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.

I’ve seen so much drab, dull pink lately. Millennial Pink, Tumblr Pink — I also think of it as a Glossier or Goop pink. So it’s nice to see a bright, crisp, powder pink like this suit — it just feels different and I like it. The suit, which is made in a lightweight wool, is at Banana Republic (where it’s getting good reviews) and comes in regular (0-16) and petite (00-14) sizes. I think it’s a very fresh color, and it would also look good as separates if that’s what you’re looking for. The jacket (Long and Lean-Fit Lightweight Wool Blazer) is $198, and the pants (Ryan Slim Straight-Fit Lightweight Wool Pant) are $98.

Here’s a plus-size blazer from Talbots in a very similar shade of pink, and a plus-sized blazer and pants at Eloquii in a brighter pink.

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Comments

  1. Who are your favourite moissanite jewelers? would love someone that does modern designs. thanks all

    • My engagement ring from my first marriage was a 1.5 carat moissanite from Charles & Colvard, and it was beautiful.

  2. Anonymous :

    I had a skirt suit in this shade when I was in 8th grade that I would wear to my grandmother’s church. I loved that thing. Not sure I can pull it off as an adult, though.

    • I wouldn’t wear the pieces together, but I would wear them as separates, especially the jacket. This color would look very nice with charcoal.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Hah! This reminds me that I had a similar one at that age in this shade and light green. Very preppy.

    • I had an *embroidered* skirt suit in this color AS AN ADULT. I loved it when I bought it and wore it maybe twice. Ugh.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I had a skirt suit this color when I was a first year lawyer in 1988. Good time, man. Good times.

      • I have a skirt this color now, Senior Lawyer! I am told I look cute in it, but the manageing partner is not thrilled with it. FOOEY on Frank for squeezing me when I walked by his desk today!

      • Housecounsel :

        This cracks me up. The colored suits and matching pumps I wore in back then make me shudder, and so does this.

  3. Anonymous :

    Ever since the thread the other week about deciding to have kids, I’ve been giving it a lot of thought.

    I was firmly in the no camp for most of my life, because (among other reasons) I’m selfish and lazy and I love my life the way it is. Then I see my pregnant and mom friends and worry I’m missing out. I know my parents would also love grandkids. But that’s not really a reason to have kids, I know.

    I don’t know where I’m going with this, I just wonder if I’ll regret not having kids, and if that should outweigh my serious doubts.

    • another option :

      Rather than risking trying to find someone who wants kids and you changing your mind, or you regretting it after having kids, why not join volunteer programs so you can work with kids/teens and build connections as well as offering to babysit and hang with friends’ kids so you can become more certain in your decision either way?

      • Anonattorney :

        I’m all over the pregnancy and kids posts today, apparently. Anyway, just want to weigh in to say that this wouldn’t have made any difference in my decision to have kids. I couldn’t stand other people’s kids before I had my own. I thought they were snot-nosed, annoying, whiny brats who were disruptive. Flash forward to having my own snot-nosed, whiny toddler and I think he is the funniest, most amusing little bundle I could imagine. And now I am much more tolerant and accepting of other random kids I interact with in public.

        Bottom line: having kids changes you–for better or worse–in ways that you cannot plan for and cannot replicate through any other process.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 million to this. I hated kids before I had my own. It’s totally different when it’s your own child. Even now, I’m not wild about babies and toddlers that aren’t my own or the children of my very closest friends. My mom horrified everyone at her baby shower by declining to hold other people’s infants and telling them she didn’t really like babies. She was and is an absolutely wonderful mother.
          I really don’t think babysitting is a great metric for determining if you should have kids.

          • Anonymous :

            Your mom telling people at her baby shower that she doesn’t like kids is absolutely hilarious.

          • Anonymous :

            Uh not liking BABIES is totally different from not liking kids.

      • I was actually a nanny for 10 years before my “real career.” That’s partly what scares me away from having kids!

        • I babysat A LOT when I was young and I think it made me so freaking responsible about unprotected s*x. I definitely didn’t even think about having kids in any concrete way until I was maybe 30. I think I always thought I’d have one in the abstract but then when it seemed like a real possibility I started to have a lot of doubts, then powered thru and decided to go for it, didn’t get pregnant for a while and thought ‘okay, maybe it’s not meant to be,’ got pregnant, wasn’t sure about having more than one, got pregnant again, more or less unintentionally, and now have 2 kids as of last month. It’s great, I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but I still don’t love all babies, have no desire to be a stay at home mom, like going to work, etc.

          On an aside, anecdotally, the people who were most gung ho about babies in my circle were the least prepared to have them.

          • “the people who were most gung ho about babies in my circle were the least prepared to have them.” YES!! This was my experience too. I think expectations matter so much – if you think motherhood will make you complete and be an absolute dream come true from Day 1, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. If, like me, you have no experience with newborns and are slightly terrified about the whole thing, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you love it and how naturally it comes to you. I definitely was.

    • I think in life there’s always a chance you’ll regret any of your decisions. You know what they say, “life has to be lived forwards but it can only be understood backwards.” You have to go with your gut.

      I think with kids, though, err on the side of not having them if you have any serious doubts (as opposed to fleeting doubts tied to anxiety). Yes you might regret it later…but I think having them and regretting it would be much much worse, for you AND the hypothetical kid. I think no one should have kids unless they are BRIMMING with enthusiasm at the idea of shaping a young human’s life and giving them the very best possible life. And you have to feel that way no matter how your kid turns out, regardless of potential disability, academic strengths, athleticism, LGBT, etc.

      FWIW, I am also childless by choice and will probably remain that way.

      • Agree with everything you’ve said here, Dulcinea!

      • Also there are other ways to have children become part of your life if you do regret not having them. You can adopt, you can foster, you can mentor, you can be the grandma/aunt figure in your neighborhood that always has cookies fresh out of the oven.

      • Anonattorney :

        Oof, that would be a hard standard to meet, though, for anyone who is Type A and prone to overanalyzing. I agree with Dulcinea’s first statement that if you have serious doubts, probably err on the side of not having kids. But the idea that a potential parent should be 100% all in before choosing to have kids goes too far, in my opinion.

        I was pretty sure I wanted kids, but had plenty of doubts, including the expense, the vast number of unknowns (what if my relationship with my spouse changes significantly; what if I have a child with special needs; what if I lose my job; etc.), and the known impact it would have on my happy, stable, child-free life. I chose to have kids anyway. And it is AMAZING. So much more rewarding than I could have ever thought possible. No one could have explained these feelings to me pre-kid.

        I’m definitely not saying it’s like that for everyone. But it’s like that for many, based on my social circle of working moms. Anyway, it’s a really really hard question to answer. I don’t think you’ll ever get any definitive guidance one way or another.

      • Triangle Pose :

        This is very good advice. I’ve never been brimming with excitement over the thought of raising a child.

        • Neither have I. I have 3, though, and I adore them. I also love my job and my hobbies.

          • Same. Would never have described myself as “brimming with excitement over the thought of raising a child” and certainly never had anything resembling baby fever. But I had one anyway and it’s been an absolutely wonderful experience.

      • Anonymous :

        It sounds like I’m the minority on this one, but I’d rather risk regretting having kids than risk regretting not having kids. I mean, you’re risking regret either way, but I just dont think many people truly regret all aspects of having children. They may be able to see that they’d be happy without them, or that life would be easier, but I’ve never met someone that sees no upside to their kids. They may exist, and, obviously, its not something people would broadcast, but, to me, it seems lower risk to have the kids if your concern is potential regret.

        • Anon, come on. :

          I feel the opposite, I think it’d be horrific to regret having them and the risk is not worth it.

          Not “no upside,” but there is definitely a contingent of women who regret having kids. They just feel so much shame they don’t admit it. You can read a lot of accounts using pseudonyms.

    • Do you have a partner? Are you looking for one?

      IMHO, having a partner often clarifies these issues. You could meet a man and think, “I would love to raise our child together.” You could also meet a man (or woman, if that’s your thing) who already has kids, doesn’t want kids, etc. Maybe you’ll decide you don’t want kids on your own but won’t meet “the one” until you’re 45.

      I am emphatically not saying that you will change your mind if you meet the right guy (giggle, big girly smile!!1!) – that’s condescending and when people said that to me, I wanted to tie my tubes in protest. But parenting is usually a joint activity (and creating the kid always is), and the question is sometimes answered when you meet your life partner.

      • Ha, I am single, and I know exactly what you mean. I have so many smug married mommy friends who are like that and don’t get it.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      My general approach to almost everything in life is that unless it is a hard, visceral “no”, I will try anything once.

      For kids, I think it is the opposite, anything less than an enthusiastic “yes” suggests that maybe you should not go down that road.

      • Agree. So much agree.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m not sure I agree with this. I never got to an “unequivocal yes” before TTC. We mostly went ahead with it because my husband was sure and I didn’t want to deprive him of parenthood or deprive my parents of grandparenthood (I’m an only child so I was their only chance). I was sure I would be one and done and fairly sure I wouldn’t be a huge fan of motherhood until my child was quite a bit older. But I was surprised by how much I enjoyed being pregnant and how instantly I felt love for the baby growing inside me and motherhood has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done by far. I’ve loved every stage so far, even the sleep-deprived newborn months. We are trying to have a second, which may not happen because of my age, and I regret not having kids younger. If I’d waited until I was 100% sure, I would have missed out on this amazing experience. Some people (myself included) are just sort of worrywarts or pessimists by nature and I’m not sure they can ever getting to being 100% sure they want to do anything, especially something scary and life-changing like having kids.

        • That is really nice to hear, thank you. I do have anxiety (real, diagnosed by a doctor anxiety) and I overthink everything. I’m also pretty cynical by nature. Not a good combo!

        • You would miss out on pregnancy/bio kids but you would still have options for having kids including adoption and fostering.

          • Anonymous :

            Some people worry about everything and can never be 100% sure they want to do something. If I’d waited until I was sure I wanted children, I never would have had them – I don’t mean just that I would have aged out of having bio kids, I mean I literally never would felt ready, and I never would have had them in any form, bio or adopted or otherwise. And knowing what I know now about how much I love motherhood that would have been a huge loss.

          • Anonymous :

            Basically what I’m trying to say is I didn’t really know I wanted kids until I had a kid. And I know several people in the same situation. I think some people (especially the anxious worrywart types) just have to take the plunge if they are ambivalent. (If you know kids aren’t for you, that’s obviously a completely valid choice and you shouldn’t have them!)

          • But it wouldn’t have been a huge loss because you would not have known how much you loved it. You would probably have been happy without kids as well.

          • Anonattorney :

            @Anon – I think this is a very true point. I think there is also the real risk that you set yourself up for more sadness and more vulnerability by having kids.

          • Anonymous :

            My Mom says that the fact that you cant appreciate what you are missing by not having kids is nature’s way of protecting those that cannot have children. That sentiment is not my style, but I do agree generally that you wont know what you’re missing if you choose to not have kids.

      • Anon, come on. :

        I agree that it’s the opposite for kids.

    • I was admittedly ambivalent about children and have to resist my temptation to “check all the boxes” in life without thinking them through. I wasn’t necessarily opposed to having children and my husband wanted to start a family. We decided to go for it and I can say with confidence that it is the best thing that could have happened for us. It has made me a better, more interesting, and more compassionate human. I love being a mother, but I also still feel like myself and have plenty of independence. For me, at least, being a mother and being an interesting person with an otherwise rich life are not mutually exclusive propositions. I think it’s all about how you and your partner approach it. Just my take.

      • Anonattorney :

        +1. I have a post in moderation saying basically the same thing.

      • Anonymous :

        to your single, childless friends, you’re not more interesting, just fyi.

        • Anonymous :

          Rude. And false. My mom has told me she was painfully shy before having kids and having children forced her to come out of her shell, because she was willing to put herself out there for her kids in a way she wasn’t for herself. And since she got so much better at talking to people and making friends, she went from basically being a loner to being a person with a wide friend group, including a lot of people without kids.

    • So I’m in the childfree by choice camp, and my analysis has always been around how I want to focus my time and energy and the answer to that question was never “raising kids.” I think that has to be something you really want to do in life and you have to be up for everything that comes with that. I also think your partner (presuming you make the final decision with someone else and not on your own) plays into the decision significantly. My husband was equally not into the idea of having kids, so we didn’t and we’re happy with that. If he’d wanted them though, I might have made a different decision. He’s pretty rad and I might have gone from ambivalent/ not interested to having them. I don’t think it’s necessarily as dramatic as this conversation is often made out to be – it might be fine for you either way. I’m also not big into regret and think living the life you have and being happy with it is a better spend of mental energy.

      • Just came across this article on the subject that points to resources if you’re struggling with this question: https://www.lauracarroll.com/to-baby-or-not-to-baby-question/?platform=hootsuite

  4. WaPo reports that blue curacao is the next hot liquor: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/going-out-guide/wp/2018/02/06/close-your-eyes-and-pretend-its-summer-while-sipping-these-three-great-curacao-cocktails

    Ah college, you were fun. But I’ll stick with my wine these days, thanks ;)

  5. Colorado dinner party :

    What’s your favorite fancy but easy dinner idea for a weekend winter trip with a group of people? 15 people, all adults, variety of dietary preferences. I always do a taco bar but that is taken by someone. I am a good cook but like to cook in my own kitchen and a bit worried about being out of my elements in a new place. It is in a cabin, so won’t have a lot of lead time or fancy equipment but can precook some stuff before and some while there. TIA!

    • what about a pasta bar or a baked potato bar? The topping options could give a variety of sauces/meats for pasta or cheeses/fancy butters/sour cream/bacon/broccoli for potatoes, which would be easy to prep (since much of it would just be either fresh from the fridge or heated up and the main item (pasta or potato) doesn’t require hovering in the kitchen during the cooking, which might be a crowded space already if others are cooking.

    • Make-ahead pans of shepherd’s pie– one veggie/dairy free, one meat?

    • Anonymous :

      Build your own pizzas? Get premade crusts, sauce, cheese, and precook some toppings (meat and veggies) that can be heated up.

    • Could you do a pizza bar? Like, have the dough rounds (either prebaked, or pre-stretched and you can par bake), and then toppings galore? As long as you have a GF dough, if that’s a concern, I can see this being really fun and customizable.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      A couple of pots of soup, amazing bread and a charcuterie and cheese board with some pickles and olives.

    • Our group did a weekend like this once and everyone brought SO MUCH FOOD that all we ended up eating were snacks and breakfast. Are you sure you want to go to the trouble of fancy?

      That said, I might bring some pre-cooked meatballs that could be heated in a crock pot, jarred sauce, hoagie rolls, and a salad. Turkey meatballs for the no-red meat crowd, maybe mozz/tomato/basil for veg, and for vegans maybe some sort of meatless meatball.

    • Are you driving or flying? If driving, I’d just make something ahead. You never know what’s going to be available at a “fully stocked” kitchen in a cabin you’re renting. Sometime’s its great and sometimes it’s one pot, a sad thing of vegetable oil, and that’s it.

    • Anonymous :

      Chili + salad + variety of breads

      Lasagna (veggie/meat/GFs) – make ahead – perfect if you have the arrival evening

      Minestrone soup with garlic bread or grilled cheese sandwiches

      • Anon in NYC :

        Definitely agreed with lasagna and soup.

        This butternut squash and mushroom lasagna is out of this world. Definitely a make ahead recipe, but reheats well. https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/butternut-squash-and-mushroom-lasagna

        I like the idea of minestrone soup with garlic bread. I also love this Tyler Florence roasted tomato soup that can be made with just a blender. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/roasted-tomato-soup-recipe-1917339

  6. deciphering men :

    Both people involved in this story are mid-30s: Recently reconnected with someone I once knew and almost dated (he asked but it was too soon after a breakup for me and I moved shortly thereafter so we lived far apart for years, lost touch, and recently reconnected about 5 yrs after he’d initially asked for a date). We met doing volunteer work where he and I had earned reputations of being “the nicest ones on the team.”

    We have both moved since then and have not seen each other in the 5 yrs since he initially asked me out and we now live an hr apart and we communicate via email. When he emails, he includes smiley faces often (colon parenthesis, not emoji) and seems genuinely glad to hear from me, answers what I’ve asked in previous emails, asks me follow-up questions to things I’ve written in previous emails, etc. However, he sometimes takes days to respond, yet when he does, he apologizes and tells me about work misc. that has kept him super busy. He is a construction professional and I know he hasn’t used social media in years (he has never really used it, even when I first knew him and we are still social media connected but his accounts are silent for months or more).

    How do I know whether the gaps in responses from him mean he’s just someone who works with his hands, not with his keyboard or if they mean he’s just not that into me?

    • You ask him out!

    • Anonymous :

      It’s a guy you’re not dating. It’s normal that he doesn’t write you back every single day. Construction can mean long hours sometimes and he’s regularly writing you thoughtful emails. Don’t worry.

    • Anonymous :

      “It’s been great catching up with you! I’d love to get together in person. I am free X, Y, Z, do any of those work for you?”

      You get together, if you feel like you want to explore something more than email pen pals, you ask him if he’s interested in something more. His answer tells you whether he is interested.

      Or you ask him over email. “It’s been great catching up with you! I’m interested in exploring something more than a friendship, are you?”

      Don’t try read his mind. No internet strangers can tell you what he is thinking either.

    • Anonymous :

      Does anyone talk on the phone anymore? Seems like that would solve some of your issues on slow responses. Even better, suggest meeting up this weekend and seeing if you do better in person. What do you want from this guy- to be pen pals or something more?

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t think much of the delayed responses but I also wouldn’t assume he is romantically into you because he puts smiley faces in his emails. It sounds like you’re reading way too much into every little thing. If he wants a relationship with you, he would find a way to move it beyond email pretty quickly, I suspect.

      • Anonymous :

        Yup. If he’s not asking you out, he’s not that into you. Otherwise you’re just his backup plan that he strings along via email.

        • I really hate the knee jerk response that if a guy isn’t pursuing you decisively he’s not into you or wouldn’t be open to the possibility of more. Sure, sometimes it’s definitely true. But to say it as a blanket generalization is inaccurate and needlessly hurtful.

      • I disagree. He asked her out before, and she said no. If he’s a nice and caring guy, he’s probably keeping a respectful distance unless/until she definitively shows that her answer has changed. This might mean it stays in email limbo forever, even if he is still interested. He’s probably also not rushing to respond immediately all the time because to his knowledge, she isn’t into him and it isn’t going anywhere.

        OP, if I were you I’d ask him out. If he says yes, you can reiterate that the issue last time was the timing.

    • I 100% think he’s into you, especially since he asked you out previously. If he wasn’t interested, this would be a strange thing to do. Since you live an hour apart, it could be hard for him to directly ask you out on a date, especially since I presume he doesn’t know where you’re at in terms of relationships. I would follow Anonymous’ advice and make plans, and then you’ll know quicker!

    • Anonymous :

      You’re pen pals. Do you want to date? If so ask him out. Don’t play games like this.

    • I don’t think it’s very healthy to treat email as instant messaging. If you want immediate responses and have something to talk about – ask about a good time to call and call him. Otherwise, it can be exhausting to come up with something amusing/ interesting/ clever in topic-less email banter that is expected to be returned within hours. I’m guessing he doesn’t have the time and energy to sit there and think about entertaining things to tell you. Which is totally normal and healthy. Either schedule a coffee date to see if there is chemistry and escalate communication to something more meaningful or let this man move on with his life.

  7. Legally Brunette :

    I really like this suit as separates but this color would just wash me out.

    More generally, while Banana isn’t always the best quality, it fits me super well and I find the clothes to be very stylish and at the right price point (esp. given the perpetual 50% off sales). I always get a ton of compliments on my clothes from Banana.

    For example, I really like how they have taken a blousy top and made it more fitted with the belt.

    http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1101884&pcid=48422&vid=1&pid=283645002

    • I see what you did there :

      Nice affliate link

    • Banana fits me well too. I’m an hourglass.

    • Counter point, because I’m in a mood. Truly nothing personal, lovely commenter whose handle I recognize and am surprised is shilling for BR.

      I walked into a BR store recently and was shocked by the overwhelming smell of polyester. It’s a shame because their dresses fit my body shape well.

      I do not find their clothes to be stylish. I haven’t found anything work-appropriate in months. We’ve discussed the scourge of ruffles and missing shoulders ad nauseum. I liked one pointe dress, but it featured a [email protected] bow over the left b00b. Not professional and difficult to wear cardigans or jackets. The last “cute” top I bought was of such horrible quality that the fabric puckered throughout. It cannot be ironed out. It retailed for $70+ and is essentially unwearable. I really miss BR’s quality from the olden days.

      If taking a blousy top in with a belt is design innovation for which I should be proud of or inspired by BR, I give up.

      I was also irritated that, although I was clearly on a mission for pants and not interested in assistance, the salesperson kept following me around with cheesey statements like “oh we’ve got a lot of new things in to tempt you!” “I kept you waiting over there so you’d look at our jewelry selection!” (I know corporate told you to say that and it’s not your fault, but stop.) The desperate attempts to sell me anything I clearly didn’t want were grating.

      • +1 – BR quality is terrible. I am always confused why people keep recommending it here. Maybe others dry-clean everything from there? Their casual clothes may say machine washable but come out completely deformed and unwearable, like anon’s cardigan above. The workwear is almost entirely synthetic and costs about as much as Brooks Brothers on sale. It picks up smells instantly and does not travel well. Yes, BR fits my hourglass figure but I’m done buying their one-wear items. For nicer synthetics, I’d rather buy Tahari and tailor for half the price or buy Ann Taylor which also fits hourglass well and doesn’t have dumb bows on every item. If someone can recommend where to buy med-cost wool suiting now that J Crew seems to be turning into F21, please share.

        • I suspect because it used to be good (or at least good for the price point)?? I got all of my suits when I started law school from BR in 2009 and I still wear them and they still look pretty darn good. Every day, no, but still.

          It is my secret dream that clothing execs troll this page and other similar pages and hear our desperation, alas, I doubt that. See, e.g., J Crew’s relentless transmogrification into F21 (lol)

          • Housecounsel :

            BR has become horrifying, although I still love the Sloan pants. The tops and suits are just cheap, cheap. cheap. I DO dry clean everything, and I think my clothes look nice longer, but I really don’t bother going in to BR anymore. I still like J. Crew for suits. My sweaters often come from Anthro but even their quality is slipping.

    • Oh god, the sleeves on that blouse are awful.

  8. Gym bags: I’ve been throwing my clothes and shoes in a regular reusable shopping bag, but it’s not ideal– time for a new one.

    What do you have/what would you love? I’m a public transportation commuter, so a cross-body strap or backpack would be great.

  9. Best fun/learning books out there? :

    Looking to learn while reading but wanting to avoid dry material. I have read everything by Suze Orman and most by Gail Vaz-Oxlade and I really enjoy Malcolm Gladwell… any recommendations for books that are similar in the “enjoyable learning” category? I’m open to subject matter, I just like to expand my knowledge while also enjoying the read!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Mary Roach! I loved Grunt and Stiff.

    • Anything by Mary Roach. My book club read “Bonk” – about [email protected] – some years ago and loved it. Also “Spook” (spirits and the afterlilfe from a scientific perspective) and “Stiff” (Death). She’s smart and funny.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re interested in learning about the global economy/international trade I would recommend Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy. I read it a long time ago, but I remember thinking it was a fun/informative read.

    • Anonymous :

      Michael Lewis – learn about a subject through the stories of the people involved; mostly sports and finance subjects

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Michael Lewis’s books are pretty readable (financial related). And I don’t know if you count travel books as “learning books,” but anything written by Bill Bryson is hilarious (he does have some non-travel stuff, too)

    • Just finished a book by Michael Moss (of the NYT), Sugar Salt Fat, about the business and cultural/health impact of processed food. If you’re into food, marketing/business, and/or law/regulatory schemes, this was interesting without being dry. The number of times I craved Velveeta cheese, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or salt and vinegar chips during the book, though (while they were exposing all the dark secrets…) was shameful haha.

      • Housecounsel :

        The Michael Moss book seriously changed my life, more so than any stupid diet book. It made me so mad, mad enough to avoid all the processed and refined garbage we are manipulated to buy. I struggled with my weight and with eating disorders for decades. Reading this book and realizing my cravings were being engineered for me made something click. I’ve been able to avoid refined sugars, which has switched off a lot of my cravings, and my weight has stabilized at a number I can live with. I highly recommend it.

    • Anonymous :

      Devil in the White City

      • Triangle Pose :

        I hated this one for some reason! And I love My Favorite Murder podcast and reading about true crime but Devil in the White City really turned me off. No idea why. So odd.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re still checking this I highly recommend Devil in the Grove (about Thurgood Marshall’s experiences in the NAACP), Katrina: After the Flood, and anything by Erik Larson (especially Dead Wake).

  10. earring question :

    I have debated getting a small pair of diamond (or fake diamond) studs that I’d leave in 24/7 to help me look more polished in an effortless way. However, I sleep on a satin pillowcase and I’m wondering whether earrings would shred that in my sleep. Any experiences to share? Also, if it’s doable, any recommendations for fake diamonds that look expensive and don’t have nickel in the metal?

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe if you got one of the earrings that is reversible, you wouldn’t have an “exposed” post that might tear the fabric? There are Kate Spade ones that are pretty but artificial looking.

    • No recommendations, but I find studs super uncomfortable to sleep in. Make sure you don’t if your plan is to splurge on a pair.

      I have a pair of true* huggie earrings (white gold with a small diamond) for something like this.
      * true as in the end goes into the beginning, not just a circle with an open post.

      • I wear my gold/diamond huggie earrings 24/7 and don’t have any issues sleeping in them or with them shredding my pillowcase. I’d suggest looking at a huggie style for a more comfortable option that gives you a similar level of polish. Mine are similar to this in design https://www.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/channel-set-huggie-hoop-earrings-in-14k-rose-gold-.15-ct.-t.w.?ID=896161&CategoryID=3376&linkModule=1#fn=ppp%3D%26spp%3D37%26sp%3D1%26rid%3D131%26spc%3D82%26rsid%3Dundefined%26cm_kws%3Dhuggie earrings %26pn%3D1|1|37|82

    • What’s the advantage of sleeping in them? I loathe sleeping in any earrings as it’s so uncomfortable. It only takes a few seconds to pop fake studs in when you get dressed in the morning.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Yeah, I wear earrings every day and I never sleep in them.

        If you have just a couple of pairs, why not get a pretty little dish or box and keep it by your sink/vanity? Put them on right after you brush your teeth in the morning.

      • Anonymous :

        My ear piercings will neither stay open nor heal over properly (thanks teenage Claire’s employee) so I have to keep earrings in them 24-7. It isn’t really that bad.

        But I have cotton pilow cases, so I can’t offer OP any advice.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m not the OP but I sleep with my earrings in. I’m not a big earring wearer. I never think to put them on in the morning. I suppose I could get in the habit of doing that, but the amount of energy it would take to force myself to take on (yet another) morning habit seems insurmountable. But if I don’t wear earrings regularly then my piercings close and it’s a whole ordeal to re-pierce every time I want to wear earrings for a night out. So I wear them all the time.

  11. Any advice comparing the fit of Banana Republic to Ann Taylor or Brooks Brothers? Specifically, how would BR do with an hourglass-ish figure? I usually do AT but would like to branch out. I can’t just pop in and try them on, because the nearest BR store is almost an hour away.

    • Anonymous :

      I have an hourglass figure, and Ann Taylor typically fits me very well. BR seems cut for a straighter person than I am. Even when I have the correct size, it always seems like BR clothes hang incorrectly on me.

      Brooks Brothers is hit or miss for me.

      • Thank you. That’s exactly the kind of info I was seeking. Looks like it would be easier for me to keep ordering from AT.

    • I am a small-busted hourglass. I cannot get anything at BR to fit me right, which is funny since their Factory line fits me a lot better.

  12. UK ladies, are the clothes from The Fold London as drool worthy in person as they appear online? I’m obsessed with their dresses but can’t justify the expense of shipping to the US and potentially returning.

  13. Anyone feel like shopping? I will have to stand behind my mother in law at a major gala in april – she is the main honoree of the evening and she’s a former president of the nonprofit organization holding the gala. She’ll likely be in Akris, or St. John. I’ve done RTR many, many times in the past but thinking I could buy a dress this time if I find something I like. I’d like a long dress that is special, but doesnt upstage her- my budget is around $500-700, and I’m a tall athletic hourglass (think Busy Philips)

    • YouCalled :

      This is a long DVF (who I think is often a good designer for ladies with your figure). It’s patterned, but not so trendy that it will soon be dated.

      https://www.neimanmarcus.com/Diane-von-Furstenberg-Floral-Maxi-Floor-Length-Fitted-Dress/prod207410378_cat48730734__/p.prod?icid=&searchType=EndecaDrivenCat&rte=%252Fcategory.service%253FitemId%253Dcat48730734%2526pageSize%253D117%2526No%253D0%2526Ns%253DPCS_SORT%2526refinements%253D73700046%252C73700047%252C4294847335&eItemId=prod207410378&xbcpath=cat48730734%2Ccat17740747%2Ccat000001%2Ccat000000&cmCat=product

    • https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524447173582

      https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524447187182

      https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524447191307

      https://www.neimanmarcus.com/ZAC-Zac-Posen-Gemma-Mermaid-V-Neck-Sleeveless-Gown/prod205620186/p.prod?ecid=NMCS__GooglePLA&utm_medium=CSE&utm_source=NMCS__GooglePLA&utm_campaign=ZacZacPosen

      • https://www.theoutnet.com/en-us/shop/product/gowns_cod7789028783388578.html

        https://www.theoutnet.com/en-us/shop/product/gowns_cod1914431940470701.html#dept=AM_Gowns_DRESSES_CLOTHING

    • YouCalled :

      And if you’re a size 8 or 14 here’s a gorgeous St. John dress.
      https://www.neimanmarcus.com/St-John-Collection-Metallic-Pliss-233-Halter-Gown-Black-Gold/prod197420367_cat48730734__/p.prod?icid=&searchType=EndecaDrivenCat&rte=%252Fcategory.service%253FitemId%253Dcat48730734%2526pageSize%253D120%2526No%253D360%2526Ns%253DPCS_SORT%2526refinements%253D73700046%252C73700047%252C4294847335&eItemId=prod197420367&xbcpath=cat48730734%2Ccat17740747%2Ccat000001%2Ccat000000&cmCat=product

  14. New job needed :

    I posted the other day about hating my job, and followed up yesterday about how Boss invented a vacation accrual policy out of thin air as a reason to deny a coworkers request for a few days off. Today Boss conducted a firm meeting on the need to foster a more warm and fuzzy office culture because we associates are not friendly enough to Boss. We are very friendly to everyone including Boss, Boss just generally ignores us (when not berating us). And yet this is our fault? What a narcissist, lol.

    • Anonymous :

      I have been in a similar situation and sympathize greatly (as I told you on your thread a few days ago), but, gently, posting here every day is not helping. At best it’s accomplishing nothing and at worst someone from your office is also reading here and may recognize you from the many details in your posts, which would surely do you no favors with your boss. If you feel you need to talk about the situation this frequently, I think you would really benefit from seeking out therapy. Job hunting is a lot easier when you’re not depressed, which it sounds to me like you may be (no judgment, I was totally depressed when I was in a similar situation and situational depression is common and not something to be ashamed about).

    • Anonymous :

      In the same situation!

    • And next, Boss will want a military parade . . .

    • So you work for Michael Scott?

  15. Travel Backpacks & Other Tips :

    I am traveling to Germany and Austria this summer to participate in a trail running event. I am flying into Zurich, staying with friends in Germany for a couple days, and then traveling to Austria with the team for the four-day race program. I will be going straight from the race site to the airport the Monday after the race.

    My plan is to bring as little with me as possible – race gear (quick dry for easy washing/repeat wearings), race shoes, walkabout shoes, snacks (I’m vegan and like to be prepared), and a few other pieces of apparel that will get me around and be multipurpose. I would like to get a travel backpack instead of using a suitcase. Ideally, this backpack could also be used for future camping trips. Do you have any favorites? I am petite FWIW.

    Also, any other tips for traveling light? I don’t need to have anything fancy with me and plan to generally bum around backpacking style for the few days I will be in Germany before the race.

    I haven’t been across the Atlantic in a while, so any other travel tips that are relevant would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!!

    • Also petite :

      I have the Gregory Deva, which I love and took with me on a six-month backpacking trip around the world. I’m 5′ tall and it fits me just fine. Mine is 60L which might be a lot larger than you need for a shorter trip, but I think there are other smaller bags from that line.

    • Something from Osprey in the 35-40L size range. I have a 60L bag from them, my second bag of that size, and it’s such an awesome backpack. Much lighter than other brands, and still very durable. Also extremely comfortable to wear. Pricey, but if you’re going to get good use out of it, not prohibitively so.

      • +1 – I have one of the larger Ospreys with a zip-off daypack that I really like for international travel because it’s easier to haul around on my back on stairs/cobblestones than it would be to wheel a suitcase. The small size fits me well — i’m 5′ tall .

    • Travel Backpacks & Other Tips :

      Thank you, everyone!

  16. Paging Sulfites :

    This is Sloan Sabbith.

    I’m also allergic- no test, but it’s very clear within a few minutes of drinking beer (I don’t like wine) that I’m allergic. The only thing I’ve found is that I can take a Claritin about twenty minutes beforehand. Any longer and it doesn’t help. Otherwise, I just don’t drink anymore. The sulfites make my chest so congested I have a hard time breathing (and I already have a hard time breathing…) and I feel badly for days afterwards, which I think is partly because of the reaction and partly because my body just doesn’t do well with alcohol.

    • THANK YOU!

      I’ve only tried the Claritin after so will try that. Just nice to know that i’m not the only person in the world how has this oddly specific allergy.

      • Paging Sulfites :

        I don’t have it anything like the person below- which is good because french fries are excellent. It’s really only beer (and wine, but not in food) that creates this issue. I just don’t really drink anymore because even with the Claritin I feel like s**t for days, but the Claritin beforehand does work. I only found this out on accident and was thrilled.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a relative with a serious sulfite allergy and they occur naturally in wine, so unfortunately she just can’t drink it ever again even if no sulfites were added. They also occur in lots of other foods and will often be in a lot of surprise places like condiments and vinegars, pickles, olives, dried fruits, jelly, molasses, grape juices, fermented food like sauerkraut, etc. Another fun fact: potatoes are sprayed with sulfites when they are processed and it is not required for it to be labeled, so you also cannot eat any processed potato products (including things like french fries at most restaurants) with a sulfite allergy. There are lists out there and they show up in all sorts of places you wouldn’t think – cheese, meats, maple syrup, and so on. Eating out with her is an ordeal and so is cooking! Weirdly beer typically has a very low sulfite level and would not typically affect someone with a sulfite allergy – it is less than 10ppm vs something like up to 300ppm with wine. I believe in the US beer must be labeled if the sulfite content is over 10ppm. I think beer has a similar sulfite content to fresh grapes, if those also bother you. You can buy test strips for liquids.

  17. Anonymous :

    Kat, I’m posting from my phone to ask you to please stop sending every single one of my comments to moderation. It’s extremely frustrating and basically ruins the whole experience. Why even bother to comment?!

  18. Anonymous :

    Husband and I are expecting a baby soon. Several of our friends or colleagues have said something along the lines of “we’d love to get you a gift if you tell us what you want” (most of these people are childless so I suspect are a bit stumped about what to get). Is there any graceful way to respond to this besides saying we don’t need gifts? The truth is I would love gifts (not because we need the physical stuff but because I love feeling like our baby is already loved by our friends and gifts are my love language I guess). But saying “yes we’d love XYZ” seems really gauche to me.

    • You could create a registry and point people there.

    • Or ask for books, from baby board books to their favorite childhood books, to build your child’s collection.

      • Anonymous :

        I’d love books, especially ones that have sentimental value to the gift giver. Do you have any suggested wording for how to say that?

        • “Oh, so sweet of you to ask! I’ve been thinking lately about building up the baby’s library, and would love to be able to read books to the baby that came from our closest friends.”

        • A dear friend did this. She simply said she loves reading and hopes their child would, too. And if you would like to share one of your favorite books as a child, it would be wonderful. A group of us did just that and I can’t tell you how much fun it was talking about all of our favorite books growing up and seeing others choices.

    • Anonattorney :

      The typical approaches are: (1) make a registry and invite people to a shower, including registry details on the shower invitation; or (2) ask for books and clothes. I like (2). People love giving books and clothes.

  19. I was just looking at this the other day! But I decided what I really want is a hot pink suit, so I ordered a French Connection one from ASOS. The pants just arrived today and they are awesome. I can’t wait until the blazer gets here.

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