Thursday’s Workwear Report: Jacquard Knit Fit & Flare Dress

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

Stay warm outside, readers! Considering all the crazy weather I was half-tempted to post something silly — a huge down-filled sleeping bag coat, or perhaps an evening gown for lounging around the house, as you do — but instead let’s go with this lovely knit sweater dress, which will be great when weather returns to normalish, non-frigid winter temperatures. (April, maybe?) I can only find the geometric pattern pictured here in plus sizes, but there’s a very similar rib knit dress in regular sizes (and on sale for $70, too.) The pictured dress is $89. Jacquard Knit Fit & Flare Dress

P.S. Some new beauty markdowns hit Nordstrom’s sales section today — I just bought a set of 5 Laura Geller waterproof eyeliners for $13, and in colors I actually like. Lots of Clinique value sets and MAC brushes, as well as other good stuff — definitely worth a look.

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Comments

  1. I’m going on a two week vacation in Europe. Lots of walking and sight seeing. What shoes should I wear? I’m a flats and sandals person typically. I was thinking of bringing one pair of sandals, one pair of flats and a pair of walking shoes. I’m looking at allbirds for the walking shoes. Any other suggestions? I want to be comfy but also stylish. None of the flats or sandals I own hold up well for walking long distances, though I do have a new pair of Birkenstocks that might work. Any suggestions appreciated!

    • BabyAssociate :

      What time of year are you going? I’ve worn Kork Ease boots on my last two Europe trips and they’ve been great for 10+ miles of walking a day.

      • I’m going the last week of May through the second week of June. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • Kirk ease sandals are pretty comfy, if you get the cork base ones. I have also had great success with Gentle Soles. Walked for miles and miles on cobblestones with no issues.

      • And where – what I’d wear in Italy is different than what I might wear in Paris.

        • The walking will mainly be in Paris, Dublin and London. We are renting a car to drive through the rest of Ireland, Scotland and England.

          • In spring/early summer it might be cool in Dublin/London and warmer in Paris. I was in both London and Paris last spring and it seemed like every woman I saw was wearing Stan Smiths (or throwback New Balance – me and women in their 40s/50s in Paris). I totally think on-trend sneakers are OK and will be way more comfortable for walking than flats or sandals. Maybe also low cut booties for cooler days (I’ve stomped all over the world in my Frye Sascha booties – no socks, very comfortable), and bring one pair of flats for evening.

            In Ireland, most women were wearing black, flat ankle boots.

            Might be too chilly for Birkenstocks but man, those are great walking shoes. We did something like 12 miles at Disney one day and my feet were happy as could be in my Gizehs.

        • Aquae Sulis :

          I went to Dublin in May/June, and it was cold and raining – I wore black trainers or boots.

    • If it works with your style, you can get a pair of the minimalist Nike sneakers in cute colors and wear with jeans. They are obviously great for walking and comfy. They can also be quite stylish. I usually do: bright sneakers, jeans, casual jacket (like an anorak), scarf.

    • I spent almost two weeks in NYC, Paris and Rome with only Mephisto sneakers and Ecco gladiator sandals at the end of last summer. My feet hurt at the end of each day, but I wasn’t in so much pain that I had blisters, had to end the day early, etc. I also didn’t feel like either shoe was overly touristy or that out of place.

      • If you need a pair of flats, I think the Ellen DeGeneres ones are the most comfortable- I’ll post a link. I wore them for a week around Florence and I appreciated the support and style. I’d bring a few pairs of shoes though, sometimes even in the best of shoes, you’ll want to switch styles later in the day. Maybe wear stylish sneakers or sandals during the day and flats at night. https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ed-ellen-degeneres-lilliane-cap-toe-ballet-flat-women/4510710?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashionsize=9&fashioncolor=BLACK%20LEATHER%2F%20PATENT

        • KateMiddletown :

          Those are so cute! I’m glad to hear her shoes aren’t garbage.

          • I have a pair (one with “love” on the toes and I really like them–more support than most flats and they came in a size 5.

    • If you need a pair of flats, I think the Ellen DeGeneres ones are the most comfortable- I’ll post a link. I wore them for a week around Florence and I appreciated the support and style. I’d bring a few pairs of shoes though, sometimes even in the best of shoes, you’ll want to switch styles later in the day. Maybe wear stylish sneakers or sandals during the day and flats at night.

    • I lived in Ecco sandals in France last summer.

    • I love my Ecco Damara sandals. They’re more comfortable than flats, have a little bit of cushioning, and didn’t rub at all when I walked long distances in them.

      • Oops, they are the “Damara Ankle Strap”. I didn’t realize there are multiple kinds. Can’t speak to the regular Damara.

    • I opt for Cole Haan Lunargrands just for these types of trips. More stylish than an ugly white tennis shoe but all of the comfort and support of one.

    • Definitely Birkenstocks. Bring along a little leather polish in a ziplock to keep them looking nice, but they are the only shoes I was able to wear without significant pain after walking 8+ miles a day in Paris.

    • Sneakers. Everyone wears them.

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1

        I was in Paris in October and everyone was wearing cute sneakers.

      • Yep. Sneakers. If it rains your feet will get filthy in sandals.

      • +1 I used to worry about footwear and fitting in but learned while living there and through various travels that a) nobody cares and b) sneakers for lots of walking, nicer shoes for nice events, etc. just like here.

        Also, the hands down best comfy sneakers I’ve found for lots of walking (worn them for pay few trips) are the cheap memory foam ones from WalMart, of all places. I believe they are 12ish a pair, but they are better for long distance walking of all sorts of landscapes for my (very problematic) feet than anything else. I bring a couple pairs and rotate, but I have to do that normally with my feet.

    • As most of these cities will have cobblestone streets and you plan to walk for quite some time, I would pack well-cushioned flats (ballet flats are pretty universal) and smart cushioned sneakers. I live in Prague, which is cobblestoned and well walkable city and I know too well what fancy sandals can do to your feet. I love Clarks flats.

    • I just spend a week in Rome and split my time between my Allbirds sneakers and my Blondo boots (which are both very comfortable and waterproof – which might be a good thing that time of year in those cities). I would think it would not be warm enough for sandals or ballet flats unless they are having an unusually warm spring.

  2. I just started Retin-A Micro. Does anyone have any experience with this? I’ve read horror stories about peeling and an acne purging stage. I’m already acne-prone, but am using this for anti-aging.

    • It dried my skin out like crazy. I had to stop using it. It works for some people though.

    • Cerave Moisturizing Cream helped me a lot when I was adjusting to using a retinoid. It contains ceramides, whatever those are, which allegedly help.

    • You can try applying it every other day or even every third day at first until your skin gets used to it. Waiting 20 minutes after washing your face to apply RetinA, then another 20 minutes after applying RetinA to apply moisturizer, can also help.

      Use sunscreen daily!

      • pugsnbourbon :

        This is similar to what I do (except I usually don’t wait the full 20 minutes after I wash my face). I started using regular Aveeno body wash as a face wash – it was gentler than the foaming cleanser I had been using. At night I’ll use Aveeno body lotion on my face if it feels extra dry. I never had an issue with purging but I was also taking spiro at the same time.

    • givemyregards :

      I use it and started out, as others have mentioned, doing every other day and building up to every day. When it got colder my skin got really dry, so I started mixing it in with a drop of squalene when my skin was flaky (just a $10 bottle from amazon) which has really helped and hasn’t seemed to reduce the efficacy of the retin-A (at least as far as I can tell re: acne).

    • KateMiddletown :

      Look on YouTube at beauty bloggers. Many people use this for anti aging and if you’re not careful retinols can do more harm than good. Best of luck!

      • Can you elaborate on what you mean by this?

        • There are several videos on youtube explaining how to use it and tips, etc. Just search for “retin A” and you will get a ton of hits.

        • On youtube there are videos that demonstrate how to use Retin A, tips, etc. If you search for “retin A,” you will get a bunch of hits.

    • Use sunscreen during the day! Since you have acne (I do too) I recommend a mineral sunscreen, active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

      Retinoids make you more prone to sunburn.

    • Another tip. Really do not use more than a pea sized amount. It seems it won’t cover the whole face but it will. Put a pea size drop on your finger, dot your forehead, each cheek and your chin, then “connect the dots.” This was my derm’s advice and it works. Using more than a pea size is a big contributor to most people’s flaking and redness.

  3. Anyone have any words of wisdom or comfort? I am one of those people that has been posting about leaving their firm. I let a recruiter that I’ve been working with know that I left my firm (not on my own timeline, but leaving was part of my plan), and he acted that I was almost radioactive. Am I basically in an impossible position here? Am I ever going to find a new job? This guy acted like it is impossible.

    • You’re going to find it by reaching out to your friends and friends of friends (hand to g-d). And by being a useful friend / curious and cheerful and enthusiastic helper. Recruiters aren’t terribly helpful and they deal best with bright shiny things.

      — signed,
      Been there, done that, now an Equity Partner in BigLaw

      • Thank you so much for this. I need to hear more stories like this.

      • Truth! Recruiters are trying to get the bright shiny easy-to-place person that will earn them a commission. They’re emphatically NOT career counselors.

        That said, you can probably find a better/more empathetic recruiter, if you want.

        • Recruiters are not helpful unless you have something they want. Their job is to fill a position not help you find a job. That being said, I did hire a career counselor when I was transitioning out of law. She was very helpful with resumes, cover letters, strategy, interview prep and motivation/encouragement.

    • Of course not. That guy sounds like he’s the worst – I’d look for a new recruiter. There’s no reason to deal with someone negative. Sorry you’re going through this.

    • No this recruiter is not the one for you. It is SO common to be forced out of your firm when you start to get senior (and expensive), in particular if it’s an “up or out” firm – everyone knows this. You will find something.

    • That’s a bad recruiter – he’s priming you to take whatever job comes along first, regardless of whether it’s the right fit, so he can get a commission. Find someone else to work with – I promise you the job hunt with this guy would be miserable. He’d constantly be hounding you to take jobs you don’t want and making passive aggressive comments about how there won’t be much else out there for you.

    • Anonymous :

      Hard truth – to a recruiter, you are radioactive. BUT, that is because you are not a 100% perfect fit for the jobs that they are trying to fill.

      I am not a fan of legal recruiters personally. I have had a very non traditional path in my legal career and have been part of an actual mass lay off not seen since the great recession. My experience has been this – If your resume does not perfectly align with what they are looking for, they do not want to work with you. You are not any easy paycheck for them. For you, they’d have to think and be creative and actually try to sell you. Network your a$$ off and you will find a job. It will take probably 3 months of solid, every day, putting yourself out there networking. Trust me, I have been in your shoes.

    • If you want someone to chat with, feel free to email me: [email protected]

  4. Linda from HR :

    Question about dry cleaning, I have a winter coat with two leather belt hooks, and I tried taking it to a new dry cleaner that’s close to where I live right now. The dry cleaner I took it to in my old neighborhood didn’t seem to have a problem with it, and they were by no means a fancy, specialty leather expert shop (at least, they didn’t advertise themselves as such) but the coat always came out okay. Now, this new place has been good, but they’re telling me they can’t clean the coat because of the leather. I didn’t even realize the belt hooks were leather until she examined the coat and pointed them out! I’m still not convinced it is, I think it’s an imitation, the product details on the website I got it from said the trim is polyurethane, Now they’re asking permission but seem concerned they’ll ruin the coat if they clean it, and convinced it needs to be sent to an expensive specialist. Should I take it somewhere else, or is the risk actually pretty minimal?

    Is it possible for them to just spot clean it? I’m mostly worried about the armpit area, and the exterior which has dog hair embedded into the fabric after a family road trip.

    • If you’ve cleaned it before, it’s fine. My dry cleaner called me about a dress with leather trim – they’re just CYAing.

    • I’d take it somewhere else just because they were being weird about it.

    • Take it somewhere else.

      I think we’re in the same city… try Joplin if you’re out in the ‘burbs.

  5. Baconpancakes :

    Favorite non-heel shoes/shoe strategy for winter? Boots are a no-brainer for commuting, but in the office I still get chilly wearing my normal, more skin-exposing flats. I used to wear more heeled booties, but PT put the kibosh on that, and I only have one pair of low booties now, in tan suede. Right now I’m rotating that pair, my knee-high riding boots (I’m basic, whatever), and a pair of loafers with no-show Smartwool socks. The socks make a surprising amount of difference.

    I am very boring, and pretty much only wear black shoes. Specific links would be super appreciated, TIA!

    • My solution to this issue (which I also experience) is a space heater under my desk. Don’t know if that’s an option for you, but there it is….

      • Baconpancakes :

        I just bought a heating pad for my seat, but I’m in a lot of meetings in freezing cold conference rooms all day, and the bosses are weirdly against me plugging in a heating pad and plopping it on my lap in front of clients.

    • Softwalk Rocklin booties. They are cute, they are flat, they have a comfy insole, and they come in multiple widths.

    • Also a heated floor mat is awesome for cold offices – ours is directly above the parking garage, so the floor is freezing.

    • What is PT?

    • I borrow heavily from menswear for winter shoes. I have one pair of oxfords, and just got a pair of Chelsea boots. I’ll wear both with socks and pants, or tights.

      • Aquae Sulis :

        +1 I’m rotating brogues, Chelsea boots and some black lace-up ankle boots. I wear all of them with trousers and socks, or dresses and tights.

    • I just got a pair of the Cole Haan zerogrand oxfords and have been wearing them to work all week. They are so comfy and I get to wear fun warm socks

    • Anonymous :

      Everlane Boss Boots + Smartwools

  6. Favorite sweater dresses? I love dresses and realized that my winter wardrobe is so sparse. I’m a tall apple, if that helps?

    • Athleta.

      I have several and I think that they’d work better for someone who is tall and not a pear, so probably perfect for you. I wear them anyway b/c they are great, even if I can’t totally rock them as a 5-4 pear.

    • If you are tall, you may want to check out Everlane’s cashmere midi v-neck dress. It’s gorgeous, with just the right amount of drape. I’m only 5′ 3″ so it was too long for me. It’s also waitlisted right now, but worth the wait.

    • Anonymous :

      I recently bought a couple from J. Crew Factory that I really like.

    • I am increasingly Apple shaped as i get older. I don’t like sweater dresses per se because I feel they cling to my middle section. But I do like sweater separates- they are a little more graceful over the middle.

      If you can find Eileen Fisher washable wool crepe pieces in your size, they are a great bargain right now in post-holiday sales. They are like St John pieces at much lower price points. Try Neiman M or other big retailers, or just google.

    • Fellow tall appley person here. I have a fit-and-flare sweater dress that I got final sale from Jones New York when they went under. It’s so great. Most other sweater dresses make me feel like a sausage. I would look for that silhouette.

      I also have an Eileen Fisher wool sweater dress that I got at a consignment store. I really like it, but it is too short on me to wear to work. Super comfy though, and with some FLEECE TIGHTS kept me toasty in the frozen north.

  7. I’m going to continue a thread from yesterday afternoon that was continued from yesterday morning– “A post from earlier today made me think more about networking. How do you do it so it feels authentic and natural?”

    So, I’m an introvert too, and didn’t come from a white collar family where how to network was part of an understanding of the working world/something you began at prep school. What has worked really well for me is twofold–

    1. Making the networking a secondary part of the relationship. I joined the jr. league and have been on committees with lots of women who work at various accounting and financial . The primary reason I joined jr. league was to make friends and do community service, and that’s what I’ve focused on. But I am pretty sure that if I were looking around for a job, or just putting feelers out, I could contact any of these women who know me from being on committees together and ask them to keep an eye out for job openings at their workplace– they know my work ethic somewhat through my contributions to our fundraisers and community service projects.

    2. Keeping up old professional friendships/ not burning bridges when you leave. Accounting is a pretty high turnover industry. I have a “lunch bunch” and a pair of drinking buddies who are all my work friends from my old firm. The drinking buddies still work there, but a couple of folks in the lunch bunch have moved on to other jobs. I’m also on a board with another one of my former coworkers who left public accounting for a F500 company in town. We are all very open about helping each other or offering opportunities when the chance comes up. I know that if/when I’m ready to leave my current job I have standing job offers elsewhere.

    Basically, it feels authentic, because it’s based in friendship and mutual opportunities, rather than me trying to use a virtual stranger to get me something.

    • Jr. League :

      Can’t recommend the Jr. League enough. I know we’ve had conversations on here before about usefulness and experiences varying by city, but I’ve found that in my medium-ish size city, it’s mostly young professional women who just want to meet like-minded folks and help the community (with some old money women too, but they are also nice and want to help the community).

      The trainings are great and my network instantly expanded by virtue of all the activities you can partake in!

  8. Mont Tremblant :

    Any advice on where to stay in the pedestrian village? Will be skiing most of the time so I can’t decide between high end so I don’t have to worry vs. more middle of the road because we won’t be in the room a lot anyway.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      We stayed at the Fairmont a few years ago, and while it was nice and super convenient, I didn’t find that the rooms were nice enough to quite justify the price (pretty sure we paid north of $300 per night at the time). It’s worth it if you can get a deal. No other recs in the area, unfortunately.

    • Anonymous :

      I just got back from a 4 night stay at Tour des Voyageurs, which is the most budget option in the village (though still pretty expensive for the week between Christmas and NYE). On the whole, I don’t recommend it. For skiing, the location is better than everything other than the hotel that’s right on the slopes because it’s right across from the mini lift to the base of the slope and the ski storage room is good. However, the rooms are tired, it’s waaaaay understaffed (30 minute+ wait at check in desk/15 minute wait in line to get a new key when ours got deactivated), and our room reeked of cigarette smoke whenever our neighbors were around. We had a 1 br with pull out couch for our kids, and the pull out was totally broken. We dealt with it because there were no other rooms available (as we learned waiting in line to check in). If I were to go back, I’d look at reviews for the Residence Inn.

  9. Refence help? :

    I’m applying to a job I’m really interested in in another city. I have a unicorn legal job where almost no one ever leaves. I’ve been here eight years since law school and cannot figure out what to do about references. I can ask a current colleague but don’t think I can ask a current supervisor and not one of my supervisors have left in the last six years (see unicorn job). I’ve done adjunct teaching and so can ask that supervisor, but she obviously can’t speak to my litigation skills. Ideas? Thanks!

    • I’d just make do with what you can and not worry too much about it. References are overrated, IMO, unless you have a judge, someone really connected/prestigious sounding, or someone who personally knows someone involved in hiring.

      Why are you leaving a unicorn legal job?

    • Curious as to what your unicorn job is, to the extent you can share without outing yourself! :)

      • Refence help? :

        Sure – cutting-edge work in a niche legal area for a well-run government agency with good hours and great colleagues. We want to move cities for a number of reasons though.

        • This sounds kind of like my job :) In my office, I would probably ask a colleague that is senior to me. But also, (of course know your own office. . .) if I told my supervisor I love this job and am only looking around because of a move to a different city, he would be supportive.

          • +1 Of course, know your office. I supported a direct report in this situation.

          • Same. I’ve helped colleagues and those below me on the firm hierarchy in the past. However, I can’t ask any level of my supervisors, so I’m asking a colleague who is same level and has seen and peer-reviewed lots of my work. It’s a tough one!

    • Are you required to furnish reference at the application stage? I hate that. If not, I’d wait until you are at the offer stage and then quietly ask a supervisor that I trusted not to freak out (and who would give me a good reference). If you have to include them now, I might add something to my cover letter or materials that indicates you dont want them to contact your references until the offer stage.

      Can anyone in HR/Recruiting speak to this? It’s so ridiculous to have to furnish references just to apply for a job. Do you screen out candidates who say they will furnish them at a later stage? Do you ever check then prior to the offer stage? Can a candidate reasonably ask you to not check them until an offer is forthcoming?

      • HR Consultant :

        It is ridiculous to require references for a job application. But many applicant tracking systems have a widget where references are asked for, and many HR departments are lazy and don’t turn it off, so there you go.

        I would never disqualify a candidate for not providing references at time of application. That’s like asking for someone’s credit report on the first date. Whoa, we’re not there yet! I have disqualified candidates who wouldn’t provide references after multiple interviews, when we were close to the point of making an offer. I would recommend that if it gets to that point, the OP approach someone she works with – it doesn’t have to be a supervisor – about providing a reference. If this really is about geography and making a move that’s good for the family, there really shouldn’t be hard feelings. Supervisors are often more understanding about things like this than employees think they will be.

    • Sometimes in these situations you can fill out the form without giving a real name. For instance, you can use the name “Current Supervisor” as the reference with your phone number. If anyone asks, you can explain the circumstances and ask them to hold off on contacting your references until they’re ready to make an offer.

  10. Following the “favorites” questions above – favorite moisturizing body wash? Preferably something you can get at the drug store. The cold weather this winter is making my skin dry and kind of itchy. I don’t want to have to add the extra step of applying body lotion after showering so I’m hoping to find a body wash that can solve this problem. Thanks!

    • Olay Ultra Moisture body wash. When things get bad I also use Jergens wet skin moisturizer after showering but before toweling off. It’s much easier to remember that way and I”m less cold.

    • Aveeno is great

    • Not body wash suggestions, but…

      1) Don’t run your shower as hot. The hot water can be as problematic as the cold weather in drying out your skin.
      2) Consider getting a humidifier. It also helps to cut down on static electricity.

      • Every time I shower I have an internal conflict about this! I love a super hot shower, but it makes my skin and hair so dry. Lately it’s been so cold though that I just resigned myself to loading up on moisturizer.

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve tried to solve this by making the bathroom itself warmer – I’ve got a little space heater I run (since the apartment bathroom doesn’t have it’s own heating vent) while I’m in the shower. That way I’m not relying on the heat from the water to warm up the bathroom as much and can go with a lower water temp (which is still warm, just not as hot as possible).

    • Senior Attorney :

      It’s an extra step in the shower, but I’ve had great luck with using salt or sugar scrubs in the shower for dry skin.

    • I use that Nivea in-shower body lotion because for some reason applying it once you’re out of the shower seems like an insurmountable task. Otherwise I like the Aveno ultra soothing whatever they call it.

    • https://www.amazon.com/Aveeno-Positively-Nourishing-Hydrating-Body/dp/B002RDBL7Y?th=1

    • Not drugstore, but Lush body conditioner – apply post-bodywash and it acts like conditioner for your hair.

      DIY salt or sugar scrub: 1/2 c sugar or salt, 1/4-1/3 c olive oil, a few drops of essential oils or vanilla extract. Delicious, moisturizing, and easy.

    • Aveeno yogurt body wash vanilla and oats.

      http://www.aveeno.com/product/aveeno-+daily+moisturizing+yogurt+body+wash+vanilla+-+oats.do

      I bought this on a whim at Walgreens in November and this is the first winter where my legs haven’t been itchy and flaky. My husband has also been using it and denying it.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash, followed by body oil when your skin is still slightly damp (as opposed to lotion). That has helped me immensely this year!

    • Shower less often and less hot. Clean your pits and youknow on non shower days. And use lotion on the shower days. I like a thick body cream in the winter. For my money there’s nothing better than Aveeno baby cream. Nothing you use in the shower will give you this effect.

      • Anonymama :

        My skin is actually usually dryer when I don’t shower, oddly enough. But I agree don’t make the water too hot and Putting lotion on immediately afterwards is key.

  11. Worried first time mom :

    My (almost) two year old is a RUNNER. Little man bolts off as soon as he gets the chance; I take an eye off him for just one second and he’s bolting down the cereal aisle at top speed. Roaring with laughter. I’ve tried getting him to sit in the cart but then he gets extremely upset and screams until I pick him up and set him up again.

    I am, for the most part, happy that he’s healthy, happy and active, but I’m afraid that he’ll get hurt – dashing onto the street, or running into someone with a tray of hot food and whatnot, but he’s a little young to fully comprehend danger and I’m very close to getting one of those “baby leash” thingies, at least for the moment. Now, I’m really averse to subjecting him to a leash (I suspect he’ll be VERY upset), any thoughts of how I should approach this? Perhaps it’s a behaviour issue?

    • Is he small enough to wear when you’re in public, at least until he’s old enough for some amount of discipline/impulse control re darting?

    • There is absolutely nothing wrong with a baby leash. Baby leashes are great for kids who are runners–they keep the kid safe while allowing him to walk on his own. The leashes with the cute animal backpacks can be more palatable to toddlers as well as judgmental onlookers.

      For shopping with little kids, I had a rule that any child who was walking had to hold on to the shopping cart at all times. Not holding on to the shopping cart meant that the kid had to ride in the seat for a few minutes, no matter how much s/he screamed about it.

      • My older daughter was a darter and when her baby sister came along, I was 100% sure that older sister would die in a parking lot in front of my eyes. So: baby got out of car first and secured, then sibling; sibling also got strapped in first.

        ALSO: leash that looked like a backpack.

        So what if kid is initially not loving it / actively upset? Mine got used to it (it helped that I use a backpack myself) AND it was 100% better than dying / causing a driver to have a heart attack b/c they almost hit her / causing me to have a heart attack b/c she darted.

    • The leashes are totally normal in the UK – busy cities, narrow pavements. Get one that looks like a cute animal backpack.

    • My first wasn’t like this, but my second, who is almost 2, is. We don’t leash.

      In supermarkets, she’s in the cart (first in back with the groceries). I try and give her a job, or snacks, or a combo, so she’s not focused on escaping. She tries to escape. She gets warns, then gets buckled down. She cries. I ether distract her or leave, whichever is easier. I also tend not to bring her to the grocery unless she’s in a good mood.

      When in the street walking, she’s in a stroller. At the same age my ODD was walking and holding my hand. This one can do hand holding in safe areas, but I either carry her or stroller her in places like parking lots. She’s infamous for trying to leap out of my arms during Preschool pickup with her sister- Sometimes I let her sit on my shoulders which she’s less inclined to want to escape from.

      I don’t like the leash approach because IMHO it sort of encourages the behavior- the kid gets to “run” but only so far. I say this as a mom who was horrified by the idea with my first (who had none of this behavior) and totally sees the appeal with my wild-child second.

    • AnonLondon :

      Baby leash (the little backpack kind) is probably the only reason I survived to adulthood. I was like your son as a kid, and my mom tried *everything* but I would take off in airports/parks/shopping malls.

    • Put him in the cart or stroller and let him scream. He’ll get over it eventually. If you’re out and about and can’t hold his hand get a leash.

      He doesn’t have to like it, he has to not die until he gets out of this stage.

    • It’s not a behavior issue, it’s being a toddler. You can’t make safety decisions based on whether he likes it.

      • This. Welcome to toddlerhood. We’ve done a combination of backpack leash, carrying kid, holding kid’s hand whether he likes it or not, strapping him into the cart even when he screams.

        There’s a reason that someone invented the saying that when you have kids, a trip to the grocery store by yourself is a vacation.

    • Not a parent, but I’ve never understood why people are judgmental about kid leashes. They give the child more freedom than holding on their hand/arm/etc., and prevents them from running off.

      The safety of a child is obviously more important than a dog’s safety, so it seems weird that we keep our dogs physically attached to us (via a leash) in a crowd but are judged for doing that with a child. (And yes, I know kids and dogs are not comparable and I’m the worst for making the comparison. But I think it’s true.)

      • ” (And yes, I know kids and dogs are not comparable and I’m the worst for making the comparison. But I think it’s true.)”

        If you’ve ever been around a 2 year old and a Labrador at the same time, it’s almost eerie. They are basically at the exact same stage of development, but things don’t get better for the canine.

        • Yup! I have a yellow lab and I’m constantly biting my tongue when my sister tells me stories about my 2 year-old nephew so that I don’t blurt out “oh, my dog does that too!”

          • I had both a lab mix and a baby and can confirm that labs are basically babies that never grow up and will either eat or destroy more of your house than an actual baby.

          • But no one loves you like a lab loves you!

        • Anonymama :

          Hah, I say all the time that my toddler is basically a puppy- will put anything in his mouth, thinks everyone is his best friend and wants to play, has no concept of personal space, so snuggly, occasionally bites, sometimes licks your face, sometimes pees in the yard.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      If you’re worried about him getting hurt, maybe enroll him in some tumbling classes. The first thing they teach is how to fall without getting injured. While I didn’t experience this with my son, I have friends that this worked for.

      • that doesnt help for kid/car collisions; everything else is survivable

      • Tumbling classes will not injury-proof a kid. My daughter is a competitive gymnast, and she and many of her teammates have injured themselves falling down or tripping over things outside of the gym despite their extensive training in falling safely.

    • Pre-baby I was super judgmental about kid leashes. Now that I have an almost 2-year-old, I think they are genius, and the backpack ones have the added bonus of your kid carrying some of their own stuff. My kid is pretty content riding in the cart or holding my hand, but I would totally put him on a leash if I was in your shoes. I have embraced the immense judgment that parenting brings.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Reading this, I was wooshed back in time about a year to when my two year old went through that. It was so stressful! And upsetting! And I hated having to take her from happy joyful running to crying because I won’t let her go. All I can offer is that she grew out of it pretty quickly.

    • Worried first time mom :

      Wow thanks everyone for the input! Super, super helpful – thank you for making a little happier that I’m not alone in this.

      I’ve been browsing amazon on my lunch break looking for a cute backpack with a leash. Also, going to grocery shop later after picking little man up from daycare, will (try my hardest to) be firm about cart time!

      • Anonymous :

        My little darter became a bigger darter – it would be wise to start gathering tips now for how to keep him from hiding under clothing racks or melting away during hikes when he gets older. I adore my kid, but holy cats, the grey hairs his antics have caused …

    • I have twin two year olds and haven’t used leashes yet but have zero judgment about them!

      My kids really like being given a task and, of course, do not like hearing “no,” so I try to make potentially dangerous situations about remembering a fun routine. At a street I say “street!… stop!… hold hands!” every single time. They are super into stop signs and like following directions like this once it becomes a routine. We also live in an apartment building and I’m scared of them around the elevator, so they have been trained to “hold the wall” across from the elevator doors and then I make a big show of “go! go! go!” which is their cue to run inside where they “hold the bar” in the back. Each direction has to be said enthusiastically and then they get praise and high-fives for doing it, and like to yell out pieces of directions themselves.

      I also frame anything I can as a choice, so it’s “do you want to hold this hand or this hand?!” or “do you want to hold my hand or be carried?” In a store, I give them jobs like carrying a cereal box.

      One of them has a tendency to look all around as he’s running, so we are always reminding him to look where he’s going (still a work in progress).

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – make toddler instructions positive ones, rather than no. Tell them what they CAN do, rather than what they can’t.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        My mom put my twin brother and I on leashes. Why? Because my brother did in fact dart in front of a car and get hit when he was about 2. He was fine (parking lot, car wasn’t going fast), but yea, we got leashes.

    • Frozen Peach :

      No judgment and three cheers for leashes. You’re doing a great job!

      Wanted to share one other strategy– our daughter is trained to put one hand on the car by the gas tank whenever we get to the car– whether it’s loading in or getting out. Like “base” in tag. She knows that we are STRICT about enforcing this rule and that it’s to keep her safe. She can only take her hand off the car when we say so. It has really helped.

  12. He may be upset, but if he were upset about wearing a seatbelt would you make it optional? Sounds like a safety issue here and as the parent you just make the call, just like you would any other safety issue.

    • +1. Your child being upset shouldn’t be the only consideration here. No one wants a screaming kid, of course, but you’re talking about his safety.

    • Your kid has learned that if he screams you take him out of the chair. He is smart. So he will keep screaming unless he is rewarded with something for staying in his chair.

      • Just like with dog training, if you “reward” behaviors with attention/bribes, you’ll teach them to continue the bad behavior til they get what they want. Instead, positive-reinforcement works best for both dogs and kids. For example, kid gets a piece of cereal/carrot/whatever periodically as long as they are behaving as you want them to (not screaming in carseat, not trying to escape shopping cart, etc.). This could be a thing (snack) or it could be attention such as engaging in conversation or getting to choose between 2 cereals or whatever. Both kids and dogs want love and attention, so ignoring bad behaviors and praising/rewarding good typically encourages good behavior.

        PS Though stores and customers don’t love hearing your kid scream, they much prefer it to your kid running, knocking things down, or getting injured.

  13. Ironing Help? :

    Help! I bought a polyester button down shirt from Loft a few weeks ago and I haven’t worn it yet because I can’t get the store’s fold lines out of it. I’ve put it on the steam cycle in my dryer, hung it in the bathroom while I’ve showered, and ironed it on the synthetic setting after spraying it with water. The wrinkles just will not come out. I even bought a new iron thinking my 10 year old iron was the problem, but it didn’t make a difference. What am I doing wrong??? I’m also having trouble with 100% cotton button downs, which is mostly why I bought the new iron thinking old one wasn’t getting hot enough. Please help! Thank you!

    • Try ironing on top of a towel or sending it to the dry cleaners for pressing.

    • If it’s close, bring it to the store and have them do it :-). Used to work there and clients came in all the time for stuff like that. In the future, They’ll also do it before you take the item home.

    • I had the same issue with a Loft shirt and with Boden items. I successfully removed the lines with a hand steamer, but it did take a lot of work/time.

    • Dealtwiththis :

      I’ve had many shirts like this where I tried everything and was only able to wear them after taking them to the dry cleaner. Such a bummer!

  14. Sister Vacation Ideas, Please :

    Looking for destination ideas for a long weekend in late January. We would love someplace warm, but I’d like to avoid Zika areas so most of the usual suspects won’t do. My sister is in Seattle and I’m near Chicago, so ideally it would not be in the east. We like outdoor activities (hiking, biking, snorkeling) but would also be happy with a cozy cabin type of situation, as long as it isn’t bitterly cold (the arctic outbreak isn’t helping). Not really interested in shopping. Spa activities could be fun, but budget is a factor. Would love to hear your ideas!

    • Palm Springs? Maybe spa stuff in Arizona?

    • Scottsdale or Sedona?

      • Anony Mouse :

        +1 Sedona is lovely, as is Flagstaff, if you’re feeling adventurous (easy day trips to Grand Canyon, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater Volcanic National Monument, Oak Creek Canyon recreation area).

        • Anony Mouse :

          Since you mentioned that budget is a factor, I should mention that Flagstaff is the more affordable of the 2. My husband and I stayed in a cozy Airbnb cabin for a little under $100 a night.

    • San Diego!

    • echoing Palm Springs, somewhere in Arizona or San Diego – depends on what type of activities you prefer

    • The Biltmore resort right outside of Phoenix is amazing this time of year.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Might not fit your budget, but Travaasa is perfect for this. It’s an all-inclusive resort in the US with wonderful outdoor and spa activities. The Austin location is closed for renovation, but there is a Maui location too! I’ve been to the Austin one and can not recommend it enough.

    • Is New Orleans too far east for you? Activities include: walking, drinking, looking at antiques, drinking, eating good food, drinking, and the option of some “haunted” walking tours or a day trip to some mansions or a boat trip to see alligators. Did I mention drinking? I like NOLA because the weather is usually nice, it’s not expensive and people are friendly. As others have said, San Diego and Sedona are good, affordable options.

  15. Wannabe AUSA :

    Are any of you AUSAs? I am a firm litigator thinking about applying. I’ve always been in private practice so I want to know more about the practicalities of the job. I would apply in my small city (not NY, Chicago, etc).

    Do people typically work nights and weekends when they don’t have a trial? How much autonomy do you have on your cases?

    • I often think the same thing. As an expereinced litiegator, I often wonder about giveing back to the peeople, by being a public prosescutor, or an AUSA. Dad wants me to be an AUSA b/c he has alot of federal experence and wants to tell his freinds that I am an AUSA, since I am NOT married. (I don’t get the connection, but whatever).

      So I think that b/c we are both litigegator’s, we are natureals for the job. I hope we will NOT have to work to many weekend’s, except if we have a case on a Monday. Also, since I personaly have to deal with the manageing partner on my cases, it is not such a big deal to have to deal with the top USAttorney on my cases, at least for the first month or so, when she / he will appreciate me for my leagal abilities and s’kills.

      I hope the rest of the HIVE has ideas, b/c I am interested in hearing those ideas too! YAY!!!!!

    • hey there – I am an AUSA (currently in a big city, but previously was an AUSA in a medium sized city). Happy to discuss offline. Do you have a burner email addy you can post and I will email you? otherwise you can email me at shamlet96 at yahoo dot com.

  16. Junior League DC :

    I’m a consultant in my early 30s and I am potentially interested in joining Junior League. I’m mostly interested in meeting cool people and building my network, and I have very little patience for bullsh*t. Service is cool and all, but I have a lot of other ways I can contribute so that isn’t a driving force here. Should I consider this further or not?

    • If service isn’t your motivator, I’m not sure JL is where I would look to meet cool people.

    • I should clarify that my comments are specific to the DC chapter. There are so many other organizations in DC that will accomplish the same things for you. I realize it might be different in other cities.

    • Jr. League :

      Just commented on the Jr. League ^ in the comment thread above, but my suggestion (not in DC) is to attend the informational meetings they host for new members. I’ve had an amazing experience in my League and I think it’s a great place to meet cool people, build your network, and my experiences with meetings have generally been productive (lots of training vs. floofy stuff).

      Your provisional year is going to look a little different because you’re learning and you don’t have a “placement” (your volunteer organization/assignment). After that, your meeting requirements are pretty minimal and it’s more about your work.

    • Between the “very little patience for bullsh*t” and “service is cool and all” comments, I’m not sure that a service-oriented group is going to offer what you want. Not in D.C., but my League focuses on service and training. Meeting great people has been a benefit that came along with a passion for community service, but I have definitely made more friends than professional contacts. During the time I have been a member, we have had a few financial consultants, realtors, and development officers join because they think it is full of wealthy women who will be a source of business referrals or revenue. That is not true, nor has it been a popular or successful approach.

    • Do you travel a lot for work? I am an IT/management consultant and I had to quit JL because I travel for work almost every week and could never make the monthly meetings (usually Tues evening) and couldn’t find placements that were solely on the weekend. This is very League-dependent but both of the Leagues I was in were very child/school-focused and so the volunteer activities were in the middle of the day or too early in the evening for me to attend.

      Also depending on the League, your Provisional year can be a lot of work with a ton of meetings. I joined in a more low-key League and could not have completed a Provisional year in a League with more traditional Provisional requirements.

    • In another city that I would imagine is fairly similar to DC in terms of JL, but I’m a flunkie after 2 years for the reason the OP mentioned above (very little patience…). I did meet a few ‘cool’ people, though. Eh. I’d look elsewhere.

  17. travel bug :

    Any recommendations for Stockholm and Copenhagen? We’ll be spending 4 days and 3 days, respectively, in early March. From a cold climate, and we’re willing to embrace the north and be outside some.

    • Scandanavian Vacation :

      I was in Copenhagen last February and had a wonderful time.

      Recommended food: Bowl Market (it’s an oatmeal- and acai-bowl place. It sounds sort of unexciting but just trust me and get the oatmeal), Host, Copenhagen Street Food.

      Recommended activities: Helsignor Castle, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (both via easy train rides), boat tour of the harbor, Copenhagen Zoo.

    • Copenhagen Free Walking tours, the ones with the neon green umbrellas! If this is your first time in the city, it’s a great way to explore, and there are a couple different options depending on what you want to see and how much time you want to spend. Yes, it’s touristy, but it really helped us get oriented, and in a non-peak season time, the tour group should be pretty small.

    • It’s going to be cold, but try to see if you can make it out to one of the islands in the Stockholm archipelago. You can also go to Drottningholm Palace via boat on Lake Malaren (or take the train if it’s too cold). We enjoyed a short guided tour at the City Hall (tickets bought inside), Gamla Stan, and the Vasa Museum. There’s also Fotografiska if you like photography.

      We loved the parks in Copenhagen in spring. Not sure how enjoyable it would be in March, but seriously, Copenhagen was like a fairy tale every where we turned. For day trips, we went to Kronborg, Frederiksborg, and the Louisiana museum. The last is an outdoor museum with some narrow steps in the woods… so watch where you’re going. If they have a guided tour at the Royal Library, you can try it out. They didn’t have it the day we were there but the library is an interesting sight of an old traditional building connected to a new modern one. The library’s garden was also beautiful in spring. And of course walking down Nyhvn, spotting Hans Christian Andersen’s houses, going to Kastellet to see the little mermaid, etc.

    • For Stockholm, visit Skansen and the modern art museum. Also the Vasa ship museum. Walk around Gamla Stan (old town). Eat lots of fish and seafood. If you’re into fashion, Stockholm is very fashion forward and you can find lots of boutiques with cool clothing and jewelry. Check out Edblad in Gamla Stan for affordable Scandinavian jewelry. If you are interested in Swedish designers, visit Grandpa store (link to follow).

    • Pale Girl Snorkeling :

      The Copenhagen boat harbour tour is a great way to get started. You get to see so many places and parts of the city in a short amount of time, the guides are great and since it’s a water centered city, the harbour is a hub for a lot of activity. Also best view of the Little Mermaid is from the boat

    • joan wilder :

      Some of my two favorite cities! In Copenhagen I really enjoyed the cycling tour I took with Copenhagen Fairy Tales (and I did it during late fall). They also have food/drink-oriented tours. The Torvehallerne Food hall for lunch and picnic supplies. The Danish design museum which makes chairs super interesting. In Stockholm, the Vasa Museum is wonderful.

    • Visiting the Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen is also quite cool! Did you know Carlsberg developed the pH scale?? I thought the history of the whole thing was quite interesting. Plus beer:)

  18. Vicarious Shopping :

    Anyone have time to do some shopping for me? I’m starting a new job next month and found out I’m invited to attend a black tie event on my third day there. I’ve gained some weight this year and am certain nothing currently in my closet will fit.

    Requirements: black tie/work event appropriate, size 18 or 16W, long or 3/4 sleeves, probably a dark color without too much embellishment.

    Thank you!

    • https://www.grandpastore.com/

    • So YMMV, but in my experience black tie for work is never a long dress unless you’re 70 (I’m in NYC). So with that in mind:

      http://www.lordandtaylor.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302025161&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442426830&R=884002801731&P_name=Alex+Evenings&N=302025161+4294928925+4294928708+4294929341+4294929543&bmUID=m2pFAhq

      • Or, assuming it’s still winter:

        http://www.lordandtaylor.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302025161&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442409455&R=884002792367&P_name=Alex+Evenings&N=302025161+4294928925+4294928708+4294929341+4294929543&bmUID=m2pFAho

    • Scan Rent the Runway for your event dates if you haven’t already, I really like both of these, even though the sleeves are a little shorter than you asked for, they both look very flattering:
      https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/lm_collection/loop_shoulder_gown
      https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/badgley_mischka/black_cascade_gown

    • If knee-length is appropriate (you never know these days), this is pretty: https://www.talbots.com/online/plus-size/rsvp-occasion/dresses-and-skirts/lace-bodice-flounce-sleeve-dress-prdi43464/N-1796534228

    • https://www.zappos.com/p/adrianna-papell-3-4-sleeve-lace-gown-w-godet-skirt-prussian/product/8386607/color/200002?ef_id=Wk5peAAABbGthF-i:20180104180731:s

      Adrianna Papell tends to fit 1 size large in my opinion, so a 16 might work in this ^ dress.

      • Or this comes in 16W and looks pretty: https://www.dillards.com/p/adrianna-papell-plus-off-the-shoulder-lace-gown/507143350?di=05039693_zi_cabernet&categoryId=3100&facetCache=pageSize%3D96%26beginIndex%3D0%26orderBy%3D1%26facet%3D-1002651001141059711011097328097112101108108

    • Thanks, all!!! These are great.

  19. Sorry for the vent.

    Welp, I’m the in-house lawyer who posted a couple weeks ago about my boss and business people within the company calling me while I had a day off. The problem was and continues to be volume – I can’t be the only person who does all of the contracts for our company and my boss has said we are hiring someone new but I don’t know when that will be. The business people get impatient and reach out to him to complain about me. Yesterday, I was called into his office over a business person I had spoken to two hours before. And the day before. And last week Friday when no one else was in the office. Another was someone complaining where my last email was before the holidays wherein I said “yes, I’m available to talk through your questions – call me anytime you guys are available.” And he/they didn’t. Nor did any of them email. But instead complained to my boss. They clearly forgot I was waiting on them for information. With this volume, though, I simply can’t follow up with every business person to see what happened with their question or find out if they did actually submit a contract for review as I go through over 100 a month. So frustrating. I’m already following up with the known complainers/needy ones, but I can’t for every item. We need at least another one of me! What kills me is I’m the only woman in our department (and a very male-dominated industry, so every person I talk to is a man) and I can’t help but wonder if that is part of it. If the same turnaround time with my male predecessors wasn’t a problem for them because the business people accepted they were busy but think I should be available? My male predecessor who trained me told me he turned around contracts within a week or two; I do it even less than that (and I’ve seen from the other side, most lawyers take even longer…) and yet I get complaints that I’m not turning things fast enough. Or if my professional tone seems b*tchy to them because I’m not giggly? I have no idea. I’m tired and sick and I only took two days off around the holidays and was answering email those days anyway. So, after working 12 hours yesterday and my inbox still not cleared, I applied for another job last night. Now that my resume is in shape, I can apply for others, too, which makes me feel at least more in control.

    But it got me wondering again, is this just how it is everywhere in law? I was in biglaw where I worked crazy hours but at least I was paid to do it. I took a paycut to come here and at first it was great 9-5/ no weekend or evening expectation when I started two years ago, but now our company has grown so much but the department hasn’t and can’t sustain the amount of work flooding in. Are there any true 9-5 law jobs anymore? I’m wondering if maybe I just don’t like the law.

    • Triangle Pose :

      No this is not everywhere in the law. I am in-house at Fortune 50 company and this sounds insane. I’m glad you are looking. In your search, think about any red flags or indications of this current job you might have missed. Not saying you did miss things, because it sounds like there is some sexism going on and your precedessor’s experience does not mirror yours, but in your next role, think about the number of attorneys in relation to the business need/size of the company, ask about back up resources for when you are out of the office and turnaround time/follow up expectations, and lastly, try to suss out the reputation and political position of the legal department within the company. This kind of strategic approach might help you avoid this situation next time around.

      • Thanks, good advice. I think our boss is just blind to the volume that has increased because it was great when I started. But I will look at these factors as I continue to look. Older and wiser, I guess! Thanks for pulling me out of my “I should quit law” slump to know it’s better at other places.

      • This is good advice. I’d add, though, that I think it’s often impossible to get a true sense of a job during the interviewing process. Sometimes you do all the due diligence in the world and still end up with a bad fit.

    • What is your bosses response, other than you are hiring? That you should work 24×7 To get this done?

      Have you tried working with boss to prioritize/come up with a triage system, and have your boss helped you to s Socialize it?

      I used to be a big abuser of our in house contracts team. They drove me crazy. Then I worked on a process to help them triage and/or gate (or both) requests and suddenly it was night and day. Important things got done, there was a way to communicate what could be pushed to the back burner. Transparency was critical.

      Also, is your boss legal? Someone other than legal should be helping to develop this process (I was head of product, which did all our partnership agreements, and I was always competing for legal bandwidth with sales—-guess who can’t deliver on sold product without partners in place? But also, I learned to Back Off at end of quarter- that’s when sales was under the gun).

      So in short, this is broader than just you, unless you have a productivity problem. But it’s a communication issue you can try and addresss proactively, with your boss’ and a business partner or two’s support.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a very very similar situation. And your contract volume sounds very similar. I would definitely look for other opportunities and as the other poster mentioned, look for red flags of situations like this. There are in-house jobs that are not like this, but there are quite a few that are.

      I have been at my position for 4 years, and the single biggest thing that helped was pushing my supervisor to hire a contract manager, and then pushing him to hire another one. And getting an outside counsel arrangement in place to handle occasional overflow that requires more high level legal experience that the contract managers can’t do. So basically, two contract managers now handle a bulk of the volume I used to have to deal with, and they can escalate to an outside counsel occasionally when I am out or really busy. This has made my hours look more 9-6. Keep in mind that your boss has a strong incentive to keep you happy because if you’re not dealing with the volume, then he is, or he is struggling to find someone else like you! It’s very hard to hire a good commercial generalist. Everyone needs one and there aren’t enough of us to go around. In any case, keep fighting the good fight, and good luck! But definitely keep your eyes out for new opportunities. You can look for something better while also trying to better the position you’re in right now.

  20. Talk to me about candles? I recently discovered I like to light a nice smelling candle in the evenings to relax. I’m looking for something that is relatively inexpensive but good quality. Nice smell but just strong enough to fill my small apartment without overwhelming it.

    Any recommendations where best to look?

    • Anthropologie. The Voluspa (and the Blue Capri brand, too) candles are addicting and feel splurgy but last awhile. I love the French Cade Lavender and the Mokkara scents of Voluspa, and the Orchid scent of the Blue Capri.

      • KateMiddletown :

        +1 check Francescas or BBW for cheaper knockoffs of the Capri Blue. It’s my HG home scent.

      • First Year Anon :

        +1. French Cade Lavendar is my “boyfriend” candle because it smells a bit like lovely cologne.

      • You can get Voluspa at nordstrom rack sometimes. I actually have decent luck at the Target dollar spot for good smelling candles. Don’t be fooled, they are actually $3, but they rotate seasonally and usually smell pretty good.

    • I love the Bath and Body Works 3-wick candles. They go on sale to $10-$15 all the time, lots of scent options, and are long-lasting.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I love Frostbeard’s Old Books candle, and buy it for pretty much everyone I know. The smell is strong but not overwhelming. Even my scent-adverse SO doesn’t mind it.

    • anon a mouse :

      The Henri Bendel candles are great. You can buy a small one in a travel tin to see if you like it before getting a big one. The big ones last forever and don’t have as much of a chemical tinge to them as some other candles.

      The candles they sell at Anthro are great too.

    • Candles: Volupsa, Bath and Body 3 wick, or colonial candles. Those are my favorites.

    • Anonymous :

      The sale section at Target!

    • Anonymous :

      Voluspa’s the only brand that doesn’t give me a headache. Crisp Champagne is a nice scent to try. But I recently switched to an oil diffuser: way cheaper per use, and does double time as a humidifier. I got a really nice one on Prime for about $40.

    • Marshmallow :

      Capri Blue Modern Mint is my absolute favorite candle. Warm vanilla-mint but not too strong. It’s kind of expensive but the jar is enormous and burns forever. https://smile.amazon.com/Capri-Blue-19oz-Candle-Modern/dp/B00ILZTIZE/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1515092080&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=blue+capri+modern+mint&psc=1&smid=AYRCZ90M2OD6P

    • cake batter :

      Ikea, if you have one! Super cheap and nice smelling.

    • My absolute fav: https://maisonlouismarie.com/collections/candles/products/no-04-bois-de-balincourt

    • Yankee Candle Home Sweet Home is burning at all times that I’m home. I have a low tolerance for some scents, but I love this one.

    • Soy candles from target.

  21. Well that was fun! Not.

    Signed
    Berkeleyan who lives, apparently, right above the epicenter

    • Ah! Woke me up this morning and we’re over on the other side of the bay. Hope everything is ok and it was just a sudden wake up :)

      • A new crack in my plaster wall, a bottle of shampoo fell off the ledge in the shower. Otherwise ok. My automatic gas shutoff valve didn’t trigger

    • Ugh, I know. Also in Berkeley and it woke me up out of a deep sleep!

    • Anonymous :

      yeah, I just moved here and this was my first ever. Discussed with SO where to meet/leave notes in case of an emergency, and what we should stock up on.

  22. I have a ton of miles to use and want to do a long weekend to Europe over President’s Day weekend. Any suggestions for where to go in mid-February? Considering everywhere but the UK (I used to live there and I’d like to see somewhere different).

    • How about Rome? Loved the city when I was there, so much to do, see, and eat. Though I guess a lot of the sights are really a one-time thing, and if you’ve been you may not want to go again.

    • Since you don’t have a lot of time, go to places that have nonstop flights from your city to cut down on travel time. I could see myself in Paris for a long weekend as long as I’m not tempted to do every!thing!

    • Do you ski? If you live near a major airport, you could probably go skiing in the Alps for the weekend.

    • Lisbon! Short flight (relatively speaking) from the east coast.

    • Anonymous :

      Paris, always.

    • If you ski/hike: Austrian Alps (add visit of Salzburg), Dolomites in Italy
      If you want a city break: Cinque Terre in Italy, Milan for shopping, Switzerland (although it is so so so expensive), Prague is fine (least number of tourists), Budapest, maybe Krakow/Wroclaw/Gdansk in Poland. Paris is great all-year-round and there is always something new to discover.
      If you seek warmth, try Canary Islands (you can add a day or two in Madrid or Barcelona).

    • I’d try a smaller city for a short trip, maybe Florence? But only if you can get a direct flight.

  23. Like it's the first time... :

    I just had my IUD removed after 4.5 years and my first period has been a real flashback to middle school years. I’m out of practice when it comes to managing the symptoms (and stupid heavy flow) and the logistics of having a period at work. What are your best tips for dressing for comfort (and not to look pregnant while bloating) and dealing with the frequent bathroom breaks? (Used to be a divacup fan but our public-ish restrooms and the discomfort make this unappealing.)
    Also, the lethargy. I forgot about that. I am so tired. Someone pretend like I’m your 14 year old daughter and coach me through this!

    • I don’t have a 14-year-old daughter, or bad periods, but here goes:

      For the tired: take extra iron throughout your cycle (unless you have some sort of medical condition); drink extra water; and go to bed a bit earlier. The extra water will also help with bloating.

      In general: in the days before your period, make sure you exercise.

      Use both a tampon and a heavy flow pad on your heaviest days. The Always Infinity pads, or whatever they are called, are truly amazing.

      • Take Aleve or your NSAID of choice as soon as you feel a bit off (for me that’s about 2 days before bleeding starts) and be super careful to stay on top of it. If my Aleve wears off at any point, it takes forever to get the pain and increased flow back under control.

      • +1 to iron. I like to make a big pot of beef chili (actually I prefer 1/2 beef, 1/2 ground turkey so it’s not so greasy) that week and bring it to work for lunches. I find I feel so much better when I do this.

    • Second the advice to go to sleep early. Also, I lie down any chance I have — when I am home from work, I just lie down for the evening, or on a weekend I avoid going out — essentially reading or watching tv on the first and second day. Advil helps, and I use a microwave heating pad on my lower stomach, as well as gravitate towards soups for comfort. I have ‘bloating clothes’ that are usually stretchy, or pointe, dark dresses (and I hate wearing black, but have three black skirts and some dresses just for this) In addition, I have bras in a larger cup size, and looser cut clothing for that week. When the pain and tiredness are really bad, I sometimes have to stay home from work, but that depends on your workplace sick day policy. Good luck, and hope you feel better:)

    • Anonymous :

      I just go to the bathroom frequently? Don’t get the issue there.

    • Marshmallow :

      Gah! I’m having my IUD out in a couple of weeks and I am dreading exactly this.

    • Another commenter mentioned this as well, but I’ve found that intense exercise in the week before my period basically erases all PMS/period symptoms (bloating, cramping), makes my flow a lot lighter, and actually shortens the time that my period lasts. I usually try for a couple spinning or bootcamp-style classes where I’m getting my heart rate up high, and then I’ve also found pilates classes to be helpful (probably cause of all that ab work?).

    • Anonymous :

      Use a plus/super plus tampon + a pad or liner. Go to the bathroom every 2 hours. Take painkillers (advil, aleve) as needed. Try to wear a stretchier dress or elastic waste pants for comfort at work.

    • Miz Swizz :

      This was my experience after going off the pill too! My advice is:

      1. stash pads/tampons in your bag, in your desk drawer and make sure you always have enough to get you through a work day. I also keep some in my car just in case.
      2. stay hydrated
      3. take ibuprofen/NSAID as needed
      4. give yourself time to re-adjust

      No real advice on clothing but I remember lamenting to my husband that my cramps were never this bad and he told me that it was, I just didn’t remember.

      • Like it's the first time... :

        Oh, he’s about to get a rude awakening as I’ve been on the IUD the whole time we’ve been together. Hopefully pregnancy complaining isn’t far behind.

  24. Can I wear boot cut jeans w/o looking hopelessly matronly and/or unfashionable? It’s too cold where I live for the skinny jeans w/ ankle boots look, and skinny jeans with high boots over the top make me look about 5 inches shorter and generally not good.

    • I never stopped because it works best for my body type, but also flares are back, so I just tell myself it’s *kind of* a flare. Also my understanding, as a middle aged person, is that the tall boots over jeans/leggings is dated. So see, you’re kind of on trend! Maybe balance your matronly feeling with cold-shoulder tops and bell sleeves? j/k

      • +1

        Boot cuts are fine. Always. Especially if they flatter your body shape. I still try for a bit of a chunky heel though, as this looks better to my eye with a flared pant leg.

        signed,
        another pear-shaped woman, who is still stylish.

      • Anonymous :

        It is COLD and I absolutely refuse to give up on tall boots, over pants or otherwise!! Style be damned!

      • I will always push back on this — I don’t think knee-high boots over skinny jeans looks (that) dated. Maybe less on trend than skinnies with ankle boots, but I personally do not care. Especially when it’s freezing outside. Maybe it’s hopelessly frumpy in NYC but in most of the U.S., it’s pretty standard still.

        • Yup, agree. Everyone has been wearing tall boots this past week (me included!) because they really are so much warmer.

          I personally think bootcut is fine, like 1:11 anon says especially if they flatter your body type. They tend to look a little nicer with heels (if they are long enough), but I like them with chucks and ballet flats also.

        • I think it’s hopelessly frumpy in San Francisco too, but I work in deep suburbia and still see the look on women of a certain age.

        • FreezinginChicago :

          Didn’t someone here run a poll on this issue? Can someone link to the results? Thanks!

    • biglawanon :

      As long as they don’t otherwise fit like mom jeans, boot cuts are in (and in my view never went out of) style.

  25. I’m heading to Singapore for a conference next month! It’s my first time in Asia and I’m so excited! Has anyone here been? I’m really looking forward to the warm weather, and Singapore just looks so modern and beautiful.

    • I was there 10 years ago. Make sure you go to a hawker centre and have Singaporean chilli crab. It was my trip’s highlight. Sentosa Island is also nice to go to.

    • Visited once for business some years back. Singapore has a lovely, lovely, airport, I can’t emphasis that enough. The transit area is completely carpeted and spotless I felt like I could lie down and take a nap anywhere. Add actual nap areas, amazing shopping and tons of fun activities to boot. In an AIRPORT.

      I also remember being envious of the weather. It’s warm and sunny, with loads of places with air conditioning to dart into. I can’t believe people get to live like this all year around!

      Enjoy yourself and have a great trip!

    • I was there for work around that time last year. It is similar to Miami w/r/t heat/humidity – anywhere from 80’s/90’s and can be very humid but I believe that is their ‘dry’ season. Also check the dress code – it is warm but people do seem to default to slightly more business formal than I’ve seen in NYC recently outside of finance/law. I did a lot of sleeveless sheaths. Air conditioning may not be a thing in your conference space (though it was in most nicer hotels/shops) so just FYI. Be aware that not all cabs take credit cards and uber/lyft did not seem to be widely adopted last year. Definitely worth carrying cash on you and asking for the ‘singlish’ name for some of the restaurant/tourist areas as the local cabbies may
      Great food and bars – even though it’s touristy the Marina Bay Sands restaurant is fantastic for views. If you’re into high-end shopping it is a FANTASTIC city for that and the exchange rate and rebates will work in your favor. The big new LV store was also fantastic to browse through so I’d suggest making a stop there as well. Have fun!

    • It should be amazing. The food!!

      But remember, it is a crazy fascist little country. Do not smoke in public, litter, get anywhere near a “recreational drug” or do anything in a public place that you would not mind if it was caught on camera.

      The last time I was there, someone was caught for public ?urination in an elevator. His face was plastered on the front page of the newspaper the next day. Of course, he was caught on camera. Public shaming is a popular method of reprimand.

    • If you get some time away from the conference, go for a walk in the Botanic Garden and see the National Orchid Garden – it feels like the Garden of Eden! (It’s like $5 extra to get into the Orchid garden – well worth it.) If you like museums, the Changi Museum and the National Museum of Singapore were both very enjoyable.

      Public transportation is nice and very easy to navigate. Singapore is a very gentle introduction for your first time in Asia – English signage everywhere and very modern and clean.

  26. Anybody work in education? I’m a school administrator. I’m always trying to expand my skills, but not sure what other options are out there. Any thoughts for skills I should be developing, that might lead to future careers?

    • What level of education?

      What are you more interested in? Administration or education?

      Learning Spanish?

      • I started young, already almost 20 years in education as teacher and admin. I have almost 20 more years to go. I guess a kind of mid life check in point. :)

        I like the law piece, international/global aspect, and I like leadership/business.

        I already have ed specialist and masters.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you know anything about data privacy, specifically the intersection of COPAA and app based learning? No one I talk to in education does and they should.

      • KateMiddletown :

        This is super interesting. Not a school administrator but a parent. Can you skimm the issues at hand? I didn’t realize there was something to think about here.

      • I’ve heard about COPAA, but definitely something to learn more about. Data privacy is super important. Thank you.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I’m late – hope you see this. Have yo only been in ISDs? Switch to a private and/or charter for a few years to
      broaden your experience. I assume (hope) you are in a professional association/union – join for the group trips to the capital to learn about lobbying and policy making. Switch to central administration for a while, maybe on the curriculum and instruction side of things.

  27. Shoes with tights :

    What shoes would you wear with tights? So far, I have narrowed it down to three that I can purchase in store in my city, and I’m not sure what would look most flattering with tights. I have back and foot issues, so flats with support are needed (I have an orthotic too, but don’t need it every day) I would wear these in mild weather, rather than winter, and have time to try and buy now. I like the bellvue hazen clark loafers (in black or burgundy), the nenah garden clark flats, or the blondo Liam booties (not really shoes, but all my boots are mid-calf or tall boots, so I consider them ‘shoes’ for me! I usually wear black, dark blue, or burgundy tights. I will try and link them up after. TIA

    • I think booties are the most current look. Match the booties to the shade of your tights (most commonly black tights with black booties) and you will have a flattering leg line.

      • Shoes with tights :

        Thanks — I was thinking booties would be the most fashionable. I find the Blondo Liam is the right heel height, but on me reach right at the ankle. I have narrow ankles, so I like booties that are a few inches above the ankle bone (as they seem to rub off and cut into me otherwise), but this style is hard to find in a flat!

  28. Shoes with tights :

    Here are the links:

    https://www.ronsons.ca/products/womens-clarks-bellevue-hazen-190?color=BLACK

    https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/blondo-liam-waterproof-bootie-women/4614739

    https://www.ronsons.ca/products/womens-clarks-neenah-garden-586?color=BLACK

  29. Pretty Primadonna :

    Late to the party, but following up on Senior Attorney’s question about shopping bans, etc. for January. I am doing a no-new-clothes for Q1 2018 and also limiting buying lunch to one time a week, hopefully for the entire year.

    • I am trying to do the same for 2018. No new clothes and shoes.

    • not clothes, but I am banning plastic grocery/shopping bags for as long as I can. I keep cloth bags everywhere, in my car, purse etc so I never feel the need. Also no straws and reduce my disposable utensils/take out box consumption

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’m doing no straws, too, even though I love straws.

      • Going to implement the use before replenish rule for products I currently own. Also trying to generally reduce my plastic consumption:

        Thinking of moving to a bath soap bar instead of the beautifully scented and chemically-laden liquid soaps. Just bought an old-school razor that will allow me to switch out metal blades.
        Banishing straws even though I love them like Senior Attorney.
        Looking for glass bottles/packaging whenevr
        Now how to get DH on board

  30. Anonymous :

    So tired of liberals wanting Trump to fail. Reality is the economy is doing well — not just the market, job growth is gangbusters — and every liberal I know is — yeah yeah it won’t last, almost hoping it doesn’t because what if people see it as a positive and vote for Trump in 2020 or don’t turn over Congress in 2018. Um — even if the market corrects, it will rebound because earnings are solid and worldwide growth is there. I didn’t vote for him, but he has kept the status quo for a year now and I’d say there are worse things than that.

    • Anonymous :

      Hey tro11. Welcome. But perhaps leave?

      • Anonymous :

        Is this s*te only for Democrat women? If that’s the case, maybe Kat should make it clear that it’s “Fashion, and lifestyle and career advice for progressive chicks.”

        • Anonymous :

          This. Why is it NEVER ok to have non-Democrat views?

          • Anonymous :

            That’s not true though. See, the poster yesterday who asked for red dress recommendations for running in a conservative primary and was provided with many helpful links.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah she was asking about a DRESS, so everyone is so “open minded.” Heaven forbid anyone have any VIEWS that the express here that aren’t fully 100% liberal.

          • anonshmanon :

            It’s not clear to me what you expect to happen. I agree that most posters here are very liberal. So when a typical conservative viewpoint is posted, they disagree. Sometimes respectfully, often vehemently. People here speak their mind, and your views seem to be in the minority in this corner of the internet. I promise, I am not implying this is the wrong corner for you, but what exactly is it that you want people to do? Not share their views? Not respond to your statement at all? That’s not the purpose of a forum.

          • I have some republican-leaning views (although I’m still pretty liberal on social issues). AND I’m a WOC. I don’t comment about political things on here for this reason, and because on the occasion that I have, I’ve been told that I’m bad for people of color by posters who admitted they’re white. So….. yeah I do think this place is for high achieving women with a rather narrow set of political beliefs.

        • KateMiddletown :

          Hang on, you do realize that progressive and non-Democrat are not antonyms, right?

    • Anonymous :

      Who are you responding to?

    • Anonymous :

      Frankly I agree. If growth continues for the next few years, even if it slows and there are corrections but with an upward trend, I’m voting for him in 2020. But I’m an “it’s the economy” voter.

    • Job growth means jack $hit when wage growth isn’t there. The stock market means jack $hit to low income folks. None of it means jack $hit while climate change makes our planet unlivable. So, I’m happy you and your privileged friends are doing well, while the majority of Americans aren’t.

      • Anonymous :

        Did you have the same criticism during the Obama Administration, when the middle class got destroyed and he trumpeted how well his rich friends in NY and DC were doing?

        At least Trump’s plans have a fighting chance of helping the middle class.

        • Anonymous :

          How? Through increased dividends to share-holders and stock buy backs? That is what every client I have is looking to do with their tax break.

          His economic policies mirror those the have driven Kansas into decline.

        • Please, please, enlighten me as to how his plans will help the middle class. Congress has made clear their 2018 priorities are to cut social services programs, which the middle class counts on (whether they like to admit it or not).

      • Anonymous :

        Pretty sure you’re not low income working at Walmart if you’re posting here mid-day. So don’t act like 50% of the population ISN’T benefiting from the market. And job growth means nothing without wage growth, really? First, there IS marginal wage growth. Second, if you don’t have inflation, which we really don’t as we’re under 2%, you don’t desperately NEED wage growth. And third — wouldn’t you rather have a job at last years or 2015 wages, than have no job at all? Though for some liberals, you never know . . . maybe they’d rather not work.

        • Oh, hun. I was all ready to debate you and then got to your last sentence. Nope. You are not asking for educated discussion; you are stirring the pot for a lunchtime activity. Nope.

        • anonshmanon :

          Surely, you don’t mean that 50% of the population is benefiting from the growth in the stock market? When more than half of the country can’t deal with an unexpected 500$ expense, it is unlikely that they have investments worth speaking of.

          • Anonymous :

            There are stats on this. 52% of Americans own stock — obviously not everyone owns tons and much of it is locked up for retirement, but they are technically in the market.

          • anonshmanon :

            yeah, I forgot about 401Ks…

          • It’s the oppos!te, actually. 52% do not own stock and of those that do invest, the majority of it is in 401ks and the like, which are less what people are excited about (either because they are nearing retirement and the volatility makes them uneasy or they are young and while the uptick is great, it’s got a lot of time to go before being accessed).

            Signed, a diligent market-watching, Democrat-voting, incorporated family, trust fund kid. I have been doing great financially the past 6 years, but somehow I still manage to care about people who get a death sentence because they live in rural areas and aren’t fortunate enough to live near a major hospital. And I care about the legacy we leave to our grandchildren in our environment. And I care about kids in public schools so overlooked that they graduate 8th grade no able to read. There but for the grace of God go all of us.

            I don’t want him to fail. All he does is fail. And lies. I want him to grow the f up and actually do his job. I want him to think things through and not spend his whole day watching TV. He is the biggest con man we have ever seen and lazy and tr0lly to the point of being downright dangerous. And I’ve met him more than once and thought he was perfectly fine – he’s just a guy who has never had to work for anything his whole life. My friends and family who golfed with him when he was just a dotty old rich guy have “never met someone so incompetent and careless.”

        • Anonymous :

          You’re confused. Trump doesn’t want to work. He only wants to tweet and golf.

    • I don’t think people want the economy to fail. They just want him gone. The economy is doing great and his approval rating is still in the toilet. If it wasn’t, there’s only so far it can still fall. There are other things many people care about like nuclear war, the enivironment, safety standards, our standing in the world, the fact that he doesn’t seem to get basic job functions…

    • Anonymous :

      What to do mean by fail?

      I am concerned by so much more than just the economy.

      His foreign policy decisions make me feel actively unsafe and are decreasing US influence and credibility in international relations.

      People are losing access to healthcare.

      Reproductive rights are being infringed on creating forced pregnancies.

      He openly has supported white nationalists and set equality back.

      He intentionally drives the country apart.

      He makes choices to golf and done income for his properties at the expense of tax payers.

      These all feel like massive failures to me. Am I rooting for him to fail? No. Am I gutted by the lack of seriousness with which he treats the office? Yes. Do I want to feel this way? No.

      • Yes, this.

        Overall economic trends happen on a timeline of years, not months, so saying, “The economy is good therefore Trump is doing a good job” shows a lack of understanding about the true driving factors behind those trends.

        At the same time, he is setting things in motion that will affect this country negatively for a long time to come.

        I don’t want him to “fail”. I want him to stop doing things that are hurting the country and stop taking credit for things he has little or no influence over. If he’s unable to do that, then I want someone else to have his job.

      • Anonymous :

        Are you talking about Trump or Obama?

        • Anonymous :

          If it’s not clear to you which one would not condemn Nazis, I don’t know if there’s much help for you.

      • biglawanon :

        Yeah, this. Because I like America, I don’t want the administration to be a failure because it is bad for the country overall. But he is never going to get my support for the reasons above among others.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh, look, our friend who thinks he’s an expert on the stock market is back.

      • This.

      • Anonymous :

        I wish that guy would take his schtick back to Reddit where it belongs. People who only show up here to pick fights and cause trouble need to leave and not come back, please and thank you.

    • He’s kept the status quo in the economy but not much else, and I care about more than just the economy. I wasn’t one of those people that thought he would cause a depression, and I also don’t see what he’s done (that has made an impact yet) that would have been different under HC/a Democrat. So of course I still wish and will vote for someone else.

    • KateMiddletown :

      @Anonymous 1:30 from below… Let’s talk more about banana clips in this thread to reroute conversation?

    • I’m fiscally conservative and even i know that he’s just continuing a trend set by the prior administration. I find it ironic that republicans campaigned against the deficit/ debt (and factually, the deficit narrowed under obama, but the debt grew because the deficit was not zero) yet just voted in an increase in the deficit. I would say my fiscal conservatism falls into the deficit hawk camp and I just have major side eye for him giving his wealthy friends and donors an enormous break that they’re all planning to take as profit, that our children and their children will have to shoulder.

      I’m also in favor of world peace and, you know, not getting nuked, and his taunting of KJU over social media is not only embarrassing and petty, it’s dangerous.

  31. Anonymous :

    Are ‘banana clips’ too 90s to get away with now? They make my naturally curly hair cascade the way a simple pony tail just doesn’t, but I don’t see ANYONE wearing them anymore, and they definitely remind me of my mom. Any alternatives for curly hair?

    • some up, some down
      multiple ponytails, depending how much hair you have.

    • The puff cuff is basically a banana clip but round (to allow for a much wider ponytail and cascading curls) and works really well if you have very thick or very curly hair. It’s marketed for curly AA hair but it has worked really well on my thick mostly curly somewhat wavy Italian hair.

  32. Traveling Alone :

    I’m recently divorced and trying to plan a solo vacation for this summer while my daughter is with her dad. I dread the time she’s away and have decided I need a trip of my own to look forward to. The problem is, I have no idea where to go. I haven’t planned a “grown-up” vacation in, well…ever!
    I’m based out of the northeast, have four to six days to travel, and will be on a pretty tight budget. I enjoy outdoor activities but am leaning toward visiting a city bc it feels less lonely to be surrounded by people.
    Any suggestions for locations or tips for traveling alone would be much appreciated!

    • How about travel to a city that is close to nature, like Seattle or Portland or San Francisco?

    • Anonymous :

      Try Club Med in Turks and Caicos. Nice mix of singles and couples, and tons of activities.

    • Anonymous :

      I think this depends on how adventerous you want to be and how limited your budget is. My initial suggestions based on 6 days were Belize or Mexico City but they might be overwhelming for someone who hasnt traveled much recently. There is an ‘explore’ function in kayak where you can put in your orgin airport and look for destination ideas.

    • Moonstone :

      You might want to post again to get more answers, but I say you should come to Chicago, where there’s lots of fun stuff to do and I would meet you for a drink downtown.

    • Traveling Alone :

      Thanks all! I was originally thinking London, Paris, or SF but they felt like cities I’d want to go to with someone. Maybe I just need to be brave and do it on my own.
      That “explore” button on Kayak is key – I didn’t know about it. Thanks!

      • I’ve traveled on my own often, love it. Many cities in Europe and Australia are very solo friendly.

        For 4-6 days, pick a city that you could also venture out for short day trips. Madrid- Toledo, Prague-Cesky Krumlov, Terezin, Karlovy Vary, Lisbon- Belem-Sintra, Melbourne and Sydney, Florence- several day trip options close by, Vienna and Budapest, etc… :)

      • I’ve traveled on my own often, love it. Many cities in Europe and Australia are very solo friendly.

        For 4-6 days, pick a city that you could also venture out for short day trips. Madrid- Toledo, Prague-Cesky Krumlov, Terezin, Karlovy Vary, Lisbon- Belem-Sintra, Melbourne and Sydney, Florence- several day trip options close by, Vienna and Budapest, etc… :)

      • So odd that my comment of places says it needs to be reviewed first by the editors.

        Go for the solo travel. You’ll love it.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Montreal/Quebec City is a much shorter plane ride and it’s like a mini trip to France!

        • Minallmine :

          +1 for Quebec generally. I think it will be easier to navigate, too – Paris can be a bit overwhelming. I lived in Belgium for years, so I’ve been all over France, and while it’s beautiful and worth it, I have fonder memories of Montreal, tbh.

        • Anonymous :

          Appreciate the appreciation and assume good intentions…but dude Quebec n’est pas la France!! Don’t say that when you come visit!

          • However, it is an easy exposure to many valued and prized aspects of French culture that the Quebecois have taken great pains to try to preserve.

            I second Quebec- Maybe a mix of Montreal (so friendly, so easy to travel, everyone will speak english) and Quebec city (where you will want to try your French and the historic old city is beautiful to wander in. The is also wonderful food)

    • Asheville? Granted, it’s not a big city, but it’s affordable and has a nice mix of activities you can do with people around and outdoor activities.

    • not sure which city you are in the northeast and i know you said it is a tight budget, so maybe Boston or Philly (which is hugely underrated, but has lots to do and great restaurants). If you are willing to drive a little farther you could consider Montreal or a city in Vermont or Maine. Charleston is also great, but warmer in the summer months, though you could fit in a bit of beach time.

    • Anonymous :

      You could do a walking tour in England. I’ve used HF Holidays. They offer 3, 4 and 7 night holidays at a great price compared to what you’d pay in the US.

    • Anonymous :

      Newfoundland!

      Nature is beautiful in summer, you can go hiking and kayaking. Newfoundlanders are warm and welcoming, the food is great and the music even better.

      • oh YES! I changed my mind and I agree with Newfoundland or Nova Scotia. Friendliest people in the world. You definitely won’t feel alone. Also beautiful seascapes, whale watching, hiking, and easy pub nights.

    • Iceland! I went there for 10 days by myself last summer and I’m dying to go back. There’s so much to do you won’t have time to feel lonely.

  33. Anonymous :

    paris. great city to hang out in. London too.

    crazytourist/crazyauntpurl traveled alone for a while and had great tips

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