Dating at Work

Dating at WorkLadies, what are your thoughts on dating at work? Have you ever dated a coworker? What do you think are the rules for dating officemates? With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought we’d have a nice open thread about the pros and cons of dating at the office. (For those of you already happily coupled, let’s hear how you met, whether at the office or beyond!)

For my $.02: I never dated a coworker, although I had crushes on a few of them over the years — at the time I was very worried about being viewed as someone who saw the office as a dating pool. Looking back, this was probably silly — in Big Law so many people churn through the lower ranks it’s almost like another grad school, and there are always more people to work with if a relationship ends poorly. Indeed, I know several happily married couples who met as coworkers at BigLaw — although all of them kept it a secret, even from good friends, until the relationship was pretty serious. (In fact, a number of readers noted in our last open thread about dating at the office that they had dated at work, and discretion was the name of the game, as well as paying attention to the “don’t date assholes” rule that, you know, is a pretty good one for dating in general. I also agree with the other little rule that readers noted in that thread, though: Summer associates or interns should not date at the office.)

As for how I met my husband — I went through a phase where, fighting my introverted ways, I said “yes” to pretty much any activity that would take me out of the house. For about a year and a half I went to political fundraisers, soccer games, and trivia nights — and I also joined museum groups like the Young Lions (at the New York Public Library) and the American Museum of Natural History’s Junior Council. And just when I was about to give up my little “dating project,” I met my husband. We met at a friend-of-a-friend’s birthday party in a bar on the Lower East Side; Mr. G also did not know the birthday girl well and in fact had to be dragged to the party (by our future best man!). Our circles really didn’t intersect at all, so it’s really lucky that fate took us both to that party.

All right, ladies, over to you — have you dated at the office? Share your stories (and your rules)! If you’re happily coupled, how did you meet your partner, whether at work or beyond? 

Psst: we’ve also talked about finding time to date when you’re busyhow to date a really busy guy, and how to date someone with more time or less money

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Thursday’s Workwear Report: Pleat Peplum Sweater

Peplum Sweater: CeCe by Cynthia Steffe Pleat Peplum SweaterOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

There was a time when I considered peplums to be a new, exciting trend. Then there was a time when I was sick to death of the peplum and wanted it to die, die, die. At this point, though, I’m just totally used to the peplum, and think it adds a happy little flounce to most tops — including this lovely sweater, which I’d pair with just about any bottom, from wide leg trousers to ankle pants to a pencil skirt. I like the navy the best, but it also comes in ivory (pictured) and candy pink. It was $99, but was then marked to $49. CeCe by Cynthia Steffe Pleat Peplum Sweater

Here’s a plus-size alternative.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

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Suit of the Week: Karmine

Sleeveless Jacket Suit: Karmine Gilet Fluid Sleeveless JacketI am not a huge fan of the sleeveless vest for work — I think it’s way too hard to make one look good with a sleeved layer beneath it, and sleeveless isn’t acceptable for many conservative workplaces (know your office!). So I chose to feature this suit with a caveat: it also comes with a regular jacket. Having said that, I do think for the right woman, at the right office, this fluid, high-collared look is lovely; it’s professional and buttoned-up without being stuffy. The vest (Karmine Gilet) is $370, the pants (Karmine Trouser) are $240, and the regular blazer (Karmine Fluid Blazer) is $445.

A few lower-priced options are here (windowpane), here (cream/beige), and here (four color choices). Here’s a plus-size option.

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Tool of the Trade: Online Shopping Apps

Online Shopping AppsWe’ve talked about some of my favorite online shopping tools before, but not in a while — and a lot of the older ones have gone belly up, so let’s discuss the best of today’s online shopping apps. Ladies, what are your favorite tools these days? These are the ones I use:

  • Covvet: This takes the place of the dearly departed Shopping NotesPoachIt, and Hukkster. The idea is simple: If you see a product you like, you click a bookmarklet on your desktop and tell the program what price you’d like to pay — then they’ll notify you if/when it goes on sale. I use this a LOT, and really like it — my only regret is that it doesn’t work on my iPad.
  • Amazon Wishlist. A year or two ago, Amazon changed their wishlist so that it now can track products on ANY site. If they can match it on Amazon they’ll let you know; otherwise they link your list to the third party site. I have zillion gift idea lists in here; it also helps me keep track of all the makeup I want to try/investigate in person.
  • Amazon Subscribe & SaveMaybe this is primarily a mom thing, but we use the Subscribe and Save store all the time to put things on auto delivery. We usually get a discount of 5-20% by signing up for a subscription, and it’s easy enough to skip deliveries or move them up. (What isn’t easy, though, is changing your delivery date — you may have to wait more than 30 days to do it.) In addition to the convenience, the prices are usually better than what we find in local stores, but you should definitely do some price-per-unit comparison before you commit.
  • Slice: Slice’s main feature is to keep you notified of delivery issues, but one of their other nice features is price tracking after the fact. If you buy a sweater, get it delivered, and then it goes on sale within the price adjustment window, Slice sends you an email. (Some credit cards do this for you, too, so check yours.)
  • PriceZombie: Unfortunately, this is the only one of the online shopping apps that tracks the price of a particular product across different sites (all of the above only pay attention to a particular product on a particular website) — and even then I think of it more for things like large appliances. But it’s free to install on your browser, and you only see the little button when you’re on a site with something it can track, so it’s pretty unobtrusive. Here are the plugins for ChromeFirefox, and Safari.
  • RetailMeNot: I still head over here to see if I can find better sale codes before I purchase something online. :)

I still use the services I’ve mentioned previously, like ShopStyle’s product alerts and ShopItToMe emails, but not as much as I once did. (I wouldn’t say I’m on a shopping moratorium, but at some point getting too many shopping emails just adds to my information overload… so I’m taking a break.)

Ladies, what online shopping apps do you use? Do you have any other tips for online shopping? 

Pictured: Confessions of a Shopaholic via InStyle magazine.

Wednesday’s Workwear Report: ‘Orizzonte’ Ponte Knit Faux Wrap Dress

Striped Sleeveless Dress: Classiques Entier 'Orizzonte' Ponte Knit Faux Wrap DressOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Oooh: what a fun little dress from Classiques Entier. It reminds me a bit of that Anthropologie dress that everyone said was crazy flattering (possibly by Bailey 44?) — but I like that this one is longer, and I always love Classiques Entier’s heavy ponte and attention to details. I’d wear a navy cardigan or blazer on top, or even try layering a crisp white blouse beneath; a pop of green, yellow, or hot pink would be fun. The dress was $268, but is now marked to $133, available in sizes 0-16. Classiques Entier ‘Orizzonte’ Ponte Knit Faux Wrap Dress

Here’s a plus-size alternative.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

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Coffee Break: Merona Tote

minkoff mab copycat meronaReader L wrote in to recommend this bag, noting: “I found this awesome work bag at Target… which looks just like the Rebecca Minkoff Medium MAB tote you featured a little while back- this one even includes a laptop sleeve. And for only $25 its perfect for anybody looking for a starter work bag or needing a temporary option while saving for a splurge bag (like me).”  Nice work, L — it’s hard to find a stylish laptop tote for under $25, so thank you for sharing!  The bag is $27.99 (down from $34.99), but try code STYLE to save another $5.  (Spend $25 save $5, spend $35 save $10 on handbags and jewelry with code STYLE.) Merona® Solid Tote Handbag – Black 

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Psst: reader L just emailed to let us know that the big Pendleton sale is on if you’re a fan of their seasonless wool blazers and more. All sale styles are an extra 30% off, through Feb. 15 only. (Updated with an actual link to Pendleton instead of a random Nordstrom cardigan.)