Coffee Break: Girl on the Go Trench Coat

Girl on the Go Trench CoatAs they say, April showers bring May flowers — and I find myself reaching for my rainboots and raincoat more and more.  I recently saw a reader recommendation for a Girl on the Go trench from Eddie Bauer and bought it in navy to add to my years-old regular black raincoat, in part because it was a great sale, but also because my regular black raincoat doesn’t have a hood (or, if it at one point had a hood, I have set it somewhere “clever” and have no idea where it is anymore).  I like that this one is knee length (we had a discussion a while ago about what coats to wear with skirts and dresses; because this one is longer than hip length I would wear this with a skirt or dress without a second thought) — I’m also very happy with the pocket situation. The coated fabric is sliiiightly noisy, but it’s not really bad. The trench come in five colors, four size ranges (misses, petite, tall, and plus sizes) — there’s an insulated version for just a bit more. It was $149-$169, but is now marked to $89-$101 today on sale. Girl on the Go Trench Coat

Psst: don’t forget to check out our most recent roundup of weatherproof shoes for your commute!

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Comments

  1. Coat: want, but do not need.

    Vent: I just unofficially found out that the business group I work in is being moved to an wholly inconvenient swing space location while they finish renovations in our building. It will add to my commute considerably, make it it hard if not impossible for me to take care of my dog (who needs meds) at lunch and hiring a pet sitter 5 days a week is pricey, won’t have access to the work gym unless I drive 20 minutes, and I just got moved into an office while I will lose as soon as the renovations happen. The move is supposedly happening in two weeks. This plus the $hitty change to our health insurance plan this year is causing me to causally job search. UGHHHHHH.

  2. Anon in NYC :

    I bought the insulated version a few months ago in a taupe-y color that was on sale for ~$70. Not my favorite color, but it was a good price. This coat is great for chilly, rainy weather, and I like that I can remove the lining for warmer months. I agree that I don’t love the coated fabric, but it seems to repel water really well so I deal with it.

  3. The other colors look a lot shinier than the gray you have featured. Not my favorite look (though I like the style and the hood.)

    • Eddie Bauer Sizing? :

      As far as I can tell the dark purple and black are matte and the rest are shiny. Going to order black to avoid the shine although I don’t love black for spring, it will work well in fall.

    • I have it in the purply-eggplant color and it’s not shiny at all.

    • housegazelle :

      I love the eggplant purple color, and edj3 is right, it’s not shiny at all. And the ‘noise’ of this jacket seems to wear off a bit after regular use. This was my go-to winter coat during this mild, rainy winter we had where I live, and with the lining out I am now using it this spring as well.

  4. Eddie Bauer Sizing? :

    I really like this and I’m thinking of getting the insulated version but not sure of sizing. I’m 5’10”, about 160 lbs, and 34 bust so I’m thinking a medium tall? Or small tall? or medium regular? I hate it when they don’t provide a specific size chart for tall sizes and just say that the adjustments are proportionate. Any suggestions on what size to order? Usually I’d order a bunch of sizes but I’m in Canada and I want to avoid return shipping charges if possible.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’m about 3 inches shorter, but roughly your weight/measurements and am often in between a medium and a large. I ordered a large in this because I wanted something that could easily slip over a suit jacket. It’s definitely roomy – a little too roomy – but I was worried that if I sized down that it would be too small. It hits at my knee.

      • Eddie Bauer Sizing? :

        Thanks! This is super helpful. Sounds like the medium tall will be about right for me.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, I would recommend the tall. I’m 5’8″ and find that EB sleeves run short on me.

    • Anonymous :

      It means that the measurements are the same as the regular size chart, the length is just longer. So if you fall under M on the regular size chart but are 5’10”, you’d be a Medium Tall.

    • applesauce :

      I’m 6’1″ with the same bust size and consistently wear Eddie Bauer medium tall, though I have an old version of this coat and don’t like a lot of extra room in my outerwear.

  5. Apologies in advance for the vent :

    I don’t understand why someone always chooses to take the stall next to me at work, especially when all of the other stalls are free. We have a huge women’s bathroom with many stalls! I’m trying to forget that I have to be in such an intimate space with my coworkers. And I work in cube land and I really cherish a minute of peace and quiet… / end rant.

    • If it makes you feel any better, there is a woman from the another office on our floor who talks on her cellphone while doing anything and everything in the (four stall) bathroom. Irrespective of whether anyone else is in there.

      Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve had this at the airport. Really lovely to have my functions involuntarily broadcast who-knows-where.

        I’d pay for some jamming technology or some sort of flatulence machine to activate during such calls. Aren’t people creeped out by the flushing in the background?!

      • We also have one of those :(

    • Anon in NYC :

      Haha. I have so many complaints about my office’s bathrooms. In addition to yours, it seems like people in my office just go and sit in the stalls. Sometimes all stalls are taken and there’s no noise coming from any of the stalls. Are people asleep? Are they playing on their phones? Are they embarrassed? It’s so annoying.

    • YES. And I had one lady come into our 8 stall bathroom, and pick the one right next to mine, and proceed to get super violently ill. If you feel that coming on, could you not do it one foot away from me, separated only by a plank of maroon laminate? Sheesh.

      • Anonymous :

        Was it the closest free stall to the door? Not everyone has a ton of ‘warning’ about when they’re going to be sick. When I was pregnant there were several times I didn’t even make it to the bathroom…

        • Anonymous :

          Yes — I had an incident where something at lunch made me violently ill. I can recall sprinting down the hall, peeling off my dry-clean-only blazer, and then being all OMG must leave the handicapped stall free and just bolted into the first open one. Sorry to the neighbor that day; likely won’t be repeated.

        • No, I was in the next to farthest from the door.

    • Marshmallow :

      There is a group of women in my office who seem to just hang out in the bathroom, chit chatting with each other, sometimes on their phones, etc. I mean, we don’t have a break room, but still.

    • Edna Mazur :

      Yes yes yes. If they are all full no worries, if I am sitting by my lonesome in the end stall, why, why do you have to come right next to me when there are THREE that aren’t. This is my bugaboo too.

    • Anonymous :

      Survey. . . if your “efforts” leave evidence that doesn’t go away in two flushes, do you run and hide or keep trying to get rid of the evidence? This is a single stall bathroom used by 2 men and 1 woman.

    • Anon for this Judge :

      I feel your pain.

      The very best thing about this job is having my own private bathroom. I am not even kidding.

      • I have Crohn’s Disease. I would probably seriously considering offing someone for my own private restroom at work.

  6. I absolutely hate it when women are described as girls. I looked at the seller’s website just to make sure this isn’t actually a child’s coat. It is not, so why can’t they come up with a name for their product that doesn’t infantalize grown women? Always Adventuring Trenchcoat. Not hard.

    /steps off soapbox

  7. anon for this :

    I supervise an attorney who is having a really rough year and it is effecting his performance. He is in his fifties. In the past 6 months: Both of his siblings have died; He and his oldest daughter were both in separate, serious car accidents requiring hospitalization; His younger daughter was involuntarily committed and is battling a drug addiction; his dog died; and his home was burglarized. On top of all of that, he was hospitalized this weekend for a stomach condition that is likely stress related. Before all of this, he wasn’t a top performer, nor particularly pleasant to work with, but he was getting his work done competently. However, performance has been awful over the past 6 months. I am inclined to say that is understandable. Usually once someone has been doing poorly for 6 months, they would be put on some sort of improvement plan, which is a form of discipline and a step towards being fired. My boss (THE boss), has suggested that I should move forward with such discipline. I feel like this is a bit inhumane, but wonder if I am being too soft. Any guidance?

    • Anonymous :

      Would he be eligible for FMLA? or STD? Could part of the performance plan involve taking an appropriate amount of time away from work to address personal issues so that he can

      I think FMLA can be used in ways other than all at once. Is he eligible to work a reduced schedule? Like 60% 80%? That would allow him time to attend medical appointments etc and be more focused on his work when he is at the office.

      • +1

        Creative, humane solution time. He needs time to get it together. I don’t think putting him on an “improvement plan” would get the results –better performance– your boss (and you) want. But I think giving him a chance to heal/reset might do that. Short term investment now = longer pay off for him and the firm. “Requesting” he take time off would firmly convey the message that the firm knows he’s struggling AND that it’s affecting his performance-and that you want/expect improvement. It’s not either-or.

        I worked for a law firm that fired a woman who had a baby who turned out to have a devastating heart condition because of “performance issues.” That firm also saw an in-office suicide from someone who was slowly and obviously breaking down for months and months. That firm also soft-fired me for reasons involving ADA-protected reasons. Don’t be that firm. Please.

    • Anonymous :

      My firm used to sack non-performers who were horrible human beings while they were on maternity leave. Until we got sued, maybe?

      At any rate, we don’t sack nonpeformers now (even if truly vile and horrid to work with) until they’ve been back from leave at least a year.

      I’d give him at least 3 months and reassess. The headline risk, etc. aren’t worth it.

    • Anonymous :

      I fear I may be the person in this position. . . I’d say to err on the side of humanity.

    • Inhumane. I’d push back for sure. The fact that he is even coming to work is a success story in my mind.

      • Anonymous :

        +1.

      • +2

        Mercy, please mercy….

        This list is really brutal.

        I would meet with him, and let him talk. Tell him that you guys want to support him at work, and ask what can be done to help him get through this. And let him talk. Ask if he is getting the health care he needs, and if FMLA would be helpful. Know what resources are available if he needs Behavioral Health options, or other things you guys may offer for stress reduction (from exercise to therapy to ???). I would start with that before getting anywhere near a PIP.

        And please… I sense you don’t know his own medical history, so please tread carefully when discussing his health issues.

    • First Year Anon :

      Honestly I think that would be cruel. I would try to be more compassionate and maybe work out a plan for performance, but not in a ‘we are putting you on notice’ type of way. I feel like the guy could also use a couple of days off to recharge.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yeah, I agree.

      • This is what I was going to suggest. Can you have an informal meeting with him and acknowledge that he is having a rough year and ask if he needs to take some time off and/or discuss with him other ways to make it possible for him to continue to work while dealing with personal issues (flex time, etc.). It lets him know that people are noticing his performance issues but is also a much more compassionate way of handling the issue.

    • This to me is the perfect occasion for a PIP. Put him on a performance improvement plan and provide specific, concrete guidance re which actions need improving or changing. You can talk about things that have slid recently and also let him know that he needs to change some of the prior behaviors (why did you let him get so bad _before_ all of this happened!?!) A separate, related solution would be to check whether he would like to go to 80% time for the next three months in order to deal with his out of work commitments which are uncharacteristic and obviously very taxing.

      Unless there are issues with client representation sliding which rise to the level of ethics/bar discipline, expecting anyone who has gone through all that you listed to maintain a normal workload is nuts. There are times that as an employer, you need to have some humanity and express compassion, but also let the employee know that you know he’s not performing up to snuff and that he really needs to step it up. This is one of them.

      Also, make this be a real, genuine PIP, not a CYA path toward firing him without giving him a chance. Ask him to step up and see if he can do it. Presume good intentions. Support him. It’s not your job to run a charity employing people who don’t perform their job duties, but sheesh…poor man.

    • As someone who has had a craptastic last three months, including but not limited to the death of a parent from end stage dementia, and whose work has suffered as a result, I would like to ask that he not be disciplined. I would suggest an informal, private conversation that acknowledges the challenges he has been facing and that asks what can be done to help him get back on track.

    • Holy hell. Just reading the list of what he has been through has me on the verge of tears, even assuming this guy is an asshole. Two dead siblings or two hospitalized kids or one’s own hospitalization should be enough to get you a grace period, but all in 6 months? Unless his performance is leading to deaths or maimings, I would come up with an improvement plan (not necessarily discipline) and an empathetic way to explain it to him.

      • Anonforthis :

        I had my sister and father pass within a year of each other. It took 90 days after each event for my former clarity of mind to return. I used my bereavement and vacation time up after each event; it was not enough to cover this whole time period but did help. Make sure he does the same and have a bit more patience. He will start bouncing back soon. If you put him on a PIP it will be counterproductive because the last thing he needs is more stress.

  8. How do you manage to not quit the job you have and hate while actively job searching? I hate my job and my boss! I have anxiety over her daily tantrums and I have even cried more times than I’d like to admit. I’m doing everything I can to find a new job, networking, LinkedIn, additional certifications, etc. I can take a financial hit and be unemployed for a few months, but I know it is easier to find a job when you are employed. How do you keep your sanity when you’re at a soul sucking job?? Avoiding my boss is not an option. It’s a very, very small law firm.

    • Anonymous :

      If you can afford it, set a definite end date, e.g., you will do your best to job hunt but you will quit one year from now with or without a job. That should make the remaining year a lot more palatable. Being in a toxic job with no definite end date (except “whenever I find something else”) is the worst, I’ve been there.

    • anon associate :

      It’s the worst. I’ve been there too. Tiny step that helped me sometimes: get a tiny little bucket from a garden store or craft store or whereever. Place it on your desk in an inconspicuous place. This is your F**K It Bucket. Mentally funnel every crappy thing straight out of your headspace and straight into there where it’s given all the importance it deserves (none). It’s all BS, it will all soon be part of the past where you can dump it out.

    • I’ve been there and it’s tough. I leaned way out and found regular things throughout the day to look forward to and use to kind of mark my time there, a morning walk, an afternoon coffee, things I knew I had after work to look forward to. I also did a lot of yoga and meditation trying to take care of my mental health despite the bad situation. I was lucky, I was only in that position for less than a year before my dream job opened up. Now I can say having gone through that I appreciate where I am even more. But it’s so hard when you’re in it. So, from somebody who has been there, you have my sympathy.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Currently in this situation too; I have leaned way out. Started running in the middle of the day too, that helps.

  9. Shopping Help! :

    I’m looking for slip-on sneaker or boat-shoe-type shoes to wear with jeans and shorts as the weather gets warmer. My feet are fairly narrow – Toms and Sperrys are too wide for me. I like Vans but I want something with a thinner sole. Any suggestions? TIA!

    • Keds sometimes has some cute slip ons.

    • I have some slip on Onitsuka Tigers I like a lot.

    • Not slip-on, but same vein–Supergas are super-cute and run narrow. Definitely pricier than keds, but also more Italian chic too!

    • I looked for a long time last year and ordered several pair that had to be returned b/c either too wide or they made my size 6 foot look like I was in dad’s sneakers. I wound up with a pair of tan leather keds that I really like. I believe they are the keds women’s crashback leather fashion sneakers. I have received many compliments on them. https://smile.amazon.com/Keds-Crashback-Leather-Fashion-Sneaker/dp/B00R5A3A0U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1491368266&sr=8-2&keywords=keds+leather+women

  10. Anonymous :

    TMI question. People who are not in a position to, ahem, have other people involved in their gardening parties for whatever reason, but still have *needs*, you know. . . what do you do? Just lots of self gardening?

    • Anonymous :

      …what else could you do? Your only options are self-gardening or gardening with other people, right? I don’t really understand the question.

    • Anonymous :

      What options are there other than self gardening if you can’t have another human being involved? Robots?

      • Anon for now :

        The Lelo has been regularly recommended here if you’re looking more on the robot side of things.

    • Anonymous :

      Self gardening and reading a lot of quality gardening books. Cause +1, what else can you do?

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Cold showers? Graham crackers?

      • SoCalAtty :

        Graham crackers are out – that evil big food company ruined it by adding machine processed flour and evil sugar. I suppose she could make her own at home using the original recipe…

  11. Anonymous :

    I’m sorry, maybe this wasn’t a question but a vent then!

  12. How often do you let yourself be hungry? Seems like everyone in my office has a constant pipeline of fruit, string cheese, and hummus at all times with constant patting themselves on the back re healthy snacking. Meanwhile I’m thinking – you’re sitting at a desk 8 hrs a day, not digging ditches – is it really THAT vital to keep your protein intake up? Is this just what we do as a society – snack constantly??

    • Anonymous :

      basically yes because people have stopped taking a decent break for meals.

      • Not true in this case. These people all bring/make breakfast in the office and heaven help you if you schedule a meeting preventing their noon lunchtime.

        • Yes, meetings interfering with lunch are terrible. Why? Because I haven’t eaten in hours and am actually hungry well before lunchtime. I don’t eat at 12:30 because I’m a robot programmed that way, it is because I either skipped breakfast or I ate a small, reasonable meal four hours before, knowing that I would get hungry and then eat again. And I won’t have another meal until I make it home seven hours later.

          As for snacking, sometimes it is motivational, or comforting, or social. What difference? I only care when it interferes with my own habits or if I feel like I am in danger of my own weight creeping up.

    • I’m trying to increase my hunger tolerance/willpower now! Somehow, as a kid, it was natural that you were ravenous while waiting for dinner to finish cooking, and Mom wasn’t handing you a bagful of Pop Corners to make it 15 minutes for the chicken to cook. But as an adult, having the means to make the “ahhh fooooood now” feeling disappear with a snack is super tempting!

      So far my cures have been (a) gum at work before lunch, and (b) allowing myself to pre-nibble on my side salad if I’m really hangry at dinnertime. At least it’s not a net increase in calories!

    • I mean, does it matter? I can see crunching or smells being annoying, sure. But otherwise, why waste energy caring about what or when other adults eat?

    • Marshmallow :

      Why are you annoyed about your coworkers’ snacking habits? Unless something is smelly or makes a lot of noise, I’d think it’s just not worth the effort to care.

      And no… you shouldn’t let yourself be hungry, if that was even a real question (?). Hunger means you should eat.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      This entire question is confusing.
      I get hungry when I need to eat. Sometimes that’s more often than others.
      I don’t pay attention to how often other people are snacking.
      I eat when I’m hungry. Sometimes that’s a meal. Sometimes that’s a snack. Sometimes that’s at 10 AM, sometimes I go the entire morning without eating anything.
      I assume that others are adults and are eating in an amount appropriate for them, when appropriate for them.

    • Anonshmanon :

      different eating habits work for different people. What’s it to you?

    • Wow – by the defensiveness I guess we know the ladies here are stuffing themselves all day long . . . .

      • Jitterbug :

        Wow – good to know you like to judge total strangers as well as the ladies in your office . . .

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

        What a nasty, unnecessary comment. Go away.

      • a milenial :

        what a troll. good for you for not eating *eyeroll *

      • Anonymous :

        You should think about having a snack, you might be less of a b * tch. The crankiest women I work with are the ones who are always bragging about how little they eat; they don’t seem to realize no one can stand them regardless of what they do or don’t eat.

        Also, it’s like super old-school to try to shame other women for eating. Did you come here in a time warp from 1957 or something? I hope while you’re here, you’re picking up tips for updating both your wardrobe and your attitude! Bless your heart.

      • This is so odd to me. You posted a question about people’s eating habits, people responded accordingly, and your reaction was calling people out on their “defensiveness” and accusing them of “stuffing themselves.” This is just so out of proportion and frankly makes no sense. I don’t get you.

      • Seek help for your depression and likely disordered eating–don’t just lash out at others. There is help.

    • Jitterbug :

      Why do you care? Are they loudly praising themselves for being healthy? Is the noise or smell bothering you? Or are you just annoyed that people eat more often than you think they should?

      I snack at work. Not sure why I get hungry so often, but I do, and I’m not productive when I’m hungry, so why not have a snack to keep hunger at bay and maintain relatively consistent blood sugar levels? And if I’m gonna eat, something with protein is probably a better option than a candy bar or a bag of chips.

    • Shopaholic :

      Wow I don’t understand why this is a problem but maybe because I’m on a meal plan where I eat 5 small meals a day, 4 out of 5 are eaten in the office because I’m there for 10 hours a day?

      I function better when I eat more frequently but (and healthy) smaller meals. I still do my job, occasionally with a side of cheese…

    • To answer your question literally as though your tone wasn’t weirdly accusatory, if I know I’m going to eat in the next hour and I’m hungry, I usually don’t snack. But if it’s 3 PM and I’m not eating until 7 and I’m hungry, I eat a small snack.

      To respond to your weirdly accusatory tone, why does other people’s snacking bother you so much?

    • Anonymous :

      That’s why everyone is overweight/obese nowadays and average dress size is ~14-16. Constant snacking is not healthy at all.

      • Anonymous :

        I know insecure people need to grasp at any possible straw to feel superior to others, and thus calm their constant gnawing feelings of inadequacy, but starving yourself or being a certain size does not mean you are better than other people. Being mean and cranky, however, will always mean you are an unlikeable person that few people want to spend time with. That’s within your power to fix, if you want to. And you might be happier overall. Think it over.

        • So being less than a size 14-16 means she’s “starving herself”? what kind of stupid assumption is that? These snacking comments are harsh, but true. No one needs to eat continuously all day, barring some serious condition. People on this site complain about random, petty things all day but no one cares about that until someone dare suggest they stop stuffing their face.

          • Anonymous :

            LOL. So if people here bug you that much with their “petty” problems – girl, why are you reading this? You don’t have anything better to do? Do you just come here so you can either have a reason to get ragey, or to feel superior? Sweetie, that doesn’t sound fun or healthy to me. Maybe try to find something else to do with your time. Go to yoga, or something. Find a way to channel​ that anger and disdain for others; it’ll eat you alive eventually. Feel better.

          • The snacking comments are not harsh but true. They are nonsense. (1) You have no idea what other people need. (2) Snacking at work does not equal stuffing your face. (3) It is none of your business if people are snacking for reasons you deem appropriate.

        • Anonymous :

          I am very secure and healthy, thank you very much. You are the one who is mean and cranky. So maybe you should take your own advice and “think it over”.

      • JuniorMinion :

        Snacking can be healthy – depends on what you are eating. Overweight / Obesity issues are complex and result from an interplay between lack of sleep coupled with what is being eaten / activity levels as well as weight history (you can crash diet and torpedo your metabolism).

        Signed – Person who eats 5-6 times a day because hanger….

      • I’m a size 2-4 and I snack probably every two hours. Banana, carrots and hummus, pb and apple, lentils and rice, etc. I bring small portions of a lot of things to work every day. So I probably look like I’m always eating, but I’m not sorry, it keeps my blood sugar in check and I can work better.

      • Actually I’m a size 4. I snack. Your understanding of nutrition is really quite poor.

    • I should let myself be hungry more, I know :( A lot of my worktime snacking is done out of boredom.

      • By which I mean, I don’t think I actually *am* hungry. Agreed that the original poster and follow ups are pretty awful and mean-spirited. Hope you get a chance to work on your obvious insecurities!

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Snacking while bored is totally different than snacking while hungry. Both are things to be aware of and address. Only one of them is a problem.

        And for god’s sake, maybe people can stop being bi*chy judgy humans and let other people live their life. Maybe saying something that is “harsh but true” is unnecessary. Just because you think it doesn’t mean it has to come out of your holier than thou mouth.

    • First off, I’m not really sure why you care at all about other peoples’ eating habits. In my experience, judging others is really just a symptom of not being at peace with your own life, so, both for your sake and everyone else’s, I hope that you are able to find greater happiness. But, since you asked? After I switched from 3 large, relatively unhealthy meals a day to 5-6 smaller, healthier meals (which I suppose to some unobservant person may look like “snacks”), I’ve lost about 20 pounds and dropped from a size 4 to a size 00. I exercise more now, too, but I attribute my change in meal habits to a lot of it. Separately, many people have all sorts of health issues (gastritis, etc.) that are exasperated on an empty stomach, and therefore need to “snack” often so as not to, you know, be in pain. TL;DR: stop judging, but also, you’re totally wrong about what’s healthy and what’s not. If you don’t want to snack, don’t! No one’s forcing you :)

  13. I’m finishing up a two year clerkship and applying to firms requesting a writing sample. I’m now three years out of law school, but everything I’ve written is confidential and ghostwritten. Do I polish up my (looking back as a third year practitioner) awful law school Note or try to author a piece of an article? What have people in similar situations done?

    • Could you do a bench memo that is redacted but solely your work product?

    • Marshmallow :

      Can you ask your judge about using a section from a previous, unedited draft of an opinion that was ultimately published (therefore, not confidential)?

    • anonymous :

      If you have substantially written any judgments, orders, opinions or reasons, I think you can get permission from your judge to use one of those, or even just a portion without the factual section. I also used bench memos with redactions, with permission from my judge. Talk to your judge, this won’t be the first time this has come up.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to talking to your judge. Mine was fine with me using a redacted bench memo, but it sounds like that may not be the case for you.

  14. Networking :

    Going to a networking event where I won’t know anyone. Bringing a friend. But how do we make this productive vs. just a free happy hour? What are some of your favorite ways to break the ice?

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly? By not bringing a friend. It forces you to meet people.

    • Not bringing a friend. Position yourself in a way so that you see people entering the event – not literally at the door but in line of sight to the door. Then as they get close – smile/make eye contact. I did this last time and I was shocked how many people walked over and introduced themselves – prob bc they were alone too and “relieved” that someone was acknowledging them.

    • Anonshmanon :

      Honestly, if you are not too anxious, it might be more productive with not bringing the friend.
      In case you know who will attend, you can decide in advance if you’d really like to meet a specific person. Depending on the size of the event and how much you want to meet them, you can contact them in advance and schedule something (more appropriate for a multi-day conference).

      If you just want to meet some people, it’s always worked well for me to take the plunge and approach a group of people at some table. “Hi, do you mind if I join you? My name is Hermione” They most likely will welcome you and the small talk begins.

      If you need to ease into it, you can pick someone who is standing solo somewhere. Zero risk of rejection. A group is typically more fun though.

    • Jitterbug :

      I like going to the food table, making a comment to someone about something delicious (or asking how something is) and then introducing myself. I’ve had some great professional conversations that started at the food table.

  15. flowy top to wear over skinny jeans :

    I have some skinny jeans that I like but don’t wear b/c I don’t like how they look from the rear (shows to much for my comfort level). I bought a thin tunic-type sweater to wear over, but it is too bulky and made me look like a giant rectangle on lollipop sticks. Any recommendations for patterend flowy tops that come down long enough in the back to cover the rear?

    I saw someone wearing my ideal top and should have flagged her down.

    This is for casual, not for the office.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Pleione has this kind of top. I find them a lot at Nordstrom Rack.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I layer a long, lightweight cardigan over a flowy tank top – the different colors/patterns/textures help avoid that “rectangle” feeling.

    • I have a bunch of tops from Vince Camuto that are long in the back. Because they’re more flowy shirt and not tunic, they dont look boxy

  16. Shopaholic :

    I’m a mid-level associate and had an interview today. I met 4 partners, 2 at a time. I assume I should send a thank you email to each of them separately?

    The first pair asked me for a writing sample – so should I send them a joint email thanking them, attaching the writing sample?

    I forgot how hard this was…

    • Separate emails for each person you interviewed with. Writing sample should be a stand-alone email, IMO, but can be jointly addressed.

    • I would do a separate thank you email to each of them, and include the writing sample as an attachment for the two that requested it.

  17. Sloan Sabbith :

    What’re your favorite trader joe’s meals? I’m looking more for the ones you toss into the oven, not microwave meals.

    I bought their new verde enchiladas last night and wish I’d bought two packages- they’re absolutely fantastic. I added some shredded cheese to the top before baking. I think it would have been even better if I had some cotija cheese or crema to add to the top. There’s some on there already, but a bit extra would be good.

  18. I’m on my second Girl-on-the-Go Trench Coat. I wore out my first one. It manages to be warm, waterproof, and shaped enough to be flattering. I’m 5’2″ and bought a petite.

  19. My favorite blazer needs to be relined, and that’s going to be about $70. Do I NEED to reline it? Or can I just keep wearing it indefinitely with torn up lining? Will i be causing more damage to it if I do this?

    • Anonymous :

      Sadly, I can say from experience that you will likely continue to do more damage, so you should probably bite the bullet.

  20. Endometriosis :

    I started taking a progesterone-only pill under the guidance of a specialty gynecologist while I mull over the decision to have my endometriosis surgically removed. I’m taking it everyday, no placebo week. I started after my last period ended and when I reached my next “period”, the spotting started. It’s the 10th day of spotting. Hooray for no blood and tolerable cramps for a day or two but does the spotting ever stop? Also, recs for favorite panty-liners?

    • Spotting totally depends on the individual. As for having endo removed, I beg you to please make sure your surgeon is a specialist in the removal of endo and that they focus on excision only. Anyone who burns what they find or who sees it and plans to then try to use hormones or lupron to deal with it is the wrong person. I’ve studied this disease for more than 20 years and it is amazing how many women have multiple surgeries and are told this is due to the disease when really it’s due to surgeons claiming to know what to do and not actually knowing. One of the top in the US is the Center for Endometriosis Care. Their website has tons of helpful info and the staff can also help you to figure out what to ask your surgeon to know if they’re truly able to handle the disease removal. PLEASE don’t trust that they must know what they’re doing because they say they do, doing this led me to need 3 surgeries and to find out the 1st 2 not only didn’t help but actually injured my body and made the actual final excision that much tougher. <3

      • full of ideas :

        Totally agree. My spotting lasted months, but it was better than getting a period.
        Cant stress the importance of excision enough!! Also, consider getting an IUD while you’re under.
        Good luck, endo is a shitty disease…

  21. Sloan Sabbith :

    I vote Kat does a post just about what snacks are best for work after that question above…

    My faves:
    Hummus with pita chips (sundried tomato and rosemary from TJ’s, spicy hummus from TJ’s)
    Fruit
    String cheese or cheese and crackers
    Pretzels and peanut butter (or apples and peanut butter)
    Oats and honey granola bar (crumbs. Crumbs everywhere).
    TJ’s macrona almonds, although that becomes a problem because they’re addictingly good
    Yogurt
    Air popped popcorn
    Goldfish crackers (or goldfish grahams, because I’m secretly 3)

    What are yours? What do you keep in your office/office kitchen for snacking?

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Jar of almond/sunflower seed butter + spoon.

      I hear you on those almonds – SO GOOD.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I love all those snacks!

      Maybe she can do a post on people who feel they need to be the food police? I was for sure raised by the Sherriff and know many Deputies.

    • Anonymous :

      Grapes
      Baby carrots (I don’t dip them in anything)
      String cheese and turkey slices
      Bananas and those individual packs of almond butter from Justin’s (I think I got that idea from this blog!)
      If I’m craving sweets, I love the 100-calorie packs of Emerald Cocoa Roast almonds, usually kills the craving.
      Dang Coconut Chips are also good for sweets cravings.
      Roasted hazelnuts mixed 1 to 1 with low-sugar dried cranberries is a real fave of mine. A 1/3 cup serving is enough for me to feel full, and it satisfies both the salty/crunchy and sweet/sour cravings at once.

      • sweetknee :

        Little individual size cups of Breakstone’s cottage cheese; 100 calorie packs of Almonds; Premier protein ready made shakes; Parm crisp crackers. . . .

    • JuniorMinion :

      Kept at office:
      Protein bars (Costco kirkland brand – taste like Quest for less $)
      Lara bars
      TJ’s rosemary marcona almonds (I see you Sloan :)
      TJ’s thai chili lime cashews
      pistachios
      almonds

      Brought daily to work (Because I can’t leave the house without the whole fridge apparently…)
      TJ’s full fat plain greek yogurt
      baby carrots
      banana

    • layered bob :

      if I worked next to the judgy snack lady:
      tuna
      hard boiled eggs
      cheetos
      burnt popcorn

      in real life:
      everything from Trader Joe’s, but especially the “just a handful” packages of cashews
      dried mango
      whole milk greek yogurt and paleo granola
      veggie tray (too lazy to cut my own veg) and hummus
      tortilla chips and single-serve packages of guac
      instant oatmeal
      LaCroix and kombucha

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      Nuts. Either low salt mixed nuts or low salt peanuts.
      Fruit. Preferably something small and multi-piece so I don’t get stuck with my mouth full of banana when the phone rings.
      I also keep some granola bars in my desk for no-lunch days.

    • anon a mouse :

      The commenter above could have been in my office — I basically snack all day, don’t eat a real lunch, and often don’t eat much for dinner.

      Single-serve guacamole from Costco plus baby carrots
      Clementines
      Babybel cheese
      Celery sticks and peanut butter
      Nutella and apple slices
      Instant oatmeal
      The single-serve nut packets from Trader Joe’s
      Chocolate-covered espresso beans for days I need a pick-me-up

    • Sugar snap peas
      Fruit
      Kirkland nut bars (so good and no peanuts)
      Baby carrots and hummus

  22. I want to start sewing again. I’ve never sewn from an actual pattern but from clothing I replicated. Any blogs/tutorials that are good references? Any good free patterns?

    • Check out the Colette Sorbetto free pattern. They have sew-alongs that you can follow as well as very detailed patterns.

    • I really liked Sewaholic, which had a line of patterns (not free) and a blog that had sew-a-longs and information specific to the patterns. There hasn’t been a lot of new activity lately, but the archives are good. Lladybird is another sewing blog I really like.

      If you can find an in-person buddy, that can be really helpful too. Most pattern instructions are REALLY basic/thin – and assume you know the finishing techniques you need to do between the steps they list.

    • I sew too, and went down the youtube rabbit hole of fabric hauls and monthly makes videos. Sew over it sells pdf patterns, and has great tutorials, and videos on youtube, though I have not made their patterns. Sewaholic patterns are well drafted, and collette patterns fit well if you are bustier. Lately, I have had luck with new look patterns and simplicity.

      Check out pattern reviews for the top patterns of 2016— this would be a great place to start. Before I sew or buy a pattern, I google the pattern number and company on pattern review, and see what others have made, and how challenging or easy the make has been.

  23. body-positive shopping practices :

    This article is making the rounds on Facebook, and I thought it was pretty compelling. I understand that–as with all kinds of “conscious” or “intentional” consumption–these strategies aren’t available to all of us. (And the headline is pretty unnecessarily provocative.) Curious for others’ thoughts and whether anyone who usually shops straight-size has implemented these practices.

    https://theestablishment.co/why-dont-we-think-fat-people-are-worth-fighting-for-672ffe55934b

    • JuniorMinion :

      I just read your link and thought it was interesting. Where I agree with her is in the availability of clothing issue. I am a big Asos shopper, and have noticed that the Europeans seem to have much less energy around this / much more availability of clothes for different body types / life situations (they have great plus (Asos Curve) as well as great maternity / nursing wear that looks like actual people would wear it…). I can only imagine that must be incredibly frustrating.

      Where she loses me a bit is in linking being plus sized to not feeling comfortable in trends / a suit. While I am not trying to invalidate her feelings, I would challenge that this only applies to plus size folks – I think a huge array of people struggle with this. I know personally, as someone who is more Joan Holloway less runway model I am conscious of the fact that there is a ton of stuff that just doesn’t work on my frame (RIP button down shirts…) and that I look a… certain way in even perfectly appropriate and conservative clothing. I watch my co workers wear adorable outfits all the time that on me would look x rated but at some point you have to dress the body you have.

    • I know people aren’t going to like this response, but I’ll say it anyway. I do not understand why the author thinks that I, a straight sized woman, should consider changing my behavior but apparently she, a plus sized woman, does not need to. I do not like this idea of the fat acceptance movement. Being fat is not good for a person’s health and well-being. And yet we are being encouraged to accept it as an acceptable lifestyle choice. Why are we okay with rejecting smoking but we must embrace overweight? Both create adverse health consequences, the expenses of which we all bear. Yet both can be justified by the idea that one should be allowed to do whatever she wants with her body and other people just need to accept it. I reject this idea for both. Speaking in generalities, maintaining a healthy weight is better for the body and for the medical expenses we all end up sharing through insurance.

      I am slender. However, I have been overweight at other times in my life and I have PCOS which makes controlling my weight quite difficult. Being slender is important to me because it’s good for my health. And so I eat very carefully and exercise daily.

      I reject her premise suggesting the best thing to do is to support overweight people. No. I think we should help people aquire better habits so they do not suffer the detriments of being overweight.

  24. Our President’s response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons on his own people (a war crime): it was Obama’s fault. And that is his entire response.

    This is how 6 million Jews ended up dying. For God’s sake, I try not to hate Trump supporters, but I don’t know how much more I can stomach.

    • I feel the exact same way today. I’m angry at Trump and I’m angry at the people who voted for him. I feel helpless and hopeless.

      • Anonymous :

        +1
        Why HAS no one done anything all these years?

        • We should have moved early and decisively, but it was very difficult to do when there was so much resentment about getting involved in Iraq and ongoing efforts trying to decrease our interventions worldwide (pulling out of Iraq, Afghanistan).

          So we waited…. until it was too late…. and now? We just don’t care enough. The collective “we”. Including Trump, of course.

          And when we wait, the world waits. While Russia supports the other side.

          • OP here. I totally get that Obama didn’t do what he could, either.

            What gets me is that POTUS BLAMES Obama. Not Assad. Not Putin. But OBAMA. He has such a disregard for human life (see RyanCare)…and how he has an army. I am petrified that, after all his lying, he may actually tweet one morning, “It’s War!” And he may be right, but you know what? I won’t believe him.

            It’s true that I pass for a privileged elite that has opportunities for housing and employment. But I have also have chunks of my family tree that are just missing, without death certificates. Just “disappeared into Auschwitz.” Tell me, great expanses of the mid-West blue collar Trump supporters, what does your family tree look like? Have you ever been frisked because your skin is dark? Had an uzi pointed at you because you had the wrong color passport? Did your grandmother tell you stories that her cousins were executed and left in a ditch?

            I am angry. Angry and scared. Thank you for listening to me rant.

        • Short answer: because Assad is allied very closely with the Russian regime, and we have delicate relations with Russia. FIVE MILLION Syrians have left as refugees in recent years and I don’t even know how many people have been killed. It’s a tragedy.

    • Anonymous :

      To be fair, it was not his *entire* response. But I agree it was bizarre and completely unpresidential to release a statement about this that slams Obama. Whatever you think of Obama or how he handled the situation, he’s gone now and the President of the US needs to look forward and place blame on the terrorists and war criminals, not on his predecessor.

  25. I have this trench in black and absolutely love it. I purchased the removable lining which is very warm but bulky/ heavy, so in retrospect would rather just wear a packable small down jacket underneath when I want the warmth.

    The black color is not in the slightest bit shiny and I really appreciate that it is 100% waterproof. I’ve worn it in numerous downpours and stayed dry. Working in NYC banking, I think it is plenty professional looking for a raincoat and wear it most days in the winter and spring. Would highly recommend.

    • Yes! I am the one who is constantly recommending it. (Reader since nearly inception, and finally Kat thinks one of my recs is cool enough to do a post on (squee!).

      I have a slightly older version that does not have a removable lining, and I have it in the dark purple insulated version. It’s not shiny. It’s very flattering with my auburnish hair (black is too harsh). I wear this constantly in Fall, early Winter and Spring in Boston. It really does keep me remarkably dry, including today, when I wore it to walk the doodle, and then for my 25 minute walk to work in sideways rain (no umbrella either time). I love that it comes in Tall and layers well over real clothes.

      Like other commeters, I am not sure if the version I have is getting a bit worn out, but after 2 years of near-constant wear, I have certainly gotten my money’s worth. Love this jacket!

  26. Wildkitten :

    I might need to sue for a very well documented, very small claim in DC. The monetary value is almost negligible, but I am a good enough lawyer to know that only a really dumb lawyer would be her own lawyer. I’d expect it to take less than 5 hours and I’d want to spend less than $1000. Any recc’s?

    • Wildkitten :

      The former Mr. Kitten is arguing to keep something that is very very very well documented as mine. And we were not actually married, but I want my property back. TYVMIA!

      • 1) that sucks and I’m sorry to hear that. 2) I would just sue him in small claims court. I agree with the general principle not to be your own lawyer but I don’t think it applies here

    • Anonymous :

      Do it yourself in small claims court. It’s designed to not require a lawyer.

  27. Anonymous :

    I was having some trouble deciding what to go with this Spring/Summer as far as coats are concerned. It’s too hot but then it might rain, it leaves you in an awkward position. For example, a full length trench might give you coverage but sweat patches in a meeting don’t look great!

    Then I realised that there are multiple styles of trench (I know I’m out of the loop) and I’m thinking of going ahead with a half-length:: http://www.jackwills.com/ladies/clothing/coats-and-jackets/how-to-style-a-trench-coat/

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