Suit of the Week: Banana Republic

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

This lovely gray suit at Banana Republic caught my eye because of how simple it is — it almost feels as close as you can get these days to a classic suit. The pants are perfect — not too cropped, not too skinny, not too wide — and they have pockets. (Remember, you can always sew pockets shut if they stick out in an unflattering way and/or if you don’t need them — or more likely, just keep them sewn closed when they come to you.) The style of the jacket is in keeping with the collarless, lapel-less trend, but I really like the bit of ruffle near the face. It’s a nice little detail that’s flattering but also cool and feminine. The jacket (Lightweight Wool Ruffle-Collar Blazer) is $198 (regular and tall sizes) and the pants (Logan Trouser-Fit Lightweight Wool Pant) are on sale for $63 (regular and long).

Two options in plus sizes are at Macy’s and Lord & Taylor (although the ruffles aren’t quite as subtle), and this sleeveless sheath dress at Talbots is only $59 on sale and comes in misses, woman, and woman petites.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    No, Cat, a ruffled collar is not as close as one can get to a classic suit. Just . . . no.

    • Agree — without the ruffle I’d be ALL OVER this one. I have a short neck so the collarless blazer trend is a great one for me. But the ruffle makes it so much less versatile.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s really gorgeous and subtle. Totally acceptable in my less conservative office.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Disagree – that barely even qualifies as a ruffle, almost more of a pleat details up close. Neither of which disqualifies the suit as being either super-conservative or classic.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I like it. Not sure if I’d call it a classic though… I’m not sure how many years you’d get out of this before it looked dated.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, I like this suit and I think it is formal enough for pretty conservative environments, but I wouldn’t call it classic. I think it will get dated much sooner than a plain suit would.

      • Classic and conservative are two different things. Ruffles can be conservative like this and not be classic.

    • Anonymous :

      +1 So sick of ruffles.

    • I’m on the side of the ruffle being pretty small. But BOOOOO to it not being available in petite! BR is one of the few places I can find a lined wool suit for my 00P self.

    • I think you may be misreading the description. Cat is not suggesting this as an interview suit which should be “as classic and basic as you get.” On the contrary, the suit of the week is intended to be “slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.”

      I would imagine this suit would pass muster for any occasion on which a pant suit of this color would work. The neck detail does not take it into the realm of unprofessional.

      • Kat says in the actual suit description “it almost feels as close as you can get these days to a classic suit”

    • Anonymous :

      I am a pear and Logan pants are the only pants that fit.

  2. This is very honest and terrifying.

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/jaimieseaton/from-one-world-to-another?utm_term=.rsYlYRmZm#.jiZd4VGpG

    • Wow

    • This is why growing up my mom and grandma always told me “Don’t have children until you are able to support them on your own.” They have both divorced due to their husbands’ infidelity, and had to be single moms for a while. I trust my husband, but you never know what can happen.

    • I can’t open the link but think she was featured on the Death, Sex and Money podcast I listened to this morning. Interesting interview.

    • Anonymous :

      I am a fourth-generation working mother and was raised to believe, from an early age, that you never, ever allow yourself to be supported by a man. My grandmother thought prostitution was a better idea than being a SAHM. Somewhere back in the past, some woman relative of mine had lived out a story like the author’s, and then drilled into her daughter’s head the risks involved with not making your own living. And it got passed down through the generations. I’m really, really grateful for this. The older I get, and the more 50+-year-old women I meet who are living in poverty because they didn’t learn this lesson – the more grateful I am. It’s tragic, but it is the truth: in this life, you cannot depend on anyone but yourself.

      • Baconpancakes :

        My SAHM grandmother couldn’t afford to leave her abusive husband and encouraged my mother and aunts’ career goals so they could always support themselves if they needed to. She struggled with the idea of my mother pursuing anything other than nursing, typing, or teaching, but believes women should have their own money, which was drilled into me at a young age as well.

      • While all of this is true, the problem for this woman is not that she did not work. It was that she became accustomed to a lifestyle that her income could not support. She is (understandably) mourning the loss of her old life – but she was never going to support that as a freelance journalist.

        And while she is probably an excellent parent, I cannot help but think she is not doing her children any favors by writing about their father’s extramarital affair and the family’s dirty laundry in a public forum where their middle-school friends will read it. She needs to make money (and should perhaps consider a better paying career) but mining her family drama is going to be really hard on her kids later.

      • This is why WE, as HIVE profesionals, are NOT about to rely on any MAN to support us. What we DO have to watch out for are men who just want us to support THEM, while they lay around our apartements all day, drinking our wine and watching TV SPORTSCENTER while pretending they are the KINGS of the Castle, like my ex did. FOOEY on my ex, Sheketovits!

        Men are for the most part useless, and they know it, but also know that we need for them to impregnate us in order to have children. That is the cross we all must bear if we want to have children. I suppose that is why so many women do put up with otherwise useless men, b/c ONLEY they have the semen we need to fertilize our e’ggs. DOUBEL FOOEY! If there were a way to get our egg’s fertilized from them and then just have them go away, that would NOT be such a bad thing, given that they no longer are of much use (other then for economic value).

        Dad says he is glad I never married Sheketovits — though I did finaly learn how to spell his name. TRIPEL FOOEY

    • Anon atty :

      She has another article that I enjoyed about letting dad have visitations with the children in their home. It’s such a progressive view and good for the kids. I occasionally do some family law and it breaks my heart when parents can’t look beyond their own pain at their failed relationship and do something together for their child. I literally had a court hearing once over which parent got to take a kid for a celebratory dinner after an award ceremony. Dad wanted both parents to go to the dinner. Mom refused and wanted to be allowed to go to the dinner alone with the kids. Since she was the non-custodial parent, the court granted her the dinner and dad could celebrate with them the next night. I hope to never be hurt so badly that I can’t just sit at a table with an ex for the benefit of a child. You don’t have to like him. If you had kids with him though, he’s going to be in your life no matter what, forever.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/08/03/daddys-home-a-different-take-on-co-parenting-really-different/?utm_term=.b6567a74a89f

    • Yes. This article is so true. It happened to my mom. I think about this every time I take a step back so my husband can take a step forward in his career for the “good of the family”. I think about it during rocky patches. I chose my career so I could support myself and a child. But I still know it would be a struggle. I also have been very poor and know how exhausting and terrifying it is.

    • Anonymous :

      Her broader point is a good one, but I found it hard to garner much sympathy for someone who is still so privileged after divorce and is really just missing the cushy 1%er lifestyle. She can’t afford to take her kids on a luxury vacation to the Bahamas? Cry me a river. This is not the same as the SAHM who can’t afford to leave an abusive husband or a woman who has to work overtime to feed and clothe her kids after a divorce.

      • Anonymous :

        She did talk about not being able to buy groceries before getting paid for a piece and for not being able to heat the house. That is dire enough for my sympathy.

        • Anonymous :

          But as someone pointed out below, she gets spousal support and she’s only expected to earn $2,000 a month. You can do that pretty easily at a low-end retail gig, it certainly shouldn’t be hard for a college-educated person to find a job that pays $24k/year. If she’s honestly struggling to meet her children’s basic needs, she should give up her writing aspirations and get a 40 hour-per-week job at Target or Starbucks (which wouldn’t be a huge burden considering she has school-age kids and wouldn’t need much if any childcare). I suspect the real problem is that she likes working 10 or 20 hours per week from home in her pajamas like she did when she was a SAHM and doesn’t want to give that up. And sorry, but I don’t have any sympathy for that.

          Also, in my experience, people who genuinely worry about buying groceries and paying heating bills don’t whine about not getting to go to the Bahamas. There’s a big disconnect here.

          • She’s expected to earn $2000/month for now, and that amount will increase and support will decrease in the years ahead. It’s in the article.

            I swear some of you are intentionally obtuse. It’s a cautionary tale. Like, don’t do this. Look what happened to me. Not a feel sorry for me tale.

          • Anonymous :

            But she never really stopped earning money. So what do you think the moral of the story is – you should be an investment banker instead of a writer? Ok that’s true if you care about having loads of money, but then what does the divorce have to do with anything? This isn’t really a typical “I left my career and now I’m divorced and can’t find a job” story. She never left her career and she currently has a job that pays decently, she just misses being married to an i-banker. And I’m not sure how that translates to advice for other people, except maybe if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a wealthy guy, do your best to stay married at all costs.

          • “I suspect the real problem is that she likes working 10 or 20 hours per week from home in her pajamas like she did when she was a SAHM and doesn’t want to give that up. And sorry, but I don’t have any sympathy for that.”

            Agreed. I would add that being a writer or a correspondent is a sexy job, but being a receptionist is not. Functionally, her husband was funding the illusion that she could have this glamour “job” and also be able to cut two thousand dollar checks to shake Obama’s hand.

        • Anonymous :

          +1

          and she’s working 7 days a week.

      • I don’t like this kind of tragedy one upsmanship. So there are people worse off than her. There are people worse off than the woman who can’t afford to leave an abusive husband too. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to grieve the loss of her lifestyle or the abrupt transition for her kids.

        The point of the story, in case you were too busy not feeling sorry for her to notice, is that you should make your own way in the world and make your own money. It seems that is the lesson the writer is learning now, at 52.

        I’m the same age and have seen lots of friends and acquaintances go through some version of this. And somehow the man is never worse off, only the mom and the kids. Maybe we should save our contempt for that issue.

        • Anon at 4:42 :

          It is almost always the lower earning partner who is worse off, and that is usually the woman (although two of the female partners in my law firm are paying $$$ to their ex husbands for alimony).

          I am not sure what the solution would be. Certainly in retrospect, she should have been better educated about their finances, their consumer debt and their lack of savings. It sounds like their “write a check” spending habits were unsustainable in any event. But supporting a household on one income is never going to be as good as supporting it on two, even with child support/alimony. And low earners who marry higher earners are almost always going to take a big hit in lifestyle when there is a divorce.

          Quite honestly I do not feel sorry for her. She had a hand in creating her situation and frankly if she cannot earn $2K a month writing, she owes it to her children to get a regular job so she can do her part to support them. She can go back to writing once they are grown. I have a lot of sympathy for her children, who are in an untenable position. I do not know enough about her husband’s current income to have an opinion about whether he is doing his part to support their children, but if he living in the lap of luxury while his ex-wife cannot buy food to feed his children, then he is scum.

        • But she did make her own money the entire time. She just misses having a lot more money. So I’m not sure what the broader point is. Be an investment banker? Be more careful with your money when you have it? I guess that’s what I didn’t get. She worked the whole time but at a profession that was only middle class. She married a rich guy and liked designer clothes and the access rich people have- then got divorced and is back to middle class. id miss it too I guess I just don’t know if I’d write an article about it – she still goes on vacations and has a house in a nice suburb.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s not that you can’t feel sorry for someone just because other people are worse off. It’s that she seems to have no awareness of the fact that she’s still much better off than most.

          I feel sorry for her that her husband cheated and fathered a child and her marriage broke up. That is a horrible situation. I do not feel sorry for her that she is now expected to earn $24K per year. That is normal for an adult, especially one who does not have very young children at home.

          • She literally wrote that she knows she’s better off than many.

          • Anonymous :

            It was one line and saying that doesn’t make it true. The article, taken as a whole, read as very entitled to me and a bunch of others.

    • Anonymous :

      Yikes. This all comes off as entitled victimhood. Sure, what her husband did stinks, but she shouldn’t be feeling quite this poor. The article says that the terms of her settlement require her to bring in $2,000 a month. It’s not clear if that’s before or after taxes, but that shouldn’t be so difficult for someone with a college degree. It’s 40 hours a week at $10 an hour. If she can’t make that much in journalism, it’s time for her to get a new career. And why is she living paycheck to paycheck? If they were so rich pre-divorce, didn’t they have any savings that got divided up?

      • Anon in NYC :

        I read this article and then googled her / read other stuff that she’s published. She wrote in a different piece that she had little information about their finances, and when they had to sort out finances during the divorce she was surprised to learn that they were not as well off as she had assumed. She walked away from the divorce and owed 16k in marital credit card debt.

        • Yeah, bingo. That’s the real problem. I’m not saying there aren’t risks to opting out of the workforce, but knowing nothing about your family’s finances is a much bigger risk. It’s possible to be a SAHM and be informed about your family’s assets and debts. In fact most of the SAHMs I know manage the family finances.

      • Anonymous :

        Sorry, can’t do math this afternoon. 40 hours a week at $12.50 an hour. Still seems pretty simple.

    • It came off as really entitled to me. Like they lived beyond their means and had to cut back. She is still richer than most of the country. I dunno the article rubbed me the wrong way

      • Anonymous :

        Between the layoff and the credit card debt, it sounds like their lifestyle was about to come crashing down anyway. I’m sure the divorce didn’t help but it really sounds like they were living a lifestyle they couldn’t afford and it caught up to them. Really common story in certain circles, even without the affair and divorce.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I have a stay-at-home spouse and it really enables my work, but sometimes this stuff makes me fret — like am I screwing him by asking him to stay home ‘for the good of the family’? I hope not. I certainly have no plans to divorce him or have an affair!!! But probably no one does. If he does want to go back to work I wouldn’t discourage him, of course, but for scheduling reasons it’s really a lot easier if he doesn’t… and like in the article, paying for childcare could eat up what he earns.

      I guess what I’m kicking around is ‘how different is it when genders are reversed?’ IDK just thinking out loud.

      • https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/26/i-might-look-country-club-rich-reality-very-very-different#comments

        I don’t think much different. Honestly this lady just seems kinda like a hot mess. She kept buying designer clothes and had no idea about her finances. The divorce doesn’t help but the divorce isn’t really the issue here

      • Anonymous :

        I think there’s always risk when one spouse opts out completely but for most people it’s not catastrophic. If your family doesn’t have consumer debt, the working spouse is well-insured in case of death or disability and the stay at home spouse is able to go back to work in the event of divorce, things usually turn out ok. I’ve seen quite a few marriages where the woman stayed home break up, and she has always landed on her feet. It can definitely be a rough adjustment and a big change in lifestyle if the man was a really high-earner and the single woman is suddenly middle class, but I don’t know anyone struggling to buy groceries or keep the heat on.

        • This – the dramatic change in lifestyle is not fun, but like a lot of not fun things, it is not anyone’s fault and whining about it in public (apparently in multiple articles) is going to rub some people the wrong way. Do I sympathize? Sure. Do I think her lack of knowledge about her family’s finances, lack of savings and CC debt is a a cautionary tale? Absolutely. Do I feel like she needs to stop feeling sorry for herself (and not just SAY she knows she is lucky but work on really appreciating it)? Yes – although I suppose that might be the next group of articles once she has mined this for everything she can.

          I have posted here before about a friend who divorced her wealthy husband and walked away with very little (they both worked, but their lifestyle was being heavily subsidized by his family inheritance and she could not touch it). She had good reasons for their divorce and for months and months, I sympathized and listened and offered support. But at some point, she needed to stop feeling sorry for herself and move on with the life she could build for herself rather than spending her time being angry about what she had lost – that she had never done anything to earn in the first place.

          • Yeah but she’s supporting herself by writing these articles. Anyone who’s ever written has been advised to “write what you know” – and that’s what she’s doing. Seems like for many of you, she’s damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t.

  3. Do you wear ivory/white dresses in the winter, and if so, what color tights do you wear? I have a few dresses where white is the dominant color. I wear them entirely in the spring/summer because I don’t have to wear hose and they look great. I’d love to be able to wear them in the winter but can’t figure out how. Black tights are way too harsh. Gray tights? I don’t know. Just seems off somehow. Seems like nude hose is the best option but I generally hate wearing nude hose (medium brown skin here).

    For example, this is an example of one such dress I have. In person the slate is actually a light gray color.

    https://www.macys.com/shop/product/lauren-ralph-lauren-printed-jersey-dress-regular-petite-sizes?ID=4870369&CategoryID=5449#fn=PRODUCT_DEPARTMENT%3DDress%26SIZE%3D%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D8%26ruleId%3D78%7CBOOST%20SAVED%20SET%26kws%3Dlauren%20ralph%20lauren%20women%26searchPass%3DexactMultiMatch%26slotId%3D53

  4. Do you wear ivory/white dresses in the winter, and if so, what color tights do you wear? I have a few dresses where white is the dominant color. I wear them entirely in the spring/summer because I don’t have to wear hose and they look great. I’d love to be able to wear them in the winter but can’t figure out how. Black tights are way too harsh. Gray tights? I don’t know. Just seems off somehow. Seems like nude hose is the best option but I generally hate wearing nude hose (medium brown skin here).

    For example, this is an example of one such dress I have. In person the slate is actually a light gray color.

    • https://www.macys.com/shop/product/lauren-ralph-lauren-printed-jersey-dress-regular-petite-sizes?ID=4870369&CategoryID=5449#fn=PRODUCT_DEPARTMENT%3DDress%26SIZE%3D%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D8%26ruleId%3D78%7CBOOST%20SAVED%20SET%26kws%3Dlauren%20ralph%20lauren%20women%26searchPass%3DexactMultiMatch%26slotId%3D53

    • I have a couple, one is winter white and the other is very light gray. The light gray I wear with darker gray tights and a dark grey cardigan or blazer. The winter white is tougher, I agree. I usually default to black tights and black boots, but will also sometimes do brown. I’ve tried everything and nothing is great, tbh.

    • Anonymous :

      I wear black tights with my white dress. It has a black windowpane print though. Black tights and black booties with a white/ivory dress and a colorful blazer or scarf or statement necklace is a great look.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Colored tights? Burgundy or dark teal or something?

    • Nude tights and tan shoes

      I really don’t like black tights with lighter colors. I think it looks accidental.

      • I think you’re right. I’ve tried darker tights and just take them off each time.

        I really don’t like nude hose but maybe the hive can help. Any suggestions? I have medium brown skin, sort of like Halle Berry color. The only ones I have are the cheap ones from CVS and those are awful.

        • Have you tried so-called nude fishnets? I think Spanx has a darker skin color, but I also think if they’re micro net, the lighter net with your skin color peeking out would be really pretty.

  5. Anonymous :

    Anyone know what the top underneath is? I just browsed through tees and tops on BR and can’t seem to find it.

  6. Antidepressants in Pregnancy :

    Anyone taken antidepressants while pregnant? I saw a reproductive psychiatrist today in preparation for TTC and was surprised that she was very much in favor of me not going off meds. She explained the science and it all sounded legit, but I see so much about people going off their meds that I’m curious how common a recommendation this is. (I primarily have issues with anxiety, for what that’s worth).

    • Anonymous :

      Not me, but my best friend continued taking them throughout her pregnancy, which resulted in a perfectly healthy child.

    • 8 mo pregnant here and on a low dose of Lexapro from the beginning for generally mild anxiety. I actually increased my dosage after getting pregnant because the hormones were messing with my anxiety. My PCP and OB have no problems with it, so long as the dose is low. The recommendations likely vary based on the specific med.

      • Antidepressants in Pregnancy :

        I’m on lexapro too, plus a newer med. It does sound like it’s generally safe in pregnancy, which is great.

    • I’ve heard from multiple mental-health providers that the recommendation now is often not to go off medication unless the medication is known to be problematic. For example, Prozac is not generally recommended, so pre-TTC, they may want to transition you to something else if you’re on Prozac now.

      I think it’s great that doctors are shifting to a more science-based approach on this issue. Untreated mental illness, even if it’s chronic rather than acute, is not a great thing for mother or child.

      • Do you mean Paxil is not generally recommended? I’m pretty sure Prozac is ok and Paxil is not (I just transitioned off Paxil a couple months ago because we’re TTC this summer). My doc switched me to Zoloft bc it’s safer and I’ll likely stay on it the whole time.

        • Huh, the therapist mentioned Prozac to me, but it was a quick, in-passing conversation, so she may have misspoken.

    • My sister in law was told not to go off of anti-anxiety, because loosing control of mental health while pregnant tends to be worse for both the mother and the baby.

    • on a low dose of zoloft and i’m pregnant. it is considered one of the safer meds to be on while pregnant. all the data shows is that women who take it are slightly more likely to go into labor a bit earlier. but weighing the risk of that compared to the risk of someone who needs medications not taking the medication…. my doc told me it is worse for my baby for me to be anxious/depressed throughout my whole pregnancy

    • I took Lexapro during pregnancy and still take it while nursing. Doctor agreed that I should not go off of it because my daughter was more likely to suffer from untreated anxiety. My daughter is happy and healthy, and i have no regrets.

    • Not me, but sister did with her first child. Baby turned out perfectly healthy and is a delightful 4-year-old girl today.

    • Anonymous :

      For relevant research see https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/psychiatric-disorders-during-pregnancy/

  7. Would welcome suggestions from the Hive. I have a friend/colleague who has been immensely helpful to me the past several months during a career transition – very selfless in giving me advice and generally being a sounding board. I would like to get him a token of appreciation to show my gratitude. We have a close but entirely platonic relationship (but are both single) so I don’t want to veer into any territory that could read “romantic”. Bottle of scotch? Other suggestions?

  8. Makeup Routine :

    I need to reduce the amount of time I spend doing my makeup. I like makeup, have worn it most days since I was 17, and feel it’s part of me looking and feeling put-together. That to say, I don’t think I can give it up or become a moisturizer and chapstick gal. But right now I spend probably 20 minutes putting on primer, foundation, undereye concealer, bronzer, blush, eyebrows, mascara and either eyeliner or one eye shadow colour.

    If you’re able to do a similar routine in less time, what products or tools do you use? Any other hacks?

    (I did have eyelash extensions for a while which helped because I just did skin makeup and more minimal makeup because the eyelash extensions made me look so awake, but stopped because of the time and expense.)

    • Anonymous :

      Wow, that seems like a lot of time. I have a similar routine and can do it in 5-7 minutes on weekdays. If I am going out, I’ll spend more time on my eyes.
      First, rule out the time that you lose to distractions. Pull out all the tools you need and your makeup, place it on the counter. Put away your phone, turn off the tv, stop talking to whoever is in the room, put down the coffee, ignore the dog/cat/kid and then time yourself. Not rushing, just distraction free. Does it still take 20 minutes? Where are you losing time? Does something need to dry (primer, mascara). Can you put that step in somewhere else? Let primer dry while doing your hair? Would it help to watch YouTube videos or get a quick makeup lesson in a particular step like eyeliner?

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. My makeup routine takes about 20 mins at home but less than 10 at the gym. At the gym, I only have exactly what I need – I’m not searching through my counter/makeup bag, deciding which eye shadow palette I want to use today, or generally putzing around.

      • KS IT Chick :

        Another 7-minute person here (my DH has timed me a couple times). Foundation, setting powder, 2 colors of blush, eye primer, 3 colors of eye shadow, 2 colors of eye liner, brows. If I get distracted in the middle, the time goes way up.

    • AnotherAnon :

      I use a similar amount of products every day and it probably takes me 5-10 minutes. Do you use a beauty blender or other sponge? That cuts foundation and concealer down to about a minute for me. Also having all the makeup I plan to use in one place is helpful so I’m not deciding what blush or eyeshadow palette I want in the middle of my makeup. Cream products are great. If you do foundation, concealer, cream highlight, cream or liquid blush, and cream bronzer you can use your sponge for all of that. Cream eyeshadows in sticks are also awesome (Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier both make good ones)

      • +1 for cream eyeshadow sticks! no fallout to clean up, and they are easily blendable with no fancy brush technique!

        Question though: I also love my beautyblender, but I feel like it takes more time! The extra step of wetting the sponge and the technique of dabbing seems to take 1-2 minutes longer for me than buffing with a brush or using my fingers. Is there a secret to going more quickly??

    • I went from about 15 min to 5 – this is my quick routine. First, I lay out everything that I’m going to use and as I use it I put it back in my makeup bag. Define eyebrows with powder, dab on eyeshadow cream or gel that doesn’t require primer (I like maybelline color tattoo), mascara, tinted moisturizer or foundation, concealer under eyes, dust with powder to finish.

      • Same – when I’m about to put my makeup on, I also lay everything out quickly in the order I’m going to put it on (takes 30 seconds to do so) and will stick the brush I’m going to use next to the item. As I use it, the makeup goes back in the bag and the brushes in a little vase on my counter. When I first wake up, I do a quick cleanse-toner-serum-moisturizer and then go about getting coffee and breakfast so it has time to sink into my face. Then I do primer-foundation-under eye pen-under eye powder-loose powder-bronzer-blush-eye shadow and spray my face with something to set it. I finish my hair, get dressed and lastly curl my eyelashes and do mascara before I walk out the door. The whole production from wake-up to walking out the door takes about 45 minutes.

        It used to take me longer, but I’ve gotten a lot faster since I sorted out my daily makeup from all my extra shades, random eye palates, makeup I might wear to an event or take on vacation, etc. I put the former in one smallish makeup bag and the latter in a seperate bag that I keep under the sink. Less options mean less distracting choices. I go through my daily bag seasonally and adjust colors to fit the new season (foundation and powder shades, a darker bronzer in the summer, swap out blush or eyeshadows). Otherwise I wear the same ‘glow from within’ natural makeup shades every day and no one has called me out on it.

        • Yes this is key. Have your tools and products ready to roll at all times, and no extraneous stuff to wade through. I use a tall narrow countertop in my bathroom for makeup (it’s the top of a small freestanding cabinet). It has on it a standing mirror with magnification on one side, an old-fashioned drink glass with brushes, mascara, and pencils, and a small tray holding bb cream, blush and a lipstick.

          If I had to dig this stuff out every morning, or wade through products i didn’t need, I’d take a lot more time to be done.

    • Anonymous :

      Cut primer, eyebrows and bronzer?

    • I’m like you and wear a complete, professional face to work every day, but even then it doesn’t take me 20 minutes.

      Primer: a Wet n Wild spray that spritz in my palms and rub over my face (5 seconds)
      Foundation: a lightweight Neutrogena liquid applied with my fingertips (30 seconds)
      Undereye concealer: Maybelline Age Rewind (90 seconds)
      Eyebrows: Lancome pencil I’ve been using since 2003 (3 minutes)
      Eyeshadow: 2 colors (2 minutes)
      Eyeliner: NYX in the waterline; liquid on the top lid (90 seconds)
      Mascara: 2 kinds, a million coats (I have super fine hair) (2 minutes)
      Blush: Wet n Wild cream stick or Nars powder (30 seconds)

      I do lipstick later and don’t wear powder/bronzer.

      I think it’s really about choosing to speed up your routine. It’s possible to get ready more quickly – it won’t look perfect, but it’ll look fine. You have to choose to accept fine.

      • Anonymous :

        I look dazzling everyday with lip gloss and sunscreen.

      • A face without makeup is also a complete, professional face.

        • Professional Face :

          Sheesh. I think this deserves another “cool story bro” comment. What’s with you ladies lately?! Sometimes, it’s okay to read something online and not comment.

          …stepping off soapbox

        • I think what this anon meant is that she wears a complete face of makeup in a professional style rather than in a going-out style, not that makeup is required to be professional.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you want to save time or not? Use a BB cream instead of primer + foundation, skip bronzer, skip eyebrows, skip eyeliner. Problem solved.

      • A BB cream won’t always be able to take the place of foundation for women who need more coverage.

        • S in Chicago :

          Try Garnier BB cream. The coverage is outstanding. (I say this as someone who usually hates drug store products.) Truly, the best there is. Breathable but covers. I’ve used it after IPL facials, and you’d never know I had darkness/bruising. (And keep your eyebrows.)

      • Eeertmeert :

        Keep Eyebrows!!!

    • cat socks :

      That sounds like me! I don’t even do complicated eye looks but it takes me about 20 minutes.

      Eyebrows are a must-do for me. Other than that I would probably skip the eye shadow and concealer and just apply foundation and mascara. Honestly I like the way I look better (i.e. more awake) with all the other stuff.

      I follow several beauty channels on YouTube. I’m fascinated by all their routines – foundation, baking, bronzer and contouring. I’m wondering if anyone actually does that in real life.

    • What about microblading and then you can cut eyebrows out of your routine? I have a few friends who have done it recently and they all look great.

    • I reduced the eye shadow to just an eye shadow base, and only use shadow for going out/ desk to dinner kind of thing. I use tr1sh Mc ev0y (that gets in m0d here, don’t know why) eye base essentials – I use the foam applicator to sweep across my eyelid, then use a brush to spread it around.

      I do not use a foundation primer. I use a tinted bb cream that I apply with a brush (specifically dior Bb and the tarte wide brush)

      I then clean both with Sephora house brand spray brush cleaner.

      I line my upper eyelid with a stila liquid liner in moss green. I fill in my eyebrows with Clinique brow pencil and then use a spoolie brush to take the edge off. I apply mascara – again the tr1sh, high volume mascara, which is a tubey type and you can take that thing out of my cold dead hands,I love it. I focus on mascara on upper lashes only. I barely sweep the bottom lashes with whatever was left over on the applicator after doing top lashes.

      I apply a bit of tarte blush to my cheeks with a fluffy brush and I’m done. I usually apply something to my lips on the way to work, not at my makeup table.

      This is my entire process, which takes a total of 5-7 minutes.

      • Also, I use Latisse. I used to get it from my derm but now I just buy it online. It makes a big difference and I use it at night every other night so it doesn’t do anything to my morning routine except save me mascara application time, because one swipe is plenty.

    • I don’t wear bronzer, but I wear most of the other stuff every day. My routine takes maybe 10-12 minutes? I’m guessing it doesn’t look as perfect as your makeup probably does, but it’s good enough!

      Here is where I take shortcuts:
      – I let my moisturizer and tinted SPF soak in while I dry my hair.
      – I use a medium-coverage foundation, which doesn’t require quite as much precision as full-coverage, and apply/blend with a big foundation brush. (2-3 minutes)
      – I don’t wear concealer every day. Probably should, but I skip it unless I’m looking really dark under the eyes. (1-2 minutes)
      – I stick to simple eyes on work days. Either one color of medium-toned shadow, which can be applied fairly quickly, or a lighter shade + eyeliner. I don’t mess with liquid liner unless I have a lot of time on my hands because I’m not great at applying it. Clinique quickliner intense is fast, as the name implies, and stays on all day. (2-3 minutes)
      – Mascara – I apply two coats at most, so this doesn’t take more than 30 seconds.
      – Blush – I keep it super light/natural, which cuts down on blending. I don’t use bronzer.

    • cat socks :

      Comment in moderation…let’s see if this works. I’m also interested in hearing responses!

      That sounds like me! I don’t even do complicated eye looks but it takes me about 20 minutes.

      Eyebrows are a must-do for me. Other than that I would probably skip the eye shadow and concealer and just apply foundation and mascara. Honestly I like the way I look better (i.e. more awake) with all the other stuff.

    • My makeup routine takes 5 minutes flat. Sometimes less if I’m pushing it.

      Your makeup routine: But right now I spend probably 20 minutes putting on primer, foundation, undereye concealer, bronzer, blush, eyebrows, mascara and either eyeliner or one eye shadow colour.

      My makeup routine: Liquid eyeliner (I use a Stila felt tip), mascara, then apply BB cream with a brush, apply pressed powder with a brush, quick swipe of bronzer, quick swipe of blush, undereye concealer only if I’m really tired. I save eyeshadow and eyebrows for weekend nights.

    • Anonymous :

      I put on my eyebrows. On a good day, mascara too.

    • I do my makeup in about 5 minutes. My daily routine is foundation, undereye concealer, blush, liquid eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara. I put on lipstick in the car after I’ve arrived at work because I drink coffee on the way to work.

      I use the same products and brushes every day and put them (alone) in a makeup bag, which I keep in the same place. I used to have them in a coffee cup, which was even better. My “going out” makeup is in a larger makeup case.

      I get my brows waxed and dyed, so I don’t have to deal with them.

      I put on a podcast while I straighten my hair and do my makeup so I don’t get bored and start wandering around the house, talking to my husband, and looking at my phone.

      Is there anything in particular that’s taking you a long time? Maybe an upgraded product or brush, or a lesson/YouTube video on application, would help speed that part up?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I wonder if you can get used to your face without foundation? I basically use tinted moisturizer and it’s like 30 seconds to apply. Yes, you can see my face under it, but it evens out the tone. Anyway, I wonder if you could get used to seeing yourself with more sheer makeup, to buy yourself time by skipping primer, concealer, bronzer, blush…

  9. Suit is ok but what caught my eye was the shoes!

    http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1093364&pcid=1093362&vid=1&pid=267014012

  10. I love this suit!

    • Anonymous :

      Same! I like that it’s a classic color but an interesting twist. I wouldn’t wear a light grey like this in January but perfect for spring.

  11. Some questions in advance of my meeting tomorrow to discuss my review. Looking for thoughts from attorneys on whether it would be appropriate to question the size of my raise this year, which in my opinion, was too small (5.5%) for the year I was promoted to a senior associate. My salary is about $10-15K off the traditional billables/3 formula. I work for a small firm in a niche area that is owned by an ex-big law partner. In general, is this an appropriate topic of conversation, or are salaries in firms just set and you get what you get? I realize no one knows the actual answer for my specific firm, but trying to decide whether I would be tone deaf to raise the issue. I could also discuss privately with a partner I trust beforehand.

    • Anon Lawyer :

      I’m a partner at a small-to-mid-size firm. Salaries aren’t just “set” at our firm and it would be appropriate for an associate to make a case for a bigger raise. So I don’t think it’s inherently tone deaf.

    • Doesn’t sound like there’s a downside to discussing with the partner you trust – why not do that?

    • Anonymous :

      If it’s not a lock-step firm, it seems like an acceptable topic to raise. But I would check with the partner you trust – both about whether salary should be higher and about when to raise it, as I’m not sure the 1/3 “rule” is really true.

      But I’m in bigllaw, do take my advice with a grain of salt

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      You could ask for the difference to be bonused to you if you hit/exceed your receivables.

  12. Query re vacation payout :

    I am leaving my company and am exempt.

    My firm is paying me my accrued vacation, which is 28 days. They are claiming that 28 days of vacation is less than one month’s salary, which I don’t think is right. Even if you’re salaried, isn’t that salary based on a 52 week year, 40 hours a week? If a normal month is ~22 days’ work, shouldn’t 28 days’ work be worth more? Is my gut wrong on this? And yes, our Payroll people get stuff incorrect all the time–I am not distrusting of my employer’s good faith, but rather of their math abilities. Thanks for any input, Hive!

    • 28 days is 5.3 weeks of pay.

      If you are paid annually, the formula would be (annual salary)*5.3/52 .

      • Query re vacation payout :

        Thanks–that’s why I think the math is WAY off on this. I am pretty sure I am dealing with someone who is imputing a different salary or something. I can’t make the numbers work on this at all! I appreciate the sanity check!

      • Er… 5.6 weeks. Mea culpa.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you’re right. It sounds like they are forgetting to exclude weekends and are thinking a month = 30/31 days. But a month is more like 22 work days as you said.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      28 days is more than a month, for vacation purposes. You’re correct that a working month is typically 20-22 days duration.

      But they should be able to figure out the amount owed very easily with some basic arithmetic, no? Annual working days is (52 weeks x 5 days/week) – (paid holidays) Divide salary by this number, multiply by 28 days, and they should have a dollar amount. Not sure why a month factors into this at all. Am I missing something? This can’t be the first time they’ve had to figure this out?

      • Minnie Beebe :

        Maybe the holidays shouldn’t factor into this though– I’m honestly not sure!

        • Holidays matter to the tune of 4%. The larger issue is that 28 days of vacation is not less than a month, so the OP is best served by coming up with a very easy, very reasonable standard (I’m the one who said 5.6 weeks of vacation) and demanding that they adhere to it.

        • Anonymous :

          Agreed. It doesn’t make sense to delete vacation days, since they are paid – literally the issue right here.

  13. Gymanstics :

    This whole thing is sickening.

    How do we make sure that we spot the next predator sooner? I am horrified, both as someone who was preyed on as a child and as a parent.

    • Believe girls and young women and women. Then act.

      • Anonymous :

        I think the problem is the girls didn’t speak up though – not even to their parents. Obviously that was because of this sick culture that USA Gymnastics has fostered where they knew they had to tolerate this abuse if they wanted any chance of continuing on in the sport, but I don’t think this situation is as simple as “believe the women who come forward” (although I agree that should be true in general!).

        • Anonymous :

          True, about USAG. But there were people who came forward and were ignored/not belivered. I think one of those girls told their parents over 20 years ago. Image if action had been take then!

        • They did speak up. There was an article yesterday saying MSU just told anyone who spoke up that the practice was “standard” and that the issue was precisely what the other commenter said – we need to believe girls and women when they report something.

          I can’t find the exact article I read yesterday but there’s one on SI today titled burn it all down, which says the same thing.

        • Unfortunately, it looks like MSU officials in particular received multiple reports from student-athletes about Nassar’s conduct. Not sure about USAG, but MSU 100% had an opportunity to stop this decades ago.

          • Anonymous :

            I deal with some nonprofits who serve children and setting up systems and procedures is just terrifying b/c this is what happens if we get it wrong. And we don’t have practice predators to help us trouble-shoot or spot the bad guys.

            What finally brought the gymnastics guy down?

            And it kills me that he dealt with very privileged people, not like the guy at Penn State who seemed to targets the sons of single mothers who were too busy working to be present much and so grateful for the “help” from superstars at PSU football.

            It is so, so sickening. How do PSU and Michigan State get any alumni donors at all (much less future students) after things like this?

        • nasty woman :

          Some of this is chicken and egg. Women and girls will be more likely to come forward if they know they’ll be believed/heard.

        • They did speak up. One girls parents made her apologize to Nassar and sent her back to him. When the father realized later that she was telling the truth he killed himself.

    • Dude, the guys letter to the judge? Whining about how hard it was for him to have to listen to them all and quoting, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?” This guy is a DOCTOR. How can he be so stupid (and, obviously, evil and depraved …)? What good was he hoping would come out of a letter asking for sympathy FOR HIMSELF?

  14. My dad has been a registered Democrat and has volunteered for political campaigns since he became a US citizen 20 years ago. He will be turning 70 this spring and I am going to contact local, state and national politicians whose campaigns he worked on to ask them to send him birthday notes. Should I have them send the notes to me, or to him directly? Anyone have any other tips to get a high response rate?

    • If they sent them to you, you could put them in a book for him. Maybe calling would yield a better response than emailing/writing a letter. Does he still have contacts with active campaigns that you could reach out to?

    • Flats Only :

      What a sweet idea! If you have time, I would call their offices and explain the request to whoever answers, and ask them who you should send a follow-up email to. That way you have a good chance of your request going to the right person immediately, vs. having it float around.

    • anonshmanon :

      oh! I might steal this idea with my parents’ volunteering group. Your dad is lucky!

      I would have them sent to me, but probably just collect the closed envelopes so that your dad gets the fun unwrapping part.

    • great idea :

      Also, you can request a US flag! Try calling your or his congressmen for a flag that has flown over the Capitol or if you prefer, his Statehouse. My mother got one both for my brother when he became an Eagle Scout (standard practice I believe) and when one of her coworkers became a citizen. The distribution is managed by the individual congressmen, so some states you have to pay (but it’s reasonable), and other ones you don’t.

  15. Stretch Interview—Any Tips?? :

    Hi ladies, I have an interview tomorrow for a position that is somewhat of a stretch job for me. It would be a great, great opportunity and put me in the path to doing what I really want long-term (consulting). Any tips for me?? I really want to ace this!

  16. Without disagreeing with Lilliet, I do not think it is that simple. I have handled a lot of s*x abuse cases. In some cases there was a genuine lack of understanding by parents/child about the scope of the exam (for health care providers this is particularly common where there is a language issue) or the conduct in question was marginal (nothing like what Nasser did). In two cases, a girl was flat-out and provably lying (very, very much the exception but we cannot discount the possibility). In the rest, of course, the adult in question was guilty as sin.

    My suggestion: be very, very clear with your daughters about what the scope of a routine physical should be. Be graphic. Tell them about both vaginal and an*l exams while they are still elementary school age, what those entail and when they can be expected. Tell them explicitly that as long as they are under 18, their underwear STAYS ON and nobody should touch them there without talking to them and you about it first. Tell them if it does happen, they need to jump off that table and make a screaming hysterical scene. Tell them if it does happen they need to tell you right away and you will take care of it. If you are present for the exam (and you should be if it is possible), then same thing. Underwear stays on always. If a doctor gives them a hard time, walk out. Use me as an excuse.

    And tell them that shaking hands is the only contact they have to engage in. That means that no – they do not have to hug grandma. It means that they do not have to let adult relatives kiss them. This can be hard, but you have to give them autonomy over their own bodies. Role play how to (politely) tell an adult that they prefer not to be touched. (My insistence on polite is because I have a child who does not like to be touched by strangers, even in innocuous ways. I cannot have her throwing a fit when her teacher touches her arm or shoulder.)

    And finally, over and over again, you can tell me anything. Tell me and I will help. So many kids do not tell their parents because they do not want to hurt them (more in my experience who do not tell because they are afraid of getting into trouble).

    • This is such good advice. I have told my kids “tell me and i will help you, and you will not be in trouble” about so many things. S3xual abuse situations, consensual situations (they are teens now), friends driving recklessly, friends drinking/doing drugs etc. I just say “call me and i will come get you, no questions asked, and you will not be in trouble”

    • Anon at 4:42 :

      Obviously this was meant for the Nasser discussion above. And a couple of other points: When I said “use me as an excuse” – it helps for the kids to be able to put the blame on a parent. “Gee doctor/teacher/coach, I would but my mom would KILL me. I have to talk to her before I can . . . ”

      And my bias is showing. In the rest of the cases either the adult was guilty as sin or it was he said/she said with no supporting evidence and my default is to believe the child unless I have an identifiable reason not to.

      One of the problems (again in my experience) is that other adults don’t want to believe it is true. It is so much easier to think a child/teen is making stuff up or misunderstood than to believe that your child has been assaulted or that your co-worker is an abuser. There is a huge difference between “I don’t want to believe this is true” and “this kid sent four text messages to friends saying she was going to accuse Teacher X of abuse to pay him back for giving her detention.”

      • Anonymous :

        It kills me that he got busted on child p*rn and that seems to be what set this all in motion. Not kids speaking up, but the FBI busting him on something else.

        So sad.

        And I agree — my kids can throw me under the bus as often as they like. I can take it.

  17. Anon at 4:42 :

    Last one (I promise): the giving kids cover can apply to a lot of situations. Friends are smoking pot and kid doesn’t want to? “I have really bad asthma and the smoke could kill me.” Friends are drinking? “I take anti-anxiety medication and if I drink I will get really sick.”

    Teacher/coach wants to meet with them alone and they are not comfortable: “My mom is like super overprotective and I have to call her before I can XXX”. The key is talking through the situations in advance. This applies to refusal skills with pushy people on dates too!

    • Anonymous :

      I go all the way to “My mother will kill me” because it lets people know that I am lethal. If my own mention that I will kill my own (not true), I will surely slay the bad guys.

      “My mom will kill me. Then she will kill you. She is a master interrogator and can smell a lie a mile away. She is from New Jersey. Do no f*ck with her or they will never find your body.”

      My kids know that anyone who makes them think about having to say that is either not their friend / does not have their best interests at heart / maybe is looking for an out too SO USE IT.

      • Hahahahaha your line about Jersey is hilarious.

        My 16 year old daughter recently told me, “my friends think you’re super fancy and funny, but they’re also terrified of you,” and it was the best compliment I have ever received.

      • BeenThatGuy :

        You’re amazing. Totally using the “Jersey” thing next time the situation calls for it!

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