Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Judith Silk Blouse

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

This silk blouse is one of the bestsellers at Saks, and although it looks a little boring, it’s got a classic style and kind of seems perfect in every way. I like the pleats at the shoulders and the high, unfussy kind of neckline — it’s not too low-cut and it’ll lay properly inside of your blazer or cardigan. (This can be a great layering piece for spring, summer, and fall.) This top is silk/elastane, available in three colors (black, navy, and creme) in sizes XS-XL, and it’s $178 at Saks. Judith Silk Blouse

This blouse is $68 and a deadringer; Amazon has some options of the pictured blouse at muuuuch lower prices as well.

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(L-all)

Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    I spend quite a bit of my time at work on making sure the formatting is pristine. My boss insists that everything look spotless. I don’t want to spend all day making the the rows in Excel are the same height, the margins are all equal, all the images are the same height, the same highlight color is used, etc.

    I want to quit my job as I am not really learning much and just formatting all day. Do all of you with more experience think that formatting with extreme attention to detail is a valuable use of time?

    • Anonymous :

      Were you hired to format spreadsheets?

      Are you a troll?

      • Anonymous :

        I am not a troll. I am a financial analyst.

        • Well…I was a wee financial analyst in banking once. And yes, this is your job if you’re making client-facing materials, and you work in finance, and you’re the junior person. You get to graduate to cooler stuff when you can rock the little stuff. I know, I know…not the answer you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Can we please stop jumping to troll accusations based on a single post?

        • Seriously. As someone who has been called a troll for several genuine questions, it is so irritating. Why on earth would this post be a troll?

          • Agree. She just sounds like a lazy and entitled millenial.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Oh goodness. Seriously, this place is what we make it. I don’t appreciate comments like this either. Can we at least start from a place of respect for each other? I understand how heated arguments can get and sometimes people turn nasty, but rudeness to an innocuous question like this is really not necessary.

          • +1 Sydney Bristow!

    • What is your industry and role? Can you automate some of this and start from a form table that has these formats pre-loaded? Attention to detail is a valuable skill. Do these documents eventually make it outside the company? Your boss shouldn’t have to spend the time fixing typos and formatting errors- your job is to give them the work in as close to perfect form as you can get.

    • Anonymous :

      I work as a financial analyst.

      I have been trying to steer the team towards automation. Thanks for the advice.

      • I’m in Corp Finance and have several fin analysts on my team. There are two answers. You’re an analyst, so yes, a certain part of your job is formatting. Part of what makes finance challenging is taking tons of data and making it easy to digest, and part of that is making sure the formatting is not a distraction to the data. But no, that should not be your entire job. You should be learning how to do the analysis part, which you’re likely not learning if you’re focusing on the margins.

        In your next 1 on 1 with your boss, ask for her honest assessment of your work. Where does she see your strengths, where does she see you can improve? What resources does she recommend for you to improve? If you want to move on to senior financial analyst in the next year or so, what skills would she need to see you demonstrate? How can you either improve your skills, or demonstrate that you have them (if she just hasn’t seen them yet)? Etc.

        If she seems helpful, gives valid actionable criticism, and seems to genuinely want to help you, then hooray. If she thinks the fact that you staple on an angle instead of straight is going to prevent you from ever getting promoted, then it’s time for a new job. Start hunting.

        • JuniorMinion :

          Agree with this, also in M&A in a post banking job. It is important that you understand the modeling as well as the strategic aspect of what you are putting together. Yes you are the most junior and thus closest to the formatting work but it is important for your career development to also get exposure to a broader process / strategy as those are the skills that any subsequent jobs will look to you to add.

    • Yes, formatting matters. To those of us who “see” it, it is just as jarring as poor spelling.
      And I’m trying not to be condescending, but comment put my back up, as someone with a high level professional career doing exactly what you are complaining about. If it’s not your cup of tea, learn to do it as fast as possible or delegate, but yes, it does matter.

      • Mind you, I do see the humor and irony in my inability to avoid typos. Please cut me some slack, I’m typing on my phone and haven’t had any coffee yet.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe “lock” some of the cells such that the formatting doesn’t get screwed up? I don’t know how to do this. However, I often receive reporting forms that are locked except for the input fields where I type the report information.

      I hear your annoyance. I once had a boss who would insist we (the staff) spend a lot of time on formatting things even for internal usage. He’d give us back a document with the only comment being that a column had a header with 5 letters, therefore it could be smaller. No changes to the content.

    • Anonymous :

      It shouldn’t take long (maybe a minute?) to make all the rows in Excel the same height. Possibly you could benefit from doing some online training to figure out how all the formatting features work.

      • +1

        I’m not sure why this particular formatting task should take that long? Also OP are you using macros to your maximum advantage? If you’re doing it all manually, with respect, you’re not doing it very efficiently.

    • The easiest way to do this is to do it correctly from the start. Format your entire spreadsheet so that the rows are the same height. Use only one font (or perhaps use bold or italics of that same font). I don’t know if you realize how distracting these things are to those of us who see them. If I’m handed a document that isn’t properly formatted, or uses multiple fonts, or uses light pink some of the time and a different light pink the other part of the time, I literally cannot “see” anything in the data set and I have to spend my own time formatting it.

      I had an internal client who routinely sent me price quotes and her sheet was a mishmash of different fonts, different sizes, different colors, and worse yet – the prices were calculated in such a way that I couldn’t easily grab them and add them up a different way myself. Don’t be like that.

      And while you’re there – please make sure that your print margins are set in such a way that the recipient can easily print it without having to reformat it herself.

      • Wee Consulting Analyst :

        All this is much easier when you are the one making the document from scratch rather than inheriting something that was started by or worked on by 7 different people.

        Documents I make myself = works of art

        Documents my team makes and then randomly sends me at some point = not as nice

        • +1

          but it’s still part of our jobs…
          I like to listen to music if I’ve been sent something that needs a lot of formatting TLC to make it seem less tedious

      • I am married to someone that “sees” this stuff. I don’t, but I show him my work and he keeps over in horror, then tells me how to fix it. We compromise usually :-)

        I am not in finance, so this is usually about formatting ppts and long documents with many sections/headings.

        One day you can delegate. Until then, it’s you.

    • Some of this is nailing down attention to detail – and it will help you professionally – that benefits your whole team and organization, not just your boss. Begin with the end in mind.

      This attention to detail, and consistency also helps in tech, as someone who works with people who use screenreaders (low vision and/or blind) for moments where formatting makes the difference between having access to online materials and being systematically shut out of a conversation.

      I get that it is not the full use of your training and education, however, as someone who is decades into a career, this attention to detail helps you. Sloppy work routinely limits people. Please, develop some patience about it.

    • Yes. Formatting is annoying but is very important. The fact that it continues to be a major focus suggests that you need to put more attention on doing it independently, and trust me, if you don’t put the time into boring things like this you won’t get to do the more interesting things down the road. Don’t quit your job – if you are entry level in a corporate job, this is going to be what your life entails for most other entry corporate jobs you would consider and it is a prerequisite for long term success. It will stop being a major focus though relatively soon – just take the time now to learn it!

      • I have a team of analysts reporting to me, and they are at varying levels of skill and experience. I provided a template for Excel, which includes fonts, row height, margin size, and colors, so that all deliverables from our team have a consistent look and feel, no matter who created the report. One thing I emphasize with them is that when they are doing their jobs correctly, I can take their report all the way up the chain to the president of the organization without having to touch it.

        One of my junior analysts is struggling with his attention to detail on deliverables, but he thinks he’s ready for higher-level work. To be blunt, he isn’t. I have to regularly send him punch lists on his deliverables, and the back and forth takes up a lot of my time and energy. If my team were being reduced, he would be the first to go.

    • Financial analysts work for me in my ibanking world. If I can’t get a properly formatted spreadsheet and other attention-to-detail type things, I cannot trust you with processing million and billions of dollars of transactions. Also, if I have to repeatedly correct you/show you how to properly format and present data, then we definitely have a problem.

    • I’m a more senior equity research analyst, and I definitely think that it’s important to demonstrate attention to detail. I have had a lot of people (millenials) under me who wanted to move up quickly to the more “interesting” jobs, but I would use formatting, filing, and similar tasks to teach my employees about the history of companies, the culture of our shop, etc. And I would judge their attitudes and performance as part of my assessment of when the employees were ready to move on to more difficult tasks.
      Also, we would send our files out to clients sometimes (even the ones which were created for internal use). It’s super important for spreadsheets to be neat, well-formatted, and easy for clients to understand. It gives a good impression of the analyst and it increases the chances that clients will come back for similar future requests, if your files are easy to use.

    • You should get more efficient in your use of Excel, as suggested above. However, it still seems a bit too… basic as the only task for an analyst. Is this the only thing that you are ever asked to do? Or do you do some data analysis as well? Do you work with the other softwares, say SPSS/Stata/R/Matlab or is it Excel only?

      • Anonymous :

        Not OP, but you can do so much in Excel in terms of data analysis nowadays, lots of financial analysts use it exclusively.

  2. This blouse :

    This blouse seems to be pulling over the bust in a very odd way. No likey.

    • Good catch, thank you! I was thinking the lines were perfect for me (low-slung chest and broad shoulders), but now that you point it out, it’s pulling exactly the way many shirts do on me.
      Thanks, I was tempted because I looove silk, and I like the color.

    • I will speak up for the blouse! I have it, and I looooove it. No pulling!

      • In fact, I love it so much I bought an extra, for whenever the first one wears out/gets stained. I have never done this with another shirt before.

    • Yay Kat! The OP is very perceptive! I LOVE Silk Blouse’s, but the fit must be JUST right or else it will look schlumpey in the breast and bodice. Rosa (who is svelte) bought an XS blouse in silk, and it literaly hung on her like a sack. As a result, you should alway’s try it on b/f buying it. YAY!!!!

    • One of my shoulders is half an inch shorter than the other (broken collarbone as a teenager), and I worry the pleats would hang funny or accentuate the difference. Perhaps someday I’ll try it on in person,

    • ummm don’t you think that’s an issue of choosing the right size rather than an issue with the blouse?

    • “No likey”? Really? We’re doing funny accents now?

  3. Anon in NOVA :

    customer service experience (regarding a brand I learned about on this site):
    I got the lo & sons seville for my birthday about six months ago and have been in love with it. However, the leather straps have horribly frayed! I’m not normally one to email customer service, but for the cost of this bag and the fact it’s only been 6 months I thought I’d give it a shot. They were VERY polite and are going to replace the bag with no hassle to me. I was very impressed with their customer service, and this has me hopeful that this was a defect or from a bad batch, and not their usual quality. Especially since I’ve been eyeing that giant weekender bag they have. fingers crossed the next one holds up better, because I really do love it.

    • In-House in Houston :

      I’m not surprised. They are wonderful! I have the OMG and love it. I bought it and a few days later it went on sale. I called them and they refunded me the difference in price…no questions asked. Is it just me, or do you love to watch their videos? I must’ve watched the one for the OG and OMG a million times. Maybe I need to get a life :)…..

      • Anon in NOVA :

        YES i love the videos! I’m glad I’m not the only nerd that loves them. The video almost convinced me to get the backpack they have out! (Though I have literally zero need/use for a backpack in my life). The Seville video did give me a good tip that I use, which is packing my clothes inside the seville shell and then putting the shell in the suitcase. This is kind of a “duh” thing, but that doesn’t mean I would’ve thought of it!

        @carrots I’m glad to hear the customer service is still so great two years down the line, I was a bit worried they were just so responsive because it had only been 6 months. The rest of the bag has held up wonderfully, so I’m thinking mine just came from a bad batch.

    • They are great – I had the handle break on my Brookline two years after I purchased it and they sent me a replacement bag, no questions asked.

      Also, In-House – agree on the videos! They always look so much more organized than my bags ever do!

      • In-House in Houston :

        Carrots, I know!! I wish I was more organized too. I have crushed granola bars in the bottom of my OMG bag. I sometimes wonder where these women are going…hopefully someplace exotic. I seriously watched the videos for the OG and OMG at least 20 times before I bought the bag. Feels good to fess-up!!!

    • Minnie Beebe :

      I had the exact same issue with my Seville. 6 months in and the straps were frayed. They sent me a new bag right away, along with a box and shipping label to send back the old one to their QC department. My newer one seems to be better, FYI. I don’t know if the strap material has changed or not, but it seems to be more durable now.

    • They replaced a bag for me too because the zipper pull fell off.

      And if you are talking about the Catalina weekender, I love mine.

    • Pile on the love fest for Lo & Sons — great product and even better service. I own two bags & have been very impressed with the personal service and quick responses I’ve gotten for my minor issues (exchanging a bag when I figured out I preferred a different size, helping with an exchange).

    • Another Lo & Sons devotee here. My two-year-old OG had frayed bottom corners and I contacted them to see how they recommended I get it fixed. Customer service sent me a new bag FOR FREE! Amazing. I’m a devoted customer for life!

    • My OG bag shoulder strap started to rip off the bag about 2 years after I bought it. I contacted Lo & Sons asking if they could fix it and they just sent me a new bag instead.

  4. Sydney Bristow :

    I like the Vince Camuto version of a top that looks like this that commenters were talking about recently.

    I have a blouse with a similar neckline and it looks great with more delicate necklaces. I still love a statement necklace but I’ve been drifting towards more delicate ones lately.

  5. Anonymous :

    May I do a “2 adults” membership to a museum with a friend? We both like attending museum functions, and its cheaper than purchasing individual memberships. Does 2 adults imply a couple? Technically, its “two adults and two children or grandchildren (up to age 18)”. We’re both single, no kids, and enjoy attending museum events.

    • Anonymous :

      You’d have to check the specific museum’s rules. Some would be fine with it. Others may limit it to two adults residing at the same address.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks! I didn’t think of this. I’m more concerned about ideologically, is it gaming the system. We clearly aren’t a couple, just 2 budget conscious friends!

    • Anonymous :

      It’s fine, unless the museum specifies that you have to be married or living together, which it sounds like they didn’t.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you should ask the museum if you can or if they would let friends sign up together. Who knows — they might.

      I live in fear of things like this coming out at my (very hypothetical) confirmation hearing. I try to avoid doing things that are not defensible, especially here where the stakes are so low.

      I feel like we know that this is not for friends absent the museum’s explicit blessing. Otherwise, it rings a bit “rules are for other people and I have an exemption for ones I don’t like.”

      • Anonymous :

        You sound crazy paranoid, and I can’t imagine living my entire life trying to abide by all sorts of unwritten rules. If a museum sells a membership for two people, it’s fine to use it for two unrelated people, unless the fine print says “*must reside at the same address or be married” or something like that.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t think that it is.

          I think that the OP admitted that it seemed like gaming the system. It might be or might not be.

          But I’d not want to develop a reputation as a person who cheats. Cheating is not really a matter of degree.

          • Anonymous :

            I just don’t think it’s cheating unless the museum makes clear that it’s intended for a couple/family. Many museums allow this, many don’t. If it’s intended for only families, that should be made clear. If it’s not specified that it’s just for family members, it’s not cheating to share it with a non-family member.

          • Anonymous :

            OP here: I’ve never had a museum membership before, and I’m from a working class family who didn’t particularly frequent museums, so sometimes I worry that I’m missing out on unwritten social mores.

            I think you’re very risk averse, which is fine, but I do think cheating is a matter of degrees that would be teased out in this future h ypothetical confirmation hearing. Paying for 2 people, and 2 people attending an event, doesn’t seem the same to me as 1 person paying for HBO go for herself and then sharing it with others.

          • Anonymous :

            Are you insane? It is not cheating to follow the rules.

          • Anonymous :

            She’s asking for clarification of the rules so she can follow them. There is no need to ask the rude, rhetorical “Are you insane?” question. Please try to be nicer.

    • Double check their policies, but I have a museum membership that is specifically designed to allow that. It’s not gaming the system, they set it up to work that way.

      • Anonymous :

        Definitely check the rules or ask.

        A lot of people share things where it’s not allowed (amazon prime, hbo), but sometimes it is (museum is happy with additional patrons).

        It seems like you care about doing the right thing more than being thrifty and I think you can probably sell them on an exception given your love of the museum (if not allowed already).

      • Anonymous :

        OP here: good feedback. I’ll call to double check, but I suspect that its ok. I don’t see anything about must reside at the same address on their site. I also suspect that they’ll be happy that new folks want to join as members!

      • Shopaholic :

        +1 I think it’s fine but I would probably double-check with the museum. My parents bought a membership to a museum in my city (they live elsewhere) and the woman selling us the membership suggested that they put one of the cards in my name so I can go without them. I think museums generally just want more visitors.

    • I would also call and ask. A friend of mine works at a museum. Yes, sometimes the intent is to capture families/couples, but that was broadened to capture same sex couples etc… And increasingly they want to get their membership numbers up any way possible, and would also be happy for you and your friend to join this way.

      Usually they make the restriction to couples who live at the same address, if restricting to family is their intent.

      And I completely understand your reticence, as I am the same. I grew up in a family where honesty and absolute transparency was the norm, to an ultra extreme. When I left home, I was pretty shocked how many people work the system or take advantage or simply take risks that I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing. For example, when I was in grad school, I didn’t know anyone but me who was paying taxes on our stipends (which we were required to do at the time). I still don’t feel comfortable borrowing my friends Netflix account and don’t, and I wouldn’t try to cheat and buy a family museum membership with my friend IF IT WAS TRULY intended to be for families only.

      But I am burdened with more shame than any atheist I know!

      • I’m hoping you’re an atheist and you meant that you’re burdened with more shame than any _other_ atheist you know? Otherwise, that seems quite out of the blue and unnecessary.

        • Speaking as an atheist who also very deeply values honesty, ethics, and treating everyone how I would want to be treated (with kindness and respect): I agree.

      • Anon above :

        The intent of my atheist remark….

        I am an atheist. Half of my family is Catholic. My subtle reference was to the classic Catholic guilt, which most of my atheist (fortunately) friends do not share.

        So I am the atheist, with a lot of Catholic guilt…

        ….about stuff I shouldn’t feel guilty about. Because I was brought up with a non-religious value system to never, ever do anything wrong. Do unto others. Follow the law. Don’t cheat. Do what’s right.

        I can’t believe I just had to explain all that….

        I know this site is paranoid about trolls these days, but I’m with the other posters who say let’s try to assume good intent, and not be so defensive?

        And now jump on me for not being a better writer…. too much of a stretch… sigh..

        • “I’m hoping” was me “assuming good intent” while also inquiring as to what you meant. Your comment wasn’t at all clear. Thank you for clarifying.

      • numbersmouse :

        I hope you realise that Netflix accounts are also designed to be shared. That’s why they let you set up several profiles and you can pay more to be able to watch on more than one screen at the same time.

    • I commonly see memberships as 2 adults at one address or as a family membership where one person on the card needs to be present and they can use it to admit another adult and any children present. Usually the membership section of the museum’s website will specify how their memberships are intended to be used.

    • I have done this when I was a single parent, with another single parent for family discounts. Just get the names right, they don’t care about the addresses, but some places occasionally check IDs, which covers this.

      • Honestly, I think this is reasonable.

        There are many advantages to being part of a couple, that make being a single more expensive.

        I am older and will never be married. My luck in life. My old school father worries a lot about me, and thinks it is not right that only spouses can benefit from spousal benefits (eg. sharing health insurance, inheritance of social security/pensions etc…) which leaves a lot of us singles less protected. We have to build our own families for support, which for me will probably be moving in with single girlfriends in retirement so I wont be alone.

        I had never thought this for myself at all, but thought it was interesting my elderly father did!

        • Anonymous :

          Most women become widowed at some point in their lives, so you’ll probably have a pack of single girlfriends later in life even if most of them are married now.

          • Anonymous :

            And all of those widows will have their partner’s benefits/pensions/401K etc…

            Quite different than a lifelong single.

            Then again, probably quite a few women on this site make more than their partner anyway!

  6. I am in a relationship with a wonderful man who does not have a green thumb. Outside of gardening, he is kind and generous… but gardening is different. He doesn’t have a high gardening drive. He likes to garden well enough when we’re gardening but it’s not something he thinks about much. He’s not gardening with anyone else nor does he wish he was gardening with different kinds of gardener.

    I’ve tried to talk about this. He knows I’m not happy but I don’t think he knows how bad he is at gardening. He’s diligent and has no problems working on improving himself in other areas. How can we try to address this? How do I find a gardening counselor? I have no shame when it comes to seeking mental health care, but gardening therapists seem different. Any other ideas? Thank you!

    • Anonymous :

      I think its good to address. This sounds like a close friend and her soon to be ex husband. who also have differing gardening drives. She said she ignored it, but the issue became a challenge over the years as her frustration grew. No idea how to find gardening counselors, but I just wanted to encourage you to work at this issue! I think its fairly common from friends’ anecdata.

      • Anonymous :

        This is me and my husband. Not a single other complaint (at least on my end) other than his low s3x drive. It’s not a dealbreaker (for me), but it definitely is frustrating.

        • Anonymous :

          Ditto. I would prefer to have more gardening with him, but instead there’s a lot of self-gardening for me. I deal, but wish he had a higher interest in gardening.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      No advice to offer here, but I just wanted to say that I started reading this post as if it were about REAL gardening, and was like, WTF, you’re going to complain that his plants die? Then it clicked. Hah!

      • Anonymous :

        +1 LOL

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Same! Took me a sec for it to click.

      • This is the one forum where I thought I could get anonymous and helpful advice. Maybe I was trying too hard to fit it in the LGP lingo.

        • No, it’s just morning and we don’t have our euphemism translators turned on yet. We’re laughing with you, or at ourselves, not at you.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Oh, no! I don’t think any of us meant that this wasn’t appropriate- the euphemisms are just hilarious on here. I hope you get some advice- I don’t have any, but this is a good place to go! Sorry!

      • These posts are actually hilarious read literally.

        • In that case, when I wrote that he “does not have a green thumb” I meant that he doesn’t do what’s necessarily for me to flower.

          My soil great for flowers, no past gardener has had problems figuring out how to make lots of flowers bloom. They loved to see the results of their work in the garden because they found blooming flowers beautiful. I want my husband to be willing to try different brands of fertilizer. Or different amounts of water. I’d even go to Home Depot or the local nursery with him to look at the different artificial fertilizers if he wanted.

          Hilarious enough? Or just cheesy?

          • BabyAssociate :

            Hahahah amazing

          • He wants me to flower. He waits for me to flower, but I have to buy the bulbs, put them in the dark for the winter, plant them and then water them.

            IMO, good gardeners like planting and watering their gardening partner’s bulbs occasionally!

            Also, I have never actually gardened outside with real plants or dirt or anything so I don’t know that I can take these euphemisms any further!

          • How is he about discussing Gardening in general. Some of this might be about making gardening more normal. He might have his own gardening baggage, or trauma, and this makes things a lot tougher to talk about. Sometimes when it’s just the adults, Death Six and Money podcast goes on speaker and prompts conversation. It happens with me and my partner when I’m emptying the dishwasher or prepping meals for the week and they are nearby.

          • ToS, I will look at those podcasts. I’ve sent him a select few The Longest Shortest Time podcasts on this subject. I should have suggested we listen to them together. Maybe that’s the first step.

            We are horrible about talking about gardening. I wasn’t always this way, but so many years in now I’m bad too. I also realize that in every other relationship I have had, I wasn’t the uninhibited one. I was comfortable talking in detail about gardening in past relationships because I was with uninhibited men who made me feel comfortable.

            He’s got some baggage… I don’t think there’s trauma. At the beginning (10 years ago) it really felt like the baggage was just that he’s a late bloomer with minimal experience and that made him clam up long before I entered the picture. Add in low gardening drive and you get a mess.

            I need to take the uninhibited role that my SOs had in past relationships and draw him out but at this point I’m so worried that I’ll crush him further. I’m blunt. He knows that, but here I need to be delicate.

          • It’s cute! I admire your commitment to the theme.

            (Really, my metaphorical garden is not currently in use, so I have no advice, but I was just amused by the idea of a couple squabbling in the actual garden. I’m sorry to have poked fun at what is obviously a sensitive subject for you).

          • No apology necessary January! I didn’t think you were poking fun, I just worried my hasty euphemisms weren’t well written!

            Last night we were gardening and I tried the “oh, I really like it when you rub me on my…” and he couldn’t find my … on the first try and I was just so crushed that we are this far into our lives together and yet he can’t find my … and vowed to start pulling my weight in solving this problem that he doesn’t even fully realize is a problem.

            That’s it! I’m officially out of gardening lingo!

          • Senior Attorney :

            You are awesome!

            Unbelievable that he can’t find your… sprinkler head.

            I think you’re right to take charge. I recommend demonstrating exactly what you like. Make it fun and sexy like you’re putting on a show. Maybe for Valentine’s Day. Or it’s still early in the year so maybe you could frame it as a belated New Year’s Resolution to have more fun in the … garden!

          • Sprinkler head is perfect SA!!! Thanks!

      • I did too, and thought so what if he doesn’t like to garden? You do the gardening and let him be the guy who takes out the garbage or whatever.

        And I guess that’s still good advice. You do the gardening.

      • Senior Attorney :

        HAHAHA! I read it literally, too, and I was all “Well, can’t they just hire people to take care of the yard?”

    • Anonymous :

      I think there are two issues: 1) different drives and 2) he’s “bad at gardening.” The former I’m inclined to say you should compromise. Very few people are perfectly in sync with their partner and most couples have one person who would like it more and one who would like it less, and they meet somewhere in the middle. You just sort of dropped the second issue in casually while discussing the first issue in depth, but it seems like a much bigger deal to me and more of a dealbreaker if a therapist doesn’t help (assuming you’ve told him what you like and he’s not doing it).

    • Anonymous :

      You mention two issues: He doesn’t have a strong drive, he is bad at it. The first is very tangible, and can possibly be addressed (Speaking from experience). If he is tired at the end of a long day, it needs to happen earlier, maybe mornings, or right after dinner. Does he engage if you suggest? Initiate more frequently. You won’t magically change his drive, but maybe there is some middle ground.
      The second issue is extremely vague. Don’t feel obliged to spell out your desires on this forum, but if you want him to change, he’s going to need more advice. “I really like it, when you…” has been useful here.

      • We’ve attempted to address the first issue. Multiple testosterone tests, all came back within the reasonable range. It has always been an issue and one I thought I could compromise on… I still think I can compromise on issue one if issue two is improved.

        At first I thought issue two stemmed from inexperience (his, not mine). Nothing wrong with that, it would be something we could work on together – sounds fun. Didn’t improve organically. When I brought it up gingerly a few months into dating, he said maybe he had some issues with it… pretty vague (and as far as I can tell, they is no obvious issue – no abuse or other incident in his past, maybe once with someone else an issue that involved forgetting to remove a tampon, that’s it). He was willing to talk to a therapist so he started seeing one. I think they mainly talked about extended family and work stress, but who am I to tell him what he should and shouldn’t talk about with a therapist. Work stress plays a role in this anyway, so I was happy enough.

        Time passes. Our relationship is great outside of this one thing (gardening). He’s not particularly into gardening, so he thinks our relationship is entirely great with this one little nothing of an issue… I point out gardening is super important to me, he promises to keep working at it. More time passes. We marry (I know, I know, but trust me that outside of this our relationship is great). We have kids. Pregnancy and nursing and health issues puts this one thing on my back burner too. We read Love Languages together. He knows physical touch is my language. More time passes. We’re busy with jobs and kids and a million other things. We’re not having more kids and I’m thrilled that my body is mine again. I’m ready to focus more on this. I tell him as much. More time passes.

        My desires are rather vanilla, I think. I want to have fun, I want to enjoy each other but nothing crazy. Nothing I wouldn’t write about if I wasn’t scared of moderation. I want to be objectified by this person who clearly respects and cares about me so much that being objectified by him would be entirely safe. But just grabbing my a$$ occasionally when we’re both in the kitchen would be nice. Or interrupting whatever we’re doing in the kitchen to garden. Because I need to know gardening with me is more important than dishes. I’ve told him this.

        By bad, I mean bad. Unskilled. Doesn’t know how to grow a flower. Couldn’t locate the root system on his first try. After several years together. He wants me to enjoy gardening but I have to do all the work. “I really like it when you…” doesn’t go anywhere… maybe he does that one thing for the rest of that gardening session but would never think to deviate from that one thing and try other things. And forgets by the next session. Stuff like that. I initiate 95% of the time. I get turned down 90% of the time I initiate. He made a concerted effort to initiate more over the past few months. I noticed this, I thought it was great. But last night it became clear he thinks it’s a quantity issue only, not a quality issue. At this point I don’t know how to address the quality issue without scaring him away from gardening entirely.

        • I am really sorry, it must be so frustrating. From my limited experience, the part about “will keep doing the one thing I liked and not try out other stuff unless specifically told” is not uncommon. It sounds like a professional will be of more help than us internet strangers.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          How would he feel about bringing in a tool to help? Lelo (recommended here!) has a number of items that look like they could be strategically placed to help with your flowers with little or no work required on your part.

          • The Lelo Tiani. You’re welcome.

            (also don’t be afraid to look up the YouTube video for how it’s supposed to work, I did!)

          • Was going to suggest this as well.

            OP I have no other advice other than commiseration. Gardening is pretty important in a relationship, and so is feeling physically desired. I hope you can work through this and get to a place where you’re happy!

          • Not opposed to toys. Will look at the Lelo Tiani! We have a Lelo Gigi. We picked it out together (my idea, obviously). He doesn’t mind me using it, but if it’s needed, he won’t proactively reach for it, won’t hold it without me prompting him, doesn’t seem to think it’s fun to watch what it can do to me. He just plays with my rocks while I garden with it and he tries not to pass out.

          • Anon Me Too :

            Oh — me too. I thought “guys like gadgets.” But you’ve tried it.

        • Anonymous :

          I just want to say, I’m sorry you’re going through this. I don’t know if you read Dan Savage but he has some interesting ideas on this kind of gardening drive mismatch. Some of his ideas are not palatable to all. Like, one option is to open up a marriage and allow the person with a higher drive to do some gardening with other people. There are situations where this can work, but it’s a drastic move. If you haven’t read through Dan Savage’s columns, you may find them helpful.

          I had a client one time who was a therapist who specialized in gardening. She worked with couples only and had a complete program of how they could create solutions together. I would check Psychology Today for someone who does gardening therapy in your area. Big hugs.

    • Anonymous :

      Break up. He isn’t broken, he isn’t interested in fixing it, he doesn’t see a problem. You are just fundamentally incompatible in a very important area.

      • +1. It sounds like you are just incompatible. You can try finding a sex positive therapist, and that may help, but if he is happy with his current drive and skills/activities….its unlikely to change. Your sexual pleasure is important and valuable, and you should not feel bad about prioritizing it!

        • Suggestions for how I find a s3x positive therapist?

          We’re busy. We can make time for therapy. But we can’t make time to try every single one out here and see who is a good fit.

          I know we’re not the only couple we know with this problem. If it were just a drive issue, I’d be willing to talk about it with people I know. But don’t know how to ask for suggestions in my area anonymously and I’m not willing for people who know us to know my husband is bad in bed.

          • This might help: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=15876642

            And seriously, you are allowed to decide this is a deal breaker. It’s not “just” sex. Sex is important to you (and frankly to most people). Our culture gives us such screwed up ideas about women’s sexual pleasure, but we deserve to be sexually satisfied and happy with our partners. If it doesn’t work and you can’t be happy with him, I hope you can give yourself permission to leave if that’s what you need to do. Honestly from your description above it sounds like he is really selfish and just does not care about your pleasure or emotional needs in this area. You deserve to have your needs met!

          • In theory I agree with what you said. But I don’t need to leave him. I love him, our life, our kids, our partnership. If this is how it is, I would rather live with the problem than without him. He is the least selfish person I know outside of the garden and I’m still convinced that his gardening issues are either medical and/or psychological and/or the result of inexperience.

            What I do need is to know that we both tried as hard as we could to improve gardening. I haven’t been doing that, I’m ready to start.

          • Seriously, good luck to you, it sounds like you’re in a really tough spot. Please buy yourself a super nice gardening tool!

          • The other side of the gardening mountain :

            Quick question – how close are you both to menopause and andropause? When people talk about dealbreakers, sometimes things change in unexpected ways. Not to say good or bad, but something to think on.

          • Probably 10 years based on family history.

      • You sound like a good candidate for a type of open marriage arrangement. Seriously, what do you have to lose by trying it?

        • Because I’m madly in love with him, not anyone else. Unfair to expect one person to be my everything? Perhaps. But he does like gardening enough that I feel we can get to a place that works for both of us. I’d happily settle for once a week mediocre gardening with him than anything else with anyone else.

        • “Seriously, what do you have to lose by trying it?” Um….potentially just about everything? Including her relationship, kids, home and reputation? Not saying open relationships can never work but suggesting it’s a “nothing to lose” situation is cray.

          • I don’t think you understand what I mean by “open marriage.” I don’t mean polyamory, or any sort of romantic relationship with anyone else other than him. I mean: having s*x with an anonymous stranger every once in a while to get your needs met. With his permission and enthusiastic consent, of course.

            It saddens me that people are so quick to urge you to leave your marriage. At the same time, s*x is an important human need — and more important for some than for others. It’s clearly more important for you than it is for him, and that’s ok. But before ditching this relationship, or condemning yourself to a life of s*xless misery, please consider broaching this subject with him. Who knows? Perhaps he would be relieved at the idea — he would be freed from the burden of failing you in this important way.

            To the commenter below — please stop with your s*x negative judging. I didn’t say cheating, I said open relationship. I mean, come on — risk her “reputation”? “Children”? How, exactly, does one risk losing one’s “home” by having extremely discreet, once-in-a-while s*x with a stranger with her spouse’s permission?

          • Anonymous :

            Because the probability of this kind of anonymous s*x arrangement leading to divorce are high, and she’s made it clear she doesn’t want a divorce or all the negatives that would come with it. I am not judging people who get divorced or have open marriages. Those are definitely the right solutions for some people, and obviously there are downsides to staying in the marriage too. But OP said she doesn’t want to get a divorce, and telling her to try an open marriage because she has “nothing to lose” is very misguided. She has a lot to lose. And if you think her friends and her kids’ friends’ parents won’t know about this little arrangement, you’re living on Mars. That’s not being s*x-negative, that’s just being realistic.

        • am I in a different world? :

          I don’t recommend the open marriage treatment approach.

          My parents tried it. So awful, devastating, hurtful, and that’s just what happened between each other…. nevermind the impact it had on the kids.

          Yeah, yeah, yeah…. I’m sure there are tons of happy long term open marriages out there. With plans for kids. That suddenly became open marriages when one spouse was not being s3xually satisfied by the other in bed. And that unsatisfied spouse was the wife, who told her husband he couldn’t please her. Yeah, I’m sure there are a lot.

    • The Constant Gardener :

      My husband is the same way, although he is a talented gardener. It caused (me) a lot of pain and I still carry some shame from some things he said to me early on when I attempted to work through this issue with him. I had always been a frequent, enthusiastic and happy gardener before, and considered it a big part of my identity and relationships. I thought things would improve, but they didn’t. It has brought me to the brink of leaving him, many times. I’m okay with it now because I’ve basically given up. I’m like my husband now … when we do garden, it’s great but it’s rare and it’s just not something I really want all that much anymore. Yes, it’s sad. If I had it to do all over again, would I still marry him? I’m not sure. I love him – he’s an amazing person, we have a wonderful life and a truly magical kid and I have no intention of giving it up. But could I have built something equally wonderful with someone else that didn’t require giving up such a big part of myself? I think I could have. No advice here, just a view from 12+ years down the road.

      • So, I posted above about having this issue with my husband. I have avoided “the conversation” precisely because of what you wrote “I still carry some shame from some things he said to me early on when I attempted to work through this issue with him.” If you don’t mind sharing… what kind of things were said and was the conversation productive in any way? I’m terrified of going down this road only for my husband to tell me he’s not physically attracted to me anymore… and for me to resent him for that.

        • I wonder if maybe he implied she’s a sl^t or similar because she enjoys gardening.

          Constant Gardener, I’min your shoes but only 10 years in and with more kids. I posted here because I thought it was the one place I could have a discussion about this that wouldn’t immediately devolve into comments about how my husband is gardening with others or would prefer to garden with male gardeners. It’s comforting to know there are others who convincing state they have a great relationship and a great life partner in every sense but for this one thing… in my case it’s so good I’m not willing to end it over gardening, no matter how much I do enjoy good gardening.

          • Hey LGP: Me too. I’ve been with my husband for about 10 years total (married for six). We have a truly great relationship in every other area (no kids, but by both of our choice).

            It’s frustrating. It sucks. He sounds a lot like your husband, in that he is incredibly thoughtful, generous, etc. except in this ONE AREA that is super important to me. He’s … working on it? It’s hard, and I wish I had more of a success story to tell you. But you’re not alone.

            Similarly, my husband is not into male gardeners and doesn’t have other gardening partners. It’s just less important to him than it is to me.

        • Constant Gardener :

          I hesitate to share, only because what he said (and anything your husband might say), isn’t about us, you know? He was on the defensive, and lashing out. I would hate to “confirm your worst fears” and potentially deter you from having the conversation. Sometimes we say terrible things to the people we love the most, because we feel the safest with them. It doesn’t feel good on the receiving end, to be sure, but it just hit me in my soft spots, as you can probably guess.

          It was a really difficult issue for my husband, and one I still don’t truly understand about him. (fwiw, I don’t think it stems from a specific incident or trauma, but I do think it’s rooted in a difficult childhood and what a giving, loving relationship feels like, which can be really scary/vulnerable sometimes. I say this to just give some context for what my husband is like and how he may be different from yours, and how that might lead to a more productive conversation with your hopefully more well-adjusted husband!)

          So, I have a very hard time speaking up about things, and being honest about what I want, which means I wait until it’s an absolute crisis before doing anything, which is never an optimal context for productive conversations! With the benefit of time (it’s a much less charged situation for us) and therapy, I think the times I’ve felt the most heard on this issue are when I approach it with a lot of love. Sometimes it really is (or was) an almost painful physical need, there’s my ego (“what do you mean, you don’t want this jelly?!?”), the “you have no idea how much I’m sacrificing for you …” thing – I would not recommend using any of those arguments, lol. If I tell him how much I love him and how gardening together makes me feel very close to him and that I miss that closeness, that’s when he listens.

          So for me (and this is more directed to OP), it’s more about quantity (including just physical closeness/snuggling) and less about … less than satisfying experiences.

    • Anon for this :

      Similar issues in my marriage – more so the lack of gardening drive than being bad at it but he’s certainly not going to win any prizes. Ultimately, on the bad at it front, we have (at long last) figured out one particular position /sequence that works for both of us and we generally just do that. Finding that took literally years, but it feels worth it now. It made a big difference in our lives for me to know that if we did both want it, it could be satisfying for both.

      On the drive front, I ultimately came to terms with the fact that society (the patriarchy) told me that real men want LGP all the time… That if my man didn’t want to ravish me 24/7, he wasn’t a real man and I wasn’t a desirable feminine women. Untrue. People have gardening drives on all sides of the spectrum. We choose to work with our partners’ drives… By solo gardening, choosing better times, initiating more frequently etc. It’s not a comment on your desirability or his masculinity.

      • What you describe in your second paragraph is part of the problem. I don’t know how to get away from it completely… and maybe I shouldn’t have to. I want him to want me not just for the reason you say but because gardening is fun! And feels good! And is a bonding experience.

        • Anon for this :

          @LGP: are there any spontaneous times when he initiates? Is there a time of day when he’s more in the mood? I have a similar issue – wonderful wonderful partner, best friend, amazing dad, everything I’d ever want in a husband, but he has a low s3x drive and is just, shy, for lack of a better word (he was also a late bloomer). We’ve also been together for a similar length of time as you and your husband. I’ve done a few things that have helped improve the situation. (1) Never turn him down if he initiates. This has helped to bolster his confidence and to give him the latitude to be more spontaneous. (2) Objectify him a bit – give him compliments on his appearance, tell him you think he’s s3xy, etc. (3) Attend to your own needs and feel no guilt about it. (4) Go on a couple of vacations where the goal is to hole up in a luxury hotel or resort, get away from the kids, and relax and experiment.

          • Aww, thanks. I appreciate the commiseration but sorry for your sake that you understand.

            I follow your #1. I used to be really good about your #2, it happens less now and I will make a concerted effort to get good about it again (because it’s true, not a stretch). #3 is tricky because if I go a while without doing #3 then when we garden his poor gardening skills are enough for me but if I do #3 then they’re not. #4 is overdue. With a little more effort we can probably arrange the childcare we need to make it happen this spring. However, getting him to hole up and not do tons of fun non-gardening actives is hard. He’ll definitely want to garden once, then he’s good for rest of the vacation.

      • “On the drive front,”

        Thank you for this paragraph!! So true.

    • My husband and I had a variety of issues with this. I had some medical problems that made it difficult and painful. We were both raised in conservative religious homes. He didn’t have much of a drive and I did. It almost ended our marriage. We fought about it for the first several years of our marriage.

      We did eventually solve the problem. He agreed to do it 1 time per week on Sunday, no matter what. I agreed to never ask to do it at any other time. I knew I was going to get to do it so I stopped badgering him and then feeling heartbroken when he would say no. He stopped feeling pressured and annoyed. We did this for over a year (I think, it was a long time ago) and over that time a lot of our old wounds healed. I realized that part of the reason I was pushing so hard was because I felt so rejected. Once we were both in a better place, we dropped the restrictions.

      I later got on an anti-depressant that completely and totally killed my drive for a while. So I didn’t even want to do it. It was very eye opening to see how a change in body chemistry could make me lose the desire to do something that I had previously almost left my husband over. Now that the emotional part of it is long over, and I dealt with my own medical issues, we both initiate a comparable number of times and enjoy ourselves when we do it. It still turns out we do it about once a week. It was such a huge problem for so many years that it is kind of crazy to me to think about how it’s no longer an issue at all.

      • Thanks for this. I bet an every Sunday type arrangement could work for us. I’ll talk to him about that.

        • lawsuited :

          My husband and I have also negotiated “every day for a week no matter what” schedules after we’ve been in a valley and it can really help to get the rhythm back WRT both quality and quantity.

    • Have you discussed having an open relationship?

    • I would suggest you take a look at the dead bedroom subreddit on reddit and decide what you would like to do. For many, this is a deal breaker that leads to lifelong resentment.

      • Thank you! This is the kind of suggestion I was hoping to get. Will check it out!

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to that subreddit, although there’s a spectrum of ideas and levels of frustration on there. But I pointed a friend to it and she found it really helpful.

    • So one thing that has helped my relationship through dry spells is for me to say, “hey will you make out with me and kiss my neck while I get off?” He happily does, and I happily enjoy intimacy AND the full experience of “flowering”. It also helps because I’m much more direct when I’m half way there, and he loves seeing me so worked up. It sounds like you guys need to reestablish the bedroom as a fun place to be together.

      • I need to do this again. It’s been years. I’m part of our gardening problem because at this point I feel inhibited around him in the garden.

    • I am in the same situation. We’ve been together for 4 years and never had PIV-style gardening. His equipment does not work and the pills to fix the equipment have bad side effects for him. I have a higher-ish desire for gardening (2-3x/week is my ideal) and he, on his own, self-gardening once every few months.

      I realized about 6 months into this relationship that PIV-gardening was never going to happen and was I OK with that? I decided that, yes, I was so long as I still had some level of physical intimacy like hugging, holding hands, kissing, making out, blow- and hand-jobs. Our frequency has settled somewhere around once per month for a really good make-out session.

      To initiate a make-out session, I give him lots of notice. On Tuesday, I might say, “make-out Saturday?” Friday night, I make sure he knows I’m excited for tomorrow and can’t wait. I know he needs to feel clean and fed and early in the day is better for him so we wake up Saturday, shower, have breakfast, and then I wait until he initiates going up to the bedroom. He does this about 80% of the time. When he is focusing on me, I tell him how good I feel and very explicit directions with lots of feedback. He makes me flower so well. Better than any other gardening partner. When it’s time to focus on him, I make him choose–me going down on him or cuddling. 50% of the time, he chooses cuddling. I have to hide my disappointment but that’s who he is and I accept that.

      This was a difficult point for us to reach. Before a vacation we took together, he said that he didn’t want me trying to initiate while we were traveling! I bottled up my emotions and wore granny pajamas the whole trip. I was miserable by the end of the trip. The day after we get back, I sent him a link to the “Dead Bedrooms” subreddit. Very immature, I know. We talked about it two days later and he agreed that it wasn’t fair of him to do that and that he had hoped I would try to initiate on the cruise anyway. I talked about my feeling of rejection and that I needed some physical affection from him. I had to tell him that I have accepted we might never have PIV and that I just want him to have fun. He said that he does like blow jobs but, afterwards, he feels like a failure. I told him that as long as he is having fun, it is a success for me. He’s working on trying to believe that.

      It’s tough. It really is so tough. I never thought I would be in this situation.

      • Oh wow! I’m sorry but also impressed by how far you’ve come. One reason I love giving BJs is it’s all right in front of my face and I get to see exactly how much I’m making him enjoy himself in a way I’d never see it with PIV. It would appear you do a great job expressing yourself and communicating but maybe this explanation will help him believe there’s no failure in a BJ.

        Also, I have resorted to sending links a few times in desperation. You’re not alone there.

      • Anonymous :

        You are really, really, really amazing.

        I can’t believe how patient and thoughtful you are.

      • Anonymous :

        FWIW – I’ve been married almost 18 years. My husband has had problems, uh, flowering early since the early days in our relationship. It almost always happens during PIV, and when it happens he gets really embarrassed and emotionally withdraws. So, now we rarely engage in PIV. Maybe once in every five times we garden will we have PIV, and it’s always pretty brief (and I make sure it happens right at the end).

        I feel really lucky because we do have pretty matched drives, he is an AWESOME gardener in every other way, the frequency that we garden is exactly right, and what we have works for us, no question. Would I like more PIV gardening, sure, sometimes. But there are all kinds of ways to make things work in a relationship/marriage. There’s no one right way to make it work.

    • gardening anon :

      Ooooh this sounds EXACTLY what I went through, like exactly, and I FIXED IT. Seriously, I fixed it- the gardening technique, the drive, the communication, everything. He did have a green thumb, it was just repressed, and I wonder if your SO is the same. Inexperience/intimidation/shame/expectations can cause a disinterest or even inability to garden. I had some very specific experience that allowed me to essentially act as a gardening therapist, and it still took over a year and a few delicate but very frank conversations. I’ve actually been writing down my framework for, uh, gardening because of this experience and because I think there are many people in the same boat who don’t know where to start.

      I don’t know how to condense it into a single comment here, but I made an anonymous gmail if you want more info. gardeninganon at gmail
      I’d be really curious to see if my framework/techniques are helpful.

      • gardening anon :

        Also, look up ‘s3xological bodywork’. It’s kind of obscure, but I think it’s fascinating and legit; I’ve known a couple of people who practice (taking courses, getting certifications, etc) and they’ve generally been crunchy granola types who take it very seriously and think of it as a calling. I got to flip through some of their course material one time and it was very academic, almost over my head in its treatment of gardening. Could be a good starting point for you!

      • Thank you! Making myself an anon email so I can contact you now.

        • @gardening anon – sent you an email from my new anon account which is corporetteanon at yahoo. Thanks again!

        • Went to moderation for my email address of all things. It is c o r p o r e t t e a n o n at y a h o o only without the spaces. Gardening anon, you should have an email from me now.

    • Anonymous :

      Wow. This whole thread… wow. Same boat (s3x schedule: birthdays and anniversaries!) and he tells me it’s the fact that we have small kids and are exhausted; I worry it’s that I’m overweight. I’ve also figured we’d get to it eventually when the kids are bigger and in our bed less. So many great ideas and great to hear from so many others in the same boat.

  7. My shoes slip off my heels when I walk, and I find this really annoying. I wear a size 5, so I reasonably can’t go any smaller and still wear adult shoes. Also the toe box usually fits okay, so I don’t think the solution is to go down a size. Also, I have tried heel grips in the past, and they come off really easily. This is so annoying- how do I get my shoes to stop slipping?!

    • I have good luck with strips of moleskin placed on the shoe as opposed to my skin. It seems to stick better than heel grips, which come off for me, too. I think we both just have small heels.

    • Add an insert, and maybe double the heel grip? I did this with my $200 final sale / no returns Italian loafers that were too big.

      Go to the Nordstrom shoe department, and ask for advice.

    • I have really narrow heels and….you have to try on a lot of shoes. I lean towards booties and other shoes that go higher up as opposed to flats or pumps because they are easier to fit. I would suggest going to a small local shoe store or nordstrom and telling them your issues, they will be able to recommend brands that will fit your foot.

      • This. I also have narrow heels and over the years have spent (wasted) plenty of money trying to find the perfect pumps that don’t slip off my heels. Be careful not to damage your feet from clenching them to keep the shoes on. Narrow sizes, when available, may work but for me they often pinch in the front, where my foot is normal sized. I finally gave in and now wear Mary Janes (Marc Jacobs has had some) or shoes with straps in warm weather, dressy boots and booties in winter.

        • Yeah I am also blessed with a normal width in front and super high insteps and it just a matter of trying on lots of things and figuring out what works for you. I remember going shopping for sneakers for when I started kindergarten and having to go to multiple kids stores and try on dozens of pairs before we found ones that fit, and I just replicated this process 20+ years later to find good sneakers to work out in (thanks to everyone on here who recommended a specialty running store because literally every pair of shoes at multiple chain stores near me did not fit!).

    • narrow heels :

      Have you tried a pad under the ball of the foot? Sometimes that works to push my foot back enough to keep the heel in place. The heel grips don’t do much for me. Also, some brands just don’t work for my foot (Nine West). Brands that do work- Franco Sarto, Cole Haan (sometimes too small in toe box), Taryn Rose, Me Too

    • Tongue pads. I have narrow heels and a wide forefoot, but my feet are skinny on top so my feet often slide toward the front of the shoe. Tongue pads help keep them back where they’re supposed to be. If the shoe doesn’t work with a tongue pad, get Pedag heel grips (on Amazon) instead of the ones they sell at drugstores. Insoles with arch support also help – they keep my heel in place because there’s a bump in front of it.

    • Narrow widths!

    • I’d try taking them to a cobbler to put in heel liners. You could also try insoles, which will give you a more snug fit and may fix the slipping.

    • Trashy TV! :

      I generally have this problem, and it’s particularly bad with a couple of pairs of shoes. No joke, I roll up a paper towel and stuff in the toe box of each shoe. It works like a charm.

  8. I am in a compliance position in a highly regulated industry. There is a man I work with who has gotten us into some sticky situations due to him manipulating the truth and withholding information. For obvious reasons, I don’t trust him and have a hard time working with him but maintain my professionalism. My approach has been trust, but verify. However, I not so quietly told the powers that be about the problems he’s caused and he knows about it. The issue is that he is quietly waging a war against me and it’s damaging my reputation. l am being accused of holding a personal grudge because that’s how he is spinning it. It’s at the point his boss comes and accuses me of things and won’t even listen to my side because of this “personal issue.” How do I recover? FWIW, this is not a personal issue and I just think he’s a weasle and shady at work and it’s my job to notice these things.

    • Anonymous :

      Quit

    • Anonymous :

      document, document, document (while you job hunt)

      Sometimes, you need to be clearly 100% right. I once fixed someone’s grossly eroneous legal analysis, but I did it in a new version and saved a redline, which I needed to CYA when I was “not a team player.” I redeemed myself, but not after a lot of damage had been done (I was blocked from a promotion until the problem person left — over the time of the delay, it was probably a six-figure cost to me).

      • Also, if you are not clearly 100% right (and perhaps if you are), you will look crazy. Better just to go.

    • Anonymous :

      Start a google doc in your personal google account. Document every instance with date and time. Google doc creates an archive so you can see that items were added on different days/times. I strongly encourage you to do this in your personal email as a means to CYA. You could be fired effective immediately and lose access to your work files. This way, your documentation stays with you.

      • Not sure your company would be OK with keeping their data on your computer, esp. if it is sensitive or important. I’d worry that this could make your situation worse.

        That you are even thinking you need to do this to me means you need to abandon ship / job hunt with abandon.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 you need to be very careful here that you are not stealing or compromising your company’s trade secrets. Definitely a fireable offense.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        No advice, but you did just solve how I can document my legal assistant’s lack of work without her seeing it. Don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this, thank you!

    • Thank you for the replies. I’m really surprised you all think I should quit. I will add that this individual is pretty low ranking in the organization and that my boss does have my back, so I don’t think I’m quite there. You are spot on about me looking crazy (even though many agree I’m right). Is there anything I can do to look less crazy? I tried not even talking about the situation and that seems to have backfired as he has been doing a lot of talking about me. I will start the google doc tracking immediately, great idea.

      • anonshmanon :

        I misread your original post. So your boss has your back, that’s great. But HIS boss will come by and start accusing you and not give you any way to respond? Does his boss have any authority that can make your life difficult? Or could he move up and have that authority in the future? If yes, then proceed with caution.

        If that is unlikely, ok. [Moron’s boss snaps at you] “Would you like my viewpoint on what Moron told you?” If he says yes, tell him. If he says no, he looks stupid.

    • Compliance is a tricky area, and some areas are un-know-able, when it comes to personnel matters, and what can be legitimately shared, so it is really, REALLY tricky to bring people into alignment when it feels like they are making cannibalistic forays into areas that are under your influence.

      I get that this person does not report to you. The Dale Carnegie approach is to work through your network to inform those who do make decisions, as well as assess his performance, are informed. Some things are nuisance and noise, however, there is much more at play, so yes, document, but maintain relationships so his supervisor can support the health of the relationships & tell him to mind his lane. Chances are he is unhappy as well and is also looking. Any chance you are on a committee together so others see how this is coming up?

  9. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Any recommendations for a backpack that is both practical and cute (non-sporty)? I am on the hunt for one that is not just a fashion item to take my gym stuff in and use as a carry on for travel. As I would also be taking it to work on the days I go to the gym before work etc. I would like it to look nice and reasonably professional. For context, my SO has a North Face one that he takes everywhere but it’s too casual-looking for me.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Check Everlane. I have a plain black canvas backpack with black leather accents that I carry to work everyday.

    • Herschel – http://shop.herschelsupply.com/collections/backpacks

    • Kate Spade is running a surprise sale today that covers their backpack that I’m very tempted by. No returns, though.

      http://surprise.katespade.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-KateSale-Site/en_US/Product-Show?pid=WKRU3919-1&dwvar_WKRU3919-1_color=001&cgid=ks-view-all#cgid=ks-view-all&start=50

      • this sale is so good. i did a little treat yo’self shopping this morning. then i noticed the pending charge on my credit card is listed as SURPRISE KATESPADE. It made me lol – like “surprise, husband! $300 at kate spade on a random tuesday.”

      • gardening anon :

        I got my favorite earrings and a favorite sweater from one of their surprise sales! I’m always nervous because of the no return thing, though.

    • If you've been ghosted... :

      My good friend has a cute Tumi bag for this. Dagne Dover has some right now.

      I have a GoRuck GR1 I have taken everywhere for almost 5 years and adore, but it’s definitely more utility than cute.

    • This is really eye candy and not a reasonable recommendation but this is my dream fashion backpack: https://www.mansurgavriel.com/collections/backpack

      • BabyAssociate :

        WOW this is gorgeous…I kind of wish I didn’t know this bag existed.

        • I have been drooling over the black tote with ballet lining for literally 6 months. There is not way on earth I could afford or justify it but I still go look at it once a week. Help!

    • Piggy-backing on these, are those Fjallraven backpack/tote combos any good?

    • Miz Swizz :

      I recently bought this one and love it: https://www.knomobags.com/usa/harpsden-backpack-grey.html?nosto=fallback-nosto-2 It’s sleek and professional looking while still being highly practical. I carry it daily to work.

    • Ogio Soho is my favorite backpack/work bag for travel. You can find it on sale if you google around. Mine has lasted 4 years and is still going strong.

  10. Thanks for the frozen food brand suggestions yesterday! I’m planning to drop by my neighborhood grocery store today after work to see what they’ve got.

  11. Wee Consulting Analyst :

    Going off of the formatting excel all day post –

    I’m in pretty much a similar role, and the thing is I am not good with attention to detail. I’m not being lazy, I’m not dumb, I’m not making excuses – that’s just not where my strengths are. I am good at things that I would do more of at higher levels, especially when it comes to working with clients which I know is something others dislike, but right now its a struggle. I am very careful to go over everything a million times, have a mental checklist of things to do before I send anything out, checks and balances to prevent accidents etc . . .

    Any suggestions? And does the fact that I’m not good at and therefore stressed out by this relatively small part of the job have any bearing on how I would do if I stay in this field?

    • anonshmanon :

      that mental checklist needs to be a black-on-white checklist. And you must check off each thing before sending out things.

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1

        Physically check things off. If you are not good at details you need to make it as mistake-proof as possible, and an actual checklist will help.

    • Don’t proofread on screen, proofread on paper. Do you have access to an admin or can you ask coworker to do a second proofread after you’re done?

      • +1 to proofread on paper. Also, trying reading things out loud (quietly or with lip-reading if you’re in an open work space) or reading things backwards (it’s a brain teaser, but it does help you catch things!).

    • It really depends on the price of admissions for your particular role. I went into litigation b/c I love oral argument. I always enjoyed public speaking before law school, and excelled at moot court in law school. I was not particularly detail oriented when I first started at a BigLaw firm, but had visions of becoming a brilliant orator.

      However. Being a junior litigator in BigLaw means that you are not arguing motions to dismiss. It means you are checking, double checking all the federal rules and local rules for filing, and the judge’s specific rules, and the unwritten rules for the courthouse in which you are filing. You are making sure that the draft order is correct – that it says “final” or that it absolutely doesn’t, that the briefs for discovery disputes contain confirmation of a “meet and confer” with opposing counsel, that you brought your boss’ business cards to give to the court reporter, that the partner’s secretary attached the right documents to the electronic filing, and that you didn’t blow the responsive deadline(s).

      After a few big misses, I learned to become incredibly detail oriented, and eventually was a very desired association because of it. I worked my way up the ladder to where I was the one arguing the motions. But in the process, I turned into an extremely anxious person, always looking over my should to see if I had missed anything. I left after 6 years b/c it was wrecking my mental state, and now am in an in-house position where I manage litigation, and thus am able to conceptualize the “big picture” — but we delegate all the detail minding to outside counsel.

    • JuniorMinion :

      It depends on what you mean by attention to detail. If it is just sloppy formatting / typo type stuff some degree of this happens to everyone (you are never going to make 0 mistakes), and I would say just try to build in some extra time to proofread emails / go through your powerpoint deck etc. You can reach a “good enough” level with the formatting type stuff bey0nd which there are diminishing returns.

      I will tell you that the type of attention to detail you need in banking / consulting doesn’t tend to lend itself well to checklists, as you tend to be working down to the wire and / or making 65 revisions to something and need more “real time” attention to detail. I try to do “mini checks” after I do a slide / make changes and ask myself “does this look right?”. Also, when someone asks for changes, highlight / check off each change you have made vs. their markup.

      For more complex stuff like models… someone should always be auditing this. If you get too close to the analysis you just won’t see any logic issues / minor issues like someone with fresh eyes would.

      • This is very helpful thank you. I’ve definitely improved at being more conscientious while working, but as Allygator mentioned above it makes me anxious and I don’t want that to be all-consuming. At least at this point I am junior enough that someone usually looks through my stuff before it goes anywhere, although that is not true for one project. I’ve read posts here elsewhere where young lawyers were afraid of their partner or perhaps clients reaction if something was the wrong shade of blue or whatever neuroses popped up today, and I don’t want to feel like that.

        • JuniorMinion :

          No problem. I would also add look for mistakes / issues in the following order:
          1) Numbers correct to the best of your knowledge / ability (you wouldn’t believe especially on the valuation side how much of this stuff can fall in the gray area as it gets more complex) – Even if you have minimal time, go over any likely “problem points” in your analysis and at the very least make sure the #s are consistent throughout the deck (if you are using 10 shares on page 1, use 10 shares on page 20)
          2) Double check via your now highlighted markup that you got all the edits
          3) Spelling issues / obvious wording mistakes
          4) Anything someone has asked you to global change / if you started with a deck made for another client / company global search that name or the text that should have been changed
          5) double check your formatting if you have extra time – I have found this is the one people get their panties least in a bunch about – in general when you are creating charts / shapes in powerpoint both programs will allow you to manually enter the inches (lxw) of whatever shape or chart. My advice would be to just pick one size and stick with it (ie – all my charts for a 4 block page I always make 2.75″ by 5″. Saves me time needing to reformat) and save down any great base page / excel templates you have made and always just start from those when you have the opportunity.

          Sorry this is long winded. I have largely learned the hard way. You will probably be fine and as someone who is now on the client side, there are always some mistakes, however most are minimal / trivial stuff that I wouldn’t personally penalize someone for. Big number / word errors though yeah – less easy to overlook.

          • Wee Consulting Analyst :

            Going to copy/paste this into a word doc for my own reference. All these comments have been so helpful and really things I can incorporate. I was afraid I would get “you’re just being a millennial” like the one comment to the financial analyst up thread.

    • I’m like you and really excel at high level big picture thinking. I really really struggle with details. One way I combat this is that I’ve ID’ed someone I work with who is great with details and not great with big picture. We work together on a lot of documents. I send to him after I’ve drafted and he proofs for details. He sends to me after he’s drafting and I proof to make sure all of the concepts work well together and that he’s drafted with the big picture and client’s goals in mind. We both give each other feedback, tips for improving our weaknesses, etc. And the partner we work for is happy that we’ve found a solution that is efficient and effective and means that when he gets something to look at it’s pretty close to perfect.

      • Wee Consulting Analyst :

        I do send emails and major writing to a friend in the firm before I send it out. She is much more detail oriented and good at that stuff so it helps. There are limits to how much I can do that with confidentiality issues. If I were working with another consultant on my level that would be ideal.

    • One thing that helped me was taking the mindset that I should build “it” -model, deck, whatever- perfect the first time. Once I took away the mentality that I was going to get it on paper and then come back to QC I noticed way fewer errors slipping through. Therefore, I format literally everything as I go – individuals slides are completed before moving on (use comments to call your attention to anything that needs a second look when you do still review), rows in excel aren’t completed until colors/formatting is as done as formulas are. To be clear, you still review before passing on and do a normal QC. For some people this probably wouldn’t work, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist and channeling that all at once was way more successful than trying to take more of an “assembly line” approach where I took different passes to do different things (that didn’t really save time).

  12. Are life coaches a real thing? Has anyone used one and found it to be helpful? When would someone go to a life coach instead of a therapist?

    I’m stuck in a huge rut (maybe depression) and feel like I need someone to help me get out of it but am not sure who or what to turn to. I’d appreciate any annecdotes or advice!

    • I’m using one right now. It’s a friend of a friend who is required to have a certain number of clients for his graduate degree program. He is out of the UK. I am hoping to use it for the same thing, get out of a rut. I can’t offer any advice or anything, but I think it will be an interesting experiment for me!

    • 1.) Go get a physical. Say you are concerned you might have depression. Ask the doctor to check your vitamins B, and D levels, and thyroid levels.
      2.) Take good care of yourself: eat decent food at regular times, drink water, go to bed at a consistent time, try to exercise / get active a few times a week. Consider getting a sun lamp.
      3.) Start seeing a therapist. After 4 sessions, ask the therapist if they think you could benefit from medication. If so, make an appointment with a psychiatrist.
      4.) Regardless of your therapist’s recommendation, if #2 is hard for you, make an appointment with a psychiatrist.
      5.) Then, if you still feel in a rut, consider a life coach. They will not pull you out of depression. They can help you figure out which direction you want your life to go — similar to a career coach, but for your personal life. I have used life coaches and I feel it’s the best money I’ve ever spent, but it was only helpful AFTER I started anti-depressants and spent over a year in therapy.

    • I have one. I have had a therapist in the past. For me the difference between the two experiences is that a therapist looks more backwards (at least mine did) whereas the life coach looks forwards. With the therapist I went over and talked through a lot of things that happened in the past that were affecting my current life in a negative way. My life coach and I talk about my past sometimes, but we more talk about things I can do in my current life to make my current and future life better.

  13. therapist retiring :

    Found out today that my wonderful therapist will be retiring in a few months. I’ve been seeing her for years. At this point, it’s really just a monthly check-in to level set and have a place to talk constructively about solving problems. I’m in a good place in my life and could probably go without therapy, but I’ve really liked having it as a foundation over the years.

    Has anyone been through this? I can’t imagine starting over with someone new!

    • Yes, I have been through this, but I was luckily at a place where stopping visits wasn’t detrimental. My therapist recommended other therapists who she knew personally to step into her shoes if I was so inclined. Definitely ask for recommendations!

      Since you are in the monthly check-in/immediate problem solving stage, I would approach a new therapist from a viewpoint of only needing to delve into past issues if there is current problem that can’t be addressed using relatively standard coping techniques.

      Good luck!

  14. Jaw on floor :

    I just got an email and when I read it I seriously thought I was drunk.

    The former CXO (not sales or marketing) of my ex company just sent me an email about her new gig as…..

    An MLM consultant.

    She cares deeply about me and check out the attached on her new line of .

    W the actual F.

    We were both casualties (well compensated, golden parachutes casualties) of a merger. She’s job hunting casually but had a package for another year. She’s been an executive in our industry for decades.

    I know she doesn’t need the money…I guess this is a hobby? I really respect her but I cannot wrap my brain around this. Can she really believe so strongly in this brand? This is seriously one of the last people I’d ever expect to get a MLM type solicitation from!

    (FWIW I actually kinda like Stella and Dot, and I have no time to shop so I’ve gone to a party that had their stud to visit friends and pick up some jewelery – I’m not a total MLM product hater. I just wasn’t expecting Something like this from my career mentor/high powered exec)

    • anonshmanon :

      ooooh, but this product surely is different from those MLM scams. It changed her life and could change yours!

    • I’m not a big fan of MLM stuff in general, but not sure why it’s so much more surprising from a former executive than from a former teacher. People tend to get into this stuff when they want to lean way out for whatever reason but still make a little money. An executive is as entitled to do that as anyone else. And unless you’re really close to her, I’m not sure how you can “know she doesn’t need the money.” Her spouse may have lost a job or she may have dependents that are a huge financial burden (my parents spend $100k+ year on my grandmother who needs 24/7 care – they have well-paying jobs and own their home and cars outright so I’m sure there are people who think they’re just saving money hand over fist but they’re not).

      • Jaw on floor :

        I’m close enough to know she doesn’t need the money. And also, if she *did* need money, she’d have to be top of the pyramid level MLM to make any kind of difference. She was (and still is- parachute package) making over $500k/yr. And her spouse works.

        I think the difference in my surprise is because a former teacher might be able to make a decent % of her ex income through semi-successful MLM. $20k/year will get eaten up by taxes alone with this woman given her existing income.

      • Ehhh I think it’s surprising because the executive is now leveraging professional contacts for the MLM scheme. I’m not likely to reach out professionally to someone who is hawking cheap jewelry to me. Maybe it’s personal bias but I would be really turned off.

        I’m also turned off when friends and family do it fwiw. However,this is worse to me because it demonstrates such a lack of judgment. From the notion that that she’s somehow not a nuisance to everyone she shrills to, to the idea that this is a legitimate business opportunity, or that the product is just that fabulous, it’s just really insincere from a professional who should know better. Also, to lose professional contacts for what? A few hundred bucks? Just absolutely absurd. Yuck.

        • Triangle Pose :

          Yeah, this is totally different from a former teacher. The shock level would be super high for exactly the reasons you listed. That an executive level person with valuable professional contacts who is still on a 500k a year golden parachute with a spouse who also brings in a healthy income would be doing this… lack of judgment, willingness to lose valuable professional contacts. Totally baffling. If she likes the products she can just buy them or sign up and buy them without cold pitching her contacts.

          The people from my high school who do these MLM pitches and add me to their groups…are exactly the kind of people I would expect to do this.

    • I’ve received these and figure that they are sending to any and all email contacts they have. Unsubscribe if you can, or otherwise unplug at the level you need to, which includes blocking. If you feel that it’s at that level, send a response that indicates your level of interest. What I’ve used with friends and colleagues – something like…Happy to hear about family/you/personal updates, please remove me from your business/marketing so we are both focusing well on our interests (especially if this is work email) effectively, best wishes with your business.

    • I would agree with you, too. In the instagram suggested posts once I saw a woman who was in a shake-type MLM who was bragging about how great it is to work and support her family while being home to care for her kids and I agree that would be great, but then she revealed that she only made $800 that month and how other months it was nearly twice as much, which made me sad a little because I figured at *best* she was bringing in an extra 10-15k a year after taxes. Who knows, though, her husband may make money but maybe she is trying to leave him or support a family member or friend or have something to herself? I agree, though, that there are a lot of ways to make some money for yourself that are not a shakedown of all your contacts into buying products that support a pyramid scheme. Literally… multi-level = pyramid.

    • Maybe her account got hacked?

      • Ha ha. That’s how the OP should reply!

        I received this message from your email account and I’m worried that your account has been hacked and wanted to let you know.

        I HATE MLM. I lose respect for people that do it. I refuse to buy MLM products because I do not want to support such a shady business model. Watch John Oliver’s segment on MLMs if you haven’t seen it. No one…okay maybe .1% of people are making money with MLM. Check out the income disclosure information on the MLMs websites.

      • Jaw on floor :

        That’s honestly what I thought, except the letter included some of her very specific phrasing, so I know she wrote it.

    • I cannot stand MLMs, and I detest when the people who have fallen for them reach out personally. I went to college with this woman who was an attorney at a firm near mine, and we had mutual friends. She freaking called me out of the blue– I thought someone we knew needed a job reference or legal help. But no, she wanted to pitch her ridiculous “ACN” pyramid scheme. Something about how energy was getting deregulated so she was going to make tons of money and did I want to come to the “meeting” she was hosting. Uh, no, but good for you that you’ve found something you’re into. I researched it and the way they make money is getting all new victims to put in $500. She then spent the next posting a crap ton of photos on FB of her and her pyramid scheme mentors and victims at various “training events” and pep rallies. Then it stopped. I assume she didn’t make any money at it and/or finally caught on that everyone thinks she’s gross for doing it.

      The jewelry is less offensive. But our new VP at work wears a ton of Stella and Dot and I’m totally afraid she’s a pusher. Hopefully she’s just friends with one.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I wear lots of S&D necklaces (thanks to a high school friend that does not bug me about it) and tell people where it comes from if they ask but am not a “pusher” so don’t be scared!

  15. I have decided to prioritize comfort more in my work wardrobe. Recently I have been shopping at MM LaFleur, but I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions about other brands that are known to be comfortable. Or styles that are more comfortable than others. I’m about 5′ 1″ and an hourglass. I notice that I like pencil skirts a lot, but some of them are tighter than I’d like around the butt. Do I just need better designs, or should I be looking for particular fabrics? I also need relatively structured pieces, otherwise I end up looking like a mess. Help?

    • Curvy and borderline plus-size hourglass here. I am obsessed with Boden. Their materials are a little stretchy but still structured, tailored, and very professional looking. I am 5’6” approx 200 lbs and I wear a 14US in their dresses. Even their sheath/pencil style dresses fit me like a glove and are so flattering. (Other than that, I never wear pencil skirts, because I have the same issue as you, way too fitted in the butt/hip area so it gives me a pouch in the front.)

      • Anonymous :

        I’m a skinny pear and all of their dresses that have a defined waist have it placed so that it makes me look pregnant.

        I have two shifts that I like (but don’t love).

    • ohh we are similar sizes and I like comfy structured pieces too. What have you found that you like so far?

      • I’d say that the Etsuko and Nisa are my favorites by far. Also the Morningside skirt. I haven’t found a ton outside of MM that would consider reliably comfortable.

    • Ponte knit and a St. John-type wool crepe knit (if you can find it) will be your best friends. I wear a black ponte pencil skirt with an elastic waist a good percentage of the time. I’m not a tucker, so no one knows it’s elastic waist.

      I also like sweater jackets or cardigans. They are super comfortable. I have some ponte blazers I have collected over the years that are great too. I wear these toppers with a sleeveless drapey knit top in black or navy or gray or whatever color my skirt is.

      I am comfortable all the time. Natural fibers that have stretch and not wearing tight things is key. Also, wear shoes that don’t hurt your feet!

      • ponte blazer http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/olivia-moon-knit-blazer-regular-petite/4520675?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK%20SPACEDYE

        available in petites and a good price

      • ponte skirt

        http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/vince-camuto-ponte-midi-skirt-regular-petite/4554179?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=RICH%20BLACK

        available in petites

        buy more than one size and send the others back. Find the fit you like, ignore the size.

      • and a drapey top

        http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/vince-camuto-drape-front-v-neck-sleeveless-blouse-regular-petite/4386756?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=RICH%20BLACK

        these three items together would be a beautiful outfit for work that would be quite comfortable.

        I’d add a rope of pearls but any nice necklace would work, maybe a long pendant style

      • here’s a nice knit skirt in more of a gray color. I don’t like the length they show here for the office, but since you’re petite you can try regular length. This would be more like a St John knit fabric

        http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/eileen-fisher-sleek-tencel-blend-interlock-knit-skirt-regular-petite/4500992?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=CHARCOAL

        • here’s a top that matches that skirt

          http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/eileen-fisher-stretch-tencel-jersey-tank-regular-petite/4500749?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=CHARCOAL

          which will give you a dress appearance but with some tummy coverage

          • and a knit blazer that comes in pretty colors and would look great with the gray or black ensembles

            http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/caslon-cotton-knit-open-front-blazer-regular-petite/4218268?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=PINK%20ZEPHYR%20PATTERN

    • Curvy here too. Another vote for St. John. Pure comfort. Also recommend the basic black pencil skirt by Eileen Fisher, which wears like iron and looks fabulous always. I also love their silk tees to wear under blazers & jackets; you can pick them up cheap at the Eileen Fisher outlet.

      I wish I could find an alternative to St. John, which is a woven wool. I don’t like the other ponte materials–I tend to sweat in them (see Ted Baker.)

      Yes please everyone, keep the recommendations coming!

      • Yes, the black ponte elastic waist skirt I wear all the time is Eileen Fisher. I actually own multiples because it’s so great.

        A St. John skirt will cost $500-$700 but the fabric is lovely. Eileen Fisher did an “icon” collection this fall and offered structured cardigans, shells and pencil skirts in a fabric they call wool crepe, which is a knitted wool and is very much like the St. John knit. It’s largely sold out but you can find clearance pieces at department stores with well-stocked Eileen Fisher sections. I hit gold at Macy’s (stanford shopping center) this weekend. I already owned the pieces in black, and I found all the pieces in Ash (medium gray) for 50% off plus an additional 25% off with a contribution to Go Red for Women.

  16. Paging nasty woman :

    I’m a regular poster (Anonattorney) and just wanted to say thank you to nasty woman for her posts on yesterday’s afternoon thread re Trump. I didn’t have time to read the thread until this morning. Nasty woman: thanks for being so articulate! You gave voice to a lot of thoughts I have, and now I have a much more eloquent way to express and explain my views.

    • +1!

    • I want to second this! (I am a longtime lurker and occasionally post Anon.) I know some people seem to be getting frustrated with the political posts, but I am so grateful for them. I find them to be so articulate and enlightening, and some I even save so that I can reference them later. I feel so enriched by the community here. And nasty woman’s posts yesterday were awesome!

      • +1 nasty woman’s posts have been great! She has the patience of a saint.

        I have no time for posters complaining about political posts because they can EASILY avoid those posts. Just have to click on ‘Collapse/Expand All Threaded Comments” at the top and then scroll right past anything political if they are not interested. There are still TONS of posts about fashion, babies, weddings, workplace issues, make up etc.

        I don’t even manage to read all the comments most days – just scan and expand what I’m interested in.

        • Complaining about political posts means one thing– a closeted Trump supporter. I don’t think they should be able to hide from the horror show they’ve caused.

          • I can’t tell you how much I love this. I’ll have to get into this another day, but as a Muslim who’s elderly mom is now terrified to go outside in her hijab – for the first time after living here for 45 years – it makes me sick that people who actively enabled and VOTED IN this deranged, cruel bigot have the gall to complain about seeing the impact of having done so. And it’s not like any of this should be a surprise – he’s doing exactly what he said he would do, and they helped make it happen. They should be ashamed.

      • Nasty, I posted yesterday on the thread too; I was the one with all the conts. May I borrow your last line? “Forced gestation is slavery.” I have been struggling to find the best way to express myself and you nailed it.

        • nasty woman :

          Please do! Steal it all and spread it far and wide. Fun fact*: Not only is forced gestation slavery, but forced reproduction was *literally* part and parcel of the institution of slavery in this country.

          *Not actually fun at all.

    • Me too. Thank you, nasty woman.

    • nasty woman :

      Awww, thanks ladies! This warms my heart. Articulating these arguments is one of my favorite hobbies (yes, I AM fun at parties..oy) and I am glad that (at least some) folks find my posts useful.

      I firmly believe in the power of a good comment section- reading comments (and sometimes participating) was and is helpful to me in refining my views, arguments, and ability to express same on various issues.

  17. Face vs. Waist :

    So I’ve been trying to lose some weight, hoping it’ll impact my ever expanding belly – and the first place I seem to keep losing it is in my face, which I really don’t want. I know spot reduction is generally futile, but figured I’d ask if anyone else has ideas?

    • Are you working out? Even doing 10 crunches in bed before your feet hit the floor can give me a boost. I have a foam mattress which makes this very comfortable & doesn’t easily wake others.

    • Belly is the first place I gain and the last place I lose, because of course.

      No advice — just commiseration.

    • Decreasing carbs, dairy and processed food and increasing fiber rich vegetables helps with belly bloat.

    • Also commiserating. If your body is anything like mine, you’ll lose it in your boobs next.

      • Face vs. Waist :

        Hahaah, your guys’ responses are both very helpful and also depressingly hilarious (Torin and Walnut). Thank you so much! I appreciate the great tips and the commiseration.

      • Me too!

        First lose in face, then loose in boobs (I have none already….)…. and last is my thighs.

        I am an extreme, extreme pair.

        I joke about taking my fat from my thighs and injecting it into my face/implants.

        • Face vs. Waist :

          Isn’t it the worst? I think I just have to make peace with it – if the ideas above don’t work – and choose my face and boobs, haha.

        • My thigh fat is made of steel. There is plenty to carry me through a Zombie Apocalypse. It spends it’s time telling it’s friends (butt and stomach) to stay strong! Don’t give in! She’ll give up soon enough and reward you with all the salty snacks!

  18. Yesterday’s post about job hopping has me seriously re-considering an opportunity I was originally planning to turn down. I was recently offered a position with an organization where I’ve been volunteering fairly regularly for the past few years (think animal shelter or women’s shelter volunteer offered a position in community outreach/development). It’s so different from what the rest of my career has been (corporate environments) but would be a welcome change of pace and an opportunity to do something more personally fulfilling for a while. I fully intend to return to my original career area after 1-2 years in the role.

    I tried to see if I could take a year sabbatical from my current company, but that is not possible. Financially, I would be fine even thought it would be a big paycut. I’m concerned that after 1-2 years here, I may be unable to return to my “main career,” which is why I was planning to turn down the offer. Emotionally, I am really invested in the organization and would find 1-2 years in that position very rewarding. I’ve heard of people taking long stretches of time out of the workforce entirely and returning to continue their careers (ex: staying at home with children, caretaking for elderly parents, etc.). I wouldn’t even be fully leaving the workforce, so maybe this could work out well.

    Thoughts? Am I crazy to even consider this?

    • Don’t do it. I’ve found so many poorly run non-profits. My sister, for example, was in a similar boat. Took the position, and is now behind the curtain and cannot believe how it’s being run (and the considered herself an insider before taking the position). If this is truly temporary, continue to offer your time and donate to the organization. It’s the best for both you and the organization, in my opinion.

    • If the worst happened – and you couldn’t get back into your industry, ever — on that non profit salary, could you live? I don’t mean would you have food and shelter — I mean, could you live in the manner that you want to live — housing; savings for things like retirement; travel if you want etc. If you had to live on that salary forever, would it still be worth it and still be fulfilling or would it be more of a burden?

    • Let that job go to someone who actually cares about having a career in this field. If you take it, you’re taking away a job from someone who could potentially work for that organization or in that sphere long-term. As a non-profit person, I would find it pretty annoying if I hired someone and they left after only a year, especially if I found out that they’d been planning to do so all along.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Regarding your career, I think you’re more willing to be given slack if you’re trying to return to your corporate career after a year of taking care of an elderly relative/child than trying to return after taking a year working for a non-profit. That’s probably not fair, but I think it’s the way it happens. The thing I couldn’t tell was whether your temporary job would be related to your current role at all – if so, there might be more leeway.

      Regarding whether you should do it or not – probably not. Smaller organizations aren’t as well run as corporate offices, and as such, it tends to be a huge disruption when people start or leave. You might find the job more stressful than you think, and as one of the anons noted, your short tenure there might do the organization more damage than good.

      • Undecided :

        Thanks for the responses. The organization knows fully that it would be a 1-2 year position for me, so I wouldn’t be blindsiding anyone. I actually didn’t even apply for the role, the organization leadership offered it to me with that 1-2 year timeline. Though I wouldn’t call the organization a full on non-profit… I realize the example I gave made it seem that way, but I can’t explain exactly what it is without giving myself away. (Maybe working for a university is a better example?)

        My main concern was about being able to return to my previous career after 1-2 years. I know I wouldn’t be able to pick up exactly where I left off, but I’d be open to going to a smaller company rather than the huge corporation I’m at now. I’m just concerned about being totally locked out from what I currently do.

  19. Stella Link :

    I just wanted to send out a thank you and an update. A couple of weeks ago, I posted regarding my lost, elderly cat. You ladies sent out some very good advice and support and made a miserable day better. Fast forward two weeks… I must have accidently let him out. He was outside in my neighborhood and managed to make it several block from home and crossed a major highway (twice). He is a 16 year old guy who had never been outside–I wouldn’t have thought he would have had the energy. It was apparently a grand adventure for him and he is now back home and no worse for wear. As for me, after posting lots of lost pet posters, I met some very nice neighbors and received so many concerned calls. I know it seems silly, but I am ridiculously attached to the little guy. It is great to know there are so many fantastic people out there.

  20. ugh i am so cranky about devos :

    I really thought one of the GOP senators was going to grow a conscience at the last minute. What a disappointment.

    Ugh.

    • Anonymous :

      I thought so too. I can’t imagine being a R senator/house member right now; I guess they are afraid of “him”?

      • ugh i am so cranky about devos :

        That’s what I’m trying to puzzle out. So many of them were pretty vocal during the campaign–and have been vocal since the election–about the ways in which DJT didn’t represent their values and was a threat to American democracy. Why are they all falling in line now? How can they be that afraid of him? Or (maybe worse) how can they be so self-interested as to think that falling in line is better than genuinely serving their constituents? All the stories recently about GOP officials turning off their phones and closing their district offices is horrifying. Do they have no capacity for self-awareness? Have they just decided that since public outcry doesn’t personally serve them, they get to ignore it?

        UGH.

      • This is my cynical thought– they are so used to a complacent public that they don’t really think that they will be voted out. Are people really going to be angry about this and remember it during election season? Maybe for the folks who are up for re-election in 2018, but surely not for those in 2020. So they get to have their cake, (which is giant piles of fundraising money from devos and whatever power you get from sucking up to the president) and eat it too (assuming the public is too lazy or divided to vote any differently than they ever have). We’ll have to wait and see what happens next year, I suppose.

        It blows my mind though. How she was THAT unpopular and they were all so incredibly spineless that they voted for her anyway. I’m in a red state and even polls on the news were something like 10,000 for and 250,000 against. It’s not like it was a slim margin. Double ugh.

      • I think they’re afraid of his base, and any primary challenge that would result from taking a stand against Trump.

    • Education is a nothing department. Come on. Math and reading have been taught the same way for 100s of yrs – that isn’t going to change no matter who is at the helm. If they’re fine with Sessions for AG – what difference does Devos make!?

      • What?! No.

      • Education is a nothing department???

        Are you kidding me? And no, math and reading have not been taught the same way for 100s of years and there are serious problems with our education system. This department matters…

      • Anonymous :

        I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic.

        If not, you must not know much about education. The way math and reading are taught in schools has changed SUBSTANTIALLY since I was in elementary school 20-odd years ago. Common Core, “New Math,” the timing of trying to teach kids reading (hint: it is way earlier than you would think). A lot is very, very different. But none of that is the reason most people are against Devos. Knowing nothing about public education or laws governing it, and a desire to burn down the system… oh yeah, and support (and investment in) for-profit schools.

        Am I as concerned about Education as I am about AG or EPA? No, because she’s at best going to bumble her way into problems that can probably be fixed. But it was worth taking a stand about for the sake of the kids with limited education opportunity that are going to be hurt.

      • I take it you don’t have kids.

      • Anonymous :

        Well, she’s anti-evolution and wants to pull that out of science curricula, so I would say that’s a significant change to how things are taught. But I think her ethical conflicts, lack of awareness about federal law, desire to put guns in schools and intent on de-funding public schools to support private (including for profit) ‘schools’ are all much bigger issues.

        • ugh i am so cranky about devos :

          Yes, all of this. I am also horrified by Sessions, but in a warped (really warped) way I can understand that he lives and works according certain (abhorrent) personal positions that certainly sustain his worldview (not to mention his position in the world) but don’t necessarily directly enrich him.

          DeVos actually wants to shred public schools so that she and her family can profit off alternate systems. This seems to me a whole league beyond telling Jeff Sessions to sit down because racists shouldn’t be in charge of anything anymore.

      • Oh my God please read up on what the Department of Education is actually responsible for.

  21. 1. This shirt does look cute, but good eye “This Blouse” on the bust line. I’d try it on first (or do the whole order online and return dance).

    2. My husband’s former co-worker “Bob” asked me for his address (DH is deployed at the moment). Bob is nice and is also prior military, but he is still close with DH’s current co-workers at his existing company*. I don’t want Bob to give out DH address to anyone else…would it be weird to tell him that DH’s address is not for public consumption? “Please don’t share this address with anyone”? I’m texting this guy back, so I just want to sound as neutral as possible.

    *DH is very private and already gave his address to people he wants communicating with him for the year he is deployed and his co-workers were not one of them. I told DH that Bob asked and he said it was fine.

    • I wouldn’t say this but if you must — why not — “DH’s address is x. He’d love to hear from you though prefers that you don’t share the address around the office.”

      Though would it be THAT tragic if his coworkers send him a letter or a care package.

      • No :) he just tries to keep military/work life very separate. On all previous deployments he just likes to focus on military work (it sucks constantly being reminded of home when you’re in BFE). IDK, it’s just the way he is!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      “Here’s DH’s address- he asked me to request that you don’t distribute it, but is looking forward to hearing from you!”

  22. Lady Fitness Parties :

    Hey all, just posted a introduction thread on our myfitnesspal group, and wanted to send a shoutout to let everyone know we’ll (well, I will) be active there, and everyone is welcome to join. The group name is Lady Fitness Parties.

  23. I am going to New Orleans on Saturday, staying until Wednesday morning. I will be attending a conference in the convention center and staying at the Hyatt Place hotel just across the road. Any recommendations for interesting things to do and places to eat during short breaks? I love jazz, but I will be on my own and am an introvert.

    • And I love this blouse!

    • Anonymous :

      I went to Preservation Hall by myself for a show and really enjoyed, even though I am not a jazz fanatic. Food-wise my favorites were Cafe Fleur de Lis, Commander’s Palace and Atchafalya but all of those are sit-down restaurants where you might feel awkward alone. District Donuts has great coffee, donuts and breakfast sandwiches and is easy to grab and go, but is not in the right neighborhood. Cafe du Monde is definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been to NOLA before and there’s an outpost right near the convention center.

      • Anonymous :

        Last time I was in New Orleans, the locals took us to Mother’s for lunch. This surprised me because it looks like a tourist trap. It is not fancy but is quite an experience, and the food was pretty tasty. It is cafeteria-style and you would be totally fine dining solo there.

    • Delta Dawn :

      The Roosevelt Hotel is beautiful just to pop in and look at it. So is the Hotel Monteleone, which a really fun bar (Carousel) that oscillates slowly– you can sit at the bar, grab a drink, and make a rotation in about fifteen minutes. Fun people watching at night. Not sure if these are close enough to Hyatt for short breaks, but maybe at other times during your visit. Second the rec for Café du Monde if you’ve never been!

    • None of these is right by the convention center, but…

      If you don’t want to go too far afield, Fritzel’s jazz house on Bourbon St (I know, haha, but stay with me) is a great place. Their downstairs is loud and crowded and not my favorite, so head upstairs for a more intimate experience. The upstairs was previously private living quarters, so you’re sitting in what used to be the living room and the ambience is just really cozy and not at all pretentious.

      Over on Frenchmen St, I really like the Spotted Cat and the nighttime open air market.

      Favorite, arguably touristy, spots that I always go back to no matter how many times I visit the city:

      Favorite gumbo: The Gumbo Shop on St Peter. Favorite drink: the Pimm’s Cup at the Napoleon House on Chartres. Favorite place to stroll: Pirate’s Alley for the street artists.

    • NOLA Anon :

      That area is a little out of the way, but you’re close enough for short walks and/or Lyft/Uber rides to tons of places! I would recommend:

      To Eat:
      – Meril (this is Emeril’s new restaurant, and is pretty trendy right now, not to mention delicious!)
      – Cochon
      – Restaurant August
      – Josephine Estelle (in the Ace Hotel, which has a pretty cool/trendy bar in the lobby)
      – Peche, Rebellion, and Balise are all on my list, but haven’t made it to any yet!

      For Live Music/Jazz, there are tons of places you can go and listen to live music, here would be a few I would suggest checking out the schedules for (some of my favorite local bands are: Kristina Morales and the Bayou Shufflers, The Ibervillionaires, Myschiea Lake and the Little Big Horns, but there are tons of good ones!) Try:
      – Little Gem Saloon (Poydras/CBD)
      – 21st Amendment (Frenchquarter)
      – Spotted Cat (this is down on a street called Frenchman, a little past the Frenchquarter)
      – dba
      – Maison

      Other things to do:
      – WWII Museum is close by where you are
      – Art galleries along Julia St.
      – Weather is supposed to be nice, walk along the riverfront area
      – Walk over to St. Charles Ave. and catch a streetcar and ride uptown for a view of some of the beautiful mansions (if you’re in a hurry, just get off at any stop and grab an Uber back down)
      – Be aware that there may be some Mardi Gras things going on this weekend, so be prepared for some fun people watching!! And try a king cake while you’re here!

      Please let me know if you have any other questions – I love playing travel guide! And enjoy your time here.

      • NOLA Anon :

        I just needed to add that actually one of the most fun parades is going to happen Saturday night down in the Frenchquarter. It is a walking parade – because it is in the Quarter and the streets are so small, the big floats wouldn’t be able to fit down there. But it is notoriously snarky and raunchy and usually has a lot of political satire! It’s called Krewe du Vieux, and if you have downtime that night, you might want to try to catch it (catch it down on Frenchman street)!

    • I really enjoy the Ruby Slipper Cafe on Canal St. It’s not a bad walk from your hotel and the food is fantastic. We’ve been to NOLA a few times and we make sure never to miss it!

    • This is going to sound crazy, but the first place I thought of in that neighborhood is Fulton Alley. It’s a bowling alley with really good food and c*cktails. So much fun! It’s kind of behind the Harrah’s parking off of Convention Center Blvd. Riverwalk is an outlet mall now, so not all that exciting, unless you’re dying for Nordstrom Rack. Lots of fun galleries in the Warehouse District/Julia Street.

      When I get the chance, I like to walk through the Quarter – up Chartres and back down Royal. And yes, you should go to Krewe du Vieux! Lots of my friends are in it.

    • Coop’s Place in the French Quarter has the BEST New Orleans food! It is reasonably priced and attracts a lot of locals. I dream of their Cajun Pasta.
      If you have time to get out to see some music, just go to Frenchman Street and wander in wherever seems good. I would feel safe walking there and back from the Quarter alone since there will be lots of people out and about.

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