Weekend Open Thread

Clarks Wessex Shay Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I love the vintage vibe to these “Wessex Shay” sandals (to say nothing of the many glowing reviews).  I’d wear these primarily with a dress (I think they’d be great with a high-low dress in particular, for some reason), but I’d also try them with a boho look like denim cut-offs and a floaty white blouse (perhaps this one).  The sandal is on sale for $84 (was $120) and available in three colors. Happy weekend! Clarks Wessex Shay

(L-3)

Comments

  1. There is a little kid humming in my office while he “works” and it is the best thing ever.

  2. Not a Bilboard :

    From our thread a day or two about brands, this article is amazing. It’s about the first lady of VA and how her “luxury branded” goods are exhibits in the corruption trial. It dives into the idea of branding, what matters and what does not.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2014/08/07/whats-in-maureen-mcdonnells-louis-vuitton-handbag-status-insecurity-and-maybe-jail-time/?tid=hpModule_d39b60e8-8691-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394&hpid=z13

    • Not a Bilboard :

      “Separated from the woman who risked so much to get them, the clothes, with their sizes visible, looked like so many specimens of human weakness, social status and cultural detritus awaiting dissection. Poke at them and the insecurity flows out.”

      Gah! **slow clap**

    • hoola hoopa :

      Ha, how timely!

      Fun read. Thanks for sharing. I particularly liked this part: “That black trenchcoat is not an expression of inspired creativity or stately classicism… The woman wearing the trenchcoat serves as the company’s walking billboard… The product sells thanks, in large measure, to her insecurity and fretfulness, ambition and entitlement. The coat flatters no one.”

      I also got sucked into this fun little article about Jill Biden’s turquoise wax print dress custom-designed in Congo that she wore to the U.S.-Africa Leaders summit dinner. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/wp/2014/08/06/the-story-behind-jill-bidens-wax-print-dress-at-last-nights-white-house-dinner

      • Senior Attorney :

        Dr. Biden’s dress is gorgeous, and the story is fascinating.

        • Arthropod :

          I am not crazy about the dress, but that fabric is amazing. And that site will waste the rest of my time this week. Good to know that should I win a lottery any time soon, I can retire and be a fabric hoarder. OMG I love it!

      • Vlisco is a Dutch-owned and -managed company which manufactures its signature waxed cotton in Holland for export to Africa. I’ve bought waxed cotton for years in the African area around Chateau Rouge in Paris, and it has always bemused me that their product commands such a following with African buyers, typically priced 50 – 100% over the imports from Africa, which seem just as vibrant and gorgeous to me.

        Well, good for them, I guess.

      • Begs 2 questions:

        1. “company’s walking billboard” for whom? There are many, many clothiers that sell trench coats.

        2. Why do some women look so fabulous in them?

        This entire article sounds like a ‘women hating women’ thing rife with elitism. A woman of style who truly knows herself would neither write such a thing, nor place any stock in it.

        • Wildkitten :

          1. Louis Vuitton

        • Anonymama :

          I didn’t get that at all…. To me the article wasn’t really about fashion, but rather about how some people try to use fashion labels, the mere fact of something being expensive, as validation that they are worthy, to try to satiate some compulsion that goes beyond just, that’s a beautiful coat, to a point where she would sell her soul (or her husband’s career) for a particular coat, and that is why it is so sad.

    • “At the highest levels, the fashion industry produces much that is breathtakingly original, beautiful and inspiring. But it also churns out those products that serve far more crass purposes. They equate money with inherent value. They offer a flimsy validation of self-worth. They exploit the superficial belief that power, ambition and success can be encapsulated by few rarefied brands that have — through cynical marketing and false scarcity — come to signify that one has arrived.”

      Capitalism, man. Really great article.

    • Does anyone have a link to the original thread where all this discussion went down? I’m a marketer and love reading about branding and luxury labeling. I find it fascinating.

      • Not a Bilboard :

        I think it was two days ago..?

      • Anon Worker Bee :

        Yesterday morning’s TPS, by Anonymous at 10:33 am

        http://corporette.com/2014/08/07/banana-mouret-vee-dress/

      • Anon Worker Bee :

        Yesterday morning’s TPS, by Anonymous at 10:33 am

        th!ss!te/2014/08/07/banana-mouret-vee-dress/

        Edit: Posting again to avoid moderation

      • Haven’t read the article, but I did just go back and read the thread on brands. I notice that everybody said they don’t care about brands, just fit, quality and so on. Honestly I don’t think this is true. Everyone likes to believe they are immune to advertising and labels, but if that were really the case there would be no money in any of it. I have even read (from marketing research) that the people who are most convinced that they aren’t influenced by advertising, are usually the most susceptible to it. We all think we’re above the fray, but few really are. We also all must know that the kind of demographic reading here (professional, educated women 20s+) are assiduously targeted by the garment industry, and not for nothing.

        Anyway, here I go myself: I care about brands, and I always notice where an item is from. I have no doubt that labels, promotion and advertising influence my feelings toward products, and my buying decisions. I have irrational affinities for certain labels and will sometimes pay to indulge them. For example, I’m in an ultra nostalgic mood these days and have bought some 90s-style Guess? stuff as a result. I love Chloe’s aesthetic, and that probably drove me to try their perfume. I also have aversions to certain brands based on their images, though none come to mind at the moment. As for “quality,” almost everything is crap these days anyway! Fit is a more reasonable metric, and it is a reason that I just can’t quit J. Crew no matter how much I’d like to–their stuff very predictably fits me.

        I don’t love conspicuous logos, but I often find the complaints about women who wear them sometimes sound snobby and judgmental. I wonder what is behind that. I will also add, about low-end branding: often the Old Navy or Gap logo-ed sweatshirts are the cheapest in the store. Those who DON’T want the world to know they are wearing one of these non-prestige brands thus actually have to pay a premium to avoid broadcasting it. So we’re not only in a situation where people will pay to advertise some brands; we also have people paying not to be associated with others. I know that this means, when I won’t buy a hoodie that says OLD NAVY and I spend more for a blank one, that I “care about brands” because I’m spending extra to avoid one.

        I am not lashing out at anyone who commented on the original thread. I just think most people’s buying habits are more complicated than suggested.

        • Thrift-shopping :

          I will tend to agree with a lot of what you say–especially with choices/habits being more complicated than we self-report. In the end, I care most about (price), fit, then quality (I won’t try anything on that is more than I can afford, no matter how much I want or like it–until I can afford it). Brand usually comes later down the line. However, when I am thrift-shopping in our affluent city, I skim through every single pair of pants, and I will be honest, I am probably more likely to try on a pair of a recognized brand in a size close to mine on the off chance that it isn’t exactly true-to-size, than I am about an unknown. Example: I’m a 2. I am usually more likely to try on a pair of Banana or JCrew size 4 pants than I am a pair of pants of an unknown. But, lately, I’ve been so desperate for clothes that fit, that I have been resorting to trying on just about every pair of pants one size or another from my true size, regardless of brand. That also being said, I’ve had some great pieces from walmart and other similar retailers.

        • I agree with all of this. I am 100% influenced by branding and advertising. Everyone is. My husband likes to think he doesn’t fall for marketing as easily and I love to point out examples of where it’s evident he has. I have a Mac that I absolutely love. I definitely identify with the Mac branding. My husband has a PC and even though he admits there are some cool features he’d like to use on a Mac he doesn’t get one because he finds them to be pretentious and snobbish. Nothing about a Mac is pretentious or snobbish. Their marketing might come across that way, or their brand ambassadors touting their products, but a Macbook is just some pieces of metal, some wires, and plastic.

          • I think Macs are pretentious because they are so absurdly overpriced relative to a non-Mac option. I actually think their marketing is cute / funny and has convinced me I’d like their products. But $$ are what I really care about.

          • There’s no reply button under Lilypad’s comment, but I just wanted to add that price is 100% marketing. This is referencing a college moniker but price is one of the 4 p’s of marketing. I know very little about the hardware of computers but my husband likes to build his own for fun. He’s constantly telling me he could build me a computer that would work better than my Mac for like half the cost. That bugs me I’m being so over-charged, but I still love my computer, so I try not to think about it. ;p

          • Wildkitten :

            I love my mac because it works, and it’s so frustrating when a computer doesn’t work, I’ll happily pay extra for one that just works.

        • Anonymous :

          I was one of the people who said that I don’t care about brands yesterday. I see your point, and it’s a good one. I know I’m inclined to think that certain things are cuter/higher quality/ more desirable than I otherwise would because it’s being sold at store x instead of store y. I have a complicated mental process I go through before I buy anything (and it therefore takes me a while to pull the trigger), but frequently I ask myself whether I’d still want a particular item as much if I found it at target or somewhere like that. Sometimes the answer is no, and I act accordingly. You’re right that we’re all influenced by brands; I said that brands as such are not worth much to me, and I constantly reevaluate my behavior to make sure that I’m doing my best to not be influenced in ways I don’t think I should be. I’m imperfect, but it is something I aspire to.

          • I love that you check yourself by asking if you would still want to buy something if it was a different brand. I’m trying to do that more. I’m very into certain high-end brands but some of the cutest things I see people wearing are from non designer brands. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked people where they got a top or a dress and they say Kohls or JCPenny and I’m shocked. I’m finding fit and overall look is way more important than the store. This sounds like such a duh statement, but as someone who hasn’t gone into either of those stores in at least a year, I wouldn’t even come in contact with those clothes to know I like them because branding has kept me away.

          • I think many people don’t want to display a brand name or logo as that is considered cheap. However most of these people do care about the brands and make purchases based on the brand name, but just the articles that don’t display the logo and think that they don’t care about the brand as they are not displaying the logo .

          • Anonymous :

            For me, I feel awkward displaying brand names because I grew up really poor (think below the poverty line) . It makes me feel awkward enough that I have nice clothes. I’m actually really wealthy now, but there are some things I just can’t get over; like I drive a 19 year old car, and in general I feel like I shouldn’t have much more than I need. It’s very irrational, but I just can’t imagine facing my family with brand names displayed on me. It just seems…. I don’t know. the idea makes me uncomfortable. I realize that my family doesn’t see me every day or work with me, but there’s just something that doesn’t sit well with me regarding displaying non-cheap brand names. I shopped at walmart and received donated clothing until I started my first job, so it’s definitely not about looking cheap.

          • Wildkitten :

            I was thinking that I am the opposite about brands but for the same reason – brands let me blend in. I can wear the same brands now as people who did not grow up poor. (I started thinking this about this during the conversation of why professionalism matters to me too).

          • Wildkitten :

            I was thinking that I am the oppos!te about brands but for the same reason – brands let me blend in. I can wear the same brands now as people who did not grow up poor. (I started thinking this about this during the conversation of why professionalism matters to me too).

        • Wildkitten :
        • Counterpoint: I am one of those weird people who will go around a store pulling out the tags to find out what a garment is made of. There are some stores I will skip entirely because I know they only sell synthetics, but I have linen sweaters from Old Navy, and Cashmere from Lord and Taylor. I wear both equally and bought both because of the cut and fabric. The linen sweaters (which I have in 4 colours) were only $7. I literally have no brand love, just fabric love.

          • Flying Squirrel :

            This is me exactly. I care about brands to the extent that there are certain ones I know fit me well or typically have styles that I like. But my hardest and fastest rules are about fabric. Most purchases of synthetic fabrics by me, regardless of designer, come after a lot of consideration (and even then, they are rare). As a result, I have a pretty mixed wardrobe in terms of designer. but I could easily list the 3-4 that make up most of my wardrobe.

          • This is not related to your original point but I really, really want a nice cashmere sweater. I just never end up pulling the trigger because of the price.

          • I can get them on sale in the 30ish range when I combine sales and coupons, I handwash mine to extend the wear. Cashmere is so soft, definitely worth a try.

  3. BigLaw Midlevel :

    These sandals? With a high-low dress? Kat, are you punking us or did 2011 come back prematurely?

  4. Freezer recommendations?

    We moved to a bigger place (yay!) and we finally have room for a separate freezer. Which I have been wanting for years, so I can make triple recipes of chili and soup and casseroles and make my own stock and all those good things.

    I was wondering if anyone had freezers they’ve loved or hated? The biggest question for us is whether to get a chest freezer or an upright.

    • We went for an upright. I think chest freezers are more energy efficient but I needed to see what I had in there at a glance so upright it was.

    • I have an electrolux 17 cubic feet upfright freezer that I love. I bought it five years ago, and it’s still going strong. My mom had a chest freezer when I was growing up, and I hated having to dig down to rummage through it – that’s why I got an upright. I think the chest freezer does keep things colder though (because less is exposed to air when you open the door, I guess). I found the upright freezer fine for my needs (storing milk, meat, etc.). I ended up buying some wire freezer baskets (from Storables) to help out the organization a little.

      • Orangerie :

        You can freeze milk?! Mind blown.

        • Middle Coast :

          Yes, but you need to shake it after defrosting as it tends to separate.

        • Medic Maggie :

          oh heck yes. a few other tips: take out about a cup of milk before freezing, because there’s not always enough expansion room, though apparently, that’s what those circular depressions are for on the plastic gallon containers. It also takes a lot longer to defrost than you would think. We don’t go through milk quickly at our house, so I took out our frozen milk when the old milk was about half-gone. We buy whole, and I’ve never noticed any odd separation issues, but I do shake it before I drink every time anyway. When Kroger has the buy x-cereals for free gallon of milk, I usually get a few. We store cereal in the pantry, and it’s a great way to keep milk in the house so that you’re not running out if you all are critical milk-drinkers.

        • Doh, I meant breastmilk. You CAN freeze milk, although I wouldn’t drink it straight after thawing…

    • This is probably super paranoid but if you have kids- and unless it’s locked all the time – I’d be worried the kids could be playing and get trapped in a chest freezer.

    • Medic Maggie :

      We have a gigantic chest freezer (like, capable of storing bodies a la Bernie) that I love because it does hold so much, but I also hate the inconvenience of digging. I keep a pair of silicone-coated gardening gloves that I keep down there to protect my hands. I try to organize things by type, and I bought a bunch of inexpensive plastic bins to corral loose stuff like bags of frozen veggies. All the meat is in the bottom (and we got a quarter cow more than a year ago, and we still have not used all of the ground beef), and then the things that are more-frequently accessed (froz. veggies, loaves of bread, etc) just lay on top.

    • Middle Coast :

      I have a Sears Kenmore upright; I find it easier to dig around and find what you need than a chest freezer, which I had growing up. I don’t buy quarter-cows or pigs so I don’t need a huge chest freezer. I purposely went without self-defrosting as it keeps it colder and forces me to empty it out once year and defrost. It has a keyed lock on the door to keep small kids out.

      I use plastic bins to keep things organized. I cook and freeze; it is very important to label your containers as to contents and date frozen as everything looks the same when its frozen. I try to keep a list of what’s inside, crossing off items as I use them up, doesn’t always work. A freezer works best when its full, I fill empty milk bottles 3/4 full with water and freeze them to keep it full. I figure I could melt them if we have a water crisis.

    • We have a chest freezer, can’t remember brand (home depot or the like for store). I keep a white board mounted above it and have the contents written on there. I then use reusable grocery bags and bins to keep it all corralled. As long as you have a system for organization, I think it is easier to store things in than an upright. Also, there’s too much stuff for my child to fit in there too. We always had giant freezers growing up that were easy to open by lifting the lid instead of some sort of latch so the safety thing never really crossed my mind.

    • hoola hoopa :

      One of my favorite things that we own is our deep freezer!

      We went with upright (no regrets) because:
      (a) visibility – I hate finding things in my MIL’s chest freezer, and she actually ‘lost’ a turkey once
      (b) the doors are really heavy and I hate trying to hold it up while moving items around to see what’s there or get access to something
      (c) takes up less floor space
      (d) paranoia about my kids falling in

      Ours it too old to recommend, but you definitely want one withOUT auto defrost. The advantage of deep freeze well outweighs the inconvenience of an occasional defrosting.

      • This makes me feel better about our non-auto-defrost chest freezer. And to Medic Maggie, above, the silicone gardening gloves are genius. If only I could find a way to not hear frozen things scraping together when I root through our frozen goods, I’d be happy.

    • Thanks so much, everyone. Who knew I’d come away with a wealth of freezer tips? I’m taking notes…

  5. Thanks again for the San Francisco travel tips yesterday (and let me know if you have any more!). One more follow-up question… what should I bring to wear? Will mainly be walking around/exploring during the day, and then doing dinner/drinks with friends at night. Looking to pack light-ish, so was thinking about bringing jersey dresses that I can wear with flats during the day and then dress up with heels/jewelry at night, a leather jacket + lighter spring/fall jacket, maybe also a pair of jeans and some tops… do people wear boots in August (seems like it will be chilly enough)? Will I be too cold with bare legs?

    • It can get cold in August, but layering is key. Especially if you are doing a lot of walking…when the sun peeks out and you are hoofing it uphill, it can feel quite warm. I’d add a scarf to your list, and a thin sweater, and make sure your flats for walking are quite comfy.

      I think you should bring a jersey dress or two, but bring jeans/pants as well. It is a real possibility that it will be too cold with bare legs, at least some of the time.

    • Orangerie :

      I think you will probably be a little cold and look out of place in jersey dresses. Fog rolls in pretty quickly so layering is key.

      My recommendation would be to bring some skinny jeans you can layer with a tee or light sweater & the jackets you mentioned, and then also wear with a dressier blouse and heels to dinner at nighttime.

      Boots, especially ankle booties, are totally worn here in August so you’re good there. But really just bring whatever shoes you will be comfortable walking (up and down hills) in.

      ETA: basically what Alice said above!

    • You might be too cold with bare legs, if it’s windy or at night. I wear boots (and also leggings) all year round. Bring a good windproof jacket. A light scarf is helpful. Also, when thinking about your shoes, don’t forget about the hills…

    • Start following Karl the Fog on Twitter or Facebook so you know where he is!

    • layer. during the day here on weekends I wear skinny jeans, flats or moccasins, t-shirt, something long sleeve over that, light jacket & a scarf. everything is really casual, but if you like to dress up to go out for dinner, you won’t look weird – you’ll see everything. I can’t imagine hanging out in a jersey dress all day and feeling comfortable. and bare legs are too much in SF proper this time of year, generally. yesterday I wore tights with a dress to work. Today I’m wearing jeans and a sweater. Keep in mind that outside of SF proper, it’s more typical summer weather – so in Napa/Sonoma, you’ll want actual summer clothes (with something for night – I usually wear a denim jacket up there in the evenings and it’s comfy).

    • I have boots and tights on today. Monday I had bare legs. It just varies. I’d cover my bases by bringing flat booties and a pair of tights.

    • I went a few years ago in August and packed for early spring weather – light jackets, dresses, etc. Big mistake – I was freezing. I’d probably pack more for fall – lightish sweaters, jeans, down vests, tights with dresses. I agree with everyone else though – layer.

  6. I’m finally starting the Outlander series based on comments here and the piece on NPR today. How quickly will I tear through these books?

    • Anne Shirley :

      Depends. I loved them, but found that some of the later ones have hundreds of tedious pages to get through. Many of my friends have had extremely negative reactions to issues of sex and consent in the books- I can see why they found certain scenes problematic but they didn’t bother me. I can read one and a half books in a weekend, but that’s only if I curl up and just do nothing but read.

      Enjoy! Starting a new series with lots of books already written is such a pleasure.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I read the first book, or part of it at least, and had problems with the consent stuff. I don’t remember finishing the book, but I can’t recall if that was why I stopped reading it.

    • Quickly. They’re long but they’re not exactly heavy reading. Although there is a point in the books where I personally wanted to give up. I got past it but then called it quits after book 3 (the books were a “fun summer reading” gift when I graduated college & the first 3 is what I got).

      So, who here’s going to watch the show???

    • amberwitch :

      I liked all but the very last Lord John book, which tied back into the main plotline and somehow annoyed me no end. But the first 3 books were very quick reads for me.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Pretty quickly. Some of the middle ones drag a bit, to me, but the first couple? They’ll go quick.

      I’m definitely planning on watching the show (assuming the tv in my apartment complex’s media room actually gets Starz, because I don’t). I’m a bit hesitant about how good it will be, since the only other experience I’ve had with a Starz show was when they did a season of Torchwood, which was just awful compared to the BBC’s. But here’s hoping.

    • Gah, pressed Report by mistake.

      I think it depends. As far as I remember, I zapped through the first book fairly quickly. The second one a bit more slowly, the third one at a slow pace – and the fourth was a “DNF” for me.

    • I think the first book was the best of the series and the others tend to go slower and slower for me. I stopped after 4 or so because there were too many characters I didn’t care about, and the primary characters I cared about had aged and got a bit boring for me as well.

      (Echo everything Anne Shirley said about some people having strong reactions to specific scene(s) and I can see why, but doesn’t bother me personally.)

  7. black ballet flats :

    Continuation from yesterday’s question about black ballet flats. I’m comparing the Zap to 6-P.m. in terms of low cost vs. shipping fees. 6P offers lower prices, but you have to pay return shipping fees. Is it worth the increased price of Zap to over-compensate for return shipping fees? For one pair in particular, just for the sake of comparison, the Clarks Poem Cottage flat is $7 more at Zap.

    I understand that it is more cost effective to go zap if I am ordering large quantities of shoes with the idea of returning most, however, I just don’t have the funds available to do that, so I will more than likely be ordering one pair at a time…

    • Order all the shoes on Zappos. Try them on, figure out which ones you like, which sizes you need. Then, go to 6pm and see if the shoes you want are cheaper there. Return the Zappos shoes, order the 6pm shoes. The trick is only ordering from 6pm if you are SURE you want to keep the shoes.

      Hmm, just saw the part about insufficient funds. I think returning a pair of shoes to 6pm will probably run you as much as or more than $7, so it’s probably a wash.

      Also, Zappos is FAST. So if you are ordering on a credit card, it’s pretty likely you could get the shoes, try them on, send them back, and get refunded easily within a credit card cycle. 6pm is actually pretty fast, too, about refunds. I may be biased because here in the DC area, I seem to get things from Zappos and 6pm pretty quickly, and the returns get back to both pretty quickly, too.

      • I am biased in favor of free shipping / free returns for shoes because even a shoe with great reviews may not fit my particular foot.

        Also, I recently learned that 6pm is owned by Zappos and features shoes from previous seasons. I don’t know why I found it surprising – maybe because I once had a somewhat negative customer service experience with 6pm and Zappos’ customer service is so stellar.

      • hoola hoopa :

        I have also anecdotally found zappos to be faster than 6pm.

        I often end up returning shoes because they simply don’t fit my feet as well as I want – even well rated shoes. So I prefer zappos. I only buy on 6pm if I’ve already worn the shoe or if I love the look of it enough to deal with the potential return.

    • My big beef with 6pm is that they don’t provide you a return shipping label like some other companies do (deducting $X for return shipping) – you are on your own. So you lose out on the benefits of discounted shipping/flat rate pricing that the big companies can negotiate.

      What about shoebuy? Sometimes I’ve had good luck there with pricing.

      • Same. Zappos is much easier to deal with on returns. I’ve had good luck getting price adjustments from Z too, so if they have what I want in need to go elsewhere.

    • Meg Murry :

      I always do Zappos because I almost always order at least 2 sizes of the same or similar shoes – and sometimes 3 or 4 sizes if wides are available – but I first determine how many pairs (or how much $$ worth) I am allowed to keep. Its basically like DSW in my living room at that point – but that’s OK with me. I usually try them all on, return the obviously non-fitting ones (or at least put then in the box) and then decide between the rest in a few days. I tend to order all one type at once – like all black flats – so I am far less likely to be tempted into keeping the rest. I often save the runner up pairs in Zappos to watch for a sale – I hadn’t thought about ordering from 6pm for cheaper – excellent thought!

      • Red Beagle :

        I check reviews on Zappos because 6 PM has none. Also, for clothing, 6 PM has no size chart so if I find something I like and don’t know the sizing of the brand, I open a new browser window and search the manufacturer or a retailer like Nordstroms os Bloomies that will post reviews and size charts. Once my homework is done, I take one last trip to 6 PM to see if that is the cheapest place to buy the item – and it sometimes isn’t. I’ve gotten Nine West shoes from their own web s i t e for a better price than 6 PM. Same with Anne Klein.

  8. I’m doing OCI for my firm at an east coast law school. Can someone remind me what interviewers wear? It’s been so long since I did this myself that I can’t recall. All i remember is the one interviewer in shorts and the one who did her makeup in front of me. My office is not generally business formal, though we do wear suits when called for.

    Also, any great suggestions for making these short interviews meaningful?

    • Anne Shirley :

      Suits. Show respect for the process and the candidates and wear a suit.

      • Good grief. Wear what you want. Business casual is fine. Perk of being the interviewer.

        • Why the “good grief”? I really want to know. The OP asked a question that was seemingly sincere, after all.

          • To Anne Shirley’s comment, not the OP’s question. You can “respect” the process just fine in something other than a suit.

          • Wildkitten :

            I agree that you can respect the process in something other than a suit. My genuine question is – would a man ever wear something other than a suit? I wear things – a non-suit dress and blazer – when a man would wear a suit, but there are infinitely more options when men would also not wear suits.

          • To wildkitten – I’ve seen men wear sport coats and slacks in lieu of a suit often. I think they have less options than we do, but more importantly I refuse to buy into the “what would a man do” reasoning because I think it’s harmful as it inherently implies that what a man does is automatically better. I’d rather see men start a movement asking for more work options for themselves than limit my sartorial options to their closet.

      • Um seriously? You deleted my comment calling this advice wrong? There was nothing inappropriate about saying “good grief you can respect the process in business casual”

        • Yes there is. The “good grief” is snotty – you know that. It’s more than just inappropriate – it’s needlessly impatient and very rude in response to a sincere question.

          • You clearly missed that it was not in response to the OP.

          • I did; you’re right. Your response (and my comment) weren’t up, for some reason, when I made this comment. Mea culpa.

      • Law Firm Recruiter :

        I agree with Anne Shirley but also think a more formal dress/blazer combination can work as well. Business casual is inappropriate. We expect the candidate to be properly attired in a suit; I expect the same of the attorneys I send on campus; and I wear a suit (or a formal dress with blazer combo) at OCI.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Suit or business casual with a blazer. I would review each resume and see if there is anything that stands out to you – a large gap between undergrad and law school, a lot of public interest work would make me wonder why the individual wants to go to a law firm. In addition to general things like whether you like the person, try to gauge their maturity and if they have a realistic understanding of what firm life can be like. Take a few minutes at the end of each interview to write notes about each candidate on their resume – otherwise you’ll never remember anything about them.

    • Suit, for sure, but make sure it isn’t binding or uncomfortable, as you’ll be seated a lot that day. Nothing like a waistband digging into you to make your day enjoyable!

    • I always wore suits when I was doing OCI, but not necessarily my most conservative ones. I think it throws off the interviewees when the interviewers are dressed too casually. That process is stressful enough and I see no need to add in stress for them.

  9. Looking for suggestions on sides to bring to a (potluck) BBQ. Only qualifications are that it must be gluten- and nut-free. TIA

  10. Anonymous :

    Question for all you big law moms out there. I’m currently pregnant and planning a move to another city. My current plan is to quit my job at around 32 weeks, move, have baby, give myself maternity leave and take the bar in the new state. And somewhere in there get a job.

    I know I don’t want to job search pregnant – and due to timing I would be taking maternity a month and a half after starting the new job, so it seems like it would make sense to wait… But what about interviewing when you have just taken 6 months off to have a kid? I am otherwise highly credentialed, but just wondering if interviewing during (self-given) maternity might not be just as bad as interviewing preggers.

    • Arthropod :

      Informational interviewing?

      That way you can get a lot of one-one interaction with people and feel out the job scene and tell your story (much better than a cover letter or when their first contact is with a newborn in the background). You may get some good referrals and also offers to call when you’re ready to go back to work. People will be impressed that you’re already planning to sit for the bar, etc. It could be a way to do a soft job search now and not have to start from scratch later.

    • Anonymous :

      i interviewed pregnant and on maternity leave. I hadn’t quit my job, so my situation is a bit different. I preferred interviewing on maternity leave ecause I didn’t like hiding my pregnancy from interviewers but felt perfectly comfortable not mentioning my kid. Luckily I didn’t have any full day interviews, or pumping would have been an issue. To the extent anecdata is helpful, I was equally successful in my interviews during and post-pregnancy.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I have interviewed pregnant and ~6 months after being on maternity leave. I’d say it was easier to interview during leave. It was ridiculous interviewing 8 months pregnant because the elephant in the room was that I didn’t really want to start for about four months. I don’t think a couple of months is too much of a red flag against you – but I was doing it during the recession when it wasn’t uncommon. Maybe I was passed up because of it and never knew, but I got my ideal position.

      Side point: Have you talked to maternity care providers in your new area? It can be hard to get a new provider that late in your pregnancy.

  11. (former) preg 3L :

    MOM QUESTION
    My daughter is switching daycares because we’ve moved. We love our old daycare and I would like to give her teachers a gift. My only thought so far is oatmeal cookies. Any advice for a better gift? TIA!

  12. Waning motivation :

    I had a big deliverable that was due earlier today. I have plenty of other things that I have to do, but after knocking out that item (and another really big one yesterday, on top of a 12-hour day Tuesday and another Wednesday), I have run out of steam, with more than an hour left.

  13. Thank you ideas for doctor? :

    I’m going to be paying a visit to my former oncologist, whose treatment of me was cut short due to his own health problems. He has recovered and is back at work. We really clicked and I just want to say hi, and thank him, and let him know I’m doing well. I ‘d like to bring a basket of treats for him and his staff but am having trouble coming up with something appropriate. I love to bake, but he is a health fanatic and will be horrified by anything I consider delicious. All I can think of are edible arrangements (not a fan) or nuts (can’t think of how to make a nice presentation). Suggestions? Or is food a bad idea? Should I get flowers or something else? Or nothing?!? I’m unreasonably intimidated by doctors’ offices – they seem like a different world. Thanks in advance.

    • Waning motivation :

      Could you get him a giftcard to something he would appreciate and something otherwise personally-appropriate for him, and then order a sub tray or similar for his staff? I think it is a wonderful gesture, and I am glad that you both are doing well. It makes such a difference to have a practitioner you feel comfortable with, especially in the eyes of treating a longterm condition.

    • Moonstone :

      I’ve been experimenting with a “farmers market” gift basket this year. Start with peaches (or whatever fruit looks good), add a jar of jam or salsa or honey, and sometimes a little container of something sweet like peanut brittle. Place pretty cupcake paper liners, filled with berries, in the middle of squares of saran wrap and tie them up with ribbon. Sometimes I tuck in some individual flowers. It’s good if you are dropping it off at an office because everything is already single-portion-sized.

      • hoola hoopa :

        I was similarly thinking about a mix of items such as fresh fruit and nuts for him and baked goods for the staff.

        In every medical setting I have ever worked – even those with the uber health conscious – coffee has been a big deal. You could include some high end coffee in the basket. Gift cards to the nearby coffee spot would also be much appreciated. Health care seems to run entirely on caffeine.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a doc, and the thing I love getting most is genuine, hand-written thank you notes from patients. I keep them in a folder and read them whenever I start to feel like the job is getting to me. Knowing I’m touching people’s lives is what makes me come in every day, so letting me know I touched yours is the greatest gift you could give me.

      In general, gift cards feel too cash-like for me to be totally comfortable, although of course they are still much appreciated. It feels sort of like receiving a tip, which is a bit weird, but that might just be my own personal hang up! Fruit platters/muffin baskets/bagels in the morning/a big take-away carton of coffee are all lovely and very welcome things that can be shared and appreciated by all of the clinic staff who helped to make your experience good. A lot of patients bring chocolates, which are lovely, but hard on the waist-line!

    • Good ideas, all! I hadn’t considered the coffee/breakfast angle, which could include some farmers’ market stuff. Thanks so much. I am reassured this won’t be weird.

    • What about a beautiful plant in a nice basket or pot? It will last much longer than any food gifts and offices with plants have cleaner air :)

    • In the Pink :

      I have actually sent lovely, coffee-table type books to specialists who have been amazing in my medical care. If you think about off-topic discussions, you might have some ideas. At the worst, a book about your city’s history? At the best….something in the doc’s passion.

  14. Anonymous :

    I have $250 to spend at Lululemon. I don’t work out a ton. Does anyone have any recommendations on what to get that might be more “could wear while working out, or just wear around town” kind of pieces?

    • Anon in NYC :

      Are you comfortable with leggings? If so, I like the Wunder Unders. If you want something a bit looser, I like the Studio Pant. I also like their jackets – I’m not sure if I have the Stride Jacket or the Dance Studio jacket, but it’s pretty heavy weight so you can definitely wear that on its own during the fall/spring. I also like their socks and their Light As Air hipster for no-seam, no-show undies.

      • Anonymous :

        This may be a dumb q but are their Wunder Unders so named because they are meant to be worn under things (like tights) or is the material like a pair of running pants, ie, not at all sheer?

        • Anon in NYC :

          The material is more like a pair of running/yoga pants – meant to be worn alone, not under other pants. They have two different fabrics, I think.

    • locomotive :

      So I really like lululemon coats. my most recent one is the ‘right as rain’ jacket which I impulse bought on a trip to damp, damp seattle, but I really like it. Nice material, nice design (not too outdoors jacket-y, so I can wear it to work on a rainy dya).

    • Oh I love their yoga pants and wear them all the time just to run errands, etc.

    • Wunder Unders and Power Y bras and tanks. All day every day.

    • Anonymous :

      I wear the wunder under leggigns everywhere!

    • Equity's Darling :

      Wunderunders are great, I really like their outdoor jackets, if you wait until the fall I’m sure they’ll have a longer one that is more trench-like. Their underwear is also fabulous, the light as air ones really are seamless. What else…I was thre recently and they had some really nice post-yoga sweaters that I would definitely wear casually. I almost bought one, but it was pretty similar to a sweater I already own from Aritzia. They also have great gym bags that can double as weekend bags. And their Scuba hoodie is pretty comfy.

    • Their Scuba II Hoodie (with the good reviews) is great on flights. The hood lining is dark and covers your face while you sleep and it’s warm and washable with pockets for earplugs and chapstick.

    • Wow, speaking of label wh!res… I cannot believe all these people have bought into the marketing juggernaut of Lululemon!!

  15. Joss and Main :

    Is there a way to filter the items at Joss and Main? Or do I really have to go through every single event?

    I’m currently looking for a bed. Ideally, I could somehow search or filter for beds, but I can’t find a way to do that.

    Thanks!

  16. Anonymous :

    Don’t know if anyone has been following some of the news about harassment from VCs toward female founders. I’ll say that as a founder who sought VC money and had a lot of pretty awful things said to me in the process, I think it is very real and very true that women experience a severe amount of sexual harassment within that space, ranging from not getting a baseline level of respect/judge of competence, to extreme cases of outright lewd statements or offers of financing with the subtext of “tit for tat.”

    I’m not sure why this is so prevalent in venture capital. Maybe it’s because VCs (mostly, not always of course) are old, rich white men and are used to getting what they want? I sympathize with this Valleywag article that suggests that nothing will change until women who say they’ve been harassed actually name their harassers – but at the same time, while I will talk about the harassment I experienced generally and anonymized, I would never say “Joe Schmoe from ABC Ventures did X, Y and Z to me” to anyone outside of my very best friends or family. I would certainly never share it publicly for fear of professional ramifications. What if I have another company – and I’ve left a footprint behind as That Girl? While some people might find it admirable, a lot of (maybe even most) others would see me as a liability.

    Would love to hear experiences from the Hive or thoughts on this issue. I think we need a better model for financing women-led ventures than just “money from [basically only] men.” Or maybe we need a way of changing the men who already run the show. I just don’t know the solution, but would be super interested if anyone had thoughts.

    http://valleywag.gawker.com/women-wont-name-harassing-venture-capitalists-even-ano-1618352306/+katedries

    • West Coast :

      I don’t work with VCs directly myself, but I have a fair amount of my network/social circle that either work for VCs or are entrepreneurs themselves. So, I hear a lot of it.

      Quick background on some my thoughts:
      – Fully agree on the issue that women entrepreneurs face, and that it is difficult to operate when then image of the entrepreneur is ‘guy in a hoodie.’
      – Appalled by what happened to the female founder of Tinder and what she is going through.
      – I do know a lot of male VCs that are completely professional.

      Where are we now:
      – Due to the rarity of women in VC, especially higher up in the VC firms, it feels like the industry is where most of business was in the 80′, as far as appropriate male behavior. Banking is a farther ahead on the curve, but still behind a little behind the majority of the business world.
      – Men control the money, and combined with a segment of the population that behaves inappropriately and a culture that has developed to recruit male entrepreneurs, it creates a really tough environment for women.

      What needs to happen:
      – More women in VC–easier said than done, and the only thing that will make it happen is time.
      – Improved intra-women relations–sometimes women judge each most harshly. However, if women in VCs are voicing concerns that their male colleagues are thinking but not asking, it also is an opportunity for women entrepreneurs to put these fears to rest.
      – A high visibility lawsuit or expose naming names to speed up the process.
      … I feel like it’s all a bit pessimistic, but I do not see a rapid change.

      What women entrepreneurs can be doing now:
      – Using male entrepreneurs as a sounding board for ‘what should I do about this appropriate VC?’ Not that they will have the answer, but it will raise awareness in the community. They might have some good advice as well.
      – Practice fending off suggestive advances with humor, etc. One of the best things I ever did was get together with a few friends brainstorm potential advances, and then practice how to shut them down deftly. The key is to say them like it’s no big deal. “Are you testing me? You know I’m too smart to ‘poop’ where I sleep.” “Really? Don’t make offers you know you can’t keep.” “Let’s stick to X because for that, the contract is so long that it’s not even worth it.” “Museum rules, look but don’t touch, no exceptions… well maybe Prince Harry.” “If you’re proposing marriage, I’ll need a ring first” (the last one works for if what they have said is, um, not marriage). I’ve used pretty much all of these and they have shut the guy down without damaging our working relationship.

  17. Anonymous :

    Any thoughts on what to say to a friend who broke up with someone she loves a lot (and who loves her & treats her well) because they want different things & she doesn’t see the relationship lasting forever. I’m bad with emotional stuff like this but I want to be there for her and support her. I live far away from her, so hanging out in person is not an option, and she’s not the wallowing type and seems to be being pretty strong about this so I’m not sure a care package or something like that would hit the right tone.

    • You could tell her that what she did is hard, but she’s opening the door for the right person to come into her life. A care package sounds lovely. Does she like luxury beauty products? Wine? Spa gift certificate? I would just keep checking in with her, even if it’s only a text, to let her know you are thinking of her.

    • Anonymous :

      I would mention the enormous amount of respect I’d have for someone who did something so difficult. Otherwise, I agree with calico.

    • I third what Calico said. As someone who was in her situation earlier this year, it was just helpful that my friends let me talk about it when I needed to, even 3-4-5 months after the fact. Could you invite her to your location for a girls weekend – it would give her a chance to get out of her city, where she probably sees a lot of reminders of her ex.

  18. motorcycle :

    Hope I’m not too late to get some advice! My husband wants to get a motorcycle, I am extremely opposed to the idea. Money is not necessarily the issue; his parents want to buy one for him, insurance is cheap, and he has all his old gear.

    My perspective: it’s dangerous in general, and specifically to him. He’s already wrecked two bikes (before we were married but not that long ago) with moderate injuries. I also think that it’s indulgent – I work full time and he is a full time student; we are new home owners still getting our budgets on track and we should focus on the fundamentals, not living a lifestyle of more established folks.

    His perspective: he’s grown up a lot since his previous wrecks, he’ll save money commuting, and we live in a state with a better driving culture for motorcycles (not sure if that’s true).

    He says I’m controlling for wanting to veto this. Am I?

    • Red Beagle :

      At the end of the day, I don’t think you can veto it if shared money is not involved. He is an adult and aware of the risks. Do you have children? That would definitely be a factor in the decision, I think?

    • Anonymous :

      You’re not controlling, but I think depending on a number of things (like whether he’s using shared funds, presence or absence of children) you may not be able to say much about his choices. If I were you, I’d make it clear that he still needs to meet his portion of the financial obligations (like you’re not going to cover the mortgage in its entirety or other indirect means of supporting this ) while he’s not also supporting you. If money isn’t an issue, even in an indirect sense, and there aren’t other shared obligations like kids, I think you need to let this one go.

      I’d definitely express your concern for his safety and ask him to please please be careful b/c you’d rather not live without him. I’m sure you can put it in a way that might sound overly concerned but ultimately worried loving wife rather than controlling wife.

      • Eh, it’s a little controlling but a really valid concern. I bristle at anyone trying to tell me what I can and can’t do. In your shoes I’d express the concern solely around safety and I’d stay away from the expense angle (esp since it sounds mostly funded). And all that said, plenty of people do ride motorcycles safely (my uncle is in his 70s and has always ridden and taken us out – it’s pretty fun), and maybe there’s a compromise where he goes out on weekends on safer routes than a daily commute.

    • donorcyle :

      You can’t stop him from riding, unfortunately. But at least make him buy life insurance.

    • Make him get long term care ins with a high daily payout and make him pay for it with his fun money. The cost may help deter him.

    • If he’s going to ride, he should ride safe. He should take a motorcycle safety course- that’s a lot of crashes in a short time. You might want to take one too! It’s always a good skill to have, and talking to the instructor might help your decision-making. He should always wear a full helmet, over-the-ankle boots, armored jacket and armored gloves. Does he really want to commute (possibly encountering dark/rainy conditions)? Motorcycle commuting is not that fun – I bet you he just wants a toy for sunny Sunday mornings.

    • I’m late to the game, but hopefully you see this. When my husband and I started dating, he had a VERY fast bike that he rode on the street. Once we’d been dating a few months, he started racing the bike at track days. I made a deal with him that he could only ride if he was doing it at the track, and not on the street. Although they’re going at fast speeds at the track, it’s under very controlled circumstances, with mandated safety standards (full body leathers, helmet, back board, boots, etc), and is only for a few hours a couple of weekends a year. It ain’t cheap (new tires, track fees, etc), but it beats the alternative!

      I also second the life insurance and LTC insurance. We don’t have kids yet, but we plan on trading in the bike for a sailboat (one of his other interests) when kids enter the picture, which will get him his adrenaline fix and is something I can actually do with him, and eventually with our children.

  19. Pay schedules :

    Everyone please pardon this ridiculous question, but despite being 30 I have never actually received a paycheck that isn’t an academic stipend: If an organization pays you on the 1st and 15th of every month, what time period does it usually cover? The immediate two weeks preceding?

    • Anonymous :

      Sometimes , but often not.

      So I work April 1-15. I get paid for that time on May. 1.

    • If you get paid twice a month (24 paychecks in a year), then it covers half the month – usually the days since the last paycheck. Because month length varies, the rate per day will technically vary.

      If you get paid every two weeks (26 paychecks in a year), then it covers a two week period as defined by your employer. It could be Monday to Sunday, Friday to Thursday, or whatever. You might get paid on day 14 of your 2 week period (more likely if you are salaried), or you might get paid a week after day 14 (more likely if you are hourly). It mostly depends on how the company’s payroll department works.

      The best way to know is to look at your paystub. It should have a pay period listed (Jun 1 to Jun 15, for example) in addition to the pay date (Jun 15).

    • It depends. I’m academic faculty. Our staff work two weeks, fill out a timesheet then are paid a week later. For faculty, they take the amount of your contract and divide it by the number of pays in the fiscal year (this year, unfortunately 27 rather than 26). So I had someone who left on the last day of the year and she thought she’d get paid the next day but she didn’t because her contract had already been paid out. Hard to get your head wrapped around if you’ve never been paid that way.

  20. Hoping to get some advice here . . . .
    Have an employee who was hired (over my objection) because she’s a relative of a big-wig. It’s been made clear to me that we have to keep her on at least a year so we made an effort, and hopefully she’ll leave by then. Yeah, sure. My boss knows I have been screwed by getting assigned this employee and has promised a bigger bonus, so additional lobbying up won’t get me anywhere. But here’s the issue: she can’t work independently. At all. Can’t meet any deadline longer than a day. I don’t have time to micro-manage, but I obviously need to do a lot of managing here, and it just isn’t an option to only give daily deadlines. (I’ve tried but a lot of the work we do is longer-term projects that aren’t easily broken into days.) Any suggestions?
    We already have a standing one-on-one meeting on Mondays and Thursdays in addition to the weekly department meeting and all staff at our employer submit weekly to do lists to help manage assignments, but what else do you do? Daily to do lists? Daily appointments? Any suggestions? TIA!

    • Wildkitten :

      How old is she? I find a lot of people new to the workforce are like that, and aren’t hopeless. I would plan that you will need to spend some additional time at the outset setting expectations so she can work independently – like having her check in 5% and 50% of the way through tasks. I like Ask A Manager’s book “Managing to change the world” it has specific instructions on how to do these things.

      • Oh no — I accidentally hit report instead of reply! But thank you for the suggestions — I appreciate it. She’s in her early 30s and has had other jobs before. I’ll check out the book. Thanks again!

    • If you’re stuck with her, can you just reframe what you assign to her? Instead of interesting projects with longer term deadlines, give her the crummy little day to day tasks (filing,proof reading, making spreadsheets, helping others with their little tasks), etc? And give the real work to someone who can do it on time….

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