Coffee Break: Key Chain Card Case

key chain card caseI always like clever little card case/keychains like this, and I think it would be particularly great if you need a key to get around certain places in your office — keep your favorite salad place’s “buy 10 get 1 free” punch card there, along with a few coins and dollars, and you’re good to go. (For those of you with dogs I could see it being great to grab to walk the dog, also!) It’s $10 at Nordstrom, available in three colors. Faux Leather Zip Key Chain Card Case

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Comments

  1. Planning ahead for Holiday Party :

    I posted in the other one this afternoon by mistake so reposting here! Thanks for any advice!

    What would be an ideal office holiday party outfit for me to wear to my SO’s workplace? I will be meeting his colleagues for the first time so want to look smart, professional but neither over nor under dressed. This is mostly a casual nerdy sector (think IT/ engineering) in a North East Coast City in 2nd week of December. I am petite in height but about 50 pounds overweight from the ideal weight in my height category: carrying most of my weight in my chest and stomach region, so anything that makes me look tall and thin would be welcome :)) Really don’t know what to do! PLEASE HELP!!

    • How formal is the party? Some holiday parties are cocktail affairs and some are much more casual.

    • I have a sparkly red sweater from Jcrew or JCrew Factory that I wear for this sort of thing. I feel like you can dress it up or down and it feels festive without seeming like you’re trying too hard.

    • Are there pictures from previous parties (either online or on the company’s intranet that your SO may have access to)? I work at a management/IT consulting firm in the NE and we have a pretty casual dress code for our holiday party (actual employees are wearing business casual as we come directly from work).

    • There are literally NO pictures anywhere! Apparently it is “dressy casual” and I have no idea what that means… but I think more on th casual side of the spectrum than the dressy side.

      • I might do black slacks and a sparkly top then. I have a black sequined top that’s my go-to for “dressy casual”.

        https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/2040294/michael-stars-sequin-v-neck-tank?color=BLACK-PINOT

        It’s similar to this, sort of.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Or on the other side of the equation, you could do a fancy skirt with a casual top. I have one similar to this that I like to wear with a chambray shirt.

        http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/eliza-j-floral-jacquard-midi-skirt/4740960?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=PINK%2F%20BLACK

    • Three things to consider – (1) What time of day is the party (2) what is the location of the party and (3) is there anyone that your SO works with that is a female that can be a source of information for you?

      I just answered a similar question about an hour ago for one of our male first years for his girlfriend. She’s having similar questions about an upcoming event where she’ll be meeting her bf’s colleagues for the first time. I am sure that someone like me exists at your SO’s office who would be happy to provide guidance. No one wants anyone to feel uncomfortable at a company party! Whether it be a colleague or the person who plans events like this, someone would be happy to help you.

      Also, time of day – my husband’s firm’s holiday party is also dressy casual, and everyone comes straight from work on a Friday (which is a “jeans day” in his office) so it’s nicer work appropriate jeans and a fancier shirt. His is also in an event space that essentially the lobby of his building, so people literally come straight from work.

      My firm’s holiday party starts later in the evening (8:00) so people go home to change and come back, so it’s very dressy. It’s also offsite at more formal event space, so the setting is different and more formal.

    • s in chicago :

      I’d do solid color dress with sleeves (like the Lands End ponte or something similar to the Etsuko from MM LaFleur) and pack a sparkly necklace in my purse in case it’s more formal. Then also bring a pretty casual scarf with your coat. If everyone is in jeans, throw on the casual scarf. If everyone is more work dress, the leave the scarf with your coat. Bam! All scenarios covered.

    • For context, I work for a tech company in greater Boston (Waltham). When our company does a downtown Boston party, it’s fancier, but if it’s out in the burbs, “dressy casual” means black ankle pants and a festive top for me.

    • Anything that makes you feel beautiful and confident! I think we can all give you recommendations on what we would wear in your situation, but there’s a good chance that you have a couple go-to pieces in your closet already that always make you feel good or give you an extra boost of confidence. I personally never wear pants – dresses or skirts and tights 24/7. Dressy casual means that you can pair one piece of dressy (i.e. sequins or something shiny, as many ladies here have suggested) with something a bit more casual. You could pair a casual dress with a shiny cardigan, or if you prefer pants, I agree with the ankle pants and festive/dressy top suggestion. Since this party will be in the second week of December, I would strongly suggest a casual dress with warm tights and a really sophisticated coat. You’ll look like a million bucks when you first walk in and shake hands with everyone, then you can take your coat off and get a bit more comfortable as the party continues. Good luck to you!

    • I live in the Boston area, and attend a variety of holiday, dressy casual events. I suggest a dress–something like the Land’s End dress, in your best color, with tights, funky booties, and a casual, sparkly, and/or interesting necklace, earrings, bangle, or scarf. The Land’s End dress comes in red–that would be fun if you like red. People will be dressed in a wide range of outfits, so wear what makes you feel great and give a nod to the holiday season with your accessories.

  2. Anonymous :

    Did anyone see Mayim Bialik’s op-ed in NYT and subsequent backlash? Did you think it was blaming the victim? I see some of her points and they’re often discussed here. Ex: today a young woman in my office is wearing a mid-thigh skater dress with OTK boots. Can you? Sure. Should you? Maybe not?

    • Should you because it’s not professional or should you because you might get [email protected]$$ed or [email protected]? If the latter, yes that is victim blaming.

      • Anonymous :

        +1

        It’s not professional to wear it to work. It’s not her fault if something happens while she is wearing it.

        There is an entire exhibition called ‘What She Wore’ based around the idea that what girls and women wear has no bearing on whether or not they will suffer S. A. or S. H. To think otherwise is to perpetute [email protected] myths. The pink dress from a little girl in that exhibit will break anyone’s heart.

        • Anonymous :

          http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/powerful-art-exhibit-powerfully-answers-the-question-what-were-you-wearing_us_59baddd2e4b02da0e1405d2a

    • Uh,but I think the point of the backlash against Bialik’s article is that at most the skater skirt wearer should be admonished for not following the dress code and sent home. Skater skirt should not be groped, raped or be forced to give fat hairy old men in bathrobes massages. If you missed that point you are as much as part of the problem as Harvey Weinstien!!

    • I think, in the most charitable light, it was tone deaf. I also think that it’s different given the context of an industry that largely revolves around looks/image vs. other industries where it helps to be pulled together and attractive but it’s certainly less important. I’m sure that there is a point to be made here w/r/t what she was trying to say but its the kind of sentiment that would have sounded much better expressed over dinner with friends as a self deprecating joke (“lucky me, that I’m not his type”) as opposed to as an op-ed in the NYT.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 million to your last sentence. I like her, and I think we all have some poorly phrased thoughts from time to time, but I’m not sure why she thought this particular thought merited an opinion piece in the NYTimes.

    • Anonymous :

      Eh, there’s kind of a difference between saying you shouldn’t wear a mid-thigh skater dress with OTK boots because it’s unprofessional dress (for most workplaces) and saying you shouldn’t wear it because you’re asking men to s*xually harass you.

      On the question of Mayim Bialik’s piece, it was interesting to hear about her experiences in Hollywood as someone who is not conventionally pretty (by Hollywood standards anyway) and how she’s been typecast, etc. But yeah, I thought some of it was smug and victim-blamey, especially this part:
      “I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise. I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy.”

      Shaming of women for their behavior and dress aside, I also think it’s really naive and inaccurate to imply that ugly or frumpy women are immune from harassment or assault, which I thought was kind of what her op-ed was saying. That’s not my anecdotal experience at all and it seems like a dangerous stereotype to perpetuate.

      • Absolutely, it’s dangerous. When I was growing into my body, I was really confused because I understood that I was not conventionally hot…but I was being harassed/exploited anyway. It took me a lot longer to recognize and respond to what was happening because I thought I didn’t have to worry about such things.

      • Anonymous :

        so dangerous. ‘You’re not pretty , no one will believe that anyone wanted to abuse you’ has been said by many a perpetrator.

        • I think it was one of Trump’s self-defenses too, IIRC. “She wasn’t attractive enough for me to assault her.”

          • Anonymous :

            Yep, and America bought it. Several (female!) Trump voters I know used that as a justification for why the allegations weren’t true.

      • Delta Dawn :

        I agree and think it’s also naive to think that her choice to not “act flirtatiously with men” has much (or any) impact on how men perceive you to act. I don’t flirt at work. But do some men interpret “Hello, good morning,” as flirting? Yes. If I say hello to them every morning, do they think I secretly want to sleep with them? Yes, some do. Whether you have a “policy” not to flirt with men has no bearing on what some predatory men interpret as flirting.

      • “That’s not my anecdotal experience at all and it seems like a dangerous stereotype to perpetuate.” Mine either, and it’s definitely dangerous. Pretty sure I wasn’t flirting with the guy on his balcony who catcalled me as I biked past the other day. The two aren’t related in any way.

        I also think the fact that she does this, that she hides her “sexual self” and is very careful not to flirt is incredibly sad.

        • Anonymous :

          I disagree with your last sentence. Some people are inherently more private and reserved about their sexuality, and that’s fine. I think it’s similar to premarital sex – there is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding that *for you* sex should be saved until after marriage, and there is also absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be intimate with people you date before marriage. The problem comes when you try to dictate others’ choices, but everyone should be able to do what’s right for them without being judged as incredibly sad.

          • privately :

            I agree. I personally just prefer not to discuss my private bedroom activities with friends and coworkers. That doesn’t mean I’m repressed or ashamed or have a lackluster life there, it’s just my personal preference. I get teased for it a lot by friends and coworkers (I have a very young and casual office, and all sorts of generally inappropriate things get discussed).

    • I think it’s critical to make a distinction between:
      (1) is it acceptable that the way you dress and generally present yourself has a bearing on your professional success?
      versus
      (2) is it acceptable that the way you dress has a bearing on whether it’s somehow “OK” for a person to se*ually harass you, assault you or generally assume that you have “pre-consented” to certain types of treatment?(trying to stay out of moderation here)

      The answer to (1) has nothing to do with the answer to (2). Reasonable minds can disagree on the answer to (1), but I’d like to think that at least in this audience, we can agree that the answer to (2) should be a resounding NO. The person at fault in (2) is the rapist, harasser, perpetrator – not the woman wearing knee high boots.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. She was victim blaming and so are you. Sexual harassment is not about just being overcome with desire. It’s about power and control. She sounds ignorant and so do you.

      • I think it stems from a desire to think we can shield ourselves from the evil doers out there by cloaking ourselves with something that makes our s*xuality invisible. But we can’t disguise that we are female. And it’s the femaleness that the perpetrators are seeking to subjugate. Maybe Harvey Weinstein won’t seek to harm you if you dress like X instead of Y or are 50 instead of 18. But that doesn’t make you immune to all of the perpetrators. (And I’m ignoring the male victims here, but only for simplicity’s sake. Anyone can be a victim of a power crime.)

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Right — when I have the energy for generosity, I read comments like hers to be an attempt to gain some feeling of safety: “If I am careful to never ABC and always XYZ, this bad thing won’t happen to me.” But… yeah, the only way for these things to not happen is for the perpetrator not to do them.

          • National_Anthem :

            Agreed.

            I read in some book many years ago that “it’s easier to blame the victim than share in their helplessness.” It’s always stuck with me.

    • nasty woman :

      She writes: “I am entirely aware that these types of choices might feel oppressive to many young feminists. Women should be able to wear whatever they want. They should be able to flirt however they want with whomever they want. Why are we the ones who have to police our behavior?

      In a perfect world, women should be free to act however they want. But our world isn’t perfect. Nothing — absolutely nothing — excuses men for assaulting or abusing women. But we can’t be naïve about the culture we live in.”

      She doesn’t explicitly write it but yeah the obvious conclusion in her argument is that because our world isn’t perfect, we aren’t free to do this. We aren’t free to do it, so women who do it share some responsibility.

      I’m so tired of people writing this sh*t and then saying “NOTHING EXCUSES MEN’S BAD BEHAVIOR!” You just did.

      • Yes and no. Replace clothing with going out in the middle of the night in a high crime desolate area. No one would say you deserve to be a victim of a crime and yet it’s not unreasonable to talk about steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of a crime – choosing well lit streets, public places, etc. It won’t prevent all bad things that may happen but it may prevent some. So I don’t have an issue with talking about how to lessen the chance of harassment occurring while we work on changing the culture enough to make it a non-issue (I think harassment is, unfortunately, more immediately solvable than assault). We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

        This is NOT to defend what she said specifically. I think a lot of what she thinks about how to dress stems from conservative religion and frankly I have a whole set of issues with that separate and apart from this, but it does inevitably lead to the kind of thinking that equates modesty with protection and immodesty with asking for it.

        • I don’t disagree that we can talk about how to lessen the chances of harassment, I just disagree that how you dress or whether or not you “flirt” actually has much of an effect at all on the chances of harassment. My own experience has been that I have been grabbed in public while wearing business casual appropriate clothing and not even talking to or looking at the men who grabbed me!

          It’s not about our clothes. It’s not about whether or not we “flirt.”

        • nasty woman :

          I disagree with this (trite) analogy because the only way to avoid becoming the victim of harassment/r*pe is to fully remove yourself from the world of men. Not reasonable. There is no ‘lessening the chance of harassment occurring’ unless you simply chose to never be around men.

          Dressing a certain way won’t solve it. Talking a certain way won’t solve it. Doing your hair a certain way won’t solve it. Men harass/assault because they choose to. They are not machines, animals, or weather patterns that lack agency, and the only hope is for women to avoid getting in their way.

          Also, it’s not a walking and chewing gum at the same time situation. This approach *is not* something we can do simultaneously with changing culture because it is still literally forcing the burden of changing a man’s behavior on the woman. That’s part and parcel of harassment/r*pe culture and isn’t progress toward stopping it.

    • I think one of the many problems in our culture is that we pressure women to dress at least some what provocatively, we punish women who don’t by calling them frumpy and we punish women who do by calling them
      names or treating them as commodities. For young women who are most affected by social pressures to be provocative in their non-work life, navigating the line in their work life is the most difficult. But assault and harassment should never be acceptable. No ifs, ands or buts. Assault and harassment are about power, not s*x, and say much more about the despicableness of the perpetrator than anything about the victim.

    • crabby momma :

      I’m going to disagree with the discussion in general about what women should and shouldn’t wear. My high school age daughter and I just had this discussion but within the context of her school dress code. It is NOT okay to teach girls they are responsible for boys’ reactions to how the girls dress. We must teach boys (of all ages) that they need to be responsible for their actions and reactions and whether those are appropriate. It is a huge problem in this society – in my view – that the conversation inevitably returns to how a woman was dressed. This is not the issue and it is not an excuse for any bad behavior. We need to expect men to own their decisions and behaviors and we need not to perpetuate the conversation about whether what a woman wears is the issue.

    • Anonymama :

      She is just so oblivious: she has a particular world view, and while in and of itself it’s fine, when deployed in this instance it is just so incredibly tone-deaf, in a way that does have actual negative consequences for people.

      “As a proud feminist with little desire to diet, get plastic surgery or hire a personal trainer, I have almost no personal experience with men asking me to meetings in their hotel rooms.” I read this line and grimaced so hard. Are you implying that feminists don’t hire personal trainers, or diet? Or get asked to meetings in men’s hotel rooms? she just seems to conflate all her personal experiences into one thing, when really one thing (being a feminist) has nothing to do with the other (being harassed or assaulted). And her defensive reaction was just so oblivious as well.

  3. Moving suddenly :

    I am moving rather suddenly from an apartment I shared with my boyfriend to my own place. I am a baby associate in biglaw who has not yet earned their stripes so I am trying to do the entire move in a weekend without missing any time from work. I have a very generous friend working from home at my new place for a few days to coordinate deliveries. I will be bringing clothes and a few household items with me, but most of the furniture will need to be purchased. Does anyone have any tips on how to minimize the stress of this move on the front end? Additionally, if anyone has tips for dealing with the leasing office to break a lease, I’d appreciate it. So far we are on the hook for 3 months rent, which is just over 10k.

    • Anonymous :

      Hire a mover. Worth the money.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 million. Hire the mover. Most leasing places will accept a month’s rent from my experience, but that’s not guaranteed unless it’s included in your lease.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes to the movers. And have them pack for you if you can swing it at all.

    • Anonymous :

      IKEA delivers; you need a bed and a chair to start.

    • One thing that I find a big help is to take my work clothes to the dry cleaner right before. Then you have everything pressed and ready to wear when you have moved so you’re not looking for your work pants, etc., in a bunch of boxes. Generally, pack all your essentials in one place so that all the stuff you immediately need is easy to access.

      As for leasing office, many states impose a duty to mitigate on your LL so they can’t just do nothing with your apartment for 3 months and you’re only liable until they can re-let it. I’ve seen people post lease breaks on CL so maybe you can even help find a new tenant.

      • +1 regarding the lease break. Check the laws in your state, but in most, landlords have a duty to mitigate your damages and make an effort to re-rent your unit. You can also help find a new tenant to take over your lease or sign a new one.

        Also, see if they’re willing to negotiate and let you off the hook in return for a fee, like one’s month rent. If you’re in an in-demand housing market and they feel confident they can re-rent the unit quickly, they’ll usually take you up on it, rather than risk you skipping out on paying the remaining 3 month’s rent (which is apparently somewhat common in lease breaks).

    • Anon in NYC :

      1) figure out if movers are worthwhile (or even just a couple of people with a van). It’s not clear how much stuff you have, but running up and down several flights of stairs with furniture and heavy suitcases is exhausting.

      2) Ikea and a physical mattress store can be your friend for immediate furniture needs. When we bought our bed we went to a mattress store and they were able to do next-day delivery. I’ve only had Ikea couches so far (late 30s here) and they’ve been very comfortable. In the short term, you really only need a bed and a place to sit, and a coffee table or a dining table/chairs. Other stuff can come over the coming weeks.

      3) read the fine print of your lease and find out what their restrictions are on subletting, what sort of penalty you have to pay if you end your lease early, etc. Some places will let you out with just X number of months, other places you’re on the hook for the full lease term.

      Good luck!

    • Hire moving help (can be as cheap as $100 for two hours), to help you move the majority/big stuff.
      Start ordering furniture online now, for delivery to the new place. I have bought good quality reasonably priced furniture at Wayfair.com and jossandmain.com.
      Label everything you pack very well for easier unpacking. Try to enlist as many friends/family as possible for packing/unpacking. If it is in the budget, hire a cleaning lady to do an initial deep cleaning (inside drawers, blinds, etc) before you move in.
      Take a deep breath, not everything needs to be complete immediately. You’ll have plenty of evenings and weekends to make it home with additional furniture and decorations!

    • good luck :

      Outsource major decision making by piggybacking on other people’s past research. Have a friend or colleague who recently bought a bed/mattress that they are happy with? Don’t research, just buy – and from someplace that will deliver when your friend is apartment sitting. As much as possible choose people with similar taste and whose opinions you generally respect, and just tell yourself that they’ve done the research already and were happy with the outcome.

      Otherwise, don’t worry about furniture for now: focus on kitchen supplies and bed/mattress. Everything else buy the cheapest you can find, or don’t buy at all right now and instead settle into those purchases one at a time over the next few months so they can be things you’ll be happy with and see as an opportunity to follow your own taste rather than a reminder of the time you bought crappy stuff during a stressful period of your life.

  4. Any dress code thoughts? Engagement party in DC. Late afternoon/early evening on a weekend. At the host’s very nice residence. No guidance given as to dress code. Is something like this too formal?
    https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/trina_turk/indigo_sheath

    • It’s gorgeous, but I would think too formal for an engagement party at someone’s house.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes much too formal

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Really? I actually think it is pretty perfect but would stick to more understated accessories and shoes rather than blinging it up too much.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Unless the host is the kind who will have hired servers and a band and a dance floor, probably too formal. Pretty though! Sorry I can’t be more help; on a deadline.

    • I love it. I don’t think it is too formal at all.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I would wear this to the event described.

    • Anonymous :

      As someone who lives in DC…although this is on the more formal side, I agree that you could dress it down with jewelry/shoes and it might be perfect.

    • I actually think if this is a dressup occasion, this is perfect. Here are some cues if you can’t ask the host or guests of honor — Did you get an invitation? Will there be catering or some form of hired help? (Need not be a band or hired servers but maybe just a bartender? Or catering in the kitchen?) Those would tip me off that it would be dressier, in addition to it being a weekend evening and knowing that the host has a nicer home where they might do this entertaining regularly. If the bride is not wearing a dress, then you shouldn’t but it seems unlikely the bride would be in jeans, I think. A jazzy jumpsuit could also fit the bill, skewing a smidge less formal but still fun and festive.

  5. Help me decide :

    I got two winter coats from Eddie Bauer after the recommendations from this site. One is an olive green, “duffle” coast that is mid-calf for me, I’m about 5ft 6 in tall and 131 pounds. It has a drawstring at the waist that you pull from the inside and somehow I feel like it still looks boxy and more sleeping bag like on me. It is warm though and has fleece on the torso, back and neck areas.

    The other coat is knee length,in a beige color called “driftwood”. It has no drawstring at the waist or belt and fleece is only in the back lining of the coat. Still looks abit boxy but somehow it looked slightly more flattering. FWIW I have never worn a mid-calf length coat before and when I saw the “duffle” coat online, it looked good on the model but didn’t feel as excited when I wore it today.

    I’m getting a new coat since my wool peacoats would get wet here–it rains and snows at the same time. Also need something that will keep the wind out, wool doesn’t seem to do that well enough for me. So my new coat is for my walk to work and hopefully something I can wear if I decide to be active–planning on taking an adult beginners skating class in January. I don’t ski but might snowshoe once in a while. Would going with the knee-length mean that much less warmth? I’m always freezing in my legs with the wool. Or should I keep the long coat, even though it feels boxy. I’ve posted links to both coats below.

    • Help me decide :

      Olive green duffle coat – http://www.eddiebauer.ca/product/womens-lodge-down-duffle-coat/20612164?showProducts=&color=632&sizetype=&size=

      Driftwood (beige like) color knee length parka – http://www.eddiebauer.ca/product/womens-sun-valley-down-parka/20612953?showProducts=&color=400&sizetype=&size=

    • Anonymous :

      Get a different knee length coat.

    • Anonymous :

      Neither.

    • Baconpancakes :

      For any sports, you’ll need a short coat, hip length. For walking to work, if your legs get cold, you might need a different coat. I have one from LE that is similar to the duffle that I find less boxy than expected, although YMMV (weird though, I’d always called those “puffer” and “duffle” the kind that paddington bear wears). BUT keep in mind – keeping warm on a day to day basic trumps looking shapely in the winter!

      Depending on your weather, you might want to consider having two coats – one for cold temps, one for really really cold temps. In that case, you could go with one knee-length, one mid-calf. And yes, a knee-length will almost always be less warm than a mid-calf. No way around that.

      The Patagonia Tres is generally well-reviewed if you want something sleeker, but it’s not cheap.

    • Knee length (or mid thigh) should be sufficient for any out door activity. I would only go mid-calf for “standing around” outdoor activities, like…outdoor football games? The extra fabric will just get in the way of most activities. If you end up thinking you need extra warmth on your legs, go with layers under your pants or snow pants, not a longer jacket. Key thing is to get windproof and that it covers your butt.

      Check out Lands End for more options if you need them. They also do temperature ratings to give you an idea of the outdoor temp that is appropriate for different types and lengths of coats.

    • Do you wear long underwear and thick socks? I would get a shorter coat and layer more on your legs if your legs are cold. A long down coat is almost certainly going to be much too warm most of the winter.

    • Anonymous :

      Others have already advised but just another note that you really don’t need a long or warm down coat for sports like snowshoeing and even skating. You usually end up getting hot from all of the exercise you’re doing not to mention a longer jacket getting in the way. Down is not great for snow activities as you’ll want to get something waterproof if possible…but regardless you don’t want down as it won’t help when wet. Hope that helps!

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Not sure where you are, but I’m in Chicago and a knee-length down coat is always my preference. I’ve never found longer coats to be very useful since they impede movement and you can stay warm below the knees with either a pants and leggings combo, by wearing knee-high snow boots, or snow pants when the occasion really calls for it. You don’t sound like you’re enamored of either coat, and since your winter coat will likely get a ton of wear, you want something you really like. Because by the time February comes around, you’ll want to burn it. I like the second coat you linked to, but in a more exciting color than beige. A coat with a belt at the wait will also help slim down the silhouette– although a down coat is never going to be particularly sleek.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Winter is so long you should buy a coat you love.
        My recommendation – knee length coat with belt.

    • I think if you’re in conditions cold enough to warrant calf-length down you’re gonna have to deal with boxy.

      • Agree with this! I have never really tried to look stylish in my parka…

        FWIW, I have the second Eddie Bauer coat you posted (in black) and I get tons of use out of it.

  6. I’m going to be at a conference in Chicago, and would like to organize an informal get-together for alumni of my graduate program. There will probably 20ish of us there. The conference is at the Marriott Downtown – Magnificant Mile. We may just gather in the hotel bar, but it’s always crowded and we’ll get interrupted by all the other people we know. Does anyone have a recommendation for a nearby bar where we could get a drink at 6ish on a Friday or Saturday night?

    • Chicago anon :

      It’s a 15 minute walk from the Marriott, but I love the Chicago Athletic Association for this sort of thing. It has several rooms/bars in the building, so you can wander around and choose the one that’s got the right vibe for you. Cindy’s, their rooftop bar, is beautiful. The Game Room is super fun. Cherry Circle Room has delicious food. In the “lobby/library” area on the second floor by the Game Room and CCR, wait staff attend to the tables so you can have a quiet glass of wine if that’s more your style.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I would say you should go to a dive (but not super divey), like Simons or Green Mill, to have the space to talk (but you’d have to uber/train/bus there). Monk’s Pub is in the loop?

      • LoudyTourky :

        My husband and I were surprised to discover that Monk’s Pub closes at 5pm on Saturdays.

      • Green Mill is pretty far from the Loop. Does Bandera have a bar? That’s my go-to for Mag Mile dining, because of the nice view.

    • ChicagoAnon :

      There’s an irish pub type place called D4 on Grand that has a lot of space and is a short walk from your hotel. That said, Rossi’s on State is in keeping with RH’s suggestion and prob my favorite place to grab drinks with coworkers. Just a great little watering hole.

    • Sable is nice in that area, and a bit more upscale than D4. Purple Pig is fun too

    • I love Rossi’s, but I think it is tight for that large a group and if you wind up doing this on Friday, it will be full of happy hour types. (I also think it may be a bit too divey for a professional event.) Purple Pig is awesome, and if it can fit your group, that would be my pick, though I suspect they may not be as enthusiastic for a group that isn’t interested in ordering food.

      If people are up for a 15 minute walk, I agree that the Chicago Athletic Association is a great spot; the Gage and Seven Lions near there may also be able to accommodate a large group.

  7. home office :

    Trying to set up a work-from-home space on the cheap. I need at least one computer monitor. Inexpensive places to look?

    • Anonymous :

      Are there any computer repair store-fronts in your neighborhood? I have at least 3 in my small suburb. They often sell refurbished monitors. Also… Craig’s list. You can get something for very cheap, if you look around.

      And I bet any techie friends of yours have multiple older monitors in their basement/closets.

      Also look on Freecycle in your area. Post that you are looking for this.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Stalk Lifehacker for their Kinja Deals, add a few highly-rated ones to a list on Amazon and set it up for mobile notifications (it’ll tell you when they go down if they’re on a list), look at the Amazon Gold Box/daily deals.

    • woot may have some good deals, especially during a woot-off

    • I found several refurbished ones on Amazon (search “refurbished monitors”)

  8. So I had an interview last week and they said they’d let me know by Monday… it’s now about 4pm on Monday and despite refreshing my email like a crazy person, haven’t heard a word… :(

    • Anonymous :

      Hang in there. They almost never get back to you when they say they will. Expect it will be at least a week after they tell you, and if you’re wrong, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    • anon for this :

      Hang in there. [email protected]:20 is right that even when there’s good news, hiring managers never get back to you.

      FWIW, I hate it when hiring managers don’t get back to people who have interviewed. I think it’s really rude, and it burns bridges. One of the people who never called me back during my last job search is a former employee of my current firm. My team has basically stolen his only client, so I’m basically doing the work he interviewed me for. And while I’m not out to get him, I do absolutely nothing to protect him or his reputation when I inherit something that he f*ed up.

  9. Excel Geek :

    My 11.5 year old son is starting to get sporadic acne. My husband and his sister both had awful skin as teenagers but I had always been fairly lucky (a zit here or there). Is there a good face wash he should start using that you’d recommend?

    • Gently, I would not bring it up unless he asks. My mom constantly tried to get me to try new skin products and scheduled dermatology appointments to “fix” my acne when I was a teenager and all she actually succeeded in doing was making me more self-conscious about it.

      • Neutrogena liquid soap (or the generic equivalent). The orange kind in the pump bottle with salicylic acid. It’s not something girly that a tween boy should object to, it’s gentle, but effective.

      • Can’t you just frame it as “you should be washing your face twice a day; here’s some face soap I got at Target”? No recommendations on actual face soap though.

        • Flats Only :

          This. Along the same lines as you would use to introduce deodorant. It’s not to cure some personal failing, it’s just what grownups do (or those who may begin to smell like grownups soon).

          • That’s fair, and probably not objectionable. My mom’s approach was definitely more along the lines of curing a personal failing of mine and 1) I didn’t appreciate it and 2) it didn’t even help. My acne went away on its own when I was in my 20’s.

          • Anonymous :

            Do all adults really wash their face twice a day? I shower daily of course but don’t really wash my face outside of that. In high school I had bad acne and my doctor told me I was washing my face too much. Ever since then I have washed it except in the shower and my acne has been better. To me, face washing is not a general purpose hygiene thing like showering/deodorant/brushing teeth. It’s something that is more acne-specific.

          • Anonymous :

            *Haven’t washed it except in the shower, I mean

          • I wash my face once a day at night. I only rinse in the shower in the morning. I’ve read that you should wash your face at night because your face is exposed to a lot of dirt/bacteria etc. during the day. I agree that washing too much can be bad for skin, thought.

        • Twice a day seems excessive.

      • Anonymous :

        Gently, I really wish my mom had done anything about my acne. It’s a scarring medical condition with great treatment options.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, I have mixed feelings….. I didn’t see a dermatologist until I was 40, and I should have seen one when I was 12. The scars… physical and psychological.

          Maybe Dad can present, rather than you?

        • pugsnbourbon :

          +1. Mom had decent skin and was clueless; Dad just said we were touching our faces too much. I wish someone had told me to be GENTLE with my skin.

      • Anonymous :

        Yup. Pushing acne products on him will just be a blow to his ego. I would leave it to him to ask.

      • Anonymous :

        My 11-year-old started getting whiteheads and blackheads this year. Framing it as “good hygiene,” which is something they talk about in school, I got him Alba Botanica AcneDote face wash and showed him how to wash his face with a washcloth. The wash is gentle and natural and seems to be keeping things under control.

        A male friend of ours had horrible acne as a teen and was too embarrassed to ask his parents for help, so nothing was done about it. He has deep ice-pick and rolling scars and has had laser therapy, microdermabrasion, etc. to mitigate them, not to much avail. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting ahead of this issue by teaching good face-washing techniques and use of anti-acne soap…ultimately we’re probably going to need a derm but we’re not there yet, and in the meantime if he can keep it under control with home care, that’s what we’re going to do.

    • Anonymous :

      Neutrogena makes a good one. Just stick it on the counter.

    • Anonymous :

      Desert Essence Tea Tree Face Wash. But be sure to dilute it well.

    • Anonymous :

      See if a dermatologist nearby sells Dermesse gel cleanser. I get it through the cosmetics portion of my derm’s practice, $25 for a big container (lasts 6 months). It’s the best I’ve found and let’s just say that I’ve tried a lot of them…

    • Cetaphil

    • Anonymous :

      If/when he wants spot treatments, the Cosrx Master Acne patches do a good, gentle job calming down and clearing out spots overnight.

    • Excel Geek :

      Thanks all!
      If I waited until he asked, he’d probably be about 40. :) He is not so self-aware on hygiene. I mostly want to instill some good habits more than telling him he has a specific issue. I do think it may be helpful coming from dad, so thanks for that idea!

      • Just start taking him to the dermatologist. My DH had terrible acne and has scars, and I just didn’t want to wait to see how bad it would get for our kids. At around that age, they were already going to the pediatrician, the dentist, the orthodontist, and then I added in the dermatologist. Nobody felt bad about it; it was just one more appointment. He prescribed creams and told them what to use to wash (Cetaphil) and they listened to him b/c he’s a doctor. Their needs changed as they got older but they never had to come to me about it b/c of the regular dermatologist visits to address this with a doctor. With this attention, their acne has been kept in control and they will not have scarring.

        • Anonymous :

          You are a great mom to be worried about this. I agree with CTF. Also, acne is a medical condition and with respect to all the commenters here who have solutions that have worked for THEM, these might not work for your child.

          I made an appointment for my son when he was 12 (and in the same position as your sweetie) with our primary care physician who also has special training in dermatological issues. I gave her the heads up when making the appointment but when there just asked if there was anything special he should be doing to care for his skin now that he was approaching teenager territory. She was awesome with him and he now has tools that were unavailable to me as a teenager. It’s a work in progress but I hope this spares him some of the pain I suffered as a teenager.

      • I would have been too embarrassed to ask my mom. Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      I still have acne at 48 and swear by Proactive. The 3-step “Acne Free” knock off found at CVS, Walgreens and Walmart is equally as effective. It is a benzoyl peroxide and will bleach towels.

      • Anonymous :

        Also, I suggest using Dial bar soap (gold) in the shower for its antibacterial properties.

    • May Welland :

      A cleanser from CeraVe or Cetaphil–drugstore brands so they come at reasonable price points. Make sure he also moisturizes, since dry skin can actually make your face produce more oil/ look even worse. And avoid washes/cleansers with exfoliating particles–they can be too rough and damage skin or spread bacteria further on skin that’s already troubled. Signed: Finally I have ok skin at 31.

    • Dissolve epsom salts into warm water & apply to face (10 minutes). Also exercise/running 20 minutes every other day.

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