Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Wool Double-Breasted Dress

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Wool Double-Breasted Dress | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

The coat dress: yea or nay, ladies?  I got a few questions about this when it first came into popularity a year or so ago — I believe Kate Middleton wore something similar — and am intrigued. I’m not a huge fan of the double-breasted look for most things, personally, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a professional or work-appropriate look — and as I’ve mentioned before, I am seeing more and more double-breasted looks this season in suits (and the boxy-vest-as-blazer trend, which I am also not a fan of), so it’s certainly trendy. This wool dress from Black Fleece / Brooks Brothers is one of the best I’ve seen if you’re on the hunt for a double-breasted dress: I love the flattering seams (check out the back of the dress), the work-appropriate length, and the ethereal, pretty gray. It’s $650 (available in sizes BB0-BB5.) Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Wool Double-Breasted Dress

Here’s a lower-priced alternative in regular and petite sizes up to 18.

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Comments

  1. I’ll be finishing school next year and am looking for a consulting job. I won’t be on campus while recruiters are there because of family-related reasons that I can’t change. Is there any way around this?

    • Does your school have a career services office? They should be able to answer this question. Perhaps you can still submit your materials and then arrange to interview at a different time.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, apply with the companies directly and reach out to the recruiters. It shouldn’t really matter.

    • anonymous :

      Is it weird to go to the on campus events if you’re not going to apply until next cycle?

      • No. Not at all.

      • If they don’t specifically limit it to “Seniors only” then it should be fine. They’ll probably pay less attention to you, but it’s not a bad way to get familiarized with the firms.

      • If she is finishing school next year, she is a senior / 4th year, and recruiting happens now for people who graduate in May/June 2016

    • Change them. If getting a consulting job is important and you’re lucky enough to be at a school that has campus recruiting, make it happen. Not showing up for that is basically throwing away a giant competitive advantage you’ve spent a lot of time and money for.

      Yes, you can always reach out directly. But know that you’re not going to get a lot of sympathy for family reasons, and the process is substantially harder independently.

      • I agree, it sucks but consulting is extremely competitive (as are most fields). Connecting with recruiters face to faced is a great opportunity and a friend of mine got an interview (and job) in consulting around this time of the year before we graduated college because she went to a recruiting event. Perhaps you can find other events or dates where they will be there but I suggest first doing everything in your power to change your family plans. If that just isnt possible then do as the other have suggested and reach out any way you can to get another chance to connect with the companies youre interested in working for.

      • I agree – change the plans.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        It would be ideal to change the plans and attend the recruiting event, but she already made it clear that she cannot attend for family reasons that she can’t change. If you can’t change your plans, then you can’t change them. Contact the recruiter before the event and see if you can meet with them at their convenience.

        • Change the plans though. Unless her plans are “I will be incarcerated at this time” she can and should change the plans- whether that means changing her family’s plan or changing her plan to be present.

          The recruiter’s convenience is to meet with candidates at the scheduled recruiting events. And there will be plenty of other equally qualified candidates there to do just that.

          This is what being a grown up means. You want the big time job you make it a priority. If you can’t manage to prioritize the interview I’m really not sure you’re cut out to be a consultant. And the recruiter won’t be either.

          • IT Consultant :

            +1 Consulting can be a lot like Big Law – your client is paying a lot of money for you to be available when they need you. As a consultant I have had to reschedule/cancel vacations multiple times for clients. Most recently I flat-out told the client I couldn’t meet with them on x date because I was out of the office and the meeting was scheduled on that date anyway with the concession that I could call in rather than attend in person.

          • I think that’s a little unfair. We have no idea what her family obligations are — what if it’s her brother’s wedding? Or her mother is having serious surgery and she is the only person who can care for her? Before we go casting others as unfit for their professions because they have life demands outside of work, we should think a bit about whether we really want to live in a world where you can’t deal with important family matters while still being a professional.

          • I don’t care if we want to live in that world. We do live in that world. And consulting revels in that world.

            If it’s her brother’s wedding, she misses it. If her mother is having serious surgery her father/brother/cousin/rehab facility takes over. It’s not a judgment on how valid the reasons are.

          • IT Consultant :

            Batgirl – I get what you are saying and it is unfair, but consulting is just unfair a lot of times. I have colleagues who want to do cool volunteer stuff but can’t because it occurs during the week and we travel M-R or M-F every single week. Many of them are single because it’s hard to meet people when you are always out of town. I had to pick up a coworker from the hospital after she had in-patient surgery because her husband (both of them are at our firm) had to go out of town for a sales meeting. Eventually you may get enough seniority to push back, but it’s really hard when you are just starting at the firm.

          • I have never worked in consulting, but I have worked in MedLaw (that wanted to be BigLaw). No one cares if it’s fair or not, it’s just how it is. If you want to work in those worlds, you make those sacrifices. I had plenty of colleagues that had to miss family events or vacations or whatever. I had zero social life and my friends stopped trying to hang out with me because I had to cancel plans so often. That is the world you live in when you go into BigLaw/consulting. If you don’t want to have to make those sacrifices, those careers are not the right choice for you. Sometimes it gets better as you move up the food chain, but not always.

          • Brunette Elle Woods :

            I agree that if you want the “big time job” you make the necessary sacrifices even if that means skipping important family events. However, it is not “what being a grown up means.” Being an adult means establishing priorities in your life and acting accordingly. I certainly would do everything in my power to attend important personal events even if it means a career setback. Others would make different decisions. Both are fine and we can all have different priorities. Then again, I’m not a consultant or in big law and never would be because of those exact priorities.

          • Agreed here.
            I went through campus recruiting myself in college for a similar field (prestigious, high pay, crazy hours for junior staff) and now work heavily work with recruiting during fall season for my firm by doing interviews, giving campus talks etc. Campus recruiting gives you a huge advantage to join such firms especially if you don’t go to top 5 ivy league school or have family connections. I went to a public school and have no family in this country, so this was the only way to get my foot in the door. In a way, campus recruiting is a good equalizer when you don’t have other connections. Please take full advantage of it and make it happen. Unless you are in jail or hospital bed, try your best, other family needs can be changed or managed if you really want this job or be in such an industry. Firms have recruiting events (career fair, presentations, interviews, candidate dinners) planned at each school, if you want to make a strong personal impression it really matters if you are physically present to interact with different members of the company (HR, analysts, senior management etc).

          • Well, I guess that’s why I left Big Law. Though I was able to excel while still respecting important family obligations whenever humanly possible. I’m not saying you don’t lose something by doing it, but I think it’s unfair for people to assume that the commitment is something frivolous that she can get out of when she said she can’t.

          • Anonymous :

            What kind of consulting work is the Op trying to do? If she’s an undergrad looking to join some giant consulting octopus that has her school as a target school, it’s probably not going to matter if she misses some events, since it sounds like these aren’t even interviews. She can reach out to the recruiters without going to the information sessions, etc. I didn’t go to any on-campus events yet still had interviews with consulting firms. Of course it depends on the firm and the field. If someone had told me to miss my brother’s wedding, I would have been shocked and annoyed when I realized it didn’t actually matter.

    • It’s not clear to me if you cannot make the firms’ events on campus, the on campus interviews or both. If you will miss the events, it is workable but a challenge, but it will be a lot harder if you cannot make on campus interviews. If the conflict is with on campus interviews, than you may want to follow the suggestion of the poster above and change your plans if you do get an interview.

      For reference, I am in consulting and am heavily involved in campus recruiting for my firm. I am also the person who is responsible for selecting candidates for first round interviews for my area. It is rare that a candidate, even one with a strong background, will get an interview if they have not 1) spoken with me directly, 2) spoken with someone else in my area who will recommend them for an interview. We also track attendance at firm events on campus, and that can come into consideration. Lest this sound harsh, we are a major firm and have a significant presence on campus. If you have not made it to any of the 3+ events on campus, or if you are interested in my area and somehow have not found me (if you tell any practitioner at the event you are interested in my area, they will direct you to me in person or via email… I’m easy to contact) you might not be the sort of person who would fit in consulting, i.e. someone who is involved and able to network at a basic level.

      I’d go so far to say that most people who interview have met me or another practitioner in my area at 2+ events by the time full time recruiting happens (in addition to probably having known them during internship recruiting), and they are probably done 2 -3 informational interviews. So, keep in mind that if you cannot make any events, this level of intimacy is what you need to achieve.

      All that is to say there are two things you should be doing now:
      1 – Reach out to recruiters at the firms now to explain that you cannot make it to the firm event(s) on campus and why. Reiterate your interest in the firm and ask for 1 -2 contacts for practitioners in your area of interest. If it is the interviews you cannot attend, you might start asking about how you can work on a potential solution–I have seen this happen but you have to have built a strong relationship with the firm.
      2 – Schedule informational interviews with practitioners in the firm and area of interest to build your network at each firm. Make sure to prep for these informational interviews; you are competing against your classmates who are able to make a stronger impression in person. I would also mention that you are disappointed you could not meet them in person at them on campus events and mention why.

      • To add on and clarify…

        ‘Recruiters’ for consulting firms are part of the full time HR/talent team and are facilitators and process guides/enforcers, but not decision makers. Reaching out to them alone only goes so far.

        ‘Practitioners’ are the consultants who will make time to attend recruiting events and conduct interviews, and are ultimately the decision makers for who gets interviews and offers.

        • Thanks for your input, this is helpful. wrt commenters above, my mom is dying with just a couple of weeks left (unfortunately timed), and I’m an only child/her only living relative she talks to. So yeah, I’d really like to change my plans.

          How do I go about meeting practitioners if not through recruiting events?

          • I’m so sorry to hear that – I agree with BB below. If you say ‘family medical emergency’ i think you will get more understanding than ‘family commitment’ or something similar, without having to go into specifics. Definitely reach out through alumni. All you need (and all the recruiters do – and alumni can connect you just as easily) is to get in the door, once you are in the door you can be on a more level (never actually level) playing field to get the job.

            Or just stalk a recruiter. Not in a creepy way, but again, just get your foot in the door.

          • I’m so sorry you have to go through this.

          • Anonymous :

            Ask the recruiter for the names of a few practitioners that you can reach out to. If they just give you one, after the end of that informational interview ask the practitioner for a second contact. Aim for getting to someone at manager level or above by the time you are done.

            Given the seriousness of the situation, I would reach out to the recruiter via email and ask for a quick call to a discuss unique situation that will pose potential challenges in the recruiting process. During the call, I would then give the details of the situation, and reiterate your interest in the firm and your commitment to exploring opportunities.

            I would also be fairly upfront during the informational interviews about the situation, if you are comfortable with it. I would practice saying out loud to peers so you are able to do it in a matter of fact way.

            If your mom is not located close to the school, but in a major city, mention that to the recruiter as well in case the could be a local accommodation for in person informational interviews and/or interviews.

          • I’m SO sorry that you’re going through this, please take care of yourself. you and your mom are in my thoughts.

        • thanks, this is helpful. How do you establish relationships with practitioners if not at the on-campus events?

          • Sorry you’re dealing with this. While I agree that the events are important, I think most recruiters would be understanding about a “family medical emergency.” One other way would be to look through your school’s alumni directory. Look up people who work at the companies you’re interested in (cross-reference with LinkedIn since a lot of people don’t update). Most alums would be happy to chat with you either over the phone or in person.

          • Want to add: It’s helpful for these “practioner” alums to email the recruiters on your behalf and say “Hey, I like this person, and she cannot attend the on-campus interviews but can we get her into the office to interview?” Otherwise, you might get lost in the shuffle in HR. (I’m an ex Big-3 consultant)

          • Anonymous :

            Ask career services – they should have a working relationship with the recruiters.

            Make sure to talk everything through with career services, they can help advocate for you.

        • Agree with the above. I work in consulting and have done a lot of work with undergrad recruiting. If you will miss the campus events but not the interviews, your focus right now should be on getting an interview. If you are going to miss the interview days, that is something to work through with the recruiter later. The recruiters do not make the decisions here, a team of consultants (usually alumni of the school) review the cover letters / resumes and make the decisions. The recruiters do track attendance at events and that is one of the data points we have when looking through the cover letters and resumes (as well as any feedback from any of the practitioners that attended those events).

          If you will miss campus events, absolutely contact the recruiter, explain your situation (high-level), and ask to be connected to a practitioner. We have several hundred applicants and a roughly 1/7 interview selection rate. After you add in Partner referrals, that number goes to ~1 in 12.

  2. Can you find out the names and contact info of the recruiters at the companies you are most interested and send them applications? Put a line in your cover letter like “I am unable to participate in on-campus recruiting, but am still interested in your company and would appreciate the opportunity to interview.”

  3. Interrupting Cow :

    What to do when you’re interrupted, by a man, during a professional semi-adversarial conversation? Does it change 1-1 v. in a group?

    In 1-1 I usually cut them off, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t finished” and continue talking.

    Is this rude, because I’ve interrupted the interrupter? Do I wait until they’re finished talking? By that time, the topic has changed to what they want it to be and I still haven’t said my piece.

    Thoughts? Mooo..

    • Even if the topic has later changed, when you get a chance to speak you can still say “going back to this issue for a minute, blah blah blah.”

    • redbeagle :

      I’m with you with the cut-off, as long as it’s stated without anger or aggression, but calmly, and immediately followed by the rest of your message. Man or woman, same applies.

    • Depends on what your goal is. Usually, in a situation like that, I’m less concerned about being kind to or deferring to someone who is being rude to me. My most common approach would be to interrupt, in a firm tone, with “I would like to finish my thought,” or something of that ilk. No apology- you are pointing out that he is interrupting you.

      • I take the firm approach, too– after trying more gentle responses, I have found the only thing that works is to raise my hand and interrupt him, saying “Please don’t interrupt me” and then continue speaking as if nothing happened. It’s important to pick up smoothly and not to stumble over the thought that you are interrupting him to complete. They are usually a little embarassed and some have even apologized later.

  4. In search of mild cleanser :

    I just started using Renova (retin-A) and need a very mild cleanser. I tried Cetaphil and didn’t like it as it did not remove my light makeup. Any suggestions?

    • CeraVe works for me.

    • I use coconut oil and a wash cloth.

    • DisenchantedinDC :

      I’m back on retinols (Differin/adapalene) after a hiatus, having used Retin-A in college and immediately post.

      Philsophy Purity is an amazing, gentle creamy face wash that gets off make-up and is gentle on the skin. I HIGHLY recommend pairing it with the Philosophy microdermabrasion scrub, because if you’re just getting started with a retinol you will need help with the flakies (stick with it – they go away!). Good luck!

    • anonomatopoeia :

      Purity Made Simple by Philosophy.

      There’s the original formula and a gel formula, which is thicker and leaves my face feeling a little cleaner (usually suggested for oily skin, but worth a try if the original doesn’t leave you feeling clean enough). I like both and find both to be very mild.

    • Anonymous :

      Shu Uemura cleansing oil

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I stick with Biore products and use their skin balancing cleanser in the morning.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I like Garnier’s cleansing oil (Burt’s Bees has one too) as a first swipe to get the makeup off, then using cetaphil to wash. Coconut oil also works. After cleansing I use the retin-a and cerave cream. My derm wasn’t a fan of the fact that I was using oil, but said it should be fine as long as you’re using something else afterward. In the AM I use clean and clear acne advantage or something as instructed by the derm with neutrogena 50 spf daily moisturizer.

      Sidenote – stick w/ the program. I hated the first two months but now I’m happy. (Have been doing above since January – up to .05% strength.)

    • I like Purpose or Neutrogena Naturals. Your derm will have good suggestions too.

      • HoneyBadger :

        I have awful blackheads-any recommendations? Currently I use origins charcoal face mask but I feel like lately it is not as effective.

        • I like to use Olay’s sulphur mask when I have broken out. It dries stuff up, and for some reason, my skin loves how sulphur works on it. You can sometimes find sulphur bars for cheap in the latino cosmetics section of stores like Target too (not trying to be racist! it’s a thing!). My derm told me that sulphur is less profitable than patentable drugs but nearly as effective, and I’d agree.

  5. Meg Murry :

    Can I get a RAWR for raging PMS like I am a teenager again? At least, that’s what I think it is – either that or I’m going crazy. Luckily, no cramps, but super emotional, plus my eating and sleeping cycle always gets out of wack with PMS so that never helps.

    I’ve always had bad PMS/fluctuating emotions with fluctuating hormones (early pregnancy, postpartum and weaning were all hard on me). I have a Mirena IUD now, which means its usually not that bad, but it also means I have no regular cycle, so about every 6 months I just get horrid PMS (emotional symptoms, food cravings and insomnia, not cramps at least) and then a few days later my period shows up and I think “hmm, ok, now I get it”.

    I almost took my husband’s head off last night and again this morning for doing something stupid, but totally in the realm of “things normal humans sometimes screw up and can be fixed”. And don’t get me started on my three year old being extra threenager-y. Now I’m sitting at my desk at work alternating between wanting to scream in frustration over people being stupid and cry for no real reason at all.

    Anyone have any good sob-it-all-out movie recommendations for me tonight? That will at least help with the “I really need to cry, so I might as well cry about some fictional character’s sad story instead of something stupid like the laundry.” Preferably available on Amazon Prime or HBOGo.

    • Anonymous :

      The Stoning of Soraya M? It may make you too RAWR though b/w crying.

    • I have come to the conclusion this is the only real reason Nicholas Sparks books and movies exist – excuses for cathartic crying over nonsense.

      • Yup, Nicholas Sparks was my backup – I knew I could find one of those, worst case. I agree, I don’t know what other reason they exist except to have a good cry over. Same thing with all the YA books about teenagers with cancer – I sobbed so much over those back in middle school.

        Thanks for the suggestions everyone – keep them coming.

    • New Tampanian :

      P.S. I love you. Every time I need to cry

    • The Vow. It’s incredibly sappy and the acting isn’t great, but you WILL cry. Or at least I did.

    • *hugs* and sympathy. I get raging PMS and horrific cramps just about every month. It totally sucks.

      I second The Notebook (or any Nicholas Sparks). Titanic (still) makes me cry.

      From Refinery29: refinery29.com/best-sad-movies

    • Senior Attorney :

      I can’t help with movies (I hate to be sad — it makes me sad!) but I just want to give you a gigantic high five for “threenager-y!” ;)

    • Screw Nicholas Sparks, this is what Casablanca is for.

    • Without doubt, “Little Women” makes me sob every time (how can Beth die?!?!).

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      The first 15 minutes of Up should do it.

      • ^ X1000!

        I am a snotty sobbing mess every time I see the opening sequence of Up. You’d think I’d learn that I just can’t watch it, but it’s my five-year-old nephew’s favorite movie, and auntie NYNY has to excuse herself every time we watch it to compose herself.

        • My top 3 cry your eyes out moments courtesy of Pixar are the first 15 minutes of Up, The “When Somebody Loves You” Montage from Toy Story 2, and the ending of Toy Story 3 (mom of a boy, the scenes of Andy going off to college and loving giving up his toys makes me ugly cry every time).

    • After I had a kid, my period went from annoying / mildly uncomfortable to OMG doubling over in pain cramps. It says a lot that I actually thought to myself, “you know, if I were pregnant again right now, it would be more comfortable.” I don’t know that the hormonal rage matches the pain but man, what a drag.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Blue Valentine, Up, and A Walk to Remember are my cannot help but bawl my eyes out movie.

      • Anonymous :

        I thought I was the only one who bawls pretty much the entire time during Up. Glad to know I am not alone in at least the crying aspect.

    • Steel Magnolias. Everytime.

  6. This dress :

    I like the idea of this, but I think it looks too much like a coat. I can imagine TSA trying to make you remove it if you were to try flying in it.

    I do like that it has sleeves and it looks warm. And I wish that wrap dresses would considered doing some sort of internal version of secure closures like this has (I am not very Studio 54 and do not need something that unwraps and falls to the ground as easily as some do. I have small children and lots of windows in my house.)

    • Diana Barry :

      +1. Coatdresses work for the Duchess since she is at outdoor appearances so much. Like ribbon cuttings and all of those kinds of things. Not so much in indoor offices.

      • redbeagle :

        +2, also, I don’t think it would do well on a petite curvy figure without frumpifying.

      • Anonymous :

        And she is standing a lot. I think the lines get ruined once you sit. Unfortunately. . . her sense of style is pretty much my dream look.

        • Yeah. The black watch Alexander McQueen coat dress was my absolute favorite.

          • Kate playing field hockey in her black watch AMQ coat dress and boots is such a great photograph of her – you can see her personal style AND personality.

          • I just want to be her in that photograph. I love playing field hockey (Women’s sixth team… of six)

    • Super-cute for social occasions, but I wouldn’t wear it to work. If it looked just a little less coat-like, it would be great.

    • I also don’t like how the top buttons are pulling. Clearly not designed for anyone with b**bs.

      • Lefty lawyer :

        I remember these from the early 80s. Don’t fit if you have hips either.

    • The Duchess’ coatdresses also tend to be fit and flare, which reads more dress and less coat and feels more current.

      A straighter coatdress like this one reads less Kate and more Diana. Very 80s to my eye.

  7. I went shopping for some work blouses this weekend, and was so frustrated by the selections in several of the stores. Anne Taylor, Loft, WHBM, etc. I ended up having the best luck at The Limited, where I found two very pretty blouses that have a capped sleeve.

    Anyone else shop at The Limited? Now I’m curious about more of their clothing, and its quality. (I’m in a business casual environment — a step below suits, and I’m trying to keep things a little on the formal side since I’m young and new here.)

    • AnonInfinity :

      I shop at The Limited a lot because the clothes are good quality for the price, in my opinion. I get lots of compliments on the clothes I get from there. I am very very gentle with all of my clothing–I don’t wash or dry clean after every wearing, and when I wash in the washing machine, I put all of my work clothes in laundry bags and wash on the hand-wash cycle then lay flat to dry. This helps clothes from places like The Limited last a really long time. I haven’t had any issues with fading or pilling or anything like that.

    • The Limited is probably my first go-to for the last several years. Quality is not fantastic, but it is usually good for the price (I’ve not had the best of luck with sweaters staying nice for as long as I’d like, but then, I rarely do). I treat my clothing similarly to AnonInfinity. I think that the Limited tends to have one of the best balances between clothing that is young/flattering but also generally work appropriate. I’ve also had a few suits from there (though several years back) that I love and have lasted quite a while. Again, you’re not going to get things like high-end fabrics, lined everything, and so forth, but you get something pretty good for the price.

      Sigh, I’m still trying to lose pregnancy weight, so I’m not really shopping right now. I miss the Limited!

    • It’s weird – with Ann Taylor going downhill so fast, the Limited ends up being a better place for work basics. (I really liked the Scandal collection when they had it.) They don’t have a lot of natural fabrics, but, yeah, a very good place for basics.

    • In general, I think they have good stuff, but only purchase on sale, as there is a 40% sale going on non-stop. That said I’m a little annoyed with them at the moment, as I recently order six dresses, all but 1 of which were too short for work. I’m 5’6, this shouldn’t be an issue, and I have dresses from prior seasons that are completely appropriate. Their Tall selections tend to sell out in my size super fast, if they were available to start with. But back to, 5’6 should not require tall sizes!

    • New Tampanian :

      Majority of my work apparel is from The Limited. Things go on sale frequently, so try to only buy then. I’m lucky that I know my size for all of their clothing so I can order online and rarely have an issue.

      Quality is decent – not super high end though. I wash in the machine at a regular setting and hang/lay to dry most items. Their dresses make me happy.

      Every once in a while there’s a “NOPE” that I come across from there. But that’s pretty rare.

      I get tons of compliments.

    • Pregnant, so I haven’t bought anything there since last year, but I love the Limited for work clothes. I don’t know if it makes up a majority of my work wardrobe, but it definitely has a greater presence than any other single store. Love love love.

    • Anonymous :

      BigLaw associate and 90% of my work clothes are from The Limited. Quality is decent, not great, but honestly clothes (with the exception of things like suits that don’t get worn often) don’t normally last me that long anyway. The Limited has very stylish clothes at a great price point.

    • Must be Tuesday :

      I’ve started shopping there more recently because I like the style and fit, but since none of my pieces are more than 18 months old, I can’t speak to longevity. I did have the hem fall out of a pair of pants, which I had to fix. I don’t yet see a lot of wear on the pieces I’ve purchased, so that’s a promising sign. Their suit jackets don’t seem to be particularly great quality, they’re not always lined, and the fit isn’t good on me, so I only have pants and blouses and sweaters from there.

    • Limited shopper here :

      Not sure if you’re still reading this thread, but I have a number of work basics from The Limited. DEFINITELY buy on sale, I would never buy anything full-price, given the frequency of 40%-50% off sales. I bought two of the v-back sheath dresses, which are great for those with broader shoulders/muscled upper back, since the back zipper doesn’t go all the way up to the nape of the neck. I have several pencil skits that I like, purchased on sale for $25 each, holding up well after a year of consistent wear. The pencil skirts I own hit just below the knee, and the two sheath dresses hit at the top of my kneecap. I’m also 5’6″, and I haven’t had issues with hem lengths, but I tend to be between sizes frequently, and I normally size up, so that might be a mitigating factor.

  8. Boden breton tees :

    I want to get a Boden Breton long-sleeve shirt for fall.

    I wear a LE S in their french terry shirts (would be XS for shoulders / bo0bs, but need the S to skim over my post-baby pooch) or a 4 in Banana Republic. What would the Boden equivalent be?

    • I’d say a 4 or a 6, depending on your arm size, they run tightest through the shoulders/upper arms. They definitely do ‘skim’ in pretty much all sizes due to the cut.

    • Measure your LE shirts and compare them to the Boden ‘actual measurements’ page. That said, I agree with anne-on that they skim due to the cut. I have them in a couple of different sizes (ate too many pretzels while living in Germany) and even the ones that are a bit small skim flatteringly.

  9. I just bought the J Crew Super 120s two-button jacket and pencil skirt. Skirt is fine, but the jacket is kinda boxy and doesn’t really work on me.

    It’s probably going back, but I’m wondering if I bought a size too big, or if the jacket is supposed to be a bit boxy. Anyone else have this jacket? Should I bother exchanging for a smaller size or just give up?

    • Is there a chance that you might need a petite jacket? I’m on the border between petite and regular sizes (5’4″), and am shorter from shoulder to waist than waist to foot, so I often buy suiting separates with a regular skirt and a petite jacket. This may apply to you if the armholes seem to deep and/or the waist shaping is below your waist. Either issue can really make a jacket look boxy.

      • Hmm. I’ve actually never considered a petite jacket. I’m 5’5 with very long arms but a short torso. Armholes are always too deep on jackets, so maybe I’ll exchange for a petite and see. Thanks for the tip!

    • Boden breton tees :

      I gave up with this jacket after going the 4/4P/6/6P route. A long jacket doesn’t work for me. I’m 5-4, so this is a regular featuer of my shopping forays.

      FWIW, I went to Banana and got a shorter 4P jacket from their wool suiting line that fit perfectly off the rack. So I’m team BR for suits now and buy the whole set (skirt / pants, oddly enough, in non-petite lengths) as long as the jacket works. I don’t wear suits often enough to justify going to something more expensive, but like looking put together enough to still buy suits. It makes my mornings simpler.

  10. I love interesting blazers for work, especially in the fall but I haven’t seen anything I’ve liked lately. Anyone see anything great lately?

    • I’m sale stalking a boiled wool zip blazer from Laura Ashley of all places. I’d like something softly structured with a bit of visual interest.

    • I’m right with you. I’m not a fan of the longer styles in vogue right now, and the only other option seems to be short & boxy.

      Case in point – this jacket/the styling makes the model look like her upper body is shapeless and probably much larger than it actually is: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/lafayette-148-new-york-odene-reversible-topper/4086926?origin=category-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=2166

  11. Pet Insurance :

    We’re adopting a rescue puppy this week! Can anyone give advice about pet insurance? I know it’s a thing, but is it strongly recommended or only a nice-to-have?

    • A lot depends on your dog. Ours is very energetic and as the shelter described “likes to eat things that are not food.” We got insurance through Healthy Paws because they use a yearly deductible, not a per incident deductible and have already had to use it. She hurt her knee and the insurance covered over 1K of the $1,700 bill. Some people recommend puting an amount equal to the insurance payment in an account for emergencies but at $30 a month, it would not have even come close to paying for her care.

    • New Tampanian :

      You’ll want to look closely at the exclusions and your dog’s breed. They will often exclude the most common ailments for particular breeds. I know some people who have gotten “puppy” or “Kitten” insurance which will cover the first year’s various appointments/shots/neutering. That has seemed to be worth it for them.

    • ymmv but we have pet insurance for our dog and it became very worth it when she needed emergency surgery that cost $6k. (Insurance paid 80%.) When she needed the surgery, the vets gave us a quote beforehand and basically had to ask us, do you want to pay for this, or do you want is to put her down? It was awful to be in that situation but would have been much more awful had we not had the insurance and were on the spot to decide if we had $6k to spend.

      Pet insurance is expensive though – ours is $44 / month, which seemed outrageous until that surgery bill. I would say if you don’t get the insurance, make sure you’re saving aggressively and have an emergency fund for vet care should it become necessary.

    • I just got Trupanion for my puppy. I really liked their basic coverage (none of the add-ons).

    • Wildkitten :

      Buy it now. You can drop it later but you can’t add it later.

  12. Yay! Pricey Monday’s! I LOVE pricey monday’s and this doubel breasted WOOL dress at Brook’s Brothers. I know Kate Middelton look’s great in whatever she wear’s, and her sister, Pippa, has a tuchus to die for, but I still hope I can look good in this dress with my tuchus, b/c I HAVE been excerciseing with my NEW FITBIT that dad got me. It is alot better then the old fitbit, but now Dad can see exacteley the calorie’s that I am burning. I have this watch winder that I was useing on the old fitbit for my automatic watch, and it was getting me steps over night while i slept, but now Dad can see WHEN I get the steps and I was yelled at for useing this while I slept and watched TV. FOOEY on this technology. He insists on 12,000 steps a day now, and I do NOT like walking when it is to humid out. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    AS FOR THE OP, yes, get pet insurance to cover medical expenses. Dad got a labradoodel last year and he needed an orthodontic procedure, which was NOT covered at first, but Dad called the insurance company b/c he got a RIDER for dental and this was dental. It cost alot of money, but Dad just had to pay the $250 deducteibel. YAY!!!

    The manageing partner want’s me to prepare another CLE for him on WC benefits under the New law. I do NOT even know what new law he is talking about. Does anyone in the hive have any idea if there is some new law out there I should be writing up a power point on? HELP! He assumes I know about some new law, and I have NO idea what he is talking about! FOOEY!

  13. FYI, Nordstrom just marked down several dresses on my wish list that were NAS to below-NAS prices. They aren’t showing as a “markdown” (ie, no “was X, now Y, Z% off–the price is just changed).

    I tend to keep stuff I’ve bought on my wish list for a while afterward to catch price adjustment opportunities, and this is the second year I’ve noticed that all of my NAS purchases ended up at a lower price not long after the sale.

    • Thanks!!

    • Bad move on their part. I’m far more likely to buy if it looks like I’m getting a more expensive dress for less!

      • Haha looks like the site’s been updated and is now showing the markdown.

    • The past few years, I’ve noticed that most things that doesn’t sell out during the NAS goes on sale a few months after the NAS ends.

  14. Can I get a contractors suck RAWR? We refinished our floors and the contractor used a completely different color and grain of wood in one spot. Now he’s telling me that there is nothing he can do because the floor has already been sealed. Um no….

    • Yeah, he’s saying that because he’ll have to resand/seal at least part of the floors, which is a lot of work. But, he screwed up, he fixes it.

      • Exactly. I told him that he would not have to reseal if he had done it correctly.

    • Carrie.... :

      Ugh…. I HATE when contractors pull stuff like this. I am usually weak in the knees and let it go and then kick myself for years.

      Be strong. Ask for it to be fixed.

      It is only in moments like this that I wish I had a manly and handy husband. Most contractors just walk all over me.

    • Anon in the Suburbs :

      Stay firm with them. Last month I had a contractor lay the wrong tile pattern in my master bath (after showing him a picture and pointing out that I paid more for the specific pattern in the contract). I had to make a few phone calls to his company and he had to pull up the entire floor and start over. Luckily he hadn’t started grouting. One extra day later I got what I originally wanted.

    • Only after I threatened to sue did he finally agree to fix it. Fingers crossed.

  15. intentionally anon for this :

    Hopefully fun shopping challenge: I need an outfit that I can wear for the following day: half day of work in the morning (I’m a lawyer in NYC but not Big Law), followed by a tour of a brewery about a half-hour outside the city, followed by happy hour with friends, and finally, a relatively fancy dinner. I’m not the guest of honor, but I’m responsible for planning the afternoon. Right now, I’m thinking I’ll either find a magical unicorn sweater dress and boots to wear (this is happening in about 6 weeks) or I’ll alter the plans for the day so that it’s easier to pick an outfit that day. Ideas?

    • I would wear any dress, with heels for work and dinner and flats for the other. Not a hard one in my book.

      You’re just going for acceptable for the office, comfortable enough for the brewery, and not noticeably ugly for the dinner.

      • I don’t really do heels, and I was hoping to wear boots since I think by evening, it’ll be pretty chilly.

        • Then wear boots? Idk why this is hard or requires a magical unicorn dress. Any day dress and suitable shoes. Done.

    • I like the idea of flats/boots with one and heels with another. For dresses, really anything from Nordstrom’s work section, but I like

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/julia-jordan-eyelet-sheath-dress/3884139?origin=category

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/tahari-seamed-a-line-dress-regular-petite/3501047?origin=category

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/felicity-coco-seamed-pencil-dress-nordstrom-exclusive-regular-petite/4121455?origin=category

    • Can you wear your normal work clothes to work, and then change into something else for the evening in the bathroom as you leave (and leave the work clothes in your office)? That way you could wear what you want (and might not even need to shop).

      • Yep – could definitely do this – but I still don’t know quite what would be appropriate for a brewery (which IMO would be super casual) as well as happy hour and fancy dinner.

        • Anything you wear! Like, at all. It’s a brewery not a working farm.

        • Then I’d vote for normal work clothes, and then change into: dark skinny pants, simple ballerina flats (not boots), a navy or black silky 3/4 sleeve flowy blouse, jewelry (earrings, necklace, and bracelet to dress up the pants), and a red lip (again, to counteract the somewhat casual pants). That’s for the brewery and happy hour. Then toss on a fun jacket for the dinner, something with an interesting detail or a little bit of color.

          For an idea of what I mean by “fun jacket”, check out BCBG ‘s new stuff – something like the zip front leather poncho or Peyton elbow sleeve fur shrug. Obviously doesn’t have to be that expensive, that’s just a style idea.

          • This is really helpful and sounds like lots of fun to wear — because it’s totally not something I would normally wear. Thank you!

          • This is very helpful and sounds super fun to wear. Thanks!

          • It was way more fun planning an outfit than doing my actual work :) Have fun at your event!

    • No help on the outfit, but just wanted to say that this sounds like my perfect day.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Bright solid color jersey dress with a tie waist. Replace tie with skinny belt and wear boots that match belt. Blazer in black or navy on top.

    • Must be Tuesday :

      If you want casual for the brewery, find a dress that you can throw a denim jacket over for that portion of the day.

  16. Foot Problems :

    This is a long shot, but does anyone here have morton’s neuroma in their foot/feet? I am dealing with it pretty well this summer by wearing super supportive, roomy dress sandals (in a very business casual environment). I’m worried about the upcoming winter though – anyone have cute shoes that work for the office but won’t irritate the problem? TIA!

    • I have something similar (capsulitis) with ball-of-foot pain. C-H shoes don’t usually fit me, but I got a pair of Air Tali wedges and they were perfect (when mine flares up, it’s those, my Danskos, sneakers, Keens, or a pair of LaCanadienne boots that fit (but are murder if I wear socks in addition to tights)).

      I got fit for orthodics but they only seem to work well in sneakers. Having freakishly high arches doesn’t help, so I’ve tried to look for good arch support or use the stick-on arch supports.

    • I wear TOms when mine flares up. I can get away with that in my office though.

    • Me. I have custom orthotics and wear flats that can accommodate them. They tend to the casual side but oh well. The orthotics have a “bump” toward the front to help my foot spread out and avoid pinching the nerve.

      I also had it treated (injections, not surgery) which had made it way better, but still need the orthotics. (And they weren’t cortisone shots – i forget what it was called, but it was explained to me as permanently killing that part of the nerve. It wasn’t a fun process but was totally worth it, and better than surgery.)

      • I have one MN, a fused & plated big toe, possible psoriatic arthritis (two hugely swollen toes) and more in both feet. I’d love to be able to walk period without pain. I’ll look in to these shoe recommendations. I’d also love to hear more about non-cortisone shots. Had one and it did nothing.

        • I think this describes the treatment I had: http://www.podiatrytoday.com/article/87
          I had six injections, iirc, about 2 weeks apart. They were incredibly painful and I wasn’t able to walk much for a couple days following. But I would say my symptoms are 95% better – day to day I have no pain, but I do still need to wear the orthotics.

    • anon a mouse :

      I had a bad episode with it a number of years back. FWIW, I got great relief from cortisone shots. I’ve also had good luck with Born shoes. I have orthotics for my athletic shoes, and my podiatrist said that if I needed them, I could get them for dress shoes as well – I just haven’t felt the need to yet.

    • I also have custom orthotics. My current shoe brand is Ziera from New Zealand. Lots of room for orthotics with some good closed-toe options that aren’t too casual. Any comfort shoe specialty store should have a variety of brands that will work for you.

  17. Friendship Woes :

    I need some perspective. I’ve got two great sets of friends that I love. We all get along and live close by and have been through the big life changes together. We’ve had some normal drifting as we’ve gotten busier, but generally I seem to be the forgotten one or even at times a bit of hostility by one friend. Case in point, normally we all do stuff for each other’s birthdays (low-key) and mine came and went without even a ‘should we do anything?’ No texts, etc. H3ll, no one has even been to my house for dinner in the past 6 months because we can’t “nail down a time.” For others in the group, things have carried on like normal.

    I’m trying really hard not to take things personally and just move on and start scheduling and doing things again. I don’t know if it would be weird to ask if I did anything to offend or just accept this is how friendships can be.

    • Throw a belated birthday dinner party and invite everyone. If only a few people can come, so be it. Celebrating birthdays is nice, but as time goes on, it is one of those things that is can get annoying. My friend started a tradition of bringing cupcakes to a regular gathering to celebrate birthdays, now we need to do it 10 times a year and it’s another task. It doesn’t mean I don’t like my friends, but we’re all adults and I don’t think it would devastate anyone if we stopped.

      • Friendship Woes :

        Thanks. I agree with you on the celebrating thing in general. It’s more that it’s happened for literally everyone in our group except me. We’re planning one for another friend already! So it feels more personal, but maybe I’m just too wrapped up in it to see the big picture.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I don’t think it’s unreasonable for you to feel like it’s personal, given what you’ve described. Is there someone in the group you feel closer to than the others? Maybe ask that person if something is up?

  18. Two Big Law Parents :

    My husband and I are both 5th-year big law associates. We are both 30. I’m pregnant with our first baby — due in March. We are both really happy, but I’m starting to feel more than a little panicky about how we are going to make this work, given our long and unpredictable hours.

    Does anyone in a similar situation have advice or details on what child-care arrangements have worked for you? I assume we definitely have to have a nanny as opposed to day care, but even a nanny needs to have defined hours, right? What do you do if you suddenly both have to work really late? Should we try to come up with a system of alternating which days each of us is responsible for nights at home, or be flexible based on what deals we have going on and how busy each of us is? Any suggestions re: outsourcing or how to maximize our time with the baby? We already have a weekly cleaning lady.

    I’m planning to take the full 6 months of maternity leave, so we definitely have some time to think about this, but I think I will feel better if we start planning for my return earlier rather than later. Thanks in advance!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Honestly, if you plan to continue doing full-on Big Law hours, I think you should plan on having two shifts of nannies. It will be super expensive but you can afford it with your salaries and it will provide you with peace of mind. And not only that, but you will need back up arrangements for when the nanny is sick or whatever. The biggest lesson I learned when my son was little was “you are only as good as your backup child care!”

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. My friends who work in private equity have 2 nannies. One comes at 630 or 7 am and the other one comes at maybe 2 pm.

    • Day care + night nanny + one or both of you is leaving BigLaw within a year anyway. That’s how you do it.

    • Nannies don’t need set hours, but you should absolutely be upfront about that and be realistic about when you can expect to be home on a “normal” night and how many nights a week are going to be late nights (and what is late – is it half an hour after normal, or is it 2am?). I had a friend who told the nanny she could absolutely be home by X, and was surprised when the nanny was pissed that she was home 15 minutes after X most nights because of her unpredictable work schedule. The whole situation could have been avoided if my friend was just upfront. You should look for a nanny who doesn’t have children or has children who are grown/out of the house so that the nanny doesn’t have her own family demands to tend to.

      You should also post this on the moms site, people there probably have much better advice.

      • Oh, and if you have the space and temperament to have a live-in nanny, I’d also explore that route.

      • Good point — and apparently I’m all over this thread today!) When you set hours for the nanny, it’s important to also account for a transition/handoff where the nanny goes over what happened during the day in the evening, and vice versa when she arrives in the morning. And you should definitely be paying for all of that time.

    • I know only 2 dual-biglaw couples with kids, and both have live-in au pairs, which helps if you have to work late.

      • Yeah, but au pairs are limited to 35 hours a week — some will go over that limit for pay under the table, but au pairs usually don’t work as the only childcare solution for a 2 FT working parents (particularly with biglaw hours).

        • I would vote for an au pair when my children are older as an after-school care provider and person old enough to drive for school activities.

          Not for babies and not for this volume of hours.

        • Sounds like the live-in au pair functions as the second nanny, and the kids would still need daytime care.

          • Yeah, if that’s the intention I completely agree that an au pair may be a good solution. There’s a lot of misconceptions about au pairs, including that they are functionally live-in nannies, which is not true.

          • Anonymous :

            My understanding is that they are like a cultural exchange person who can do some work (incl. child care but also things like erands and starting dinner) for a set amount of time (but they get time off to visit your city and their own friends). They live with you like an older cousin to your children: you include them as part of your family, but give them space and time to do their own thing. They share language and culture with your familiy (which would be great — I lived abroad as a child and I know that my children won’t have that, so an au pair would be a second choice).

    • It’s hard. I am half of two lawyer, biglaw/medlaw, family, with older kid in preschool, so I’ve negotiated this issue a bit.

      Yes, nannies have set hours but you can (and should, in your situation!) hire a nanny who may be able to stay late occasionally, with or without much notice. Night nannies/back up nannies are another good option. If your nanny can’t stay late (or you don’t want her to), you could try to identify a second nanny who could come over to take over in the evening a couple days a week.

      As someone else mentioned, a really common scenario is that, within a few months of trying to make this work, one of you ends up taking a step back. I’ve seen this both in one parent leaving BigLaw and for someone (usually the mom) dropping to a reduced/flextime schedule solely so she can leave at 4 or 5 pm to pick up kid and go home. Unfortunately she usually ends up doing work after kiddo goes to bed, so basically the only benefit of the reduced hours/schedule is the availability to block out 4-7 pm as sacred.

      I actually don’t think it would be bad to get your/your husband’s bosses used to a system in which they are used to 5:30 p.m. (or whenever) being a hard stop where you *must* leave the office for each of you 2 days a week. I think this would generally fly, particularly if presented as “have to leave for childcare but will be back online after 8 p.m.” at both of the big firms I’ve worked. You may work for glass-bowls who aren’t ok with that, but they’re probably already judging you for having kids and wanting to spend time with them so . . . so what?

    • Daycare + evening nanny.

      All things being equal, daycare is more reliable than nannies (they get sick, too), but having an evening nanny (who could maybe step in if the baby is sick and can’t go to daycare) is probabaly a good bet. I don’t think you want one nanny working 70+ hours over 5 days a week (never mind weekends). Otherwise, you need 2 nannies.

      This might be a good time to decide who is going to step back / go in house. The difference b/w needing 2 nannies and just needing 1 will probably make everyone happier all around (and if you are dual big earners, your after-tax $ coming home hit will not be all that bad if your ego can take it).

      A good legal nanny paid on the books is not cheap and you need to look for insurance for them (you’re now an employer!), especially if the nanny will be driving your cars around. For me, the care I’d want was amazingly high once I priced it out.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        This is what we do. I posted more on the other site, but it works really well for us. I love daycare and the evening nanny solves the pickup conundrum.

        • Two Big Law Parents :

          Thanks! I like this idea. One question re: daycare — what do you do if your kid is sick and therefore can’t go to day care? I was thinking that a nanny would be better for these situations so that we would still have child care if the baby were sick. Granted, the nanny will also need sick days, but I assume an adult would be sick less often than a kid in day care.

          • When your child is sick, unless you have a parent (or some kind of backup care arrangement – there are on-call nannies), either you or your spouse will need to “work from home.” It is very normal that a sick kid wants their mom or dad to be at home. If you do transactional work, it should be easier than if you do litigation.

      • Coach Laura :

        I’d suggest a combination of a nanny and an au pair. Au pairs are usually limited to 35 hours a week so the au pair could start at 4 and make dinner, or do laundry or something then take over when the day nanny leaves. The au pair could also be a back-up nanny if yours is sick or on vacation. It would benefit the au pair because she could take classes or do things during the day and then have weekends free. An extra pair of hands after work would allow you to spend time with the baby if you or baby’s dad are home before baby goes to bed. You don’t want to have to worry about packing bottles, washing clothes, making dinner or cleaning up if you’re working big-law hours and have an infant.

        If you don’t have room for an au pair, a back up nanny – perhaps a college student or a semi-retired helper could start at 4 and work until 10 again helping with baby, chores and dinner plus being an emergency back up.

    • When I was in big law, I was told night nannies were the absolute best thing you could do for yourselves. They actually allow mommy/daddy to get sleep at night and be functional at work! I would start with two nannies and reevaluate after a few months/a year. Also, like everyone said, be upfront about your expectations with a day nanny – make sure they are flexible on time. I’ve seen so many nanny wanted postings that include “must be flexible”, so it’s not an unreasonable or unexpected ask.

      • I don’t think an overnight nanny will be essential. By 6 months, most babies (especially those who have been sleep trained) go to sleep at 7-8 pm and sleep through the night.

        • I want that fantasy baby . . .

          • I know every baby and situation is different, but this was my experience and the experience of many of my friends. It’s not every baby, and I wouldn’t make plans based on this happening, but it’s also not a fantasy.

    • Two Big Law Parents :

      This is all so helpful, thank you. I have to say — it sounds pretty grim. :( The realization that we would need TWO nannies hadn’t really hit me — I guess I just thought one of us could always leave by 6ish and work from home the rest of the night if needed. Maybe I need to think about doing a reduced schedule of 60% or 80%. I had ruled it out initially because I don’t think it would help with the unpredictability issue — only the overall amount of hours.

      • Anonymous :

        Think of when you need care. In my city, leaving at 6 means home by 7. A nanny that has to stay until 7 shouldn’t get there at 7 (and coming at 8 or 9 may get you to work too late). You probably need at least 1.5 nannies to handle one biglaw schedule and 2 FT nannies to make it work well when two people work biglaw hours (esp. if commuting time is significant).

      • Anonymous :

        I think taking a reduced schedule buys you accomodation for leaving early (“early” — before 6) and having some work-from-home flexibility (esp. days or if the baby is sick). It may not help overall with the hours (and my firm bonuses people back based on going over their %).

      • Anonymous :

        I hate to say it, but it also sounds like you severely underestimate the exhaustion of having a child. Not birthing the child, I mean raising the child. You can count on being up once a night for about the next few years. Sure, there are good nights when the baby sleeps 12 hours, but that simply doesn’t last. I mean, every baby is different, and every family is different, so I only say this to help you decide how much hired help you need. For me, “working from home after the baby goes to sleep” is simply not possible, because I’m so exhausted. (I’m a single mom though.)

        • I agree and disagree with this. I don’t think you’ll necessarily be up once a night for the next few years (could happen but not a definite or even the most likely scenario) but even without the nightly wake-ups, it’s exhausting and you might be underestimating that. After baby goes to sleep around 8, we make/eat/clean up dinner until around 9, and then we have about 2 hrs before we go to sleep (our baby wakes up between 630 and 715 and that is late for a baby). Frankly, I can’t imagine working in those two hours (although my husband occasionally does) as it’s my only free time all day, and the only time I get to spend alone with my spouse.

          • Leaning out :

            +1 to this — I’m BigLaw, husband has BigLaw hours on fed pay (lucky us!). I went to a reduced schedule could leave work in time for daycare pickup and planned to work in the evenings a few nights a week, but I just can’t. I do if it’s an emergency or deadline, but I don’t have the energy to do it on a regular basis. And I have an easy baby who was pretty much sleeping through the night by the time I went back to work. Of course, I’m an older mom, maybe if I was in my late 20s, early 30s it would be easier, but I think the mental exhaustion is still there.

            Like pockets said, that time is the only free time I have during the weekday and the only time I can spend with my husband.

            Massive props to the women (and men) who make leaning in work, but it just isn’t worth it to me.

    • Another BigLaw Parent :

      I am in BigLaw on the West Coast and my husband is an engineer, so it may not be exactly parallel, but here’s how we do it:

      When I first went back to work, we carpooled and dropped baby at daycare, husband at work, then me; reverse on the way home. I worked in the car while he drove, but that became impossible as baby got older/more awake. The commute became a nightmare, so we moved closer to work & got a second car. This has allowed us to trade off pick up and drop offs to get more time at the office. My kiddo is now 14 months, and typical day is that I take her to day care and get into the office between 9 and 9:30. I work until 5:45, then get home about 6:15, play with daughter/dinner/bed time routine and she’s usually asleep by 8. If it’s a busier season, I work from then until 11 or later and go to sleep. I don’t work as long of days on week days anymore, but I make up for it by working on weekends when baby is sleeping; I can bill 5-6 hours easily on a weekend day during those times.

      With baby in day care, she’s probably gotten sick 6-12 days in the last 8 months. Husband and I alternate who “works from home” that day, depending on who has more meetings/deadlines that day. “Working from home” while caring for your sick child means you’ll bill ~2 hours until your spouse comes home (if you can easily switch into working during nap times), so just be prepared that sick days are a wash. But if anyone you work with is remotely humane, they’ll understand that sick days happen.

      A lot of my peers in BigLaw who are in offices/practice groups that require more face time end up choosing to see their kids either only at the beginning or only at the end of the day to get a long enough day in at the office. (So go in really early, but leave at 4; or go in late because you did drop off and come home after baby is asleep.)

      Also, please give yourself time to figure out what works for you and your family. It takes awhile to adjust back to working when you come back from leave, and your kid’s schedule will change constantly between 6 and 12 months as they drop naps, teethe, etc. Decide how much time you want every day with your baby/spouse, and throw all your resources at making that possible. For us, it was important to have family time at the beginning AND the end of the day, and that required us to go “all in” to buy the house that’s 10 minutes from day care and husband’s work and 25 minutes from my work & to buy a second car. It also means that when I get into a crunch, I tend to have to choose between sleeping & spending time with them.

      Hope that helps!

  19. Just posting so that I can squee–one of my best friends just found out that she’s pregnant for the first time, and I’m hugely excited but also completely sworn to secrecy for the next few weeks. She’s had a rough few years, so this is especially joyous news. Think good thoughts for her little family! (And think good thoughts for me keeping this a secret from my husband until my friend gets the all-clear.)

    • Meg March :

      How exciting! And good luck keeping the secret– I’m terrible at secret-keeping!

    • Let’s share happy friend news! My BFF is finally dating an awesome guy after years and years of duds. I’m so happy to see her just happily having fun with someone…

  20. Anon Thinking of Stopping Drinking :

    Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that I have no “shut off switch” when I get drinking. If I have more than 3 drinks it turns into MANY more. I’m good if I stick to one or 2. There have also been quite a few blackout situations. Nothing has happened recently other than me having some important conversations with people that are better had sober. I hate feeling like I expressed myself in a manner I normally wouldn’t or feeling like I don’t fully remember the conversation. I don’t always drink. I definitely don’t “need” a drink to get through the day. It’s just when I do start drinking, things tend to go a little over the top. I hate how I feel the next day (yet it keeps happening).

    I’m thinking of abstaining for a while. A mini detox if you will. Have any of you gone through this? How did you “cope” when you were in social situations or even work events? The timing of me wanting to do this is tough with labor day weekend and those festivities. Any advice?

    Appreciate your thoughts!

    • anonforthis :

      I’m similar to you. I’ve realized that the best way for me to handle this, which sounds do-able for you if you’re ok with 1 drink, is to have a heavier beer (a stout or the like) that I sort of have to sip slowly, and commit to only drinking that for the length of a party. If I finish that, I will switch to a non-water beverage that I don’t ordinarily drink, like soda or iced tea, so it still feels fun in some way and not like I’m stuck drinking just ho-hum water.

    • Anonymous :

      AA. If once you start drinking, you cant stop, and you’re unhappy about it, you’re an alcoholic and you’d benefit from support.

    • Definitely anon for this :

      Yep, that’s me. One or two drinks and I’m fine. But once I start to feel that buzz, I can’t/won’t stop. It’s like I’m missing that little voice in my head that tells me I’ve had enough because I never feel like I’m drunk at the time. And yes to the blackouts. The only solution for me is to totally abstain or limit myself to the one or two I know I can handle.

    • Yes – I pretty much stopped drinking entirely. A mini detox won’t help you if when you go back to non-detoxing, you continue to drink too much. I do not keep alcohol at home, except for one or two beers that my dad makes and when I go out, I have one glass of wine/beer/liquor that I nurse all night long (if I so desire) or I just drink water. It took some of my friends a little bit to get used to because I had always been a big drinker, but no one truly cares. At professional functions, I order a drink but mainly just hold it. If you can’t do that, then order a tonic with a lime and if anyone asks say you are driving home and do not want to drink.

      You have to force yourself to not drink. If you cannot do that, then you should go to AA. As a 35 year old, professional woman, it is unacceptable for me to get black out drunk and it’s unacceptable for people to have to take care of me because I have had too much to drink. I had to readjust my behavior and work to accept myself for who I am and be comfortable with that. I have never felt better, I am in amazing shape, I lost a little bit of weight (no longer drinking a bottle of wine a day will do that), and I remember my entire life now. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

      • Also, I stopped going to things where I would have been drinking only because I was bored (e.g., happy hours with people I only marginally like). Now, instead of being at the bar three times a week, I go for a run or do something else that’s healthy. You have to stay away from your triggers, whether that is a specific group of friends, a specific bar, or whatever, you need to understand what your triggers are and stay away from them.

    • About a year ago it became apparent that I had gone from a social/occasional drinker to 2-3 glasses of wine EVERY night. It was my de-stresser, my sleep aid and, frankly, an addiction. I decided to cut it out cold and ended up pregnant, so that was convenient timing.

      I suggest cutting yourself off for awhile or setting yourself a one drink limit. If you struggle, reach out for support sooner than later.

    • So anon for this :

      I have been in a similar situation, and wanted to cut back. What worked for me: One, start with a non-alcoholic drink. Not sure why, but it’s so much easier to 2 beers instead of 5 if the first drink was water or club soda. Second, your bartender will not judge you. I was actually concerned about the reaction of my regular bartenders, and neither of them gave a sh*t, which made it so much easier to drink less. Also, are your social group pushers? Mine are, and once I realized that it was easier not to get pushed into “just one more, it’s only 10:30”.

    • Wildkitten :

      I’m in the exact same situation. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into this as well and what I’ve found to work really well for me is alternating drinks with water. It stretches out the number of drinks and I can keep my faculties longer and avoid the issue when the third drink suddenly hits me and I lose my responsibility. The ways we learned to drink at 19-22 are just completely different from the ways it is appropriate to drink as an actual adult.

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