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Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Mehira Chambray Blazer

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

It’s almost linen jacket season, and it feels like this blazer from Joie has been around for a thousand years. So if you’re on the hunt for a quality, much-loved linen blazer that’s going to be wearable a couple of seasons from now, and has nice appeal in that it keeps coming back, this is your best bet. I like the sort of notch collar and standard lapel and I also like that it comes in a chambray blue — which is always good — as well as a nice dusty pink. It’s at Neiman Marcus for $298 in sizes 00-12, and it’s at Nordstrom for the same price in those two colors plus another option, indigo. Mehira Chambray Blazer

Here’s a more affordable option that comes in petite and tall sizes as well as regular; plus-size options are here and here.

This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

Comments

  1. Weird or Nice? :

    I found out via a Facebook post by a friend from many years ago that she is terminally ill. We haven’t been in contact for a long time after we moved to different places. I was thinking of sending a short note to say I was thinking of her and praying for her and her family (I know she’s quite religious). Is that a good idea or is it weird and I should just leave her alone? I didn’t want to ignore it, but also I don’t want to butt in.

    • Anonymous :

      Nice. If she made a Facebook post she is expecting to hear from acquaintances and long-lost friends that she’s connected to there. It might be odd if you’d heard she was ill through the grapevine, but she’s told you herself (via social media) so I don’t see how contacting her would be weird and she will likely appreciate it very much.

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      I think it would be nice and appreciated. When my father was diagnosed with a terminal illness at age 56, a family friend solicited notes, letters, memories, etc from friends (some who had been out of touch for years) and they meant so much to my parents.

    • I’d write a note. It would be especially sweet if you perhaps acknowledged that you’ve been out of touch, but perhaps shared some happy memories/remembrances of the times you spent together?

    • Yes, reach out. I’m sure she will be touched that you are thinking well for her.

    • Weird or Nice? :

      Thanks for your thoughts, I will drop her a note.

      I’m lucky that this is the first such situation I’ve been in and the realities of Facebook mean that you can remain plugged into people’s lives without communication for a really long time. I didn’t want to transgress some etiquette rule or make things worse.

    • Yes, yes, yes.

      And if you could include a favorite recollection or two from the time when you were closer that would be wonderful. And possibly include a photo of you bite together from that time, if you such things.

      She will read it again, and again. I promise you.

      These little gestures are among the most important things you do in your life. And they are so small….. So easy….

    • Veronica Mars :

      Definitely let her know you are praying for her. It can be a great comfort.

      • AtheistAnon :

        Or, if you’re unsure of her religious leanings, that she’s “in your thoughts.”
        Politely smiling through well-meaning but extremely religious consolations (“she’s in a better place” or “it’s all part of god’s plan”) made grieving for my mother worse and did not provide the comfort people intended.

        • Veronica Mars :

          Right in this context, I suggested prayer because the OP seemed comfortable offering it and for the religious comforting the religious, prayer can be a great comfort.

        • Marshmallow :

          I say “in my thoughts” too, because I’m not religious either. But OP said her friend is “quite religious” and it appears OP is as well.

          • +1 I’m not religious and say “in my thoughts” but OP specified that her friend is religious, so if she’s comfortable saying “I’m praying for you” that’s obviously going to be perfectly fine with the friend.

      • I am not religious at all. I’m atheist.

        But when I was going through a tumultuous terrifying time in my life, when a dear friend told me that she was praying for me, it was so touching to me. I knew she really cared about me, and was actually doing it.

        And in fact, there was a famous Harvard study that showed the “power” of prayer in “healing”. There were clinically measurable improvements in health when patients knew others were praying for them. But these were only seen when the patient KNEW people were praying for them. When people were praying “secretly”, these clinically measurable improvements were not seen.

        And I totally believe that result!

        • I went through a horrible time last summer, and someone told me his whole church was praying for me. I found it so touching and strengthening.

    • I’m of the opinion that it’s always better to reach out and say something.

  2. Rural vs city living :

    Lots of posts last week re raising a family in a BigLaw style city vs very small towns.

    My current city has Problems. Education system is crumbling. Gangs. Human trafficing. Not a lot of opportunity for some. It’s not that apparent in my neighborhood (which has good public schools, but the choice is usually for schools that cost more than I spent for a year at State U). People tend to have second houses. We’re very insulated from our city’s problems and can put the blinders on.

    In the small town where my family is from, we have the same problems and we can’t kid ourselves. I think that that’s the difference. You can’t escape the bad in a small town. The pain (lack of opportunities, poor education systems, drugs) happens to you or to people you know or see regularly, even if you are at the top of the small-town pyramid. People go to the same tiny grocery store, the same small churches, the same courthouse, the same bank, and have the same mail carriers. Everyone knows and sees everything, the good and the bad.

    • Not to mention if you are not a traditional white, Christian, heterosexual family you will be faced with the prejudices of all of the “real American” Trump supporters that make up small town America!

      • Anonymous :

        I go back and forth between several big cities and several small towns. Prejudice against small towns (or even smaller cities, like ones that can support a AAA baseball team) and the people in them is one of the last ones that it’s OK for people to have.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. Plus prejudice against entire regions, like the South and Midwest. I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve heard say “I would never, ever, ever live in the Midwest except for maybe Chicago…” The Midwest has about 20 cities that have populations of several hundred thousand or more people, and yet so many people think it’s Chicago + farmland and that’s it.

          • Anonymous :

            This.

            No interest in living in NYC/LA but very happy to live in one of the many smaller cities between 100, 000 and 1, 000, 000 – generally they have reasonable commuting distances., non-exorbitant housing costs and decent schools.

          • cake batter :

            Seriously. I love my Midwestern city and am tired of getting flack for living in “flyover country” from jerks who have never even traveled anywhere in between the two coasts.

        • Anonymous :

          hahaha, my “prejudice” against small towns comes from my 22+ years spent there. it’s not prejudice if it’s not liking a place for real reasons. nice try though.

          • Anonymous :

            Oh so you’ve spent 22 years in every small town in America?

          • My parents are from a small town in the SE US that voted 75% for HRC. Not sure that that is Trump’s America (he won his primary in my big urban county which is very much a Latte Town in a deep purple state); you wouldn’t guess that to walk around though.

        • There’s an enormous amount of complexity to this, I think. How a small town votes does not always equal how people treat their actual LGBT or POC neighbors. Sometimes it does, but not always, and I think it’s unpredictable. My cousin and his partner live in a small town whose primary employer is a conservative religious university (the kind that requires a statement of faith from all employees and has morality clauses that you can get fired over); I’m sure they were the only Hilary voters in their town. They are not in the closet. They love their town and never plan to leave, notwithstanding politics that are more conservative than they would prefer.

          I suspect there’s something of the “I’m not okay with *those* gay people but Cousin and Partner are *our* gay people” going on in their community. And I think that kind of…mental disconnect is common in many small towns. See the news stories about that small town in WV where everyone freaked out when the pillar-of-the-community Mexican restaurant owner was picked up by ICE.

          • As an openly gay person, I have a very hard time this line of thinking.

            How can someone be your friend when they don’t think that you or your family deserve basic human rights?

            Sure, we can be friendly and polite to each other but you can’t truly love someone and believe that they don’t deserve the same human dignity that you and your family do.

            I live in a similar town and while I very much enjoy it and do not plan to move away. I have a very clear eyed assessment of just what my neighbors and many co-workers think of me and do not forget it.

          • Oh, it’s a level of cognitive dissonance that I don’t personally understand, for sure. And I think my cousin and his partner have a very clear mental list of who truly accepts and affirms their relationship and who doesn’t.

        • Anonattorney :

          So . . . I hate to be this person, but I’m going to make this political. Disclaimer: I’m a strong HRC supporter and am disgusted by Trump, and extremely disappointed by Trump voters.

          I think it’s coming from a bit of a privileged position to say that prejudice against people in small towns–of who the vast majority are white Christians–is “one of the last [prejudices] that it’s OK for people to have.” I think we now know that, in 2017, for a plurality of American voters, and a majority of the states, it’s apparently okay to be prejudiced against women, non-Christians, and immigrants.

          Rural America voted 3-1 for Trump. Those are just the facts. Maybe there are these little Star’s Hollows that are scattered around that are rural liberal utopias. But I wouldn’t want to take my chances, and I wouldn’t want to raise my kids in that sort of mindset.

          • Parts of America are depicted as red vs blue, but it’s not like these places vote 90% either way. Many are more toward the middle, so there are many people of all persuasions. So yeah, if you’re in rural America, there are more people who voted for Trump, but there are still plenty of people there who voted for Clinton. I think it is easy to lose sight of that when we see parts of our country painted red or blue on the map. Most places are purple.

          • You beat me to it, Anonattorney. I’m a POC and did my time in the South and the Midwest (in midsized cities no less) and left for a much more liberal city because of actual prejudice I faced frequently.

            Of course 100% of Midwesters and Southerners are not bigots and there are racists in every city, but there has been a notable improvement in my quality of life and the instances that I’ve run into open hostility.

            Good for you that you have the privilege of compartmentalizing bigotry, but some people don’t. Yes, it’s true that many of the people that unfairly judge regions are not actually minorities in any way (my absolute favorite is Midwesterners that are judgmental of racism in the South. THAT’S a laugh), but I’m not exactly shaking my fist with outrage.

            Yeah, I’ll say it: Never again will I live in the midwest or south. No apologies here.

          • Yes, I am a gay jewish person living in a mid-size city in America.

            I was at a professional meeting relatively recently and someone made genuine passing mention to MY HORNS. Not a joke. This was a middle age white male lawyer that until this moment I had regarded as someone who I was friendly with.

            What made the whole thing more horrible was that none of the other people in the room even looked askance at the person who spoke. The conversation just moved along until I said something.

            If you think being a white christian is the only demographic that you “can” discriminate against now, you are delusional and incredibly privileged.

      • My experience is that there are people everywhere who come into contact with “the other” and it goes well. I used to be surprised at seeing dogs and cats living together (probably because of my, ahem, prejudices). Now, I rather expect it: the synogogue that is over a century old. The Lebanese family who has been there since the 1960s. Families who go to where they have the only restaurant in a town that isn’t fast food. People are generally better than the 6:00 news lets on — we only report the bad news and if you’re not in a small town, but good news never reaches the cities.

      • Anonymous :

        What a terrible thing to say.

    • Anonattorney :

      I disagree that small towns allow people to confront diversity more directly. Small towns may have poverty, but they are not as diverse as cities. If you are more sheltered in a city than in a small town, that is a problem of your own making. I want to raise my children in my midsize city, where they will see and confront our homeless population, attend school with Muslims and Jews, and be able to participate in the annual pride parade.

  3. TV choice :

    I’m on the market for a new TV and not sure what to get. Relied on an old tube TV all through grad school and ready to upgrade. Will use it to watch Netflix and maybe things on Youtube, I’m in Canada so I know some of the other apps people use aren’t available here. So for those series I can’t access I get the DVD/Bluray from the library. So along with the TV, also plan on getting a player, not too fond of watching on the laptop. Being able to use Chromecast would be great too, in case I have something on the laptop that I would like to project on screen. The reason I’m posting is I would like something affordable, don’t want to shell out too much for it.I will be moving from my current location in the next two years, so not a forever purchase but also want something of decent quality. Not sure whether it is better to get a Smart TV or to get a regular TV and one of those Roku/generic Android streaming boxes. Suggestions?

    • BabyAssociate :

      Iust get a smart TV. Keep an eye out for sales. I got my 55″ LG on Black Friday for about $300. I also have a chromecast, but never use it anymore.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ll disagree and say get a dumb TV and a Chromecast/Amazon FireStick/Roku/whatever. The streaming stuff will update far faster than the TV needs replacing, and I’d rather upgrade the $30-50 thing, rather than the whole TV. Though, accessories means more remotes… I think the Netflix app on your phone is going to update more often/consistently than the app on your SmartTV.

        But, price it out – if the SmartTV costs more than the price of the DumbTV+steaming accessories, go that route.

        Also, some BluRay Players also have streaming apps built in there (mine had Netflix, Hulu and Amazon), so that might serve you as well.

        • +1

          My smart TV is 6 years old and Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix all stopped supporting the apps on it. They got so buggy it was unusable. Last year I bought a Chromecast and haven’t used the apps on the TV since. All the apps I want to use to cast are updated regularly on my phone and computer and it’s a much more user friendly interface than the Smart TV.

          Get a TV that’s in your price range with a good quality picture and Chromecast/Firestick capability and ignore the “smart” features.

        • I went this route, and I’ve had the same TV for several years and just upgraded my Roku when the old one died, it’s worked really well. Way cheaper than my friend who has already had to buy a second smart TV in the same timeframe because the first one became obsolete.

        • Yes, this – I hate our smart TV. It’s always more trouble than our gaming systems on our dumb TVs.

      • Yay Kat! I love this Blazer, even tho it is kind of pricey. I guess this is b/c it is PRICEY MONDAY! YAY!!!

        As for the OP, Get a SMART TV; at least 50 inches, like I have. My dad actueally got me 2 SMART-TV’s. One is a VISIO and the other is a SAMSUNG. I watch alot of YOUTUBE VIDEOs on the VISIO b/c it is in my bedroom . The Samsung is in my “home office”, so Dad told me I can NOT use it except to watch CLE’s from the INTERNET. He also made me move my workout stuff OUT to the dining room area b/c the IRS does NOT allow the room to be used for personal stuff. I wish the IRS would loosen up a bit, but Dad told me the DEDUCTION of the space amount allocated to my home office to a tax saving’s for me of approximately $3300 per year. Dad is VERY smart., but it is a waste of good space. FOOEY!

    • anon a mouse :

      I just made the leap to a smart TV (Samsung) and while it’s nice, it has more glitches than I expected. Nothing major, but I’ve had a few calls to tech support to reset things, and it randomly gets hung up. I never had these issues with a Roku and am actually thinking about just hooking up my Roku to the new TV.

      I’ve used Chromecast on it and it works okay, but there’s a noticeable decrease in picture quality if that matters to you. It streams to the pixels on the computer, and then mirrors it, so you don’t get the same sharp HD view that you would if you are just streaming to the television.

      • No decrease in quality if you stream it from your phone instead, in my experience.

        • +1 – I’ve had occasional issues with Chromecast/Firestick streaming, but it’s the exception more than the rule.

          I think you have to make sure your wireless connection/speed is sufficient though. Wired connections can be better if the wireless router isn’t getting a strong signal to the area of the TV.

      • Anonymous :

        Chromecast only streams from your computer when you use “cast tab”. If you’re streaming netflix, youtube, etc it is done directly on the chromecast device.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I could’ve written this post exactly (with an addition of buying some particular sports streaming services).

      Here’s a real newbie question: Do non-smart TVs have USB ports? So I could buy a “dumb” TV and a Roku, and plug the Roku into the TV and then… it uses wireless to hook up to my laptop? And that’s how I stream Netflix/Amazon Prime/NHL onto the TV?

      • Even easier than that. Roku is HDMI, not USB, so it can hook up to pretty much all modern “dumb” TVs. It connects to your WiFi and then you can stream all the things through the Roku’s apps, controlled by the Roku remote. No laptop necessary!

      • Many do.

        Example: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-32-class-31-5-diag–led-720p-hdtv-black/5326401.p?skuId=5326401

      • The Roku takes your laptop out of the loop – you connect the Roku to your TV (usually through an hdmi port) and then it streams Netflix/etc. wirelessly over your network to the TV.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Wow, thanks ladies! I think that I’m gonna go that direction instead of Smart TV!

        Oh I have another question though… does one need antennae, still, for local TV?

        • Yep, if you want local channels you’ll need an antenna. I had this setup (Roku + antenna) for a while and it worked well for me

      • Roku doesn’t need a laptop (well, not after initial setup, which does need a computer or mobile device); it interfaces directly with the wifi and streams to the TV from the unit itself.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        More questions! Does Roku essentially connect through the internet to anything? Like the NHL subscription thingie my husband just bought? Or only the biggest things like Amazon and Hulu?

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, you load the “app” onto the roku and can watch Amazon, Hulu, Netflix (assuming you have subscriptions to these), you can load Youtube on (this is how I do some of my workout videos), ESPN, etc.

        • There’s apps for pretty much every cable channel, plus sports, Youtube, Spotify, Pandora and a bunch more. My SO has NBA League Pass and exclusively watches it through the Roku app.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          I will say that the ESPN app on Roku is terrible–lots of buffering. It appears to be an issue only with the ESPN app, and google has suggested this is a pretty widespread issue with the Roku. We have used ESPN on a friend’s appleTV with no problems. SO has decided we’re switching to Amazon Fire solely because of the ESPN issue.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Thank you so much! I am learning lots!

      • Macademia :

        An Xbox also works for streaming or playing dvds. And you can play video games.

    • Shopaholic :

      I would definitely get a “dumb” tv and either a Roku or apple TV (this is what I have because everything I own is apple but it’s more expensive) or a Chromecast.

      I find the smart TV interfaces hard to navigate and they’re not updated as frequently.

    • I just got a really good deal on a Smart TV through dell dot com. On top of the great price, there was a promo that the TV also included a $100 gift card so I was able to replace one of our other old TVs too. I’ve found the TV easy to use and like having Netflix/YouTube/etc. all connected.

  4. lawsuited :

    I’m going to a wedding in Dallas in May. We’ve only received the Save the Date so far which doesn’t include the time or the dress code, but I’ve been told by family members of the bride that the dress code will be formal/black tie. The wedding is outdoors though, so I think that might mean people dress more on the “formal” than the “black tie” side of things I’ll be 7 weeks post-partum and breastfeeding (and I’m a size 18), so my formal wear options are extremely limited.

    I’m hoping to style this dress to get close enough to the formal dress code that people will give me a new-breastfeeding-mom pass. Thoughts?

    http://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/sejour-crepe-georgette-cinched-waist-shirtdress-plus-size/4134259?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=NAVY%20PEACOAT

    • Anonymous :

      I would say no. It’s a shirt dress. I’m sure there has to be something with a very similar cut and fabric, but without the shirt dress component.

      • lawsuited :

        The shirt dress component is key so I can unbutton the bodice for baby to nurse. I considered this dress, but I think the fabric is more casual:

        http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/city-chic-maxi-dress-plus-size/4515027?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK

        I think my other option would be a wrap bodice in a stretchy fabric. I looked at the dresses below, but was worried the first was a very casual colour and the second would be too hot with the long sleeves?

        http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/niczoe-city-retreat-surplice-fit-flare-dress-plus-size/4587670?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=INDIGO

        http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/lauren-ralph-lauren-ruched-jersey-faux-wrap-dress-plus-size/4525298?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=LIGHTHOUSE%20NAVY

        • Anonymous :

          No, none of these are appropriate for a black tie wedding.

          What about this:

          http://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/marina-beaded-v-neck-pleat-mesh-gown-plus-size/4306508?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashionsize=Plus%202X%20(18-20W)&fashioncolor=BLUSH

          Or this:

          http://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/city-chic-elegant-sparkle-embellished-maxi-dress-plus-size/4292126?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashionsize=Plus%202X%20(18-20W)&fashioncolor=BLACK

          • I would have to fully unzip the bodice to nurse in first one, but the second one might work with the stretchy back panel. Will order that as well to try!

        • OP, if you like that Nic+Zoe dress I would go for it. It looks comfy, nurseable, and you can dress it up with a sparkly necklace. With a 7 week old baby they’re lucky you’re not showing up in yoga pants :)

          • Another anonymous judge :

            I concur! While I do think the first dress you posted was a tad casual, I quite like the next 3. Also, if I loved you enough to invite you to my wedding and you actually came with your sweet new baby, I would SO NOT CARE what you were wearing. Neither will anyone else.

        • These all look like casual daytime dresses and IMO are not formal enough for a black tie wedding.

          Something like this would be more appropriate: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/city-chic-va-va-voom-belted-maxi-dress-plus-size/4558346?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK

    • Anonymous :

      It’s kind of casual. What about this instead: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/sangria-lace-chiffon-surplice-gown-plus-size/4595662?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=MIDNIGHT

      You can just unzip the back a bit to slip off your shoulders so you can pump. Wide straps will hide every bra. A bit cheaper than the option you suggested as well.

      • lawsuited :

        I’m not going to take all the pumping gear with me (we’re flying in for the weekend and will already have a car seat, travel crib, stroller and so much else to bring with us on the plane) so baby needs to have access to my b**b to actually nurse. Unfortunately the wedding venue is not near any hotels, so my plan of booking a hotel across the street from the venue and just going back to the hotel room to nurse won’t work. The most I can count out is there being a bathroom, but who knows if there will be a place to sit in the bathroom.

        • Anon 9:26 :

          Totally missed that and read in that you were needing to pump. Sorry about that. I nursed all the time in public without a cover but with a newborn it can be hard to get them to feed well if it’s not quiet. Most venues have a bridal party prep area, maybe you could access that?

          Another option would be to buy a solid black nursing top that you can re-use for other occasions – splurge on a good quality one, and rent/buy a long skirt to fancy it up.

        • Anonymous :

          Do a wrap dress. Kiyonna has lots of nice ones.

        • Not on the dress selection, but on the travel — get a Phil and Ted Traveler for the trip. It weights almost nothing and fits in a duffel bag. Much better than a hotel crib or other alternatives. Practice set up before you leave town — we had it down to about three minutes.

          Also, when The Kid was small, we travelled with the car seat bungee corded onto the stroller and then popped the stroller (with blankets, spare bottles, anything soft or unbreakable etc. in the bottom) into a travel bag before we went down the walkway to the plane. Also, if at all possible, switch to a Cosco Scenara for the trip — it is SOOOOO much lighter than the bucket and installs easily into planes. Get a Snuzzler to improve fit and comfort.

    • Anonymous :

      Absolutely not. That is an extremely casual dress in no way appropriate for a black tie wedding, even if it is outside and trending less formal.

      Nordstrom has over 100 formal size 18 dresses. Pick one. That isn’t a casual day dress.

      • lawsuited :

        The size is not the biggest issue – I need a dress that will allow me to breastfeed my 7-week old baby during the wedding. If you can think of one, or a place for me to look for one, please please let me know. I have looked at Hudson’s Bay, Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor, Additionelle, Macy’s, Dress Barn and really struggled to find options.

        • Anon 9:26 :

          What about this skirt paired with a solid black nursing top:

          http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/adrianna-papell-high-low-taffeta-skirt-plus-size/4036050?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK

          • Thank you so much, Anon 9:26. I would never, ever choose to wear this skirt, but it sounds like it might be the price of admission if I want to go to this wedding. I am already somewhat dreading the travel 7 weeks post-partum and was hoping folks would cut me a break on the formal wear aspect but I am obviously very wrong about that!

          • I think they will cut you a break. You might have gotten some different answers if you asked over on the moms site. But honestly, that skirt with a black top tucked in and a colourful necklace will be gorgeous! You can also reuse it later on for other formal events by changing out the top to make it different.

            Jealous that you have a swanky event to wear something like this to! My life is decidedly less glam so I’m living vicariously.

          • @ lawsuited: you know your own family and friends best. People who know you might cut you more slack than strangers on the Internet.

          • If it comes to this or the casual dress, I would do the casual dress. That skirt is not to my taste, either. But I am sure you can find an option you like better than either two.

          • Check out the WHBM genius convertible. I have it and nursed in it. Awesome.

        • Anonymous :

          Posted a few above, in moderation.

        • Also in Academia :

          I’d get a beautiful formal skirt and a black knit top. I actually saw some formal skirts at Nordstrom rack last weekend. Then later when you are not nursing you can get a dressier top for it if you want to wear it again.

    • lawsuited :

      Sorry – I thought I linked the black version of the dress rather than the blue version. To clarify, I’m looking at the black version.

      • Anonymous :

        Still a hard no.

      • Anon 9:26 :

        Black is better – if you did sparkly jewelry/wrap/fancy shoes it would probably be okay. Caveat that I haven’t attended a formal wedding in Dallas.

      • Anonymous :

        No, I don’t think this passes as anything close to formal (though it’s not un-cute!)

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        Maybe this is a stupid suggestion (iana-mom), but could you replace the buttons with something blinged-out? To make the dress match jewelry and a wrap, while still having the function you need?

        • lawsuited :

          Yes, I can definitely change the buttons – I was thinking about switching them for faceted jet buttons or something similar. Perhaps add a jet statement necklace to pull the look together?

          • No.

          • JuniorMinion :

            Have you checked ASOS at all? They’ve got quite a bit of nursing apparel as well as a pretty sizable plus size section that ranges from us 12 to us 24 (so captures the in between sizes). On a quick scan it looks like there are some off the shoulder maxi dresses / v neck gowns that might allow you to nurse.

            ASOS also has free 2 day shipping if you spend over $150 and free returns – I often order multiple styles / sizes from them and other retailers on their platform and return what doesn’t work.

          • Yes.

          • JuniorMinion, I did check Asos – they have a great line of nursing dresses, but only go up to a 14/16.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s a very casual dress, in any color. It’s the elastic at the waist and the buttons that make it so informal. You will feel out of place even if you try to dress it up.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I feel like in black, with sparkly buttons and a metallic belt over the elastic, and very fancy shoes, it could work. I would give you a pass for sure.

    • Sorry, even in the black, it is too obviously a casual day dress.

    • I’m going to go against the grain here. If you’re so close to the couple that (a) you’re traveling to attend their wedding 7 weeks after having a baby and (b) they’re letting you to bring the baby with you, then I don’t think they’re going to give you a hard time for wearing a silky flowy black dress. It’s not like you’re rolling up in yoga pants and unwashed hair. Wear something that makes you feel comfortable. It’s your presence that matters.

      • +1

      • Two different questions.

        Will your friends give you a hard time? Obviously not.

        Is this appropriate? Also no.

        • If the couple doesn’t care and OP isn’t bothered… who cares? There are bigger fish to fry at 7 weeks postpartum than what’s “appropriate”. I think being able to be there for her friends’ nuptials is more important, being comfortable in what she’s wearing, and able to feed her child is more important.

        • To be honest, I already know the dress is not appropriate (I think I acknowledged that it is not formal and that I was hoping for a pass) but was hoping for thoughts on how to style it to dress it up as much as possible. But the thread got a little derailed :P

          • Idk anything about newborns. Are they, like, moving at 7 weeks? Grabbing things? Putting stuff in their mouth? I’d be worried about a statement necklace or fun earrings getting yanked on or possibly scratching the baby. I’d probably go with a belt, wrap, sparkly shoes, and a sparkly hair clip.

          • Anonattorney :

            @tribble – no. A 7-week old baby will not be grabbing much. They are still floppy at that stage and so pretty much just stay put.

      • TorontoNewbie :

        +1!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      What about a v neck Bill Levkoff bridesmaid’s gown in a solid color like black? I have one that looks like a regular black tie dress.

      You should be able to finagle a b00b free in this one:
      https://www.billlevkoff.com/style/levkoff-bridesmaid-dress/7009/

      If I find the one I have (clasps behind the neck, sweatheart neckline) I’ll post it. I don’t know what size they go up to though.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I have this one. It is more structured but you can unhook the top and loosen the bodice a bit to get access without taking the whole dress off.

        https://www.billlevkoff.com/style/bridesmaid-dress/990/

        There are some strappy v-neck ones on the website too that look accessible.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        One more that is looser

        https://www.billlevkoff.com/style/bridesmaid-dress/1277/

      • Thank you so much, Blonde Lawyer. I am concerned I don’t have time to order a bridesmaid’s dress and have it arrive in time for alternations and the wedding (I have no idea what my 7-week postpartum body is going to look like but I assume it will be different from my 9-month pregnant body and that alterations will be necessary) but I really do appreciate your effort. I’ve been surprised by how difficult this is!

    • That dress is way to casual for a formal wedding in Dallas. I wore a strapless dress to a wedding while I was nursing and that worked fine. I did use a cover and I believe I either nursed in my car or the bride’s suite. I would reach out to the bride and ask if there is secluded place to feed the baby. It’s probably come up at the venue before and while it might not be on the bride’s radar, her coordinator might have some ideas.

      • I’m open to a strapless dress, but where did you find a strapless nursing bra?

        • I didn’t need to wear a bra with the dress (thick enough corset). I think I did put some nursing pads on the inside of the dress though, just in case.

          • Okay, I am a H cup now so would definitely need to wear a bra. I have a formal one-shoulder dress that actually would have worked fine if I could find a nursing bra to wear under it so I was hoping you knew of some magical place to find a strapless nursing bra which would solve all my problems (or this one at least) :P

          • anonymama :

            Can you just wear a regular strapless bra (or one of those convertible ones) and just kind of fold the bra cup down under your boob when you are nursing? Not great for the bra but worked okay for me when I had to do it.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            If you have big b00bs you should be able to just pull one up and over the cup.

    • If you want something that looks formal that you can wear a regular strapped bra with that will still allow access, how about something like this? http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/city-chic-lace-sleeve-pleated-dress?ID=1885357&CategoryID=5467 They also make zip front dresses, like this one: http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/city-chic-super-mesh-dress?ID=2449264&CategoryID=1006029 It’s a little casual, but I think still more structured/stylish than the button front.

    • Is this your first child? Breastfeeding is not as complicated as it seems right now. You can wear almost anything and make it work. Call the venue in advance and see where you can go for some privacy. I also think the dress you posted is fine in black with a blingy necklace if that’s what you want to do. You’ll have enough on your plate at 7 weeks PP…Who cares?!

      • Anonattorney :

        +1. Pick a dress you like and feel pretty in, get a big nursing shawl that will cover your entire top, loosen your dress and lower the bodice, and you’re good to go.

      • Or on the flip side…you may have a baby that refuses to latch for the first 3 months of its life and have to resort to pumping/bottles of breast milk (I did — it worked out in the end but was my first lesson in not getting too attached to my plans).

        • lucy stone :

          This. I pumped exclusively for three months due to latch issues with a post-term baby. Not in my plans at all. Breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone.

    • This is a challenge. I’d personally look for separates. A black midi skirt, loose flowing top and heels. Would a wrap dress work for you? Something like this? http://www.lanebryant.com/paisley-whimsy-wrap-dress-by-kiyonna/prd-241880#color/0000000628

      • If that print is not your style, this dress comes in a lot of other fabrics. http://www.kiyonna.com/plus-size-clothing/Wrap_Dresses.html

    • Out of Place Engineer :

      Hugs — I went to a wedding 5 weeks pp and decided to go shopping the week before. I was a hormonal mess in the fitting room. And the other guests at the wedding were wearing so many sequins I didn’t know where to look! I ended up going with a skirt/blouse combo and was pretty happy with it. No, I was not as formal as other people, but I was was pretty happy that I made it out of the house looking decent. I would definitely investigate a fancy skirt, even if it isn’t the taffeta one linked above, and a nice blouse with sparkly jewelry.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I officiated a wedding wearing a full length, modest wrap dress, less than 3 months postpartum. If it had been black tie, the addition of shiny jewelry would’ve been fine. The bride made sure everyone knew I would need access to the room she used for getting dressed/primped, so I had a lovely quiet spot to nurse. Link to follow.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Oops, they no longer have it in black. http://www.kiyonna.com/plus-size-clothing/13131803 (but there are other wrap options, and 20 percent off with “new2017” today!)

        Hard to tell if this will be nightgown-y or fancy, but http://www.eloquii.com/studio-tuxedo-dress/1244043.html (plus 40 off with “yeahgirl”, damn everything’s on sale)

        I think this is beautiful and it could be quite forgiving and nursing friendly, depending on the fit https://www.macys.com/shop/product/lauren-ralph-lauren-sleeveless-portrait-collar-draped-gown?ID=1104895

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I also want to sympathize. I was so stressed out about what to wear, and like, on some level you really don’t know what your body will be like immediately postpartum. I also had some general not-fitting-in feelings with the whole thing: my background was really different from the couple/most of their friends; I was def the only cusp/plus sized person involved; halp how do babies work, what am I doing!?

        Anyway, I think that wrap dresses in a stretchy material will be the best option. It’ll be a bit of a pain to find something that is jersey but fancy-ish, but it’s possible. Especially if you accessorize well! I think it’s a good split between stepping up to the dress code and using the whole “I just birthed a baby, damn it” thing to your advantage.

    • I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you will feel very very under dressed in this.

      May I suggest the following:

      http://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/city-chic-elegant-sparkle-embellished-maxi-dress-plus-size/4292126?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashionsize=Plus%202X%20(18-20W)&fashioncolor=BLACK

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/loyal-hana-january-print-maternity-nursing-high-low-dress/4391092?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK%2F%20WHITE%20CHEVRON

      • The second one only goes up to a size 10, but I’ve ordered the first one to try. Thank you!

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        This is a tough one and I feel you, because I also went to a wedding with a seven week old! Mine wasn’t as formal, thank goodness. Here’s what I suggest: figure out where you’ll be able to breastfeed. If there is a private space where you can sit down, then wear whatever you like. No one will mind if you literally strip to the waist to feed your baby if you’re in a private space. I think you should call the mother of the bride or the mother of the groom or the bride herself, whomever you are closer to, and ask for help figuring this out. If nothing else, you could always nurse in the car. Your husband should be your ally in this, helping you get set up, holding the baby while you strip and then put clothes back on, etc.

        If there really isn’t anywhere to nurse in private, as it sounds like there might not be, then 1) shake your fist at brides who have their weddings in open fields without anywhere to be in private (I’m including my sister in this list, so I know from which I speak), and 2) go with the City Chic maxi that LHW linked to.

        I know it seems totally daunting right now, but you will get it figured out. I had an awful time nursing my baby (low supply misery, etc.) and I still managed to get to the wedding at seven weeks with the baby and I sort of even had fun! I counted it as a total win. Buy something adorable and fancy for the baby, consider getting your hair done for the wedding to help you feel as pulled together as possible, wear a great lipstick, and call it a day. You’ve got this, mama.

    • Anonymous :

      I had to do this! You’ll be fine. What worked for me was a long stretchy sleeveless black jersey dress that had a very deep v neck in the front and back. I wore a black nursing tank underneath (no bra). When it was time to nurse, I just pulled one shoulder down and unclipped the tank. I used a cover since there were a bunch of people around, but it was really easy to pop things out and close them up afterwards, semi-discreetly. Good luck!

    • Not Legal Counsel :

      I’ve been to a lot of weddings in Dallas, and I’ve worked in the wedding industry in Dallas, as well. I think you’ll look great in that dress. It’s not black tie or formal, but girl, I know Texas weddings. There will be plenty of people who will not be in in black tie or formal attire. You’ll be nursing and will have your baby with you – you need access, and no one will judge you for that. Add some big and blingy accessories (which is part of the expected attire in Dallas), and have fun.

      • This, exactly. I grew up in Dallas, live in the area currently. You’ll be perfectly fine in that black dress. Just wear bling.

    • I flew half a dozen times with my baby before she was one. Its really nothing to worry about, just stay calm and only focus on one step at a time (drive to airport, TSA, flight, etc). My baby enjoyed looking at all the new people and things in the airport. We have stores in Dallas if you forget to pack anything. Seven weeks is easy because they are immobile, and offering them a b()()b fixes most of their problems. Try to get flights in the morning, the colicky ones tend to be fussier in the afternoons/evening.

      Is the wedding really in Dallas, or did you just say Dallas because its the largest city in the area? Dallas itself is a lot more formal than Fort Worth or the other surrounding cities and suburbs.

    • Personally, as a non-parent married person, I think you should wear a comfy knit dress that will allow you to nurse and that you can wear again, and jazz it up with a sparkly shrug and necklace. They’re lucky you’re attending with such a small baby! And if the couple has any decency, they’ll just be glad you’re there.

  5. I love this blazer! Does anyone have it who can report on the fit, etc.?

  6. Shoe brand Q -- what is similar to Brooks Brothers :

    I have loved my Brooks Brothers shoes from a few years ago (have not loved anything there since). It’s like they (2″ block heels) were made for my feet. AT shoes are often cute, but not wide enough for my toes (and yet my heels keep slipping out).

    If you are a BB shoe wearer, what other brands work for your feet?

    • I’m also a brooks brothers shoe wearer and my frequent rotation also includes Cole haan or Franco sarto (although the latter for more casual flats and after a bit of “breaking in” time).

      • I’ll co-sign this from the reverse perspective, because I struggle to wear all 3 of these brands! You might also try Coach.

    • Anonymous :

      Kate Spade, Diane Von Furstenbeg and Stuart Weitzman.

  7. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie :

    I’d like a book recommendation. I heard Americanah is really good and might start with that, but does anyone have any other favorites? I’m aiming to do my part to support female writers, including women of color, and get away from my white-male-dominated bookshelf of classic literature.

    • housecounsel :

      Roxane Gay, Difficult Women (short stories). They’re not light reading, but she is amazing.

    • nylon girl :

      How about the book “The Mothers” by Brit Bennett? It’s getting great press and was a good read. It was one of NPR’s best books of the year along with other award nominations.

    • Louise Erdrich – Native American writer (based out of MN). Round House is her latest, but she has a backlist. We actually read her Love Medicine in high school, and HS-me thought it was decent.

    • Anonymous :

      The Bluest Eye and Beloved by Toni Morrison, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

    • For Adichie, I liked Purple Hibiscus and That Thing Around Your Neck.

      From other authors, I liked Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi, An Untamed State by Roxana Gay, mystery series by Zoe Ferraris…

    • read in color :

      Under the Udala trees – Chinelo Okparanta – also deals with LGBTQ issues, awesome story
      On Black Sisters Street- Chika Unigwe – another favourite, about twilight girls in Europe
      Dust – Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
      The Orchard of Lost Souls – Nadifa Mohamed – set in the time before Somalia breaks into civil war
      The Pickup – Nadine Gordimer
      Unbowed – Wangari Maathai, this is not fiction it is her memoir, she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004
      The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing – Mira Jacobs
      Pleasantville – Attica Locke
      The Fishermen – Chigozie Obioma – well written but for me it felt too sad

    • Marshmallow :

      If you like surrealism, Boy Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi.

    • If you’re asking about favourites just by her, Americanah is SO good. Enjoy it. Follow with Half of a Yellow Sun.

    • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie :

      Thank you everyone!!

    • A Separation by Katie Kitamura

    • Loved Americanah.

    • Try anything by Zadie Smith or Nell Zink

    • Senior Attorney :

      I loved Kindred by Octavia Butler. African American woman time travels from late 20th century California to slavery-era South. Amazing.

    • Homegoing, by Ya’a Gyasi. Family saga told in linked short stories spanning 400 years, Ghana, and the US. Really well done; you’ll be amazed it’s a first novel.

    • Also, if you’re looking at Latin America, try In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez.

      I also loved Jam! on the Vine (loosely based on Ida B Wells) and Country of Red Azaleas (more recent, women from the Balkans).

    • Anonymous :

      Jhumpa Lahiri is fantastic, especially her short story collections (Interpreter of Maladies and Unaccustomed Earth.)

  8. I’m so happy to have found this site! The commenters here have given me amazing advice. The only downside is that I’m in Europe – does anyone know of a European version of this blog?

    Another question… does anyone have a recommendation for a jardigan/blazer for someone with a short torso? I’m otherwise a regular US size 8, but blazer and button shirt waists hit my hips. I don’t care for boxy styles, so I thought a jardigan could be the answer? Any other solutions?

    • I don’t think there’s a European equivalent, sadly!

      • This. I’ve asked a few times here and there but no suggestions so far. There are a few Canadians and Brits on here but not many Europeans.

      • That’s too bad. There are a lot of good European brands but as a new mom I don’t have time to wade through and try on everything and I have received spot on recommedations here!

    • I buy all my blazers in Zara and Mango. I like them a lot, they are just right on me, but I don’t know if they fit short torso.

      Signed, Fellow European :)

  9. Marshmallow :

    I’m hopping mad at Sephora right now and am wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences/ tips on how to resolve this.

    I subscribe to the Sephora Play monthly box. Back in November, I got a new debit card. Sephora emailed me that my $10 monthly subscription didn’t go through (because it was attached to the old card), so I updated my payment information, they charged me my $10, sent me my box, hunky dory. I’ve been getting my box monthly since then without issue.

    Last night I placed my first online order since then. I got an email saying that my payment could not be authorized. So I called this morning and apparently way back in November, my bank had automatically submitted a dispute about that $10 charge because it went in twice. Sephora has me on some kind of blacklist for a “chargeback,” even though I didn’t actually dispute anything, the payment went through, and this was months ago. Not to mention they don’t mind taking my recurring $10 monthly– they just don’t want to accept my order now. They won’t take another card, either, because the flag is on my whole account.

    I called my bank and they confirmed that the dispute was only open for a few business days and was resolved before Thanksgiving. I never even knew it happened. I’m extremely frustrated because I kept trying to explain to Sephora that there IS no dispute, the dispute does not exist, the dispute is a lie. They keep saying I need to tell my bank to close the dispute, I say the dispute IS closed, we get nowhere.

    Any ideas? I’m supposed to get a call back from a supervisor but they don’t seem to know what they’re doing. And even if there had been some kind of issue over a $10 charge, I’m pretty angry and frankly offended they would blackball my entire account over it rather than actually call or email me and try to resolve it. I know huge corporations don’t care about losing a customer, but I was already on the fence about the Play box subscription and at the very least I’m going to cancel that.

    • I had a somewhat related experience at Sephora recently and I wonder if they’re caused by the same issue. I’m a VIB Rouge (which means I spend WAY TOO MUCH $$ every year there!), and I tried to return some perfume my husband had bought me. I didn’t have the receipt (because I didn’t want to tell him I was returning it) and I was trying to exchange for other items (so not get any $$ back). They wouldn’t do it because it was over a certain $$ amount, and they wouldn’t budge, even though I’ve been a VIB for years. They told me that they’ve contracted with a 3rd party entity that is doing all of their “fraud detection” now – so this company will attempt to identify fraudulent situations and put a stop to them. According to the multiple Sephora employees I spoke with (including a district manager), they don’t have any ability to override this 3rd party’s determination. It made no sense to me, and I told them it was terrible customer service, but I ended up finding the receipt for the perfume so I dropped the issue. I wonder if this 3rd party company is somehow involved in your situation? Sorry if that’s not at all helpful, but thought I’d offer it up just in case – they usually have great customer service, so I was really surprised about the whole situation.

      • Marshmallow :

        Ugh. I’m on hold with them right now and every representative seems to just have the attitude, “There’s a flag on your account, you need to wait until it goes away.” Uh… okay… since November? There really is no other recourse?

        And the plot thickens! While on the phone, I checked my account and remembered that I DID place a couple of online orders since November. So why wait four months? Makes no sense.

        • I find I get the worse customer service (across the board, not Sephora specifically) over the phone. Try tweeting or posting on their facebook page and you might get better service.

        • File with the BBB. That’s how I got an equally nutty flag from Loft taken off my credit card. They were utterly useless on the straight AT/Loft customer service, but they responded IMMEDIATELY to by BBB filing.

        • Marshmallow :

          Good tips both, thank you.

          Apparently they are giving me some extra Insider points (I couldn’t care less, but thanks I guess?) and working to “resolve” the issue with their internal fraud department. I’ll give them till the end of the business day and then reach out by social media and/or file a BBB complaint.

          I mean, really, I just want to give them my money!

    • Baby it’s time to back away from the Sephora. They are treating you like crap and they are far from the only makeup game in town. Make an account at Ulta or do your shopping at Nordstrom. And tell them why. Vote with your wallet.

      • Marshmallow :

        I don’t know why, but I definitely read this comment in the voice of Louise from Bob’s Burgers. “Baby, back away. Shhhhh.”

    • Late to the party but I had a similar issue (different company) resolved by getting both my bank and the company on the phone at the same time via a three way call.

  10. Nelly Yuki :

    Any personal reviews of Third Love? The last comment on this brand didn’t get much action. I’m specifically interested to hear from bustier ladies, as I am a 36DDD. I need something that can hold me up for 12-14 hours a day without painfully digging into my skin.

    • Marshmallow :

      I was investigating ThirdLove and wound up going with Lively for a recent bra order instead. 34DD here. I was pleasantly surprised with the support offered by Lively’s no wire bra. I really can wear it all day, very comfortably, and it gives a nice shape under shirts just like an underwire would. The T-shirt bra was a little tight in the band, so I ordered a 36D (on its way now) and we’ll see how it fits. But I found the construction to be really great, very lightweight, and I love the J hook in the back so you can convert the straps. Plus you really can’t beat $25-$35 for a bra when you are busty.

      • $25-$35?? I thought their bras were $50-$60 at least? Do they have sales I dont know about? If so please share!

        • Yeah, I am a big Thirdlove fan (I own four of their bras) and that price seems completely off – mine were about $60 each.

        • Marshmallow :

          Lively’s bras are $35 full price! If you bundle two or three together, you save $5 or $10 per bra. And they have a loyalty program that gives you $10 off your first order once you create an account. I felt like I was stealing from them!

          And while we’re at it, here’s a referral link that gets us both enough points for $10 off. http://prz.io/zlGLGOIR

        • Marshmallow :

          Oh I see the miscommunication– I looked into ThirdLove but wound up not ordering from them, and ordered from Lively instead. Partially because of the price difference we all just noted. Sorry, not privy to any secret ThirdLove sales. :)

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I want to love them. But I haven’t gotten a bra that fits yet…

      Ordered a bra from them in January. It didn’t fit. Returned it for a half size up. They sent me the same size as the original (immediately, to their credit- didn’t wait for me to send the other one back). Waiting for the new one to arrive now.

      The customer service seems great, but I do not have any idea how the bras fit because I don’t have one that fits.

    • I found them to be pinchy and cheap in that way VS bras are. I wasn’t impressed.

  11. I’ll be going to grad school (2 year program likely to extend into phd for another 3-4 years) in the fall and thankfully wont have to pay any tuition/will have a small stipend. This is all great but four years out of undergrad and I realized I’ve become accustomed to my great no-roommate lifestyle. I live in a large studio which is fine for my budget now but I’ll soon be making 45% of my salary. Would it be foolish to take out a loan (around 10-15k) to make the difference to keep my place for a few years or should I just suck it up and get roommates/leave at or below my means like everyone else? I live in a great area and its only about 45 mins by bus from my university but I’m torn because I dont have any undergrad loans and leaving masters completely student loan free would be great…

    Also any advice on going from having your place to finding/living with roommates again would be greatly appreciated!

    • Can you live in a studio in a more affordable neighborhood? I don’t think I could go back to living with random roommates – maybe a friend but not someone from Craigslist.

      • Unfortunately no, the studios/1 bedrooms are more expensive than my place (they only have luxury buildings) buy a couple hundred a month (they must be for professors because I dont know who would choose to live in a luxury condo/apartment in a college town).

        There is a roommate finder site for other students (mostly grad students) looking for either a two bedroom or house to split the rent with so I dont think I’ll have to go the random Craigslist route thank god.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d get roommates, at least for the first two years until you know whether you’re doing the PhD.

      • +1

        You are not going to live as frugally as you would hope, and would wind up with more debt than you expect, without cheap loans.

        How much is your stipend? Are you talking about taking out 10-15k every year!?! Absolutely no no no.

        Unless you are in a high earning profession. But rarely do I see that after 6 year PhDs.

        I would look into grad student housing, if they have it. That was the only way I managed to continue to live alone. I would also live closer to campus, as 45 minutes by bus in traffic and weather gets long. And it isolates you a bit from the school community. And I would live with other grad students /post docs.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        I agree with finding a roommate. Maybe another grad student would be a good fit. Another student would be more understanding of the need for quiet/studying/exam schedules,etc. I lived with roommates in law school who were not students and it was tough when they were not respectful. Try reaching out to the university to see if they have any good resources.

        • Thanks guys! I found the school’s roommate finder/off campus housing website and I’ll likely use that as a resource plus ask friends if they know of anyone needing a roommate/has a spot open in their house (I went there for undergrad and know some people who might still be there).

    • I’d definitely downsize, if getting a smaller place is not an option, find roommates, many schools have listservs where you can post roommate requests.Getting a loan to pay for this is not the greatest idea.
      Also RE: Getting a PhD, have a clear idea of why you are getting one, i.e. if you want an academic career or not. It’s not an absolute necessity for most career paths and there are opportunity costs, for one you are stepping away from a paying job for an extended period of time, and earning less.

      • Yeah thats what I’m leaning towards. My parents who never had to take out any student loans think its worth it for piece of mind but I calculated my living expenses and it seems like it would be pretty stressful/Id likely end up being more than a 10-15k smallish loan. I think I’m mostly comparing it to the initial 80k+ i was going to pay for a private school but loans are loans I guess. I should probably suck it up and live like the 22k/year earner I will be =/

        In terms of PhD I’m 60/40 considering it because I love research and would love to be a PI on studies but I know its possible to have a fulfilling career without it. I’m going into epi/biostats btw. What was your PhD in/what made you decide to go for it?

        • My PhD is in Chemistry i.e. that is what is written on my certificate. But in terms of experience and the coursework I took, I am an in the geosciences i.e. research in oceanography and atmospheric sciences. I got it because I wanted to be a Prof. i.e. teach, I chose the Phd because I knew from the beginning that if I was to teach I would prefer college and not high school. But by the time I was done, I realized that I enjoy research but teaching, not so much. I was also pretty burnt-out from grad school teaching, did not want to go on. Also as someone else has pointed out below, teaching pays very poorly in general because of the move to universities using adjuncts. I think epidemiology and biostatistics is interesting and certainly one where you would easily find work, I’m just making this assumption because I think there is a need for professionals in that area. One caveat about being a PI is that in academia it also comes with having to raise money through grants–some people are more successful than others. Depending on your temperament or what stage of life you are in, this can be a stressful part of the job. You should find out what other places people with doctorates in epi/biostats work, there are PIs in gov’t labs too and research institutes. Find out whether it is “soft” money (it’s a term used in my field for when you are responsible for raising your own salary), or they are paid a salary. IMO, only get a PhD if you feel that you really want an academic career or that if you never get to be a PI you would be missing out on something. I think that in terms of earning power, the bump between your Masters vs. the PhD would not be so great as to justify the additional years of schooling. But of course before making a final decision, do your research on trends in your field.

          • Thanks for replying! I was more interested in govt labs/institutes like NIH and research institutes/firms. I’m not really sure if I want to go into academia at a university mostly due to the soft money issue you mentioned but I’ll definitely talk to some people when I start the program to get a sense of how far I can go with just a masters and also do research on the trends in my field.

          • science geek :

            You are picking a fantastic field. There are lots of great opportunities. One of my grad school roommates did this, and she has a fantastic job in San Francisco in one of the hottest biotech companies. There are tons tons tons of scientists doing exciting medical/scientific research that desperately need biostats experts to collaborate with who can help them design experiments and analyze data. Yes, you can work in academia, industry, silicon valley start-ups, NIH….

            Good luck!!

        • Just a masters :

          Hi! Good luck with your decisions!

          I dropped out of my PhD program (top 10) in chemistry, wrote up a Masters, and never looked back. It was the right decision for me because I was never interested in academia or government labs. Going in, I wanted to go into industry, but I ended up finding a “non traditional” career path in a niche area, and then I found my unicorn job. It helps that I am making more than any of the PhDs I started with except probably for the few that went to startups in Northern California d the opportunity cost was a moderated one since I only lost 2.5 years after college to low-income grad school years while many who stuck out the PhD both came out jaded and having lost 6-7 years plus a couple more for post docs before really getting their income and retirement started. For me, that path wasn’t worth it. For them, hey, cool, I am glad they can do cool science.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’d see if you can supplement your income if it’s a small gap–I know my petsitters are in grad school and they’re great because they have a non-traditional schedule (i.e. they’re not in an office for 8 hrs a day).

    • I actually have thoughts on this as a current PhD student. No direct experience, I lived in halls for two years and then moved in with my husband but depending on your working style, I might actually consider living with professionals if that’s an option in your town.

      I try to keep to a working day schedule and find some of my PhD colleagues quite trying (weird, weird hours, general life angst). PhD programmes are an absolute pressure cooker and living with “normal” people can help you maintain your perspective.

    • Is there any way for you to keep the studio without taking out loans? Are you in a rent-controlled apartment? What is the rental market like in your city? There could be an argument for keeping the studio if the other options are significantly farther away or not actually all that much cheaper. Moving can be expensive. Would the 10-15K loans be per year or total? Where else can you cut costs (cable bill, fancy grocery/eating out bill)? I had a small loan for my Master’s (I think 10K or less), which was basically to supplement my savings/to cover living expenses, since my tuition was similarly covered. I had no stipend though until my 3rd term. I was able to pay it back quickly and it wasn’t an issue.

    • How good is the job market in your field? If you’re going into economics, go for it – you’re more or less certain to be able to get a job that will pay enough that the loans won’t be a big deal. If you’re going into art history, then avoid debt like the plague. Trying to pay back loans while you are adjuncting for less than your grad stipend is not fun.

    • anon a mouse :

      Do not take out a loan for this! Honestly though 45 minutes commute seems long. 90 minutes a day commuting? I’d look for a cheaper option closer to campus, even if it means sacrificing some privacy. Figure out what your commute costs are in your current place and use them towards a closer place.

    • If the 10-15K is for the whole time, then yes, by all means take out a loan. If not, you need to weigh your ability to recoup that 60K investment.

    • I wouldn’t get roommates but I also would not get a loan to stay in the apartment. Can you supplement your income through dog-sitting? I know many people who do this through rover dot com. Depending on your field, tutoring may be an option too.

    • OMG, no do not take out a loan just to subsidize your lifestyle.

    • southsider :

      Recent PhD grad here. If the 10-15k is over the life of the program, AND you think you can finish in a reasonable amount of time, AND you are going into a field afterward where you can comfortably pay the loan off in short order, then yes, absolutely go for it. PhD life is hard enough; it’s important to have a home space that is comfortable and makes your life better and easier. If for you that means no roommates and no moving stress, then by all means make the investment.

  12. I want to thank everyone for your advice about what’s feminist enough in an SO in the weekend thread. I didn’t respond to everyone individually, but I read every single comment and spent time over the weekend thinking about that. No answers yet, but I feel like I’ve got some direction on how to figure out what I value/need the most and how to have those conversations with SO. I’m very grateful for your advice.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      I didn’t respond but also really enjoyed reading it. As an additional piece of anecdata… my husband doesn’t like the label “feminist”. He feels like it’s infringing for a cis-man to say that they’re feminist and he doesn’t feel comfortable with that. He’d probably be fine if I insisted on calling him an “ally” or equivalent but I don’t really see the need. He’s as feminist as they come. He supported me going back to school, working longer hours and with a higher salary that he does. He was raised in large part by a dad who worked from home. He does more of the household chores than I do. The occasional quirk (he likes being the one in a restaurant who pays, he’s not comfortable with a label) really doesn’t matter to me. I also have quirks!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I hope it works out in a way you’re happy with! It’s really good that you’re thinking about this stuff on the front end!

    • Spirograph :

      I also enjoyed this thread. I had an interesting conversation with my husband about what it means to be a feminist, and he, in turn, brought it up with his male friend who joined us for family dinner last night. Listening to two men discuss what it means to be a feminist and a father of boys kind of made my weekend.

      Thanks, everyone, for the food for thought.

  13. No time for ironing anymore :

    Has anyone tried Unstainable by Elisabeth&Clark? Has anyone found good shirts that don’t wrinkle?

    • I just got a rayon blouse from Uniqlo that comes out wrinkle-free from the dryer. It is definitely sheer so needs an undershirt, but I think it looks pretty sophisticated — like silk but without the hassle. Also, I christened it by spilling red sauce on it the first day I wore it, and the stains came out with stain remover.

      • No time for ironing anymore :

        Do you remember which one you have?

        • This one, I think: https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/women-rayon-long-sleeve-blouse-173273.html?dwvar_173273_color=COL00&cgid=#q=rayon%2Bshirt&lang=default&start=18

    • Wildkitten :

      I bought a steamer to stop paying so much for dry cleaning and I prefer it to ironing.

      • +1 this. Plus, a steamer works a lot better than hanging your clothes by the shower and hoping for the best. I hate ironing.

  14. Putting my husband’s name first on nursery applications…any chance that’ll encourage them to contact him before they contact me? Also, the joys of an extended nursery waitlist: Child’s Name: Baby….

    • Get used to them calling you first for everything. I have had to train both of The Kid’s schools to even try to call the hubs at all (because the order for us goes my office, his office, my cell, his cell — because if one of us is in court, that has to come first).

    • That’s how it works for my daycare. My husband is listed first and gets the first call. Unfortunately, that means he also received all the email updates and I was left in the dark. We fixed that with by auto-forwarding all of those emails over to me as well.

      • Out of Place Engineer :

        I just want to share this great tip — we created a new email address just for school stuff. We both have access to it & we can forward to our personal accounts if we want. No more one parent in the dark going on — there is no excuse not to check the communal email address!

        • Such a good idea. Saving it in my thissite evernote lifehacks folder

          • And now I learned a thissite lifehack – Start a thissite evernote lifehacks folder. Such a great idea, Cb!

        • When we got married, we actually created a new email address for all family business items. We send bills, account/bank information, health insurance, and now daycare stuff to that account. We each get the emails on our phones. An added bonus is that that account doesn’t get clogged up with shopping lists, etc., so we actually see the important stuff.

    • Sadly, not a chance. I actually wrote on the application “[Husband] is primary contact on weekdays for all illness, pick-up/drop-off and other issues” and I was still the one who was called at 10:00am on a Wednesday to confirm our mutual street address.

      We don’t know what our baby’s last name will be (HusbandsLast if it’s a boy, MyLast if it’s a girl) so we couldn’t even write Baby LastName on the application. Explaining that to each daycare administrator got pretty tiresome pretty quickly.

      • AnonMidwest :

        Oh I love that you’re doing this with the last names!!! As a last of my name female it rubbed me the wrong way that I didn’t get to pass my name along. And this was my solution, but my ex objected strongly. I’m now beyond the “having a child” years. But I vocally encourage this for all my friends still in those years that have mentioned it.

        • I love this too. We combined our last names but stupidly did not include a hyphen so we’ve made everything doubly complicated. Finally the health service just added a hyphen b/c it wouldn’t stick in the system.

          Largely a moot issue for this nursery as they have a 3 year wait list, baby will be going to school before they get in.

          • So interesting! Like, Caroline Doe and Andrew James became the DoeJames’s?

          • Yep, but with a space. So my last his last. It’s a bit goofy sounding, a color + animal, think Grey Fox but a built in mascot. I wasn’t particularly fussed but it was important to my husband that we shared a name (he was willing to take my surname).

          • Oh yeah with a space I don’t think anyone reads that as a double last name. Just looks like you both have a middle then a last.

        • I would not want my daughter and son to have different last names.

          • Good for her, not for you. Repeat as needed. :)

          • Yes, and?

          • Then this would not be a good option for you! Of course, perhaps I will just have daughters and this will never become an issue :P

          • Cool! You don’t have to do that!

          • Senior Attorney :

            Good thing your daughter and son won’t have different last names then!

          • Anonymous :

            what everyone else said about to each her own, but I actually think it would be really interesting to have a different last name from siblings. I’m the oldest, but I know my younger siblings had teachers with preconceived notions based on teachers’ experiences with me. It would probably go along way toward letting younger siblings truly have their own chance to make a first impression.

            That said, my family all has the same last name.

          • lawsuited :

            Right?! One of the primary concerns people have expressed to us is that teachers won’t know our children are related, or alternatively will think they are half siblings. Personally, I don’t think it matters if folks think they are half siblings, and think teachers not knowing they’re related would be a total plus!

          • Wildkitten :

            For my friends who have done this, the gender of the first kid dictates the last name for all other kids.

          • Senior Attorney :

            WK, I love this so much!!

    • My husband usually does both drop off and pick up and they stopped calling me for anything, including the time my husband had an important meeting and told them to call me if they needed anything. They also act like he is a widower and a saint for being SUCH an involved father! I’m guessing the 99% of moms who do the drop offs and pick ups don’t get the same praise.

    • Just to apologize on behalf of the people who always call Mom…

      I worked at a summer camp for several years. You learned pretty quickly that calling fathers was usually a waste of time and resulted in, “ummmm… can you call my wife?” Anything from vaccinations to friend disputes to logistics. Some fathers weren’t even aware that their kids were going to camp.
      I eventually defaulted to always calling Mom, and I felt guilty for enforcing gender roles… but at the same time, I got 200 kids here; I’m trying to be efficient!

      It’s wrong that people act amazed when fathers are involved in managing their children’s lives, but believe me, but when you’re on the side of the people at daycares and schools and camps, and you see how many fathers are completely oblivious to the day to day happenings of their kids, you take notice when there is a father who is on the ball. It’s depressingly unusual.

      The only exception would be if there was a note that explicitly said that Dad should be called first. I did have to chuckle one time though: all our forms noted that Dad had primary custody and should be the only one contacted, and when I called him, he gave me the number of his wife, the kids’ stepmother, to get the info I needed.

  15. festival bag recommendation :

    Looking for recommendations for a small backpack style handbag or maybe even a medium sized cross body. I’m going to multi-day music festival in the spring and looking for a bag that can hold my essentials, snacks, a water bottle, and a jacket. I would prefer nylon or faux leather and under $100.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I would normally hate to promote an MLM but I have a vinyl cross body black handbag from Thirty One that is awesome. It looks like the one I have is no longer for sale on their website but if you know anyone who sells it, they might still have some in their inventory.

    • I’ve used one like this I bought several years ago for festivals. It’s very light weight and convenient to carry in both backpack and purse modes.

      https://www.amazon.com/Baggallini-Gold-International-Mendoza-Charcoal/dp/B01FULD186/ref=sr_1_2?srs=2529003011&ie=UTF8&qid=1489418102&sr=8-2&keywords=convertible+backpack

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I have this — http://www.baggallini.com/backpacks/mendoza-backpack/CBP112-BG.html#start=2 00 can def. be had for cheaper on other websites. I actually use it both ways, as a backpack and as a shoulder bag, and I don’t think it looks incredibly stupid either way. It holds a good amount of stuff — it’s my go-to for a day out with the toddler, and it’s not full with my wallet, sunglasses, scarf/light hoodie, keys, phone, chapstick, whatever, and a change of clothes and a few toys for her. It’s really light weight and has held up well!

    • No trying to be a smart arse, but how about the lululemon festival bag? I LOVE mine.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I love the cross body Kavu rope sling bags. They hold a ton and are easy to wear. I don’t even notice I have mine on most of the time.

    • Check Kipling and anello for backpacks. I think Kipling has a lot of variety, esp for medium crossbody with lots of compartments.

  16. Into my third month of fighting my insurance/doctor for incorrect billing of IUD-related expenses. It’s only $50-100 of copays, but I’m just beyond confused about how this relatively routine matter, 7 years into the ACA, is not a no-brainer on both sides. I received incorrect information from the insurer help desk and my inquiries seem to have only increased my bill, inexplicably.

    I almost want to pay it just to get it over with, but I’m hoping my willingness to fight it will help someone else out in the future. Meanwhile… just hoping the office doesn’t send my bill to collections while I duke it out with the insurance.

    • Welcome to my world. I am fighting the incorrect billing of a preventative screening which was invoiced to me to the tune of ~$600. UM, NOPE.

      • *incorrect coding

      • Yikes and godspeed! I really wish they would be more transparent with the billing codes – I have enough familiarity with them that I almost wish I just had paid out of pocket and filed with the insurance myself so that I didn’t have to figure out whether the insurance or the doctor screwed up.

        • I had no trouble finding the correct codes on my own! And I told them at scheduling AND at my visit that it was a preventative screening, including bringing the list of preventative care offered by my insurance with me! Since I pay out of pocket for everything up to my $2k deductible, then co-insurance up to $4k after that, I don’t go to my PCP for anything that isn’t preventative.

    • Marshmallow :

      I had something VERY similar happen to me. Insurance covered the IUD device and insertion 100%, but refused to cover the mandatory next-day ultrasound. To top it off, my doctor incorrectly billed me for a “sick” visit on top of the IUD visit– my guess is this was an attempt to get a payment out of the insurance to make up for the reduced profit on the IUD. I was able to get the incorrect duplicate visit removed, but the insurance was immovable on the ultrasound charge and I finally paid it because it was a relatively small amount. Needless to say, I’m not a patient at that office anymore after the shady charge and some other negative experiences.

      Solidarity, my friend. This shouldn’t be so hard.

      • That is super shady–I have never heard of a mandatory next-day ultrasound, just a 4-week check that did not involve ultrasound and was covered as part of the insertion.

      • Marshmallow :

        Maybe it wasn’t the next day, but it was soon after. They did a trans-V ultrasound to check the position of the IUD and make sure the uterine wall was not perforated. Is that not normal?

        And yes, the dupe visit was ultra shady. There were notes in there that I was complaining of abdominal pain! So it wasn’t that they innocently got a code wrong, it was very clearly fabricated.

        • I didn’t have an ultrasound either, but instead follow up a month or so later where they did a physical exam but no ultrasound. I thought the ultrasound was if they thought it had perforated (you were complaining of pain, etc), which I think is very rare? That doctor does sound shady.

        • Nope, trans-v ultrasound to check position of IUD is not normal, in my experience. My doc checks its position without using one.

          • Marshmallow :

            >__>

            Well, great to know now. I remember hating it and now I get to feel extra violated with the knowledge that said shady doc only did it to get an extra payment out of my insurance company. Excellent!

          • I’ve had one done (for something completely unrelated to the IUD) and feel for you. They’re super uncomfortable even when necessary.

            I would consider filing a complaint against the AMA about this doctor. He performed an unnecessary and invasive procedure on you and I think that’s highly questionable ethics.

            I’m sorry you experienced this. :(

          • pugsnbourbon :

            When I couldn’t find my strings during one of my self-checks, they did an ultrasound to confirm that it hadn’t shifted. The follow-up after insertion was just a physical exam.

            They found an ovarian cyst during that ultrasound which was incorrectly coded as “infertility treatment”, leading to a series of bills similar to what OP describes.

        • I had this. For my OB, the ultrasound is not standard for all patients, but I had to get one because I actually ejected the first IUD she placed when I sneezed before the procedure was finished. My OB was concerned that I might be more prone to have them dislodge in general. I also had to pay for it.

          • That’s seriously dumb. I don’t think they can call it a “100% covered service” if all the medically recommended services associated with it aren’t 100% covered as well. :(

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I’m so sorry, Marshmallow.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          I specifically asked by gyn about ultrasound to confirm placement and was told it’s not necessary. So yea, super shady.

      • Ugh, that sucks. I really like the nurses and doctors at the place I go to, but the billing people are super opaque and after this I’m not interested in going back for anything more than a physical. I checked ahead of time with the insurance to see if I could get a consultation visit prior to the insertion covered as it was unclear in my plan documents, and they said yes… but now they say no. I’m willing to let that one go, but now they’re also charging me for the insertion visit and the 4-week follow-up – and refused my appeal. Needless to say they’ll be hearing from me again…

        • Funny story, I just called insurance and they said that the way mine was billed was similar to yours – a “sick” visit on top of the covered insertion. Total BS. I think I’ll be looking for a new provider for future routine visits, even though I like my doctor.

    • Commiseration. I’m still paying $30/mo for my BC. I need the name brand and the doctor prescribed it as such. Insurance just will. not. pay. for name brand.

    • I feel you. I’m going through cancer testing (so far so good) but my last PET scan pre-authorizatoin was denied because PET scans aren’t supposed to be used to diagnose Alzheimers.

      I read that letter and I was like – who coded my condition Alzheimers? Then I wondered if I had Alzheimers and had just forgotten.

      • Anonymous :

        Haha the last sentence made me laugh out loud. I hope all goes well with your testing and you get good results.

    • Wildkitten :

      Call the National Women’s Law Center.

      • I am not a Ob-Gyn or primary care physician, so no idea about IUD visit/billing. But I want to give the ‘other side’ perspective from physician’s side. When I see a patient, I have no idea what their insurance is. Yes, I can look it up if the need arises, but it will not tell me about what is covered and what is not covered. And I feel that is how it should be – my exam and treatment recommendations should be based on what the complaints/problem/diseases are, what I find on exam and what treatment and work up is needed. It should not be dictated by what the insurance allows and does not allow, but what is the best practice for that particular condition (unless it is elective or cosmetic procedure). I am a specialist, so does not code for preventative care as much. But I have heard a lot of discussion about preventative care/wellness visits versus ‘sick’ visits. It is very narrow window that most insurers label as preventative care and vary from insurer to insurer. In addition, if you tell the doctor any complaint during what is scheduled as wellness visit, it can no longer be coded as wellness visit. “Since I am here, why don’t you look at this mole” or “I have been having these headaches for a while” etc etc. When the doctor walks into an examination room, most of the time he/she does not know whether it is wellness visit or a normal doctor’s visit. It would help if you did not give a list of things that is bothering you for 10 minutes and then say, “but I am here only for a routine preventative exam.” Or what happens if the doctor does find something abnormal during the exam – it is no longer a wellness visit. The other issue is when you have ‘routine’ labs done. Many think since I am having my blood drawn why don’t I do ‘xyz’ too. But if anything other than what is included by your insurer as the preventative care is done at the same time, most insurers apparently will bill you for the whole thing. Most of the time it is not intentional – for example, your PCP ordered basic/routine labs, another specialist ordered another set of labs and you decided to have all of them done at the same time. If the coding is not done correctly by the lab, then you end up paying for all the tests since the same code was used for all of them.

        BTW, please do not think that doctors are evil geniuses waiting for any opportunity to fleece the patients. Most of the short 15 minute visits do not pay enough to pay our overhead charges even. That is why the hospitals and clinics want us to see more and more patients. To get an idea, in my specialty, if I see a Medicaid patient for a new patient consultation that lasts any where from 45 minutes to an hour, Medicaid pays me about 40 dollars. With Medicare it is roughly 80-140 dollars. Depending on practice, 40-60% of it will go as overhead charges. How much does the lawyers charge per hour?

  17. Posting late in the morning, but I thought of thissite when I heard about Trump firing the U.S. Attorneys. Sending positive vibes to all who are persisting!

  18. Please judge me! Was I wrong? :

    Good morning. I could really use the perspective and wisdom of the hive his morning. My SO of 4.5 years and I had a bad disagreement and I would like honest feedback about the appropriateness (or lack thereof) of my behavior.

    I spent this past weekend in a party city for a bachelorette weekend. My SO’s very elderly parents happened to be traveling to the same city for their anniversary trip. When his dad found out I’d be in town he said that it’d be great together if our schedules aligned. SO said several times he understood that my schedule was tight and it was ok either way. I adore his parents so I told him I would do everything I could to spend time with them. The bach weekend itinerary had a few hours of downtime built in so before I left for the weekend I reached out to parents and said I should be free starting at 2p but I would follow up the day of to confirm. Well the day we were scheduled to meet, everything was running behind (getting 6 people to get dressed up and anywhere on time can be tough!). I reached out at noon to ask if we could please meet closer to 4:30p. They declined, saying they were leaving for a show at 5:30. They said that they were sorry they’d miss me this time around but did not want to have to rush. I could have left the bach festivities an hour early and pressured his folks to meet me at 3:30p instead. I felt afraid to disappoint the bride (the reason I was even there!) and admittedly felt a bit like an intrusion on his parents’ weekend anyway so I let it go.

    My SO has been furious with me ever since. He has taken the position that I don’t care about his family (I do) and that I blew off his sweet parents (I don’t think I did). Had I known he’d be so upset, I would’ve behaved differently. However, I took him at his word that he understood my schedule was tight. Another thing at play is his parents are old and he doesn’t like them traveling alone. Maybe knowing I’d see them and check on them made him feel better and I disappointed him. That is just my speculation based on his reaction. I feel awful that I disappointed him and also bad that he thinks I mistreated his parents.

    Can I please have a reality check? Did I behave badly?

    • First Year Anon :

      No. IMO you did nothing wrong. You were travelling for another reason and you followed up with them appropriately. Your SO is being ridiculous.

    • No, I’m surprised that you would even attempt to meet them at all! It sounds like they didn’t really mind, either. Your husband is being controlling and is getting angry at you for something that has nothing to do with you. His parents are allowed to travel if they want to.

    • No, you didn’t do anything wrong. He said it was OK either way, and your FIL said “if your schedules aligned” and they didn’t. SO doesn’t get to change his mind about being OK with you not connecting with his parents after the fact, especially considering it doesn’t sound like they themselves are upset about it.

    • If he’s “furious” then his reaction is pretty over the top. I could see him being disappointed. Not furious. You seem like a very nice person and I don’t mean this harshly, but you came off as flaky to his parents. You were doing your best to please everyone when it was simply impossible to do so. Personally I would’ve said no to his parents with my regrets. If you were going to make plans with his parents then you should’ve stuck to them, b-party be damned (which, again, I don’t think is the right approach and that’s why I would’ve declined meeting up with them). Your strategy would’ve been fine with a friend or maybe with your own family, but it’s best err on the side of being more formal with your SO’s family.

      • +1 to everything tribble said.
        I definitely think your SO is over-reacting, but I also disagree with the posters above that you did nothing wrong. You may have done the best you could under the circumstances, but the reality is you flaked on his parents. Of course, to keep your date with the parents you would have had to bail on the bach party. I think the correct thing to have done (in hindsight) would have been to politely decline to his parents from the get-go and explain that you would be busy with bach party activities. I’d have been annoyed if I were your SO and you did to my parents what you did to his. I would just tell your SO you’re sorry and that you’ll know for the future not to try to schedule things with his parents when you may have another plans. He should let it go at that point and if he doesn’t, the real issue is his extreme over-reaction, not the fact that you kind of flaked.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. His reaction is completely inappropriate and over the top. You also blew off his parents last minute and never should have suggested that you were available.

      • Senior Attorney :

        All of this. But in the “who is more wrong” contest here, I think your SO takes the prize. You messed up but he is messing up worse by being a jerk about it.

        Maybe you can smooth things over by falling on your sword a bit.

      • I agree with this too. Asking to meet up 2.5 hours later, on only 2 hours’ notice, is basically flaking. But this should not be a volcanic fight.

        • This. You have to realize that these are someone else’s OLD parents. Do you know how regimented and scheduled the elderly are? If you say you’re going to show at 2:30, you need to show then. This isn’t like your 30 yr old girlfriend who you can text and push it back an hr here or an hr there and they’ll just chill. They plan their days in a certain way and get all up in arms if ANYTHING is off schedule. While they said it nicely to you that it wouldn’t work out, I bet they expressed to their son that you bailed on them – and that’s what he’s mad about – that now they think his girlfriend is irresponsible, doesn’t care about his side of the family etc. Shouldn’t be a volcanic fight, but I bet you it’s coming from him feeling bad that his OLD parents are upset – not from the fact that you wanted to push something back for 2.5 hrs.

          • Who said the parents were elderly? If the OP and her spouse are in their 20s or even their early 30s, his parents could be in just their mid to late 50s. Meaning in, oh, the same range as Senior Attorney and me. ;)

          • OP said “very elderly parents” — do you think I just made that up? I don’t imagine that these are someone’s 50 yr old parents bc typically that isn’t “very elderly” and an SO wouldn’t feel better if OP had gone to check on them when traveling. So I’m guessing 70-80+

          • OP said, ” Another thing at play is his parents are old and he doesn’t like them traveling alone.” While age is just a number, OP didn’t suggest her SO was crazy for not liking them traveling alone.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Heh. One time I was in court and the young police officer on the stand testified about responding to a DV call involving “an elderly couple.” In their 50s…

          • Okay, my mistake – I had looked for that reference but didn’t see it.

    • I hate these situations where you feel pressure to make everybody happy, which ultimately ends in somebody being let down. Your SO is being an a s s and I’m sorry he’s making this difficult. You obviously had good intentions.

  19. I’m on antidepressants for the first time in my life and I’m finding the transition very difficult. I’m having stomach problems and queasiness and I REALLY miss drinking. Has anyone else been through this? Any tips?

    • I was queasy and nauseous and dizzy for 3 or 4 days. That’s it.

      • Mine lasted a full week but then went away, but the one I was on (cymbalta) also made me feel oddly dizzy at different times after that.

    • For me the queasiness only lasted for a week after each time we adjusted the dose higher. At most – eventually that got down to a day or two. If it’s been longer than that, probably call your doctor.

      Also, you should be careful about drinking on antidepressants but most doctors don’t think it’s a “don’t do it” thing.

      • Wildkitten :

        For me, YMMV, I can drink half as much and get twice as drunk. So I tone it down but don’t cut it out.

    • I was lactose intolerant for a year; my boyfriend stayed lactose intolerant the whole six years he took ’em.

  20. Anonymous :

    I know this has been discussed before but I can’t find the thread. If you knew you were going to TTC in a few months, what would you do now?
    We have a European vacation on the books for a couple of weeks from now and I’ve been trying to get lots of sleep, eat lots of sushi and kill it at work. Diet and exercise has always been a struggle for me – I’m a healthy weight but it’s thanks to a good metabolism (and maybe a natural dislike of soda and alcohol), not a serious workout routine or discipline when it comes to sweets – so I’ve been trying to do a little better in that area. What else would you recommend?

    • Anonymous :

      Uh nothing? I’d maybe mention it to my doctor and take folic acid.

    • If it suits you to have a checklist, then sure, make an extra effort to be physically/mentally/emotionally healthy, and find ways to make that effort sustainable so that YOU are always healthy, not just so that your pregnancy is healthy. Recognize that nothing you do right now–or ever–will guarantee a particular outcome for your family. If you are discussion-minded, maybe have a really loving, low-key conversation with your SO about gut-instinct expectations–it might be helpful to check in on each other’s baseline impression of fertility treatments, or genetic testing, or whatever, with the understanding that nothing either of you says right now is binding, that the circumstances and needs of your family will continue to evolve, and that you will avail yourselves of the appropriate resources/expertise when and if the time comes. Look at the conversation from over the weekend about gendered household and parenting expectations and make sure you and SO are on the same page about stuff like that. Enjoy your vacation and best wishes as you move into this new phase.

      If it doesn’t suit you to have a checklist, then enjoy your vacation and best wishes. It will all be fine.

    • Anonymous :

      Take a multivitamin. Have all the fun. Pick one simple exercise activity to engage in on a weekly basis – walking in the evening/saturday morning yoga/run for a half hour on sunday – something that you can keep up through pregnancy and enjoy afterwards with the baby or as a break from baby.

    • Sleep. Get all the sleep. Have fun. See or call friends. Do nice things for friends and family when you can offer because you may need help when you’re pregnant or have a newborn.

      • Seatowner :

        Do non kid friendly activities. Spend lots of time with friends. If you like any type of physical activity that less pregnancy friendly, do lots of that! I wouldn’t recommend amending your diet too much, as it’s possible you’ll have food aversions and you’ll definitely have to cut out the typical pregnancy items anyway.

    • lawsuited :

      In terms of exercise, do what you can to strengthen your core and low back muscles. They take the brunt of things!

      In terms of diet, if you have a serious caffeine addiction try to kick it now.

      In terms of emotional readiness, have discussions now with your SO about pre-natal congenital testing, baby naming, and child care. It can be very demoralizing to not have those discussions go well when you are already pregnant. Also, eat out in restaurants, see movies in theatres, and generally leave your house as much as possible. I completely underestimated how much my pregnancy would knock me out and incorrectly assumed we would “have 9 months for that!”

  21. Looking for Blouses :

    I’m updating my wardrobe considerably since I went into private practice (used to be got lawyer) and the last thing that needs a major update are my tops/blouses. For years I’d wear solid color tanks and tees from Talbots’s and/or Target and like 2-4 button downs from Eddie Bauer and that was pretty okay. I want to up my game. Can you help me figure out where to shop and how much to spend?

    • What kind of silhouette are you looking for? Button down? Silky pull overs? Tie necks? Figure out what you like and what looks best on you, maybe go try on, and then stalk sales.
      Actually – now is a great time to snap some of these things up at Brooks Brothers/Banana Republic/JCrew from their winter and fall stuff.

  22. Anybody been to a traditional Lao wedding and have any tips on dress code (I have received not guidance as to appropriate level of formality – wedding is in the late afternoon at a country club) and gift customs (is cash considered more appropriate than a physical gift?)?

    • Most traditional events in SEAsia will involve long skirts. (Some temples even hand out loaner skirts to tourists who turn up with exposed legs.)
      You can go one of two ways: show up early and buy clothes locally and ask for someone’s help shopping or wear something western that covers your legs (you’ll probably be obviously foreign no matter what you do). Could be a fun opportunity to wear a dressy jumpsuit!

      • The wedding is in the US, but I LOVE jumpsuits for evening so I think I’m going to do that!

  23. Heading to New York next Friday till Tuesday. Any advice for a californian for weather and eats?

    Is it really going to be rainy/snowy all day?

    I’ll be around times square for a conference so I’ll try to swing by and pummel through lots of things

    • Rainbow Hair :

      My favorite NY slice is Sal & Carmines (you can take the 1 train to 103rd St and it’s a block away).

    • Senior Attorney :

      Esca for dinner! It’s a Mario Batali Italian seafood place and so delish! And close to Times Square.

    • Wildkitten :

      When the snow starts to melt it makes gross frozen puddles at every curb. Watch out.

  24. Loeffler Randal Finley sandals :

    Has anyone seen something similar but a little less spendy? I just love these but also need to get my tonsils removed.

    • These are similar. http://www.vincecamuto.com/louise-et-cie-kalika-–-multi-strap-sandal/LO-KALIKA.html?siteID=J84DHJLQkR4-d6aoHvmz.UR4Kt5VmxX_nQ

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