Coffee Break: Bold Shoulder Bag

Very boxy shoulder bags are very in right now, and I find I like the structured look. The shoulder strap is adjustable, so presumably it’s a lot longer than pictured here — I like the little gold detail on the magnetic top flap, as well as the fun lining for the interior. It’s $588 at ShopBop.  MANU Atelier Bold Shoulder Bag

Looking for something more affordable? This $180 bag is similar, and this Etsy shop looks like they might be able to produce something similar via a custom order, possibly for even under $50. (Psst: which are your favorite Etsy shops and gifts, ladies? It’s a little early to be thinking about holiday gifts, I know, but we’re thinking of doing a roundup of Etsy stores sooner rather than later because sellers book up so early…)

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Comments

  1. Thank You :

    Thank you all so much for your thoughts yesterday about my husband hating living in my hometown. We talked about it last night and I said I was completely open to moving if he wasn’t happy where we are, but that we needed to do some work identifying what was causing the unhappiness.

    He admitted he was just stressed about the job and really frustrated with something that happened at work and was feeling overwhelmed. He’s looking for a new job now and will be leaning way way out until he finds one and has promised to re-engage with our family so we can actually enjoy all the things that he acknowledges are great about to town. His work schedule meant he got all the downsides (cost, commute, pressure) with none of the upsides (next to beach! Big backyard! So many friends! Lots of willing Babysitters! So many kid friendly activities!)

    Basically, he wouldn’t have picked this place to live without me, but he got that I didn’t want to live there at the expense of his happiness. If we do stay, I said I needed it to be a joint decision that he feels ownership over so me and town don’t become a scapegoat for other frustrations down the road and he totally got that.

    Thank you for helping me think through some things and approach it from a much more compassionate place than my initial reaction of wt f this is your life too and we’ve had conversations about all this and you were the driving force in things like picking out our (expensive) house, don’t just dump this at my feet.

    • Senior Attorney :

      This is a lovely report. Best of luck to you going forward!

    • Anonymous :

      Yay, so glad to hear that! I was one of those people who said yesterday that your lifestyle sounds pretty unpleasant to me personally, but I also think it was really unfair for your husband to spring this on you out of the blue after he made a series of decisions in support of this lifestyle, especially since he didn’t have a practical, realistic plan about what he wants to do instead (move to a cabin in Vermont is not a realistic option unless you have dairy farming skills…). So I’m glad work is the root cause of his unhappiness.

    • I’m so glad.

    • My husband and I have had similar issues where he is stressed at work and decides he hates where live. I have to say, he has completely Leaned Out (so to speak) since then and has overall gotten much happier. He still periodically decides he absolutely wants to move somewhere (warmer, bigger, with more land, with no people, or whatever annoyed him that day) but usually that translates into spending a few days looking at houses on-line in said places and then letting it go (I’ve told him that I’m happy to move if it’s what he really wants.)

      I think part of it is he’s realized that his issues with his job were things he would risk having problems with no matter where he worked. And now that he’s just stopped caring, it’s helped a lot (I should note that he is very valued at his company so he’s not really risking his job – plus his version of Leaning Out is most people’s Standing Up Straight…or whatever the middle ground of Leaning In and Leaning Out is.)

      Don’t know if you’ll see this since it’s from yesterday but just wanted to share my experience.

      (One side note, something *I’ve* had to work with here is not feeling kind of guilty and a lot hurt when he get’s like that. The reason we live where we do is because I went to law school here and he moved up here to join me. And this is also fairly close to my home town so most of my family is nearby. I have spent a lot of time realizing that this isn’t my “fault” and that he doesn’t blame me; that it really had mpthing to do with me. It helps during the inevitable “We’re moving to North Carolina” phase he’ll go through in January, for example.)

  2. Anonymous :

    These loafers: https://www.shoemall.com/product/naturalizer-emiline-women-s-/1074502-7?categoryId=

    They will only look good with cropped ankle pants/jeans?

    • Anonymous :

      I think they would like fine with skinny or straight jeans. I wouldn’t wear them with flares.

    • givemyregards :

      In that red color, probably. I wear loafers like this with skirts but only in colors similar to my skin tone – it’s still kind of a stumpy look but I have just decided not to care.

  3. Anonymous :

    Would anyone be able to shed some insight as to appropriate business attire in the UAE, specifically Abu Dhabi? I keep seeing conflicting things regarding things like skirt length – some places say that knees should be covered, others say that just above the knee is fine. Does it make much of a difference? My normal work clothes aren’t exactly risque, but if I need to cover my knees I will. I have not met the clients yet, but I assume they are mostly expats.

    • Anonymous :

      Dress as you would in the US. No cleavage or short skirts.
      It’s very hot outside and aircon will be full blast indoors usually.

  4. Gallery attire? :

    Y’all:

    I’m going to an opening at a gallery. It’s photography and of the edgy variety.

    I’m a working mom, so my wardrobe is mainly sheath dresses or Athleta. I have some DVF dresses that are a bit more . . . loud than my other clothes. I also have an Etsuko dress from MMLaFleur that looks really good on me but seems maybe too corporate for this (will be with husband who has a hot mess of a closet due to denial of recent weight gain and refusal to wear anything that isn’t Duluth Trading Company when not at work).

    I’m thinking that edgy means that I can wear Western boots so that I at least have comfy feet for an all-standing-up event.

    • Anonymous :

      DVF dress and proper shoes not cowboy boots. And if he’s wearing kakhis leave him at home.

    • Just wear whatever you’ve got that’s black. But at the end of the day, no one’s really going to care what you have on, they’ll just be happy you’re there as the worst thing for an artist is to have an unattended opening show.

      • Veronique :

        yes! also maybe fun jewelry. don’t wear a loud DVF dress if you want to look like an art gallery type. a big scarf and/or big earrings also help with the hip artist look. Ask yourself, “Is this more Yoko Ono or This S*te?” and go with the former, not the latter. also agree with Scarlett about just showing up being the most important part.

    • I’d wear one of your sheath dresses with an arty shawl, dangly earrings and some groovy shoes if you have ’em. (like Fluevog)

  5. So the wait continues for in person interview notifications but in the mean time I am realizing that I have no full suit that fits me! I need to find a black pantsuit asap. Preferably under $300 total. The limited used to be my go-to. (And for the skype I cobbled something together that worked for that but would not be OK in person due to mismatch black that they couldn’t see)

    • Anonymous :

      Someone posted a Le Suit suit from Macy’s that looked quite nice and was $80. I don’t know how hard these are to find IRL though. Maybe if you have a nicer, organized Macy’s nearby.

    • Anonymous :

      Ann Taylor now does free two-day shipping with Shoprunner.

      FYI, The Limited is coming back. They have a fall line, apparently, ready for launch.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s going to be sold exclusively at a department store (Belk I think?) and it’s a different designer so I’m not optimistic about it being the real Limited. Hopefully its good though!

    • Ann Taylor

    • Ann Taylor. Order the different fits of the pants that are the same material and color, in a variety of sizes. I’m 14P to 16P, which is never well stocked in stores, so pick a suit, order the two button jacket and the three button jacket and two different sizes of each of the fits in the pants, try on in bedroom, always get a suit out of it and return the rest to the nearest store. They hate me but they haven’t banned my returns yet.

    • Kasper from Macy’s or Amazon. Many choices in work appropriate colors and exceeding well priced, especially with coupons. Their crepe wears well and looks professional.

  6. Anonymous :

    How much do you pay for a family photoshoot? I’m looking for 30 minutes minimum of photography and release of at least 15 or so high-res images that I can do what I want with. It seems like everyone in my area charges $400+ for this. There are some people who charge as little as $200 for the photo session, but don’t include the digital images. I know weddings and newborns are much pricier, but this seems like a lot for a family with older kids, especially for my LCOL area, but maybe I’m just out of touch.

    • Anonymous :

      That sounds right to me for a good photographer. You tend to get what you pay for with photography.

    • In my MCOL area, the photographer I use charges $75 for a “mini” session of 20-30 minutes (which is all my toddler can do anyways). These are in a park or other public setting where she can set up back-to-back sessions on a particular day. Scheduling your own session starts at $100 for a “mini” session.

      She promises 15 edited images, and she does B&W and color edits for about half of those. Purchasing all of the images digitally is $225, or $25 each. High-quality prints start at $15.

      So, the prices you list don’t seem out of line. Our photographer seems to have structured her pricing so that signing up for the session is pretty low-risk ($75), and she doesn’t make much if you don’t like/buy the photos. But of course, we buy the entire digital album, plus prints for us and for the grandparents’ Christmas gifts. (The print prices have gone up–last year, they were about $5 each. This year, I may look into using another service for good prints using the digital photos, if that’s permitted.)

    • Delta Dawn :

      That’s fairly typical in my mid-size city, and it seems like a lot to me, too. I have switched to hobby photographers for this sort of thing. I have found several on facebook who will do it for around $100 including the digital images. Can you try searching (your city) photography and see if anything like that pops up on facebook?

      They are not the quality of a $500 session, but I usually just want one good photo of my family and a couple good shots of each child. If I wanted a more comprehensive package, I’d pay for an established photog– but if you’re just trying to get a Christmas card picture, I have had great luck this way. However, I have found they are not consistently available; one who did a great job for my first maternity photos has since had her photo business take off, and now she costs five times as much (but good for her!). One who took some newborns for me isn’t doing photography anymore. But I’ve saved a lot of money and still got the photos I wanted, so this approach has worked for me.

    • $285 for one hour of photographer time + 60 digital, edited images. Cost of living 95% of us average (Sperling’s estimate).

    • We paid $300 in our LCOL area

    • lawsuited :

      My newborn photo shoot in a relatively HCOL area was $240 for a 30 min shoot and unedited digital images.

    • Have you looked for photographers offering “mini sessions?” These are popular in my area (Chicago burbs) and while each photographer sets terns of their own package, they seem to generally run $80-200, be 20-30 mins long, and include a small number (10-20) edited pics. Usually the photographer plans a whole day of back-to-back shoots at the same location.

  7. I see the post about Kat’s week has disappeared. Probably for the best.

    • it's still up :

      It’s buried down with the posts from yesterday, and the posting date has changed to 10/11.

      • Ohmygod her apology is not better. I hate that kind of fake half apology that still makes excuses. Ugh. Own it or don’t pretend to apologize. Huge pet peeve of mine- when someone “apologizes” but still doesn’t take responsibility or accept they were wrong.

        • And why exactly do you need an apology? How were you injured by the mis post?

          I have no dog in this fight but I don’t understand why this is a “huge” (your word) issue for you.

          • Anon at 5:53 :

            I don’t need an apology- of course not. I’m saying it’s a generally huge pet peeve of mine when anyone apologizes about something without actually apologizing. It shows a lack of integrity, respect for others (and, in this case, a lack of respect for subordinates- which to me is egregious), and a lack of humility. To me, these are issues that deserve to be called out regardless of whether or not I have a personal investment in the apology.

          • Anonymous :

            To be fair, I think she’s saying Kat should apologize for throwing her assistants under the bus, not for slightly messing up the posting schedule.

          • Anon at 5:53 :

            Yeah- the assistant thing. Not the posting schedule! Of course not. That kind of thing happens and we all screw up.

      • Oof. A draft posted by mistake is really not a big deal. That “apology” is truly much worse.

        • I don’t know, I read it like, “so now I screwed up yet another thing in this awful week. I’m going to take this down and apologize asap before I start to cry all over my keyboard and accidentally electrocute myself.” Let’s take it easy on each other maybe – everyone I know (self included) seems super on edge this fall. Or let’s follow Senior Attorney’s “assume good intentions” rule.

          Hugs to you Kat! I know I could use one this week too.

  8. shopping for starter watch in NYC? :

    My husband would like a starter watch (<$200) and suggested we shop for one this weekend while we're in New York City. He's been ogling some on the Nordstrom website, but I was surprised to find that there isn't (yet) a bricks-and-mortar Nordstrom in Manhattan. Are there other in-person retailers you'd suggest? He wants to try watches with a classic-to-modern look, like those from Ted Baker, MVMT, and Skagen.

    (Yes, we could order from the website and let him try the watches at home. We've done that so far for five watches–turns out he's very finicky about the feel of the strap on his wrist, so this will be much easier in person.)

    • Maddie Ross :

      I got my H a Swiss Army for his 30th. He’s 42 and still wears it every day. It looks great still too. Very classic.

    • I like Nordstrom Rack for these types of things. The website has a good selection and you can return to your local store. Alternatively, figure out what he likes while in NYC and then hit eBay. I got my first Tag on eBay in that price range.

    • What about Macys or Bloomingdales?

    • A little late :

      If you’re still reading this, you should try Lord & Taylor (the flagship, on fifth avenue and 39th street). They have a large watch selection, with plenty in that price range, and they’re always having sales. I looked for a watch for a lonnnnnng time before picking one, and while I ended up getting one at an outlet store out of town, I spent a lot of time browsing at L&T. Also, the salespeople are very nice and helpful.

  9. I’m presenting to my entire organization tomorrow- about 300 people. The dress code is business casual, and that will range from jeans and a sweater to a dress and boots or flats with a jacket. The director will be wearing pants and a tucked in shirt, maybe a tie but probably not. The second in command will probably be in something black with black tights and black boots and a scowl. I usually dress on the nicer end of biz casual but I can’t decide which of the three outfits I have to wear. No one will be in a suit and a fun dress or outfit isn’t unacceptable. I tend to look pretty young.
    Outfit 1: Burgundy cap sleeve dress with black tights and black Toms booties and a black blazer. I like the dress a lot and it’ll be comfortable. I’ll be doing a lot of walking before and after the event and the shoes are comfy.
    Outfit 2: Black short sleeve dress with nude hose and black boots and either a red blazer if it looks right with the dress (not sure) or a teal cardigan. I like the dress and the pop of color.
    Outfit 3: White drsss with black flowers on it- super mod. (Victoria Beckham line from Target) Black tights and black shoes and a black cardigan or grey blazer. Not sure which.
    Outfit 4: Black and tan striped Amanda + Chelsea skirt with a black tucked in long sleeve blouse and black boots with nude hose.

    Which would you choose? I also have a flowered multicolored Amanda and Chelsea skirt on a white background I could wear with an orange top and boots but it’s a lot of oomph.

  10. s in chicago :

    Option 1. I’d avoid florals and boots regardless of pick.

  11. My husband and I got into an altercation two days ago that got physical – on both sides but I definitely got the worst of it. I contacted a lawyer who said we should get a restraining order tomorrow from court. He said it will be useful later if/when I file for divorce. It’s happening very fast – anyone else with experience here? Is this the right next step?

    • No advice but I wanted to say I am sorry you are going through this and I hope you are somewhere safe.

    • New Tampanian :

      If you are scared that it may occur again, yes.

    • So sorry you’re in this situation. Unless you have reason to doubt your attorney’s advice, I’d follow it.

    • Anonymous :

      Any time a couple gets into a physical fight, yes, separation needs to be immediate. You both need a “cooling-off period” that probably needs to become permanent. Whether or not you want to take out the restraining order is up to you – it can create a permanent legal record that you and your husband will have to deal with for the rest of your lives. You are entitled to take time to think about that, but if your husband continues to contact you or tries to attack you again, you absolutely must get the restraining order.

      I have been through this myself. In a previous relationship, my partner was physically abusive and after awhile, I started fighting back so I wouldn’t get injured as badly. Please know this: he may be very sorry about this, and you may be sorry about this but that doesn’t change the fact that blows were exchanged and that can never be remedied or taken back. Whatever provoked the altercation, it’s obvious that there is a real problem here with constructive communication and problem-solving. One that does not bode well for a future happy relationship. Please get to a safe place where he cannot contact you and take at least a few days to consider your options. Call a trusted friend or a shelter. My heart goes out to you. Big hugs.

      • I didn’t consider the permanent record issues. He works for federal clients. Will this be an issue? We have kids so I don’t want to jeopardize their future by hurting his income. Will it also go on my record and hurt my job prospects? Also is $2500 a reasonable fee for a lawyer to file a restraining order? So confused and worried….

        • Wildkitten :

          Is it a $2500 retainer and they refund you the time they don’t end up spending on it? That seems reasonable since they’ll have to go to court and it’s unpredictable how long that can take. It doesn’t seem unreasonable as a flat fee either, TBH. Were the police called? Do you have a temporary restraining order?

          • Yeah it’s a retainer. That makes sense. My husband’s job is in DC so your experience might help… i don’t want him to lose his job.

          • Wildkitten :

            #1 – take care of yourself. Keeping your husband employed in his current field is NOT as important as your personal safety and the safety of your kids.

            Does your husband have a national security clearance? This guy isn’t a lawyer, but one of my friends consulted him with questions about clearance, if your lawyer doesn’t know the answer:

            William H. Henderson
            Federal Clearance Assistance Service
            Direct: 831-233-4340
            Toll Free: 855-861-8686, ext. 2
            Fax: 855-861-8686
            Email: [email protected]

        • Wildkitten :

          I live in Chicago but I did my restraining order work pro bono in DC, so I don’t know how it works here.

    • Wildkitten :

      So sorry you are going through this. Take your lawyer’s advice. It can only protect you. Let me know if you want to get a drink with a stranger tomorrow! Or h*ll, tonight.

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