Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: 7th Ave Colorblock Sheath Dress

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

I spied this colorblock sheath dress in the window at New York & Company recently, and it looks like a great dress if you’re looking for something that’s bold but easy to mute with a blazer or cardigan in darker color like burgundy, dark purple, or black. (It also comes in a green combination.) It has a hidden back zip and is machine washable, it’s available in sizes XS-XL, and it’s getting great reviews. The dress is affordable, too — it was $70 but right now is 30% off, bringing it to $49. 7TH Ave Colorblock Sheath Dress

Eloquii has a plus-size option.

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Comments

  1. Alumni Association Ideas :

    I am the newly-elected president of my small regional law school’s alumni association. The association is only two years old for our campus, as the campus was not always separately accredited.

    We are a tier 4 school without national recognition (or respect, let’s be real); however, we are very well regarded regionally and have strong support from the local legal community. We currently are responsible for the annual professional development day, which is an attendance requirement for current students and for which we solicit as many local alumni as we can for participation on panels. We occasionally host happy hours in the area, and are involved in hosting the annual golf tournament. We are working with the administration to boost participation on behalf of the alumni in the mentoring program so that can get launched asap.

    For those of you who are members of your law school alumni association or who are active, what are some things that your association does that you think are beneficial, fun, etc.? I want the association to be useful for members/alumni and for students so that they continue to participate after they graduate. Currently, membership is free, so we do not have much of a budget. We are not charging for membership because we want to encourage participation and because we are new association.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Anonymous :

      I think these things are more useful if people know each other — then they are more likely to reach out to each other re career moves, advice etc. I find that getting to know people across different class yrs/different ages happens best when it’s done casually — I am much more likely to go to a casual happy hour than I am to commit to a formal dinner or all day golf tournament or something. Sometimes those more formal events take time, but sometimes people have the time and still don’t go bc they feel like — all the people who come will know each other and it’ll be awkward for me to be sitting there in my party dress alone or be without a golf 4 some or whatever. But if there’s a happy hr this month and another one in 2 months — after work, someplace casual — I am much more likely to stop by and those repeated encounters allow you to get to know people. Not sure if HHs will be doable without a budget though I guess it doesn’t have to be open bar.

      • Alumni Association Ideas :

        Thank you! I absolutely agree that more regular HHs are a good thing and that if people know each other they are more likely to attend other more formal events.

        Last year I suggested we do a welcome back HH for students to meet alumni at the beginning of every semester. The first one was minimally/moderately attended (15 students / 10 alumni), but my hope is that if we continue to do them regularly, they will become more popular. As you pointed out, we can’t cover drinks for people, which stinks, but we have to live with what we have at the moment.

        • Wanderlust :

          Is your budget flexible enough to do something like “first 15 alumni through the door get a free drink ticket”? That always works on me.

        • For mixers where my school tries to get younger alums, they do it at a popular sports(ish) bar near campus and provide free pitchers for everyone. It’s an easy environment and young alums feel comfortable there because they hung out there just a couple years ago.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      We have certain state CLEs that are the most attended ones in the state bar. My state is a mandatory CLE state. Many alumni associations have HH or dinners after the biggest CLEs since everyone will be gathered anyway. Sometimes these are at restaurants/bars near the CLE or they are in the same conference hall as the CLE just in a smaller breakout room. I’ve even seen a couple schools ask that alumni gather at X section of the CLE during the lunch.

      • Eager Beaver :

        This might not be in your budget or might already be done by the school, but what about providing a simple box lunch to bar takers. In my state, we only have one bar testing site. It’s at a convention hall, so all of the local law schools set up lunch for their students during the two days of the exam. It’s totally cheesy, but the faculty and staff form two lines and cheer as students enter the room where the box lunches are set up. Alums could do the same thing.

        • Maybe cheesy but I think it is pretty awesome! Would have loved to have had such support 20+ (ugh!) years ago when I took the bar exam. I have at least one child who will end up in law school so that makes me smile.

          • Eager Beaver :

            Yeah – I’ve talked to alumni across a couple of decades and it’s almost universally a very positive memory. When I took the bar, the students who weren’t into it just made other plans. As to the note below about only Tier 4 schools doing it, that has not been my experience. Every law school in our state (including 3 tier 1 schools) did it.

        • This sounds terrible but the only schools I know who did this or something similar during a bar exam were the Tier 4 schools. I was really astonished at the number of supporters (alumni, professors) I saw from these schools, cheering the students on.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Give your alums opportunities to present CLE, attend conferences, and professionally develop. You say you have strong support from the local legal community and in the region – is there a large or regional law firm you could solicit to support a CLE with reception to follow, (or better yet, a conference)? This way it’s low budget because the firm is paying, but it allows your new alum association to take the credit of providing select alums with the chance to improve their public speaking and present CLE, AND offers the alum attendees the chance to get free CLE credit. PLUS, the firm gets to network with potential clients at the reception, and the alum get to network with each other in an HH-like atmosphere over drinks at the reception following the CLE – win-win-win.

    • Anon Tier 4 :

      CLEs, advertising space where possible, and fun events that raise money for the students work for my similar law school alumni assoc.

      I went to a law school like this, and now work at a law school like this, and wish my current law school employer alums–who are awesome–would be more organized! Heck, maybe you’re running my current school’s AA!

    • My almuni association worked with the career services department to organize a mentor program for 1Ls. Every year a 1L is paired with an alum who is in the area. they usually have happy hours or other mixer type events to kick off the mentor relationship. That might be a way to boost the attendance at your other HH events.

    • If you have strong support from the legal community I presume that you have lots of alumni who are partners at local law firms? If so, get them to sponsor a happy hour at their firm for alumni. It’s good press for the partner and the firm (usually the partner gets thanked publicly and gives the welcome) and you’re much more likely to get better attendance because drinks/food are paid for and people like hobnobbing with law firm partners.

    • Alumni Association Ideas :

      Thank you so much everyone! I will be printing this out so I have notes when I discuss with the other officers.

  2. Family resort for Christmas :

    Posted later yesterday and didn’t get any responses, so trying again!

    Hoping for some suggestions for nice resort hotels or condo rentals for my family from Christmas-New Years. We are two adults, two 2-year-olds, and my parents will probably come. Ideally, somewhere that feels like a nice resort (maybe even with kiddie pool) and has a beach. We were thinking Florida or maybe closer part of Caribbean, but I don’t know the areas well and have no idea what the hurricanes have meant for the region.

    Would appreciate any thoughts!

  3. Rent the Runway :

    What is your favorite cocktail dress on Rent the Runway right now or fave that you have rented? I am browsing for an indoor October wedding I will be attending in downtown Philly.

    • new job, who dis :

      I am a RTR addict and rent about 4-5x per year. I have these hearted, waiting for the right event (but I think some may be short on me – 5’11 unfortunately)

      Cushnie et Ochs – Katrina Sheath, such a fun blue color
      Slate & Willow – Carlene Dress, but long sleeves so maybe a little hot at a wedding?
      Theia – Mixed Berry Sequin Sheath, I also think weddings are always an occasion to wear sequins :)

    • Clementine :

      Herve Leger – Bronze Margeaux Dress – Looks AMAZING on. Compliments all night. If you’re shorter, the blue Magdalena dress might work for you but it was a touch short on me.

      Nicole Miller – Royal Blue Structured off the shoulder dress- Off the shoulder, amazingly comfortable and flattering. Looked fab with dramatic earrings and a simple updo that I did myself.

      FYI- I’m on the tall side and tend to look for dresses for weddings that are slightly more modest in length. I am hourglass shaped, but think both dresses would work on many different body types.

      • Rent the Runway :

        Love both of those! I am 5′ 7″ so avg height but I usually tend towards more modest length so I’m not flashing people when I sit down for dinner :)

  4. Anonymous :

    I wish there was a NY and Company closer to me — some of their stuff can be really terrific quality for the price, but it’s really hit or miss and hard to tell from the website.

    • Triangle Pose :

      If you have am shopprunner it’s free 2 day shipping and free returns. If you don’t have Shoprunner but you have an Amex, you can sign up for Shoprunner for free. I just ordered a bunch of stuff and I know I’ll end up returning a lot of the stuff that doesn’t fit or is a miss.

    • I think they have a pretty good return policy. I agree, I’ve got a couple of great dresses and some shorts and then other things that are just awful.

    • I’m afraid to go into one – I’m 50. Will I get a side-eye?

    • This dress looks like the material is really shiny, I think it could easily look cheap. I feel with NY & Co you need to actually go into the store to see for yourself how things really look.

  5. Mayflower :

    We got a new student employee this semester, and so far she’s been great. Cheerful worker, comes on time, completes tasks efficiently, etc. On her first day, she asked if it was ok to make coffee in the break room during her break, and we said yes, of course, that’s fine. We have a communal container of ground coffee, but no cream or sugar. She went around the office and asked everyone if they had cream or sugar. No one did, but I said something like “I usually drink tea so all I have is honey.” Now every time she works she comes to my desk and asks to use my honey for her coffee. It’s started to annoy me because I feel like I’m in an “if you give a mouse a cookie” situation, but my suspicion is that I’m overreacting. Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      Buy her a container of honey.

    • Get sugar and put it in the break room. Surely someone else will need it at some point. Then just say, “oh, we’ve got sugar in the break room now!”

      Hopefully she’ll get it. I get the annoyance, but there’s probably no way to tell her without making her feel super awkward, which may not be worth it for a relatively small offense. Hopefully she’s self-aware enough to use sugar and she’ll pick up on your point.

    • Anonymous :

      it’s your honey, not communal honey (like the coffee is communal). Would it work to suggest that she’s welcome to bring sugar, cream, or her own honey to keep in the kitchen, when she asks to borrow next time? Since this your personal stash that she’s asking to use. She’s still learning what appropriate to do in a professional environment and this is an opportunity to help her.

      • Cornellian :

        Agreed. If you want to soften it you could buy her her first $4 sugar container and suggest she refill it when it’s out.

      • Agree – if the policy in your office is that people bring in their own sugar/creamer/etc., it would be a kindness to let her know.

    • Anonymous :

      If she wants cream or sugar can’t she just bring her own? Or a thing of the shelf stable creamer that is sweetened? (If she’s happy with honey in coffee she doesn’t seem especially picky).

    • Linda from HR :

      “Jane, I was happy to let you use my honey the first few times you asked, but you need to start bringing your own fixins rather than continuing to use mine.” This is a good opportunity to teach her self-reliance and advise against mooching off others at work.

      If there’s a store nearby that sells stuff like that, you could point her in that direction and let her run the errand during the workday, or encourage her to stop by

      • This. I think it’s sweet that so many people are suggesting she buy this for the employee, but I think the best solution is just to be direct. “You may borrow again today, but the practice here is that everyone supplies their own.”

        • Eh, I just think it’s a pick your battles thing. She’s a student employee- basically an intern. Not that it’s not a good idea to help her learn workplace rules, but it just seems like there’s a way to get the message across without making her feel uncomfortable. Especially because it seems like OP doesn’t have a particularly strong rapport with her.

        • Linda from HR :

          Right, buying it for her might be nice, but I don’t think it’s required and it could send the wrong message. Even if OP buys it once and encourages her to buy her own, she might not if she thinks she can squeeze another free one out of her boss. Bringing your own stuff to keep at work – snacks, lunch, etc – is a good habit to get into.

      • I absolutely understand the sentiment behind this, on the other hand if I was a student intern and my colleague told me this, I would think they were extremely stingy and weirdly possessive about honey. It’s honey, people. It literally costs pennies per use. On the other hand, buying the intern honey or sugar seems a bit much. I’m torn!

        • Linda from HR :

          Wow? I don’t think it’s “extremely stingy” to not want someone to keep mooching off my personal food stash. It’s not a money thing, it’s a boundaries thing. I brought my food so I could eat it, letting someone have some once or twice is fine, but if they come to expect a helping every day, that’ll get irritating and I’d wonder why they haven’t thought to get their own yet.

          • Like I said, I understand where you are coming from but I can absolutely foresee an intern having that reaction to a comment like that.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I replied to this but I guess it got eaten. If I got wind of an intern having such a reaction, I would think much less of said intern. The workplace is for grownups.

          • Linda from HR :

            Exactly. If an intern acted entitled to anyone’s food, that’s gonna make them look bad. If they think it’s okay to mooch off others or feel entitled to access to other people’s food, that’s a fridge thief in the making and they need a wake-up call.

          • Nudibranch :

            Wow, I’d be irked too. Having nearly 100 student workers at my workplace and sympathetic as I am to their lack of finances, there’s no way I can afford to supply all of our interns with food items out of my personal pay check.

            She probably doesn’t understand that she needs to provide her own. Maybe you can point her to the cafeteria? Or the corner store?

        • Cornellian :

          I don’t think it’s about the 5 cents worth of honey. It is just genuinely strange for someone to come interrupt your work day to ask you for food. I get it the first time, or maybe once if you forgot to refill your stash and can’t drink plain tea… but I’d be peeved if someone interrupted my work to ask for honey.

    • Geez. What kind of break room supplies coffee but no sugar/sweetener packets or creamer? If it were me, I’d be talking to the office manager to see if these items could be provided.

      • Federal government break rooms. My Agency pays for nothing – not even the water cooler.

        • I should have guessed it was government. Still, I used to work in a government office where coffee supplies were communally purchased by the coffee drinkers, and we always had sugar/sweetener and at least powdered creamer (also communally purchased). It strikes me as strange that the coffee would be there without the customary add-ins. Not responsive to the question, of course.

        • Triangle Pose :

          So who pays for the communal coffee?

          • Nudibranch :

            Wow, I’d be irked too. Having nearly 100 student workers at my workplace and sympathetic as I am to their lack of finances, there’s no way I can afford to supply all of our interns with food items out of my personal pay check.

            She probably doesn’t understand that she needs to provide her own. Maybe you can point her to the cafeteria? Or the corner store?

      • The kind of break room that is supplied by employees, not the institution.

    • I’d buy a small container of honey and sugar and next she asks – give her those and say – actually I picked these up for you; feel free to keep them in the break room/share with others if you’d like.

    • Anonymous :

      She puts honey in coffee? That sounds disgusting.

      Just buy her sugar. If she’s an intern, she may be flat broke. Its weird she’s asking, but I’ve had interns who literally were on food stamps.

      When she asks next time, say “I keep the honey here for myself, but there’s some sugar in the breakroom for everyone to use”. I wouldn’t say I bought it because she may feel awwkard.

      • Anonymous :

        I thought the same thing re: honey in coffee, but I tried it once at a friend’s house who drinks it that way and didn’t have sugar/Splenda. It tasted like normal sweetened coffee to me.

    • Can’t you tell her you’re out next time she comes around and in the same conversation suggest that she pick up some of her own to keep at the office?

    • Anonymous :

      Is she asking for honey or is she asking for a moment of interaction with you? She may be looking for human contact and using the honey as a way to say hello and chat socially with you. Signed, a formerly lonely intern.

  6. Shopaholic :

    So I have a situation with a male friend that I could use some perspective on. We are good friends and have a pretty open relationship with a flirty banter. We had a conversation months ago about dating but decided we were not on the same page so decided to stay friends. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, we went out with a group of friends, got drunk and kissed (but nothing else happened). We discussed it, and ultimately decided to stay friends and keep dating other people and we would see what happened with us. Is this crazy? Am I completely delusional? I don’t know what I want with him (or how I feel) so I thought maybe letting things develop organically would be a good way to help me figure it out but now I’m just wondering if this is even feasible.

    • Anonymous :

      Of course it’s feasible. You keep being friends, and if you find yourself wanting to [email protected] you say “wanna [email protected]” and then you’re no longer just friends. You keep beings friends, you don’t wanna [email protected], you don’t get wasted with him and hook up, nothing changes. Enjoy!

    • Depends. It sounds like you discussed it and agreed that you’re going to stick with the status quo for now. Are you the person who is more interested in dating/a relationship? Do you think you’d have a hard time with it if he begins seriously dating someone else in the near future? If it’s the other way around, is he going to have a hard time with it if you start seriously dating someone else? (By the way, I consider this last one Not Your Problem).

      Anyway, based on my personal experience with a similar situation, this situation may bring some pain or drama to one or both of you in the future – but you still may find you come out the other side as friends (and nothing more). Open communication is a good first step. :)

    • I’m not sure what the question is. Is it feasible to start dating a friend? Yes. Is it feasible to start a casual dating relationship and transition it to something else if both people are feeling it? Yes. Is it feasible to start dating a man while still dating other people? Yes.

      It sounds like you’re already communicating with each other each step of the way, so just keep doing that.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I have a friend who was my first adolescent kiss, whom I dated long distance in college, and when that fizzled out and our hormones calmed down we continued to be friends, and we are now super platonic. I have another friend with whom romance started and fizzled a couple of times over the years, and 10 years after meeting we started dating casually while casually seeing other people, and after a bit we stopped seeing other people. So yes, personal experience echoing lawsuited’s comment on all counts.

      My only caution would be that it’s probably healthier to continue to actively date other people until you’re sure you want to be exclusive, as it puts less pressure on the relationship and can make it easier to objectively decide if you want to continue seeing a person. And it might make it easier to go back to being friends if it doesn’t work out.

      But I’m a very pro-casual-dating person, so I’m biased.

  7. Anyone having trouble with this website? …. it is loading so so so slow and actually slowing down all of my internet searching when I leave it open. Having trouble for the past few days.

    I use Chrome.

  8. Old Navy wins! :

    If anyone is on the hunt for casual weekend pants in fun colors, I highly recommend the Old Navy ankle-length pixie chinos. I usually can’t wear ON pants, but these are incredibly flattering and very soft. I bought them in an olive green color and cannot wait until it cools down so I can wear them with ankle boots. They looked pretty cute with my Birks, though.

    My hips/thighs are pretty … shapely, shall we say, and they still work in my normal size. I haven’t worn chinos in years because they tend to look really frumpy on my body type, but I fell in love with these.

    If any of you have toddler girls, the colors this season are SO GREAT. Deep yellow, olive, navy, flattering dark pinks/purples, lots of jewel tones. Tunics are having A Moment in the toddler girl section, which satisfies my 3-year-old’s desire to wear something dress-like every day. (She is cut from a different cloth than her jeans-and-tees mama!)

    • Frozen Peach :

      Thanks for the tip re toddler girls!! I am CLEANING UP.

    • You’re my hero! I’ve been looking for some inexpensive green chino pants for Fall. I hemmed and hawed over some Gap chinos yesterday until I realized they have some weird piping. These look perfect! Cheers!

    • I’m on the hunt for girls tunics but I had trouble finding any when i just went to the ON website — what are the names of the tunics y’all are seeing for little girls? Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      I wear the more conservative colors in my office with heels for business casual – love these pants

  9. Can anyone recommend nice, family-friendly resorts in the Caribbean with great snorkeling right off the beach? We took our then four-month-old to Europe this past summer and it was fun but not exactly a vacation. We’re hoping to do something more relaxing over Christmas when she’ll be 10 months old. The hotel doesn’t need to have a lot of stuff specifically geared towards kids because she won’t be old enough to take advantage of it, but we obviously want a place that’s welcoming to kids and isn’t adults-only. We’re figuring we probably won’t leave the hotel much if at all, which is why finding a resort with great shore snorkeling is a priority. Must have decent restaurants within walking distance, preferably on the hotel property (either included in the room rate or not is fine) so we don’t have to fuss with a rental car. I’ve been to several spots in Mexico and Puerto Rico and would prefer to explore a new place. Zika is not a concern. A cruise seems like it would be super relaxing and maybe the best option if a lot of resorts were impacted by the hurricanes but DH and I both think it’s ridiculous to pay normal third person rates (i.e., more than half the adult fare) for an infant.

    • With the caveat that I haven’t been yet: I just booked a trip in January to the Ritz in Grand Cayman. The beach looks mild enough for my one year old, and it seems they have interesting snorkeling and other things to do right off the beach. We also just got an email saying to not worry since there was zero Irma damage. There looks to be a kids pool and it seems generally family-friendly.

      • Agree with Grand Cayman recommendation. We were there a couple of years ago and enjoyed it very much. The area around the Ritz & Westin on Seven Mile Beach is best situated, you won’t need a car (left side driving).

      • Cayman is great for that age, although the better snorkeling is further out rather than off the beach. 7 Mile beach is lovely and not too rough, but I’d also encourage you to getting out and seeing the rest of the island. Rum point is really wonderful for kids and I think there is a ferry service from Caymana Bay, which is a fairly easy taxi from the Ritz. You can also get out there by taking one of the sting-ray sails that usually make a stop there and/or starfish beach, which is also calm and lovely.
        Cayman is a really accessible and safe island and at the very least, it’s easy to walk down Seven Mile Beach if you want to get off property but don’t want to deal with car rentals
        Enjoy your trip!

      • Legally Brunette :

        As a counter, we went to 7 mile beach a few years ago and the waves were pretty rough, so much so that we couldn’t swim for a few days. It could have been unusual, but I will never chance it again — we’re headed back to beautiful Aruba the next time we’re going to the Carribean. If you do choose Grand Cayman, absolutely book a place with a pool if the ocean happens to be too rough.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Spice Beach Club Bonaire! I think there were hotels right nearby too.

    • snorkeling :

      Check out Windjammer Landing in St Lucia. Nice resort that won some “family friendly” awards.

    • Anonymous :

      Windsong or Coral Gardens in Turks and Caicos – with the caveat that they are currently dealing with hurricane damage but should be up and running in a couple months – the Bight reef is literally in front of the hotel and was just as good as those we took a boat trip out to snorkle. We saw sea turtles, a ton of fish, and occasionally a barracuda (don’t be concerned, he was just passing through). Grace Bay is a gorgeous beach with amazing calm waters with a ton of families in the area. Beaches is next door if that type of scene is more your thing.

      Gorgeous area and my husband and I like to go back each year (we did our honeymoon at The Palms further down the beach)

  10. BabyAssociate :

    Happy Friday all, as promised, here’s my Everlane denim review. I got the Mid-Rise Skinny in dark indigo and the Modern Boyfriend in mid blue. First of all, the material is gorgeous, definitely high quality. I am sick of the thin overly stretchy jeans. However, I found the sizing between the two pairs super inconsistent. For reference, I am 5’8″.

    Mid-Rise Skinny: Great wash and I love the length and the mid-rise. They fit really well in my hips/thighs and don’t feel like they’re painted on, but the waistband is a little loose. I’m thinking I’ll keep them, but might get the waist altered. (Have any of you gotten jeans taken in before?) The size down will definitely be too small.

    Modern Boyfriend: The website shows people wearing these jeans cuffed, but they were way too short on me for that to be an option. I found these ran pretty big all over and were too baggy, maybe a size down would help, but they’re too short so I’m not considering it. The medium wash I actually found a little dated, not for me.

    • Marshmallow :

      Thanks! “Too short” is an excellent thing for this shortie to hear, as I hate having to cuff my jeans.

      • BabyAssociate :

        The Mid-Rise Skinny actually comes in an ankle length too! I found the the regular was about ankle length on me, so it definitely skews shorter.

    • I almost always get my jeans taken in at the waist.

      • BabyAssociate :

        Does the tailor just put a dart in?

        • Mine does. She generally puts in two darts in the back on either side of the seam. You can see them, but I don’t think they are noticeable in a bad way. I think jeans can also be taken in at the back seam if you would rather not have the darts.

          • They probably do darts so as to avoid dealing with the belt loop that’s usually on the back seam, along with the top stitching. Any of that detailing would have to be redone if you took in the back seam. Darts would be way less noticeable)

  11. Professional Inspiration :

    Any suggestions on what to read or do when you’re feeling professionally unmotivated? I work in an area of law that has changed dramatically under the new administration (think immigration, environmental, etc.) and I feel like this change has really decreased my passion and motivation for my work. When I was watching Hillary Clinton’s interview on the Today show yesterday, I realized how much I’ve missed having inspirational leaders on the news every night. Any suggestions on how to get out of this rut?

    • Anon in NYC :

      Is there an organization that is leading the charge on this front? Maybe a conference or a lecture that you can attend. Maybe a pro bono organization that you can give some time/expertise to? Follow some thought leaders in this field on Twitter?

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Would her book depress you too much? That might be an option.

      Oddly enough, Gretchen Rubin always inspires motivation in me to get ish done. Any of her recent books, really.

      Lean In?

    • I’m in a similar situation and recently listened to Elizabeth Warren’s book. Most of her early work was when the political climate was not favorable, so it helps to think about the long game.

    • Anonymous :

      Volunteer at a legal aid? I work at legal aid, and we always welcome pro bono volunteers from the private bar. Our volunteers take as many or as few cases as they like. It may be a way to feel good about lawyering again!

  12. Any recommendations for jewelers in DC/NoVA? My SO told me to go look at rings last night! (Squee!!)

    I was planning to head out to Tysons to the Blue Nile shop because I’m so intrigued by their concept, but I’ll gladly take other recs. I love the idea of a vintage art deco ring, but I don’t know about them in actuality or even where to find them other than Etsy, which makes me nervous.

    • Tiny Jewel Box in DC has vintage rings!

      • Yes, although I was so deeply offended by their customer service I will never go back. My fiance told me to go look at rings, and TJB is right around the corner from my office, so I popped in one day. They essentially told me that I needed to bring my fiance if I wanted to be taken seriously. As though I were just daydreaming and wanted to waste their time. Eff that noise.

      • +1000000 such a fun shop.

    • Linda from HR :

      Depends, does he want you to pick out the specific ring, or does he want you to shop around and get a sense of what styles you like, with the intention of surprising you with something he picked out based on your preferences? If it’s the former, look at art deco rings online and give him pictures so he knows what to look for (or give the jeweler).

      • +1 My cousin loves art deco everything, and her fiance designed a ring for her based on some photographs she gave him. It’s one of the most beautiful rings I’ve seen and so perfect for her.

        I also know 2 people who got their rings from Etsy without difficulty.

    • Yay! When I got the same prompt I stopped into Mervis (near Farragut West, though I think there is one in Tysons, too) and fell in love with a Tacori setting that has a vintage feel. I also second Tiny Jewel Box for vintage rings, so many good choices!

    • I had a great experience at Protea Diamonds in Arlington (years ago at this point). I was a little worried about the appointment-only routine, but there was no hard sell. Got a good education and they had lovely stuff. Not a huge selection, but they seemed very open to customizing.

    • Congrats! Brilliant Earth has a nice vintage ring selection if you want to shop online.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I don’t have recommendations for specific stores in DC, but art deco is my favorite. Online, check out Brilliant Earth’s vintage selection (they have stores on the west coast and I think somewhere east now–maybe Boston?). Also, see if you can find a store that sells Jolie Designs (if you call them, they can give you the names of retailers in your area who sell their rings) . They’re modern but vintage inspired. I wanted vintage but couldn’t find quite what I was looking for. I ended up with one of their settings and a vintage old european cut diamond and loooove it and get tons of compliments.But do look at the settings in person–they look different in person than online just because the online pictures are so magnified.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Also, check out the blog Diamonds in the Library. I think she’s based in DC/NOVA and has lots of posts on vintage art deco rings and I believe at one point had a post on DC-area stores that sell them (I know she has mentioned Tiny Jewel Box before)

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        One more suggestion (I keep having random thoughts on this)–if you get a modern setting and want an old diamond, you might check with appraisers. I know several jewelry appraisers who can find old loose diamonds for clients, and are typically cheaper than jewelry stores.

    • While I wait for my SO to give me that go ahead, I stalk Single Stone. Vintage-inspired engagement rings. They’re having a trunk show at I. Gorman Jewelers this weekend.

      Sigh. Why do I know this.

    • Market Street Diamonds in Georgetown! I went there to browse since it was close to my work, and we ended up getting engagement + his / her wedding bands there. Customer service is great and the owner / jewler designed the perfect ring for me with my fiance.

    • Thanks, everyone! I didn’t realize I worked two blocks from the Mervis recommendation, so I’ll be stopping in there after work. And Brilliant Earth has a location in Georgetown that I’m adding to my list, as well as all these others! So excited! :) Thank you :)

    • Anonymous :

      Beladora for antique or vintage rings!

  13. My office is business casual and often cold. Trying to decide whether a long open sweater or a cashmere wrap will look more professional/put together at my desk… links to follow. Is the wrap basically just wearing a blanket?

    • https://www.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/c-by-bloomingdales-cashmere-wrap-100-exclusive?ID=2621063&CategoryID=2910&LinkType=prodrec_pdpzb&choiceId=%40H6%40Customers%20Who%20Bought%20This%20Also%20Bought%24&RecProdZonePos=prodrec-1&RecProdZoneDesc=RR-CMIO-RT-POC%7CRR-CMIO%7Cprodrec_pdpzb%7CRR

      https://www.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/c-by-bloomingdales-cashmere-long-open-cardigan-100-exclusive?ID=2629460&CategoryID=2910&LinkType=recview_pdpzb&RecProdZonePos=recview-4#fn%3Dspp%3D4111

      • I think the first one is dressier than the second. My former coworker used to wear something like that and I always wanted something like it.

      • Agree that the first looks dressier, but I think both would be acceptable in a business casual office.

    • I have 2 cashmere wraps (black and grey) that I keep in the office and wear all winter. They’re great because they can be worn was scarfs, wraps or a discreet lap blanket, and I don’t have to displace whatever jacket or blazer I’m already wearing. All that to say, if wearing a cashmere blanket is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

    • Yes, but it’s a socially acceptable to wear in public blanket.

    • I would do the wrap because some days you already have a cardigan on and you’re still cold. I think my wraps look quite elegant and fancy – don’t tell me otherwise!

    • I have a beautiful wool wrap that was given to me as a gift that I keep at my desk. Yes, it is basically a blanket, and no I don’t think there’s a problem with that. Sometimes my office is so cold in the winter that I wear the wrap _over_ a cashmere sweater. If it’s that cold, I’m wearing a blanket and I don’t care if anyone judges me.

  14. Curious what this group would’ve said when asked for an opinion. “Friend” is an only child from a well to do family – mom was a law firm partner but retired around 50 and is a house flipper in an area where you can make big $ in that; dad has a solid business. Daughter is a bit “spoiled” and let’s everyone know it – constant references to moms money; the “club” – as in country club; her Audi; the 2 places her parents have bought her in our HCOL city etc. She works but that means holding down a govt atty job she got thru mom’s connections – she shows up a few days a week max, is always “working from home” but then will let slip that she was “working” in Bermuda last wk which is obvious by her tan; when she runs out of vacation time, she’ll use sick time/leave without pay. Now age 31 and Really wants to get married and has had issues with that – but been with her bf for 2+ yrs and has been talking marriage since like the 2 month mark – while also putting down the bf bc he is “only” an engineer and his family doesn’t have the same “means” as hers. So bf hasn’t proposed so apparently her mom and dad took him ring shopping – to light a fire under him, show him the type of ring their baby expects AND assure him that cost is no object bc they’ll pay for the ring. She asked friends – hey it’s cool what they did right? My immediate reaction was – uh they’re telling the guy upfront that he isn’t financially good enough despite being a professional but that’s ok bc all he has to do is say yes to marrying her and they’ll provide the lifestyle. While some guys would be ok bc they’d get to live in luxury, I know many would be offended and would realize that taking $ comes with strings – like living where the inlaws want you to live, sending your kids to the school they want bc they’re paying etc. She finds that second notion (being horrified) crazy. Am I wrong here?

    • Neither of you are right, neither of you are wrong. I wouldn’t want her life/her parents’ pressure on my husband, but she’s entitled to enjoy it if she wants to.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yep. And he’s an adult who can make his own decisions too. If he doesn’t want that, he’s free to walk away.

        Not what I would want for my life, but I have friends who are wealthy/have wealthy parents, and this doesn’t sound that far off in terms of parental involvement in their lives.

      • I wish I had a guy I could ask my dad to get to marry me. But I do NOT want those that want me, b/c I know that they only want me b/c of my money and / or to have $ex with me. Dad does NOT want me to sleep with guys b/c of the HPV and disease factors and I agree. If I find a guy who can support me, I will marry him and sleep with him, but not necesarily in that order. Dad gets mad, but guess what, a guy these days wants to have $ex first to see what he is getting into, literally, then he can decide. And dad is being hypocratical, b/c he was haveing sex with all kinds of women behind the iron curtain, even if he did NOT with mom. FOOEY on this doubel standard. Men want $ex more then women, but I as a woman know that I need to get a man to want me for more then my brain. YAY!!!

    • BabyAssociate :

      No, all of this is horrifying. Of course that money would come with strings!

    • Maybe it’s good that they did this because now the boyfriend can decide whether he wants to run like the wind or not. I certainly would, but other people have different priorities.

      • If the BF were my son, I’d take him away for a long weekend right now and just talk things through with him and give him some space/distance to reflect on all of this.

        Whatever he’s doing, it will be something he’d have to live with for a long time. Whatever he did, I’d support him.

        I might also have to drink my way through that wedding and go all Gemma Teller, but that’s me.

        • You assume the Bf is telling his parents. He may not be. Sometimes guys are very careful about criticizing their gf or inlaws bc they don’t want to hear the obvious advice – don’t jump into marriage here.

          • Wow — I didn’t realize that guys kept so much major stuff on the DL

            Surely the parents will notice when GF is supporting a rock the size of a house downpayment and figure it out, no? Or they will just assume that GF’s ring is fake b/c no way could that stone be real (how ironic).

            Just have BF buy a 5 carat CZ and be done with it.

          • Anonymous :

            Anon at 11:49 – I wouldn’t tell my parents any of this if the situation was flipped. Everyone’s relationship with their parents is different. I don’t even tell my parents I have a boyfriend until I have to (we will show up together somewhere they will see him) or it’s something I consider could be heading down a path that could result in marriage.

    • Good for them. If grandparents didn’t pay for expensive private schools, a lot of my very nice friends who teach at them would be out of a job that they really need.

      Might her parents want to adopt me? I can be kept :)

    • Cornellian :

      I mean, I agree with you, but I don’t think you should be friends with this person. You clearly have very different worldviews.

      • Yeah that was the thing for me. How is this your friend. Every single thing you said about her was critical. You don’t like her. You can’t give an objective opinion.

        • +1

          I would personally object if I were her BF but maybe he’s comfortable with that. OTOH, OP your post is dripping with disdain and I would hope no one that calls hirself my friend talks about me this way.

        • Delta Dawn :

          +3, you don’t like her, so y’all are not really friends.

      • +1. I thought the question was going to be, “… so she’s awful and I should dump her as a friend, right?”

      • Friend is in quotes – clearly this girl is an acquaintance who is seeking advice (yes-women) from those around her like OP. it happens.

    • I can think of about 2 guys I know who’d LOVE this arrangement. They aren’t guys who were dedicated enough to become engineers. They’re guys who took 6+ yrs to graduate college – without any challenges that make part time school necessary – and haven’t steadily held onto employment but love the finer things in life that their parents provide. They’d love these in laws. Most guys I know who work hard whether they make 80k or 800k would be offended right off the bat and would think – if these ppl don’t think I can buy a good enough ring, then they’ll straight up laugh at any house I want to buy or vacation I suggest. There’s a difference btwn helping out a couple post marriage or w kids vs straight up saying – we know you’re not good enough, but she needs a man, you’re a man, you’ll do and we’ll make up for all of your short comings.

      • I mean, why not? These people would keep you in a big TV and the best DirecTV package with NFL prime ticket and a McJob to keep up appearances. It beats BigLaw, etc. And then you *have* to have kids with her right away so you can get child support in the event you split up.

    • I think my response would be that it’s not right or wrong, but it is highly unusual.

      • +1. Having thought about this some more, the older I get, the more I find that a tactful response is usually wiser than an honest opinion when asked about someone else’s relationship.

    • First – in response to your friend, the answer is: what does BF think about it? Ultimately, no matter how much parental financial involvement there is, it’s a marriage or relationship between them. It doesn’t matter what you think or what the parents think – it matters what the couple thinks.

      Second – I agree with others that you seem to have disdain? jealousy for? your friend. If you wish to stay friends with her, realize that people are going to have different lives and if this is something her BF would be ok with and she is ok with it, then great. If it’s not for you, then now you know in case a girl with rich parents wants to marry you someday.

  15. Anonymous Clerk :

    Today is the last day of my clerkship! I can’t believe it went this fast. What a great experience. I was in Biglaw before, so I knew to relish the slower pace and I know what I’m in for when I return. I’ve been stalking the threads on things to do before (re)entering a law firm… I only have a week off but I’ll be doing lots of dry cleaning/ closet purging and squeezing in visits with friends.

    Anybody who is on the fence about clerking: do it. I was hesitant (mostly for financial reasons) but I learned so much and have gained a wonderful mentor in my judge.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Congratulations! My biggest career regret is not doing a clerkship when I had the chance!

  16. Calibrachoa :

    … I once had curtains in this exact color scheme… XD it’s a lovely dress but I cannot unsee it.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I want curtains in that color scheme! (uh, for an imaginary room that I don’t have but why not?!)

  17. Ponte pants PSA: Based on a recommendation here I ordered a pair of Lord and Taylor ponte pants – I ordered the 5-pocket version rather than the trouser version because I plan to wear them mostly on casual Fridays with untucked blouses or pullover sweaters. They are so, so nice. The quality of the ponte is excellent – thick and very dark black. My only gripe is that the waistband it not cut on the bias so although the rest of the pants are a stretchy dream, the waistband is not. On the upside, it will prevent them from stretching and riding down during the day.

    • Okay, I’m ordering some right now!

    • I’m so pleased that one of my recommendations was liked! I feel anonymously validated by an internet stranger (laughing while typing that but hey, I’ll take it)!

      • Cornellian :

        ha! that’s great. Whoever recommended go-go-ginza polish from Essie, you should feel validated, too :)

    • I’ll add to this that I bought the NYDJ ones that were suggested from Nordstrom and I love them! They stay up, are super comfy, and super thick.

  18. Back at work after a week off due to Hurricane Irma. I am happy to be in my office alone but feel like crying after dealing with the insanity. Having a loved one in the hospital in a city that was just hit with a hurricane is no picnic. The people dead in the nursing home is only just one issue. I just overshared about my life to my boss. Ack.

    • I feel you, and offer you internet hugs from an internet stranger. My mother had to be evacuated during Harvey and it was very stressful. Returning to work was extremely surreal.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Hugs!

    • Marshmallow :

      Hugs from a fellow hurricane survivor (not Harvey). I suffer(ed) with PTSD as a result. It’s hard, but it gets easier. Email me at marshmallow r e t t e at g mail if it would help to talk to a total stranger who went through this a few years ago.

    • Anonymous :

      Hugs to you! I’m sure your boss understands. Its a tough time. One of my coworkers similiarly had family evaculate from Harvey, and we’ve been genuinely concerned and compassionate for her.

  19. Any recs for a good (but not insanely priced) tailor in Philly? I just bought three gorgeous dresses from John Lewis (two Reiss, one LK Bennett) and would like to get them tailored so they fit well and get my money’s worth, but also not spend a ton of money on tailoring because the dresses were already not cheap. The alterations I need are mainly hemming for length, but for one of them I also may want the shoulders/back raised a bit (not sure how to describe). TIA!

    • Anon in Philly :

      No suggestions, but following!

    • I’m following too, because my go-to of over a decade, Master Tailor between 16th and 17th on Spruce, is retiring!

    • Triangle Pose :

      Best Seasons Tailoring in Chinatown. Not fancy, no frills (they have 2 cats who hang around the store and just generally a TON of sewing stuff everywhere), but high quality work and very reasonable. They understand the art of dressmaking, patternmaking and the work is just impeccable (my mom used to be a patternmaker and sews a lot of her own stuff so I knot it when I see it). I’ve been there over and over with work dresses, ankle pants, suit jackets with sleeves that are too long, everything. I always give them a lot of turnaround time. They only take cash.

  20. I’ve read that salon norms are to tip 20% unless the person providing the service is the owner. The person who cuts and colors my hair recently left a salon where she was not the owner and opened her own business nearby. She rents a chair but really has her own space and runs the scheduling, payment, etc. The prices are exactly the same. At the old salon, I always tipped 20%. Would you continue to do so? I go every 8-10 weeks, and the tip would be $30-40 depending on what exactly she does.

    • If she rents a chair, she doesn’t own a salon. I’d still tip just the same.

    • Marshmallow :

      Yeah renting a chair is not the same thing as actually being an owner, unfortunately. My hair stylist has described the organization of her salon as “all the stylists own it together,” and I still tip her 20% because I read that as pretty much the same thing as renting a chair.

    • Ok, thanks. I’ve been to a stylist that rented a chair but where the stylists shared staff, booking, telephone, payment system, etc. This seemed a little different because (according to my husband, who went yesterday) she has her own space with a chair, wash stand, TV, etc, sells products herself, and is doing her own booking and payment through her iPad with no assistants. But my inclination was to keep tipping anyways because it feels weird to pay her less than I’ve been paying for the past 6 years, and I know it’s hard to go out on your own.

      • Is it one of the salon loft type things that are popping up? Like micro salons that share some overhead, but are really just independent places? https://salonlofts.com/salons

        • Not the same company, but it seems like the same concept, which I haven’t heard of before. Her business name isn’t the same as the name on the outside of the building (which confused me), but the website for the larger studio says stylists get the “fulfillment of owning their own salon space without any of the traditional hassles…. Holding on to every dollar you make -Having the ability to set your own hours -Being part of a tight-knit community -Designing your own salon space …all for around the same price as renting a chair!” So it sounds like she may even “own” her part of the space.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I think your instinct is spot on. Keep tipping. It means a lot more to her than it does to you.

    • Anonymous :

      Tip. I think the owner “rule” is terrible anyway – someone isn’t automatically rolling in it because they own the salon. If it’s a tipped service, tip whoever provides it.

  21. Not sure if this is deliberate on the part of Kat/Kate or a happy coincidence, but I appreciate that this week a few of the models for the featured pieces are women of color!

  22. references :

    who do you ask for references when job hunting? i’ve been at my first post-law school job for 3ish years now. my last position (before my current job) was a summer associate position in summer 2013, so using the firm as a reference seems too stale? And even if its not too old, there’s a big difference between your work as a summer associate and your work as a lawyer, but I don’t know who could speak to my recent lawyer work. I’m at a loss…any thoughts?

    • Marshmallow :

      Can you ask a colleague or two who you can trust to keep it on the DL that you are looking?

    • In your case I wouldn’t provide references until you’re at the very end of a process — lots of prospective employers have become understanding of the fact that you can’t jeopardize your current job to provide references to them after round 1 only to find out after round 2 that they went with someone else and now you’ve made it clear at your current job that you want to leave. If a prospective employer asks for references – ask them if this is the end of the process and suggest that you need to wait if it isn’t bc you haven’t told your current job that you’re looking. If it is the end – then just ask attys at your current firm and try to pick associates (to the extent you can get away with it) or try to pick the partners who won’t use this to push you out in case you don’t get the job (i.e. the less gossip y ones or the less powerful ones).

      Another option that worked for me – have you worked extensively with any partners or associates who have left your firm? Those people were always my go-to — could speak to my work with them over yrs but I didn’t have to worry that anyone at work would find out that I was looking bc it’s not like they were going to call over and say — hey so and so wants to leave.

  23. Sloan Sabbith :

    Would anyone be interested in a Hive book club on Goodreads? If so, I’ll set it up, but I’m open to suggestions about how to structure it- generally, I was thinking a book a month with “topics” to discuss for sections of the book (so that there’s always a possibility of discussion even if everyone isn’t done) and then at the end of the month a general discussion about the book.

    If so, comment here or email me at my username plus e t t e at the mail of google and I’ll set it up this weekend. First book ideas? I was thinking What Happened or Four Tendencies.

  24. The Limited had my favorite ponte blazers. They were a heavy fabric that kept its shape and looked like a blazer, just a bit more casual. Perfect for my biz-cas office. Since The Limited has closed, I have tried the knit blazers from Nordstrom, but those look like a sweatshirt that is just cut to look like a blazer. Any ideas on where to find my new perfect knit blazer?

    • Marshmallow :

      I just found my perfect one at Banana Republic after a year-long search! I can’t speak to how it wears over time but the quality/thickness of the fabric, and the collarless shape, are both great. (Although for goodness’ sake, wait for a sale. It’s not worth $148.)

      http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=795785002

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Target’s ponte blazers are great.

      I also found some amazing blazers at Old Navy last winter.

    • Thred Up has stuff from The Limited. I really miss their blazers too and I’ve bought a couple through Thred Up that have worked well.

    • https://m.macys.com/shop/product/kensie-three-quarter-sleeve-blazer?ID=1841893

      I’ve heard good things about this one.

  25. Has anyone been to Scotland in April? I visited in high school in July, and I remember it being cool and rainy, so I’m not sure if the weather would be too poor in April to really enjoy the country. (Also accepting any and all recs! Just starting to brainstorm.) TIA!

    • April is either the best weather of the year OR snowy in Glasgow. Late April and May are often our best weather times but April can also have some snow flurries. July is rarely a good month for us.

  26. Alexia Admor dresses: anyone have any experience?

  27. Anonymous :

    So this morning I woke up with a migraine (I get them a lot, I get Botox to treat them) and took my rescue medicine, which didn’t work. My office doesn’t have a system in place for attorneys to coordinate last minute court coverage, so I had to drag myself to court. Now I’m just getting through the day with, not the worst migraine in the world but still, a migraine. Ladies who have been through this before, what do you do to get through these days and maybe even be productive? What do you keep in your desk to prepare for these days?

    • Water, caffeinated drinks, chicken broth, crackers. Over the counter migraine medicine – not the best but it can improve things slightly. Sunglasses in case you need to go outside. Keep your office dark if possible.

    • Caffeine and Excedrin migraine. I’ll also dim the lights and/or close the blinds in my office and turn down my computer monitor brightness.

      Does your office have a “privacy” room or some other quiet resting area? Ours does and it used to have a couch in it, so I’d occasionally go lay down for 20 minutes when I just couldn’t sit at my desk anymore (it locked and had no windows, so I didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing me or walking in).

      • Good tips from others! I’d be careful about adding caffeine if you already took rescue medication though – can increase nausea (for me, anyway). Sparkling water (with lemon or lime if citrus helps you) or ginger ale because the carbonation helps me. Crackers for sure! Meditation app on your phone to listen to with earplugs and closed eyes that helps you focus on deep breathing for 10-20 minutes to help the rescue med be more effective (and because it engages the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help temper the pain). I also have a little roll-on lavender that I can either apply and smell (calming) or just hold near my nose.

        • Anonymous :

          My neurologist told me to have some coffee with my rescue meds (triptan + NSAID + mild anxiolytic). Caffeine increases absorption through stomach. So does the nausea med metoclopramide, I don’t know the US trade name (Primperan in Europe).

    • Turn off office lights, close office blinds, Excedrin Migraine, sparkling water, and read docs on my iPad on nighttime setting rather than on screen. Or do filing or other low reading paper shuffling.

    • Oh so anon :

      I rub peppermint oil on all the parts of my head and neck that hurt. Regular Coke, crackers, and Dramamine/Gravol are my stand-bys.

    • No calls. Water. Oil diffuser with lavender. Lights off, and I have soft armchairs I push together to lay on for a little bit, but I’m 5’1″.

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