one with a better interest rate which is for my liquid (can move $ over in a day or two if needed) which I let grab a set amount of savings from each paycheck. 2009 is a little fresh in my memory still and I like to keep my extra funds (not investments) in cash and to keep that separate from my day-to-day household funds.

      • +1.

        I have a brick and mortar bank where I can go in and talk to a person, get cash out of ATMs without charges, etc. for day to day spending. One of our paychecks is directly deposited in there, we pay off certain bills from this account, and to the extent we need cash, it comes from at account.

        We also have an online checking account through Charles Schwab. It gets the other paycheck, most of our bill pay comes through there, and — while we have the option to get cash through an ATM — we very rarely get cash from that account. There is a microscopically better interest rate on this one, but consider it’s 0.0…%, it’s not a significant factor for us.

    • I have my checking at Charles Schwab, and it’s awesome. When you call to ask a question, you talk to a real person and they are always happy to do what you would like them to do, and if they can’t then they give you a legitimate reason why they can’t. I get all my ATM fees refunded at the end of the month, along with the interest I earned in my account. When I signed up I also had to open a brokerage account, but I’ve kept that account balance at about $1.20 for the past few years, and no one has bat an eye about it.

    • Jenna Rink :

      I use Ally. Good interest rate and all ATM fees get reimbursed at the end of the month. I haven’t had any problems with them. I also have a free checking account at a local bank that I deposit part of my paycheck in to pay bills. At this point I don’t really feel like I need a local bank, but it would be such a hassle to change all my automatic payments so I don’t plan to switch.

    • I’m going to chime in here and say I much prefer a local community bank. I shop local and support small businesses in my community, and I feel the same way about my local bank. I prefer to shop at my local bookstore rather than amazon, and I bank locally too.

      Shop around locally. Chance are, there is a local bank or credit union that will give you better benefits than your current bank if you’re not satisfied.

      I don’t think there’s any bank anywhere in the US that will give you very much interest on a checking account these days, so really they are competing on service, “free gifts”, ATM availability, ease of website use/bill pay, etc.

      (FWIW, I switched banks from local to local about 1.5 years ago. Turns out the new bank used the same online system my old bank did, so you may not have to learn any new system. New banks in my area also sometimes offer to buy your old checks from your old account so you don’t have to feel like you’re wasting money by having to order new checks.)

    • I have Fidelity. It was easy because I have my company 401K in there, too, so no need to open a new account. It was essentially the same as Schwab with a tiny bit lower interest rate. I also have a Schwab brokerage account, but the deciding factor for me was actually that my husband has Schwab already. It’s a bit paranoid, but it’s nice to know that if one bank’s ATM network goes down (especially since we travel quite a bit), we have a backup.

    • Have local savings and checking at the credit union and a Sallie Mae money market. It has been a good arrangement for me (SINK so YMMV).

  8. TJ: Has anyone done the Whole Life Challenge? One of my co-workers is trying to get a bunch of us to do the upcoming one. I am not into crossfit or paleo so I am bit unsure whether this is something I want to do. The last time I tried paleo/primal I wanted to like it, but had awful pms symptoms that I think may have been related. But at the same time, a fairly rigid approach for a couple of months may be what I need to make some lifestyle changes.

    • I’ll start. I’m not a medical professional, nutritionist, etc.

      My belief is that completely eliminating entire groups of food for no reason is a set up for failure. If you’re struggling with your eating patterns, you should find a moderate path towards retraining your palate and lifestyle, rather than an arbitrary and serious restriction that won’t teach something that is sustainable. I also think that cutting out food groups arbitrarily leads to its own set of digestive issues as your body may have trouble with those groups later when reintroduced, even if you previously had no issues.

      For reference, I’d say that 90% of what I eat falls into the category of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs. The remaining 10% is dairy, rice/bread/other grains, and chocolate :) It’s how I was raised, and I like it. But nothing is off limits. I don’t think about whether or not a fruit I’m eating is a “high sugar” fruit – I eat all fruits. Etc. Don’t borrow trouble.

      (Obviously, eliminating entire groups of food for medical reasons, or ethical/religious reasons, is completely different, and not the subject of the above commentary).

    • I am also not into Paleo or Crossfit. I think something like Slow Carb or the 100 Days of Real Food is much better, BUT – the Whole Life Challenge doesn’t look like it’s 100% tied to crossfit/paleo, so it might be doable for you.

    • I did a 30-day Paleo challenge and lost 10 pounds (my boyfriend lost 15), but I wasn’t as strict as the Whole30 guidelines would recommend. I think it was beneficial to try it, but I’ve since gained the weight back, partially because the restrictive nature of the challenge can really set you up to go crazy for all the foods you couldn’t have. I think I’ll have more success eating Paleo to a moderate degree like I do now (i.e. as much as I can), but I don’t think the strict approach is right for me because absent any real health problems, I can derive the benefits of eating real foods without the mental challenges that come from strict deprivation. I also have a close friend who is very overweight and who is currently doing her third WholeLife challenge. She weighs a few pounds more this time than when she started the second challenge back in the fall – she’s basically a Paleo yo-yo dieter and was extremely frustrated when she didn’t lose any weight immediately after the challenge.

    • There are pros and cons to doing this with coworkers. Pros: you probably see your coworkers every day, so it’s easy to check in on each other and offer frequent encouragement, etc. Cons: if you’re a private sort of person, and view dealing with weight, body image, etc. or fitness as a personal matter, it’d be one of the last things you want your coworkers to have access to. Similarly, if some of your coworkers have major issues (pushy, braggy, or way crazy insecure), it will be a major PITA dealing with them.

  9. Does anyone have recommendations for a facialist in DC, NOVA or MD (up to around Chevy Chase?). I wanted to start going to someone once every 4-6 weeks. Suffer from some blackheads and a bit of acne, but above all want someone who is going to be gentle vs. too aggressive (I’m afraid of my skin getting scars). Thanks!

    • I love Pure Aesthetica in Alexandria. My skin looks amazing when I leave. They are gentle but also thorough. (and you can book online, which is handy.)

      • Thank you! It has good reviews on Yelp. I think I will try it out.

        Also, on a related question, has anyone been to Nectar in Georgetown? I am also looking for eyebrow shaping. I was using a threader in Cleveland Park, but now I’m not sure about their current shape. Thanks!

  10. I love this dress, it’s just weird enough! But I’m petite and it looks like the kind of item that allows for no fudging in that regard. Picturing the sleeves a bit too long and the fit a bit too boxy…not cute.

  11. Happy New Year ladies!

    Thought I’d ask here: what are your new years resolutions?

    I’ll start – I’m trying to lose some weight and to cut down on shopping.

    • This isn’t a New Year’s resolution per se but I did make it yesterday: believe it when people compliment me.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I have a few. I did an Annual Review styled after Chris Guillebeau’s (on his Art of Non-Conformity blog). The result was some goals in big categories including learning, health, financial, and relationships with specific actions for each goal. It was a fun process with a slightly different structure than what I’ve done in the past.

      Here are 2 of my goals/resolutions:
      Read 100 books (last year’s goal was 60 and I read 76)
      Pay off one of my student loans by my birthday in June (22 years early, but really 3 months ahead of my current accelerated schedule)

    • Anon for this :

      I’m currently taking MUCH better care of myself (holla to going to a therapist AND psychiatrist AND nutritional therapist all at the same time who all work with each other) and plan to continue in the new year AND I’m no longer taking every single thing my parents say to heart. I forget who said it in these comments about our parents knowing which of our buttons to push because they installed them, but I’m no longer taking their crap. My mom said something to me yesterday designed to make me go, “Oh no, Mom, how can I help fix it?!” (even though I can’t fix it, in any way). Instead, I just said, “Sorry to hear that.” When she said something else designed to get a rise out of me, it was met with an “OK.” Bwahaha. 2014 will be the year I regain my sanity and meet the real me!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I would like to say my New Year’s Resolution is to be divorced by the end of the year. But although I certainly hope that will happen and will do everything I can to make it happen, it’s not really in my control, so I’m not making it a resolution.

      Instead, my resolution is to tolerate the divorce proceedings with as much grace and good cheer as is humanly possible. Which mostly means “don’t talk about it over lunch because nobody cares.” ;)

    • I’m making it my goal (not calling it a resolution) to exercise at least 10 minutes a day 5 days a week. I think it’s small enough to be doable, and I’ll revisit at the end of the month to (hopefully) build on time/frequency from there.

    • I also have reading more (non law books), plus better sleep/sleep health, and getting back to cooking own healthy meals more. Love the compliments one!

      We’re also doing a travel-ready resolution on our site if you want to feel accomplished but efficiently – we wanted to help people by making it easy so we set up a series of emails.

      Also FYI Lifehacker as expected has lots of articles on the psychology of resolutions, how to track them, setting measurable goals and so on.

    • Fun! I’m trying to keep it to four (I’m aiming a bit low, I suppose):

      (1) Continue making forward progress in getting/keeping the ADD under control (it went a little batshit there for a while, compounded by a spate of depression).

      (2) Cook myself a real meal, preferably using an actual recipe, at least once a week.

      (3) Get all my boxes unpacked and paint at least two rooms (I just moved into a new house).

      (4) Do one of those “happiness jars” again, where you write down all the good moments of the year so you can go through them on New Year’s next year.

      • I’m stealing your “happiness jar” resolution – never heard of it before but it sounds like a rewarding project. My similar resolution is to take one photo every day. Doesn’t matter what the subject is. I’m trying to focus on being present and this kind of helps.

    • I’m also trying to cut down on shopping. I just really don’t need another sweater or another pair of boots and my closet is full.

      I’ve been losing weight since October, so not really a resolution there. Then again, it means I can fit into some of my favorite clothes!

    • Working harder to express appreciation, whether it is loved ones or strangers who lend ahand.

    • My goals are all health/fitness related. Run my first half marathon. Continue with weight lifting. Listen to my body so I can figure out what foods make me feel icky, and try to stay away from them. Although, I have a feeling it’s going to be mostly foods I love to eat. But this year, I want to focus on feeling good, strong & healthy physically, which I’m sure will spill over into how I feel emotionally as well.

    • I’ve got a unique one: when experiencing a health issue, stay the F off the internet. I have pretty bad anxiety that always comes out strongest with the hypochondria. It’s really bad.

      • I love this one. I am a pretty calm person until I have a health issue and turn to the internet. I do look at the internet but stick to reputable medical studies/articles rather than random peoples’ opinions!

    • I find I cannot cut down on shopping and work on losing weight at the same time. If I feel like I’m depriving myself in one area, I need to compensate somewhere else.

    • To avoid stagnation.

  12. Does anyone else find most Marc Jacobs clothes to be too little-girly cutesy?

    • Not really. I just find them weird, and in all the colors that I don’t love. This dress looks exactly like something my mother had in the 1970s.

      • Yes, this definitely has a “vintage” vibe. I had a lot of knit dresses and outfits back in the day (late 80s? early 90s?), including the pleated look. One thing about pleated knits, they tend to stretch out due to the weight of the fabric.

    • I find them to be hit or miss from season to season. I have an awesome army green shirt dress that I got a couple years ago and I love it. For the last couple seasons I have not been able to find any dresses I like and agree that they’ve been weird and in funky colors lately. I guess what I’m trying to say is I can’t rely on his line to produce something I want/like/is flattering like I can with Trina Turk but when I find a dress I like, I really like it!

    • yes, totally agree that all his items seem way too girly/cute. MJ seems so popular and I just don’t get it at all.

  13. We received a vitamix for Xmas and I’m trying to start every day with a fruit/veggie smoothie. I’m not very good about eating veggies/fruit during the day so at least I’ll get it knocked out. Any tips or favorite combos?

    • I’ve been doing the same one forever– raw baby spinach leaves (like two big handfuls), almond coconut milk (unsweetened), a banana, some frozen pineapple chunks, and some ice. It fulfills the fruit/veggie requirement and it’s sort of a cure-all. I definitely feel better if I have it, which I do most days.

      • This is the exact same smoothie I make, except that I use coconut water , frozen bananas and no ice. It’s really delicious, and I like that I am getting some veggies in the morning.

    • My favorite combo is frozen pineapples, bananas, OJ, and vanilla yogurt. You can also add spinach or kale into it for a green smoothie.

      Other tips -
      - Dates are great for sweetening
      - Vanilla almond milk is good substitute for yogurt
      - You can add baby spinach to almost every combo without affecting the taste
      - Add in Trader Joe’s almond butter for extra protein

    • Abby Lockhart :

      I don’t have a specific recipe to suggest, but if you do a dairy-free smoothie, I recommend adding a little lemon. It seems to be rarely included in recipes, but gives a good brightness to the juice plus it is good for you.

    • There was a smoothie thread awhile back last year so I’m going to re-paste my comment in hopes it’s helpful. Here you go:

      Ooh I love this topic, and I’ve been smoothie crazy lately. I like variety for fun and better nutrition but learning all sorts of recipes is too time-consuming, so I’ve gotten this down to a 3-5 minute nax undertaking in the morning by sticking to the same basic categories and proportions then just switching ingredients, like this:

      3/4 – 1 cup liquid
      1 juicy fruit (peeled/halved as applicable)
      1/2 of a frozen banana
      1/2 cup frozen fruit

      Detail:
      * For the liquid, I love coconut water, which doesn’t taste great on its own but somehow makes boring smoothies taste amazing. No idea why but it works. Soy milk is also good.
      * I usually use a peeled, halved orange (if you have a less juicy fruit or skip the fresh fruit, just dial back the frozen fruit to about 1/4 cup to compensate so not too thick).
      * I usually always keep the banana, helps get good smoothie consistency. I peel them, cut them in half, lay them out (not touching), and freeze them so they’re always at the ready.
      * Pick whatever frozen fruit you like.
      * You can also add a little of whatever else makes sense to supplement (e.g., Trader Joe’s blueberry ground flax seed, protein powder, or your chia seeds)
      * Also, actually put them into the blender in the order listed, it makes a difference.

      Here’s a few of my favorite combos as examples:

      1 cup coconut water
      Skip fresh fruit
      1/2 of a frozen banana
      1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
      Handful of Kale

      My favorite:
      3/4 cup coconut water
      Medium orange, peeled and halved
      1/2 frozen banana
      1/2 cup pineapple (or mango or a combo of the two)
      handful of shredded carrot (optional)

      Once you have this basic formula down, it comes as second nature and it’s easy to make substitutions just keeping the measurements the same. This makes about a tall or to-go mug sized amount. I used to guess and make ridiculous amounts of smoothie. I toss mine in a DCI Iced Coffee Cup and drink on my way to work.

      I also love that all the ingredients are easy to stock up on and have at the ready, other than oranges, so those are on my Our Groceries app list every week.

      (Also mine is a Vitamix too and I’m in love, click and contact me if you want to know more, they’re seemingly complicated and expensive to pick out but really not that bad with a little info, got a great deal on mine.) [Adding, since you have a Vitamix, on these I do on variable, dial up to 10, high for 30 seconds then back down again.]

      Sorry for the novel but hope this helps!

      • can you make these smoothies with a regular blender, or do you need the fancy kind like a vitamix? I’ve made smoothies using my regular blender with frozen fruits, yogurt and bananas, but I’ve never tried putting whole fresh fruits in there OR whole fresh veggies.

        • I often make smoothies with the following in a regular blender:

          –Large heaping spoonfuls of Greek Yogurt – any flavor will do
          –1/2 cup or so (handful) of frozen berries, microwaved for about 30 seconds until soft
          –1 banana, broken into 3-4 pieces
          –handful of frozen pineapple, also nuked for 30s (optional)

          This gets me enough to fill a pint beer glass (which we have a ton of in the cabinet, but don’t use too much).

          I think I’m going to throw in a handful of spinach. What a great idea.

          I love smoothies in the morning, but I rush off, leaving the blender and a rubber spatula in the sink. Then I have the glass to take back home from work, or leave in my car. The dishes are just too much trouble. If I make toast, I can take it with me on a paper towel, and no dishes at all. What do you ladies do about the dishes? I hate coming home to all that stuff soaking in my sink.

          • I usually rinse the blender right after I use it so that it doesn’t get sticky. I put a little pump of soap in as well and then I only have to actually wash it after every other use.

    • I usually do frozen strawberries, frozen peaches or mango and frozen blueberries with a fresh banana, kale (about a handful), and keifer (99% lactose free and the drinkable nature of it helps give the smoothie a texture that isn’t too thick).

    • Thanks all! We have ground flax seed at home too and I didn’t think about adding it into the smoothies.

  14. I’d like some feedback about a work situation. I was hired in the spring at my current job, and in my contract I was eligible for a bonus after a few months of employment. I received this bonus. My annual review was great, and I am *probably* due for a promotion within the next year. However… b/c of my bonus I did not get a COLA (cost of living adjustment/allowance).
    I like my job, and I am doing well there. I just can’t help but feel annoyed that I did not get a measly 2% increase or whatever. Is it ok to push for it, or is it not worth it? I think I know the answer, but I would still really appreciate others’ thoughts.

    • Did your other coworkers get it? If they did, I think you should ask.

    • Did others get the increase? I’ve worked in legal admin for 10+ years and during a few years of the recession we did not give any raises, COLA or otherwise.

    • I can’t think of any reason NOT to ask — did it say anywhere in your contract that the bonus would negate eligibility for a COLA? I think you can inquire about this in a very polite way. As a manager, I would be mortified if an employee felt they COULDN’T ask about something this minor. Good luck!

      • @ ANP. Sry just noticed this. No, it did not say that in my letter. And I think you may a great point. It is always ok to *ask* about those things.

    • My company doesn’t allow employees to receive the COLA increase if we got raises/promotions in the past 3-6 months. Not saying I agree with it, but it’s not uncommon.

      • hellskitchen :

        Yep, my former company had a policy of not giving COLA increases if you had been at your job for less than 6 months. The COLA was supposed to be baked into your offer salary. This was not mentioned in the offer letter but in the compensation policy which was shared at the end of the fiscal year.

    • I *believe* everyone else who did NOT get a raise and/or promotion got their COLA. I think the truth is- I got a raise recently and a promotion is coming up. As much as I *want* to ask it just isn’t a hill I want to die on right now. Thanks for the comments!

  15. AttiredAttorney :

    Anyone have suggestions for hot rollers? I have long (3-4 inches below my shoulders), thick hair that I usually touch up with a curling iron when wearing wavy, and I think rollers might be a more efficient way to accomplish this. Folica dot com and amazon reviews did not provide much guidance.

    • The T3 set from Seph-ora (8 rollers, 1.5 + 1.75) is a nice splurge if you want volume and not curl.
      The $15 Remington set of 10 rollers (1 and 1.25 inch) from Tar Jay or Wal Mrt in a cute case is also nice and travels well. Extra 1.25 rollers are available.
      For helpful pictures, Oprah’s website has a good article (don’t judge!). For a how to video goo-gl RissRose.
      I also have the 12 roller set from Sally but I just never seem to use it.

    • I have the purple ones from Conair (I think?). Bought it off amazon.

  16. IE8 threadjack

    I’m sick to death of the ads on this site that show borderline NSFW stuff. Like today, I’m seeing some crappy looking online RPG with lots and lots of huge b**bs in bikini tops. What do you use (settings? do I need to download something?) to stop this? Turn off java and javascript?

    • marketingchic :

      Ew – I’ve got that too.

      Kat – I’m sure this is served up by a network, but even marginally NSFW ads will keep me away.

      • Will someone take a screenshot and send to me please? kat at corporette dot com. I think I can block specific advertisers via AdSense but I need a company name. Thank you

        • Back Home :

          Kat – I sent some screenshots to your email. The ads are showing up between the post and comments and at the bottom of the comments and seem to be for an online game called League of Angels.

    • I have never seen any borderline NSFW ads. I use Chrome both at work and on my home computer. The ads I see are reflective of my browsing history so I see a lot of makeup, JCrew and cars.

      • I see that RPG ad, too. And I can’t think of what in my browsing history could be prompting NSFW ads (jcrew, croissant bread pudding recipes, cnn?).

        • A Nonny Moose :

          Yeah– I usually get N-strom ads, but this animated l-p dance ad is killing me. And I doubt it was my searches for camera lenses and recipes that got it there.

    • I think the targeted ads appear because sometime in the past your computer has visited a particular site that left a cookie, or some kind of tracker, on your browser. Find your browser’s ‘tools’ and clear all your browsing data… delete all cookies and clear the cache. This should do it. But be warned, this will also delete any passwords you have saved.

      • Nope – I browse incognito with Chrome (so it doesn’t track history or cookies) and I get it. It may one of those that is just in broad rotation. I just resize my screen so it cuts off the adds on the side.

    • I don’t know if IE has this capability, but for other browsers (Chrome, Firefox), download an adblocker – super easy and effective.

    • I’m getting that one too and it’s certainly not related to my searches.

    • I use Mozilla Firefox with an Add-On called AdBlock. It blocks all the ads on all websites, and can block pop-ups too. (I know that’s not good for Kat’s bottom line, but I can’t stand them.)

    • I know it’s naff to self-followup, but I just did some googling, and tried a few things, one of which worked, so I thought I’d pass it along:

      If you’re using IE8, go to the Toolbar option called “Tools” and select “InPrivate Filtering Settings”. Select “Automatically block.” You may want to be finer tuned on this, but I wanted a brute force block all ads, because I’m just so sick of the bouncy b**bs on this page, who the heck knows what else is likely to show up if I get too cute with the filtering.

      Now, none of the ads show. And I’m embarrassed I didn’t do lots of googling before asking the question. That was certainly naff of me.

    • Mountain Girl :

      I’m getting that ad as well and there is absolutely nothing in my search history remotely related to that. I think the number of people that are calling foul on this one really does call this particular ad into question.

    • have you considered installing AdBlock? I LOVE it. Available for Chrome. The ads just don’t show at all (sorry K*t but they make it too obvious I’m taking a break!). When I browse on my iPad instead (not available) I’m always surprised how much visual cr*p of ads are on pages – whether news or blogs.

  17. Ladies, I’m home today decluttering my closet (and various other spots around the house) as we prepare to possibly put our home on the market this month. I’m the mood to purge, but I’m also at a weird post baby weight. How much of my older, skinnier stuff should I keep? FWIW, this was my second baby and I’ve got around 15 lbs to go.

    • I’d say keep your very favorite things and don’t worry about whether you’ll ever fit into them again. If you didn’t like/wear them much when they fit before, you won’t later.

    • Maybe keep your favorites, and anything $$ to replace. Donate the tshirts, etc that you might want fresh versions of.

    • Coach Laura :

      ANP, I think post-baby is one of those times that you might ignore the “if you can’t wear it, donate it” rule and keep anything that meets the following conditions: you really love it, it’s in good condition and it is a timeless piece with good tailoring.

  18. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was
    hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly
    enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  19. Paging Senior Attorney...again :

    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I am trying desperately, and failing, to find a comment you posted (over the summer, maybe?) about an account/budget for one-time yearly expenses. Can you (or someone) point it out to me? I meant to save it when I read it, because it was really very helpful!

    Thank you!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hi, there! I can’t find the post, but I will tell you what I do!

      I call it the Freedom Account because I first heard about it in a book called “Debt Proof Living” by Mary Hunt (which I recommend highly if you don’t mind some mild-to-moderate Christian content — I’m a nonbeliever and it didn’t bother me too much).

      It’s easiest to do this if you have already been keeping track of your expenses. But even if you haven’t, you can guesstimate. Sit down and make a list of all your normal but non-monthly expenses. My list includes the following:

      Car repairs/maintenance/registration
      Home repairs/maintenance
      Job expenses
      Gifts/holidays
      Property taxes
      Medical expenses (including deductibles and eyeglasses)
      Vacation
      Charitable contributions
      Kid-related expenses (if you have kids at home you may want to break this up into several categories including tuition, sports, camp, etc.)
      Gym/trainer
      Insurance (life, car, homeowners)
      Tech stuff (computer stuff, phone upgrades, etc)
      Theatre subscriptions
      Clothing/accessories

      This is a long list but I started very small with a couple of mandatory, non-negotiable categories: property taxes and private school tuition.

      Figure out or estimate how much you spend on each of these categories in a year, and set aside 1/12 of that amount every month. I have a separate savings account for each category at my online bank (ally.com) and I have the money transferred automatically on payday. When I have an expense in one of those categories, I transfer the money back to my checking account to pay the bill.

      Yes, it’s a huge amount. But that’s the nature of the best. Basically everything except rent/mortgage, utilities, food, spending money, gas, and the cleaning service are Freedom Account expenses. Huh. Who knew, right?

      It’s hard at first because those expenses keep coming while you’re trying to build up the accounts, but ‘s super worth it and has made my financial life so much easier!

      Let me know if you have any questions!

  20. JCrew coat linings? :

    Has anyone else had issues with the linings of JCrew coats being ripped to shreds? I have short nails and keep next to nothing (think gloves, metro pass, etc., never keys) in the pockets of my Lady Day Coat, but the pockets are now unusable because everything I would put in there falls through to inside the coat!

    I bought this coat last year at the end of the season, and just really don’t think I’ve gotten enough wear out of it to result in this kind of damage. I treat my clothes well, so I feel like this is more a reflection on the decrease in JCrew quality. Is it worth calling them?

    • It would take you just as long to sew that up with needle and thread.

    • I have had this problem with the Lady Day coat too, but only have 2 yrs of wear (mine is 3 yrs old). I don’t think it would hurt to call, but if that doesn’t work, it’s a pretty easy fix that a tailor can take care of.

    • Yes, I’ve had the same problem. I own four lady day coats that I’ve purchased over the last several years. Although I agree that J Crew’s quality is declining, my coat from 8 years ago has the same shredded lining as my coat from last season. I keep meaning to see how much it would cost to have the coats re-lined, but I haven’t yet. I have never called J Crew about this issue, and I keep buying them because unfortunately I haven’t been able to find another coat that fits me as well. A couple of my friends have had the same problem with their lady day coats, so I think it’s fairly common.

    • First Year Anon :

      I have a pea coat I bought a few years ago, lining was shredding in small places, but this year the lining ripped so much in the arm hole that I have to be strategic about how I put it on otherwise I get my hand caught in a hole and it won’t go through properly. Also, the wool in the armpit area is worn through- not on the seam, like it was rubbed raw. Not impressed. Luckily, I bought it on super sale. Maybe it’s worth fixing- has anyone ever patched a wool coat?

    • The lining of the sleeves in my lady day coat had ripped to shreds over the past few years as you describe, and when I took it to my tailor she muttered disapprovingly about nice coats lined with inappropriately thin material. She re-lined the sleeves with more substantial lining for about $70. I have encountered one other person with a lady day, who had the same problem with the lining. So yes, I think it’s part of the general J.Crew quality decline.

    • Tailors can easily re-line sleeves, or re-attach sleeves if the seam has been ripped. They can also replace pockets quite easily. (My mom, handy with a needle, has done this to some of my coats.)

      Linings are generally the first to go in coats, with pockets close too. In my experience/opinion, they get stretched and pulled just as much as the outside of that coat, but are much lower quality material.

  21. I was fortunate enough to be gifted with a new iPad… although I am very excited to use it to stream movies/TV shows to wile away treadmill time, was also wondering if anyone would be so kind as to share their favorite apps? Am already a big fan of Feedly, Evernote, Pinterest, and Houzz.

    thanks ladies!

    • Amberwitch :

      FlipBoard
      OneNote coordinated with pc over SkyDrive – though if you are already using EverNote, there is little reason to change.
      Mindjet Maps – unfortunately the pc version is fairly steep, but you can synchronize with both dropbox, Box and Mindjets own cloudstorage
      Lync
      Duolingo

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