Tuesday’s TPS Report: V-Neck Double Cloth Sheath Dress

Classiques Entier V-Neck Double Cloth Sheath Dress | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Happy Tuesday! This simple olive sheath dress from Classiques Entier looks lovely — I like the V-neck, the work-appropriate length, and I like the pleats and haven’t seen them used in a similar way on a suiting fabric like this. Also: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: olive is surprisingly versatile — I’d wear this baby with neutrals like black, white, cream, and navy, but also with pops of color like baby pink, cobalt, lavender and dark purple. The dress is $298 at Nordstrom. Classiques Entier V-Neck Double Cloth Sheath Dress

A few lower-priced alternatives are here, here, and here (up to 3X).

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

(L-all)

Comments

  1. First! (I hope).

    Anyways, hello! This dress would be perfect for my trip to Morocco! Which I need help planning. Houda, where you at??? I am trying to figure out the best way to travel in between cities, especially Casablanca to Fes, Fes to Merzouga, Marrakech to Merzouga, and Fes to Marrakech. Have any of you been? I just don’t have the time to plan the trip that I’m embarking on in a week! Helllllllllp!!!!

    • Also, Chefchaouen, definitely going to Chefchaouen from Fes.

    • Also, baby pink and olive? I can’t think of a time I’ve seen that color combo. Cranberry and olive, mauve and olive, even just straight up red and olive. Maybe salmon and olive.

      • I love baby pink and olive. I used to have a pair of pants this color and would wear them with a very pale pink sweater – it looked awesome. Today I’m wearing pale pink and burgundy and am feeling very put together.

        Enjoy Morocco!

      • I’ve really liked blush and olive lately, which is pretty similar.

    • I’m not sure if it runs in between every major city, but we took the SupraTours bus from Marrakesh to Essouira (sp?) and it was surprisingly awesome – what you’d expect from a tour bus in the US – comfortable and roomy/clean seats and safe driver.

    • There is a train from Casa to Fes. Otherwise it is relatively inexpensive to book a car with a driver to take you around all the other places. We did so by just walking into a travel agency in Marrakesh, but hotels can help with finding a driver as well.

    • I’ve taken a (non-tourist) bus from Fes to Chefchaouen and a private car from Meknes (do consider a stop in Meknes! You can go to Volubilis! and Meknes itself is pretty great and right by Fez!) to Chefchaouen and the car was so much faster and nicer. The bus was fine, but it took all day, and the car just took a few hours. I didn’t book anything in advance, just asked at our riad if they could book a car for us.

      Between other cities I’ve mostly taken cars or trains. The train is totally fine! Cars are surprisingly affordable! You’re gonna have a great time!

    • OMG OMG OMG you’re coming to my country !!
      So between Casablanca and Fez you can take the train. There are many timings but some delay every now and then. This is the website for the national train office with timings and prices (quite affordable) www.oncf.ma you have the option of buying tickets online or at ATM type machines at the station or at a kiosk.
      For other cities you’d have to take buses. The most reliable company is www.ctm.ma they even have premium buses and once again you can buy the tickets ahead of time online or at the station but they don’t have smaller self-service machines.
      For all other cities, trains stop at Marrakech so starting marrakech you have to take buses or planes (regional flights).
      Also, we have a heat wave right now so make sure to plan for it :)

    • hmmm.. I was so excited and typing all these addresses but my comment disappeared in mod.
      So here is a short version:
      Casablanca to Fes: Train, www.oncf.ma you can buy online or at station
      Fes to other cities like chefchaouen or marrakech: Bus, www.ctm.ma is the most reliable and you can buy online or onsite
      For traveling south, trains stop at marrakech and from there you’d need to take buses or regional flights
      I’ll check tomorrow on more recent posts and hopefully my comments won’t get stuck

  2. Anonymous :

    exposed double zipper. on a suit dress. no thanks.

  3. Does anyone have thoughts on travelling around the UAE as a single woman? How easy was it, how comfortable did you feel, etc?

    • I know a lot of women who have travelled (or lived) solo in the UAE and been totally fine. I haven’t been myself, but my understanding is that the the UAE are extremely Westernized and that there’s a huge expat community.

    • Why? There are so many places in the world where you don’t risk being thrown in jail for being raped.

      • This.
        I wouldn’t go to UAE or any other middle eastern countries which treat women as second class citizens. There are better places to spend my tourist dollars and vacation time. No I am not ignorant, I have lived several years in these countries (including UAE) during my childhood/teenage years and would never go back to that hell hole for “vacation”.

    • Anon for this :

      No personal experience but my concern would just be that when things go wrong, they go very wrong. A female friend and her husband were living there as expats. They both worked. The gov’t notified him of every credit card transaction she made and every time she traveled out of the country without him. He would have a certain amount of time to “veto” her travel. The only reason she had freedoms there, like to work and have a bank account is because he authorized it. Recently, he died on a business trip to another (stricter) middle eastern country. That is where things got really bad. She lost access to even her own bank accounts. She lost her freedom to travel because she no longer had a man’s permission. Her dad had to fly over to fly her to the country her husband died in and ultimately home. Her dad had to pay for everything because all of her assets are frozen (even assets in her own name) pending his estate being worked out. Neither of them were citizens of the UAE. Part of the frustration is that they are not even following their own laws. Accounts in her name only should not have been frozen.

      Pleasure travel is one thing. My PSA for anyone spending any length of time there is to see a lawyer versed in the local law who can help you plan for worst case scenario contingencies. If it were me, I would have been screwed because my parents are too old to travel overseas and my brother has no money so if I couldn’t buy him a ticket (because I couldn’t access my money) he couldn’t come get me. What if you have no living male relatives? I have no idea.

      Some of the “needing an escort” stuff may have been because of the country he died in instead of the UAE but the whole thing has been a giant mess. I would be concerned going to a country as a single woman where single women have virtually no rights.

      • +1 to both you and Anonymous. When things go wrong there, they go very very wrong, very quickly. I’d rather give my tourism dollars to somewhere that recognises my personhood.

      • As a current expat in the UAE, the scenario you are describing is terrible and awful, but your friend and her husband were also perfectly aware that would be the situation should he pass away. Those laws are not a secret here and, as you say, legal arrangements must be made. These legal issues of inheritance and visa sponsorship will not impact a female traveler.

        I’m also interested at the idea that women have been viewed as prostitutes! I’ve lived here for a couple of years now and never seen this happen or heard of it happening to anyone I know. It just goes to show that experiences can always be different. It is far, far more common to be called miss and ma’am in incredibly respectful tones; it can be embarrassing.

    • I’ve lived in the Middle East before, but I haven’t been to the gulf. Can anyone offer a comparison re: women travelling alone?

      • I’m not sure of the exact comparison you are seeking – do you mean a comparison between traveling alone in the UAE as compared to other places in the Middle East?

        If so, really, the UAE is about the best place I can imagine being a female in the region. I know dozens and dozens of women that go through their daily lives here with no trouble whatsoever. To be fair and clear, however, this is not a western country and the norms are different. As a visitor (as to any country), you simply follow their rules. If you’ve been in the region, there won’t be anything that surprises you.

        Compared to the few other countries I’ve been in the region, I think it is easier to get around here. All of the signage and interactions will be in English. Customer service at places tourists would frequent is excellent and respectful. Remember, a lot of the economy is fueled by tourism, so absent a unique situation, they are going to be very friendly to tourists who follow the basic rules! This is an incredibly safe place.

        I’ve very, very rarely had difficulty that I would attribute to being female. I honestly feel like that happened more in the US, because here, insulting or disrespecting women is taken very seriously. As in, you cannot take pictures of local women without their permission, even if they are in the background. This protection frequently extends to expats and tourists as well — popular beaches often have security guards to ensure proper respect is given, confiscate photos/phones, etc. So, generally, all interactions are going to be respectful and neutral. I can’t imagine a male even approaching a female he doesn’t know (except in a bar or club), although there are certainly race/ethnicity and class issues at work there. I don’t know your background or identities to speak to any particular issues you may face.

        The one warning I will give is that if you leave an area where tourists are common (like, get really off the beaten path), you probably will get some funny looks, feel eyes on you, or have a different experience than you would have in a place where they are used to interacting with tourists. I think it is unlikely you would be in danger, but you could feel very uncomfortable because of the extra attention. There will also be less English and more inefficiencies.

        Overall, this is a lovely place to visit. Take ordinary precautions and behave like the normal, respectful human being that you are, and you will be just fine :)

        • Thanks. Yeah, I was asking about travelling alone in the UAE vs travelling alone elsewhere in the Middle East.

          I’m mixed and generally look very ambiguous ethnically. I’m most often mistaken for South Asian or Arab of some description, and most places I go outside the West people tend to assume I’m at least half local. In most places I feel like that’s to my benefit, but I wonder if that would be different here given the ethnicity/class issues you mentioned.

    • former expat :

      I lived and worked in Dubai for two years as a single woman (and travelled frequently to other parts of the Middle East) about 5-6 years ago and found it a really easy place to live and get around. Didn’t spend much time in the other emirates (and only as part of a group), but Dubai and Abu Dhabi in particular should be more than fine, especially if you’ve travelled elsewhere in the Middle East. I found it easier in terms of conveniences/less hassle than Cairo, Damascus (both pre-2011), Amman, Riyadh (hah) – in fact, can’t think of anywhere else in the region that I’d classify as easier to live/travel in. Perhaps on par with Doha? I never had to deal with police/legal issues – I agree there is reason to be concerned about the lack of rights/protections for foreigners – but to be honest I wasn’t more worried about that in the UAE than in a lot of other places I’ve travelled.

      • SuziStockbroker :

        An American friend of mine lives in Abu Dhabi, with her husband and 3 children, and feels much safer than she does in the US.

    • Echoing what several other people have said, here’s my personal experience — I spent about two weeks in the UAE, meeting up with friends who lived in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but also spending days alone while my friends were at work. It was all great, easy traveling, clean and fancy, no problem at all… until it wasn’t. I was supposed to meet one of my friends at his office (McKinsey) when he got off work. When I got to his office building, the security guards thought I was a prostitute (FWIW I was wearing linen trousers and a long, conservative tunic-style top I had bought in Dubai). They got very aggressive with me and were about to call the police when my friend showed up in the lobby. Everything was fine in the end, but it left me with a very deep sense that things were actually NOT ok under the surface, and that traveling around as a single woman could go very, very wrong if you’re not careful.

      All that to say, it was an interesting place to visit, but not interesting enough to justify the risks. I’d go elsewhere if you want to solo travel as a single woman.

    • I know a lot of women who have been there and didn’t have any terrible experiences, mostly the regular sexism/prostitute thing. Be prepared for everyone to think you are a prostitute. I would be wary of going to places like hotel bars.

      • A friend of mine spent six months working there a few years back and said that it was mostly fine but for the fact that she had a number of encounters with strangers in the street who thought it was ok to touch her/comment on her appearance inappropriately. Touching hair/chest/backside etc was not uncommon.

        This was, she reported, really by the expats from the sub-continent, rather than locals, but the point was more that you couldn’t say anything/complain/tell anyone because it would be your fault for encouraging it, so she just had to endure it.

  4. Tried to post this the other day but my internet kept cutting out and I don’t think it went through. Would love to hear thoughts on this article. I stopped drinking alcohol 2+ years ago but it reminded me of myself and also reminded me of my mom (late fifties).

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/10/alcohol-as-escape-from-perfectionism/280482/

    • Hug’s to you. I took time to read the articel you linked us to. It reminded me a littel bit about my cousins in Eastern Europe and how they are faced with these kind of drinkeing issues b/c they say there is virtually nothing to do there in the winter but stay inside and drink, watch state run TV and have sex. In the US, there is alot of presure to be perfect in everything we do, but as my mom told me, we cant all be like June Kleaver on Leave it to Beever. We all have some issue’s some more then others, but we do our best to live our lives.

      In your case, OP, you have a family history of alchohol use, and I contgratulate you for getting on the wagon. My cousin’s came here and drank to excess, then stole some of my clotheing to show their freind’s back home. That was NOT right, and they should NOT have taken my stuff when I opened my home to them. FOOEY!

      As American’s we must lead by exampel, and that means understanding what the probelems are, then workeing to solve them. That is the best we can do and we do it. YAY!!!!!

    • I found it interesting, if not relevant to my life. I often pour a glass of wine while I’m cooking, but it’s my only glass for the evening and I frequently go weeks skipping it. But a really interesting read.

    • I could substitute “dessert” and this could be my life. So, I’m ambivalent about the article.

      • Same here re: dessert

      • Dessert and alcohol might not have the same health implications, but they both speak to the same root issue – trying to numb feelings to be able to get through the daily demands of life.

    • Wildkitten :

      I found this article fascinated when I read it. I also read the book and did not like the book – this article hits all the highlights.

      I think the break from work to home life is really important – a lot of people have written here about how they change clothes, or go to the gym, to signal that they are no longer at work.

      • I also read it a few years ago and was struck by it. I do tend to have half a glass of wine (or a beer, not usually a mixed drink) while I’m fixing dinner, and finish the other half while I’m eating. A drink really has been a fundamental part of the routine that I use to signal to myself that the work day is over. It’s very rare that I would have a second drink on a weeknight, but recently I started feeling uncomfortable with how effing much I *wanted* that drink by the end of the day, and how much I’d miss it if I didn’t have a bottle of wine or a six-pack handy.

        I did always have alcohol that I considered off limits around, like IPAs for my boyfriend or a special-occasion bottle of bourbon, and never craved it so much that I was motivated to touch those…but still. I just wasn’t comfortable and that article was kind of echoing around in my brain, so I’ve been cutting way back the last couple of weeks. I’m trying to only drink on weeknights if I’m going out to meet a friend, or having a friend over. So far it’s been fine. I still think longingly about pinot noir from time to time, but I haven’t missed it as much as I thought I would. I’m also saving money, which is great.

      • SuziStockbroker :

        I don’t drink much, but I have found walking home from work, an AWESOME way to decompress after work.
        I know a lot of “Rettes drive, but for those of us who generally use public trasnist, even getting off a few stops early and walking the rest of the way is an option.
        Sometimes I will commute in with my husband. He drops me about half way to work, when he turns in another direction, and I walk the rest of the way in (20 minutes or so).

    • Yep, that was me. One glass before the shoes came off, one while making dinner, one while on the couch after dinner, oh how did I get to bed again? Pretty much up until a year ago. An ex said something that resonated with me and I decided that was enough, no more drinking to escape.

      Now, I rarely keep alcohol in the house because I untrained myself and no longer crave it. I have tea or seltzer in the evenings. I do still drink, a beer while watching football or once in a while in the evenings, a glass of wine on a date, etc., but nothing like I used to (a bottle of wine a DAY). I feel exactly how the woman in the article described it – I have more clarity, I am happier, my personality shines through more easily, I feel better, and I am healthier (not to mention I dropped a few pounds with the wine bottle).

  5. boyfriend bday gift help :

    Morning hive, seeking ideas for a birthday gift for my boyfriend. Budget is $200 or less and we’ve been going out for several months. He’s in his mid-30s and an attorney in New England. He is pretty stylish but has too many clothes so I don’t want to go that route. He’s not into drinking or gaming but is quite techy and outdoorsy. I’m looking for something classy and/or creative and I’m just really lacking inspiration. Any suggestions appreciated!

    • Day trip to hike someplace pretty to see the fall colors?

    • If you want small things I’ve had huge luck with custom leather goods on Etsy recently – I got my dad a monogrammed leather card case made by an artisan about 20 miles from where we live and it was a huge success.

    • If he’s techy and outdoorsy maybe he would like a telescope? It seems like a pretty out-of-this-world gift. (Heh.)

    • Clementine :

      The best received gift I’ve given my husband in a long, long time is a mini wireless bluetooth speaker that you can stream to from your phone or tablet or laptop. It’s really easy and portable and this one has great sound. We use it on a daily basis- it’s so easy to bring from room to room or outside.

      http://www.amazon.com/UE-MINI-Wireless-Bluetooth-Speaker/dp/B00E9YIFQ4

      A hammock is also always a good gift.

    • If you’ve only been dating a few months, I would just aim for something easy and fun. The equivalent of a great bottle of scotch (but not actually that since he’s not much of a drinker). Concert tickets or something else experiential would be great. Taking him out to an awesome steak dinner and something small fun token gift could also be fun. Or you could get him a tie and wear it yourself along with little to nothing else as a gift. I just wouldn’t do anything that’s too serious this early on, but maybe that’s just me…

    • Senior Attorney :

      Gentleman Friend and I both just got an Amazon Echo and we are loving it. You talk to her and she plays music and answers questions and tells you the weather and things like that. It was $185 or so and very fun.

    • I read about these sweatshirts yesterday: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597538543/the-worlds-best-travel-jacket-with-15-features-bau
      $149 and not available until December but they sounded sort of interesting. Might be horrible, since they are not yet in production.

    • The Massachusetts Audubon Society has all sorts of outdoor classes / hikes / canoe trips that might be interesting. Their catalog is online if you want to check it out.

    • I really like the classic look of a Swiss Army Watch. I also really like the Amazon Echo idea. Tickets to an event (like for a sports team he likes) would be awesome, too. But don’t put so much pressure on yourself to find the perfect gift – it really is the thought that counts.

    • To clarify, things are relatively serious (i.e. more than casual dating) and we are discussing moving in together, if that helps generate any ideas. He also enjoys cooking/grilling (but doesnt have any equipment for it yet) and traveling. Thanks for the great suggestions so far! He has a little wireless bluetooth speaker and some great travel shirts and cool watches…the man is seriously hard to buy for. Thank you again for the suggestions so far!

      • You could do a meat subscription and a cast iron pan. Seriously, any meat can be cooked in a cast iron pan, and they are inexpensive compared to other good cooking equipment.

  6. This dress looks a little frumpy to me. It needs a belt at least. Or perhaps I just don’t care for unstructured dresses!

    Update on my sister’s wedding for anyone that cares. The green dress I ended up purchasing matched okay enough with the flowers. My sister seemed happy with it and that is what matters. I think we got some really lovely pictures around the botanical garden, so I am looking forward to seeing those. I was surprised to find out no one except our family knew there was no bar. Even the good friends of the groom who stayed in the rental house with him and my sister and my mother’s friends who like to drink and therefore would have assumed my mother provided a heads up to! Oh well, it was small, nice, quick, and my sister was happy. I managed to leave around 7:45 (they only had the venue until 8 pm) for my 2 hour drive home, so that wasn’t bad at all. Of course, I got a nasty case of bronchitis a couple days before and completely lost my voice Sunday morning, which was fun!

    • I’m happy it turned out ok and you focused on your sister’s happiness while having some pre-arranged backups to further make her happy. Thank you for the updates! This was such an interesting conundrum! But, get some rest, bronchitis is no joke!

    • That honestly sounds like it went as well as it could have gone (this was the wedding with the lime and maroon colour scheme right?). At least it’s over now!

      • You got it. The flowers were actually stunning. The color scheme sounded terrible, but it worked. I’ve had my bouquet on my desk at work ever since and it gets lots of compliments!

    • Thanks! I ended up becoming the day-of wedding planner as my mother could not handle the 27 person seating chart first thing in the morning and it devolved from there. The tables were set up wrong the first time around, the on-site staff tried to bring out the wrong cake, the lights were not on the right schedule once the sun went down – typical day of stuff. I went into organizer mode and took care of it all. My sister even thanked me, which was unexpected but nice.

  7. Peacock Alley sheets? :

    Does anyone have experience with Peacock Alley sheets? I felt a set of cotton sateen 310 thread count sheets at a discount store yesterday and they were very yummy. I’m wondering how they hold up in the wash, etc. Thanks!

    • I LOVE Peacock Alley bedding. I stalk all the Tuesday Mornings in my area and have managed to snag sheets and duvet covers for all our beds. SO SOFT. Holds up really well.

    • Trader Joe’s has pumpkin mochi this year!! It is awesome.
      I also like their pumpkin spice flavored pumpkin seeds. Oh I also got the pumpkin toaster waffles, delicious.
      I like pretty much anything pumpkin – though I was disappointed by the pumpkin flavored Joe’s Os.

  8. Really random comfort food suggestion if you like pumpkin: (1) Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter; and (2) Pumpkin flat white from Sbux. These are the best things to happy to me, food-wise, this year. Also note: I like but generally pass on pumpkin spice lattes. That is all. Happy Tuesday!

    • Veronica Mars :

      FYI also: TJ’s Pumpkin Jo Jos are gross. Avoid at all costs.

      • I almost feel challenged to try them now–just to see! But, the box does look gross and I believe I passed these up for my cookie butter discovery. Maybe I can talk an employee into opening a box for sampling…

        • Veronica Mars :

          Please don’t. I thought they looked delicious but in reality they’re terrible. The vanilla cookie outside is fine, nothing terrible or amazing. Just a good, solid cookie. Then they ruined it with way too sweet pumpkin spice frosting. It’s not even enjoyably sweet, like eating oreo frosting. It’s like, face tingling, cavity inducing super sweetness tinged with mace or whatever those silly spices are. Gross.

      • But their pumpkin ice cream is awesome.

    • I’m not a fan of pumpkin spice lattes, but I love Sbux’s pumpkin spice loaf cake. Although lebkuchen season is even better and I can’t wait.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      Can you actually make cookies from the cookie butter? If so, I would buy tons of it! I may have been in a Trader Joe’s once so I’m not familiar with their products.

      • Not really, it’s more like peanut butter. You could mix it into a cookie dough but it’d be a waste.

      • I would think so – there are quite a few recipes out there for turning Biscoff cookie spread back into cookies, and I imagine they’d work just as well with pumpkin cookie butter.

      • The best method of enjoy any cookie butter (the Biscoff spread or Speculoos cookie butter) is with a spoon. Graham crackers are a close second. But yes, Runner 5 is correct. There are a lot of recipes out there for using cookie butters. But Anonymous at 10:30 is even more correct, it’d be a waste :-)

      • Veronica Mars :

        They actually sell the cookies premade. They’re like a cross of a graham cracker, a ginger snap and an english “biscuit”. Really pretty good but they’re not like a super satisfying dessert, more of a tea accompaniment.

      • We eat cookie butter on cut-up apples and pears all fall and winter and it’s so good. I actually prefer the Biscoff cookie butter to TJ’s.

    • Not pumpkin exactly, but I made a butternut squash “alfredo” for dinner the other night and it was so yummy and autumn-y!

      • Recipe? That sounds delicious!

        • It was this one-pot recipe I saw on Facebook:

          https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/videos/1642417172677592/

          Be warned! The How-To video starts playing when you open the link, so you might not want to do it as your desk.

          • DisenchantedinDC :

            Yes, I saw this!! And sent it to a friend. And now really want to make it.

    • Whoa… pumpkin flat white? I will be trying that. And maybe the cookie butter, if I make it up to TJ’s this weekend.

    • You just blew my mind with the pumpkin pie spice cookie butter. I had no idea. I had cookie butter on my toast this morning (what.), and now need to get to a TJ’s stat.

      I’ve been heating up TJ’s cider in a mug for the last few nights. Nothing fancy but delish.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        I had hot apple cider with some fireball whiskey Friday night. It’s the perfect, easy drink for a Fall evening in.

    • Clementine :

      Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter (not Cookie Butter, this one is like Apple Butter) is WONDERFUL. It’s pumpkin, spices and honey basically. A spoonful stirred into plain yogurt or a little spread on an English Muffin is delightful. I’m not normally a pumpkin spice fan because it all ends up being very very sweet, but this stuff is delicious!

      • I will be buying this immediately! I think I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t like cookie butter (or nutella or biscoff spread), but this sounds amazing!

      • Marshmallow :

        +1! I also don’t care for cookie butter, nutella, etc. (despite the handle, I don’t have a sweet tooth). But TJ’s Pumpkin Butter is the bomb dot com. I eat it on toast.

      • Once the pumpkin butter hits the shelves, I use it instead of apple butter to sweeten my oatmeal in the morning! I get mine in Amish country.

  9. I’m feeling frustrated with my husband’s approach to money. He grew up in a solidly middle-class family and his parents were probably not great with finances, often spending impulsively and (by their own admission) not always wisely. I grew up with a lot less financial security. We sometimes weren’t sure we’d have enough for groceries, my single mom was always worried about money, and I took over the family finances when I was about 10 or 11, balancing the checkbook and setting restrictions on certain purchases (my mother would sometimes put brand-name items in our grocery cart and I would systematically take them all out and replace them with generics or whatever had the cheapest price per unit). We currently live in a very HCOL area. We make a little over $200k combined, which is both a lot and, for our area, not a lot especially with two kids. We’ve been very seriously budgeting over the last several months and while I find this very freeing (we know how much we’re spending! I can spend $100 without stressing because I already budgeted for it!) he finds it constricting. Lately, he’s been feeling very frustrated with the amount of money we have. We currently have a townhouse which is admittedly tight for our family (there’s the two of us, our two kids, an au pair, and a large dog) and doesn’t have a back yard for the kids or a garage for my husband, but we just can’t afford a bigger house right now. Our current budget really works. All our essentials are covered, we have no debt other than the mortgage, our saving goals are mostly funded (I’d like to put more in retirement, but we’re doing okay), we have an emergency fund and add to it monthly, and we’re saving for a vacation. Plus we each have a few hundred a month to spend any way we want. True, we have to buy our clothes and pay for things like hair cuts out of that money, but that still leaves some if we’re careful for truly fun purchases. Since my husband has never worried about paying for the basics — like food, electricity, rent/mortgage — the fact that we can be 100% confident every month that these are covered means nothing to him. He also always had whatever the current mainstream conveniences were, like a full array of cable channels growing up or now a new iphone with a generous data plan. Meanwhile, we never had cable, got a microwave long long after they were common for most people, never had a dishwasher, etc. So the fact that I have an iPhone, a bluetooth hookup in the car, etc. feels like luxury to me. It’s hard for me to listen to him carp about how little money we have and how even though we work hard, we still have so many things we can’t buy and we can’t do fun things. There are definitely things we can’t do or can’t buy, or things we have to forgo buying because we want to buy something else, but it’s like he doesn’t even count the fact that we’re safe, our boys are well-cared for, etc. as worth anything. I want to scream at him that if you work hard and your family is provided for, that’s already so much to have! If you have an extra $100 in your pocket for anything you want at the end of the month, that’s luxury! If you have $300 or $500 in your pocket, I just can’t feel sorry for you. Does anyone else have this dynamic? It’s not like he grew up rich, and I wasn’t poor exactly. I just think his expectations are so out of whack sometimes.

    • So, your current budget system isn’t working for you. Because your husband finds if constricting and is upset about it. There’s no one correct way to budget.

      I grew up a lot like your husband, and frankly I don’t think his expectations are out of whack. 200k a year is plenty of money, even with kids, and I wouldn’t like to be told I have $300 a month for clothes, haircuts, makeup, and lunches out.

      Your attitude is understandable, but it’s also judgmental, rigid, and more than a little bit self righteous. I think you need to revisit things. See where you can change. Listen more.

      • It’s $500 and it doesn’t include lunches out. That comes out of the monthly food budget. We designed the budget together. My husband doesn’t think the budget is wrong. He agrees with all of it and has said he doesn’t think there’s anything to change. He just thinks we have no money and spends a lot of time complaining about it. It’s not the budget; it’s the definition of “no money.”

        • I think you need to work harder on sympathy then. Is he a good person? Does he love you and your kids? He is following your joint budget even though it pinches at him. That’s pretty impressive really when you think about it!

          If it’s constant complaining absolutely try redirecting, but I think you need to start by recognizing that he’s no more wrong to fret about money by worrying that he has none than you are to rejoice in being able to afford the basics.

        • Maddie Ross :

          I think you may be a little too tied to this budget. Whether or not he approved of it when it was made, it doesn’t have to be something set in stone. And budgets that look good on paper may not work in reality for a household. I’m not saying get rid of a budget altogether, but can you figure out what isn’t working? Is it your house? Should you be investigating whether you could move? Or what it would take to do so? Should you increase your “fun” money? Or should you just be changing your conversation? Are you responding every time your husband complains that he should just thank his lucky stars? That alone might get annoying, even if it’s not exactly about the “money.” It truly sounds like you’re doing very well.

      • Also, being on this strict of a budget would make me *feel* like I had no money. I would not find it freeing at all.

    • I think you both will need to cut each other some slack and realize you are coming from very different backgrounds and measure on a different scale. I’m not sure what his parent’s missteps were (sounds like they covered the basics plus some extras). It sounds like you had some pretty significant responsibilities put on you at a young age and those are going to give you a unique perspective on things. But, having grown up with a different scale of financial freedoms, he’s going to approach nice to haves in a different way. I wouldn’t approach it from a position that he isn’t grateful necessarily.

      • At one point they had $100k in credit card debt. They bought brand new cars on a whim (when the old car was still completely functional and only a couple of years old). The default if either of them liked something was “well you should buy it!” They love each other deeply and hate to deny each other anything. While the spirit is lovely, the results were not always practical. They’re not thrilled with the fact that they’re chipping away at $100k in debt right now.

        • Your inlaws are my husband’s ex-wife.

          Maybe what would make you feel better (b/c you are fine) is discussing how much, if any, you will bail out the parents later. I would really resent that. I wouldn’t let people starve on the streets, but I wouldn’t hand over any cash. B/c it sounds like you’re budgeting with your inlaws and not your husband.

        • Your inlaws are my inlaws, too. And add in a seriously underwater house with a second mortgage and lines of credit. Sigh…

        • Wildkitten :

          It’s good to know where you come from and how you ended up where you are, but you married your husband, not his parents. He isn’t them. You and him have the autonomy to not be them. Their finances are not your finances. It sounds like you husband is following your budget and you’re still fighting him because of a third party’s financial issues.

    • If he’s not actually trying to change the budget, I think you just let him complain. You can’t control his feelings, even if you feel differently. Feel free to point out how grateful you are for what you have and put a positive spin on it, or express annoyance at having to listen to repeated complaints, but it’s not like you are in the right and he’s in the wrong about how much money you have – it’s just a different point of view.

      • I just feel like it diminishes everything we have. I think we have a really nice life. I have everything my heart truly desires — and more. I never thought I’d be so lucky. Meanwhile, he looks at this life we have and says “ugh, it’s so much less than I wanted.” And then goes on and on about how dissatisfied he is and how unfair it is that his life is so terrible.

        • Have you said that to him? In those words? Because they’re good ones, and very different in tone than your original post.

        • Maddie Ross :

          I think you need to reframe this – part of the human condition (and certainly the American condition) is wanting more and wanting to be better. Yes, it’s hard that he complains. But you should be thrilled that he wants to keep working and improving your lot in life!

        • Anon Worker Bee :

          Do you think he will *ever* be happy with what you have? I know several people who are well off but just can’t be happy. It is easy to get into this cycle where you think if you had just a little more money, everything would be perfect, and then you get more and suddenly you need just a little more than that. Is this even about money if he is saying his life is so terrible and so much less than he wanted?

          • This is just it. I think he tends to think the grass is greener. And while I realize that $200k is not tons of money, it’s enough and I worry that being so focused on “just a little more” is putting so much pressure on money to provide things I’m not sure money provides. As for moving, that would mean moving further out from the city — we both work downtown — and increasing our commutes from 50-60min to more like 90 min each way. Neither of us wants to do that. Our house is actually a terrific value. We bought at the bottom of the market and got a great interest rate. As a percentage of our income, it’s extremely low (about 17% of take-home; 12% of pre-tax income).

          • Meg Murry :

            I’m wondering if you need to humor him a little bit. If I said to my husband “I want to move to a bigger house” and he immediately shut me down with “we can’t afford it, I don’t want to commute farther, conversation over” I would be hurt and feel dismissed. But if he just humored me a little, then chances are I would spend some time on Zillow, see house prices and commutes and go “whoa, no way, ok, we’re not moving” and have come to my own conclusion, not just had him shut down the conversation.

            Or maybe as someone downthread mentioned, you could discuss with him the 5-10-15 year ideas – as in, not shooting down the idea of ever moving, just discussing “what if we were to move someday, maybe once the kids are older, what would we want?” or “I’d love to live in [neighborhood] someday, wouldn’t that be nice?” It might just be fantasizing, but there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you are only spending imaginary money, not real dollar going out the door.

          • Oh we totally expect to move. We also have jobs where we can reasonably expect to increase our income by at least 50% in the next 3-5 years and increase it by 100-200% over the next 10 (we currently work in non-profit and people who do what we do in the for-profit private sector make $500-$1mil.) So we spend a lot of time talking about where we want to move, what we want in a house. We have an appointment with a mortgage guy soon to talk about how to arrange our finances and we already have realtors. We just can’t do it right. this. instant. It’s more like 3 yrs from now.

        • When he starts complaining, ask him what his plan is to change things. If he’s dissatisfied with the amount of money he has now, then he needs to figure out a way to get more. Or to adjust his lifestyle so it feels like more. You don’t have to be the sounding board for his complaints – and you can draw that boundary. It sounds like you’re happy – so stop listening to him be unhappy and let him solve his problems.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yes, this. Maybe he is just one of those people who likes to complain, and if that’s so, then fine… but you don’t have to listen to it and you definitely don’t have to take it to heart or try to “fix” things.

        • Have you told him that? If he were aware that his complaints about not having enough money made you feel like he’s dissatisfied with your life together, then maybe he wouldn’t complain so much, or in the same way. Money fights and money complaints are usually about money AND about something else. Money is an emotional proxy for how much we’re worth, how much we’re loved, how well we’re doing against our own expectations. Try talking to him about the root of the complaints, not about the words.

          Also, hugs. I totally hear you. I’m the primary breadwinner in my home, and DH complains about money all the time. He freelances in a creative field, and wishes he were earning more. I’ve learned that his complaints are really about his disappointment in himself and his current level of outward success, but it’s hard not to take them personally sometimes.

          • Meg Murry :

            Yes – is it possible that these complaints really aren’t about money at all, but about his overall life? I feel like the times I get most whiny and complainy about our house and money and feeling like I don’t have anything is when I’m actually most annoyed at my job, and feeling stuck – as in “If I could just quit this job, I would stop being so miserable. But I can’t do that, because then I couldn’t pay the mortgage. So if I’m going to be miserable at the job, I want to at least get a good life out of that, and a house that at least has [a dishwasher, more space, central air, whatever my complaint of the day is]”.

            Do you make a similar amount (or more) money than he does? Do you feel like he is insulting you personally, as in “if OP just made more money, we would be able to afford this thing I want?” Sometimes I take comments my husband makes about money very personally, when that isn’t what he is saying at all, but that is what I am hearing – I mentally go to a “I must not be good enough” place.

        • I agree with the above, but I also think you should understand you are getting 100% of what you want and he’s getting something less (maybe 90%, not sure). But it’s the 10% he’s missing that he’s b*tching about, he’s not complaining about the fact that he is getting 90% of what he wants. I’d either a) up my empathy or b) ask him if there is something concrete he wants that he’d feel better about working towards. E.g. we’ll try to move to a bigger house in 5 years when our salaries have increased and the kids are in school and we don’t need an au pair. I need a goal to work towards, otherwise, I feel like a hamster on a wheel just working to maintain what I have (which I am grateful for, but…)

        • You should talk about this with him. Does he know how his complaining makes you feel? Do you know that these are just your feelings, and not necessarily reality – i.e., you subjectively feel he is unhappy with his life and you subjectively feel that it’s wonderful and something to be grateful for? I’m with you in that I think your life sounds pretty good – you have enough space for two kids, a dog and a nanny in a HCOL area that you seem to want to be in, you have no debt other than the mortgage, you’re saving for retirement and vacations, etc. BUT – I also get how your husband feels because just having to keep track of a budget stresses me out. That may sound spoiled, and without going into detail I don’t think anyone who knows me or my life would call me spoiled, but I just hate having to deal with concrete numbers for all these things. Some people find it liberating; I find it soul crushing. So it could be that for him. Maybe you could automate some of this or take over the finances so he doesn’t have to deal with it as much.
          It could also be that he feels better about this if he can b*tch a little and what you’re taking personally is just him letting off steam. I went through something similar with my SO recently. We live in a very charming to me but very old apartment building and he spent all summer basically saying he hates this or that about it. Made me feel like sh*t because the undertone I heard was “I’m only living here because of you and I wouldn’t even live in NY if you didn’t make me.” But now we are looking at places to move to (for other reasons) and turns out he “loves” our apartment and loves where we live and wants to be here at age 70. We talked and he basically said that what he finds frustrating is that the current apartment is temporary and he wants to be somewhere permanent so that he can make improvements, etc., and all the complaining about it was just based on frustrations that he can’t make changes to it and/or doesn’t want to invest time and money in that since we’ll be moving somewhere new soon anyway. Your husband may have his own underlying issues like that. Talk to him about it. Try not to take it personally as a reflection on his overall happiness. And try to figure out a way to maybe loosen the restrictions a bit so he’s not feeling like he has to account for every latte or drink out with a friend.

        • Perhaps your family could spend a day a month giving back? Volunteer at a food bank, spend some of your discretionary income on kits to distribute to the homeless, etc.

        • Clementine :

          This followup comment is really to me the bigger story.

          For background, I grew up with a financial situation similar to you- there was usually just barely enough and I knew it. My husband grew up with parents who were frugal and good with money, but also never ever had to worry about making ends meet. When I read your initial comment, my first impression was ‘Yeah, I can get overly rigid with the budget as well and stress about money too much, while my husband doesn’t understand why I would ever worry that buying a piece of furniture would somehow push our budget over the edge (yes, this is currently happening…),’ but the balance of the two works. We’ve just accepted that I will always be more prone to stress and he will always be more prone to being overly relaxed.

          What I’m hearing in this second comment though is that he feels like you both work hard and make a lot of money, yet still feels like he has to live like he’s struggling. It’s also frustrating because, just rationally- $200k should be a lot of money! It’s almost 4 times the national average household income!On the other hand, you feel like you both work hard and that your income supports a level of stability that is very important to you and that financial restraint is crucial to maintaining this level of stability. Both of your feelings are valid and I think it’s important to talk through them.

          I think you and your husband really need to have a conversation about this, possibly with the help of a financial planner and/or counselor. As someone else mentioned, is there something in particular that really frustrates your husband? Is it the house situation? Is it feeling like he’s being micro-managed financially? Is it something else? Is it you talking about the finances on a daily basis? Are you frustrated with his spending habits or is it the not being satisfied part that bothers you?

          Also, I would really try and remember that your husband is not his parents. In fact, he has most likely learned from them. Bringing up other family members’ poor financial choices can often just be seen as hurtful and not constructive- just my experience, but unless you see them doing the exact same things and definitely heading down a bad road, better to bring up the actual concern like, ‘I worry that you are using your credit cards a lot,’ versus, ‘Do you want to end up with credit card debt like your parents did?’

    • I think you need to let go of some of this childhood stuff – it sounds like you are budgeting assuming that your life now is the same as it was when you were a kid, and also assuming that your husband is basically a child doomed to follow in his parents’ footsteps. How you grew up is in the past, and it almost sounds like you want your husband to feel guilty and atone for his parents’ financial missteps.

      What if you gave him a few months break from the budget, and then sit together and take a realistic look at what you’re both spending on non-necessities, and what the downstream implications of that would be. If you can see a direct trajectory from no budget to $100,000 in debt (i.e. he’s throwing away thousands of dollars / month on random stuff), then you should look at what that stuff is and rework the budget. If it turns out that he’s spending within the designated range or slightly more, but is mostly chafing at the idea of having every penny accounted for, then maybe just let it go and trust your husband?

      • We spend the first 4 years of our marriage with no budget and overspent every single month (i.e., drawing down on savings). I’m not assuming he’s going to rack up a bunch of debt. We’re also not going to be bailing out his parents because although they have more debt than is ideal, they also are perfectly capable of paying back that debt. They’re very stable financially. It’s more that my husband seems to feel that if he wants something but can’t afford it, that’s pitiable. I bring up his parents’ spending to highlight how they influenced his expectations. They were living well above their income and that led my husband to expect a certain lifestyle on a certain amount of money, even though the assumptions were off (i.e., there was $100k in hidden debt financing that lifestyle).

        What I do understand is frustrating is that even though we make what seems like a lot of money, there are extremely reasonable things we still can’t buy. For example, we bought a king size mattress set to replace our queen size bed but can’t afford an actual bed. Or I would like a new coat to replace the hand-me-down from my sister I’ve been wearing for five years, but I also need snow boots and at least one weekend sweater and don’t have enough to buy all of these things. Although what my husband complains about is typically that he doesn’t have enough money for his (fairly expensive) hobby. So it’s also kind of “wow, yeah, you don’t have $4,000 for that piece of equipment for your hobby, but you already own at least $100,000 in other equipment for it”.

        • Holy f**k what kind of hobby requires $100,000 in equipment? Does he race super-cars?

          • Wildkitten :

            Maybe he is a collector of gold bars or valuable gemstones?

          • Yikes, no kidding. I think we’ve found the issue–he has a “hobby” that is seriously out of line with what he (and the vast majority of people) can afford. I’m all about hobbies, but he needs to find a way to engage in it in a more reasonable way.

          • I really want to race supercars . . . says she who watched Top Gear last night.

        • Anonymous @12:30, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. OP, other than a long-term goal of making more money, are there ways to participate in this hobby for less money? Buy gently used items? Rent equipment? Join a club that allows members to use equipment purchased for the group? Get a part-time job related to the hobby that would (a) put him around the hobby more, even if not directly participating, and (b) entitle him to a discount on equipment? If none of these are reasonable options, then your husband may be permanently dissatisfied until you two make more money or he receives counseling on his unreasonable expectations.

          • Most of what he has was passed down from his grandfather and father. Maybe it’s less than $100,000, but it’s easily $50,000 and probably more. But, yeah, it’s an expensive hobby. He mostly has all the equipment he needs and keeps saying he’s done buying, but there’s always some new thing with some new feature. Since he uses his personal money for it, I don’t care how expensive it is. But it irks me when he complains about not being able to afford these really expensive things.

          • Even people who make two or three times what you do have to budget. So yeah, it happens, it’s life, and he should deal.

            I have known a lot of people whose standard of living involves “and, and, and.” Yes, people who make well into the six figure have nice houses, sweet cars, no debt, swank vacations, expensive hobbies, savings, and put their kids through private college… but very, very few people have all of that, or even most of that. Being more than middle class means that you can have some of that.

            Pick what you want and scrimp on the rest. Or rather, talk to your husband about how it’s just not possible to have all those things unless you earn some super-high salary or have inherited wealth.

        • Priorities :

          I think you need to consider how you are stating things. You can afford the things you are talking about – you are just prioritizing other things ahead of them. At 200K you can probably afford most things; it’s up to you to prioritize what you decide to get. I think perhaps your husband would benefit from changing the way you guys are thinking about this. It’s not about affording/not-affording things – it’s about your spending priorities which seem to be different.

        • Damn, girl, get yourself a new coat already. My take is that he’s channeling all of his mid-life frustrations into complaints about his perceived financial limitations. It is not really the budget, it’s life. My spouse vocalizes his frustrations with life by complaining about our messy house, kids and pets. It drives me crazy but I understand that it is midlife angst finding its expression in griping about cat hair and clutter. Just let him vent.

          • And, if kid time is taking away from hobby time, then yeah – it’s possibly just generalized frustration that you guys cannot spend money AND time at will. If you guys freely spent for the first few years of marriage – then the day to day grind of kids, paying childcare, working, etc. may be the bigger issue.

        • Anonymous :

          Why on earth can you not afford both a coat and a sweater while he has 100k in hobby gear?

          • Most of it he either got passed down from family or else bought in the many years before we met (it’s a hobby he’s had since he was in late high school). We still each get the same amount of monthly money.

          • Anonymous :

            Oh girl please. This is some cray here. You must tell us what the hobby is. Don’t be cruel.

          • So he became accustomed to a lifestyle that included this expensive hobby when he was in high school and the bills were footed by his parents, who were putting expensive things on credit cards. And now he is annoyed that he doesn’t have the cash to sustain it, but he doesn’t seem to think about the fact that, really, his parents never had the cash for him to be doing it in the first place?

            I think he needs a reality check.

            I’m also seriously struggling to understand what could cost so much money. Polo ponies aren’t exactly inheritable since they have a finite lifespan, and I partake in several hobbies that I consider expensive (snow sports, sailing) that don’t come anywhere near that cost.

        • Maybe try and be less rigid – consider a therapist if to let go a little feels distressing? I agree that a budget matters but what you described there sounds pretty excessive on that type of money. Buy yourself a new coat….yes I want to have the financial stability to live to 90 but I could also die tomorrow with only memories of how I saved perfectly for a future I didn’t get….no thanks!

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      It sounds like you both have different expectations and you grew up with very different lifestyles and views on money. Neither of you are right or wrong! It’s just different backgrounds, lifestyles, etc. The important thing is for you to communicate while being understanding and you MUST compromise. I grew up pretty well off, but very conscious of my emergency savings, retirement goals, living within, if not below, my means. I had an ex-bf who grew up very poor as in having the electricity turned off and being evicted as a child and he bought a new car with all the extras for 25K while he was making only 30K. At some point in our relationship the car was repossessed, but he thought he was doing pretty well! Everyone has different financial goals and lifestyles that they want to maintain. You and your husband need to get mostly on the same page and talk about your finances without judging each other, but you will never be completely on the same page because you have different standards, backgrounds, and expectations. You really need to compromise and be understanding.

    • So, my husband and I are very similar to you. If my spouse was complaining like this, I’d suggest they consider a way to make more income (side business, new job, what have you) to create more income if they want those luxuries. Obviously, this comes with a trade off – less time with family, less sleep or less time spent on hobbies. But every choice has a cost.

      • AnonWifeForThis :

        This!

        My husband’s hobby is making independent films (his last project cost around $30K, and I’m not including what he’s spent in equipment/specialized software/etc. over the years in that figure), and he finances it through freelance work done in addition to his regular job.

    • I am in somewhat of a similar situation. I grew up in a family which was frugal. My husband’s parents never really thought much about savings. I like to budget, he doesn’t. Thinking so much about money stresses him out. He feels we don’t have to think about every dollar we spend. I recognized that he is a different person with different approach to money. So I sat down with him and divided the expenses to take care of between me and him. For example, everything we buy in Costco, fuel for our cars, insurance, car maintenance expenses, 50% of rent, eating out, movies and few more are his expenses. Remaining are my expenses. There are certain things which he has to pay certain percentage of his salary which are non-negotiable (which he would totally skip if I don’t make him pay) like his HSA account, retirement account. Whatever remains is his. He can do whatever he wants with that money and I don’t ask about it or question it. This avoids budgeting which stresses him out and makes him feel very restricted. At the same time, all the important things are taken care of. We don’t talk about money often at all, may be we talk once in a year or so. This has been great for both of us.

      • My husband actually likes budgeting. He’s very analytical and likes having the numbers to look at. He just doesn’t like the amount of money we have.

    • Habitudes about money :

      I am a financial coach, but not affiliated with this company. I would recommend you try this. http://shop.moneyhabitudes.com/couples-special/

      I would suspect that you use money to feel secure (so having a big emergency fund and a surplus is important to you – I am the same way personally), and your husband has a different approch to money. Neither is right or wrong, but understanding where you are both coming from can be helpful. This activity is realy wonderful for structuring that conversation on a really productive way. If you try it report back and let me know how it goes! Good luck!

    • As I’ve read through the comments, OP, I keep seeing your summaries of what your husband’s position is, but I have to say, I don’t really get it. It seems like your husband has everything he wants, there’s nothing he wants and can’t have, and basically, he’s just complaining for some nonsensical reason.

      I am wondering if you’re really listening to him. Like, truly listening.

      There must be something that he would change, and until you really hear what that is, you’re not being a partner. There must be more to what’s going on.

    • It sounds like you guys are in a really good situation in terms of how you’re spending your money in relation to how much you’re bringing in, but I’m wondering if your lifestyle is working for you – or rather, if your lifestyle is working for him. If I’m reading right, it sounds like you both have hour-long commutes, which can suck a soul dry. You own a home, but there are lots of bodies in that home and space is at a premium, which personally would make me go a bit batty on my worst days. There is enough money for the “fun” stuff, but given the constraints, it just feels tight. There are a lot of competing priorities, which can be really stressful no matter what.

      I’m not offering a simple solution, but I guess just saying it might be worth thinking a bit about how you’re spending your time (in addition to how you’re spending your money) and where you’re spending it and if you’re both happy with that. I’d start by getting consensus on that and working back from there.

      • An hour-long commute is not ideal nor is the size of our house, but I’m kind of confused honestly — how do you get a bigger house with a shorter commute without spending more money? Also, where we live, it’s very hard to get a family-sized house within a reasonable commute of downtown. Where we live is considered very close-in. It’s just a big city with lots of traffic/transportation issues.

    • I think you’ve gotten some really good advice. I’ll add that I sympathize because my husband and I have a very similar dynamic. And when my husband complains about money or not having an extra bedroom, it does make me feel like he isn’t recognizing how great we really have it. And since I’m the breadwinner and he works in a low-paying, creative field, it makes me feel pressure to earn more, which would require me to work more than I’m particularly happy working.

      Also, this is all about how you guys *feel* about money, and it’s perfectly valid for that to be different and for you to have somewhat different approaches. YMMV on the specifics here, but my point is that you may be able to adjust either or both of your perceptions or feelings on this without actually changing your budget. With us, I’ve realized that my husband likes to HAVE money more than he likes to spend it. He doesn’t like to be told he can’t buy something, but when he has the go-ahead, he usually doesn’t pull the trigger. So the best thing for him is, counter-intuitively, to NOT give him a budget. When he doesn’t feel constricted, he doesn’t actually buy much. When his purchasing fell, I started putting the “extra” money in our slush fund, and when he really does want new clothes or the new iPhone or whatever, we use that money. (Things like new tires, small home repairs, traffic tickets, etc. also come out of this account. We have a separate emergency savings account with 3-6 months living expenses.) Overall, he’s happier not being reminded that he has *only* $500, but he’ll spend way less than that. Meanwhile, I actually enjoy the act of spending. So I tend to be the person who buys groceries and other necessities, purchases gifts, runs errands, etc., and that satisfies my desires to research purchases, get out of the house, browse, and acquire. But I also need and like the budget because I like knowing that I have enough money for those purchases, even if they are just groceries, dry cleaning, shampoo, and a wedding gift. Anyways, this may not be exactly your scenario, but be open to your husband having different needs or desires in how you guys approach money.

  10. Lounge shorts :

    I’m looking for some cute slouchy cotton boxer-style shorts to wear around the house. I’d prefer something that sits at the hip (I always end up folding the band down if they hit at the waist). Any recommendations? Prefer in the sub-$30 range so I can buy a couple of pairs.

    • Anon Worker Bee :

      I got some cotton shorts from Uniqlo that are cheap and comfy. They also had mid length cotton lounge pants.

    • I hate victoria’s secret but my two pairs of sleep boxers are from there and I’m a big fan.

    • SA-litagor :

      Try Target, I like the Gillian O’Malley (sp?) brand for sleepwear.

  11. AnonForThis :

    Ok Hive – so I have been a long time follower and occasional poster, but I need the hives wisdom on what to my mind is a slightly tricky potential job situation, but in reality is probably something other have gone through many times. So- I work in a very small, boutique firm in NYC where we do fairly specialized work, and some general litigation. One of the partners left my firm, essentially taking not only his client but his whole practice with him. So rather than support three practice groups in a small setting I now support two.

    The partner in question moved to big law. For reasons that are not entirely relevant to my questions I did not go with him at the time. However, I am now going to be interviewing at his firm. Here are my questions:

    First, on the why do I want to leave my firm question that I will be inevitably be asked do we think it is ok to use his leaving as part of my reason. (I had wanted to leave before he left but that again not entirely relevant). His work is the work I want to continue doing and is what I was focusing my job search on even before he left the firm.

    Second, if I do get an offer – what do we think the position would be on negotiating? I am a very senior associate (think 10-12th year) and I know I will have to take a cut in years to make this move. I am fine with this to a point. I somewhat assumed I would have to think in the 6-8 year range – but if they come back let’s say in the 3-5 year range do we think this is something I can negotiate at big law?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!!

    • If your firm no longer does the work you want to do because this partner left and took that work with him, that’s as good a reason to leave as I can think of. Are they specifically looking for someone to do that kind of work? They’ll likely be concerned that you might find it difficult to adjust to big firm culture after being in a small boutique. Beyond the money, why are you interested in moving to big law? Good answers could include: more opportunity to do cutting-edge cases; working with top names in the field; working on more complex issues. What’s your reason?

      As for years, I’m not sure exactly how the negotiation works, but consider the fact that more time can be better if you want to make partner. You’re coming in brand new and will want to be able to connect with as many partners (including powerful partners) as possible and have a good portfolio of high quality work for the committee to consider when making the partner decision. While I think third year would be too junior, if the partner track is 8 years, you don’t want to come in as an 8th year.

    • A) why you didn’t go with him at the time is the only thing that is relevant. It will be what everyone wants to know

      B) if they come back with 3-5 years turn them down. That’s offensively low and shows they don’t value your experience. I would do anymore than 2 years. You have experience doing this work!

      • And regarding partner track, you’re not making partner in a big law firm coming in as a senior 12th yr with no business. Negotiate for a counsel title instead.

        What’s your end game? How long do you want to be at the firm?

      • AnonForThis :

        OP here – the reason I didn’t go with him at the time he left is something that all the partners at the new firm already know – it was more lack of negotiation on his side at the time and respect for the large projects I was heavily involved in at my current firm. Frustrating to me – resulting in this situation. But it is well known.

        And yes, I agree I am not thinking this will be a truly partner track position. My end game honestly is to hopefully be there 2-5 years and continue to gain the skills I will need to transition in-house.

        • then wouldn’t your answer be that “the timing wasn’t right when partner came to join new firm, but now that several large projects have finished, the timing is perfect to join partner and new firm”

    • 1) yes, this seems like a good answer, although rather than “his work is the work I want to continue doing” I’d try to make a bit more general, i.e., “his work [and the new firm’s] work…” if true. They probably know you would likely move with him if he leaves their firm but it’s always good to appear interested in the firm and not just the one guy.

      2) I cannot imagine they would come back in the 3-5 year range if you’re a 10th year+, unless your work experience is not at all comparable. Yes, you can negotiate year, but as has been discussed before, there are significant advantages to taking a haircut, including less pressure and more time before you’re up for partner. I would think that’s especially true if you’re talking 8th versus 10th year in a firm that typically has a 10 year partnership track — the pay difference likely wouldn’t be as significant as 1st versus 3rd year and the extra breathing room before partnership could be everything.

  12. You guys, I just got a dog (rescued 3-year-old chihuahua/terrier mix), and I am so in love. It has seriously, seriously improved my life – nothing takes my mind off of work busy-ness like playing ball with the little guy. I totally never got it before, and now I’m like, WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO DO THIS?????

    • Yup! So happy for you! :)

    • Wildkitten :

      YAY! Dogs are the best!

    • Congrats! I have a new dog this year too, and it has truly changed my life for the better. And I recommend you look into puppy litter. Just knowing my lil guy can go when he needs to makes life way better for both of us!

      • Me too! recused a pup a few months ago and life is 294870192384 bazillion times better.

      • So he’s actually totally housebroken, because he’s older – I also have a dog walker who comes in the middle of the day to take him out. I work two blocks from home, so even if I have to go back to the office, I scoot back home around 6:00 to take him for a potty break and a leg stretch.

        Puppies are adorable, but not having to housebreak was one of the main reasons I adopted an older guy, and I’m so glad I did.

        • Good for you! We got a dog a year ago and it’s been fantastic. We got a puppy, but there are so many older dogs that need homes, I am always happy to hear about people adopting them. And it does make things easier. Now that he’s a year and a half it’s so much easier than it was when he was just a few months. If only I could also get a cat… Enjoy your new companion!

          • Wildkitten :

            I got a puppy and will never do it again. She’s so much better as an adult. Next time I am totally skipping the puppy stage and going straight for the good stuff.

      • Um, you might have just changed my life. Dogs + litterbox. I used to joke that my cats would teach a small puppy, but it’s for real?!!!

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      All these comments are making me want to adopt a puppy…eventually!

    • Thank you for rescuing! Dogs are the best, and rescues are my favorite breed!

    • Yay and congrats on the pup! I seriously could not imagine my life without my own fluff-nugget :)

    • OttLobbyist :

      Dogs are the best. Rescue dogs are even better! They make you more social, get at least a bit of exercise, and get you out of your own head because you have to keep their needs in mind. Love mine. :)

    • So excited for you! I finally adopted a rescue last October after waiting 4 years for my life to settle, and she is the light of my life (shhhh, don’t tell my husband, lol! Actually it’s ok, she’s the light of his too). Have a little happy excited face in your life every day is an incredible positive influence.

    • Coach Laura :

      My daughter has a rescue terrier/chihauhau mix and he is the light of my life.

  13. I am in the process of really leveraging my personal and professional networks, and I am trying to justify creating another facebook account for professional contacts. I recently realized that most of my colleagues do this, and I am just flummoxed by the idea of having two accounts and fragmenting my personal life (I am active in some social and political causes/volunteer work) and my work. Do yall do this?

    • No. And I think it’s cray.

    • No. Facebook is personal (will only friend colleagues if they have become good friends) and LinkedIn is Facebook for business.

    • I don’t, but my husband does (one for professional, one for hobby/side-gig).

      • This.

        My brother has a career and has his own website specifically for that career. He also uses LinkedIn.

        He has a side-gig as a professional musician, and has a Facebook page for his group. That is common in the arts.

        His personal Facebook page is completely personal and does not cross over with his professional networks.

    • No. I use LinkedIn for professional networking and keep FB personal. I’m not sure what content you want to share on FB that you couldn’t share on LinkedIn, except maybe pictures. There are some groups I volunteer with that only have a FB account, but I don’t generate content for them or do more than share events with my friends.

    • Nope. But I only friend co-workers if they are legitimate friends.

    • I only have one friend who does this, and it’s because she’s in a horse-related business. So one FB account is about all horse stuff, and the other is personal!

    • Unless you are in real estate or have your own business and create a business page, no. LinkedIn is the appropriate place for contacts and networking as a traditional professional worker bee.

      • Ah, I disagree – I think the appropriate place depends on your profession and how information is shared. My SO is in a STEM profession and uses Facebook for networking, sharing information, etc. MUCH more than LinkedIn because so much of what is shared is videos, photos, articles, etc.

        • Okay, that’s fair. Is his FB both personal and professional or does he have a separate one? Are they both people pages or is one a page page? FWIW, I am not sure I would consider STEM a traditional worker bee position. I was thinking along the lines of my own company where I would equate traditional worker bee to those of us that write contracts, do paperwork, customer service, etc. Super cool STEM stuff is not on my radar for worker bees! I have no idea if that made sense.

          • He has two FB accounts – one for professional (career-related, so friends include people he met when he was doing his masters and phd, former professors, current colleagues, people met at work-related conferences, etc) and one for personal hobby-side gig. He keeps them strictly separate.

        • Yes – working in the not for profit world, I use Facebook for professional contacts, sharing media, video, events etc. Even as lawyers there is an expectation we are across the broader field. However I’m very careful about anything personal I share, it’s curated the way I would select watercooler conversation. I find LinkedIn is fine for people who are just names but a poor way to maintain a connection with ex-colleagues etc.

  14. Pretty sure I slept in a tent that looked very similar to this dress when I was in the Army. I think I’ll pass on this one.

  15. What tights do I wear with a navy pinstripe suit? Or just a navy suit? And what color shoes?

    • You could do navy tights and navy shoes, navy tights and cordovan shoes, navy and brown shoes…
      You could also do gray tights and gray shoes or if it’s bright enough navy, add a black top so it looks intentional and black tights/shoes.

      • I do black tights and shoes and just don’t care. I love the navy/black color blocking so i just go with it.

    • I’d wear nude-for-you tights and black flats, but my navy suit is fairly bright so it looks intentional.

    • I would do navy tights, and then a pop of contrasting color in the shoes. Not black.

    • If the navy suit is so dark it borders on black, I’d wear gray tights and shoes. For true navy, I wear black. I think navy tones are really hard to match so avoid navy tights.

    • lawsuited :

      I wear nude hose if it’s not too cold or blacks tights if it’s cold, because I’m the boss of my legs and I do what I want.

  16. SuziStockbroker :

    I always do grey tights and grey shoes with navy skirt/dress suits.

  17. Threadjack: I will be in SF on a November Tuesday afternoon/night before a conference I’m attending. I’ll be in the Embarcadero area. Any suggestions for a great massage/facial experience and good place for dinner on my own? Thanks in advance!!

  18. Autoplay ads :

    One in the top right sidebar for medication, one just below the fold for Levi’s.

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