Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Long-Sleeved Sheath Dress in Stretch Ponte

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

This fabulous ponte dress is from J.Crew. I love the V-neck and the darts along the front — and we’re picturing it in red but note that it also comes in black. It’s available in regular, petite, and tall sizes, and the straight sizes go all the way from 00 to 20, which is great. It’s $118 full price, but as we all know, J.Crew will often have sales, so keep an eye out. Long-Sleeved Sheath Dress in Stretch Ponte

Here’s a plus-size option.

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  1. This looks like my perfect pack for travel dress.
    I have a few similar dresses on rotation and they make business travel so much easier if your dress code allows it.

  2. In-House in Houston :

    Can anyone explain what ponte is/means? I have a tummy so I don’t want anything that’s too clingy. TIA!

    • Ponte is a thick, heavy knit. Clinging really depends on the style and cut of the garment. Most people find ponte to be really forgiving.

    • Anonymous :

      Lands End carries a lot of ponte. If the dresses are lined, I don’t have a problem with clinginess, but if they’re unlined, in certain cuts it becomes an issue for me. They’re my go-to for work travel and I have only had to return 1 or 2.

      • Who makes lined ponte dresses? LE and Boden sadly do not fit very well for me. Looking for other suggestions!

        • Marks & Spencer. I got one today, my first order with them. It is lined, washable ponte and looks amazing. Can’t wait to wear it.

    • Ponte is a knit, but looks like a woven suiting material. (Or at least, good ponte does.)

      The best ponte pieces I have are lined, so the combination of the lining and the weight prevent clinging as long as the fit is good. Usually the lining has some spandex in it, so the whole thing has a nice balance of structure and stretch.

      • +1 – Brooks Brothers had some very tailored nice looking lined Ponte dresses last fall/winter. I snapped them up and they are AWESOME for travel.

    • Slips slips slips :

      In the winter, I wear a full slip so I don’t have clinging from tights and it works for the cling factor generally from the dress fabric. I feel like my mom, but it just makes things better.

    • Ponte is short for ponte de roma (roman bridge) and it’s the style of knitting that gives stretch. Generally the knit is somewhat thicker.

    • Nordstrom has a T Tahari short sleeve sheath dress in ponte that is great and not too expensive at $98. The style is “Judianne”. I got it in navy but it looks like they only have it in black now. I also saw it at Bloomingdales when I was in NY.

  3. Favorite fall outfits? :

    What is your favorite fall outfit for this year? Work and/or weekend. Mine is a green leather skirt with a black cashmere sweater, but I need some more inspiration that isn’t based on pinterest. thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been keeping myself amused by wearing all black with wacky print heels. In addition to leopard I have a black and olive floral, a southwestern pattern, and a lizard print with purple accents.

      • Ooooh – sources pls? Would love some cool heels as my outfits are intentionally pretty sedate so I can mix/match easily during work travel.

        • Not the OP, but these are surprisingly versatile:
          They also come in a blue floral, pink leopard, etc.

        • The southwest print is still at 6 pm, look for the Cole Haan Bradshaw. The others are sold out, but if you like a purple and black floral, try the Coach Outlet site.

      • I so love a loud shoe!

    • Anonymous :

      Cowl neck sweater with dark skinny jeans tucked into knee-high boots (with a denim jacket, leather jacket, or North Face, depending on the temp) has been my go to fall weekend outfit for the last couple of years, so I probably need an update!

      • Anonymous :

        Your outfit sounds super cute! I love cowl neck sweaters! I have a large chest, and I feel more confident with a cowl neck. Crew neck sweaters make me look ridiculously top heavy. Yay for sweater weather.

      • Frozen Peach :

        Any favorite cowl neck recommendations? I need more sweaters and I haven’t been finding good cowl options. They are my favorites too.

    • This pullover (in almond) –

      AG black skinny jeans – so soft

      Old cognac slouchy boots

      A weekend outfit for a lot of people who post here, but I’m wearing it today because my office is super casual.

    • Black pencil skirt with black v-neck top and a green and gold pashmina. Tall black riding boots.
      It seems like a lot of black, but the pashmina really stands out and I feel a little like a glamorous New Yorker in my Southern suburb :)

    • Baconpancakes :

      Very weekend: pink silk camisole tank, fair isle long open cardigan with pockets, black skinny jeans, cognac driving mocs, tiny gold disc earrings and necklace.

      I’m pretty unenthused about my work wardrobe right now. All I want to wear is black and grey and that taupe color MM La Fleur called Russet.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Nothing wrong with black and gray!

        Winter off-duty outfit is black leggings, gray tank and a teal Lululemon wrap I got on super-clearance, with black Doc Marten Leyton boots. #basic but I’m comfy.

    • Anonymous :

      I bought a Hudson Bay striped sweater at Talbots 2 years ago, and I’m glad I did. I love wearing it with skinny jeans, knee high boots, a long sleeved shirt, and a dangly necklace. Its so comfy and cozy, and I always get compliments. It looks much better on, but here’s a picture from Poshmark:

    • Linda from HR :

      Midi-length, plaid, A-line skirt in a bunch of fall colors (green, grey, brick mostly) with burgundy booties and a sweater that matched one of the colors on the skirt with a white t-shirt underneath. Last year I often paired this with a knitted off-white scarf and matching hat, but I lost the hat :(

      Weekend wear, of course. The skirt flairs too much for the office. For work I like to pair black and white houndstooth attire with fall colored cardigans and shoes.

  4. Shopping help request: I’m looking for a flat shoe that meets some specific requirements. I love the look of the Ivanka Trump Chic 4, but don’t want to buy that brand. The requirements are: size 10 or 10.5 narrow, black, flat, pointy or semi-pointy toe, and no embellishments (seams/grommets/woven bits/etc). I’m open to leather, suede, patent, etc. Any help? The narrow sizing really limits the options and I’m not finding anything else I like. Willing to spend what I need to get the right pair.

    • Try m gemi? they have a plain flat i’ve been eyeing

    • the Marc Fisher brand and Ivanka Trump brands are made by the same manufacturer, so maybe try Marc Fisher? Don’t know if Ivanka has a financial stake in that company though.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been seeing a lot of beautiful Ivanka Trump shoes unloaded at Burlington Coat Factory and Marshalls, but I can’t pull the trigger. They don’t seem to be selling, either. Good to know Marc Fisher is a sister brand. I’ll research her connection, but that may be a good alternative. She does have some beautiful shoes.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Sam Edelman Rae (is M width too wide?) or Trotters Estee (have a N) might be good options.

    • Finding narrow shoes is such a hard battle. Even major stores carry very few narrow options and they’re all frumpy (but SO many cute extra-wide choices. unfair.). Flats in particular seems to be the worst – I can buy heels and boots and sandals in narrow widths but literally never see cute flats in narrow so definitely want to hear these recommendations! To make it worse I’m pretty sure that the “normal” width shoes have gotten wider over time.


      Zappos has the best options for sorting shoes when you have something really specific in mind, IME. This pair came up when I applied your filters. I’ve never worn Trotters but I think they get mentioned here a lot as a comfortable brand.

    • Boden flats run pretty narrow for me – maybe try there?

    • These come in narrow:

    • These are a little fancier:

    • Also have narrow feet. My shoes are almost all Naturalizer, but I do have two pairs of Trotters, and they’re pretty comfortable. I’m actually wearing the Estees today.

      • sounds like many votes for the Estees – I’m going to give them a try.

      • just want to concur that Naturalizer are the only regular width shoes that fit my narrow feet that are readily available and affordable

    • Anonymous :

      Shoes of Prey — I have a narrow-width pair of plain black almond-toe flats and they fit me very well (though took some breaking in). Pointy-toe also available.

    • If you need Narrows, you should be shopping at Nordstrom. And if you’re a 10.5, GL, bc that’s already a unicorn size that barely exists. You may have better luck looking for 40 or 41s from European brands (which, coincidentally, you can also search for at Nordstrom).

    • If you’re willing to be splurgey, check out Ferragamo.

  5. Short torso :

    I seem to have a short torso but I’m not my height, so I definitely don’t need shorter sleeves, just a higher waist).

    I have tried Boden, but I just look pregnant in their dresses. Sadly.

  6. Open enrollment is here, and I’m deeply confused. HR is no help, the benefits website referred me to an incomprehensible IRS document, and Google is giving me conflicting information, so I thought I’d ask here.
    What can I buy with the money in my HSA? I know the account is for medical expenses, but I’m really unclear as to what constitutes a medical expense. Can I use it to buy OTC drugs and supplies like Advil, Claritin, band-aids, neosporin, etc.? Or can I only use it to buy prescriptions?
    What documentation to I need to keep for things I buy with the HSA? Do I have to submit receipts with my taxes or something like that?
    Thanks for the help!

    • Anonymous :

      This won’t help with a comprehensive list, but you can always ask at the store. For instance, if I’m buying a prescription, tampons, and chewing gum, I would first swipe my HSA card and then my debit card for the gum. The computer system will recognize that the prescription and tampons are eligible. A few times I’ve had a store check if items are covered, and they are always happy to do so. OTC drugs are all eligible expenses with my HSA, but vitamins are not. Bandaids, neosporin, and oddly enough sunscreen are eligible. I think it varies by HSA.

      With mine, I get a text and email alert after EVERY.PURCHASE., even if its clearly medically related like “You made a transaction at X Medical! Please upload your receipt!” I then scan and upload to their website. Easy enough.

      • Are FSAs and HSAs different for OTC drugs? My FSA only covers OTC drugs if you have a prescription… so if your doctor writes a prescription for Claritin, you’re fine, but otherwise it’s not covered.

        • You could probably get away with buying the first aid meds/OTC with your HSA, since you aren’t accountable to anyone else (except the IRS) for those expenses. But honestly, since the HSA money carries over from year to year, I would save it for bigger, unexpected expenses and not use it for the regular expenses like OTCs or tampons.

    • Anonymous :

      That IRS list – which is a list of the qualified medical expenses that can be deducted – is the same list of items that can be purchased with a FSA or HSA money. The Medicines entry indicates you need a prescription in order to make it a qualified medical expense – although you can get bandages (non-medicine first aid type items). That IRS publication has a list of covered and not-covered items. It specifically says that non-prescription items are not covered.

      My HSA has a debit card associated with it, so I just buy items directly with the card, but you can also reimburse yourself from the HSA account. So, I would keep receipts (for 3 years, since this is a tax thing you would need to prove if audited). You are the owner of the HSA account, so you aren’t accountable to anyone. Versus an FSA, where you submit expenses to an administrator to get pay out of your funds.

    • HSA rules are just like FSA for what you can and cannot buy. Band aids, sunscreen, Rx, glasses, contacts, lasik, etc. fine. no OTC without an Rx.

      The rules on receipts and reimbursement will depend on your administrator, just like FSAs. I’ve had two, and they’ve both been very loose- I’ve had my own pot of money and can reimburse myself. The caveat is that they say “keep good records in case you get audited” which I have not been.

      There are also HSA administrators that in order to get the money out, you have to have receipts uploaded.

      So, items is straightforward but the hassle-factor of record keeping is a bit variable based on plan admin.

    • What everyone else has said, but to add, my HSA does require you to upload receipts for reimbursements. I always forget I have it, so never am smart enough to swipe on-site. Derp.

    • Thanks so much for the responses so far! So what I’m getting is that I’ll probably need a prescription for OTC medicine, but I’m fine to use it for other things that are “medical” but not drugs.
      Am I correct in assuming that I can use it to pay medical bills that aren’t covered by insurance? For example, if I have a gynae bill of $200 that isn’t covered by my regular insurance, can I pay it out of the HSA?

      • Yes. You cannot, however, use it to pay insurance premiums. You probably are doing that through an employer but just fYI for others reading.

        • Unless it is COBRA or you are collecting unemployment. Adding since I did not know this restriction and my HSA is definitely part of my emergency plan, so your helpful response triggered some research.

      • Yes, absolutely use it to pay the doctor bill not covered by insurance. That’s primarily what it is for.

    • There are significant differences between an FSA and an HSA. A true HSA is a pre-tax savings account that’s part of a high deductible health insurance plan. You can open your HSA account at any bank of your choice.

      Your HSA money can be used for prescriptions, doctor visits, copays, procedures, prescription lenses, dental treatment, mental health care, etc. You cannot use it for any OTC medications, gym memberships, massages, health and beauty products, health insurance premiums, etc. The exception is if these are truly prescribed by a physician. You can use your HSA to pay for those same qualified health expenses for your spouse and dependents as well, regardless of their insurance plan.

      Also, while FSA’s can be managed plans requiring you to submit receipts, etc, HSAs are all self-managed to my knowledge. You keep your receipts in case of a tax audit. If you had an emergency tire blow out or something, that money is yours to use, but you would pay taxes on that portion at the end of the year. The money is yours to keep whether you change plans or jobs, but the same tax rules apply. You’ll get a tax document from the bank at the end of the year totalling your contributions and withdrawals. Hope that helps.

      • FWIW, I didn’t have a choice about the bank for my HSA. They sent us a debit card and that was that. In fact, half way through the year, they changed banks (from BoA to something else I didn’t recognize). It’s all run through the insurance company/benefits program. I log into my health insurance page to see my spending, request reimbursements, see contributions, etc. I just requested a out-of-pocket expenses reimbursement for my eye appointment and contacts for example.

      • On that note about changing jobs with an HSA – I have an old one from my old job. Can I contribute money to it, even though I am no longer at that job and my current job only has an FSA (no HSA plans)? I know I can use it after the job, but can I contribute more to it?

        • You can only contribute to an HSA if you are enrolled in an eligible high-deductible health plan (HDHP). And not all HDHP are HSA-eligible (or at least that’s the way it used to be), so you’ll want to double check your’s is (if you have one).

        • If I have an HSA-eligible HDHP, but my employer won’t contribute pre-tax dollars to an HSA, how do I contribute pre-tax to an HSA? Do I just contribute and put it on my tax return at the end of the year?

      • There are difference between how FSA and HSA are run (use it or lose it being the biggest difference), but they both use the same list of qualified medical expenses. That isn’t one of the differences.

        And yes, theoretically, you can open up your own HSA anywhere you want – but if you want the benefit of pre-tax deductions out of your paycheck and any money the company wants to put in the HSA, it’s best to go with the one they set up. You could set up your own HSA (especially if your employer didn’t offer one and you have an eligible HDHP) and make contributions and get the tax credit when you file your taxes, but that’s not what most people do.

    • I appreciate the details of this. I have never had this benefit, and now get my health insurance via Obamacare.

      I pay $500 per month premium and have a $6500 deductible. That deductible also means I pay for all of my medications out of pocket until I pay $6500. I am in my 40’s, healthy, and go to my doc once a year. This is the cheapest bronze plan in my state. None of the good hospitals in my area accept any Obamacare plans.

      I am scared to look at the Marketplace for Obamacare for next year. It opens today. Every year my plan has to be changed because the plan gets cancelled or the company who sponsored it goes out of business. I have had 6 different insurance plans in the past 4 years.

      Health insurance through work is such an amazing benefit.

      I am a progressive democrat. I am still grateful for Obamacare, but agree that it has problems and needs revision, and know that Trump is going to cause more pain for me ….. ugh.

      • Yep. Unfortunately the problem with Obamacare is something that never would have passed (stronger mandate and higher penalties for those who don’t buy insurance). The only way to get your costs lowered is to have a higher pool of consumers (unless you go Medicare for all or offer a government option). Penalties just weren’t strong enough for healthy consumers and Trump is only going to make it worse.

      • I’m not sure if you’re into this, but if you’re religious (or religious enough), you could join Medishare or Samaratin Ministries or a health share. It meets the individual mandate, and it’s much less expensive. There’s some drawbacks–no pre existing conditions covered, no children out of wedlock, no mental health/rehab benefits.

        It sounds kind of for the fundamentalists, but I know many “normal” people who are on these plans.

    • Piggyback question– I have largely neglected my flexible spending account because I don’t understand it. For example, I am having a baby later this year and will pay a $250 deductible, and if there are no complications that cost more money, the insurance will cover the rest. Could I use FSA to pay the deductible?

      More generally, do I have to know I’m going to incur that expense before I incur it? Don’t I have to earmark a certain amount of money in FSA in anticipation of using it? That’s the part where I get flummoxed– things come up that I would use it for, but I didn’t know about them during open season (when I get to designate how much money goes into the FSA). I had LASIK a couple of years ago but didn’t know the previous November that I was going to have it, and I didn’t want to wait a whole year to put money in my FSA for Lasik the following year. Was there a better way to handle that?

      Thanks for any advice– like the OP, my HR just talks in circles but can’t directly answer questions.

      • yes, you have to decide how much to contribute to the FSA during open enrollment. And if you don’t use all of the money, you lose it.

        I use my FSA to cover my predictable expenses. For example, I wear daily contacts, know approximately how much they will cost next year, and will contribute at least that much. I also have a pretty good estimate of how much my co-pays for standard doc visits will be over the year, assuming no surprises or health issues, so I contribute that too. But I can’t and don’t account for the unexpected expenses. For example, I had to go to the ER this year, and the bill for that was more than I’m putting into the FSA all year.

        • Thank you! (Why can’t my HR just say that!?)

        • And re: your lasik (and orthodontia, and whatever else), the only way it could have been better handled was to plan to have it done in advance, set aside the money, then do it. Or, once you decided to do it, put it off until the following year once you funded your FSA. if it was an emergency, then it is what it is. As others have said, I use the FSA for predictable expenses. If I end up with extra (usually <$100), I buy sunscreen and band-aids in December.

    • Why HSA over low-cost HMO? :

      Another piggybacking question since it seems like HSAs with HDHP are popular here. I admit I don’t get it really. What are the reasons for picking the HDHP over an HMO and vice versa? I generally understand the tax benefits, but I feel like we’d want to contribute so little to the HSA it would not be worth it. We don’t buy any OTC drugs except acetominophen, and that it is max one small bottle a year. We don’t take any prescription drugs regularly, and didn’t fill a single prescription last year. With our HMO, we paid less than $100 out of pocket in co-pays last year for check-up type visits/tests, and the plan is less than $200 pre-tax per pay cycle for a family of 6. I feel like we’d pay a lot more for a HDHP plan with an HSA. Am I missing something?

      • Anonymous :

        Well, for one, not everyone has access to an HMO and an HDHP/HSA through their employer. Many employers are moving to the HDHP/HSA model because it’s a cheaper way to provide health insurance to their employees.

        I think in general an HDHP plan is cheaper out-of-pocket than an HMO plan, although of course you can also contribute to the HSA in addition to the HDHP premiums. Personally, I prefer the HDHP/HSA because I do not regularly use health care, and I can save a considerable amount in my HSA that will roll over from year to year, AND I can invest the amount I’ve saved to earn even more for my health care expenses later on (i.e., babies and then later on, retirement).

      • “Low-cost” is the key part there. My employer offers 2 (or 3 if you count the “wellness” option) HDHP/HSA plans and one PPO. They contribute to the HSA as part of your benefit for the year. The max out of pocket (including premiums at meeting your deductible) for the “wellness” plan for an indivdual is 3K, and the max out of pocket for the PPO is over 11K. I’m honestly not sure why anyone would choose the PPO – premiums alone are 300+/pay period versus $30+ for the wellness plan.

      • I think it just depends on your options and your expected health expenses. I go to my PCP once or twice a year, take only generic prescriptions meds, have an IUD, and have no expected major expenses. I opt for the HDHP (with no HSA offered) because that’s what my employer fully covers. I expect to spend about $500 OOP.

        DH has ADHD for which he takes Adderall. He has to see a psychiatrist quarterly for his prescription, and the prescription ranges from $150-200 every month. Other than that, he sees a PCP once or twice a year. With expected expenses, he’s “break even” between the HMO and the HDHP–he basically hits the HMO’s individual deductible, and difference in premiums is about equal to the difference in deductibles for the HMO and HDHP. We usually enroll him in the HMO in case anything unexpected comes up.

    • Nudibranch :

      I use mine to cover all my out of pocket co-pays. This includes prescriptions, doctor visits, blood tests and my very expensive yearly visit to a specialist who does not participate in insurance billing.

      I’ve found that they will reimburse me for contacts and contact solution. No other OTC medication seems to be covered (I check my Target receipt for the symbol that indicates reimbursement eligibility).

      My healthcare expenses remain relatively stable year to year. I estimate approximately how much I’ll need and that’s how much I set for the year. If there were to be unexpected or emergency expenses, my allowance would not stretch the full year.

      I’m careful to stay on the conservative side when estimating my yearly needs as the money unspent at the end of the year is gone. No reimbursement for unspent $.

  7. Anonymous :

    I’m job searching after five years, and some of the tips online surprise me. Do you really not put your mailing address on a resume/cover letter? My resume also lists the city next to all my employers. Do I leave that? Any other tips? It seems that there have been many changes in a short amount of time, as people try to customize resumes for keywords and computer reviews. Any other tips?

    I am currently in Boston and looking at positions in DC. I want to move for family reasons. Should I note that in the cover letter (even if I omit my mailing address)?

    • I just job searched last year and I put my mailing address and the city next to all employers.

    • There’s a lot of awful job search advice out there. I’d try to largely stick to the tips from the Ask a Manager website – she seems to be the most in touch with current corporate norms. You can go through the archives with the tags resume, cover letter, etc. Or she has an e-book that looks interesting, but I haven’t read that.

    • Yes, I was laid off two years ago and that’s what they told us at the unemployment seminars – just cell phone and email address, and also LinkedIn link. They also said wear hose :) I think they say to keep your resume in Word versus a pdf.

      The worse is the amount of time it takes to apply. I spent an hour this morning working on just two applications, because the online systems are so annoying and duplicate what’s on the resume, and one kept locking up. G-d forbid giving an email address to send resumes.

    • Wildkitten :

      I put on city but not address but in your case I’d leave off the city and let them assume you’re already in DC.

    • Linda from HR :

      You can put your mailing address, it’s just not super necessary anymore since no one is going to use it to contact you for a rejection or interview request. They just need your city so they know if you’re local or whether you’d need to relocate. I don’t think you need the city next to employers, unless the city communicates something important – it could indicate you’ve moved around a lot, could indicate you know the local market well, it could indicate whether you’ve worked in big, HQ offices or small satellite ones.

      Your resume is a marketing document, the details are supposed to convince whoever is screening the resumes that you’re worth talking to about the job.

      • Linda from HR :

        Forgot to mention that yes, in the cover letter you should mention you’re moving for family reasons. Non-local candidates with no ties to the area are often considered a flight risk, with ties to the area you seem less likely to get disillusioned with the area and homesick for where you came from, or restless and itching to move on to another city.

        • I think this is often right, but doesn’t apply to many industries in DC – people get why you want to move to the area if your in, for example, politics

          • Linda from HR :

            That’s fair, and I suppose it’s assumed that if you want to work in politics you’re prepared to adjust to that city specifically, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if even organizations in DC have been burned by people who came to DC with big dreams but ended up not clicking with the area, and moving to a different city that suits them better to work in local or state politics.

    • Get a Google Voice number that is local to DC (or the suburbs) and put that on your resume. I’ve heard it helps.

      • But so many people have cellphone numbers from wherever they were when they got a cellphone–is anyone really looking askance at my college-era New England area code now that I no longer live there? I think this is overkill, especially in a transient-heavy city like DC.

      • This is outdated advice. Sooo many people have cell phone numbers that they’ve had forever at this point that aren’t local.

      • Anonymous :

        Imagine that you grew up in Southern California, went to college in Southern California, went to graduate school in Southern California, worked in Southern California, and have a Southern California address and phone number. You then try to say that you totally want to move to Seattle.

        There should be something on your resume that indicates “Seattle” or “Not 100% Southern California,” not that there’s anything wrong with SoCal. I have friends who didn’t get interviews until they did this, so it’s not “dated” advice.

        (There’s also the logic fail of bringing your college area code into it. Presumably, if you went to college in Maine, then graduate school in DC, live in Chicago, and are trying to find jobs in Atlanta, no one thinks you’re going to move back to Maine because you have a 207 area code. The issue is that there’s nothing “Atlanta” about you, but it’s less of an issue than people whose resumes scream that they’ve been in the same geographical place for 20 years and are now making a move to some random spot.)

    • Going against the grain… not in OP’s situation, but in some cases, physical address and local phone number help. I got my current job in large part because I was local–and not just in the general region, but basically in the particular suburb that my firm operates in. But this is pretty specific–this firm is relatively small but well-connected in its particular area, and they were skeptical that national or even regional applicants were really interested.

      • same anon–Basically, the only information you should put on your resume is information that will help you. Occasionally, that includes address and a local number.

  8. I posted yesterday about the heated floor mat and saw (too late) some people asked about it. The one I purchased seems to be off Amazon but I am sure there are others! Link to follow. It’s called “Cozy Products TT Toasty Toes Ergonomic Heated Foot Warmer”. You can sorta feel it through your shoes, as someone asked, but more often I would take my shoes off and rest bare or sock feet on it. Bonus – can warm/dry your socks.

  9. Miz Swizz :

    Another tights question. I’m a cusp size and I have a hard time finding tights that fit. Would I have luck with Lane Bryant? I’m a tall apple so I have issues both with the waist fitting and with length.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m tall and cusp sized, but not an apple. I love Berkshire tights. The fleece lined are heavenly, and the regular ones are good for fall. They don’t pinch or fall down. I saw a recommendation here and bought some on Amazon. I now have about 8 pairs in several colors!

    • I would order some from marks and Spencer, I think the shipping to the US is quite reasonable and they have a huge range of different sizes and types of tights.

      • Anyone have thoughts on Heist tights? I like the idea of the waistband they’re showing on theirs – something thick but not “control top”. I’ve had decent luck with Hue but would like to upgrade and Wolford is just a but more than I’m comfortable spending.

        • I’ve been seeing ads for them on Instagram and they look great. I think they will refund you if you don’t like them?

        • Anonattorney :

          Buzzfeed did a thing on them. Here’s the link:

          I think the takeaway was “meh.”

    • I have had some Lane Bryant tights for….9 years? I am a cusp sized person of slightly-above-average height, and their tights have been awesome.

    • Wildkitten :

      I’m a tall apple and I love Mossimo tights from Target.

      • givemyregards :

        Same. They also seem to last forever, and I don’t take particularly good care of mine.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Torrid. I find their tights run long and loose in the top, so would work well for a tall apple.

    • I’m tall cusp-size hourglass and am usually all about Hue – I go with a size 4, I find they wear a little longer than the 3s. I think Wildkitten’s Mossimo recommendation sounds right, too – my problem with that brand is that they’r too loose in the waist if they’re tall enough, which may be just right for you.

    • I am tall cusp and SWEAR by Spanx Tight End Tights (or whatever they are called now). Their Size E has a considerably higher weight/height coverage than most other brands, and they last forever. They are simply control top, not full-on Spanx. Promise–these are the best. I love M&S tights, but they are not tall enough for me–I’m 5’11” and have a 34-36″ inseam.

  10. Anonymous :

    Anyone have a leopard sweater they are loving right now? I’m on the hunt. (Prefer non dry clean!)

    • Veronica Mars :

      Halogen has a cute cardigan.

      • Cat Lady In Training :

        Target has an adorable long leopard sweater that I’m debating.

        • Is it the one with a bit of pink in it? I actually just ordered that, despite my reticence to get sweaters that aren’t entirely cotton or wool. (I’m a sweater in sweaters.)

        • Link, please.


            This is the one I got, though I’m still looking for a more traditional leopard print (like, smaller…spots?).

    • I got the target leopard cardigan (its not long, assuming its different than cat lady’s)

      • Anonymous :

        I have this one from Target:

      • Anon in Dallas :

        I have this one from Target and love it:

    • Jcrew factory had a cute crewneck one a couple of weeks ago.

  11. Anonymous :

    The neckline on this dress looks oddly proportioned–too narrow and deep. It needs to be either wider or not quite so deep.

    • I like that about it for me. I am small-chested so the depth would not mean real cleavage. The more narrow width indicates modesty for work without being all covered up or having an unflattering-to-me crew neck or tight jewel neck. I think the neckline might work well with a jacket, too.

  12. Anonymous :

    I posted this rather late in the day yesterday, so going to try once more for additional responses. Has anyone here gotten a br*ast augmentation? If you can share your experiences, tips, etc, I’d very much appreciate it. I’m specifically curious about whether anyone noticed at work, whether you told friends, etc. Also, if they pass for ‘real’ in your estimation.
    Thank you!

    • Anonymous :

      Following – particularly interested on replacement issues. I’ve heard that they have to be replaced every 10- 15 years even if no issues/complications? Is that right or more/less often? It’s the subsequent replacements not the initial surgery that’s kept me from being interested so far (assuming I live to about 75 that would be at least two replacement surgeries).

      • That’s a fallacy. My doc told me that they will likely need some attention or a full on swap at some point, but it’s not like scheduling an oil change for X number of miles. But he said to anticipate some sort of follow up procedure anywhere from 10 to 30+ years. He also told me despite the recent popularity of silicone, very good results can be had with saline and the replacement procedure is considerably less invasive and expensive because they can just pull them out with a very small incision, slip new ones in, and then fill them once they’re in the chest- so it’s not like getting a full additional surgery. Also, if they DO rupture, it’s just harmless saline, and you’ll notice right away. With silicone, you may not notice right away and there will be leakage to ‘mop up.’
        So if the only thing that’s preventing you from taking the plunge is the follow up, maybe look at saline to mitigate those fears.
        I very much trust his take on it! I can provide his name if you’re in the NY area.

        • I agree. I got saline, under the muscle 12 years ago, and they’re still fine. No issues and no replacements or anything needed. My doc said the same thing – no need to do anything until I have an issue. Mine were put in through an incision in the n!pple, and the incisions are barely noticeable at this point. I may be biased, but I don’t think mine look very fake. They don’t have that “bolt on” look that some do, but I’m tall with broad shoulders, and mine are not huge.

    • I did, in the summer between undergrad and law school. Undergrad friends definitely noticed, but I went significantly larger. I was also pretty open about it, but if I did it now I would not be. I’m coming up on ten years with it, and it still looks great (IMO). My tips are: meet with different doctors and do research on the kind you want (over/under the muscle, etc., and to ask a ton of questions about the size. I’m very happy with mine (silicon, under the muscle) and would do it again, but if I did, I would have gotten a smaller size. My doctor was concerned that I really wanted a size larger than I was saying I wanted (as in, you’re saying C, but C is smaller than you think it is) and I took her advice, which turned out to be incorrect. Over the years, they became more “real” looking, but it wasn’t until I had a kid that they stopped looking fake. They held up really well through pregnancy and BFing. One day if I get them done again, I will see about going smaller, but I don’t foresee needing that anytime soon.

      I would absolutely do it again. When I was younger I had a legit complex about it and constantly compared myself to others (so silly now, but it’s true) and this changed that.

      • Does your health insurance cover your MRIs or do you have to pay out of pocket or is it included with surgery cost? (FDA recommends MRIs every two years for silicone gel implants –

        • I’ve never done one and so don’t know if it’s covered. Was not covered with surgery cost. I’d never heard of that (or don’t remember ever hearing about that) and just googled it. Seems like most people do not follow this advice until they have had the implants for a while. One site recommends doing it before the tenth anniversary, so I am going to look into scheduling one – thanks for bringing this up!

      • Thanks for replying! I was worried about having kids and how that would impact things, so this is very helpful. My doc specifically says that he does NOT ‘size up’ from what I request.

    • Replied yesterday but was on my phone — I have a close friend who got hers done almost a year ago. Hers are very natural and she is thrilled with the results. (I have been to most of her pre/post-op appointments, and drove her day of surgery) — to be fair, she went from absolutely flat (AA?) to around a 32 B/C.

      Nobody at her office has commented on it, and I think doing it in the winter helped (they had “dropped and fluffed” by spring, which also helped them look more natural than at first blush.) It wasn’t a secret but she didn’t go around telling people, she told her boss she had to have a minor medical procedure. She did a ton of research on her own online and has said several times she thinks the reason she is so happy is because she had realistic expectations.

      She went to a surgeon who specializes in this look, though — he specifically said at her consult if she was looking for a different aesthetic, he would recommend her out to another surgeon in his practice. What metro area are you looking in? I could provide the name.

      • Do you know if she got silicone or saline? Over muscle or under muscle?

        • Silicone (the ones that are commonly known as “gummy bear”), under muscle. She’s about 5’5″, 130#, but bodies are super weird so don’t read too much in to that. She ended up with 275 ccs I think (the doctor asked her to select a range and then ultimately they made the decision in surgery.)

    • No one noticed at work, but like someone else said, I did it during winter and didn’t do a particularly large increase. Also echoing others who said that the routine swap out is not as routine/frequently as people may lead you to think – I anticipate having mine redone at some point but don’t have an anticipated time that they’ll “expire” so to speak. Overall, I’m really happy I had mine done, but I will say that I had some nerve damage from the surgery that has affected my enjoyment of the region, if you get what I mean. I had some acupuncture done on the area that did help a little bit but it was about three years after I’d had it done – the acupuncturist said it really needs to be within the first year to be most helpful. She said some doctors send patients to her shortly after surgery as part of routine scar healing, etc. so you may want to take that into consideration. Even after three years it did significantly lighten the scar in a short period of time, so I wish I had gone much earlier.

      • Awesome. I’m also planning on doing it during the winter, and not a huge increase. I guess it’s an extra excuse to buy some fluffy sweaters!
        Acupuncture never would have occurred to me, so thanks for that!
        Which type of incision did you go with, and do you think that impacted the sensitivity?

    • Anonymous :

      I got it done 5 years ago, best decision ever. I’m was literally flat chested but a pear, and it’s made me look more in proportion and clothes are so so so much easier to fit. I went silicon gel under the muscle 375cc. My surgeon was one of the most expensive but he is a professor who does mostly reconstructive work and that comfort that I wouldn’t end up a freak case made the cost worth it to me. They look mostly natural but because I have literally no fat in that area they do look obvious when I’m topless and they don’t feel real, if I had more natural breast they would look better but I can’t change that!!
      Nobody has ever outright asked but I assume people suspected, and I dressed to downplay them a lot at work the first year or so. I told some friends but the ones that I assumed would be negative about it I didn’t and they haven’t brought it up though they probably know. It was 100% the right decision for me, but it is major surgery and has risks so don’t take it lightly.

  13. Travel gift :

    I need gift ideas for my friend who is graduating college in December. Her graduation was delayed after chronic illness flare-ups and it’s meaningful that it’s finally happening. She’s embarking on a tour of Europe for three months with her boyfriend afterward. Can anyone recommend any book graduation/travel gifts that would be good for someone who is academic/bookish, but also outdoorsy? Obviously lightweight and practical for travel would be ideal, but other ideas welcome too.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Solar phone charger?

      Maybe a nice Moleskine journal so she can record her trip?

    • Veronica Mars :

      Kindle and a digital book or two.

      • anon a mouse :

        Definitely a Kindle if she doesn’t have one, plus digital downloads of some travel guides.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I was gifted a passport cover and I love it.

      • givemyregards :

        I hate to be a downer on this, because I see this recommendation frequently and I know people love them, but someone gifted me a beautiful leather passport cover once, and then on a flight someone thought it was a wallet and stole it. So I’ve stopped using/recommending them.

        • Yes, and you have to take your passport out of its cover whenever presenting it at border security anyway. I had a few gifted to me that I never use because of that extra , albeit minor, hassle.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I was traveling kind of cheap, so the passport often ended up at the bottom of a backpack with dirty socks and whatever, and my husbands (no cover) looked a lot worse for the wear, while mine was all shiny and pristine — that’s why I liked it. But yeah, popping it out is annoyiiing.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Oh that stinks! Though how do you know they weren’t just out to steal a passport?

        • Or, you get gifted one, and then when people keep gifting them to you (…I’ve now been given 3 of these…), you need to find homes for the additional.

        • That seems like a pretty specific experience to basing broad advice on. Passport cover gifters: You do you.

    • Wildkitten :

      Packing cubes. Stuff sack. Portable battery.

    • New Yorker :

      a nice backpack? giftcard to REI?

    • Rick Steves’ “Europe Through the Back Door” and some guidebooks!

  14. Elderly assistancr :

    Does anyone have recommendations for technology or tools to keep an eye on elderly family members who live far away (in this case, internationally)? My husband’s mother lives abroad and no longer has many friends or family nearby since she has gotten older. We are able to see if she has logged into the Internet recently, which is one nice tool, but we’re wondering if there are special webcams, alert buttons, or similar which would allow us to assist her in an emergency. It’s really tricky given the international setting and his mother’s refusal to go to the doctor for check-ups (cultural thing), so any tools, no matter how out of the box, would be great.

    • would Alexa work? Not sure if it has settings that would allow her to confirm to Alexa that she’s doing well at certain intervals and then contact you if she didn’t respond.

    • We have a ring doorbell device. I imagine you could set it up in the house and she could press it on a regular basis to let you know she’s alright?

    • had an article about how best buy has a bunch of products aimed at this market

      • oops it was bloomberg.
        here is the link

    • Ring indoor security camera. You could set it up in the room she frequents the most. You can see what she’s doing and speak to her.

  15. Anonymous :

    How do you wear not-black dresses in the winter? My go-to winter look is a black skirt or dress with opaque black tights and black boots. Black tights just look ‘wrong’ to me in almost any other situation, except for something with a pattern that has a lot of black in it, or maybe charcoal.

    • I have grey tights, true grey, not charcoal grey. I wear them with black booties or knee high boots and a black and grew skirt. I also have dark purple tights that I wear with a black dress and black heels.

      • Anonymous :

        I do grey tights and black booties, too. It looks great with a dress (or coat!) in a dark green or purple or red.

    • Nearly every day. Blue, green, purple, red, plum, burgundy, navy, evergreen. All with black shoes and tights.

      • +1 – everything with black tights. Sometimes grey tights look off to me.

      • Marshmallow :

        Yes. I wear opaque black tights with navy without a second thought.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I am the total opposite and only wear navy in the summer with bare legs. If I could just find the perfect nude small fishnet in plus size though…

      • Colorful dress (usually blue, because who am I kidding, that’s all I ever wear), black tights, brightly colored flats.

    • If I want to wear color, I pick a dress with a pattern that has both color and black in it. That looks more polished to me with black tights.

      • +1

        I also wear a lot of black, white, grey as my palate. I use that as my base (top + skirt or dress that are black or white or black&white pattern, and black tights + shoes/booties/boots), and then the sweater/jardigan is a pop of color that works (oxblood, teal).

        I also don’t really care for black tights with other colored dresses. Sometimes though I will wear black tights + black skirt/dress and have a pop of color/contrast with the shoes +/- topper. That works well.

    • anooooonnnn :

      I live in a mild climate, so I feel fine adding black tights or grey tights and boots to most of my summer outfits and calling it acceptable fall/winter weather. I usually add a black or grey cardigan as well, so that coordinates with the tights, and most of my tops have black or grey in them. I have a dark green pencil skirt and a dark pink pencil skirt that I pair with black or grey on top and black or grey tights and it works fine. I have a burgundy sheath dress that I pair with a black cardigan and a black-and-white scarf and either black-and-grey argyle tights or plain black or grey tights. If I’m feeling sassy, I wear burgundy booties instead of black knee-high boots. Dark purple and a rich royal blue are also nice with black or dark grey.

    • I like off black or dove grey tights for this. They aren’t as harsh a contrast with colors.

  16. STEM fields for girls :

    One of the things I’ve found so disheartening on here is the annecdata on how sexist various STEM fields are for women. I would have expected the opposite — more objective, more quantifiable = less reason to be subjective about the worker. I have a daughter who really likes science and math. My sense is that medical fields are maybe less bad overall (judging solely by how many working mothers I know who are nurses, nurse practitioners, doctors, physical therapists, etc.) than computers / math / engineering. Perhaps it will be different when they are older? I’m just trying to think as to how to encourage them but in a way that doesn’t steer them onto the rocks in terms of their adult lives.

    [I’m in finance so it’s math-heavy, but the math is mainly algebra-level. And there is plenty of testosterone on the trading floor, but it’s never bothered me (I’m from New Jersey though, so I figure that that maybe toughened me up early???). It’s like a rugby scrum that you just roll with and stick up for yourself as needed.]

    • There’s definitely a lot of sexism in STEM fields. But there are also great programs that encourage girls to get involved in STEM and things are starting to change. My local university has a program specifically designed to encourage high school girls to consider engineering.

      There’s also a fair bit of variability across STEM fields. DH is a research scientist (biologist) and biology definitely seems to have more women scientists than chemistry or physics.

      There is a lot of variability within STEM fields. The day to day life of a research scientist at a university looks very different from that a mechanical engineer at a private company. Encourage her interests and she will find the right path forward.

    • Speaking as a working scientist, I’d say yes, there is a ton of sexism in STEM fields. Some harassment, but a much bigger problem with who gets hired, gets the grant, gets tenure, gets a bigger lab, wins the award, gets assigned to the most promising research project, etc. I’d still say on the whole that the benefits outweigh the downsides, because I love science and I make a good living doing it, despite the frustrations. I hope it will be somewhat better for your daughter by the time she’s an adult, as those of us who have stuck with it and rose to positions of power can start changing things for the better. But there will still definitely be injustice and struggle – probably can’t be avoided in life in one way or another.

    • I’m an engineer and while I experience some s7xism (and who knows how it’s held me back), my sister is a doctor and the s6xist behavior in her field is way more egregious than it is in engineering. In terms of advice, I would say to encourage your daughter to study whatever she is interested in. She will make her environment better just by existing. Don’t discourage her from a field. Let her be.

      • +1. Even though all the stereotypical depictions of research suggest that it’s about being smart, thorough and hard working, the truth is that networking, selling your ideas and occasionally using your elbows are necessary talents, too. Your supposedly most productive time of your career coincides with prime time for family planning. Since professor appointments are usually for life, it’s an old boy’s club and change is happening at excruciatingly slow pace.
        Despite those ugly truths, I find it a rewarding career. You have to know what you are getting into though, otherwise it can be a rude awakening.

      • If you’re still reading or if others can jump in — can you talk about the behavior in medicine? Is it across the board — bc so many specialties seem so female heavy? Or is it still that cardiology etc are boys clubs?

        • Urologist :

          I am a urologist (there are less female urologists than cardiologists). It is definitely can feel like a boys club, especially for those of us that focus on surgery/issues that impact only male patients.

          But please please please do not discourage her from doing what she wants based on gender. And also don’t assume “Perhaps it will be different when they are older?” It probably won’t be.

    • As someone in a male dominated industry that has a lot of STEM grads, encourage her. It will be better for her. It probably won’t be perfect, but it will be better. It’s also never going to get better if we steer girls away from these fields. Focus less on steering her, and more on building her confidence so that she’ll feel awesome in whatever field she ends up in – whether it’s male dominated or not.

      My experience: I’m a women in a male dominated STEM industry without a STEM degree – sounds like disaster, right? I do a lot of outside functions (sales/project manager – so lots of conferences, meetings, etc) and it’s not unusual for me to be the only woman at an event of 50-150 people. It’s common for there to be less than five women in attendance at functions. I have gotten some weird comments (mostly related to my not having/wanting kids – only comes up after they bring it up) and get called “dear” much more than my male counterparts. It’s hard to know what the “rules” are for what to wear, because there are no other women to follow. Customers are much more hesitant to let me “wine and dine” them – it’s hard to get the guys to take me up on an offer to take them to lunch (which is super common in this industry). Vendors sometimes seem surprised (or are openly surprised and ask me what my background is) when I ask on point questions about technology they’re trying to sell me. Mansplaining happens.

      That said, I think that it works to my advantage more than my disadvantage. I stand out among all the males, I got known widely faster in the industry. Part of it is just confidence and putting myself out there, but I got more attention because I was a young female in an old male industry. Seven years into my career I often get asked to present at meetings/trainings and sit on three different leadership committees in three different associations.

      What worked for me was faking it until I felt confident, putting myself out there, realizing that I didn’t have to know everything but had to know where to find answers.

    • I got my undergrad degree in eningineering, worked as an engineer for a while and then went to law school. I think there’s at least as much sexism (if not more) in law even though there are more women in the field. The number of women in the field is a reflection of much more than just how sexist the industry is. The sad reality is that she is likely to face sexism in the workplace regardless of the industry she chooses. I know tons of doctors with horror stories about sexism so if she’s interested in biooogy I wouldn’t try to steer her into medicine and away from academia. Just support and encourage whatever she wants to pursue. It’s silly to run away from something preemptively because of sexism, because there is sexism literally everywhere.

    • My father was an engineer at Bell Labs and I was very good at science and math and programming. He could not shove me hard enough away from the field. IDK if it was that working for a big company could be nuts (you miss earnings and the way they fix that is to sack a bunch of people) or what. He definitely thought I could do anything (and I have no brothers, so it’s not like he was “it’s OK for them but not for you”), so I don’t see it as his sexism (and has never mentioned that in his job although I know he worked with double-PhD couples where the woman gave up working to stay home b/c they’d have needed two full-time nannies to watch their kids given their work/travel expectations (so many seeing that a bunch of times he didn’t want to have that be where I would up in some subconscious way).

      I’m a lawyer and while I hope that my children don’t choose law (b/c I don’t want them to owe so much money), I don’t think I’d give them the hard shove that I got.

    • I’m also an engineer. I just graduated with my undergrad degree in May and am working full time at a very very large company. I haven’t had an issue with sexism at all so far (in college or work). My school had lots of resources for women engineering students and was very much trying to get more women to pursue STEM fields. I know that my experience isn’t necessarily typical, I have several friends that dealt with sexist classmates, but in general it seems like women are treated more or less equally. I hope there won’t be any sexism by the time your daughter gets to college.

      There are also a lot of programs through organizations like the Society of Women Engineers that work with young girls to get them interested in engineering. You could also contact your local college’s engineering school to see if they have outreach programs. Definitely encourage her to pursue STEM, or whatever she is interested in.

    • I am an engineer and have been working as one for 15+ years and have had no issues. I work at a company not academia and I work in hardware not software. My company has been around a long time. Also I didn’t go to grad school. When I first started at my company I was often the only woman in the room at meetings but in the past few years there are a lot more women engineers in meetings – more % of women in the pool of new college grads that my company has hired.

    • I found engineering to be far less sexist than law. The hours are relatively normal. Project-based work means that it’s easier to go part-time after kids (you just have fewer projects). The objective nature of the work helps, too.

    • My daughter’s applications are in to MIT & Caltech; I don’t know if she can get in, but she definitely wants to pursue math/computer science, and I am of course concerned about the sexism in those fields. Some of the schools she was looking at have like 1 out of 30 tenured math professors being women. Comp Sci seems to be even worse. The schools that are public about trying to fix the faculty problem seem to poach each other’s one woman professor. I know these schools want to lure girls to study STEM, but really? You think nobody notices the message that girls can’t really make it in this field when you don’t promote them on faculty track? My kid actually wrote about this in some of her application essays, noting that she wanted to study with the single woman on the faculty; perhaps such comments can eventually get back to the department. Doubtful though. I hope she can find a field where she isn’t the only woman.

      • I think this is something she needs to decide for herself. Sexism is everywhere and she’s best prepared to deal with it if she’s doing something she loves and is good at. As a faculty member in a STEM field, I’ve found that it gets worse and worse the farther up you go- it was fine as an undergrad, a little more noticeable as a grad student, and then at the postdoc/faculty transition, the women completely disappear and you become far more aware of the ways that women are judged differently than men and how the inflexibility of the tenure track sets up women to fail or just opt out. If she really wants to pursue math/computer science, she should absolutely go for it, though, especially since those fields (CS, at least) have a lot more flexibility in career tracks. She should also look at Harvey Mudd, which at least has a reputation for doing better at supporting women in CS.

    • I’m a chemist in the biopharmaceutical industry, and it has been a really good experience for me. My bosses across three companies have all been male, but I’ve been promoted on or faster than schedule, and I’ve been set up for a lot of really good opportunities by my bosses/grandbosses/mentors. I communicate and network well, and I think that sets me apart in a field of people who are often more uncomfortable with some of the soft skills. Sexism definitely exists – the lab can get rowdy, but the men I worked with when I was still in the lab were uniformly very responsive to a quick “ugh, can you cut that out?!” comment, and there was only one guy in the last 15 years that I ever had to repeat myself with. Eventually the rest of the men on that team got through to him for me, which was really nice.

      I think the hardest thing is the lack of role models – not only have all of my bosses been male, but my current boss is the first one I’ve had who’s wife also works, and it makes such a difference. I also currently have a mentor who is female, and it is really nice to see someone who has done the dual career and kids dance and made it to the top levels. Looking around me at the associate director/director level, this is changing, and rapidly, so hopefully it won’t be as much of an issue for young women like your daughter.

      • Chiming in, I’m a statistician in pharma, and I have LOTS of women coworkers, bosses, etc. I love my working environment, it is very diverse. Came from a computer science background with all the typical s3xism etc.

    • I used to be an engineer at a large company, in a male-dominated field. I definitely experienced sexism on a regular basis. Not so much harassment, but definitely my career path was taken less seriously. One boss told me he would never promote me because I was just going to get pregnant and leave anyways. Also had to deal with a lot of p*rn in some areas of our plant, especially when I had to talk to unionized operators.

      The nasty comments from my bosses pushed me to go back to school part-time for my MBA. I switched into finance and have never looked back. It might be full of testosterone, but I am treated infinitely more equal in this business.

      My engineering experience was 10-15 years ago now, so hopefully things have improved and will continue to do so. I would sincerely love for all STEM fields to be more welcoming to everyone who is passionate about what they do!

    • CrowTRobot :

      More anecdotal evidence… I have been in male dominated fields my entire career. I was an engineering major at a military college, an officer in the military, and now I am a project manager at a large tech company in Silicon Valley. Perhaps I have been very lucky, but I have not experienced sexism up to this point.

  17. I have a day to my self in LA coming up. Weather is not beach weather. What should I do?

    In the past some of my favorite LA activities have been: Movies, shopping at the Grove, eating at the Farmer’s market, the Getty (both of them).

    I will have a car and know my way around pretty well. Don’t want to spa or anything like that.

    • Annenberg Space for Photography (current exhibit is “Cuba Is”) with lunch and shopping at the revamped Century City mall? (Things I’ve been meaning to do myself– I live in L.A.) =)

    • No Problem :

      Studio tour if you’ve never done one? I toured the Warner Bros studio when I had a day in LA and it was fascinating to see all the elements that go into a film or TV show. Plus you can see sets from ongoing and older well known shows, which is really cool if you’re a big fan.

      • In-House in Houston :

        THIS! I did it recently and had the best time. And I think it’s only a couple of hours, so I was still able to do other things. We got to go into Ellen’s stage, that was really cool. And if you’re a fan of Friends, they rebuilt Central Perk. A lot of fun!

        • No Problem :

          Yes! I think it took about two or three hours. We went onto the Pretty Little Liars set, saw the gazebo from Gilmore Girls (it was just randomly sitting in a parking lot!), and Central Perk. The president’s desk from the West Wing was in their properties shop. And there was a room full of Batmobiles. Really cool to see how they dress their fixed outdoor sets to look different for every show.

      • In-House in Houston :

        THIS! I did this and loved it (Warner Bros Studio Tour). It was only a couple of hours so I was able to do other things that day. We got to go into Ellen’s studio, walk on and behind the stage. And if you’re a fan of Friends, they rebuilt Central Perk and you can sit on “the couch.” FUN!!!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, the Warner Bros tour is great!

        And if you want to splash out a gigantic pile of dough (like, close to $400), do the VIP tour at Universal Studios. You get to skip the line on all the rides, go onto the set of TV shows currently in production, have lunch in the commissary, and wander around in the prop warehouse, which is huge and amazing.

    • Santa Monica?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’d go to the Broad Museum. Haven’t been there yet but dying to go. Also MOCA is right across the street. And there are food trucks outside. And a concert or play at the Disney Hall or Music Center in the evening.

    • If you are there in the evening and mobile, I try to go to Geffen Playhouse whenever there to catch an actor I know from film/TV on stage.

  18. Has anyone ever tried one of the air filter subscription services? We are so bad at replacing ours on our own.

    • I should do this. I essentially have on my calendar every year a reminder to replace, and these days am lazy and order from Amazon.

      • Good idea, I could do that too…maybe subscribe and save or something? Either way, I guess I have to figure out all of the sizes I need. In our last house, my dad (who is a fanatic about air filters) made me a list of all of the sizes…I’m still waiting for him to do it in our new house but I guess I’m going to have to do it myself.

        • That is a perfect Dad request. Your Dad sounds a lot like my Dad! I bet he would be happy to do it again…

    • Constant Reader :

      What about Amazon subscribe and save? I use it for vacuum cleaner bags and the refrigerator water filter to solve the same issue, and am considering it for furnace filters.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      No, but my hair dresser once suggested a way to remember when to get a haircut that I now also apply to when it’s time to change my filter because it’s also every 3 months: Change them when the seasons change. I am one of those people who notices when it’s a solstice or an equinox, so I go buy some and change them that day.

    • So I am very clueless about this. But what is an air filter? Do you only have one if you have air conditioning? Or would some kinds of heaters have one? I live in a climate where nobody has AC (SF), so I am always puzzled by this.

    • yes — we only want one at a time b/c we don’t have room to store. we used no issues so far with deliveries/subscription. it does show up as a weird charge ( at first which took some figuring out. also right now one has been sitting in the middle of my kitchen in a box for about 2.5 weeks. but that has nothing to do with the service, just with our crazy schedules and the fact that i’m too short to reach the vent and am not willing to risk my life with a ladder on the stairs. it definitely gets changed way more often than before!

  19. Hoping to get some suggestions for a great robe.

    I want something long-ish, with pockets, that isn’t fleece (too hot!).

    I’m having a baby next month and basically want an everyday robe for around the house. I’m tall, so short robes tend to look obscene on me and we’ll have a number of relatives coming through to stay with us so I need to cover up. I’ve been borrowing my husband’s all-cotton Ralph Lauren robe this last trimester and it’s great, but enormous on me. Thanks for any suggestions!!

    • I have the terry cloth robe from LL Bean. It’s very substantial, plenty long (I’m also tall), covers me and stays tied. The monogram option is also a nice touch.

    • I have one! I have this one and love it. In fact, I love it so much that I am thinking of getting a new one because the one I have has accumulated a few too many breakfast stains over the years. If florals aren’t your style, it comes in basic white and probably some other neutral colors (retailer dependent). But it’s super long (nearly to the floor on 5’4 me) and the waffle knit cotton is amazingly comfy year round, definitely not too hot.

    • Sounds strange, but try restoration hardware. They are super soft and thick, and often marked down substantially around the holidays as a sort of ‘door buster’ special.

      • Blonde Consultant :

        Second on the Restoration Hardware. My husband got one for me 5 + years ago and it’s just as warm and fluffy as the day it arrived! Highly recommend!

    • The Ritz Carlton Robe. Hands down one of my favorites (and not as pricy as you would think).

    • Anonymous :

      The Brobe is amazing.

  20. Just Ranting :

    Ugh my doctor’s office just will not call me back. Called Thursday, Monday, and Tuesday and left messages. Thinking of stomping over there and talking to them in person.

    • I bet if you make another appointment they will call you five times and send you three text messages.

    • Is this for scheduling or for a question for the doctor?

      • Just Ranting :

        My prescription for a medicine I need to take continuously is running out this week, and I want to know whether I need to come back in or whether they can call in a new prescription.

        • Anonymous :

          Got it. Ask the nurse to call you back.

          As long as you have been seen within the last year, they might renew without talking to you if you leave an explicit message. Make sure that you have a follow-up appointment on the books for your yearly follow-up and they are also more likely to refill without a visit.

          I also ask the pharmacy where I get it filled to call the doctor as well. Often they are more successful at getting a refill done.

        • BabyAssociate :

          Have your pharmacy call for a refill, that’s what I always do.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 I haven’t asked the doc office for an Rx directly in years (for my daily). The pharmacy calls them when I request a refill and I am out and the office always reups it. I am sure that there are meds for which they won’t/shouldn’t do this, but for many, they will.

    • My mom’s doc office did this to her when she called in to get results. And when they finally called her back, they left an open ended message that made us worry Mom got something bad: “Hi, your results are back. They’re… umm, why don’t you call us back at (123)456-7880.” Turned out my mom just needed the test redone because the sample wasn’t good the first time. Why couldn’t they just say that?

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        It might be a HIPAA violation for them to just say that. They’re not allowed to email covered information unencrypted, so I presume unencrypted voicemail is also a no-go, but I’m not sure whether something like “You gotta retake the test” is covered. (My old office used to use encrypted mail for appointment bookings, which was a real pain.) They definitely should have phrased it better, though!

    • anon a mouse :

      Call again. Hit whatever automated option you need to get to the office manager.

      Alternately, hit the option for physicians calling.

      You also could ask your pharmacy to send your doctor’s office a request to renew — mine will do that for me.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, I never call the doc about this. I leave it to the pharmacy.

        Renew now and have them call, and if the doc needs to see you the pharmacy will relay the message.

  21. I recently left my biglaw job and am taking some time off while I look for another job. I know I need to be going to networking events and informational coffee dates but I’m not sure what to wear to them. Normally I would just wear whatever business professional clothes I wore to work that day. It seems a little awkward to put on a suit just to go to a lunch event, networking happy hour, or coffee date. Should I wear a suit anyway? Would jeans and a blazer be appropriate? Something else? I’d appreciate any advice!

    • I wouldn’t wear jeans – I’d wear either a work appropriate dress or suiting separates – i.e. a blouse with suit pants, etc. Sweater with suit skirt. In other words, dress as you would if leaving work.

    • For one-on-one lunches or coffee meetings, I think you could probably wear what you would wear to a business casual office. So probably not jeans, but a blazer or sweater (or a sweater-blazer!) with whatever style of pants or skirt best suits you would be fine. I wouldn’t put on a full suit for those types of meetings.

      Networking events can be trickier – in my area, some of those include judges, and there’s an unspoken norm that you’ll dress up more for networking events where judges or other senior members of the bar will be present.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Wear business professional clothes. Suiting separates or a sheath dress. Don’t wear jeans to a law networking event or networking 1:1. People will be coming from work, even if you are not you should look like it so you don’t stand out for your clothing.

  22. If I am planning on getting pregnant in 2018 (fingers crossed) but likely not having a baby until 2019, do I beef up on insurance both years? Or more 2019 when delivery would take place? i.e. I could contribute to an HSA with the high deductible plan.

    Second, I do not have paid mat leave but we do have short term disability. Isn’t there some weird rule about 9 months or something such that you’d have to participate before 9 months? Really what I’m asking is, is that something I am supposed to do now for enrollment of 2018 or for next year’s enrollment (when presumably I would be already pregnant) for 2019 delivery? If I participate now for 2018 do I ‘lose it’ if I don’t use it in 2018 or does it roll into 2019?


    • Get STD for 2018. You don’t know how quickly you will get pregnant or if you will have complications during your pregnancy that would require you to be off from work for some time. You’ll have to look at the plan and your employer’s policy to find out how to elect it again for 2019 when enrollment comes around next year.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Read the fine print, though–only the period while you’re recovering from birth counts as “disability” (you can’t use it for more maternity leave after that), and when I looked into it, I couldn’t find any options with a short enough “elimination period” (delay until you can receive benefits) to make it worth it. There only would’ve been a week or two between the elimination period ending and the disability ending (unless you want it in case of complications and a longer recovery).

      • I looked into STD insurance and it wasn’t worth it. They said they covered you for 12 weeks, but you had to wait a couple weeks for it to kick in, and then if you were taking it for maternity reasons, they only gave you six weeks total. And you had to have STD insurance for a total of 10 months before you could use it for maternity reasons, in this case, which means you were paying a ton of money by the time you could use it. Anyways, insurance companies may have fine print that turns out to be really important. Definitely worth a phone call to figure out.

    • Along these lines– anyone here a Fed employee and have recommendations for best Federal HP for pregnancy? I have always had a relatively cheap plan but think the coinsurance is too high for pregnancy.

      • Federal BC/BS served me well through 3 kids. It’s pricey, but everything except for extended prenatal genetic testing was covered.

      • GEHA/UnitedHealthcare was amazing for me through two kids. I paid basically nothing out of pocket for either pregnancy/delivery, and they were super easy to get in touch with when questions arose/it came time to add the babies to the policy.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I am also interested in these answers!

      • shamlet96 :

        I’m a fed and most of my friends switched to BC/BS (standard or basic, either one) when TTC. I have standard and am generally pretty happy with it.

    • In my very limited experience (1 child), even mediocre insurance sometimes has very good maternity benefits, so read the fine print about what is covered. I didn’t have to pay a copay for any of my maternity checkups.

      • It’s law (Obamacare) that you don’t have to pay a copay for prenatal checkups. I paid about two hundred dollars at each prenatal visit though, because the doctor wanted me to begin paying her fees for delivery right away, so it felt like I had a copay.

    • Anonattorney :

      Beef up the HSA for 2019. You will have some small bills throughout the pregnancy, but the biggest ones come from your doctor right before the delivery, and then the hospital bill, which comes after delivery.

    • My STD plan through Colonial Life has the 9 month rule, where you have to be signed up before being pregnant and they will not cover any STD if you sign up even 8 months and 25 days before having your baby. I would contribute more to your HSA (either pretax through work deduction, or make a large contribution and get the deduction on your tax return). There are limits to contributing to the HSA, so getting contributions done in both years is helpful.

    • 3 health plans and 3 babies here. Couple things I found out the hard way and are easy to look at when comparing plans other than typical deductible/OOP.

      1. Network- enough OBs/your ON that deliver at the hospital(s) you want?
      2. Baby coverage- do they cover speciality formula? 2/3 of mine did, but the baby that needed it was born in Oct of the last year of plan #1. We paid $90 per can (6+ cans/month) until January when we switched plans and thank goodness the stuff was covered. It’s listed in the Rx section.
      2a. Small thing, but are compounded rx’s for adults covered? I get APNO ointment every time and only 1 of my plans have covered it ($85 without coverage)
      3. Lactation consultants- what’s covered?
      4. Genetic testing (harmony, materniT21 etc)- covered? Any restrictions (35+ is common). 1/3 of my plans covered it (I was <35 for all births). We paid cash for the others ($350-400).

  23. Any suggestions for cotton or wool shirt dresses or sweater dresses I can where to the office? I live in Minneapolis and commute by public transportation, but I still want to wear dresses in the winter..

    • I saw a bunch at Old Navy this past weekend. I don’t know if they’re too casual for you but worth a look.

  24. I get stains all over my nice clothes all the time. I don’t know how it happens! sometimes it’s food, makeup, lip balm. Other times I don’t even know what it is. How do I start becoming a cleaner person who doesn’t mess up all my nice stuff?

    • Slow down. Get dressed last before leaving the house.

    • change as soon as you get home. even if you are going back out in an hour or two, put on lounge clothes while you are home

      • Yep, I absolutely ever wear regular clothes at home. But out of laziness, not because I’m trying to be tidy.

    • Wear black and other dark colors. If you really want a white top, don’t buy an expensive one so it’s less of an issue if/when you ruin it. Buy an oxyclean stainstick.

      Or anyway that’s what I do.

    • When I’m eating at home or by myself, I put a sweatshirt on over my nice clothes, or I take my nice clothes off. (Seriously, I go home for lunch and I’ll just take my nice sweater or blouse off while I eat.) And then just start paying a lot more attention to what you’re doing. I used to be like this too, and I just had to slow waay down and be more conscious of my body and where it is and what it’s doing. Oh, and if I do spill something, I clean it right away. If I spill tea on my white t-shirt, I take the shirt off right away and rinse it out. This makes a huge difference.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I agree with this advice. I get dressed last thing before I leave the door and take my clothes off as soon as I get home.

    • I keep a (fairly old, crappy) pashmina over my lap at all times at work. That way any spills tend to go on it rather than on me.

  25. Pale Girl Snorkeling :

    Talk to me about thinning hair. I’m mid 30s, post divorce and had years of switching birth controls to deal with endometriosis before having a hysterectomy (my life is so much better now). I used to dye my hair every 8 weeks, but gave that up a few years ago, along w the ex husband and maybe dye once a year. I have fine, wavy hair that is definitely thinner on top and around my temples. I used volumizing dry shampoo at night so I wake up with some body and life to my hair (it can get oily).

    Other than a dr appt (actually starting with a new primary later this morning) what can I do? Or any idea what might be causing this? I’m over the worst of the divorce stress, I thought it would be getting better by now

    • givemyregards :

      Stress can have loooong range effects on hair loss, and I think as we get older it’s harder to bounce back. I’m a big fan of viviscal, although it can can cause breakouts. I’m also scheduled for an assessment with harklinikken but it’s a big time and money suck if you’re not interested in that much investment.

    • I feel your pain! I underwent bariatric surgery about 2.5 years ago and started losing lots of hair shortly thereafter. I would find it everywhere – on my pillow, on my clothes, on the floor, and of course in the shower drain and in my hairbrush. I still lose more than what I think is a “normal” amount, but it’s better than it was.

      I strongly recommend following up with your doctor to see if there is a medical reason for your thinning hair – hormonal changes following your hysterectomy, a nutritional deficiency, etc.

      In the meantime, you may want to try a texturizing spray to help give the appearance of fullness. They are similar to dry shampoos, but without the powdery residue. Bumble & Bumble, Living Proof, and MoroccanOil are some brands that I have tried; I’m sure others also make similar products. You can also talk with your hairstylist – he/she may recommend a change in cut or style.

      I haven’t personally had any experience with minoxidil (Rogaine), but have heard good things.

      Good luck!

    • Definitely recommend a dermatologist, but I can tell you that when I noticed that my hair was thinning about five years ago), my dermatologist recommended a regiment of rogaine (she was adamant about using the men’s formula, not women’s), biotin supplements, and a spironolactone prescription. I’d had some other health issues and general stress, though I can’t say with any certainty what actually caused the thinning. It really worked well for me – my hair is back to normal and while I’ve stuck with spironolactone because I liked what it also did for my skin, I’ve been off the other two for four years now.

    • No Problem :

      I feel for you. I have patchy hair loss (thanks, immune system) and it definitely gets worse with stress. And of course the hair loss itself causes more stress…

      Do you wear your hair tied back in a clip or tight ponytail or bun a lot? Some women experience hair loss from the constant tension of being in a ponytail or tight cornrows.

    • Anonymous :

      I dealt with severe thinning hair after a traumatic accident and subsequent weight loss – my doctor said it was due to all the stress, and it didn’t start until about 4 months after the accident happened. (Even stranger – my hair started growing in white around the same time, which she also said was due to the shock of the event.)

      I had developed a pretty noticeable bald patch on the back of my head and I was really self conscious about it. My doctor recommended a few things: Biotin (I take 10,000 mcg + plus what is in my multivitamin), Folic Acid (I take 800 mcg plus what is in my multivitamin), a Super B Complex and Vitamin C. It took about 3 months before I noticed a difference but it’s all grown back now. She also recommended making sure I was sleeping well, hydrating and exercising. YMMV – and ask your doctor what s/he recommends! – but it did help me a lot.

      • Pale Girl Snorkeling :

        Thanks everyone! this is really helpful. I’m getting bloodwork done and I’m going back to see my Dr next week to review everything.

    • I have genetic hair loss, and Rogaine (women’s foam, 5%, applied once a day) has worked wonders for me — been using it for the past 4 months and my (previously very thin) part has really filled in.

  26. Wow. My husband and I are both self employed and buy insurance through the marketplace. For 2017, we paid $1456.80/month. We just got a notice in the mail it’s going up to $2230 a month. They included a handy table to show other options we might want to consider… except the other two columns were all “N/A”… as in this is the only choice in our area.

    We’re not killing it financially. Certainly we are able to pay our bills every month, but this increase means we essentially cannot save anything next year. We both have 6 figure student loans to pay off. Husband just started his own practice and I work part time (not benefits eligible) because we have two kids under 2.

    Just venting. :(

    • Can you start working full time? Can you shop for non market place plans?

    • Hugs, that’s tough. :( Any possibility of working full time? It would probably make financial sense even if you have to pay for more child care.

      • I will start looking for full time. We just got on a day care waiting list. It just makes me kind of sad, though. I had hoped to spend these early years with the kids while they were little and simultaneously keep my skills up so I could transition back into ft work once they were in preschool.

        I feel like it’s a high price to pay and a big trade off for keeping health insurance costs under control. Screwed one way or the other, I guess.

    • Brutal. Is that for a Bronze plan?

      Do you have many medical needs? If not, drop to a Bronze plan and consider the HMO options. Largest deductible, cut it to the bone.

      What is your husband’s profession? Does he have any employees? In my state, with just one part time employee you can qualify as a small business and become eligible for some Group plans, which are much cheaper. That employee cannot be a family member though.

      This situation is brutal enough that I would honestly debate whether one of you should work at a place where you have benefits, at least for these rough years.

    • Is his own practice a law practice? Does the state bar in your state offer health insurance? I know they do in Texas and I have heard from solos I am friends with that the rates are reasonable. They may in other states as well.

      • It is! I will ask him. We live in one state (he’s not barred in the state we reside in) and he practices in another… hopefully that doesn’t make a difference (or I don’t come off as totally ignorant for even bringing it up).

        He’s just getting started and is doing ok, but not quite at the place where he’s ready to jump into hiring a PT worker. Right now income is pretty wild from month to month. He takes some cases contingent and others hourly, so it’s kind of hard to estimate income for next year. Since we’re not getting any subsidies, I’ll look into someone off the marketplace. Last year it wasn’t a real savings but maybe this year it is.

        We’re both relatively healthy. Husband has high blood pressure and reflux (I guess that comes with being an attorney :) ). And I’m just on an iron supplement for anemia after having the baby. Otherwise, nothing exciting.

        Thank you for the suggestion!!

      • This. And check ABA, too.

    • anon a mouse :

      Ouch indeed.

      Don’t forget that part of it may be deductible on your taxes (I believe anything over 10% of your gross income is deductible, but IANATP).

    • I’d take a look at some other levels of plans – this year (because of some things Trump has done to destabilize the markets) some gold plans will be cheaper than silver plans.

    • This is us too. Husband is self-employed and the marketplace has thus far been great (no subsidies for us and even then its affordable). But due to the instability in the market, all the insurance companies in our rural county left the marketplace completely, except for one, who is jacking up prices (again, instability in the market).

      I’m a public school teacher (currently on unpaid maternity leave) and the plan at my school for families costs us $16,000 (this is all on me) and has a $10,000 deductible. (those zeroes are correct!). I can’t afford that on a teacher’s salary and until now have been dependant on what my husband can get. I really don’t knowwhat we’re going to do.

      Republicans claim to be all about lowering taxes and yet are in actuality drastically reducing my take-home income due to their healthcare policies. Ugh…really wish we had single payer!

      • How are Republican healthcare policies reducing your take-home pay when Obamacare is still the law? I’m confused by your statement. (Genuine question, I don’t see how your insurance company’s high deductible is Republicans’ fault?)

        • The higher premiums this year are directly related to the instability in the marketplace (I have a friend who works as an actuary for one of the larger insurance companies in my state and he has told me this, but it’s also been reported in the news) which has been caused by Republican proposals to healthcare. Also, Trump’s executive orders regarding Obamacare are impacting premiums as well. I understand the Repubicans haven’t actually passed legislation, but the instability they have created in the market is increasing premiums as a way of compensating for unknown financial factors in the future. My school’s plan though has nothing to do with the current national political situation though–my comment was directed at my husband’s options.

        • I think the poster is saying that the Republican efforts to destabilize the market are working to encourage health insurers to leave the market. The result is that there is only one health insurer left in her market, which is raising rates (either out of concern for unstable market or due to having monopoly power).

      • Anonymous :

        Of my goodness…. I am shocked by your benefits as a public school teacher. I assumed as a public worker your health care benefits would be excellent. Were they always this bad?!?!

        I am curious what state you are in, and if teachers in other states are similar. My brother is in education, and never had it this rough, but his positions have bounced around.

        • I am in Indiana. Things are worse here than in other states. We are in a “right to work” state (i.e. little to no union power) and there have been a lot of cuts to funding. Other states also have different policies for insurance for teachers. We are basically on a district by district policy (Kentucky, for example, pools all the districts together). I’m in an extremely small district and the employees have a lot of health issues, so our premiums are super high and the district only puts a small amount toward our insurance. The individual cost (not family) is around $6,000 a year with a $5,000 deductible. Things have been pretty bad for awhile. I’ve lived in states with stronger unions and they have better health coverage there.

      • Anonymous :

        Wow, I’m surprised your public school teacher insurance is so pricey (or is it just pricey now because you have to pay the employer’s full cost for it while on leave? I had to do that at my job). My husband is a NYC public school teacher and our annual out of pocket cost for very decent family coverage is $0. It certainly makes the teacher salary more bearable for us.

        • No, this is just the cost for a family plan–fortunately I’m on my husband’s insurance (for now, but there aren’t going to be any options on the exchange next year) or I’m not sure how I’d have afforded the pregnancy/delivery. We are in a state with really weak union power (a “right to work” state). I’m so glad to hear that things are better for you–goes to show what a strong union can do!

      • That is appalling. I’m so sorry. I thought I paid a lot in premiums at $6,000 a year for me and my husband.

    • That’s terrible! May I ask which state you’re in? Open enrollment starts today, so you should take some time to look on the exchange website (your state’s or the federal one) for alternatives. I’m happy to assist if you need someone to look at it for you.

      • Here’s a question I have, if you’re open to assisting. :)

        DH and I are moving to a new state (Florida) right after Christmas – will be there in the new year.

        We have savings and are not planning on getting jobs, but planning on opening our own business right away. (Yes risky, jumping out of the rat race for a little while; not for everyone but it is for us).

        Do we look now on the exchange for insurance? Our income is significantly higher right now, and we’re in the wrong state. Or do we wait? I haven’t looked into this yet, so not sure how long open enrollment is.

        Both DH and I are in excellent health, youngish (30/32), no kids in the plans.

        • Yes, look now using your future address. Open enrollment is for 2018, so you could ensure coverage on Jan 1 by enrolling now.

          Also, for anyone using the exchanges to find coverage, please be aware that the federal exchange ( will be down every Sunday during the open enrollment period, which runs from November 1 – December 15, 2017. If you can, try to access the site on weekdays, and don’t wait until the last minute.

        • Posted you a longer answer which fell into mod. Yes, start now on coverage for 2018.

        • A move to another state is considered a life change and will qualify you to enroll for health insurance outside of the open enrollment period. If I recall (we recently moved to NC), you can apply for new insurance in your new state 30 days before the move and (I think) up to 60 after you move.

          We were able to get an idea of the plans offered in NC on the marketplace website without entering any personal info other than salary, age, dependents, tobacco use. So you can find out now what the options are next year in Florida.

          • Anonymous :

            Normally this’d be fine, but given how things are right now — if I were the couple moving to Fla. — I would buy insurance NOW thru the open enrollment period. Historically yeah, you could qualify for a move as a life change and buy when you arrived in Fla. but honestly I could see them closing open enrollment in Dec. this time and saying — sorry — your fault that you waited until Jan. You’re moving after Christmas anyway — buy a Fla. policy NOW. Or if you can’t buy in Fla. without Fla. addresses right now– buy where you are and buy the most “nation wide” type of policy you can find and bear with it in Fla. for the first yr. I would NOT delay.

        • On the bright side of your move, at least you are doing it at the end of the year so you won’t lose whatever you paid out in deductibles and co-insurance. We moved from one state to the next the end of August and had met our family deductible… then had to start all over in the new state.

          I don’t want to make this political, but gee, it sure would be nice to have an option that would work/carry over in any state outside of emergency benefits :(

      • Thank you for the offer to help. The suggestions here have given us some ideas to pursue.
        We’re in North Carolina. The county we’re in is particularly volatile this year, apparently.

        • I don’t want to add to your to-dos, but why not call your future Senators in Florida (or congresspeople if you know your likely district) and tell them this. I highly doubt they realize this is so difficult, even for two people who are exactly what Florida should want – small business owners who plan ahead! Uncertainty when it comes to healthcare is not a good thing and could have very serious risks for ordinary people; they should understand what kind of uncertainty this is causing.

        • Anonymous :

          This could be wrong for your needs depending, but if you need to drop to a Bronze plan, you may want to look into “direct care” or “concierge” practices (I know NC has them). A good one will cost x dollars per month for a given number of doctor visits and services (including very discounted labs). (A bad one will charge you a subscription just for the honor of seeing the doctors in the practice at an additional expense, so you have to look into it.) Alternatively, consider developing a relationship with a good NP or PA (so a doctor’s visit for something simple costs ~$30 out of pocket instead of what an MD would charge–bonus if the NP or PA has more time to devote to your appts).

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Pretty sure I got a flyer or email or something from the NC Bar Association (the voluntary state bar association, not the state bar governing body) about health insurance for members, so definitely have your husband check with that.

    • As above, if you’re Christian (or religious enough) and able to deal with it (some find it offputting), you might try a health share. These meet the individual mandate (no penalty) Some are offered through Samaratin ministries and Medishare.

      You basically pay your “share” every month instead of a premium to someone with a health need. It’s kind of like what the Amish use.

      Quite a few limitations (no preexisting or preventive care), but you could bank the $ you’d spend on premiums and pay for that stuff out of pocket (and negotiate a cash discount).

      I had several employees have a baby on these plans for $300 oop.

  27. I found gorgeous velvet skinny jeans is a deep red that my brain is screaming “must have!” But I can’t justify the price, even on sale, for one wear on Christmas. When/how else could I wear these? Link to follow.


    • I am wearing burgundy corduroys today for the first time! I am wearing with cognac booties and a tan sweater, and plan to wear with navy, gray, black sweaters, denim shirt, blazers this winter. I have a casual workplace though.

    • Why just one wear on Christmas? You can wear them all November and through late February. Even by stodgy rules it’s thanksgiving to V-day. I thought you were going to link to some super duper holiday-ish tartan pants. These are totally great for other occasions.
      They’d look good with gray or camel or navy, if you want to tone down the holiday aspect. Slouchy black top would look great for a casual-ish date night. Get them!

      • I’m just super unimaginative! My brain puts anything red or velvet right into the holiday category. So the combination of both was just too much to handle lol.

    • love them! i think you could wear them from mid/late october (depending on weather) through late feb/early march. Wear with black, gray, white, navy, etc. I too could wear them to work, but if you can’t then they are great for date nights, dinners with friends, or even with slip on sneakers and a black sweatshirt to run errands. i’m newly pregnant so trying not to buy anything, but if i could wear these they’d totally be in my cart :-)

    • I have velvet cordory leggings that I wear fall-winter on the weekends with knee high boots and long sweater. Super comfy and warm. They are burgundy from Lands End.

    • ohh, I like those. I’m now trying to justify 200 jeans in “dried seaweed”

    • I like them but don’t think they’re worth $200. Plenty of cheaper options:

  28. Trying to avoid another pinterest-fail :

    Looking for someone crafty out there. I just bought a house with lots of nooks and crannies, and I’ve only found one table that fits the odd width and depth of the entry way. The thing is, it’s a “gold” metal base, and I just hate the look of gold accents. I’m wondering if I can paint it silver/black/any other color. Is that possible and if so, does anyone know what kind of paint/primer I would need? A link to the table is below. and TIA! No one in my family/friend group is crafty so I appreciate any advice!

    • Use a spray paint made for metal. Maybe also with a spray primer.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah. Rustoleum will do the trick.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Spray paint gets everywhere it possibly can, so be way more persnickety about masking tape than you think you need to be. :)

        • Trying to avoid another pinterest-fail :

          Sorry, I was stuck in moderation. Here’s the table:

          Thanks for all the tips!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Does the table come assembled? Because if not, you should paint it before you assemble it (or take it apart if possible). Rustoleum is a good rec, and maybe a primer. Many thin coats instead of one thick one. Also start your spray on a piece of scrap cardboard or something — like when you first push the button down? — it’s going to be a different quality than the steady stream once you get going.

      Folks also swear by AMACO Rub ‘n Buff Wax Metallic Finish — the reviews on Amazon have a ton of info, but I can’t speak personally to how it works.

  29. Let me count the ways that working for the government isn’t for me — meetings from 1-2:30 — of course unlike every other lawyer work place in America, can’t have lunch catered in.

    • ha ha – I work at a big Bank and we also can’t get lunch during lunch meetings. The minute you are not a revenue generator…

    • I work in BigLaw, and can’t even count the number of 1-2:30 meetings I’ve been to without lunch. At that time, the expectation is that you have already eaten.

    • I would never expect lunch at a 1:00 meeting, because everywhere I’ve worked the “default” lunch time has been noon. If that is your big complaint, you should DEFINITELY not work in government.

      • Right? I work in government and I grumble sometimes that we have to supply our own coffee all the time but I’ll take a defined benefit pension plan over coffee/lunch any day of the week.

      • Anonymous :

        Govt. life isn’t for me for lots of reasons – the cheapness of it all being just one of them.

        • Anonymous :

          Ok but you should know that your expectation of catered lunch at a 1pm meeting in the private sector is not reality.

          • Anonymous :

            It is in NYC biglaw – not sure where op was. People work 10 am-8 9 or 10 pm. No one is eating at noon.

          • Yea DC Biglaw would have lunch if it was a large meeting.

          • Anonymous :

            Agreed – in finance and cater in lunches all the time but never for a 1pm meeting. That’s post-lunch.

        • Taxpayer dollars :

          Don’t we want “cheapness” when it comes to unnecessary government expense? I don’t think any of us want the government paying for employee lunches with our tax dollars. I’m a government employee and don’t want that. I’d rather buy my own lunch with my own money than buy lunch for every government employee with my tax money.

          • Major eye roll at this. I’m also a government employ and I totally don’t expect catered lunches or any of the other perks that you don’t get in government that you do in the private sector. (Although it would be nice if I didn’t have to buy my own Kleenex.) But the point of all those perks is that overall you attract better employees, who can be more productive and efficient. That wouldn’t necessarily be a waste of your precious tax dollars.

          • Anonymous :

            I work in government and I 100% agree. I don’t enjoy that there are no perks like free coffee or catered lunches, but I vastly prefer that my tax dollars not pay for those things… so I bring my own coffee and lunch.

          • Taxpayer dollars :

            You can disagree without rolling your eyes. You and I are both government employees, and we have differing opinions on this. That’s ok. I am a pretty productive and efficient employee, and I’d rather buy my own kleenex than have the government contract with a supplier and go through all the gov. red tape to get the gov. approved standard issue tissues at X cost per box blah blah blah.

            Catered lunches and company Kleenex might “attract better employees,” but so do flexible schedules and non-biglaw hours and doing substantive work that matters to the community/state/country. (Of course other non gov work matters too! Just saying often a government job has a mission that attracts stellar talent– prosecutor, public defender, etc).

            But if you feel like you need to keep rolling your eyes at everyone who disagrees with you, I’d be happy to share my (self-purchased) Kleenex, coffee, and even my lunch. Yay government!

          • Anonymous :


    • Haha. Aww. I’ve worked in biglaw, small law, fed court, and non-profits. There would be no lunch catering for meetings in any of these environments, unless perhaps you were putting on a dog and pony show for clients in biglaw.

      Honestly we barely even *meet* unless it’s with people outside the firm, and in that case it would be for an actual important purpose that someone will be paying hundreds of dollars/hour for. No one is going to pay for their lawyer to spend time eating.

    • shamlet96 :

      i’m in gov’t (have been for almost a decade) and this is the least of my complaints lol. I’d settle for office-provided water and decent lunch options around the courthouse (we have none).

    • Anonymous :

      That lunch wouldn’t arrive at the $12bn publicly traded company I work for either. I am regularly on conference calls at noon. I bring my lunch and put my phone on mute. This isn’t hard.

      • Anonymous :

        And for in person meetings, if you know it’s at 1 p.m., eat in your office or whatever before hand. You can shove a granola bar down in the hallway on the way to a meeting.

    • Anonymous :

      Lol, I’m a Big Law litigator. Today I was in meetings from 10:30 am until 3 pm. I ate at 3:15 from whatever I could find near my office.

  30. Has anyone ordered tights directly from Hue? I placed an order six days ago, and it hasn’t shipped yet, which seems like a super long time for e-commerce these days. I emailed their customer service yesterday to ask when my order would ship and have not heard back yet. I also tried to create an account so I could check the status of my order, but they first said my email was already in use and then when I tried to reset the password, they said the account didn’t exist. So their website and customer service don’t seem to have their sh!t together. I’m wondering if I’ll ever get my order or hear from them . . .

  31. Holiday planning with kds :

    Ladies, need some vacation help! We have a 9 month old boy and 5.5 year old daughter, and would like to plan a short holiday around Thanksgiving.

    – We live in PNW and don’t have family in the area, so want to do something fun and outside the PNW that week.
    – We have about 4-5 days for the holiday and can stretch to 6-7 if necessary.
    – CA is out as we’re planning extended trips there over Christmas and Spring Break to visit family.
    – DC, NYC, Boston (too cold), Philly, Chicago, Orlando, Vegas are all out as DH and I have spent extensive time there.
    – Would prefer to travel domestically with the kiddos.

    Ideally, we’re looking for places that are kid-friendly and have good food and sights for the adults to not get completely bored either. We’d like to do one big “thing” a day (e.g., museum or zoo) and then lounge the rest of the day, eat out, etc. We haven’t taken a proper holiday in over 18 months so no real budget we’re working against.

    We’re thinking of going to New Orleans, Nashville, or Phoenix as DH and I haven’t been to any of those places.

    So wise hive, what would you recommend:
    1) Between New Orleans, Nashville, or Phoenix – which is better with kids? What should we do there?
    2) Are there other options we should consider? (DH suggested Salt Lake City and nearby dino sights – my daughter is a BIG fan – as an example)


    • I wouldn’t do Phoenix (too much driving). Another option – Savannah if you can fly direct or maybe Charleston. We spent a few days in Savannah with our daughter and it was very fun. If I was going to go for longer, I’d spend 3 days in Savannah and 2-3 days on Tybee Island or in Hilton Head, but not sure what the weather is like now.

    • Hi! South Georgia local checking in. Highly recommend a visit to Charleston, Savannah, or even further south–the Golden Isles off the coast of Georgia. Weather around Thanksgiving will be mild and lovely, and there will be lots to do for both kids and adults in each of those areas.

    • Anonymous :

      I love New Orleans. You’ll need a car, but you won’t necessarily have to drive daily or anything. Mardi Gras world is super fun, the WW2 museum is excellent although i don’t remember how good the kid parts are, audobon zoo, various live music options- plenty in kid friendly spaces, swamp tour.

  32. Holiday planning with kds :

    Ladies, need some vacation help! We have a 9 month old boy and 5.5 year old daughter, and would like to plan a short holiday around Thanksgiving.

    We live in PNW and don’t have family in the area, so want to do something fun and outside the PNW that week.
    We have about 4-5 days for the holiday and can stretch to 6-7 if necessary.
    CA is out as we’re planning extended trips there over Christmas and Spring Break to visit family.
    DC, NYC, Boston (too cold), Philly, Chicago, Orlando, Vegas are all out as DH and I have spent extensive time there.
    Would prefer to travel domestically with the kiddos.

    Ideally, we’re looking for places that are kid-friendly and have good food and sights for the adults to not get completely bored either. We’d like to do one big “thing” a day (e.g., museum or zoo) and then lounge the rest of the day, eat out, etc. We haven’t taken a proper holiday in over 18 months so no real budget we’re working against.

    We’re thinking of going to New Orleans, Nashville, or Phoenix as DH and I haven’t been to any of those places.

    So wise hive, what would you recommend:
    1) Between New Orleans, Nashville, or Phoenix – which is better with kids? What should we do there?
    2) Are there other options we should consider? (DH suggested Salt Lake City and nearby dino sights – my daughter is a BIG fan – as an example)


    • I did not like Nashville – unless you want to spend a lot of time listening to music in honky tonk bars, I wouldn’t go. For all it’s being billed as a new hipster paradise with cute neighborhoods – not so much. Philadelphia, in my mind, is much better for that. Plus you have to drive everywhere in Nashville.

      I loved New Orleans. Have only been as an adult, so I don’t know what there is for very small children, but it’s a very relaxed, easy-going place. And easy to walk around.

      I’ve never been to Atlanta, and I think you probably have to drive everywhere there, too, but don’t they have a really nice aquarium?

      It might be more pricey, but how about Miami? Lovely beaches, and although pretty much all I’ve done there is sit on the beach and eat (they have a pretty good food scene), I bet there’s stuff to do. Everglades tour?

    • Anonymous :

      Hawaii! If you stay in Waikiki, it’s easy with kiddos (can do a hike or a sight and then lounge at the beach/pool the rest of the day).

      • anon a mouse :

        I was going to suggest Hawaii too, since you’re already starting on the west coast. Rent a house and a car for 5-7 days. Oahu has lots of options, but there would be plenty to keep everyone happy on another island as well.

  33. Atty Seeking Job :

    When a job posting says “submit resume to ___” and doesn’t mention a cover letter… do you still submit one? I know you SHOULD, but to be practical and because cover letters take effort to draft, I usually just send the materials explicitly requested. Am I doing this wrong?

    • Anonymous :

      If it’s an email submission, I use the body of my email as a cover letter (just got an interview where I did this, in fact). I think it’s best to always include a cover letter – that’s where you can explain why you are interested in the job, anything that is either not appropriate for a resume, any gaps, a location change, etc.

      Yes, it’s a pain, but you should do one IMO/IME.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Is this a top choice job for you? Then yes. If you are a lawyer, it’s a chance to show your writing skills and a little bit of personality.

  34. Atty Seeking Job :

    Follow up question: Is it appropriate to talk about to highlight skills that you’ve really only done once? For example… I’ve defended a deposition, once. I’ve arbitrated a case, once. I second-chaired one administrative hearing. I’ve briefed one motion to dismiss. I’m a first year so there aren’t a lot of skills I’ve gotten to practice over and over again.

    • Yes. List them. A man would– and men competing with you for this job are listing things they’ve only done once.

    • and that’s great experience to have as a first year! if you’ve only been practicing for a year, people may assume these are “1-2x” skills anyway, so it’s not like you’re pulling a fast one on the interviewer!

  35. As above, if you’re Christian (or religious enough) and able to deal with it (some find it offputting), you might try a health share. These meet the individual mandate (no penalty) Some are offered through Samaratin ministries and Medishare.

    You basically pay your “share” every month instead of a premium to someone with a health need. It’s kind of like what the Amish use.

    Quite a few limitations (no preexisting or preventive care), but you could bank the $ you’d spend on premiums and pay for that stuff out of pocket (and negotiate a cash discount).

    I had several employees have a baby on these plans for $300 oop.

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