Wednesday’s TPS Report: Fleet Blouse

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

Rory Beca Fleet BlouseThis dark burgundy color just keeps growing on me — wear it in the fall and winter with black, dark gray, and other neutrals; wear it in the spring with pale blue. The silk crepe blouse is only 30% off (was $209, now $146), but that comes down 20%-30% (depending on how much else you buy at ShopBop‘s big sale). Use code BIGEVENT14. Fleet Blouse

Psst: Similar, but 70% off, only available in lucky size XS, and a much lighter vibe: this Kate V Neck Top from Remy Brook.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

(L-4)

Comments

  1. Unmotivated :

    I’m in the unholy situation of not having enough work to do (so the billable hours will be absolute s***), disliking my job, and actively interviewing right now. Suffice it to say that I am not getting any work done whatsoever. One big reason I want to leave is the billable hour – when times are basically boom or bust like in my area of litigation, there can be months where I would LIKE to work, but there literally isn’t anything to do and I find myself working unpleasant long hours when it’s busier to try to make up the gap. I hate that pattern. Anyone else want to commiserate or are you all busy at jobs you love?

    • Anonykitty :

      Are you me? :)

      I’m not in quite this situation, but I feel like I’m constantly scrambling for hours — or completely overwhelmed by them. I’m spending an hour every day on my job search, but it’s taking forever. And I would much rather shop online than bill or look for a new job.

      The weather here today (snowy) does not help matters either. The only motivation is the small person who smiles at me when I get home every night!

      • Unmotivated :

        The hours scramble is the WORST. I can’t magically make the work appear, but the requirement doesn’t go down during the slow season. You could argue that I should be billing 200+ hours per month in the busy season to make up for it, but I’m a paralegal, not a lawyer, and I don’t get paid enough to feel like doing that.

    • Yay! I love this Blouse, and the model look’s alot like Rosa! I will show her the picture and mabye she will buy it. The neckline would be great for Frank, but I do NOT want to encourage him lookeing at me! FOOEY!

      As for the OP, yes, litiegation can be sink or swim or feast and famine, depending on how many case’s you have on your docket. That is why the manageing partner has me workeing like a hamster on a exercycle wheel, ALWAYS lookeing for more case’s from my cleint’s. Now he has me pusheing Sam and Willem for case’s even tho there are NOT alot of WC case’s EVER comeing out of bank’s. What are they suposed to get hurt closeing up a laptop? FOOEY! I do NOT think I am ever getting any VOLUME from them like I do from Roberta and Jim and other’s I am WOOING who have alot of employee’s that do MANUEL labor. We are now WOOING a firm that does BUILDING MAINETENANCE, and there are alot of peeople who they hire that get hurt on the job — so they say, and we are telling them MY track record —that I win about 93% of my case’s and this means’ less payout for them, or less INSUREANCE PREMIUM’s if they are NOT self insured. So mabye we will get the busness. I am meeting with 2 guy’s next week from their company who the Manageing Partnermet at the Lamb’s Club for lunch. YAY!!!

      I am still STUFFED from the deli and pie I ate with Myrna last night. It is a lucky thing I walked to work w/my fitbit today, or my TUCHUS would be a size 8 by now. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • kjoirishlastname :

      the biggest sense of relief for me came from leaving a private-sector job to find a public-sector job. I was no longer scrambling to find work, because the work was coming to me. No more crazy team meetings trying to dish out what little work there was to be had, with the bosses knocking on every door to find more work, no more being handed off to other teams to fill a hole.

      Yes, there are plenty of times that I scramble, but I never have to go to bed worrying where my work is going to come from anymore, or if I am maximizing my utilization. And there are times that I’m super busy. But there are just as many times that I’m not–and have time to breathe, time to catch up on reading my industry magazine, doing research for new projects, etc.

      There is no such thing as “billable hours” because they’re all the same.

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        Public sector legal work is my dream. Basically every lawyer I’ve met who works for my city/state has said some version of “this is the best job ever” when I’ve asked them about it.

        Alas, I need a few more years of private sector salary/experience before I can go riding off into that particular sunset, but it doesn’t stop me from scanning the city/state job boards every once in a while.

        • kjoirishlastname :

          exactly. I’m not a lawyer, but it’s such a relief to be in the public sector.

          The only downside (at least in my department), since I am staff liaison to the planning commission, I have a LOT of evening meetings. Once a week, sometimes more, as a general rule.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes. I can still remember the end of my first day in the public sector. I thought to myself, “Good grief! What am I going to write down on my time sheet? Oh, wait… there is no time sheet!” Best. feeling. ever.

        • Many years ago, I did an academic sabbatical within a federal agency. The employees there had to account for their time so closely that they had to justify the time they spent with me by showing what I did there and how many hours I spent working. I had to sign in and out and, at first, I would just forget. My government employee supervisor said to me “Won’t [X university] want to know when you were here?” And I said, “no, [X university] doesn’t give a rat’s a$$ if I’m here 8-4 every day as long as I complete my sabbatical project.” They tried to recruit me for a position after that and I thought he!! no!

          • Senior Attorney Paging Godzilla :

            That sounds awful. Obviously I’m not a Fed. ;)

        • SoCalAtty :

          I had the same reaction after moving in-house. When they showed me how to do the electronic time sheet, where you just enter “8″ under a general legal billing number for every day, I thought I was in heaven.

      • I’m in accounting, but I made the same move, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I make way more now (double if you count bonus) than I was at an accounting firm. Best. Move. Ever. Dh agrees too. Month end is way easier on the family than tax season was. And my company paid for me to go to Paris for a week for training last year. Love it.

    • Diana Barry :

      Gah. I HATE billable hours. I totally don’t catch up either – luckily my area is more “steady” than boom and bust.

      • PUBLIC SECTOR ATTORNEY :

        What are billable hours?

        • IN HOUSE COUNSEL :

          That was mean. But really really funny. :)

          • PUBLIC SECTOR ATTORNEY :

            At at least you get paid more ;-)

          • IN HOUSE COUNSEL :

            I’m not fancy “c0rporate counsel” — I’m a trial attorney doing all the same crap that fee counsel gets to bill for. Me, I’m not “fee counsel” I’m “free counsel.” LOL, the grass is always greener….

        • Unmotivated :

          Even I enjoyed that :) Especially since I’m sitting here not billing and I just got confirmation for a final interview for a job I really want! Fingers crossed that billable hours will be a distant memory soon…

    • I just have a job where I am bored except for 15 minute stretches. My boss is always impressed about how fast I can turn things around. Not sure if that’s good or bad. :/

    • Also in litigation :

      I used to hate that pattern, but I think I’ve finally come to love it. I still stress over the down times, but the work always comes. And it will come in a flood, of course. So when faced with empty hours, I enjoy them now without any guilt at all. I schedule doctor and eye appointments, take care of house projects, I volunteer at my kid’s school. I take long lunches and connect with law school friends, I get more active in service organizations. I go home early and make dinner. I take a friday off and go for away for a spontaneous weekend trip. I surf the web. Clean my office. Go to a movie in the middle of the day. After several years of this pattern, I finally realized that no one cares if I haven’t billed an hour in three days as long as I make it up by the end of the year. Take advantage of the down time so you can prepare for and don’t feel overwhelmed during the busy times. Because they will come. While I sometimes would like more regularity, I actually love the flexibility once I realized I really do have it. Two things I always recommend, though, is doing the work you have (don’t sit on it) and being in the office when more senior attorneys are on vacation. It’s hard with school, but I rarely leave town during winter or spring break or other big holidays. When my boss is gone, that’s when I get his work, which guarantees me more work later.

  2. Neck’s too deep for me but otherwise looks very elegant

    • It’s gorgeous but deep, even for the smallest of us

    • I really dig it, but I have an irrational objection to buying anything from a site called “Shop Bop.”

      • Bridget Jones :

        Not just you. I sound like a place the clown car goes.

        • Oh man, a completely wrong image just flooded into my head.

          Probably because where I live, the only time one really hears the words “clown car” is in the phrase “it’s a v-a-g-i-n-a, not a clown car!”

          • Miz Swizz :

            I’m going to start using that phrase as much as possible in my personal life.

      • hoola hoopa :

        Me, too! At least we can be crazy together.

        I love this blouse so much, though, that I might have to get over it. Great pick, Kat.

    • It is so gorgeous… but part of my imaginary aspirational self’s wardrobe, not my current one in reality. Sadface.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        My aspirational self’s wardrobe is awesome. If only my real self’s wardrobe could keep up.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Oh man, my aspirational self owns only two kinds of clothes – perfectly tailored, gorgeously draped suits and suit dresses in a rainbow of colors with papercut-crisp button-downs, drapey silk blouses, and sky-high Louboutin’s, AND relaxed, broken-in jeans, hand-sewn moccasins, Rag and Bone tees, and vintage flannel shirts. OBVIOUSLY, since my aspirational self is a CEO of a Fortune 500 company half the time and runs a small organic farm known for its pygmy goats’ milk and heirloom asparagus the other half of the time.

    • Big City Broke :

      I’m totally in love with this blouse. I pretend that because I’m quite un-endowed that I can wear stuff like this to the office. I’m sure the rest of you will say it’s inappropriate, but I love it and do it anyways. One of the many advantages of small b–bs!

  3. Woods-comma-Elle :

    I think I need a pep talk. I’m going to a conference for work tomorrow and the conference part is fine, but it’s the networking I’m dreading. There will be like 500+ people there of whom I will probably know four and of whom about ten are female. I hate hate hate networking with people I don’t know, I hate the ‘working the room’ angle and I’m tying myself up in knots about how awful it’s going to be (TWO HOURS for lunch, pre- AND post-conference cocktail party). The more people I need to talk to, the more often there will be that super awkward walking around the room trying to find an open group part. I get on well with clients and I’m good at chatting and I don’t mind going to things where I know people but… ugh. I know all the ‘what you should do’ bits, I just don’t like doing it.

    I don’t think I’m really looking for anything other than I needed to vent and I can’t very well vent at the partner I’m here with who’s all about talking to as many people as we can.

    Carry on, please. :)

    • Maybe turn it into a game for yourself with assigned points levels and rewards? Each new open group you talk with = 1 point and a certain number of points = rewards? Spa visit? new shoes etc?

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        I like this – my sister also suggested finding the most bizarre individual there and reporting back to her!

      • The game shall be Conference Bingo! Find a person who meets each of N characteristics and write their name in that square. (Not when they’re looking.) They have to be things you would have to talk to them in order to find out, not “is wearing red shoes.”

        Who do you want to meet? Someone who knows a lot about X? Someone with a job you covet? List ‘em and fill your card. You can leave when you get a row across or stay till you cover the whole card for super fabulous prizes to be named later.

    • I know exactly what you mean by “I know all the ‘what you should do’ bits, I just don’t like doing it.” I like to have some sort of end of event reward in mind (glass of wine, sleeping in an extra hour, cookie, gym workout, episode of a favorite tv show, new nail polish). Then I can give myself a little pep talk that’s like “Okay, KC. This event might not be your favorite, but when it’s all done you get to go back to normal and enjoy X. You can do this!”

      Good luck! I hope it goes well.

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        This. I bribe myself into being a “good” networker. (Meeting 1 new person = glass of wine, 3 new people = wine & cookie, 5 new people = manicure, 10 new people = I can skip the next event and go get a massage).

      • I tell myself that I am really looking forward to this opportunity to pretend I am someone else – someone who is perky and chatty and loves meeting new people! I figure having this alternate persona will come in handy when I start my new career as a spy.

        And I tell myself I can have a nice big glass of bourbon when it’s all done.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Good luck!

      I am an introvert, and I try to do two things that have helped me a lot at conferences where I don’t know anyone. First, I reframe what I’m doing and convince myself that I’m just getting to know interesting people. Second, I give myself permission to not MEET ALL THE PEOPLE. Instead, I say, “Self, if you have a good conversation with 3 new people in this room during lunch, you can go back to your room and stare at a wall.” Or I’ll skip a lunch if I’m feeling run down so that I’m in top form for the wine and cheese mixer. It’s probably harder to do that if you’ve got a partner who is talking about meeting a ton of people, but it has worked for me.

      I’m going to a conference this weekend (a women’s one, so presumably not the same one as you), and one of the partners here saw I was a little nervous because I don’t know anyone and it’s a bit of a tight-knit group. He told me just to go, have fun, and not try to sell myself because the business part will eventually sprout out of the relationships.

      • Darf Raider :

        YES – selling yourself turns people off. Building relationships is where it is at!

      • This. With a side of fake it till you make it. I put on my super hero happy face (like PolyD) and aim to talk with three new people. I find it’s way less painful if you give yourself permission to do it in small doses, and celebrate what you can do (listen, empathize, actually connect?) instead of what you can’t (gladhand 700 people in an evening). Thinking of it as making new friends instead of “networking” helps – I still struggle with this as a pretty extreme introvert, but opening up about yourself and what really makes you tick (and not just being all about the business side) can make the whole thing seem much more natural. Good luck!

    • hoola hoopa :

      “I know all the ‘what you should do’ bits, I just don’t like doing it.”

      I’m so there with you. Which, actually, is my approach. I look for the other people feeling awkward and we make awkward small talk. Even if we don’t strike up a great conversation we can at least pat ourselves on our backs and finally have a cookie. My other completely polar opposite approach is to catch one of the mover and shakers for a brief chat, because they usually will intentionally or inadvertently bring you in with others.

      I’m in a different industry, but like AnonInfinity said, most meaningful connections come from the business end. So I really just have to survive the event, not make it productive. Thank goodness.

    • I totally sympathize. I hate those things too. I always try to set a goal for myself – talk to 5 new people, for example, and then I think of a reward. Like another dessert, or if possible, I leave.

    • Darf Raider :

      I read somewhere about the following strategy to approaching people at networking events: Avoid joining groups of 2, since they might be having a private conversation. Look for people standing alone, or groups of 3 or more. People standing alone will (generally) be grateful you made the first move. Groups of 3 or more are already having a group conversation, and you just have to walk up and join.

      With one person, I prefer opening the conversation with a comment or question about the venue/event/food/speakers/etc, something about the shared space we are already in. Based on the reaction I get, I either continue with asking about their profession/specialty/background/etc, or keep it light and then move on quickly (oh, I see X is about to start. Nice chatting with you) if they give off “leave-me-alone” vibes.

      With bigger groups, it is more about catching up to the conversation that is already in play, (and hopefully there is a welcoming person in the group who will acknowledge your presence and do a quick introduction – this is what I always do when someone joins a group I am in. Makes the transition so much easier).

      Regarding the awkward moment of approaching groups when you have just walked up and are waiting to be included, I fake not feeling awkward about it. I put my shoulders back, plaster an interested-but-not-manic look on my face, and step into the circle. Of course they want me to join the conversation. They just don’t know it yet – but they will.

      Hopefully this is helpful! Personally, I love meeting and talking with new people, but I understand how overwhelming it is if you don’t feel natural doing it. I was incredibly shy when I was younger, and so all my networking skills are learned ones. It’s totally do-able.

      Also – I never feel bad about exiting a conversation. If it’s not working for you, don’t torture yourself. Get out alive ;)

      • I feel SO AWKWARD walking up to groups of people and just standing there. I know that’s what you have to do… but sometimes I just want to turn around and leave if I haven’t been acknowledged within 5 seconds. So irrational.

        Everyone should be like you and acknowledge when someone new joins the group!

        • Darf Raider :

          It’s not easy to stand there waiting to be acknowledged- and if it is a situation where the group is unwelcoming, I do just turn and walk away. But I give it enough time to make sure it’s them and not me. Having something to hold in my hands is nice…

          Another thing I do is make eye contact with various people in the group. That helps connect the dots for them – oh, this person is interested in joining. But I’m also a big eye contact person, so that’s not outside my comfort zone.

          It’s so easy to take a quick break and make new entrants a part of the conversation. Or, if you are standing with a group of co-workers, turn the conversation tide from company talk to something else to include the new entrant(s). I try to lead by example :)

  4. Sale PSA for ladies who wear more traditional, formal stuff to work. Austin Reed (UK) is having a great sale. They have really lovely suits, blouses and shirts. Remember to subtract 4 to get your proper size — UK 10 = US 6, for example….

    They ship to the US without customs and are great about returns.

  5. Threadjack:

    How does everyone feel about open blazers? As in blazers without buttons? how loose are they supposed to hang off of you? I’m not totally sold on them but I just ordered a bunch from Loft because the sleeves looked long enough for my long arms.

    • AnonInfinity :

      In in favor. They should fit through the arms and shoulders like a blazer with buttons.

    • Like in theory, do not like in practice. I am busty, and the lapels tend to get hooked around my boobs back by my armpits, which is not a good look. I can make it work with fashion tape, but I really don’t have the patience to do that regularly.

      • I have that same problem with cardigans. Argh, stupid boobs. Why do my cardigans have pretty buttons when they are just going to roll under and never be seen again?

      • Baconpancakes :

        Yes, sadly, I bought an oversized, boxy, open blazer that I didn’t realize was going to be final sale, that just sliiiides right off the ladies and flaps hello to the world. It looked so nice on the model!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m wearing one today so I’m a big “yea.” Yes, you should analyze the fit the same as any other blazer — arms and shoulder should fit properly, degree of slouchiness in the body depends on your personal comfort level.

    • The Theroy Lanai blazer (no buttons) is my absolute favorite blazer. So I am a big fan!

  6. Shopping challenge: I am looking for a short or long-sleeved (just not sleeveless), quick-dry shirt w/ built in bra. 32B here so don’t need a whole lot of support. Obviously for casual use – more specifically for vacation in a tropical area.

    • I just got the Title 9 catalog and they have a ton of stuff like this. You should look there or Athleta for sure. Also try REI, Patagonia, North Face and Zappos/6pm (search for outdoorsy brands to narrow).

    • kjoirishlastname :

      I think you’re going to have a hard time finding anything other than sleeveless w/built-in bra. Why not a quick dry cami w/bra and then long sleeve or short sleeve technical shirt over top?

      6-pm has the Prana Katarina top w/ built-in bra. It has little cap sleeves.

      A google search also found that Rhonda Shear (via hsn?) has seamless tops w/ shelf bras

    • The only place I know of that does built-in-bras with long sleeves is Victoria’s Secret, and I’m pretty sure they don’t have any in quick-dry fabric.

  7. Famouscait :

    I cleaned the armpits of an Ann Taylor triacetate suit jacket with the vodka/water solution I’ve read about here. It made some improvement, but my question is: am I now supposed to dry clean the jacket? Or does that further set-in the stinky smell?

    • The vodka should remove the smell. I’m not sure how it works on different fabrics, but I’ve sprayed straight vodka (no water) on wool sweaters to put off dry cleaning and that worked well. I’m not sure how effective vodka mixed with water would be.

      • Famouscait :

        I did 4 parts vodka to 1 part water, but perhaps tonight I’ll try straight vodka. I’m applying it to both the inside and outside armpits, and strangely enough, there was more improvement on the inside. I thought that would be tougher since it has direct contact with sweat, but who knows. I just want to un-stink my jacket!

        • You should! I’m not sure how triacetate responds to it, but I imagine if there are no stains from the first go, you should be fine to spray straight vodka. To be safe, you may want to test it on an inconspicuous spot first.

    • kjoirishlastname :

      don’t mean to TJ, but can someone explain this vodka/water/no-dry-clean thing? I’m intrigued

      • Oh yes, I’m interested as well. Does that only help to remove the smell from your Dry-Clean-Only clothes?

      • Rubbing alcohol does the same thing, is cheaper, and does not waste precious vodka.

        • Famouscait :

          My limited research on this site and the web said that there were additives in rubbing alcohol and vodka would be gentler.

          Just type “vodka” into the search field for this site and you’ll pull up old posts and discussions on the topic.

          • Perhaps my clothes aren’t especially delicate, but diluted rubbing alcohol hasn’t given me any trouble. I also add a tiny drop of perfume to my sprayer.

          • What kind of additives would be in rubbing alcohol? It’s some percentage (70 to 99 %) of ethanol or isopropyl alcohol and water. Vodka is more likely to have impurities, and is probably about 30% ethanol. So, might be gentler in terms of having less alcohol and less drying.

            Just the chemist point of view.

          • mpls: I love how you always have the chemist point of view. you are awesome.

          • Well, there was time in chem club where we used everclear instead of 100% denatured lab grade ethanol. Because it was cheaper and we lived close enough to South Dakota to make the trip worthwhile.

          • Meg Murry :

            And along the same lines, Purell or other alcohol based hand sanitizer works for an emergency armpit wipe down if you have a day where you either forget deodorant or have a mid-day deodorant-fail. My last company had dispensers in the bathroom and it saved me on more than occasion. Its bacteria living off your sweat that smell, so killing the bacteria = killing the smell. I wouldn’t recommend doing it too often, as there may be beneficial body bacteria you are also killing off, but good in a pinch.

      • I use super cheap vodka in a spray bottle to get smells out of fabric that can’t be washed (couches, drapes, etc.). Works great, better than febreeze, and doesn’t stain.

        • Same. I’m not sure if it works on all fabrics, but I mostly use it on items that require dry cleaning. I just put the cheapest vodka I can find in a spray bottle and spray the heck out of the armpits, both inside and out. I then let it air dry. Occasionally, I’ll have to spray it once more, but it works very well and, once it’s dry, there’s no odor (vodka or other).

        • I never thought about it for drapes and couches. Good to know.

          • Its the first thing I do when my inlaws and relatives who smoke spend extended time on my couch. Or inexplicably choose to sleep there instead of our nice comfy guest bed. Sigh.

    • I also use vodka on the pits of my running shirts — completely kills any odor (I have no odor in the left pit, right pit is a different story, go figure). Works really well and I haven’t seen any damage to the technical fabric either.

    • The vodka thing doesn’t seem to work for me and neither does vinegar.

      Instead, I make a paste of baking soda and water, rub it into the armpits (on the inside of the jacket, obviuosly), then let it dry overnight and brush it off. I’ve only done this on dark colored jackets and it does not show.

      • I tried this and it made a huge mess when I went to brush it off, left white residue on my clothes, and did nothing to lessen the smell. Maybe that means we’re opposites and vodka will work for me? :)

    • kjoirishlastname :

      Holy cow, this is brilliant! The thought of using vodka for running shirts? Amazing!!! Also the brilliant idea about the midday wipe-down with Purell…

      Love you girls. Now I will not have to launder my sweaters nearly as often. And here I was, getting ready to ask the hive about what to do for underneath sweaters in order so as not to have to launder so often. T-shirts are great, but the necklines almost always compete.

      I am here to say that the pinterest trick of using rubbing alcohol on a microfiber couch is amazing. We should really do it more often. But, the gist is: spray the entire surface of the couch till basically soaked. Use a neutral/light colored sponge (I use the off-white ones from Scotch Guard) to work the alcohol into the fabric & clean the surface stains off. You may have to do this a few times. Let it dry overnight, and fluff/brush with a clean scrub brush–I rarely have to do this, I usually just rub the surface of the couch with my hand to fix the nap.

      Love love love the tips for clothes. Thanks!

      • Oh this is an interesting idea. I’m gonna try this. My BF’s sofa is in sad sad shape. Really it needs replacing, but if I can get rid of some of the more disreputable stains, so much the better.

  8. Can anyone recommend a source of high-quality workout clothes for larger sizes (XXL)? My mom has been having trouble finding good workout clothes and I’d love to find her something nice. Any tips?

    • Bridget Jones :

      Zella has plus sizes. They are Nordie’s in-house athletic brand.

    • I'm Just Me :

      Athleta carries a lot of items in 1x, 2x, 3x. You can search on Plus size on the side bar.

      Nike makes plus size workout wear that’s widely available.

    • Huh, weird but my comment got eaten. I would highly recommend Danskin for bottoms. That’s where I shopped when I was plus-sized.

    • I had good luck visiting a Fleet Feet store. They’re targeted at runners but have excellent customer service.

    • Oh, I know this pain! I’ve been happy with the athletic clothes I’ve gotten at JCPenney. My favorite pair of workout tights is from there — they’re like leggings without making my legs feel like sausages. Their dry wick shirts and tanks are also really good (I have two banded bottom tanks that I live in at the gym). Plus, everything is usually on sale or well priced. I’ve also found some good stuff at Target, though their sizing tops out at XXL.

    • Meg Murry :

      Lands End has workout clothes. I haven’t tried them myself, but their other plus sized items are generally good, so might be worth a shot. They are having a 25% off sale today, and you can always return unwanted items to Sears.

  9. Good Wednesday morning, ladies! Ok, I’ve had about enough of winter in Chicago. I’m down to two pairs of tights, and I just noticed this morning that there’s a small snag in the pair of tights I’m wearing, ugh! Recommendations for a durable pair of black tights that I can order online??

    • Spanx tightend tights wear like iron. That said, I bought a pair of really pretty Merona blue gray tights on clearance at Target on Saturday and they looked great. Not sure how they’ll wear overall.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I second the Spanx tight end tights recommendation. I have holes in the toes on a couple of pairs after wearing them for 2 seasons but they are hidden by my shoes and haven’t gotten any bigger.

        • a passion for fashion :

          third this. mine last forever. in fact, i dont think i have ever thrown out a pair of spanx tights. they are awesome. and the reversable ones are even better — they are basically double sided (grey/black or brown/black) so they are thicker and warmer, plus when you are traveling with them, you just need one pair.

          • Cosign Spanx tight-end tights. They are not light real Spanx–they’re not super-compressing or uncomfortable at all. Mine have lasted several seasons. Totally worth the price.

    • For regular weight/texture, DKNY. For a bit more warmth, Hue sweater tights. The flat knit version doesn’t look much different from regular tights, but they also have cable and other textures if you’re bored.

      • Second the recommendation for DKNY. I have a few pairs that have lasted years. Nordstrom usually runs a special on them in-store, I think 2 for $24 instead of $15 each.

    • Cantresist :

      I know you said online, but I think I heard somewhere that Walgreens sells fleece tights….

      • You’re that person in any office who takes the joke just a beat too long, aren’t you?

        • Hey, I think it’s funny. It’s more amusing than seeing dozens of requests for tights recommendations.

          No offense, OP – I know it’s trying to search through old comments for this stuff. I wish there were a better tagging system or something since it’s hard to wade through hundreds of old comments even with the site:corpor*tte “search term” trick.

          • Wah wah I know you can search for old threads but why do that when it’s easier to start a new one, and also I’m sure the site gets new readers every day so it’s also benefiting the new readers :)

          • Olivia Pope :

            I actually like the repeats. You could find which brands people like in old threads, but what if one of those brands is marked down in a massive sale today? The old threads don’t tell you that.

        • Cantresist :

          Anon– probably. And you’re the one who no one wants to have lunch with, aren’t you?

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      I have 3 pairs of black tights from Old Navy that absolutely will not die – they’re at least five years old at this point and still look great.

      • Counterpoint – I bought 2 pairs of Old Navy tights in the past month and to say they did not last would be putting it mildly. The first pair, I put my finger through the seat when adjusting the tights the first time I wore them. The second pair, I wore once, then on the second wear they developed a hole in the middle of my calf. I was wearing boots, but I think the hole was a bit above where the top of the boots would have rubbed.

        So, proceed with caution.

    • Mountain Girl :

      I’ve been layering my tights – wearing 2 pair at a time. Whoever made that recommendation here is brilliant. It works so much better than fleece and I have been able to still wear the tights with runs underneath another pair.

      If you wear boots check your zippers. I learned that my textured tights were snagging on the top of the zipper on one of my boots. After a quick workover with a pair of needle nose pliers I solved that problem as well.

    • I have had good luck with Eddie Bauer tights.

    • Insecure First-Year :

      obsessed with Nordstrom’s tights. They’re about $10 I think (plus free shipping). I put them in the washer and dryer and they have held up season after season.

  10. I’m pretty sure this has been discussed, but I couldn’t find it…
    Do you automatically use someone’s first name when addressing him/her… for instance when you’re leaving a message or email for someone you don’t know or haven’t met. Culturally, I was raised to always address people as Ms. or Mr. Lastname, so it still feels overly casual or familiar to use a first name with a new person, but using Mr. Or Ms. Lastname seems like I don’t view myself as an equal, professionally.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I use Mr. or Ms. in my initial interactions with clients and opposing counsel, as do my older male bosses, as a sign of respect. For internal communications, I default to first names.

      • I do the same. Granted, the legal community in most places still has a sense of formality about these things.

        • Huh, I was strongly advised as a young attorney not to call clients “Mr.” or “Mrs.” The argument was that the client is looking to the lawyer to be the expert, and that as a result, the client needs to think of the attorney as a peer. I’ve subsequently given that advice to others – when a young lawyer uses a title with clients, I think that it draws the client’s attention to the attorney’s youth and likely inexperience, and makes the client nervous.

          Put another way, if a client is calling to get an expert opinion on the scope of financial exposure associated with a certain aspect of a hundred-million-dollar deal, the client doesn’t want to think about the fact that the person giving that advice has only been out of law school for three years.

          This may be different in my context (corporate law) than in a practice where the clients are individuals, however.

          (also, FWIW, I practice in the south, so this isn’t regional, I don’t think.)

          • Wow, I think my senior partners would have lost it if I’d addressed our clients by first name when I was a junior associate. But then, my interactions with clients were typically limited to saying things like “Mr. Dimon, my secretary tells me your car will be here in 10 minutes.”

          • Anonattorney :

            I always use Mr. or Ms. with the first meeting, and then will quickly transition into using their first name once I’ve built up an actual relationship.

          • Another MZ Wallace Fan :

            I’m with cbackson except in the very limited circumstances where the client is introduced as Mr. or Mrs. Last Name. I think referring to them as Mr or Mrs except in those limited circumstances can make you come off as a child/younger/less deserving of respect. The attorney is the expert, they are seeking my advice/expertise and like cbackson said I don’t want to remind them that I’m only X years out of school. I don’t represent individuals so maybe this would be different if I were an associate in our wealth management/estate planning group.

    • Not sure what industry you’re in but it took me a while to address everyone but first name, especially coming from a school environment. Practice, you’ll get over it. I now find it strange when someone is referred to by Title Lastname unless they are a doctor or professor.

      • hoola hoopa :

        True for my industry. Everyone is first name only. I used to have the same job for an academic institution and first contact with a professor was Dr. Lastname and typically first name after that, but now I’m in a private sector employer and even the PhDs and MDs are Firstname from the start.

  11. Senior Attorney Paging Godzilla :
    • Thank you, thank you. As you can imagine, I am a very busy monster on the move, so it can be a bit challenging to visit thissite but I’ll check in as I can ;).

    • wow, yet ANOTHER industry you have conquered. so impressed. I think you deserve some more pairs of nude-for-you shoes for this.

      • Baconpancakes :

        A while ago we discussed the Joan and David Zevida in Godzilla’s nude-for-her; it’s on sale now! I have it in black and white, and I think it’s gorgeous. Go for it, Godzilla, you deserve it!

  12. Morning routines :

    We discussed morning routines a few weeks ago, didn’t we?

    A note about a morning routine app popped up in my twitter feed. Maybe this is useful for those of us trying to establish a routine?

    http://www.psfk.com/2014/02/alarm-clock-routine-morning-tasks-app.html

    • hoola hoopa :

      Who on earth takes a cold shower at 4:30 am??? Not me, for sure.

      Seriously, though it looks like a cool and useful app. Thanks for sharing.

    • yes, thank you so much for sharing!!! this is exactly what i have been trying to create myself using Wunderlist, but it isn’t quite as easy, takes a lot of work to match tasks to times. This looks like exactly what i need!

  13. Anyone wish to share their favorite method of finding hotel deals? I’m going out of town this weekend and haven’t booked a hotel yet in the hopes that there will be better deals the day before or the day of, but I’m not sure if that’s the best strategy (fwiw, it’s in a cold-climate area, so I’m not competing with spring breakers). I’ve tried Priceline bidding before but have gotten burned with crappier-than-advertised hotels.

    • I use Hotwire almost exclusively for booking vacation hotels, and I usually wait until 1-3 days before the trip to book. A couple of tips, make sure you look at the map of where you’re going, so you can limit the search by areas of town you want to be in. Also, the star ratings are about 1/2 star from what you think. Meaning, if you book a 3 star on hotwire, it’s more likely to be a 2 1/2 star on other sites. I generally book a 3 1/2 star or higher. If you can, read the reviews of the hotel you’re thinking about booking. Sometimes, you can get a pretty good idea of the hotel you’re getting, and you can almost always get a good idea of the type of place. Good luck to you!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve never done it because I’m neurotic about booking ahead of time after lots of research, but there is an app (and website, I think) called Hotel Tonight. It’s supposed to have great deals for rooms that hadn’t sold but you can only book in the day of the night you want to stay.

    • Where are you going? Depending on the place, it may be better to call hotels directly and see what they have. I’ve gotten some majorly great deals that way. Otherwise, I find Kayak to be a good aggregator for other sites.

    • locomotive :

      I use hotels dot com to find ‘sales’ on hotels that sometimes occur – if I know the area I’m going and want a really good deal, I use priceline dot com to bid on the hotels in a certain area (although once I ended up in a sketch part of Dallas and that was pretty uncomfortable, so I would be careful). Another good option is airbnb if you want to rent out an entire apartment (at times way better than a hotel if you want a kitchen for breakfast etc)

    • Priceline (the bidding part, not the click and buy part) is my go-to for all things travel. I usually get a great room at a price that is comparable to anything 2 stars less than where I end up. The caveat is that you don’t get to pick the hotel. You get to choose the star level and area of town that it is in (then you can cross reference it on a site with betterbidding.com if you really care) and then it is revealed after payment. Usually I’ll then call the concierge and see if I can upgraded on top of it. Works about half the time.

  14. Anyone want to shop for me? I just can’t with the shopping anymore.

    I need a new bag to carry to work daily. My work is generally paperless so I’ve been carrying just my purse. Now I’m getting to a point where I need to carry a small amount of paper back and forth. I’m thinking something that fits like a letter sized note pad or file folder, the basics, and maybe a small makeup bag and snacks. I’m 5’0″ if I stand REALLY tall, so I’d prefer something not too large. Budget around $200.

  15. I’ve been in my role for 2.5 years and I’ve been bored for the last 6 months since I don’t feel challenged by my work any longer. As the most junior person on my team, all the dull tasks get handed down to me and I even have to give up my vacation days because I’m always the cover when someone goes on leave. I asked my boss what I need to do to move on to the next level and was told that I’m too young. I don’t agree since colleagues with similar levels of experience were promoted last year. I know my performance is not the issue since I get above average ratings every year. Will I come across as an entitled “millennial” if I say that I want to move because I no longer find my work interesting? I work for a bank in a client facing role and I look younger than my 27 years so my boss might have a point on the age issue :(

    • I’d start interviewing elsewhere. If you truly do have the experience to move up to the next level, someone else should be happy to snap you up. I would also seriously stop talking about whether you look young or not. I’m concerned that many women feel like they have to be defensive because they’ve been told that young-looking women aren’t respected. I worry that this leads women to lack the confidence they need to project their actual age and experience and becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    • Anonattorney :

      I don’t think you will sound entitled if you say you don’t find your work “challenging.” I think promotions are tricky, because a lot of places that have well-established hierarchies won’t bump you up until you’ve mastered the lower-level work. It sounds like you’re basically there, it’s just an issue of showing it to your boss.

      Maybe instead of asking your boss what you need to do to move up, you should ask for more challenging work or more responsibility?

    • kjoirishlastname :

      Not cool if your boss tells you you’re too young. I’m with TBK–look elsewhere. The thing that I find that helps with re-energizing in the industry is to attend conferences that YOU think are cool. Read up on the industry publications, and go to some seminars and workshops. Sometimes, that’s enough of a little spark to get you going again.

      As for your current situation, it sounds like your boss isn’t interested in looking at ways to shake up the department. And that’s unfortunate. Perhaps, though, if you have any kind of turnover on your team with promotions/hirings/leavings, you could use that as an opportunity to kind of change up what you do. If you get a new hire, see if there’s any way that you can supervise a project that they’re to work on. If you have folks leaving, THAT is the time to be looking at everyone’s job descriptions, before placing the ad, to be sure that the ad is for the position that you want in the team, not necessarily to fill the spot with essentially the same person.

      If you are interviewing with other companies and the “why are you leaving/looking” comes up, I think it is totally ok to say “because I need more challenge” That says a lot about you.

    • Are you me? You described my exact situation… age, industry, old team, etc.

      Scary.

      My boss and his boss tried to promote me to a sales position but I haven’t received any news from the vp of sales. He is always avoiding the subject and interviewed a bunch of people and not me.

      Ughh since my annual bonus will be decided this week I will start looking for a new job on march or maybe go back to school for a master in finance.

  16. Mid-career field change :

    Has anyone totally switched fields / careers in your 40s? Did you just do it or did you go back for some school (certificate / second bachelors / etc.)? See a career counselor (or psychologist)?

    My husband is in a field that he fell into and used to have a good career and prospects. Due do some local mergers and inability to move location, he’s faltering and stressed out and burned out. He has given up hope of ever being happy at work and thinks that he is too old to change (and yet he is too young to throw in the towel). He just has a BA and wishes that he had gotten more / better schooling before spouse / kids.

    It’s his issue and I’m on the sidelines, but what have you done in this situation that has actually worked out for you?

    • Moonstone :

      I did. And every day, I am happy I did. For 12 years after I got my BA, I worked in a thriving industry that ran out of steam, so at 39 I took a job working at a law firm in kind of a marketing role. After I did that for five years, I researched how to become qualified for a project management job. For two years, I did some schooling on weekends, passed a test that gives me some initials after my name, and actually used what I learned to improve the projects I was handling at the law firm, which gave me something to talk about in job interviews. At 47, I was hired as a project manager in a whole different field. For a year, it was unbelievably difficult and I felt like Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapons movies – “I am too old for this —-.” But it has gotten gradually better and now I feel good about my work.

      Two more points: 1) I know it’s tough, but the reality is that he has, what, 20 more years to work? We all have to keep ourselves marketable because no one knows which jobs will last. 2) I am not seeing a lot of people walking into new, better jobs just because they got an advanced degree. Mostly, I see people feeling stressed by taking on additional debt.

  17. Does this bode poorly for the interview? :

    My apologies for reposting this threadjack — someone was kind enough to respond yesterday but I posted it well into the evening:

    My husband had an interview scheduled this week with two people. He was supposed to come in, but they called today to say the interview’s been changed to take place over the phone, rather than in person. Initially, one of the two interviewers was going to conference in anyway, while my husband was in a room with the other one. Now both people will be on the phone.
    He’s worrying this means they’re not that serious about him. Our friend actually recommended him to the recruiters, basically giving them his resume. Today’s developments make him think they’re just doing her a favor. My take is no — one of the two managers doesn’t even know her. What are your thoughts?

    • hoola hoopa :

      Agree with yesterday’s response. It seems neutral to positive to me.

    • I could see it going either way, to be honest. In all likelihood, the second manager couldn’t make it in and didn’t think ANY interview was worth it enough to come into the office (or cancel a trip, who knows?) so they’re doing it by phone. I’m guessing it has nothing to do with your husband!

      • Does this bode poorly for the interview? :

        Heheh, it’s funny that the thought that he’s a nonentity in this situation is actually reassuring! Thanks Batgirl. :)

  18. kid responsibilities :

    Parents–how do you all go about establishing responsibilities for your kids? Do you just kind of up and say, “Ok, kiddo, now you’re 5, it’s time for you to start____” and just go from there? Do you include the kids in the conversation?

    How do you make sweeping changes in the way that you run your kids (to stop an activity like TV that is just too much, or to start an activity like adding a responsibility)??

    I’m curious to see what kinds of responsibilities your kids have, and how you went about it. We have 2 boys, 3 and 5, and they don’t get allowances, but we also don’t have a ton of expectations/chores for them.

    • We have a 2 year old, but when he’s a bit bigger we’ll probably start a star chart for him with his daily ‘jobs’. The rule of thumb I’ve heard is one job per year of life. So our son ‘feeds’ the dog and helps fold laundry. He actually really likes both chores, though he requires major supervision at his age. I like the idea of starting to form the building blocks of ‘this is what you are expected to do as a part of our family’ now.

    • hoola hoopa :

      We have 2 and 4 (almost 5) year olds. Our 4 year old has the responsibility to clean up her own messes (toys, clothing… truly messy things like painting projects I do although she may help depending) but currently I must ask. Saying “clean up time!” is usually worthless, but I have a ton of success by giving her specific tasks. So there’s still quite a bit of management. We’re introducing the idea of routine chores – like bussing her own dishes to the kitchen counter, but honestly we haven’t gotten our act together yet. Age 5 definitely feels about right. I have no intention of introducing an allowance or reward chart.

      The 2 year old helps at-will only, although she and I are picking up her toys at the same time the older is doing hers so that she gets the idea.

    • Our child is 3.5 His only real responsibility is to clean up after himself. This means putting toys away, laundry in the hamper, clear his dishes from the table, etc. He is generally interested in being a helper so we have just encouraged that in hopes it turns into habit/house rule. As he gets older, we will assign him more responsibility that corresponds to his ability and if possible, his likes. Right now he loves to clean, but I doubt that will continue once he gets big enough to do it properly.
      We also use a kitchen timer to keep limits on activities. For some reason, he responds a bit better to a “neutral” party.

    • Diana Barry :

      We are gradually adding responsibilities. The baby (under 2) has none, but now if you say “no! go in time out” she will put herself there. Score!

      The 4-yo cleans up after himself, but that means BE VERY SPECIFIC. So rather than “clean up” I say “Put your dinosaur on this shelf” and point to the shelf or “Put your plate next to the sink” when he asks to be excused.

      The 6-yo can clean up and pick out her own clothes without too much direction, so the next step is to have her help the baby clean up without getting snotty about it. :)

    • Senior Associate :

      My almost-4-year-old loves helping. So for many tasks – picking up toys, setting the table for dinner, putting clothes away – she is willing to do anything if it’s with me or her dad and if it’s styled as helping. She has gotten pretty good at setting the table and can do it almost all by herself (with help getting things like plates down from the cupboard, of course.) I agree that cleaning up after yourself is much easier with very specific instructions (put the legos in the box, put the stuffies in the basket, etc.).

      We’ve gotten a little more formal with some other tasks, like getting herself dressed and making her bed. For those, we have a little sticker chart. For now, the sticker itself is enough of a reward. I would just caution that all of those formal systems like sticker charts are a lot of work for parents. The more you can stay away from formal rewards and help your child do these things with intrinsic motivation, the better. In general, making the bed is a little tough for her, but she’s gotten much better about dressing herself – especially if I put clothes out for her at night.

      For sweeping changes, like a new rule on TV, I generally think it’s better to evolve rather than make giant changes. I’m reluctant to make pronouncements that I can’t uphold. For example, I would never say, “From now on, no TV except for 30 minutes before dinner!” I just can’t guarantee that I will enforce the rule and it’s very important to me to be consistent. So I would instead just start saying no to TV requests in the afternoon on a day-to-day basis – e.g., “Today, we can watch a show at 5:00. That’s when the big hand points to the 12 and the little hand points to the 5. Until then, we’re going to play outside/do crafts/bake cookies.” In my experience, there’s usually a lot of screaming and whining right at the point of saying no, but my DD gets over it and moves on fairly quickly. You just have to get through the moment of saying no.

    • Anonymama :

      The biggest thing is to be consistent… if you make something their responsibility you have to follow through every time so they know they have to do it, and then in the future you don’t have as many struggles.

      Definitely, as everyone else said, start with picking up after themselves, putting their own things away. Also “helping” with your chores… wiping off the counters, sweeping or mopping, helping prepare food or set the table. At first it really is more work for you, but they get the hang of it eventually.

    • Just to back up the ‘being specific’ part: my parents had a great system that evolved as we got older. When we were younger, there was just a poster with what the chores were so we could see it, with tasks under our names.
      Then when we were +7, it became an index card box with index cards inside. Each card was a ‘chore,’ ex: dust and vacuum living room. or clean the two downstairs bathrooms, counters, sink, toilet. They were more specific tho, so we could follow each step. And my mom organized different things aroudn the house into something that was about a 30 minute chore, but not too much work. Both me and my sister got to pick two cards per weekend and do them. MY parents would do the rest. There was no reward, this was just what we did on the weekends, we all did chores. But because it was written down step by step, my mom didn’t have to harrass and nag, and being able to choose which two things felt a little better as the kid, I got a little bit of control over it. I highly recommend it. ;o)

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