Coffee Break: Autumn Grainy Leather 65mm Bootie

Block heels are one thing, and architectural heels are another, but I think the “angled heels” on these booties from Jimmy Choo are really cool and flattering. They sort of look like stilettos but they have the stability of block heels. (Here’s a better image of the heels themselves than what we’re picturing here.) It’s a great way to wear a bootie. They’re $895 at Neiman Marcus and come in sizes 5.5–11. Autumn Grainy Leather 65mm Bootie

Here’s a much lower priced option at Nordstrom with a very similar heel.

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  1. Tailoring :

    Is there a website somewhere with a list of what can/can’t be tailored on an item (either at all or without significant costs)? I love the idea of finding things at thrift stores (better for the environment, better for my wallet, etc.) and am okay with some tailoring if needed, but I don’t know what can/can’t be fixed or changed to know how to shop!

    For example, this sort of list might say that, for a pair of jeans, length can be tailored, waist can be tailored, shape would be expensive to change… so then I’d know to shop for shape and not worry about length or waist (or maybe that’s not true, I don’t know, I made this up lol)

    I live in the midwest and would love to figure out how to look more polished without spending money I don’t have (I earn under 50k/yr) and would love a guide to follow!

    • lawsuited :

      On the scale of easy/cheap to difficult/expensive to tailor the spectrum goes hem – seams – darts. Taking in the waist is easy when it’s just taking in a seam, but will be more expensive if it requires darting. Whether or not something requires darting depends more on your shape than the shape of the garment, though. If you have a high waist to bust/hip ratio, you’re more likely to require darts.

      • Anonymous :


        Which is also to say, No, I don’t think there is some comprehensive guide out there. You’re closest bet would be looking for sewer/sewing blogs that talk about alterations to get a sense of it.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe this book could help
      The Sewing Bible for Clothes Alterations: A Step-by-step practical guide on how to alter clothes

      • Anonymous :

        I googled basic alterations price list and this gem came up

    • Anonymous :

      I responded using the g88led word. Whoops. my search was for basic alteration price list and found a gem, to follow

    • To respond to your question: Extra Petite has a good tailoring guide on her s!te if you just do a search there. I thought she made good notes on whether it’s worth buying specific pieces that would need to be tailored.

      But also, in the past when I was making less than what you make now, I had good luck building a business casual wardrobe from scratch by scouring thrift and consignment shops. It takes a bit of time, but if you don’t have kids, you can definitely do it. Treat it like a hobby. Honestly, you should have all the basics for the current season in three months or less, depending on how lucky you are. If you live in a midsize city, go to the “upscale” neighborhoods and look at Goodwill or the equivalent. Good luck!

  2. Is throwing a blazer on over tshirt/jeans still considered classic or is this an outdated style? I’m trying to up my wardrobe game but am pretty casual in general so I’m looking into these sort of idea for adding one thing that ties the look together more than to try to dress outside my comfort zone or buy what I might not actually wear.

    • Anonattorney :

      I think it’s always classic. The only thing that seems to change is the style of jeans, cut of the blazer, and shoes. So the combo is good, but if you don’t want to look outdated, get whatever specific pieces are currently on trend. (Or just wear what works for your body.)

    • Anonymous :

      I do this all the time in my business casual office. I don’t think it’s dated, but also don’t claim to be at the cutting edge of fashion.

      • CherryScary :

        This is pretty much my uniform from March to November. (Sweaters for the winter months.)

    • Anonymous :

      Also, I don’t think you can throw a suiting jacket on over jeans. It never looks right. It needs to be the sort of jacket designed to be a separate piece or a blazer.

      • What kinds of jackets are good for this? I’ve tried it and my jackets always look wrong. I’m assuming I need a certain kind of blazer?

        • Anonymous :

          Try the J. Crew Regent blazer, or maybe a tweed blazer. If you are wearing a suiting jacket in this way, I find that rolling the sleeves of the jacket helps it look less out of place.

        • cat socks :

          I find knit blazers to work with a more casual look.

        • Can you try a longer or shorter blazer? I’m long waisted and a slightly longer blazer (mid-butt) looks about 10x better on me than a short one. When I wear a cropped blazer (90% of blazers out there) my proportions can look funny. I never knew what was going on until I tried on a long one though.

          • FYI, jeans and the Olivia Moon knit blazer looks great on my cousin (but is too short for me).

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve had good luck with Boden’s jackets and blazers.

        • Anonymous :

          Emerson Fry’s tuxedo blazer is gorgeous.

      • Knit blazers from Zara are my go-to for this.

      • I think for many shapes a longer blazer is right over jeans. Sort of a classic length, not a shrunken length.

    • Anonymous :

      I had (have, but it’s kind of sad-looking now) a knit/ponte blazer from uniqlo I used for this. I got tons of compliments at my jeans-on-Friday office.

  3. Let's Play A Game! :

    If you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you guess you were? What influences your answer? How old are you actually?

    For example, when I was 8, I would have said I felt 25 because I had to handle housekeeping/parenting responsibilities as if I was the parent to 2 other kids, rather than the sibling. Now that I am in my mid 30s, I would say I feel about 22 since I still live solo in an apartment and sometimes eat cereal for dinner, yet I lack the responsibilities that come with child raising like my friends are currently doing.

    • Anonymous :

      I am 50 and feel 22 also. I have all the trappings of being an adult but not having kids, never stopped listening to heavy metal and eating unusual dinners. On the outside I’m conservative, Brooks Brothers-esque but inside I’m maybe rocker/outdoorsy/tomboy.

    • I’m 24, I’d say I ‘act’ closer to 40. I’m very ethical and responsible which I can honestly say I’ve only ever found these qualities in one other young person (and they were an ethics PhD). I also don’t really drink and am happily married and have what I consider a career. The whole clubs, entry level jobs, questionable decisions thing is very far removed from my life. I also save money like crazy which people who are my age can’t seem to understand

      • But I do have lots of tattoos and listen to metal and lift really heavy things at the gym.

      • The response seems really smug to me. I’m a 28 year old prosecutor (which is indisputably a “career”) and a good portion of my colleagues are similarly-aged. Everyone I work with is ethical and responsible, and a good half of the 20-somethings in my office are married, with about half of those folks having kids. We’re all contributing to retirement and I don’t have any colleagues who spend their weekends clubbing.

    • I’m 35 and in the first trimester with my second child, so I feel (and probably look) 104.

      • Omg, I’m 36. My brain is so fogged I forgot how old I am, so there you go.

        • Edna Mazur :

          I love this. I somehow completely missed my 32nd year while I was pregnant. I kept telling people I was 31 and was super confused on my 33rd birthday when I did the math.

          • Yes! This happened to me when I was 29 and pregnant, and I “forgot” I was turning 30 the next year!

        • This made me laugh on a day I am 32 but feel 132 (and I’m not pregnant) – thanks!

      • MeTooInAGoodWay :

        I’m 40, kiddo, and just entered the second trimester. Don’t worry about it. (And, FWIW, my grandmother was 43 when my mother was born, in 1944.)

    • Anonymous :

      Probably 75, but an Iris Apfel 75.

    • cat socks :

      I’m 40, but I feel…younger. Not sure exactly what age though. I have a job and a mortgage and pay my taxes, but sometimes and I don’t feel like an adult. I don’t have kids. Sometimes I see people with kids and feel like they are older than me b/c they have so much more/different responsibilities in their life. Sometimes I feel like a teenager because I love raunchy comedies and laugh at dumb phony phone calls on the radio.

      • Your like ME, but a few year’s OLDER! YAY! I hope I have your attitude when I am 40, but I hope to be MARRIED, even if I won’t be abel to have kid’s at such age. I am REALLY hopeing that between now and 40, I will be abel to get a guy to impreagenate me and give me a baby so that I will be a SAHM at 40! YAY! if it can happen, but I do not seem to be abel to get any guy to look at me, let alone pull his pant’s down for me so we can make a baby! FOOEY!

    • I’m 24 and people usually think I’m either 18 or 35 when they meet me. I guess I skew to extremes?
      If I described my life, I think I seem on the higher end of 20s, maybe 30. Graduate degree completed, entry level job in my field, living with long term SO, saving up to put a down payment on a house soon. Over the club scene, go to the gym and try to eat healthy, really into weekend projects, enjoy cooking dinner with SO.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’m 35 and I feel 35 and I think people think I’m younger (I get carded and it’s embarrassing?). Sometimes there’s a part of me that’s like ‘omg omg they’ll find out i’m just faking it and take away my kid and my mortgage because really who am I!?’) but mostly I have felt, lately, like I’m filling out the outlines of, and also staying in the bounds of, what I want to be as a 35 year old woman.

    • Anonymous :

      39, with husband, career, mortgage, kid, and people who pay me a decently hourly rate to get my legal advice. We still eat cereal for dinner some nights because, life. Or eggs if I am feeling more responsible. Even though I feel closer to 30, I’m quickly snapped back to reality when I talk to teenagers and they are calling me ma’am.

      I’ve heard several people say that they didn’t feel like adults until one/both of their parents passed away. Something about how they had lost that person who would always love them unconditionally and view them as a child (in all the good, protective ways).

    • How old do I look? I’d say 35 (Pretty sure all my colleagues think I’m 40) but I still get carded so I dunno. How old do I feel? 25. I’ve felt 25 since I was 7. I’m 32. I’ve always been responsible, risk-averse, kind of a square. I’m the oldest so I’m kind of bossy but loyal to my brood. I went through a “wild” period AFTER college – got my own apartment, partied a little (never did drugs), spent too much at Forever 21, the horror! I had a full time job and no credit card debt – so wild, haha. Something I’m looking forward to in 2018 is embracing the raw and unexplored aspects of myself that I’ve never tapped into. My maternal side, my artistic side, my gentler side and the side of me that DGAF what you think or expect of me.

    • I’m 24 and I feel simultaneously way older and way younger:
      Older because I’ve paid off my student loan debt, I save a lot, I don’t drink or go out, I like crossword puzzles, Jeopardy, and my cat.
      Younger because I’m a virgin, almost no relationship experience, never had someone close to me die, never had alcohol, still feel wary of driving, still rely on my parents for emotional support (not financial though).
      People tend to guess I’m in my late twenties, so not too far off. I think I come off as older and inside I feel like a kid.

    • I’m 53 and feel every minute of it. I have teenagers, who are lovely but exhausting, and my mother recently died so I feel very mortal.

      I’m told I look like I’m in my forties (most people are surprised when I tell them my age) but I don’t feel it.

      Maybe I’ll feel younger when life is not so intense.

    • I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling twenty-twooooo :)

    • I’m 37 and feel that age. For a long time, I was the young one who felt much older on the inside (married young, started career young, was overly responsible for my age in general). That started shifting in my 30s and now I finally feel caught up to my real, actual age.

      Physically, I look like a 37-year-old, although I constantly worry that I look tired … because I am! That said, I feel a lot more comfortable in my skin than I did as a twenty-something. I have a style that I like and reflects who I am, which makes a big difference. I will never claim to be a trend-setter, but I know what works for me.

  4. Anonymous :

    Overheard this discussion earlier so now I’m curious — in light of this flu season, what extra precautions are you taking/what places are you avoiding, if any? The answers ranged from the general common sense (wash hands; don’t touch face; avoid elevator buttons etc) to common sense things I hadn’t considered (don’t take kids to those play places for another 1-2 months bc they never get cleaned) to more extreme (no eating out; no grocery shopping – all shopping incl food online so as not to have to touch carts etc; no movies/restaurants/malls; every weekend is a stay home and watch movies weekend). I get the inclination to the extreme but then I’m like – uh but you still have to go to work and school??

    What are you doing, if anything?

    • wildkitten :

      I’ve been sick and out of work for two weeks with no end in sight and everything paranoid sounds perfectly reasonable right now.

      • I am sorry to read that you are sick, Wildkitten. HUGS, and Feel better!
        Personally, I wear gloves everywhere outside, even when I go into a store b/c peeople touch everything, then sneeze then touch more things. I carry alcohol wipes and use them whenever I take my gloves off, and I wear a scarf outside all the time over my mouth and nose so that people will not sneeze on me.

        I also do NOT let Frank or anyone use my phone or computer, b/c they sneeze on the mouthpiece or keyboard and then I would get sick. FOOEY!

        Finaly, I do NOT eat at a place where there is a salad bar b/c people all take the same utensils to pick up lettuce and tomatoes, and their hands are full of germs. DOUBEL FOOEY! And if I go out to a bar, I NEVER eat from the peanut or popcorn containers they put out to make you thirsty, b/c peeople put their greazy hands in there which often have their own bodily fluids on it, and then you wind up swallowing their bodily fluids and getting sick! TRIPEL FOOEY!

        I hope these lessons REZZONATE with you Wild Kitten and when you get well that you do your best NOT to pick up any illnesses from anybody else’s bodily fluids, as you probably did to get sick now. But you will get will soon, b/c you have the POWER of the HIVE behind you! YAY!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Extra vigilant on the washing hands/not touching face from. Keep hand sanitizer in my purse.

      Flu shot. Every year. Not just for me but also to prevent the spread in the community to the vulnerable like kids with asthma and adults with COPD.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1 on more hand washing and not touching my face. We all get the flu shot every year anyway. I haven’t done anything else, particularly.

    • Nothing more than I do every winter — got the flu shot, hand washing, keeping gloves on when on public transit, etc.

    • early flu shot, work from home and not trying to work at coffee shops and such, using online sellers vs in store to limit time out/touching carts/etc. washing all unwrapped products before eating, not getting lemon in water in restaurants since they’re often dirty.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Nothing. My family is not immuno-compromised and nobody has respiratory issues, so we just go about living our lives as normal.

    • Anonymous :

      General common sense things you listed + IDK where this came from but avoiding communal food bins — like grocery store bins for bagels/rolls or the display cases where you get a donut. Not that I do these things often anyway but IDK it occurred to me that a lot of hands go into those bins.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Nothing beyond what we normally do. I (and my daughter) got the flu shot, but we get that every year. DH still hasn’t gotten it yet because he was out the day his office had them. We rarely (almost never) go to those kinds of play spaces, but I probably wouldn’t have thought about that. We do go out to places that are kid-friendly and probably never sanitized (library, museums), and it never crossed my mind to not go to those things. I can’t imagine taking it to the extremes you mentioned, although would understand it if you were immuno-compromised.

      • Anonattorney :

        Other than get flu shot, monitor my symptoms, and take it easy if I start getting sick, I don’t do anything else either. My kid in 2.5 and in daycare, so he brings home everything anyway. The biggest thing for me is to immediately start taking care of myself if I get sick. Pound water, sleep in and come into work late, and go to bed early. This year I also went on tamiflu as soon as I thought I might have the flu (have to do it in the first 48 hours of symptoms). It worked beautifully. Other than, I just don’t know how you can fully protect yourself from germs.

    • lawsuited :

      My kid just started daycare, so I’ve accepted that I’m screwed.

      • Anonymous :

        Ha, yes. Both my kids in daycare had the flu a couple weeks ago. Both came down with symptoms within 24 hours of receiving word from the school that other children in their classes had positive flu tests. Honestly, by the time you know it’s going around, it’s too late.

        FWIW though, neither my H or I got it, despite even sleeping with the youngest while they were sick. We both worked hard to get enough sleep and fluids, wash our hands, etc. But I think it was mostly luck.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m trying to be better about taking my multivitamin, zinc, and vitamin C. I’m also being extra diligent about getting enough sleep.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Don’t touch the items in the convenience section of check outs. Particularly, all those little toys at Old Navy. Everything there is right at kid height and kids (and bored adults) put their paws all over them. I avoid those all the time though, not just this flu season.

      One thing I did is take my bad cold very seriously. I had a high fever so I got a flu test, I stayed home, I rested instead of working. Three weeks later that sucker is still lingering.

      Other good advice is not to share drinks. My friends are known to all order different cocktails but then all try a sip of each others. We are not doing that now.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m immunocompromised with respiratory issues, but I will say “no grocery shopping” and “no eating out” seem to go a bit far. I realize that getting the flu is a risk of life.

      I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on my desk that I use every time I walk into the office, I keep a bottle at my front door, and I have masks to wear on public transit if I notice a lot of coughing (I could probably wear them all the time to be extra safe, but people are legitimately awful about people wearing masks and it’s stressful as h-ll for me). I try to avoid the doctor’s office unless I have to go. And I get the flu shot and try hard to get everyone around me to do the same.

      I got the flu last year despite all of this, though, so….

      • Wait. How are people awful to you for wearing a mask? In what way?? My rxn to seeing masked people in public is always “Ahh! Oh that’s smart.” FWIW, people wear masks in my city because of allergens, not only because they are immunocompromised.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          1. One time I was wearing a mask waiting to get on a bus because it was smoky. It’s a reusable mask because it’s more effective than paper masks and the same level of filter in disposable masks are extremely expensive. I have a black and white VogMask. It muffles my voice a little bit because of how it’s made. A woman asked me what time it was. I answered her. She turned to her husband and said “See, I told you she sounds like a b*tchy Darth Vader.” I was particularly irritated because I look like Bane in the mask, not Darth Vader, but being tricked and then made fun of for what my mask was doing was majorly upsetting to me.
          2. Another time, I was at the hospital (!!!) and I’d just received really, really terrible news. I was legitimately sobbing I was so upset. I hadn’t taken my mask off and I walked out and a woman screamed at me “How f-ing stupid are you? That mask doesn’t help you, you’re just seeking attention.” I did not respond well.
          3. I was on a plane one time and the woman who was supposed to be sitting next to me saw that I was wearing a mask and she turned to the flight attendant and said “I’m not sitting next to that. I don’t want to get whatever she has. Move her.” I said “I’m not sick, I have a chroni….” and then she said “Quite frankly, I don’t care about your ridiculous excuses. Yous hould think about others before you wear something like that.” The flight attendant stepped in and told her that if she didn’t want to sit next to me, there were seats on the next flight in 5 hours. Then the guy in front of me switched with her because I was not too thrilled to be sitting next to her now, either. (Then the flight attendant brought me a complimentary beer which was very needed).
          4. One time a woman walked into a pole she was craning her head so far to stare at me. That one wasn’t actually terrible for me, because karma, but I hate knowing people are staring at me.

          A lot of it comes down to that I do not like to draw attention to that I’m “sick” and the mask is a very obvious indicator of that, to me. I don’t like being started at, at all. Other stuff I’ve gotten over and will just stare back, but the mask makes me very, very uncomfortable because there’s no way to hide it.

          • Anonymous :

            I wish the US would adopt a masks are good for you and me attitude like in Asia. In Asia, it’s, oh, I have the sniffles, SLAP ON A MASK in consideration for everybody else.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Sloan – on behalf of humanity, I want to apologize to you for how horrible we are.

          • Anonymous :

            OMG. I am so sorry those things happened to you. My mom wore a mask when she had chemo – what she had was definitely not catching! People are so awful sometimes :-(

          • Aquae Sulis :

            I’m so sorry you had to deal with that; sometimes people are just awful.

          • I don’t know if you’ll even check today, Sloan, but seriously those are horrible reactions and I’m really sorry you have to deal with that ON TOP OF a chronic illness. My next thought reading your first example, right at “b*tchy Darth Vader” was “She’s Bane you f*c king insensitive moron” and was happy you also chose to take issue with that, too.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        For a while when my dad was wearing a mask every day he wore one that my sibling had drawn a hilarious grin on. It definitely made it more scary, but was also a bit of a, ‘yeah, i’m wearing a mask, WHAT?’ thing. Ugh I am so sorry that people are awful about you wearing a mask. The choices seem to me to be (1) she is sick and doesn’t want to get others sick or (2) she doesn’t want to get sick. Both of which are good things!

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        My comment is in mod.

        • I’m sorry people are terrible. My dad has cancer and I cannot imagine people being rude or mean to him on top of it! Make me ragey on your behalf.

    • i’m pregnant so it was suggested to me that I wear a face mask when I fly. while DH thought it was ridiculous, I did get him to comply on our most recent flight. one woman told me that we were smart for wearing masks.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I always wear a mask when I fly. I also wipe down the tray tables/seat belt/arms/window cover if I’m in a window seat with an antibacterial wipe (Huggies Cleansing Wipes don’t smell like alcohol). Too many germs.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          As I said above, my immune-compromised dad does the same thing. Always a mask on planes.

        • Anonymous :

          Why only for window seats? Aren’t aisles supposed to be dirtier as everyone trudges past them?

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Oh, no, I only meant that I clean the window cover if I’m in a window seat ;) I clean everything else no matter where I sit.

          • I think the comment about window seats applied to the window covers. I think the tray tables/seat belt/arms would apply to whatever seat the poster was assigned to.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in my last month of pregnancy, which is where your immune system is most suppressed. I’m trying to avoid enclosed public spaces other than work and the doctor’s office, and I shower whenever I get home from the doctor’s office because my OB unfortunately shares a waiting room with an urgent care (I’m not sure who planned that out but it seems like a terrible idea). Honestly, I’ve sort of been avoiding restaurants for a while now for food safety reasons – that’s probably paranoid but given all the concern about listeria and the fact that Norovirus is currently circulating in my community, it just gives me more peace of mind to prepare my own food. When we do go out I make sure I order something steaming hot, since cold food like salad is more likely to have bacteria or a virus. I definitely got the flu shot and so did all my family members. A bunch of my co-workers didn’t and I sort of resent them for it.

    • Immunocompromised here and I am vigilant about handwashing, especially before eating and after coming home from outside (and petting my cat). I also avoid working in coffee shops or libraries and try to stay away from sick people. I also ALWAYS prioritize sleep and I take zinc tablets if I feel the slightest hint of a cold coming on.

    • I had this year’s flu and I have never been so sick in my whole life. So I’d say extra ridiculous level paranoia is justified. But if you had asked me before I got the flu I would have said that’s just silly.

    • Linda from HR :

      Honestly, I’m not doing as much as I probably should, I have a really hard time putting my life on hold unless I absolutely have to.

      They are saying though that if you had the flu in the last couple of years you might be okay this year, and I was really sick last January so . . . maybe I’ll be okay?

  5. velvet blazers? :

    Saw a gorgeous deep blue one on Wek on Canada’s Dragon’s Den and loved it. Is this something people actually wear or would this end up just a magnet for hair/lint/etc. where it’d quickly look messy? Or is this something a person wears once a year and then it lives in the closet?

    • I have a black one that I wear regularly in the winter. It’s super warm and I just style it like I normally would a regular black blazer and I would say the amount of lint is about the same.

    • Anonattorney :

      I would wear the crap out of it to holiday office functions and winter networking parties.

    • Anonymous :

      Both/all! Get it.

      • another anon :

        Any recommendations that are inexpensive but don’t look cheap? I too love that deep blue color on the guy from Canada’s Shark Tank!

    • Bought the blue velvet smoking jacket from Talbot’s and plan to wear it to BT/BTO/cocktail events for the next couple years with various separates I already own. I go to six to eight BT/BTO events a year, plus a decent number of cocktail and dressy professional networking events, so it will get a lot of use.

    • I bought a purple velvet blazer this year in a fit of festiveness. I’ve worn it quite a lot, and not just to parties. Your level of festiveness may vary.

  6. Anyone give notice at biglaw job during a notably busy period? I feel like projects keep blowing up and there is no good time to do this. Argh!

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. 1-2 months before trial. People were annoyed and the junior associate cried re how she’d handle it without me — but there was nothing I could do. Had been looking to move from DC back to ATL for 2+ yrs so when an offer came along, I couldn’t say I wasn’t going to start for 3 months.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Do it on your timeline, the firm is NEVER going to have a good timeline for you to give notice. Look at it this way, you’re not that important and if you got hit by a bus, they’d have to soldier on without you. This is probably one of the reasons you were looking to leave anywa, so waiting around for a perfect time will never come.

    • If you wait for the “right” time when there is nothing urgent, you will never quit. Don’t leave less than two weeks before you are scheduling to help with a trial. Other than that – you are replaceable.

      If you are first chair, you might be professionally obligated to give more than 2 weeks notice if you have back to back to back trials – but honestly I have almost never see that actually happen.

  7. Upgrading Cooking Implements :

    Hive, let’s talk about cast iron skillets and dutch ovens. If you were going to start from scratch to upgrade the pots and pans you got as hand-me-downs when you were 20 (and you were okay with spending a solid chunk of change in doing so), where would you begin? I believe I’d like to start with 1-2 enameled cast iron fry pans/skillets and a Dutch oven, but I’m completely overwhelmed at all the options out there in terms of size. Would it be reasonable to start with a 10-inch fry pan and a 12-inch deep skillet, or should I be thinking larger or smaller? And for a dutch oven, what size do you find yourself reaching for the most? Are there other products that are total cooking game-changers for you?

    For some context, right now it’s just me and DH, but I tend to cook in bulk when I cook. We live in a very small apartment, so storage is also big consideration. I know the hive has had strong opinions on cast iron in the past – thank you in advance :)

    • Anonattorney :

      I’m a huge Le Creuset fan, because they cook evenly, but even more importantly for me, are SUPER easy to clean. I have the 5.5 quart round dutch oven, which is the perfect size for me. Not huge, but big enough to cook in bulk. I also have the signature skillet in the biggest size (I think 12″). I use it for everything; steaks, pancakes, eggs, stir fry, etc.

    • cat socks :

      Ugh, my comment got posted separately. I like my 5.5 qt dutch oven. It’s plenty big for big batches of soup/chili for two people.

    • I live alone and cook in bulk. I have a 6 quart Dutch oven that I use for soups and a 3.6 quart covered casserole that I use to sauté and bake things. I use both cast iron pans all the time. They’re both enameled because I have a glass top stove and the regular cast iron scratches it.

    • Anonymous :

      Following. I get a ton of use out of my All Clad stainless 6 qt pot (Dutch oven? idk) and 4 qt sautee pan. I make a lot of soups and stews in each of them. I wasn’t sure I’d use a large-capacity sautee pan that much, but it’s great for things I used to do in batches (like spinach) and I’ve even made a beef stew in it. They’re also lightweight so it doesn’t feel like a chore to use them even though they’re big. I have a large cast iron pan that I barely use because it’s so heavy – it takes so much doing just to get it out of the cabinet, I feel defeated before I’ve even started. I have my eye on some Le Creuset items but I’m concerned about the weight.

    • Anonymous :

      Lodge pre-seasoned for cast iron is not expensive.

      I have a LeCrueset enameled dutch oven and have Never Used It b/c I think I can ruin nice things. I am constantly grabbing my Lodge stuff and I have done every bad thing in the world to it and yet it is not destroyed.

      • The LC is far more forgiving than you might think. The only babying I do is to not use metal utensils on it. I cook everything in it and have no issues putting it in the dishwasher. To me, LC dutch ovens look best when they are well loved and well used. I think , how many awesome dishes have you enjoyed out of that thing?

      • I inherited a LC dutch oven when a relative passed away. It was a wedding gift to her in the 60s. It’s amazing and has a great seasoning on the inside. I also have a cheap knockoff dutch oven and when I cook larger batches side by side, the LC heats more evenly and maintains a simmer much better. The quality is real, folks.

      • Oh you are missing an opportunity to use a very nice dutch oven, when they are almost impossible to ruin. Over time, if you cook a lot as I do (I’m the novel writer below) they will take on a worn look. The enamel lining will not be pristine white anymore, and the outside will probably get some baked on stains going, but we like to call this “patina.” It shows that you really cook. And none of it affects the functionality of the pan.

        Don’t worry so much about ruining it! What a waste not to use it. It makes me feel sad for you :)

    • I’ve said this before and I’ll shout it from the rooftops- I have the LeCreuset braiser- Crate and Barrel calls it the “Everyday Pan” and boy do we use it everyday. It is THE. BEST. It’s nonstick, easy to clean, and we’ve stopped using the regular cast iron for most everything except steaks. There’s just two of us, and the 3.75 qts is perfectly big enough- its pretty heavy and we use it all the time so it just lives permanently on the stove.

      • Anonymous :

        haha, I have the Staub version and love it!

        If I were starting from scratch:

        – the 5.5 qt LC or the staub version with the lid/frying pan
        – a staub or LC braiser
        – demeyre 6qt and 3 qt
        – staub rice pot
        – lodge deep skillet

      • hive five. The braiser is my #1 best friend too.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I have a 5.5 qt LeCreuset dutch oven and want a slightly larger one. I like to cook large batches of stews/soups to freeze (like a week’s worth for 2 people) and while 5.5 is fine for say, 2 batches of chili of about 3-4 servings each, it wouldn’t fit 3 batches.

    • WARNING novel ahead!

      I Love my LeCreuset. I have lots because I always ask for one for a gift, and I used to stop at the outlet in Vacaville on the way home from Tahoe (hive five to bay area r e t t e s)

      I have, in order of favorites

      1) the Braiser, my most used pan. I use it for actual braising but also without the lid for roasting ALL THE TIME. I also like to use it in place of a frying pan/saute pan/skillet because I can stick it in the oven and not worry about accidentally grabbing the very hot handle when it comes out of the oven (ask me how I know I will do this) and I also like that it’s pretty enough to take straight to the table.

      2) The 3 1/2 quart dutch oven. It’s a smaller size but a good one for making a larger batch of rice (if I’m using 2 c of uncooked rice, I use this pot) and smaller batches of soup. I like that it limits me on the soup because I have a tendency to make too much.

      3) the 7 1/2 quart dutch oven. I use this for larger batches of soup when I can’t help myself, for making stocks, or large batches of anything. I really love this pot but it is huge and not easy to store. I recently used it to make braised red cabbage, and you really need something just about this large to hold a whole head of sliced red cabbage before it reduces down. I sometimes use this to make double batches of pasta (a double batch = 2 lb/2 boxes uncooked pasta) when I’m feeding a bunch of kids. I’ve served spaghetti with marinara sauce, old school “goulash,” and mac & cheese in this pot to groups of kids/teens.

      4) the small heart shaped pot. This was a gift that I wouldn’t have chosen myself but I use it a surprising amount of the time, pretty much only for rice. I don’t do gluten so we eat a lot of rice. If I’m using 1 or 1.5 cups of uncooked rice, this is my pot. And it’s definitely pretty enough for the table. It’s adorable. I take all of my le creuset pots straight to the table.

      5) a 12″ skillet. This is my least used, I’m not sure why, but I just really like my all clad skillets and sauce pans. I may just avoid using this one because it is heavy and at the bottom of my stack of skillets and a pain to get to. I like a light colored interior skillet for judging fond/browning, and I can’t really do that with a black colored skillet. (It’s black, but is not teflon. It’s just a different enamel coating meant for high heat searing). And I mostly use my braiser, my #1 pan, for anything searing/skillet related.

      I also have a 5 quart Staub pan, which is supposed to be the most convenient size of dutch oven, and I rarely use it. It has a couple of things not going for it, in my opinion. I don’t like the black enamel interior, as mentioned above about the skillet. And more importantly, that metal handle on the pot lid burns my fingers every time. It gets searingly hot. The le creuset handles get hot, but not finger blistering hot. That alone makes me not use it. Blistery burned finger tips are not the business.

      OK if you read this far, I’m super impressed. I cook a lot and can get carried away talking about my favorite equipment.

  8. Anonymous :

    Would this type of boot look right worn with a pencil skirt and tights in a fairly conservative office, or no?

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think so. With a pencil skirt I’d go for one of the really low vamp booties. It might be ok with a fuller skirt though. JMO

    • lawsuited :

      I think they’d look totally fine with a pencil skirt and tights, especially black tights.

  9. cat socks :

    I have a 5.5 qt dutch oven. It’s the Food Network brand. I bought it from Kohl’s for around $50. I’ve had it for a few years now and it’s held up well. I use it frequently to make soups and chili. I also have an InstantPot and have been using that as well.

  10. Anonymous :

    I just have to vent about my co-worker the martyr. This guy is senior to me but not my boss. He directs some projects on which I am staffed and vice versa. He refuses to do any work on my projects, which means that I recently had to do all the work for a gigantic deliverable all by myself. I also do most of the heavy lifting on all of his projects. Meanwhile, he constantly gripes that everyone sticks him with all the work and that I am not “committed” to his projects. I have recently worked a bunch of weekends, so I decided to take PTO tomorrow so I can get on top of all the things I’ve neglected at home. His response? “Well, I worked this Sunday [which he didn’t even need to do], but that doesn’t entitle me to take a day off.” Dude, I am using PTO when I should really be getting a whole lot of comp time, and if you are so stressed out you should take a day off too. Ugh.

    • commenting on someone’s PTO and not making you do all the work (especially if this is a gender-based thing) seems like an HR problem, not a you keep doing all his work and dealing with his commentary problem!

  11. I read the name as “Autumn GRANNY Leather 65mm Bootie” and was reminded fondly of the boots that Babs wore in Hello, Dolly!

    These are cute but my big cankles can’t do this higher rise bootie.

  12. Asking the experts :

    I’ve been subpoenaed as a witness for a three week long trial out of town. Any wardrobe advice?

    • Anonymous :

      Do you work for one of the parties? If not, there are generally limits on how far they can make you travel when subject to a subpoena. For federal court, the trial would have to be within 100 miles or the same state of where you live or regularly transact business. Regardless, you are not going to need to appear for the full three weeks.

      Context really matters for what to wear. If you are an expert or business person testifying in your business capacity, I would recommend a suit. If you are a family member or friend testifying in a criminal matter, I would recommend something along the lines of what you would wear to church – clean, nice, not jeans, but doesn’t need to be professional attire.

      • The 100 mile rule is only applicable in civil cases, just FYI.

        • fair enough. I don’t practice criminal. What is the rule there? It can’t be that they can make me fly across country, right?

    • Anonymous :

      I doubt you will actually need to be there every day. I would consult the attorney who subpoenaed you about scheduling and when you’re actually needed.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 Call the lawyer noted on your subpoena and find out when you actually have to be there.

    • What kind of case is it? If it’s a criminal case, the prosecuting agency should have a witness coordinator who can talk to you about specifically when you need to be there and what to wear.

  13. Anonymous :

    What kind of witness are you? Expert? Friend of victim? Innocent bystander? Context matters, imho

  14. Sloan Sabbith :

    Outfit challenge FAIL: I don’t know how long I walked around the office with the button of my shirt over my bra undone. I talked to: my boss, two other attorneys, and walked through the reception area.


    • pugsnbourbon :

      That happened to me once while I was working in a very public-facing position. I had a prop camera around my neck and a slippery polyester blouse on (uniform) – the camera strap pulled SEVERAL buttons out of place before I noticed. There were children present.

  15. End of the week work rant: I’ve had nothing to do all week. Two hours ago, three colleagues emailed me separately, asking me to set up meetings for them (I am not an admin, but work is work so I’ll take it). I responded immediately to each giving them time slot options and asking them to confirm. Not one of them responded. Tomorrow is my 9/80 day off. I’m confident I will return on Monday to a slew of “omg why isn’t my meeting set up yet” emails.

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