Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Faux Wrap Tube Skirt

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

This skirt from Vince Camuto is getting a lot of good reviews at Nordstrom — and Vince Camuto has another tube skirt that’s been around for a few years that we’ve noted in the past, also with good reviews. (It only has one size left now, XXS.) I like the pictured skirt because the asymmetrical front panel has a fun, modern look, and with the $59 price, you can’t go too wrong. Only lucky sizes are left at this point, so if you like it, don’t wait too long. Faux Wrap Tube Skirt

Here’s a plus-size option at Macy’s.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    How’s the quality of Gap Fit? Is similar to Lululemon/Zella?

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve never tried Zella but I looove my Gap Fit stuff. I think it’s good quality and washes and wears really well, plus Gap is always having a sale. I’m careful with my workout stuff though – always wash on delicate and hang to dry.

    • I love my gap fit stuff. I’ve had leggings that I wear weekly for at least a year and they aren’t showing any real sign of wear. Plus with a discount code, they are super reasonable.

    • First Year Anon :

      Maybe I’m picky about workout gear. It is nice stuff (and I own a few pieces), but I can definitely tell the different with lulu leggings. They are much softer and less “plastic” and scratchy feeling. For tops and stuff I think its fine, though.

    • I lovvveee Gapfit leggings, actually more than lulu ones. Such a great deal!

    • I love gapfit leggings. I have the blackout compression leggings and they are very thick and not seethrough (as the “blackout” name suggests). The waist band is thick and super comfortable.
      I found they last better than my lulu leggings. Regardless of what fabric I buy from lulu, they eventually turn into cat hair magnets. I haven’t found that with gapfit at all.

    • Lululemon >>>>> Zella > Gap Fit

      • Maddie Ross :

        This. I like Lulu for actually working out. Zella are great for bumming around/wearing as leggings. Gap Fit stretch quickly and ultimately get relegated to jammies. Which is fine if that’s what you’re using them for. But not great for working out.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Same.

    • I workout a lot. Gap Fit is now my #1 preferred brand. They have a Breathe tank top that I have, one by one, collected more and more of because it’s my fave workout top. Their leggings fit me well and have stayed stretchy despite being washed warm/dryed in dryer. Ditto the sports bras (although I’m very flat chested, so I don’t ask for much from a sports bra).

      However, get the stuff on sale. I usually pay $15 CAD for a shirt and $20 CAD for leggings.

  2. Just wanted to say thanks for systematically including a plus-size option.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Definitely agree – it’s incredibly helpful.

    • It actually is a good idea, b/c most people are NOT svelte like Gwennith Paltrow, but are more like everyone else. We all need to STOP listening to men who say we have to be thin as a bone to attract their interest. I work very hard and walk 10,000 step’s a day, but I simply cannot have the kind of tuchus men like. FOOEY! As a result, I am still single and do NOT think a man will marry me just b/c of my tuchus. DOUBEL FOOEY!

  3. Anonymous :

    I’m looking at cashmere crew neck sweaters in the ~$100 price range. I have spotted one I like at Lands End and another at LL Bean. Is one better than the other? (Or is there a third company in the same price range that’s comparable?) Thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous :

      check out Neiman Marcus last call, Saks Off Fifth, etc.

    • Steer clear from Halogen at Nordstrom. My last sweater pilled like mad and had holes within one season. I’ve heard good things about Everlane’s cashmere but haven’t tried it myself (yet).

      • Maudie Atkinson :

        I swear I’m not a shill–though it might seem like it because I am so often singing its praises–but at that price point, I don’t think Everlane cashmere can be beat. I have 5 of their sweaters, crew and v neck, and they’ve held up well, minimal pilling, and feel great, even with some of their third season.

    • Anonymous :

      I bought a Land’s End one a few years ago and found it really scratchy and poor quality.

    • LL Bean > Land’s End

      • Diana Barry :

        Also the fit varies. I find LL Bean tends to have shorter arms than I need, but it really depends on the style. I usually wait and then stalk the Bloomie’s store brand after Xmas.

    • Anonymous :

      I love Boden’s cashmere, which would be close to your desired price point with a good promo code. It looks amazing and lasts forever. It is on the loftier side.

      I also have some cashmere sweaters by Aqua from Bloomingdale’s that were under $100 on sale last December. They are a little lighter than my Boden sweaters, which is nice when the heat is cranked up in the office. They haven’t pilled yet, but I haven’t had them very long.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I have some amazing Lord and Taylor cashmere that I got for under $100 Canadian on sale last year after Christmas.

    • Everlane just started offering cashmere crewneck long-sleeve sweaters at $100. I have one of their cashmere cardigans, and the quality is excellent.

    • My reply is in mod for no discernible reason. To repeat in short: Everlane.

  4. Baconpancakes :

    My mother’s birthday is coming up, and I’m waffling on gifts. Book? (Into the Wilderness – she reenacts that time period and would love it.) Some kind of skincare? (She frequently expresses a desire for better skincare but I think finds it overwhelming.) Something else?

    She has a very large garden, reenacts the French and Indian War and War of 1812, loves hosting but is very informal, lives in a cabin that does not need more stuff in it, and is fairly technologically incompetent. She has a huge hippie streak in her but is very organized, and is very romantic. She likes to drink wine, whiskey, coffee, and tea but isn’t fussy about it the way I am. Anyone want to help me be a better daughter this year?

    • Anonymous :

      No idea but your mom sounds amazing.

    • Anonymous :

      Whoa. Can we back up a bit?

      I saw a bunch of law school exchange students be absolutely baffled that we re-enact wars. Like I guess we’re the only country that does that??? But I thought that it was just the Civil War. I had no idea that French & Indian War AND the War of 1812 also had re-enactments (and those are not the same time period).

      Your mom might not be technologically incompetent — she might be perfectly competent for a woman from a few centuries ago.

      For the gift: Nice mortar & pestle? Or a weekend at a hippie farm where you can gather herbs and dance under the moonlight? Western NJ / Hudson Valley has lots of hippie areas. Peters Valley NJ artist colony?

      • Anonymous :

        Wasn’t the War of 1812 largely naval based? (My memories rusty and my Google is lazy) How do those reenactments work?

        • Baconpancakes :

          The decisive final battle was on Lake Champlain, which is where she lives. I think they go out in rowboats and sailboats and have a little naval battle, but mostly they set up camps and demonstrate life in the time period. Most of these reenactments are basically just hanging out and camping with your friends without the comforts of lightweight gear and anodized aluminum pans. I understand there’s a lot of drinking involved after the tourists go home.

          • This sounds like so much fun!

          • Interesting — I just think of Fort McHenry and the burning of Washington. May be something fun for an upstate NY visit in the summer.

          • Just wanted to jump in and say that an old coworker of mine does War of 1812 reenactments, and it’s a huge deal for him/he loves it! Any time he’d be getting ready to head out to a reenactment weekend, he would refer to his SUV as the Wayback Machine.

            There’s definitely lots of whiskey involved on those weekends.

      • FYI, we’re not the only country that does that. I have cousins in England who love reenacting, especially really old stuff like the battle of Hastings and Bosworth!

      • Constant Reader :

        Italians reenact Roman wars (and there is a Roman legion in Pennsylvania, I believe). https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/rome-gladiator-school

      • Revolutionary War reenactments are a thing too.

    • Could you set up a skincare consultation somewhere for her with a nice gift card that’ll allow her to buy some products? Maybe take her to brunch or lunch and a winery or distillery for a tour and tasting as a mom-daughter day and buy her a bottle of something she likes while you’re there?

    • My mom loves L’Occitane creams and lotions.

    • Anonymous :

      Your mom sounds awesome.

    • My mom really likes good quality versions of food items she already uses — fancy olive oil is always a hit. Also – if your mom’s tea kettle has seen better days, a new very good quality tea kettle could work well.

    • Does she have a favorite organization that you could donate to in her name? My mom taught on a reservation in South Dakota for years and donating to the reservation’s YMCA programming so kids can attend summer camp for free was the best gift we could have given her.

    • Anon in NYC :

      For better skincare, can you schedule a mother/daughter day at the spa where you get a facial and have someone recommend products for her? I realize they’ll be pushing the products they sell, but maybe afterwards you could go to a Sephora and find something comparable.

    • Shopaholic :

      Depending on your price range (I think the facial + product suggestion is amazing but probably pricy), Sephora Favorites has a bunch of value skincare sets where you gets masks and serums and moisturizers etc. and it’s a great way to try out a bunch of higher end products. Plus I think it would make a fun gift to get.

    • Constant Reader :

      She might like Tracy Chevalier’s “At the Edge of the Orchard” set in that time period. It begins in the Great Black Swamp of Ohio, features Johnny Appleseed and then moves to the Redwood forests of California.

    • If she doesn’t already have one, how about a really nice electric teakettle, the kind that heats the water very quickly and has different temperature settings for different varieties of tea?

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      What does she do for her re-enactment activities? If she makes her clothes, a gift certificate to WM Booth, Draper (re-enactment focused fabric merchant) would be incredibly welcome.

    • My mother has similar tastes, and has recently mentioned her love of the Victorian Trading Company website (link to follow). You might be able to find her an interesting old fashioned/hippy/eclectic piece of clothing or jewelry she’d like.

    • Wildkitten :

      If she wants to get into skincare but finds it overwhelming that sounds like the PERFECT gift. Maybe a set of high-end skin care products?

      • Anonymous :

        How about the Sunday Riley Power Couple set from Sephora, plus a bunch of sheet masks and a good moisturizer?

    • I actually have done some reenacting in a similar time period. Ask her if there is anything she wants for her reenactment – something for her habitat (a new tent? A new camp cot? a historically-actuate X (plate, bowl, spoon, candlesticks). Another thing to ask about is custom made historically accurate shoes. Normally there are very cool vendors who attend these. My friends mom (also a reenactor) just got herself a pair of historically accurate shoes made by a local vendor. Might be something your mom is interested in, she just doesn’t want to spend the money.

      Classes for fiddling/ weaving/ archery/ blackpowder shooting might also work depending on her interests!

  5. Anonymous :

    Shoe help: I’m going to japan later this month and desperately need a nice looking but walkable bootie/shoe. a 1.5″ heel or lower would probably be ideal, and something that can take a beating. 150-250 is the range for an investment shoe. I’ve heard a lot about blondo lately, has anyone walked a lot in them? signed, someone with only office shoes and beat up errand shoes

    • Ive had really good luck with gentle souls.

    • Diana Barry :

      I just got the Born bootie featured a couple of weeks ago and it is comfy – IIRC you can take the insoles out and replace them with others.

    • Ah! I just got back from 2 weeks in Europe where I trotted around in the evenings in the Blondo Nelli, when I wanted to look a little more put-together for dinner. The Nelli is a little taller (2.5″) than you’re looking for but I found them incredibly comfortable, and probably walked 10-15 miles total in them? The rubber sole is a winner and they were easy on-off in the airport. I haven’t tested the waterproof to it’s absolute limits, but they had no problems with a few showers and small puddles. I just made the mistake of peeking at the Nordstrom website and there are at least 6 cute choices with heel height in your range.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I am wearing my pair of Blondo knee-high boots right now, and I love them. They take a beating and look great. I removed the soles for orthotic inserts, but they’re quite comfortable, and I will wear them when I know I’ll be doing a lot of walking.

      (Also their wide-calf tall boots both fit my muscley calves and look sleek, and that never happens.)

    • I just bought a pair of Blondo’s on sale at Nord-strom last night — and saw several other options from the brand on the sale rack, so definitely check online/instore if you decide to go that route! I got mine for $139, down from ~$175.

    • Constant Reader :

      I have these Blondo boots (or very similar from last year) and walked all over Amsterdam with them. Would buy again in a heartbeat.
      https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/blondo-lynne-waterproof-bootie-women/4684503

    • Ecco. I bought a pair of booties last winter that were much higher than my usual price point, but I’ve been wearing these things to death and they still look great. They have a 1.75″ heel.

    • Huge fan of Blondos. I am size 12, and they are my go-to walking shoes and walk to-from work. I put in several miles a day in my two pairs all Winter last year. They are very comfortable and TTS.

    • I bought Cole Haan Lunar Grand’s just for my trip to Japan with lots of walking. Pink suede with a purple air-ride sole. Amazingly comfortable yet stylish and unobtrusive.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I recently bought a pair of Joie booties, wear them everywhere (except work), and they are comfortable, holding up great, and love the style.

    • s in chicago :

      Blondo Valli. I just bought in a second color because the first are so great. And they aren’t kidding about waterproof–I stepped in a puddle and didn’t feel a thing. Seriously wonderful bootie. Low heel but works with skirts and dresses and makes even my size 11 feet look good.

    • a millenial :

      i wore these to europe walked 18k+ steps per day, with much cobblestone involvement. really loved them. make sure you get a wide enough size.

      https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/lucky-brand-bartalino-bootie-women/3727901

  6. Anonymous :

    Need home-repair financial advice. This past weekend, our water heater failed – it was 12 years old, and while we had been maintaining it, we live in an area with hard water and after awhile, they just quit. The plumbing company said, basically, these things happen; nothing we could do. $2000 to replace – not a big deal; we have a “household repairs” part of our emergency fund just for instances like this.

    However, last week before the water heater failed we had just signed a contract to get our house repainted. It’s been needing it for some time – definitely this is “deferred maintenance;” we have fascia board on the house trim that’s going to have to get replaced if it doesn’t get painted soon; we also have some places where mold has grown into the stucco which warrants treatment and recoating so the problem won’t get worse. The contract we signed for the painting/stucco work is $5,800 including tax.

    We have the money in cash, but I’m really nervous about depleting our cash fund by $8,000, which is about two months of living expenses for us. We currently have 12 months of expenses in the fund and my husband is pointing out – we calculated the fund as though it would need to last us through a year of neither of us working, which is unlikely to happen. But we’ve had some weird things happen to friends and family lately – people getting sick; people getting in car accidents – and I’m just nervous about it. My lizard brain keeps screaming at me that we may need that money and we need to figure out another way to pay for the house painting. But I understand that doesn’t make a lot of logical sense – we can build the savings account back up in a few months. So it doesn’t make sense to, say, do a 401k loan for the house painting – right? Because if push came to shove and we were in dire straits we could do that if we had to? My husband feels like – this is what we save emergency money/house repair funds for; but he’s also not naturally a saver and so I know getting him to up his savings level over the next few months so we put the money back in quickly is going to be a battle with him. He’ll do it, but I’ll have to keep on him about it – especially through Christmas, where he tends to want to spend on gifts for friends and family. Any advice?

    • Anonymous :

      For the future – I would consider making your home repairs savings separate from your emergency/lose a job savings. You know you are going to have house repair expenses, but don’t know if/when you’ll need your emergency number. That may help in giving your brain permission to spend it.

      For now- Spend the money you have saved. This is why you have saved it, so that you DON’T have to dip into 401k savings or let it ride on a credit card or something. This is literally the reason you were saving the money in the first place, so give yourself permission to spend it.

      • +1000
        Can you sit down together and plan out how you’ll replenish the savings, and do it over 4 months or something? Determine how much you’ll put back in that account each month and set aside some extra spending $ for Christmas in an amount you can both agree on. I find I really only freak out about my finances if I don’t have a clear idea of where I am now or clear plan how I’m getting to X goal. If it’s in the plan, even if I don’t have the $ now, my brain stops worrying about it.

      • +1

        And reality check, having 12 months of expenses in savings is plenty of money. You won’t starve on the streets if you have 10 months of savings instead of 12.

    • Anonymous :

      Your emergency fund is exactly for things like the water heater. The painting/stucco work is debatable. 10 months’ living expenses still seems like a pretty strong emergency fund, and as you say you can build it back up. If it makes you feel better, you could build it up to 12 months’ living expenses plus something like $10K for emergency home or car repairs. In the future, I’d save above and beyond your comfortable emergency fund minimum for foreseeable projects like the painting. I would definitely not take out a 401K loan for the house painting.

      And I’d dial back on the Christmas gifts, but that’s just because I think a lot of the holiday gift-giving is out of control and generally wasteful and un-fun.

    • Anonymous :

      No stop being cray. Do not borrow from your 401k for this. This is why you have savings. Also don’t harp on about ultra savings mode over the holidays. You have a huge emergency fund!! You are totally fine! I get it you are anxious but do some yoga or sip some tea or go talk to someone about it, don’t make irrational financial decisions and harass your husband all of Christmas.

      • +1 You guys are awesome savers! You have an emergency fund that can cover BOTH of you not working for 10 months, and in a few months it will be back up to 12 months. Right now you should feel awesome that you can cover these expenses with ease and still have an amazing emergency fund.

      • Yup, this.

    • Anonymous :

      no no no it makes no sense to do a 401k loan for house painting. I understand your concern, and I’m a bit jittery about emergency savings as well, but you’ll still have like 9-10 months of living expenses right? You’re fine. And remember that there’s still things like STD and LTD (if either you or your husband has that through your employer), disability, and unemployment as fall-backs.

    • First, yes, use your house repairs fund and dip into the emergency fund if necessary. Don’t take out a 401k loan for this. If you both lose your jobs, that would have to get paid back ASAP anyhow.

      Second, are there any ways you can cut back right away this month to absorb as much of the hit into your normal cash flow? Eat through your freezer/pantry, get creative with holiday gifting, skip some extras? Do you have anything you call sell? Clothes with tags still on that can be returned for credit? You might be able to ease the blow by being a hawk about every penny you spend this month.

      • Anonymous :

        That’s completely unnecessary though. And her husband doesn’t want to. I’d be livid if my partner was like “I’m really anxious so instead of dealing with that let’s sell our tv to pay for home repairs because god forbid we have 10 months savings instead of 12.”

        • I didn’t say to sell the TV. I know I could walk around my house right now and list a half dozen things on Craigslist and have a few hundred dollars in hand. Assorted kids clothes, baby apparatus, some furniture that was moved to the store room, Christmas decor that languishes at the bottom of the bin every year, etc. I could skip a haircut scheduled for next week and instead of eating dinner out with a friend, we’d pick up takeout coffee and go for a walk. I have two dresses in my closet I haven’t pulled the tags off of yet that could be returned. I always have the ingredients for a big pot of chili in my pantry/freezer. That’s good for several meals even if it is just my lunches at work instead of picking up something in the cafeteria.

          Looking at my list, I could probably come up with $250-$500 in extra cash or avoided spend without too much effort.

          • Yah me too. But I’m not willing to start selling my stuff because I used a portion of my extremely large savings on exactly the things I’ve been saving for, and I don’t think its reasonable to suggest her husband should be cool with this.

          • Okay, maybe you aren’t ready to start selling your stuff, Anonymous at 10:08. Maybe the OP’s husband isn’t, either. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a conversation. She said she was anxious about spending so much money, and Walnut offered a very reasonable way to defray a few hundred dollars of those costs. The OP can absolutely mention it to her husband as one option for immediately rebuilding their savings, and I don’t see why she needs his permission to (for example) cull some unwanted stuff out of her own closet or delay some personal maintenance like haircuts. No one is saying to pawn the TV, laptop, or Grandma’s silver.

            I know for me, having a game plan is a way to cut down on anxiety around things like this. Like, yes, clearly we save money so we can have it available to spend on things like this. But it’s reasonable to be concerned about dropping $8,000 at once. If I were the OP, I would feel better if I had some concrete actions steps to take to top that back up, whether it’s taking a bag of clothes to a consignment shop or a plan to trim expenses in other place. Even if they weren’t going to rake in $8,000 immediately, just having some things to do would help me feel more comfortable.

          • She should treat her anxiety then. Because on no planet does she need to sell her stuff.

          • Yes yes yes yes. This is an irrational level of anxiety around money (ask me how I know)

          • I agree with anonymous. The time I would have to spend organizing and whatever to sell the stuff is not worth the couple hundred extra bucks. If they had no savings? Sure, panic, but 10 months of savings to cover both of them losing their jobs? That’s doing far better than the majority of people in the US.

          • The majority of people in the US live paycheck to paycheck! OP does not need to start selling her clothes. Good lord.

          • No one is saying she NEEDS to sell her clothes! Just that she MIGHT want to consider some additional ideas to generate income (e.g., sell unwanted clutter that she would like to get rid of anyway) or trim expenses (e.g., delay a haircut, plan to eat through the freezer). Especially as she shared that she was feeling nervous about this, even though logically she knows it’s the right choice. Having actionable items that she can see affecting her bottom line is one way for her to feel empowered, so that she can make what we all know is the right financial decision.

            Of course, YMMV and the OP should use the advice that feels right for her. Maybe that includes signing up for Poshmark, maybe that includes seeing a therapist for anxiety around money.

    • anon a mouse :

      +1 to the suggestions to keep house-repair funds separate from emergency funds. You have to do both of these things relatively soon. You can’t not have hot water! (though the quote seems high — in my HCOL area the price is more like 1000-1200, so maybe get a second bid?)

      The painting/stucco is worth it because if you wait the problem will be worse. You do not want to take out a loan to do this. If the painting company takes credit cards, would it ease your mind to take out one with a long 0% interest period and pay it off over the next 6-12 months? I’ve done that in the past with big expenses where I could have paid cash, but somehow it felt less painful to spread it out over time.

    • Flats Only :

      Spend from your savings, and build it back up over a few months. To take the sting out of it can you apply for a rewards credit card that requires $3K or $4K in the first few months, and run the expenditure through the card so you’ll get some points you can use for an airline ticket or some cash back?

    • Thanks to everyone for the replies and ideas! I know I am overreacting to this, but I grew up in a financially insecure household and money’s an emotional thing for me. We were always mere moments from some kind of huge crisis because my parents never saved anything. But I think I’ve mentally now gone too far in the opposite direction.

      We just did a big house cleanout this summer so we don’t have much extra laying around to sell, and I also agree things are not that dire. I’m hoping my husband’s end-of-year bonus will help us with replenishment of the emergency money but even if he doesn’t get much – we’ll be fine. Thanks to the person who mentioned disability insurance – we both have it, but I always forget we do. We’ve actually done a fairly good job preparing for the future, but that feeling of “the wolf is always at the door” is hard to shake. I truly appreciate everyone’s replies.

      • Anonymous :

        The wolf is definitely NOT at your door. You have savings, you have jobs. Emergency savings are literally expressly for spending money when something comes up. What’s the point in having it if you never spend any of it?

  7. Looking for recommendations for a medium-impact sports bra in size 38F that does not give the “mono boob” effect. I would prefer something at least a little cute (fun colors, interesting strappy details) and not completely utilitarian. Bonus points for <$50. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      Champion has one that comes in larger bra sizes that I got off of amazon. I have one in hot pink. But no fun straps or patterns.

    • Anonymous :

      https://www.barenecessities.com/anita-maximum-control-wire-free-sports-bra-5527_product.htm?pf_id=Anita5527&rrec=true

    • I’ve had good luck finding higher level brands of sports bras on Nordstrom Rack. Add your sister sizes to the search and you should find something that works.

    • Panda Bear :

      I love my Freya Sonic Sports bra (I’m a 30E, but I checked Bare Necessities and they have your size too). It has a few fun colors/pattern details, and converts to a racerback. It’s usually $70 but a few colors are sale for about $50 right now.

      • I swear by Wacoal Sport with underwire. I’m large of bust and these have handled half-marathons and literally any activity I can think of. I usually get them at Nordstrom for around $60 each, but have found a few at the Rack for less than that, or you can shop online once you know your size. They’re not particularly cute, but occasionally will come in bright colors.

    • SportsBraRec :

      I’m a 34DDD and sized up to a 36DDD in this bra. Fits well, good support, no monob00b.

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C7WMFC4/

    • I’m a 34G and looooooove this sports bra. It give me a great shape and its very supportive for running, etc. Occasionally on sale for $50ish. But I’ve had mine for years and it has held up well, so well worth full price in my opinion.

      https://www.amazon.com/Panache-Womens-Underwired-Sports-Black/dp/B005VNFJFW

      The sizing is British so check on a specialty website for guidance. (I can’t remember what size I have).

    • Sports bras :

      The Berlei brand and Panache sports bras have worked great for me. (38G)

  8. jennypower :

    I think this same skirt is on clearance at Dillards: https://www.dillards.com/p/vince-camuto-faux-wrap-tube-skirt/507101725?di=05025219_zi_rich_black&categoryId=604019&facetCache=pageSize%3D96%26beginIndex%3D0%26orderBy%3D1

    • Baconpancakes :

      I was looking at a similar skirt (that I think was featured here) from Halogen. Anyone have either one? I’m worried about the Vince Camuto skirt pilling but $35 is pretty strong.

      https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-twist-front-pencil-skirt-regular-petite/4718964

  9. For the first time am in a job where bonus is a significant portion of total compensation. When interviewing, was told that quarterly bonuses would be substantial, and have now been there about two years and been experiencing ever-larger bonuses as the training wheels come off.
    It has been about 1.5 years since my last base salary raise, during which time I have gained a lot more responsibility. I would like to negotiate for a raise in base salary that amounts to about 22% (as a high-end target). The raise amount is slightly less than last quarter’s bonus, which was about 30% of my annual, so I am confident it would be accepted. However I’m just trying to understand how people in similar situations where total compensation is much more than just salary handle this. Do I just forget about the raise so long as my quarterly bonuses keep going up and up?
    I do not know whether by asking for a higher salary my bonuses will be negatively affected or not. In any event I am not as concerned about that because I prefer the ability to budget month-to-month and also because I am poising for an external search and I feel like a higher base salary would be a helpful negotiation point.

    • I have a high bonus relative to my base, and I still expect and receive large base salary increases when warranted.

    • Depends on the industry. I’m in finance and base salaries are quite low relative to bonus and are very fixed across everyone with the same title. Also raises in the base are very infrequent (ie when the bank does a salary review every 5-10 years). Are there colleagues at the same level within your firm that you could discreetly ask?

    • Appreciate the replies! Nobody similarly situated who I can ask sadly. I think I’m going to go for it and see what happens.

  10. Trying out a new pair of booties that are a little narrow across the top of the foot. Is this something that might stretch out or should I return them for a larger size? They are the Marc Fisher LTD Yellin chelsea boots, first pair of booties I’ve found that I feel like I can pull off with tights and pencil skirts, so I’m hoping to make them work.

  11. Feeling very fed up today. I was hired to do work under a CEO two months ago, and I still have no clue what my job actually entails. The other admins frequently do things without me (I’m frequently left out, ex. they left for a meeting that I had no idea about without telling me), and I’ve heard whispers that I was hired for someone else who will eventually be promoted. I have no problem with my team and would be more than happy to assist the other guy, I’m just fed up with feeling like an intern when I was hired to do something else. For example, someone just passed by introducing a new hire and didn’t even introduce me as one of the CEO’s admins.

    Asking my boss about my status is a non-starter, and talking to the other admins has proved to lead me nowhere. I know (or at least hope) they wouldn’t let me go without at least a warning, but I just have a cloud of doubt over me. Is this something I should take up with HR, or is it just a bad case of imposter syndrome that will soon pass?

    • Is there a manager that you can have a review with, to understand what’s going on? Are your skills atrophying? This could be a case of Mean Girls, or…not. Maybe schedule Monday morning check-ins with the other admins?

    • Flats Only :

      So you were hired to be part of a team supporting the CEO, and that team is cutting you out? Or you are supporting other executives, not the CEO? Did they mentioned the CEO to you during the hiring process, but then decided you would support other execs instead of the CEO, and didn’t tell you that? But the other admins know and thus wonder why you think you support the CEO. You may have been bait and switched. Which totally sucks.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I’d start by asking for a review/check-in meeting. State specifically that you are ready and anxious to contribute more and where could you have the most impact. If you don’t get a response from your boss, then I’d reach out to HR for help in understanding who you should talk to about feedback.

      Pose this all as looking for feedback about your performance and that you’re ready to move into substantive work.

  12. Career Advice :

    Someone advise this twenty-something! I have been at a job that I hate (perhaps environment that I hate) for several years now, and I’m realizing that my dream of working as an analyst for national security/intelligence (think NSA type agencies) is not really panning out. I know that those positions can take a long time to get but I just can’t justify waiting around miserably in hopes that I will one day get a call. I currently work in an investigative role in the private sector and spend a lot of time researching and writing reports related to high profile crime and terrorism issues. I have experienced growth here but I am hitting the ceiling as far as upward mobility. I would love to get into investigative journalism or just political writing in general (if I can’t be an intelligence analyst, I can still write about national security issues, right?). I’ve never seen anyone discuss here, but does anyone work in this industry? I have lightly researched available jobs at major newspapers/magazines but many expect a journalism background and ask for writing samples, but everything that I write for my current position is proprietary and cannot be shared. Surely my research and writing skills can help me stand out, but is it reasonable to think I can find a writing job without a traditional journalism background? Just looking for some direction and tips on how to best job search this weekend.

    • Journalism is a dying industry. Why do you want to join it?

    • I found a writing job without a journalism or English degree, but I work in communications for a university. The investigative reporter type jobs you are describing are pretty strictly limited to people who have studied journalism or have a lot of experience in the field and the good jobs are extremely competitive. I disagree that journalism isn’t an industry worth joining – I think there are actually more jobs in that industry than there have been in a long time, but I’m not sure I would invest a lot of money in education for it, giving the uncertainty of employment, and I don’t think you’re going to be able to get the kind of job you want without a journalism degree.

      • +1

        You need a journalism degree.

        • No, nobody needs a journalism degree. The best (only) way to learn journalism is to do it, not sit in a classroom and waste your money. If you are serious about it, you’ll need to start small, either in an entry-level role at a medium/large media org or at a local/community paper. There is definitely a degree of luck to “making it” in this industry, but your real-world experience and diverse knowledge base is loads more helpful than another degree.

    • Wildkitten :

      Start writing as a side hustle (but don’t expect to get paid yet.)

      • Or a podcast?

        • Anonymous :

          Agree with both of these responses. A friend of mine switched from her day job into journalism by copyrighting and managing social media accounts. Just find a way to get some experience.

    • You can start freelance writing, blogging/doing contributing articles to blogs in your area/s of expertise to build a portfolio — I wouldn’t let not having a journalism background stop you. My undergraduate degree is in journalism and I do public affairs for the government now — equally writing-heavy, though from a different angle. I have friends who are journalists who have non-traditional backgrounds. You have to build up a portfolio and be willing to start from the bottom, though. If there are trade publications in your field/tangent to your field, that may be a good in!

      And if you want a government job, don’t give up – keep applying, keep educating and developing yourself, keep networking. My SO works in the community you describe and it can be hard to break in to. It took me five years to get in (started at a tangent nonprofit, moved to a contracting job (it can be much easier to get hired as a support contractor in the intel/cyber communities than as a fed), ultimately got hired in to federal service at a different agency) and more job applications than I care to count. I love my job now and would say it was worth the journey. (happy to share more advice on this if it’s helpful!)

      • Career Advice :

        Thank you so much for the positive response. I really needed to hear that! I have been aggressively applying to government jobs for the past several years and I routinely look at contract jobs as well, but it seems that all of them require an active security clearance. I had a clearance for a previous internship but it is now inactive. Nice suggestion on trade publications, I will definitely look into that this weekend! Thank you!

        • My boyfriend works for a contractor in a role you have probably considered in your job search – while he had a security clearance when he was hired, there are many people who are hired without them, and then are basically paid FTEs with very little work to do until their clearance comes through. So be sure to keep in mind that while clearances are ideal, they are not always required!

          • Anonymous :

            I’m the fed at 11:26 — I was hired for my contracting job without a clearance and they got me one. They issue interim clearances to contractors now which helps a lot!

          • Anonymous :

            Oh, and depending on how long ago your clearance was – it may be reinstatement-eligible, even if inactive. Some of the investigations are good up to 10 years.

    • WaPo is hiring National Security reporters. I just saw this on Twitter today: washpostpr [dot] tumblr [dot] com/post/167059192587/job-posting-national-security-reporters

    • Dunno where you’re located, but if you’re in DC (or willing to relocate), you could consider looking for national security/defense policy work on the Hill, or at a think tank/NGO. Lots of members looking to beef up their national security staff and portfolios right now. Writing and communications skills intensive work, and could help you get a security clearance.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m biased, but if you have any technical leaning at all, going more towards the computer forensics side of things has a strong analytical and investigative component that often dovetails with federal agencies and law enforcement. Companies to look at include Mandiant, Kroll, Verizon.

    • Familiar with this industry and suggest you look at consulting firms like kroll, control risks, etc (political risk) or analysis firms like economist intelligence unit etc (check out university lists of firms for full options)

  13. Sibling has gone over the edge :

    My sister has been through a lot — followed spouse through his education around the country, was largely the sole parent while he worked a lot, got cheated on, got divorced, had to start over in her late 40s. My ex-BIL married the woman he was cheating with. They have 9 kids between them, so not a lot of time for the old family. Lots of drama.

    My sister is, understandably, angry. Angry at him. Angry at the world. I get that. So angry that she brings this up with strangers she meets in line at things. She also lashes out at his family (who has cut her off) and me (it seems like: for not being sufficiently angry and wanting to spend hours on the phone either badmouthing the ex/new wife or listening to the Outrage Du Jour) and my parents.

    Do people ever just burn through their anger and move past it? It’s been years since I’ve been able to even have a phone conversation that didn’t end with her yelling at me for being a bad person and then sending a barage of texts. I had wanted to host some my nieces/nephews this summer to give them a break from all this (and so my kids could see their cousins), but having to clear this with her and her ex just is a level of drama on its own planet.

    I’m not local to them and visits require two plane trips each way, so everything requires much advance planning (and, sadly, interaction).

    • Honestly? I wouldn’t call. I don’t sign up to get yelled at. She has to want to move on herself. “I’m not going to talk to you if you are yelling at me.” “Bye.” Ignore the texts.

      • Sibling has gone over the edge :

        Each blow-up is something that I give about a month before I’m willing to take a call again. And I’d never respond to an angry text — it seems like even if you win, you lose b/c it’s time/tranquility you’ll never get back.

        We visited over the summer after holding off for years b/c her home situation was too volatile to put my kids through. I rented two cabins for a trip away from their city and I survived it solely b/c of having some time to decompress all day. I feel so bad for her kids — that breaks my heart and I am maintaining contact solely so I can see how they are and tell them that I love them and so do their cousins.

        • So she learns that she can continue to not get the help she needs and use you as her punching bag once a month.

          It is heartbreaking for your nieces and nephews to be sure. Is there another way you can contact them? Are they old enough to have cell phones or social media? You could write them letters.

      • Yup. You don’t need to be involved in her anger and drama. Stop engaging.

    • I don’t have any advice but here’s a hug from an internet stranger. I lost a longtime friendship under similar circumstances. I just couldn’t be her emotional punching bag anymore. I still wonder if I could’ve done something differently… maybe if I’d said the right words the right way she would’ve come around? Idk. It’s not the same as a family member but I empathize. So sorry you’re going through this.

    • She needs therapy. And perhaps a support group as a place to vent. Possibly medication ……

      My heart breaks a little for your sister. I would also be crushed by her experiences.

      When you speak with her, I would try to give zero input. Just listen. Let her vent. Say I’m sorry you are dealing with this. Then maybe ask if she has an outlet for her stress…..therapist, support group etc….. As you are worried. It is eating her up.

      • Anger is an underappreciated symptom of depression, and while she has plenty to be angry about, she also might be depressed.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree – my heart breaks for your sister. It would take me a very very long time to move past that experience. An ex-bf cheated on me once (plus additional drama), and it took me a few years to be able to fully trust again… and that was when I was 21 and never had to see him again! I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like having given up my life to follow him around the country, supported him and his dreams and ambitions, had children with him, and then had my entire life ripped out from under me. I do think she needs professional help.

        All that said, you don’t need to be a punching bag. I would still communicate with her, if for no other reason than the sake of your nieces and nephews, but do not engage on this front – or, if anything, just agree. I’m sorry you have to go through this.

      • She needs therapy REALLY badly. If nothing else, for her kids. Yes, if any of them are old enough to maintain contact separately I would do so, so that they know their Aunt is a safe place for them.

        I would also say to have a little empathy for the fact that this wasn’t a ‘breakup’ and it wasn’t even just a divorce. She literally gave up whatever dreams she had to follow this guy around the country and raise their kids for the entirety of what were probably her most potentially profitable years both from a working perspective and a finding a partner perspective. He blew her whole life up. Not just her love life, her WHOLE LIFE. Being a divorced parent is HARD. Being a divorced parent when you didn’t want to be is REALLY HARD. And being a divorced parent where you constantly have to interact with the REASON YOUR LIFE BLEW UP because it’s now your kids other house, and everyone wants you to just ‘get over it’ because it happened and the kids need you to make nice is REALLY HARD.

        She needs therapy to have any hope of moving forward here, for herself and the kids.

    • Oh boy, what a terrible situation. Have you had a conversation with her about this in a calm moment? Told her that you want to be there for her but you can’t allow her to verbally beat you up? Suggested that she get some professional advice because at this point you aren’t able to help her? I would maintain contact for the sake of those poor kids. Are any of them old enough for you to maintain contact without through your sister? Like via text, email, skype or something?

      • *without going through your sister

      • I agree about having a conversation in a calm moment about how her behavior is affecting you. I’ve also had anger problems, and it was hard but helpful to hear other people push back and tell me what was not ok. If you care about the relationship, try to express your needs to her at a good time. It won’t work immediately or forever, but it might help nudge her in the right direction. It’s better than giving up on her without telling her why.

    • Linda from HR :

      I was some version of this when I was going through a rough time in college, and I pushed a lot of people away because of it. Someone did clue me in that I was a jerk for dumping so much negativity on the people around me, but by then they were really mad and it was too late to salvage a lot of the connections I messed up, and the guilt just made me feel a lot worse. I wish someone had said, early on, that I have to be careful how much negativity I send out, that most strangers don’t wanna hear it, and even friends will get tired of being sounding boards – and you need to show tons of gratitude to the people who do listen.

      For your sister, find a time to calmly explain (verbally, not over text where tone isn’t always conveyed well) that she needs to stop venting to strangers in line – they’re a captive audience and it’s not fair of her to take advantage of that. Some close friends and family members can be sounding boards, but not punching bags, she can’t take them for granted and she needs to be aware of how much she’s dumping on people and the impact that can have on others.

      After that, any time she brings him up, try to redirect the conversation. You can even say “I’d rather not hear about this right now, let’s focus on [happier thing] right now.”

      I would, however, caution against trying to sound neutral. It might bother her if you don’t seem on her side, so if she is ever feeling like you’re not, remind her you are, but you just don’t want her blowing up about this all the time.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, I am witness to someone burning through and moving past a decade of extreme anger.

      My father was in an incredibly bitter dispute with my god parents that lasted over a decade. My god father passed away during that time and my dad still wouldn’t speak to them. During the decade, fanning the flames on his hatred was all consuming and put my dad on constant edge. One time he even cussed out my mom’s friend because she did something that reminded him of something my god parents would do. The turning point for my dad was that he lost his job and had a lot of time to contemplate life and his relationships. And somehow during that down time he realized how much stress he was causing my mom. And he called up my god mother and reconciled. And his demeanor softened. It was a true miracle. None of us thought the day would ever come.

      Have faith that your sister will get over this. She does not have the energy to keep this up. Being so angry all the time is exhausting. I read once that not forgiving someone is like swallowing a poison pill and expecting it to kill the other person. Her anger is not hurting him, it’s only hurting her.

  14. NYCers—- i’ll be in Manhattan on Sunday to support some friends in the marathon. A group of us want to get brunch before cheering them on. Probably somewhere on the UES just because of the proximity to the route. Any good suggestions??

    • UES is kind of a food desert, but I do find Alice’s Teacup pretty enjoyable for brunch. As long as you don’t mind being surrounded by a bunch of kids in fairy wings. I don’t even like kids, and I find it adorable.

    • Instead of UES, how about Red Rooster in Harlem? You’d be right by mile marker 22, and the food and atmosphere is fabulous. Definitely make a reservation if you’re going.

    • Quality Eats on 78th and 2nd Ave is good.

  15. Hoping to tap the collective wisdowm of you all. I’m drowning in emails in my work inbox. (7K emails… I know..). Any good strategies other than carving out time in front of the TV to go through them?

    • i mean… if you have 7k emails, aren’t some of them from like months ago? i would probably delete them at this point. i highly doubt someone is waiting around for you to respond.

    • Just ignore them. 7k? They aren’t relevant anymore

    • +1 to the above. I know several people at my office who get so much email that they regularly have this many unread emails. They can’t manage it so they assume that if it’s important, the person will follow-up and/or it’s no longer an issue. Perhaps not the best thing in the world, but when you are understaffed (or whatever the problem happens to be to cause it) that’s what happens.

    • Declare email bankruptcy and archive everything older than a month. If you needed to do something about it, someone would have pestered.

      Alternatively, this is a great opportunity to set up filters and rules.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 I just got back from mat leave and this was the advice given to me by a senior manager. Put it all in an archive folder. If it’s important, it will resurface.

    • Multicolor :

      How many do you get in a day? I get around 100-200 per day, of which I need to respond/act on about 40. The rest are just informational or noise.

      Fresh start by bulk filing/deleting anything over a week old. If its important they will ask again. (know your job though).

      Then everything else, mark it (colored flag in outlook) if you need to deal with it later. Delete if not relevant, or file/save as you go. I keep my inbox below 100 using this method. Means I have to put about an hour a day on keeping it under control though.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Wow, people delete emails?! I sort into subfolders but I keep everything except junk/news updates.

      • Multicolor :

        I delete the one-liners saying things like “ok” “thanks” etc, especially if its not an acknowledgment against something I sent (my company loves to cc dozens of people). Clutters up the folders where I file things.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      What about setting yourself a daily reduction of say 100 emails and then start at the oldest and work your way up.

    • I agree with deleting the majority of them and starting from scratch. Start practicing inbox zero, it’s life changing.

      • If you are going this route, consider dumping all the messages into an archive folder instead of deleting them. Sometimes it’s necessary to go back and dredge up an old e-mail, received or sent, for purposes of CYA or similar.

    • First, do you view your emails in thread view? If not, switch over to that ASAP. Then create a general correspondence file directly below your inbox. Start dumping anything that doesn’t require a direct response into that. Or declare bankruptcy as suggested above by mass moving old emails there. Any email you respond to that doesn’t need to go to a specific subject folder can get dropped into general correspondence.

      • Silly question – is there a way to do this in Outlook? Thread view only?

      • Aquae Sulis :

        +1

        I have conversation view switched on, and I’ve set up a rule to direct all emails that I was only CC’d into to a separate folder.

        Once I’ve read a directly sent email, I either action it immediately and file it, or I add a flag to action it later and still file it.

    • My suggestion for paring them down (if you do sort into subfolders, etc.)
      – sort by sender – some people it’s just information, or your office friend that you have emails with like “meet you for lunch?” – delete/move into appropriate subfolder all emails from those people.

      – then sort by subject. some things will be able to go wholesale into a sub folder or will be about a subject where a deal has closed or the information is no longer relevant.

  16. Edna Mazur :

    Just now noticed I have bright yellow baby poo stains all over my yellow shirt. What? How?

    Thank goodness it is freezing in here so I can wear my coat all day.

    Happy Friday all.

    • Edna Mazur :

      White shirt.

      • Oh no! Did they get laundered together?

        • Edna Mazur :

          I honestly have no clue. At all. The stains are such that it looks like I was carrying him when the transfer occurred, although it could be coincidence. I haven’t held him today while wearing this shirt so I wonder how long it’s been like this…

      • I was on my way to a job interview a month ago and needed to stop on my way there to use the restroom. I pulled into a McDonalds and as I went in, I thought to myself “gee, that’s so weird.. I still smell baby poo” (I had dropped my son off at daycare before). I went into the bathroom and noticed baby poo ALL over my shell and part of my jacket.

        Turns out that really loud annoying hand dryer and McDonalds’ hand soap are pretty effective at getting both out! I took my shell off first and wore my jacket, then switched. A nice lady stranger even offered to help me dry the shell while I did the jacket.

        Coat works too ;)

        • Edna Mazur :

          You win. I’m just sitting at my desk all day. Nice to know about the hand soap. Oxi clean and sunshine are my go-tos but that obviously doesn’t work on the go.

        • Thank goodness you had to use the restroom!

  17. Birthday party ideas :

    Does anyone have awesome not-at-home birthday party ideas for an 11-year-old girl whose friends range in age from 10 to 12? She has rejected ice skating, roller skating, bowling, swimming, and rock climbing. We have already done painting, and the trampoline park is a no-go due to safety concerns. I can’t find any suitable plays or concerts.

    • The movies?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Pedicures. The local place I go to often has tween girl bdays in the afternoon.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Oh, or what about a kids-themed escape room?

        • Birthday party ideas :

          Another kid recently had an escape room party. The escape room was not designed for kids and my daughter was absolutely terrified. She has declared she is never ever visiting another escape room.

    • If she’s rejecting everything you’re suggestion I’d get to the point of throwing up your hands and saying “fine, you’re not having a birthday party then.”

      • Birthday party ideas :

        She wants a sleepover. The last sleepover was a miserable disaster for all concerned, which is why I want the party to take place anywhere but my house.

        • In my city, we can have a sleepover at the aquarium, so you can gaze up at the swimming fish.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Oh if she wants a sleepover, what about a hotel party? They are quite the thing here. Go in the afternoon, swim in the pool then order pizza to the room.

        • So she’s rejecting everything that’s not a sleepover because she wants a sleepover. How long ago was the last sleepover? Ime kids can change pretty quickly from not being ok with staying away from home to absolutely loving it. If it’s been a six months or more I’d say give it another go.

          Also… as much of a PITA as it is to have a bunch of tweens in your house, it’s really valuable to teach your kids how to be a good host. My mom was always super anxious about having people over and now I find it incredibly nerve-wracking to entertain at home. I really wish I’d developed those skills earlier.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yep. I agree with this.

          • Linda from HR :

            And even if the sleepover wasn’t that long ago, I’m sure you can learn from the last one and work out the kinks for this one, and maybe there’s a chance to learn from other people’s sleepovers as well. Sleepovers were definitely huge when I was around that age, we had so much fun!

      • +1 She needs to come up with her own suggestions if everything you are suggesting doesn’t work for her.

    • If painting was a success, try again?

    • KateMiddletown :

      We went to a bday party at a pizza place that gave all the kids dough and let them build their own pizzas. They had a separate room in the back just for parties – it was so fun for them and parents were able to hang or leave.

    • Former Retail :

      Cooking class? Our local supermarket does them. Or a class at Michaels like cake or cookie decorating?

    • Bowling? Maybe at one of those places that do fancy lights and glow-in-the-dark balls and such?

    • We rented a private karaoke room for my daughter’s 11th birthday. It was probably my favorite of the parties we’ve had for her.

      • Also, a friend did a party at Claire’s. I don’t know if everyone has those stores or not, but the girls had a great time.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        OMG this sounds so fun. Probably would be wasted on my three year old, but I’m saving it for later!

    • escape house game
      cooking class
      pedicures
      dance/workout class
      mall scavenger hunt

    • Away Gamae :

      How cold is it where you are? Campfire, hot dogs, smores. We are near a local park that rents fire circles for $25 donation.

  18. At what point do I talk to my new employer when they turned me over to background check people who seem to be especially bad at their jobs? I can’t get anyone to confirm they’re receiving my emails or attachments, or to update me on where we are in the process and whether what I’m providing is sufficient.

    • What is your industry?
      I work in medicine, and the credentialing process can be brutal – up to 120 days. During that period, it seems to be hot/cold…either I’m inundated with “urgent” requests or there’s total silence. While a 3rd party (background check) is usually involved, there’s also a HR and/or credentialing person at the company who is handling the file.

      If it feels like it’s been an unusually long time since you’ve heard from someone (weeks?), or something doesn’t feel right, I don’t see any harm in following up with your new employer. I’d probably pose the question more like “Is there someone in-house that coordinates with the background check company that I could follow up with? I’m concerned my emails/attachments might be getting lost in their spam folder somewhere.”

      Good luck! HR person here might offer more meaningful advice than me…

      • I’m a lawyer and I’m moving countries for this new position. My previous background checks have all been done without my participation for the most part so I think this just feels weird to me and I’m frustrated.
        This has been a repeated problem, but I had it come up again yesterday so it feels fresh. Last week they requested release forms so they could get some information, I returned them 2 days later, got no response but I assumed they received them, and then they emailed me yesterday asking for the forms again. I resent immediately and then sent a separate attachment-less email in case we’re having spam filter issues and asked for confirmation of receipt. Of course I got nothing back. I guess I’ll wait until at least next Wednesday before I reach out to anyone else.

    • I rescinded my acceptance of a job over an exceptionally bad background check experience and told them at that time.

      • Assuming you want a less nuclear option than I took, though, you could try CC’ing your HR contact on your emails? Or maybe not the emails with confidential attachments, but the follow-up email? “Hi Susy, just confirming you received my email dated 10-31-17 with the requested forms attached?” + copy HR/your recruiter/whoever?

      • Unless there is something in your background…just weather the process. It will work out and you have nothing to worry about. There is nothing to sweat so why do you care? This is in the category of “not my problem/ worry.” If you don’t hear anything–it’s working the way it should–just chill.

    • Linda from HR :

      I feel you, some background check vendors are pretty bad. Send what you have, assume if they’re not asking you for anything else, they have what they need from you. However, the HR department at this company has an interest in making the onboarding process relatively smooth, so they might want to know that this current vendor isn’t the best at communicating.

  19. I need furniture shopping help! I have a small eat in kitchen with a regular size kitchen table. Currently I have two regular dining chairs, but they take up too much space, mostly the backs. You know how bar stools take up relatively little space and have low or no backs? I need the equivalent of that, but at a regular table height. Not too expensive, not with legs that are ‘splayed out’ because then the footprint will be too wide.

    • Search 18″ stool or dining height stool, tons of options out there.

    • What about a tulip table/pedestal, and Louis IV ghost chairs, so they will take less visual space?

      • I’ve thought about this very solution, but I have an emotional attachment to my current kitchen table (found it on the sidewalk at 3am, lugged it home on the subway and to my walkup by myself, refurbished it). Ghost chairs have crossed my mind re: visual space, but I really want the low/no backs for pragmatic purposes.

        • Anon at 11:56 :

          I get emotional attachments! What about those ceramic garden stools, could be kind of whimsical?

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t think it would tuck under the table sufficiently (too round), but good thinking, I love those and they’d fit perfectly with the decor! I think you may be my design soul mate.

    • I have these and love them – no assembly, they come in a bunch of colors https://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Tabouret-Bistro-Steel-Dining-Chairs-Set-of-2/7725495/product.html?recset=47472fbd-f887-45e4-b473-e25bf36121b4&refccid=DACIWOT4OAG2Y3SNT5KBCHEPJE&searchidx=0&recalg=63&recidx=0&keywords=Taboret&refinement=

    • Senior Attorney :

      I got some great table-height bar stools at Cost Plus World Market.

    • I got some very basic cheapo wood stools for our kitchen island at Wayfair. They have a wide variety of heights to choose from.

    • Not a low back, but I have the Ikea leifarne chairs and love them. I stack them when I’m not using them, and since they don’t have arms they are very easy to move around.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Somehow over the years we’ve acquired 2 of the Ikea Frosta stools. They’re really handy for stuff like this (i.e., we have 6 people at the table and only 4 chairs). They nest with one another, can be used to reach high up shelves, etc. They are by no means fancy, but they’re handy.

    • I got some very low-back adjustable-height stools from Wayfair a couple of years ago; they tuck under my counter-height table easily and I think they adjust to table height. That particular style apparently is not available any more, but Wayfair seems to have a ton of other options. I first looked at Ikea and found nothing that I liked, FWIW.

  20. KateMiddletown :

    Is anybody grabbing stuff from Sephora 20% off? I’m taking this opportunity to try Drunk Elephant and Sunday Riley sample sizes… what else??

  21. Has anyone ever built a bond ladder? I just moved over an old 401K-turned-IRA from Fidelity to Vanguard, sold a bunch of holdings before I moved over, and have at least $50k just sitting in cash in the Vanguard IRA right now. I’m too heavy into stocks right now for my age so I thought I’d look into bonds. (Related Q: what are your opinions on bond funds vs bonds?) Thanks!

    • I think you will be better off in a bond index fund. With $50k, you won’t be able to get much diversification by buying individual bonds.

  22. Working with a "Boys' Club" :

    I work in an office in a senior role on a team with 6 men. I have more tenure at the company than 4 of them, although not in this current role. They are all exactly the same – there is no diversity of thought on this team. It’s a total boys club with a “good old boys” mentality. I am constantly left out of things, and they literally “forget” to invite me to meetings with the team.

    I have made multiple attempts to “fit in”, including joining a dumb fantasy football league and participating in a weight-loss competition (despite having a BMI of 20). I have resorted to asking our shared admin if there are any important meetings coming up so I can ensure I attend. Yesterday I found out there is a meeting happening in November where they have ME presenting for one hour. However, they never invited me to the meeting. Joke’s on them because I have vacation planned for that day, but somehow I have a feeling it will blow up and become my fault.

    Although this is mainly a vent, I’m also looking for some advice. At what point do you bring HR into the conversation? I have brought it up many times to members of this team and everyone apologizes and says they will do better to include me next time. It’s just not happening. I’m at a disadvantage and my work is suffering because of it.

    • Ugh, I’ve been in a similar situation and it was incredibly frustrating. How long have you been on this particular team? My situation improved over time with the help of a (male) ally who helped make sure I was included. I’m not saying that’s fair or right — it wasn’t — but it’s what happened in my case. How set are you in making this work? My initial instinct is to cut and run because life’s too short and changing people is hard/sometimes impossible.

      • Boys Club :

        I’ve been with the company for a long time but have only worked with this team for 6 months. I am honestly quite fed up and am looking for other opportunities within my company, although it is difficult at my pay grade because there aren’t many openings. For a multitude of reasons, I don’t want to look for a role externally. But yes, cut and run is my first choice here.

        I like the idea of finding a male ally. Perhaps it isn’t someone on this team, since they are so chummy, but another coworker who can provide advice.

    • Coach Laura :

      I think if you ignore it it will blow back to you. My take is that they scheduled you for that talk to mess with you. From your post I’m not sure if these are peers but I would try to find a mentor in the org and discuss options. You might even be able to find a woman peer at another organization or a former employee.

      You haven’t mentioned your boss but if you’re being left out of things it will likely affect your performance at some point. If you can’t find a mentor and your boss isn’t helpful then yes I’d go to HR – indicate that you want a counsultation not make a complaint.

    • Because you know about the meeting, you need to address it, mostly because if you don’t, the admin might take the fall.

      Talk to the meeting organizer and say something along the lines of “I learned that I’ve been scheduled to present at X meeting on November X, but it wasn’t put on my calendar. Unfortunately, I’m away that day. When can we reschedule it? Since this isn’t the first time I’ve been left off a calendar invite, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to prevent this from recurring in the future.” Emotionless competence is your friend.

    • Anonymous :

      I have probably let down our sex and put back women 50 years by doing this, but I live with this situation and have just stopped trying. I have basically adopted the role of the responsible little sister that bails her dumb*ss brothers out of trouble. On Thursday I walked in to the office to be told they “forgot” to invite me to a meeting with a vendor for the function that I oversee. I had to cancel all my other meetings for the morning to attend. The group has gone to several conferences without me and told me there were limited tickets, or just flat out, it’s a boys trip. One of our biggest vendors invited the group on a fishing trip and when I found out later that they had all gone and not even told me let alone invited me, they said they didn’t invite me because they figured I go fishing all the time with my husband who is into fishing. So my coping mechanism is that I ask for and do things that are not in line with company policy, and know they’ll turn a blind eye. I have flexibility in my day. I pick conferences that I want to go to in places that I like and just get them to approve the cost. I just do my own thing. I know this isn’t my job forever. My politically incorrect advice is not to fight it. Culture is incredibly hard to change. If the culture becomes unbearable though, you should find a way to leave.

  23. Clothing staples :

    I wanted to recommend a recent clothing purchase.

    Old Navy swing dress. Soft, comfortable, flattering, easy to wear. Several colors/patterns. Great reviews and mentioned on a few blogs. I just bought in black with white polka dots. Just great.

    Now on sale for $21.00.

    http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=820507052&CAWELAID=120299900000429682&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=41085471276&CATCI=pla-364016755597&device=c&product_channel=online&Matchtype=&tid=onpl000000&kwid=1&ap=7&lsft=device:c,cvosrc:cse.google.online_Brand,cvo_campaign:783488777,cvo_pid:41085471276,cvo_crid:187255305530,Matchtype:,tid:onpl000000,kwid:1,ap:7

    I am 5’7″. I will wear it with black tights, black booties or knee high boots, with a long chunky black or grey cashmere sweater. Great easy weekend outfit that is comfortable and stylish. I wear a simple color palate.

    This dress could even be worn to work if you have a more casual dress code. For that, I would need to buy a tall length, as the normal length is short. But depending on your height and if you buy the tall length, wearing it with black tights is perfect and casual-work appropriate.

    I will link to my long Halogen cashmere sweater below. Luxurious and pricey, but on sale at Nordstrom.

    • Clothing staples :

      My long cashmere cardigan sweater. Pricey, but wonderful.

      https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-long-ribbed-cashmere-cardigan-regular-petite/4525669

    • I love the Old Navy swing dresses. I have three of the sleeveless ones for warmer weather. They are perfect for my super casual workplace. I’m only 5’0″ and the petite sizes are perfect.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oh I like the look of that ON dress. What’s your figure like? I’m curvy (and really busty) and some dresses like that look awesome on me, and some look like a pillowcase.

    • Ooh, fun. Any thoughts on how this would work in 2nd trimester? (I’ve told my office so it’s not a matter of concealing) I’m 5’7 and probably a medium, so I’d definitely get the tall and plan to wear with leggings or tights and boots.

      • I don’t own this dress but have a few other Old Navy dresses in a “swing” style and they worked fine in my second trimester. May even continue to be OK for the third.

      • Clothing staples :

        I agree that this would work in second trimester and possible longer (especially if you buy tall).

    • Clothing staples :

      Whoa! Today (Sunday) they are on sale for $15!!

      Great deal.

  24. Threadjack – need advice, please! I’m an in-house attorney, 10 years out of law school, looking to move to a different company. I had a first interview yesterday (via Skype) with the attorney who supervises a position I was really excited about, even though it would mean uprooting my family and relocating. Though I had been really excited about the job before the interview, over the course of the day I began to feel like he had indicated this is a chaotic workplace, a very stressful position, poor work-life balance, and also kind of a macho-white-men culture. Not in so many words, of course. But he talked about how important it was that they had finally brought a woman onto their board, and how he had started at a big New York firm where working 220 hours/month is normal, so that’s part of their culture, to do everything at a high level. And of course they are going through a business transformation, too.

    Today the recruiter said they want to set up 4 more Skype interviews with me. I’m flattered, but torn. I would be good at this job – but I already feel like my work-life balance is out of whack (that’s part of why I’m looking). Do I go through the next round and see if that changes my impressions of the job? Or do I gracefully bow out now?

    Thanks.

    • Anonymous :

      Do the next round – frankly I’d do all of them if you don’t have to fly anywhere. For all you know this guy is bad at his job and can’t handle stress and the rest of the people will give you a different impression. Or maybe they won’t in which case you’ll know guy #1 wasn’t exaggerating so you turn down any offer or ask for a huge raise bc you’ll likely need the money to outsource a lot of your life.

    • Anonymous :

      I would bow out now, and use difficulty relocating my family as the excuse, perhaps my husband doesn’t want to leave his job or something like that. And if you do find something in another city, husbands have been know to change their minds. Any time I’ve gotten a bad vibe about a potential employer, that bad vibe has never proven wrong. In my experience it only gets worse.

  25. We just did our family photos and they came out great. We got the proofs from the photographer and are really happy.

    But…he’s insisting (?) that he do a formal presentation of the photos to us, in his studio. For 60-90 minutes. We like the images! We want to buy many prints! We have 3 kids under 6.

    He’s being super insistent about this (my last suggestion was that he come to our house when at least one child will be napping, but idk how this is any better than me looking at my computer screen…), and I really don’t get why. Is this standard protocol? We’ve only ever done wedding photos and mini shoots before.

    he’s also designing our holiday card so I’m sure he has samples to show us but…this is so much more of a production than I was expecting.

    • Anonymous :

      Why not be direct — we love the pics, we want to buy a bunch of them, we do NOT have 60-90 min given that we have 3 young kids who’d tear your studio down, nor can we hire a sitter. If we have questions about the prints, we’ll ask and we hope you’ll be able to help via phone given how great a photographer you are. Honestly the only questions I can think of are — in your professional opinion do you think this pic will look good as a 20X40 or do you think there’s another one that’ll expand better bc we want a mural of ourselves.

      • I said this during the shoot when he first brought it up, and he went on and on about how he wants us to see the photos on a big screen. Or something.

        He’s super polite and British, so I think he’s trying to accommodate us vs just let us buy the dang prints! I’m just so confused about why it’s such a big deal. He’s probably very into the process and wants to make sure we love everything? When in reality whatever he does will be 1000% better than my Shutterfly card with iPhone photos (which look fine!).

        • So weird, the email back was “I find the process to go much smoother when we do it in person, and the prints and cards are done much faster.” This seems so silly to me, but that’s why I wanted a gut check from anyone who has done this before.

          • Anonymous :

            Not a photographer, but this makes a lot of sense to me. Like, there are times my friend and I spend 15 minutes texting trying to figure out plans when a 5 minute call would have sufficed.

            For example, a discussion on cropping a photo would be so easy in person and take a lot longer (and risk miscommunication) over email.

        • Anonymous :

          In that case, just don’t set up the meeting? Presumably he gave/sent you proofs – get back to him and say we want to buy nos. 3, 4, 10. If that meeting comes up again, push it off and say — you remember but you can’t right now. If he somehow tries to hold your pics hostage, tell him they are for the grandparents for Christmas and you must have them and you promise to set up the meeting as soon as you can??

        • Anonymous :

          If it really is this much back and forth and you feel like your prints and cards will take forever bc of it — can one of you stop by while the other watches the kids? You can tell him you only have 30 min or whatever and just give him the print/card orders. Realistically he probably wants to get you in so he can up sell more — i.e. this one is just lovely, it’ll look great as a poster, you HAVE to buy this one in addition to the other 15 you want . . . .

        • Anonymous :

          This is probably a tactic to (1) sell you more prints than you’d otherwise planned to buy and (2) avoid any complaints or issues with the finished prints.

          Can you just buy the digital files and print them yourself?

        • Not sure if you’re still reading, but I sideline as a photographer, and every single “how to market your photography” advice article/seminar, etc. tell you to have these sessions with your clients to upsell prints and cement your relationship with your clients. He’s probably taken that totally to heart. Being direct and telling him that he might lose you as a client next year/ he’s risking not getting your referrals if you have to do this might be the only way to get through.

    • “We’d love to be able to come in for a presentation, but with 3 kids, we just can’t swing it. But since we’re *thrilled* with the images and and want to buy them, could you shoot me the options for prints? And the proofs for the Christmas cards? Thanks!”

      Don’t stop talking or pause for too long, it will give him a chance to interject. Once you say “thanks!” at the end, it’s kinda set in stone :)

      • Ack, just refreshed and saw the added details. His insistence is puzzling and inconvenient. These days everyone wants to be able to do those kinds of things remotely. He really should adjust his business model. I agree it’s probably because he wants to upsell you on prints and extras (an image printed on a wrapped canvas, your images on a 3D collage, etc)

        • What’s odd is that 2 canvasas are included in our package. And we already know which ones we want.

          I get the sense from our back-and-forth that it’s more about collaborating to a perfect product (i.e. Avoid complaints) and also, I think he just built a new studio he’s probably itching to show off. And the kicker is he has an 8 year old- it’s not like he’s never heard of a weekend full of birthday parties and soccer and needing to get $hit done!

  26. jennypower :

    I have an issue with riding boots – my winter workhorse is a flat or low heel, knee high, leather riding boot. They always end up sagging around the ankle by the end of the season – meaning no matter how much I spend on them, they’re only good for one year. I avoid stretch boots or synthetics for this reason – thinking leather would age better. What am I missing here? Is my foot weird and wrinkle inducing? Or should I just accept the fact that no boots will last more than one year?

    • Anon at 11:56 :

      I think that’s natural to riding boots, right? I’ve had one pair 14 years, and they were not expensive. The other pair was mid-range, and I’ve had 8 years, and they both do that. The shaft has a little weight to it so it’s going to sag unless you get PVC ones. Unless maybe you get lace-shaft ones where you can make it really tight?

    • This is what leather does. If you want super stiff riding boots that do not crease at the ankles, you can buy a pair of actual riding boots (dressage). They are not comfortable though IMO!

      Both my fashion riding boots and my actual riding boots crease at the ankle. For actual riding boots, you want them to crease at the ankle as it allows better flexion in order to get your heel down (and hurts less once they are broken in).

      Depending on how much effort you want to put into this, you might try wrapping your ankles in ace bandages to increase the thickness of them which would prevent them from creasing in. It would probably be fairly awkward to walk in them though!

    • Anonymous :

      Tall boots are always going to crease around the ankle. You can mitigate this to some degree by storing them stuffed with crumpled paper or boot stuffers, but there will still be creasing.

    • love my boots :

      I store my boots lying down flat and stuff the shafts to be about the diameter of my ankles. Even if you can’t lie them flat, stuffing them when you’re not wearing them will help prevent the wrinkles. I use the sealed air packaging pillows (not packing bubbles but similar), one of my friends uses wine bottles. I do not have this problem for several years into owning my boots, and most of it results just from the sagging that happens while I wear them – so I try to get as narrow a fit around the ankles as I can find.

    • Min Donner :

      I have this problem, and I started googling for a solution. Apparently there are support pieces you can add to the boot (which seem uncomfortable and/or ineffective), or there is the “boot bra”… https://www.amazon.com/BootBra-Solution-Slouching-Product-Bunching/dp/B017Z7SKQQ

      Haven’t tried this, but have to admit I’m a little intrigued…

      • jennypower :

        Thanks everyone. I’m self conscious about the slouchy ankles looking too sloppy. I store them standing up with rolled up magazines inside – I will try laying them down instead. In the future I’ll look for a tighter fit in the ankle. The boot bra does look interesting…

  27. Multiple Job Openings at one Company :

    Hoping it’s not too late in the afternoon to get responses. I’m in grad school and looking for a spring/summer internship for 2018. Several internship positions opened up at an organization id love to work for. They’re in a variety of offices across the organization and id like to apply for most of them to increase my chances at working there but does it look bad if I apply for all of them? Or should I just choose two or three (there are like 12 in total openings)?

    • Limit to 2-3, max. Applying for more than that doesn’t look good. You can make it clear if you get a phone interview or talk to a recruiter that you’re open to other roles, too.

    • Anonymous :

      It depends how similar the roles are.

      Applying the roles the organization perceives as different makes you seen unaware of that you are really interested in or where you can provide value.

      If I’m hiring, I want to hire an intern (especially at the grad level) that sees a future with my specific group. Applying for multiple roles can appear in conflict with this message.

  28. Baptism Gift? :

    Our good friends have invited us to their infant daughter’s baptism at a Catholic church. They are having a luncheon in their home after the service.
    Should we bring a gift? If so, what?

    • Yes, you should bring a gift. The most common gift you will see after this type of event will be a nice card with a check in it.

  29. Anonymous :

    Weird question but as someone with disordered sleep I thought it might be illuminating….
    Are you more tired/sleepy at night when you are waiting to fall asleep, or in the morning when you first wake up?

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