Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Silky V-Neck Rolled Sleeve Blouse

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

This top is getting a ton of great reviews at Express — it’s got 415 reviews and 4.5 stars, and it’s $39. It comes in blue, red, green, white, and black, and I like that it’s a simple, silky, drapey blouse, if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s machine washable, which is always nice, and it’s available in sizes XS-L. Silky V-Neck Rolled Sleeve Blouse

Here’s a plus-size option.

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Comments

  1. Yay Kat! I love Express and I go to the Store on Madison and 50th, behind St Patrick’s, where they have all the BEST stuff. I really recommend it to the HIVE, if they want styleish stuff at very reasonable prices! Great pick! BTW, I think I have this blouse in blue. If I don’t I am goeing to see about getting one in blue and one in red, b/c the Judge LOVES me in Red, and the V cut on these is very flattering to us fuller figured hivettes, but still VERY lady-like. YAY!!!!!

  2. Anonymous :

    Any recommendations for cleaning companies in the Twin Cities? I have been using Two Bettys, but my cleaner quit and they are having trouble finding a replacement.

    • Frozen Peach :

      We had good experiences with Happy Earth Cleaning LLC.

    • Two Dames and Friends www.twodamesandfriends.com They do cleaning, organizing, help with moving, ETC. I’ve used them for organizing after a move, cleaning, and moving and setting up my new apartment.

    • I wonder if Two Bettys is having some kind of labor issues? We use them too and our cleaner just told us that she’s going to quit soon (though her reason was just that she wants to have more time to focus on her artwork, which doesn’t seem like it’s related to anything about the service itself).

      • Anonymous (OP) :

        I wonder! They told me a lot of cleaners have left lately “to pursue careers in their fields.” Which I like! In theory :)

    • I’m about done with Two Bettys too. Had a “Betty” that we loved for 2 years, but he left the company (indeed, as another commenter noted, to pursue a career in his field). The new Betty has flaked or had some sort of issue with scheduling 2 of our first 3 cleans. Great recs.

  3. cake batter :

    Any suggestions for dresses to wear to an interview without a blazer? I.e. the dress is interesting and formal enough to stand on its own, and isn’t sleeveless. It’s a conservative-ish field – not big law – but women don’t tend to wear full suits. More like mix and match suit sets, dresses with cropped jackets, or dresses by themselves. Maybe that’s not a super helpful description, but all I’m finding on Nordstrom is open shoulder and strappy nonsense in the “work wear” section, and I’m wondering who on earth wears that to work. Under $150 would be great if that unicorn exists.

    • I don’t have any dress suggestions off the top of my head (helpful, I know), but there are at least five women in a five cube-radius of me (managers included) who wear cold-shoulder tops to work at my business casual office on the reg.

      Sigh.

    • Anonymous :

      Wear. A. Suit. It’s an interview!!!

      • Agreed.

        • cake batter :

          Sigh. I don’t own a traditional formal suit and have been in this field 10 years. A full suit isn’t necessarily the norm everywhere. I appreciate you trying to weigh in, but it’s not the question I asked.

          • Anonymous :

            Are you saying people don’t wear suits to interviews in your field, or they don’t wear them to work (but still dress on the formal side)? If people don’t wear suits to interviews, then you are probably fine with a formal dress. But I would (personally) probably do the blazer and skirt/pant combo rather than the dress. Blazer/jacket/suit just feels more appropriate for an interview to me.

          • cake batter :

            Trying not to out myself and provide too much detail, but it’s more likely that you’d see lower-level candidates in traditional full suits than the level of position I’m interviewing for. At the “executive” level, women are much more likely to wear suiting separates in interesting fabrics and textures. A lot of Selina Meyer’s sleeved dresses would be appropriate for an interview – formal, detailed necklines, streamlined cut. (That reminds me, actually, to check the thread on her wardrobe from a few weeks ago. Maybe that will give me ideas!)

            For the first round, I wore a sleeveless patterned sheath dress, black cropped blazer, and pointy black heels. It’s just really hot these days so am trying to reduce layers for round 2.

      • Anonymous :

        I also think the OP should wear a suit, or at least a dress and a blazer. I just interviewed for an internal promotion at my very-casual company and I wore a suit – because it is an interview. As it turned out, a company VP and one of the main clients I would be working with were in the room and I got a question about “presenting myself professionally” to their external clients, who are in banking and finance. You just don’t know who’s going to be in the room when you’re interviewing and what they might expect. I would be on the safe side, and wear a suit, even if that “isn’t the norm everywhere.” It may not be the norm in your city, or at your company, but your interviewers may have strong opinions about this. Do you really want to lose out on a job because of what you’re wearing?

        • I mean, you can. I work in tech and we had a job applicant interview in a suit and he looked out of touch with the culture. The rule I heard was dress one step up from what you’d wear to work.

          • I’m sure the snarky attitude serves you well in your career.

          • @Eyeroll – It’s not snarky to know your industry better than the internet. I interview in my very casual industry and don’t look twice at someone who doesn’t come in in a suit.

        • In tech you would be really awkward in a suit – a lot of interviewers are in shorts and flip flops

          My rule of thumb is one half dressy. So either jeans/casual pants with a nice top and blazer or an interesting but casual top with dress pants or pants/skirt+T Shirt + Blazer

          If you plan to wear a dress, I’d wear something like this :
          https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/suiting/dresses/capsleeve-vneck-dress-in-italian-stretch-wool/G2150?srcCode=GGBS00006_99104556321_200317638_15965730078_317953542678_c_pla_pla-317953542678_9060563&sisearchengine=197&siproduct=G2150&noPopUp=true&source=googlePLA&lsft=srcCode:GGBS00006_99104556321_200317638_15965730078_317953542678_c_pla_online__9060563&gclid=CMzC-rrpwtQCFUFrfgodkN0I4w

    • Third Piece :

      Once upon a time I found the cropped jacket that I wore the several successful interviews at Dress Barn. Should be within your price point, although I haven’t looked lately.

    • Anonymous :

      I would assume a suit is still required, no matter what the employees wear every day. The exception would be if you are a current employee of the company interviewing at another group in the same building. That aside, j crew used to make long sleeve suiting dresses like th origami dress. The season is probably wrong for that, though.

      • cake batter :

        I’ll look at J. Crew, thanks. I had written them off a long time ago but couldn’t hurt to check.

        • Baconpancakes :

          The J.Crew dresses I bought recently were of good quality, much better than the tees and sweaters I’ve looked at over the past few years.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Have you checked out Antonio Melani at Dillards? Some of the bottoms I found fit wonky if you have a larger posterior / are more muscular (like I am) but I got a skirt and jacket suit for ~$120 total as it was 60% off. They had a number of dress options. Also they do that helpful thing there where each piece has the color / pattern listed on the tag (ie like “Color 412”) so you aren’t trying to judge if it matches but can tell easily what goes with what.

      • cake batter :

        I haven’t but will check that out – thanks!

      • Second Antonio Melani – I literally have the perfect “interview dress” from that brand. Modest v, black, elbow length, knee length, interesting seam detail in midsection. Lined. Sale for $90. (a few years ago, but its their thing).

      • Just kidding–after browsing i remembered that they have utter nonsense during the spring/summer months.

        • JuniorMinion :

          Yeah – I got my suit on the clearance / sale rack. They definitely had some questionable items but also a lot of good! Also I am in the South so I like that their skirts / pants are unlined. Nothing worse than walking in from the parking lot and realizing the lining of whatever you are wearing is slicked to you with sweat….

    • If I were in your shoes, and quite positive about the dress code, I would wear a fantastic sleeved suiting dress plus a blazer/jacket. This way, you are covered if they DID expect you to interview in a suit, and if you’re a bit overdressed, that’s not bad. If you’re very overdressed, remove the jacket.

      Ann Taylor has had some sleeved suiting options lately, but they were short sleeves (if that matters). I’d suggest Talbots too, but you’ll need to buy online (because why not stock the store with only the appliqued summer theme shirts and grandma pull on pants….grrrr)

    • MM LaFleur? Hugo Boss? Probably over your price range, but what you are looking for isn’t really a one-time wear kind of dress

      • cake batter :

        Love those options but am trying to lose weight and don’t want to spend that much until I’m a size or two smaller.

      • Agree on Hugo Boss. The construction and quality of fabric takes care of many levels of formality. For what it’s worth, their inhouse tailoring is spectacular and would probably take anything you purchase now in in a few months if needed. (Also big sale right now!)

    • I recently bought the lightweight wool fit and flare dress from Banana Republic and it worked beautifully for my purposes, which sound similar to yours (not the interview but the type of dress you want). I bought it in store, only two sizes left online.

      Also, it doesn’t look that long on the model, but I am 5’10” and long from hip to knee and it is a very good length on me.

      • cake batter :

        Oh I love that! That’s what I’m talking about. They don’t have my size, sadly. I’d love this in a nice grey tweed.

    • Would you consider using Rent the Runway? I have had good luck with multiple Badgley Mischka day/work dresses from there – you have to sort past all the sequin-y stuff, but three, in particular, you could consider:

      https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/badgley_mischka/turn_over_sheath

      https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/badgley_mischka/red_french_collar_sheath

      https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/badgley_mischka/navy_cuff_sleeve_dress

      I have worn the latter two to board meetings, accessorized with long necklaces, and felt very polished. I hate suits and never feel quite right in them.

      • I love this idea. Selina Meyer looks for less!

        • Yes! That was exactly my thought when I finally decided to complete my suit rebellion and just wear a dress to board meetings. (For a long time, board meetings had been my one holdout where I grudgingly put on a suit.)

          I thought, “You know, if both Selina Meyer and Sheryl Sandberg can wear dresses to every event of their entire lives… I can too!”

      • cake batter :

        Love the idea in theory, but for an interview, I’d be too scared of the dress not working out and having a panic at the last minute because I have “nothing to wear.” Maybe that’d work if I were REALLY sure about my size in a certain brand. Thanks for the links!

    • Cornellian :

      Adrianna Papell and Maggy London sometimes have good stuff around the $150 price point.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Seconded! Those brands, plus Tahari (plus Maggy London’s cheaper sister London Times) make up the majority of my sleeved-dress wardrobe. Which is basically my whole work wardrobe.

    • I found a nice sleeved suiting dress at a Brooks Brothers outlet for something like $75 – so might try there (or their full price if you can find a sale). Too formal for my work life, so haven’t been looking recently.

    • I don’t think I’ve seen anyone mention Lands End but they have sleeved ponte dresses that should work and you can usually find a 30% or 40% off coupon.

      • I live in these on a day to day basis, but I wouldn’t interview in one. A more formal (suiting) material is really called for–imho–if you’re going to skip the actual suit.

      • I do love their sleeved washable wool suiting dress (I own it in three sizes at this point in my life). But it’s probably too basic for what the OP described.

      • cake batter :

        A little too casual for this purpose, but I love them for everyday dresses. I have several.

    • These are from Talbots.

      https://www.talbots.com/online/dresses/suiting/refined-crepe-drape-neck-dress-prdi40481/N-11640?selectedConcept=

      https://www.talbots.com/online/dresses/suiting/luxe-italian-double-weave-sheath-dress-newport-collection-prdi41867/N-11640?selectedConcept=

      https://www.talbots.com/online/dresses/suiting/lightweight-twill-a-line-dress-prdi42100/N-11640?selectedConcept=

    • Delta Dawn :

      MML Etsuko. It’s worth it to have one that fits now, and when you lose the weight, you can sell it online.

    • I’d check MM LaFleur, or Brooks Brothers. You may be able to find sleeved dresses in the sale section this time of year.

    • inhousejen :

      Black Halo, if you can find it on sale, fits the bill perfectly. And I wear a lot of Hugo Boss sleeved sheaths too.

    • Suiting Dress :

      The Madison dress at Of Mercer is $175 but I think fits the bill. I just bought one and love it, though make sure you look at the back view. It comes to a (high) V, which I think makes it a more interesting, better-looking dress, but there was at least one commenter the other day who really disliked the prevalence of that kind of neckline on Boden’s dresses, so YMMV.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’m about to buy this dress — https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/2032668?color=GRAY — might work with killer heels?

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I also like the “Tahari Seamed A Line Dress” from Nordstrom. And the “Tahari Bi-Strech Sheath.”

      • Rainbow Hair :

        If you want to be a little artsier, I am always coveting the Maggy London “Asymmetrical Sheath Dress” at Nordstrom. It’s too funky for my work life, sadly. See also: Maggy London “Solid Dream Crepe Dress.”

      • That’s a great dress! Have you bought it — does it wrinkle a lot?

    • I’m sort of in love with this. http://www.dillards.com/p/antonio-melani-isolde-stretch-ottoman-sheath-dress/506814486?di=04922083_zi_navy&categoryId=604006&facetCache=pageSize%3D96%26beginIndex%3D96%26orderBy%3D1

    • Boden! Highly recommend the Honor Dress (not sure if they still have this one) and the Elsa Ottoman Dress.

      • +1. for the Ottoman dress. They often have slight variations in color, neckline, etc. each season.

    • Maybe something like this?

      http://www.eshakti.com/shop/Dresses/Colorblock-cotton-knit-bateau-neck-sheath-dress-CL0047887

    • Frozen Peach :

      I had an interview like this– don’t listen to the suit people. Seconding that in certain contexts, wearing a suit makes you look junior/inexperienced.

      I wore a Tahari dress that I found at Nordstrom Rack– they usually have some good structured pieces with sleeves or cap sleeves– and it was the perfect balance for an interview in an office where even the CEO wears jeans every day. Tahari has always been my go-to brand for these dresses.

      • Frozen Peach :

        (And I got the job)

        • cake batter :

          Thanks, Peach – and I’m glad to hear you got the job. It’s hard to communicate here sometimes that not all traditional dress codes apply in all industries, and I don’t always know how to define the “style” of item I’m looking for. In my head, I call those dresses my “board room” or “power” dresses, but I guess those terms don’t always translate well. I’m not looking for ponte or wrap dresses for this purpose. :)

          And thanks everyone for the suggestions! I’ll check out all the brands/links y’all recommended. I do have a Nordstrom Rack, so I might have luck finding one of the pricier brands on sale.

    • Life Happens :

      Sounds like our industries are similar… I’m in corporate communications/PR.

      I have had success at the Neiman Marcus Last Call website and also occasionally Nordstrom Rack for interesting, fashion forward sheath dresses that are still appropriate for a corporate office but not stodgy.

      • Yeah, I think your best bet for your budget is going to be to hit up the sale racks at higher end stores – do you have a Saks Off Fifth near you? To get the quality that would be appropriate, you’ll probably need something that was originally out of the price range you’re looking for.

      • cake batter :

        Yes, definitely similar. It’s not as casual as tech, not as creative/trendy as fashion or advertising, and not as formal as biglaw. It’s not like a full suit would be inappropriate, but I definitely have better options out there.

    • I work in tech in the southwest. I am a founder. Meeting with execs can have 1. A lawyer in a 3 PC suit 2. Male founder in flip flops and cargo shorts 3. Casually dressed Econ dev director in capris and coral top

      In an interview type enviro – for a big grant etc

      I usually in formal type situations wear a sleeveless sheath dress and pointy flats. (Can no longer do heels)

      I bring a matching dressy jacket AND a dorky-cool vibe sweater cardigan.

      If I show up and everyone’s dressed up, on goes the jacket. If it’s hoodie nerd city, then on goes the cardigan.

      That’s it! And everything I buy must survive my washing machine. No dry cleaning these days

    • MM LaFleur dresses….

    • Ellen Tracy dresses can be fantastic and in your budget. An a lot are on Amazon if time is an issue!

  4. Third Piece :

    I need suggestions for third pieces that are not over-layers, like cardigans or jackets. I run hot and my office mates run cold, so I can’t layer.

    My capsule wardrobe has become a mixture of tops that I can wear with whatever pants are clean. They mix just fine, but I don’t feel like I’m getting different “outfits”. Suggestions?

    • In a situation like this, I’d let a great necklace serve as the third piece.

    • Sassyfras :

      How about different statement necklaces?

      • Third Piece :

        I struggle with statement necklaces because I have big shoulders that already attract eyes to my neckline. But I’ll give it a try and play with some when I’m out shopping.

        • Baconpancakes :

          I have big shoulders and big ahem tracts of land and lightweight infinity scarves look pretty proportional on me. Smaller statement necklaces, that are a bit flashy but only a go an inch below my collarbone, look pretty good, although I often use chain extenders to make them sit a little lower (big shoulders often mean big necks).

          • Baconpancakes between “tracts of land” and your DnD shoutout the other day, we should probably be best friends. :)

          • Tech Comm Geek :

            I’m in much the same boat. I wear a lot of the very lightweight scarves to add some finish. I have to wear my ID badge on a lanyard, so I don’t usually wear necklaces.

            As someone else who runs hot, I look hard for the natural fiber scarves – cotton and linen.

          • Baconpancakes :

            C, I love new friends!

          • Baconpancakes :

            Also if you didn’t get the handle reference, google “Bacon pancakes” at home (you’ll need the sound on).

        • marketingchic :

          What about a long pendant necklace? Or a long lightweigh scarf?

    • Anonymous :

      In this case for me, the top + pants + shoes have to become the outfit. So I’ve worked harder to find the right shoes and the right tops – I used to get basic shoes and basic tops and then wonder why I kept feeling like I needed to add accessories or belts or something to try to find the “outfit.” it’s because I was wearing all basics.

    • This is a great question and one I ask myself all the time. Love the idea of using less basic shoes.

    • Scarves! I have a minor scarf problem, but I LOVE scouring the realreal and fancy consignment shops for older Hermes or other high end silk scarves. My personal favorite way to wear them is in a hacking knot, or tied like a men’s tie(ish). I think its a very polished look and really elevates minor pieces…if you’re wearing an hermes scarf your express top immediately looks higherend ;)

    • Also, I’m cheap. Everything I buy is on sale.

      Screw the whole status dressing thing unless you really like the clothes.

      Id rather spend my $ on computers.

      My latest find (jcpenney) (which most “exec” types would never shop to. I get it. I recently found a beautiful dove grey sleeveless shift dress with modern black seams around the waist for $25 on sale. It had a beautiful matching jacket, also with the cool black seaming, on sale for $30. Machine washable and perfectly cool / dressy can be dressed down.

  5. I have two of these tops from last spring and they’ve held up great. Very versatile. I would caution ladies with narrow shoulders and small busts, though. The V is a tad bit deep for my comfort and I have wear a cami underneath. Several of my friends also own this shirt and don’t have that problem.

  6. Patricia Gardiner :

    Has anyone else been trying switching the phone to grayscale (a suggestion earlier this week or last week)? I think it does make me less likely to browse aimlessly, but I get some weird looks when people see it!

    • I did switch it, but I am still addicted. LOL

    • Third Piece :

      I haven’t tried that, but I probably won’t because I’ve found that black and white text gives me more eyestrain than color. The OverDrive app from the public library has an option to display on a parchment-colored background that I love!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I tried, but couldn’t figure out how. The best I could get was color inversion. Anyone else have an older android device and figure out how to do this?

      • Not older, but my android I had to turn on “developer mode” to do this. I’ll send another comment with the link directions I followed.

      • https://android.stackexchange.com/questions/74887/force-android-to-display-in-grayscale

    • I did it for a few hours but I felt like it was giving me eye strain. And I couldn’t really see my photos etc. it’s not for me.

    • Cornellian :

      I tried it. It confirmed for me that I am a very color/visual-oriented person. I couldn’t find any of my apps!

      It actually made me feel more secure in my multicolored work to do lists. My brain really does respond to color.

    • I tried it but didn’t notice much of a difference in my phone use, so I have switched back to color for now.

  7. JaegerPSA :

    Jaeger is in receivership. I love their business separates, so I placed a last (sob) big order. The sale page is at 50 percent off.

  8. pugsnbourbon :

    I got that internal position I interviewed for last week!

    Happy Friday!

  9. Anonymous :

    Vicarious shopping help: I need sandals for my wedding. It’s not until next spring, but I figure I need to buy something this summer instead of trying to buy sandals in winter before dress fitting. I definitely want something flat, because I will trip and fall on my face if I wear heels, but I’m having trouble envisioning a flat sandal that will work with my dress. This is my dress: https://amykuschel.com/gowns/clover

    Anyone have suggestions? Thanks!

    • ooo, shoes :

      Something like this?

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/cara-sandal/4310201?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=IVORY%20SATIN

      Badgley Mishka has a few fancy flat sandals with varying degrees of bling.

      • OP, I LOVE THAT DRESS. Sorry for shouting.

        Badgley Mishka also has some gorgeous blingy flats that might work. I particularly like these: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/badgley-mischka-gigi-crystal-pointy-toe-flat-women/4413571?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=LATTE%20SUEDE

        Or in sandals:
        https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/2092757/betsey-johnson-camil-foral-embellished-sandal?color=SILVER
        https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/1957861/badgley-mischka-tobey-sandal?color=SILVER%20MET

    • Third Piece :

      No idea on shoes, but that’s the prettiest wedding dress in seen in a long time!

      • Why thank you, I’m quite fond of it:-) If anyone out there is like me and looking for not-strapless wedding dresses, Amy Kuschel has some great options.

    • These are shown in navy blue, which could be cool, but they also come in some light metallic colors:
      http://www.zappos.com/p/caparros-hilton-navy-metallic/product/8842165/color/83520

    • Not flat, but very low heeled, I have these in a few colors and they seem to be available everywhere in different color combos and materials so you could probably find some to your wedding taste, but they are ridiculously comfortable and easy to walk in : http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/sam-edelman-susie-dorsay-ankle-strap-sandal-women/4695072

    • That is beautiful.

      Would a very low wedge work, like 1″ or less? If so, the metallic wedge at Jcrew factory gets my vote. Simple and comfortable, but jazzy enough!

    • You didn’t say if you were open to flats. I thought these two might work —

      http://www.zappos.com/p/blue-by-betsey-johnson-lucy-ivory-satin/product/8644207/color/3528

      http://www.zappos.com/p/badgley-mischka-gigi-ivory-satin-suede-mesh/product/8804349/color/661578

      • givemyregards :

        haha! great minds think alike! I was browsing with the reply box open and so didn’t see your response before I put mine in with the exact same shoes.

    • givemyregards :

      These are really more of flats, but they I think they’d look so gorgeous with the gatsby vibe of your dress (which is gorgeous by the way!):
      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/badgley-mischka-gigi-crystal-pointy-toe-flat-women/4413571?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=ivory%20satin

      These also blur the lines between sandals and flats (sorry I’m bad at following directions), but I think they would look lovely with your dress:
      http://www.zappos.com/p/blue-by-betsey-johnson-lucy-ivory-satin/product/8644207/color/3528

      Honestly, these could go either a little mumsy, but they could also be gorgeously elegant I thought I’d throw them in the mix:
      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/pedro-garcia-esme-crystal-sandal-women/4526781?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=TITANIUM%20SATIN

      Aaaand, now I want to buy a bunch of shoes…

    • Pretty! A very close girlfriend of mine wore that for her wedding! Might I suggest a looooong dangling necklace worn backwards? It was stunning on her!

    • no help with shoes, but that is a beeeutiful dress.

    • These aren’t completely flat but I think they’d work well with the Gatsby feel of your dress. http://www.dillards.com/p/Imagine-Vince-Camuto-Jalen-Sandals/506189911?cm_mmc=Linkshare-_-J84DHJLQkR4-_-null-_-null&linkshare=null/affiliate

    • PatsyStone :

      Love the dress. This has a bit of a block heel, but the ankle strap would hep stabalize. Also on super sale!

      http://www.lastcall.com/Badgley-Mischka-Clove-Metallic-Jeweled-Sandal/prod43700082_cat13530023_cat000004_cat000000/p.prod?icid=&searchType=EndecaDrivenCat&rte=%252Fcategory.service%253FitemId%253Dcat13530023%2526pageSize%253D30%2526No%253D0%2526Ns%253DPCS_SORT%2526refinements%253D4294933940%252C4294933939&eItemId=prod43700082&cmCat=product&childItemId=LCX3QKD_7G

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks, everyone!

  10. I’m a new runner with a relatively large chest (36DD)…any suggestions for good sports br*s that keep things from bouncing too much? I just have those old standard Champion ones and they don’t feel supportive enough.

    Also happy to take other suggestions about good running gear (like what to do with my keys), but this is my main issue so far.

    • Moving Comfort and Panache make excellent ones! I am bigger than that and these brands are the best. I occasionally still layer one of those Target ones over it for extra insurance but it’s not needed.

    • You mentioned Champion – have you tried their “Show Off”? It’s so good, I bought one for every day of the week.

    • In mod, but tl/dr is Panache or Moving Comfort. Amazon available!

      • Adding Shock absorber to this list to echo comments below. I actually like those better than the MC ones. The top hook takes a bit of flexibility to latch but it makes a huge difference.

      • KateMiddletown :

        +1. When I’m not doing a running/HIIT/zumba workout I’ll wear the champion pullover bras I’ve bought from target recently, but I can’t do anything but Panache or my Wacoal zip front.

      • Thanks, will look at these!

    • I am going to try switching to men’s running clothes. I’m so tired of not having any pockets for my cell or my keys or my ID. I don’t want to have to carry a belt or a pack or anything extra when men’s running shorts often come with zip pockets. You might want to try this too.

      • It’s not ideal, but I have stashed my ID in my sports bra and tied my key to my laces to avoid wearing a belt. I’ve also put my phone in my bra, but I am flat chested, so I can get it wedged in there without too much discomfort. Again, none of this is ideal but works in a pinch!

        • I usually carry the phone (have almost dropped it several times), put the key in my bra attached to the strap with the carabiner, and forgone the ID. I’m tired of it now – hence the need for real, functional clothing! We women don’t deserve to have less functional items for health and fitness.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        This! My husband accidentally bought basketball shorts that were the wrong size but fit me in the waist. They are a little long but not too bad. We took our dog out for a walk yesterday and I was handing him stuff to put in his pocket (key, baggies) and then I realized “I HAVE POCKETS” and got so excited. Then I got bummed again when I realized I only had pockets because I was wearing men’s shorts. Why don’t women’s shorts have pockets???

        • I keep a set of keys tied to my dogs’ leash at all time. Viola–have never locked myself out again. It’s the best. (And there’s a bag dispenser on the leash too!)

      • Cornellian :

        I haven’t actually had this problem. I wonder if it’s because I tend to buy running gear marketed to trail runners? Maybe try checking that out?

      • SO ANNOYING not to have pockets (and of course not just limited to athletic clothes)…

        • I have found that many women’s athletic shorts (UA, Nike) have a small pocket on the inside of the waistband (sometimes it is on the outside). I made a copy of my house key and keep that single key in the small pocket on runs. If I am running somewhere that I have driven to (park, running trail, etc), then I put my valet key in there as it is smaller than my usual car key. Then I just hold my phone which I use for music anyway.

      • I had a dogtag made with my name and health insurance information and an ICE number and put it on the keyring with my key, so I don’t need to carry an ID. Dogtag was made on that machine they have at either Petco or Petsmart, can’t remember which, and cost like … $8 or $10? It goes in the key pocket in my shorts (it’s in the waistband). I don’t run with a phone because I don’t listen to music when I run. It works for me, but, generally, agree that women’s running clothes have an obnoxious dearth of pockets.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Look for bras that are encapsulation bras as opposed to compression bras. I have had really good luck with some of the British Brands – I’ve personally worn Panache and Freya as well as the under armour armour bra

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01291WH3K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      https://www.amazon.com/Panache-Womens-Underwired-Sports-Black/dp/B005VNFFZ6/ref=sr_1_1?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1497621060&sr=1-1&nodeID=7141123011&psd=1&keywords=panache+sports+bra

      People also rave about Enell and shock absorber

      If you are looking for lower cost, I didn’t keep this due to personal preference but Glamorise makes a full figure high impact sports bra that did keep me locked and loaded

      • Aha, thanks, haven’t really tried the encapsulation style (new to this!).

      • 34FF/G and I love the Panache sports bra, followed by the Freya. I’ve run in the Brooks (formerly Moving Comfort) Juno, but I’ve had the Velcro tabs bust open during runs​, which is less than ideal.

        Enell is the gold standard with regards to stopping bounce, but they are so bulky and warm that I can’t wear them any more. It makes​ me want to skip my run rather than put it on.

      • +1 for the Panache 5021. It is the best I’ve ever owned, and it actually gives me a great shape – looks great under clothes. Just be careful with the sizing – it is UK sized, and the cups run a full size large. So I wear a 34G (DDDD) normally and have a 34DD in the Panache. Herroom.com has good fitting advice. It is expensive but has held up well – I wear the same bra for my workout every day and have had it for years.

        The Enell is very functional but depressing and a PITA to put on.

    • I won’t be helpful in the sports bra arena, but for short runs, I like my FlipBelt to carry my keys and phone. The FlipBelt (and other similar belts) has a hook for your keys and then you tuck them into the belt. Alternatively, if you would like to have water with you, almost all the handhelds I have seen have a pocket which you can stash keys (and sometimes your phone) in while you run. I have my house keys and car keys arranged in way that I can easily separate house keys for runs so that I don’t have to tuck the larger car fob in the belt. Alternatively, if you would like to have water with you on short runs, almost all the handhelds I have seen have a pocket which you can stash keys (and sometimes your phone) in while you run. For longer runs, I have a hydration vest that has plenty of pockets. I also have tied a key into my shoelace when I want to run free of extra stuff.

      As for other stuff, invest in a good pair of socks! I rotate between Injinjis (my long run and race socks), Balegas, and Darn Tough socks. I like a cushy sock, so I have to make sure I buy shoes big enough to accommodate them.

      Lots of the other things are personal preference. I like to run in a hat vs. sunglasses when it’s sunny, and have a couple of quick dry hats that I got at races which I find are better than cotton ball caps for running. I also have a UV protection Buff that I use as a face and neck warmer in the winter and as a face sweat wiper in the summer.

    • Anonymous :

      I really like a brand called Shock Absorber. They make one called the Ultimate Run Bra, which I like a lot. Warning that good running bras are not cheap, but they are worth it — I wouldn’t be able to tolerate running in the old Champions I used in high school.

    • Wacoal women’s sport contour bra.

      My daughter is an athlete and a 32DD/30DDD. We ordered lots of bras for her to try out to minimize the bounce factor and this is the one that really worked. We ordered from Amazon.

    • Anonymous :

      I recently bought a pair of fabletics shorts with a velcro-closed pocket on the back and they work pretty well. Fabletics in general has good stuff.

    • I just got the Brooks Juno bra from Athleta, and it does a great job for running (38DD here). The little velcro tabs were a bit annoying but I got used to them pretty quickly.

      • givemyregards :

        Seconding this recommendation – I was on a crazy hunt for sports bras for a while and tried on pretty much everything I could find. This bra was the only thing that truly passed the bounce test, so much so that I walked it up to the cash register without evening looking at the price tag and I honestly am not sure that that’s ever happened before.

    • Joan Holloway :

      My favorite is the Panache that others have already recommended, but I also like Lynx Sportswear (there’s a thorough review on Hourglassy), and Freya has a good sports bra, and Prima Donna has just come out with one, too.

    • Have you tried wearing two sports bras? For running, I swear by wearing two pullover-style Champion bras (from Target). It’s the only thing I’ve found that gives me no bounce at all (and I’m maniacal about NO BOUNCE). If you are between sizes, wear the smaller size underneath the next size up.

    • Constant Reader :

      Natori Yogi Convertible Bra. I bought one at Nordstrom and liked it so much I ordered two more in the sale.

    • I too am on Team Ample-Chested Runner and swear by the Booband. I wear it over any sports bra but it has dampened any jiggling far more than any bra ever could. (Bra-wise, I like everything I’ve ordered from Athleta though.)

    • Have you tried doubling up with your current bras. I am the same size, and wearing two of the standard run of the mill champion sports bras works for me.

    • Athleta makes a wristband that is actuall y a small pocket. It would fit a few keys and an ID/credit card.

    • GirlFriday :

      I like Brooks and Moving Comfort bras as well (32DD). I also have a really old Lululemon TaTaTamer that I like. Lulu has a new bra out that’s supposed to be amazing, but it’s $98, I think. That’s actually not much more than I normally spend on sports bras though, now that I think about it. Also, Lulu for pocketed clothing! Or you can wear cycling jerseys – they have tons of storage.

  11. LTR Struggles :

    What is a good list of items to keep at my SO’s apartment for when I sleep over and have to leave from there for work the next day? We’re at the point where I’m starting to keep necessities at his place, but I’m not moving my entire wardrobe over. Should I keep one full outfit there? A few interchangeable basics? He lives closer to my work than I do, so I’d rather not have to double back to my place in the mornings, but I don’t want to be constantly wondering “where is my…?” because half my stuff is at his place and half is at mine.

    • Shopaholic :

      When I was in this position, I kept a pair of jeans and a couple tops (that could also work on top of a skirt for work), a skirt and a dress. Also had some basic makeup, a hair brush and a mini hair straightener.

      • I kept a couple work tops at my SO’s place as well as jeans/leggings, and I kept an extra skirt at work.

    • If you can stash a few pairs of clean underwear… do it. Also makeup remover and contact solution if that applies to you – just get a normal, full size and leave it somewhere rather than carting around the travel size.

      I think basics are better especially if you’re in a position where reusing something from the day before (jeans?) would go essentially unnoticed.

    • Chicago Bean Accounter :

      When I was doing this, after some trial and error, I kept a full set of shower necessities, a bag of makeup, contact solution and a case, a hair dryer, and a couples sets of pajamas. I decided I didn’t want to keep any work clothes there because I realized I would always wonder “where is this” or “crap I need this and it’s at Ben’s”, so I just decided to keep everything I needed to get ready for the day except for the work clothes.

      This worked for me because I was able to keep the amount of stuff I carried around to a minimum, since I was able to pack one “next day” outfit in my work bag comfortably and without adding too much weight and bulk (I keep shoes at my desk). Another reason I didn’t leave work stuff there was because I can get particular about how a lot of my clothes are washed, whereas Ben is a wash-and-dry-everything guy.

  12. I’m sure this has been asked before, but— interview suits (question up top reminded me). I’m in the final round interviewing for a wonderful job, doing a short presentation. Do you think anyone would care/notice if I wore the same black (Halogen) skirt suit I wore to the first interview, but with different jewelry/top? I could go with backup navy wool pantsuit, but it’s rather warm out now.

  13. Cultural Appropriation? :

    Can I get a cultural misappropriation tutorial? I’m so white I glow, and last year I bought a couple of Pendleton pieces with a geometric Southwestern print. Am I going to find myself on the wrong side of the cultural misappropriation issue?

    • As long as you’re not wearing a sari or a Native American headdress to work, I wouldn’t worry about prints. There is an ongoing debate about cultural exchange versus cultural appropriation and it’s not at all settled, although egregious outfits like what I mentioned above are best avoided. You should also prepare for other people to be offended by your life no matter what you do, but it’s their problem, not yours (i.e., don’t get overly anxious about this because you can’t please everyone and you don’t have to).

    • I think you’re fine.

      Some major missteps with regards to culture appropriation:

      – Adopting cultural elements that carry meaning and significance in their culture of origin for use in other contexts and without understanding or respecting the original meaning. For example, a Christian wearing jewelry depicting Ganesha because they “thought it was so cute” or festival-goers wearing Native American headdresses just to be “fashionable”.

      – Using another culture’s culture as a costume or prop, for example dressing as a geisha girl on Halloween or an American bride wearing a sari just because she thinks it looks cool, but has no ties to the culture itself.

      • I think that the waters can get muddy awfully fast.

        I think it’s OK if my kid wears a kilt and carries bagpipes (for Halloween or in general). I’ve also dressed up as a Pilgrim (with a guitar, as part of a Plymouth Rock band).

        I can think of offensive costumes that are based on stereotypes, but I also think it is OK to dress up as a witch (even in Asheville).

        • I think the general difference is that Scots and Pilgrims are not part of or representative of oppressed or persecuted groups. I supposed you could make an argument that witches were, but Halloween is sort of a celebration of paganism and “magic”, so it seems like a special case to me.

          • Anonymous :

            I think that the Scots would disagree.

            And maybe also Pilgrims who didn’t make it here (or other victims of religious persecution, which still happens today).

          • Anonymous :

            If Anonymous at 1:17 is the same as at 12:11, then I would suggest your kids shouldn’t dress up in kilts unless you can have Scottish heritage that they are actively learning about.

            Regarding the Pilgrims and the Puritans, they did not emigrate to escape religious persecution. They emigrated to escape religious liberalism and tolerance, and their influence is still felt today in that way!

    • Geometric Sothwestern and native American inspired prints definitely can be a appropriative, because the patterns companies often do not consult, credit, or compensate the tribes the way they should. However, Pendleton is unusual because for over a hundred years they have developed a great relationship with the tribes and the woolen mill products, particularly the blankets, but also other modern fashion items these days, have become part of the tribal ceremonies and traditions in their own right.
      Good on you for considering the issue, but go for it with the Pendleton wools! They’re beautiful!

      • Cultural Appropriation? :

        Thank you, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond! I feel so much better.

  14. Adult Friend Finder :

    Has anyone here used Bumble BFF with any luck? On that note, if any DC ‘r e t t e s ever want to get together for brunch, I am down :)

  15. Friday Feeling :

    What’s your go-to outfit for when you wake up and just don’t have the energy to think about what to wear?

  16. Another Tax Question :

    On a prior thread people discussed increasing their W2 withholding to make up for their or their spouse’s 1099 income. How does this work with the “self-employment” portion of the 1099 income taxes? I get more would have been withheld in all categories including FICA but I don’t know of a way to double withhold FICA without double withholding my federal income tax as well.

    • Amounts paid in as part of your withholding can cover any kind of tax or penalty on your personal return. You don’t need to designate funds that will cover SE tax. So just bump up your federal income tax withholdings and those monies will be applied to whatever type of tax your spouse owes when you file jointly.

  17. Okay, so I can’t stop thinking about color.

    I remembered this other blog that talks about color analysis (back when I last read it, it was called intomind and focused on wardrobe minimalism). The good part is that you are given a set of colors to work with in the end. Because my colours are so light and summery, and all of Scandinavia wears black or very dark colors in winter, I only half-heartedly tried applying it to my summer wardrobe and that was one baby and two clothing sizes ago. There are darker colors in there for me too, just not black. There are three parts to the analysis:

    https://anuschkarees.com/blog/2013/09/24/colour-analysis-part-i-finding-your-type?rq=color

    https://anuschkarees.com/blog/2013/09/28/colour-analysis-part-ii-your-colours?rq=color

    https://anuschkarees.com/blog/2013/10/06/colour-analysis-part-iii-how-to-use-your-colours?rq=color

    • I know it’s kind of late for the morning thread but thanks. I’m going to check this all out.

  18. We’re scheduled to be trapped inside with a lot of rain the next few days. Suggestions for keeping my high energy dog busy when we can’t go out and run?

    • Training, brain games (find the treat under the cup), hide and seek, fetch up and down a flight of stairs, run laps (play chase) around the sofa/table. Also, we have done outside runs in the light rain or in between rain storms. Last, kongs with frozen treats are always your friend.

      • We play a version of hide and seek where we make him “stay” in another room, hide a tiny training treat, and then call him in to “seek”. He loves it.

    • Kong treat toys that make dogs work. We also sometimes play tag with our dog; a couple minutes tires her out.

    • Do you have a basement or any space in your garage? Those are good places to throw around a ball or another toy and get out some energy.

    • Veronica Mars :

      My trainer says mentally tiring them out is easier/better than physically tiring them. Pick a new cute trick to teach them and have at it!

      • any suggestions? or youtube videos? we’ve been working on “paw” for 6 months…

        • Veronica Mars :

          A good one is “Watch.” Hold your fingers like you’re going to shush someone, and hold the treat in your fingers. Bring your extended finger up your nose, so the treat is just below your eyes. Say “watch” and bring up the treat/hand signal. Reward when they make eye contact with you. Extend the time for eye contact. I use this all the time to calm my dog down when he’s barking at the post man. I make him sit+ eye contact, but it’s up to you. 5-10 seconds is usually all I require.

        • fake coffee snob :

          “kikopup” on youtube is a fountain of great ideas! And if you’ve never tried clicker training, I’d definitely recommend it when teaching specific skills. I second the ideas that brain games are just as tiring as running, and (if you ask me) way more fun anyways.

    • If it’s been a few days, honestly, I just take her out in the rain. As long as it’s a reasonable temperature, and the rain is just rain and not windy or lightning or coming down like needles or anything, I think it’s fine to take her for a walk or a run in the rain. She has so much energy, keeping her inside feels meaner to me than making her get a little wet. I wear a rain jacket with a hood and a cap to keep the water out of my eyes, and just let my legs/feet get wet.

      • I’ve done that in the past, but after 2 days our whole area is too muddy and mucky. We’re in an apartment so hosing him off is extra work.

    • What about taking her to daycare so she can run around inside?

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        +1

        A lot of the daycares in my area also have “open play” time or what are essentially indoor dog playgrounds that are open for a few hours a day.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I bought my pup a raincoat. He hated it until he realized he gets about twice as many coos and ear scratches from random people on the street when wearing it and now he loves it.

      (Petty note: An anon on here told me to stop calling him my pup the other day because it’s “annoying” and I’m now going to do it every time I refer to him because I am just. that. petty, and also because I’ll call my pup whatever I want).

      • Gotta love the very stronng anon opinions about very unimportant things…!

        Pup pup pup pup pup….!

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Who cares about sexism, racism, ableism, etc when you can spend time anonymously telling people on the internet that “It’s “my pup and me”. And stop saying pup, it’s annoying.”?

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Right? Honestly, the things that people feel the need to type is astounding at times.

      • GirlFriday :

        How is “pup” annoying??? OMG, people! I call my 9 year old GSP my “old man puppy.” Dude gets more snuggles and pets than any puppy on the block!

      • Anon in NYC :

        lol. I refer to my 10 year old dog as “puppy” all the time.

      • I call my dog “Pup Pup.” DOUBLY ANNOYING.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I follow Doggo Lingo rules.

        http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/04/23/524514526/dogs-are-doggos-an-internet-language-built-around-love-for-the-puppers

      • You do you but it is kind of grating. Not quite as bad as “fur baby” though.

  19. I can’t tell if this jacket is chic or sloppy. Does anyone have one or something in a similar style?

    http://us.aritzia.com/product/chevalier-jacket/51388.html?dwvar_51388_color=4231

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I have one (as does every late 20/early 30 something woman in Toronto) and I don’t think it’s sloppy (maybe just a bit overdone in Toronto). Looks great with a silky tank and ankle pants or even over a black sheath. I wouldn’t wear it in lieu of a structured suit blazer, though.

      • Awesome, thanks! I think it’d just be more to cover my shoulders at my desk. Is the sizing pretty standard? I’m normally a 0 or 00 but I’m tempted to order the bigger since it could look ok oversized, but bad if it’s too snug.

        • (Former) Clueless Summer :

          I’d size up if you’re unsure, Aritzia is generally sized pretty small plus it is the kind of thing you want to be drapey!

  20. Go out for a run anyway, if it’s possible at all. Is your home big enough to play fetch indoors?

  21. Anon - formal wear help :

    I have a black tie event next week and I’ve kind of put on some weight, unfortunately in my midsection and rear, in the last year. I’m pretty self conscious about my profile in times like these – can anyone share any body shaper garments/techniques tot help smooth out things like that?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      (1) your body is perfect and beautiful the way it is, absolutely and unequivocally

      (2) sometimes i like to wear a waist cincher under fancy clothes. i got mine off amazon, it’s underbust, boned, and it zips which gives it a smoother line. if you want to make it a little s*xy you can get some that have garter straps (or those loops to attach them)

      • Anon - formal wear help :

        (1) You’re not wrong but I would like to have a certain image for just this night because I will feel more confident (the other 364 days of the year IDGAF ever)
        (2) is there something that also goes long in the thigh (i mean all the way to the knee)? I’ve tried things before and because I’m very tall, the ones that are supposed to go down the leg always cut off at a really bad time and create a bulge that’s unpleasant in many ways.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          (1) Great! I hope I didn’t sound preachy!
          (2) Usually I wear dresses that are tight at the waist and looser at the hips so it doesn’t often show, but when I wear something closer to my legs, I layer these Maidenform Flexies (i don’t know, they’re like Jockey Skimmies but thinner and somehow also more shaping?) over the cincher so that the bottom edge of it doesn’t show.

        • Baconpancakes :

          I just got a SPANX firm control shaper for a fancy dress – goes from underbust to mid-thigh, with no bulges. I love it, and although I thought the underbust height would be annoying, it’s actually more comfortable because it doesn’t cut you off anywhere and create lines.

    • Frozen Peach :

      This is a weird tip but I have tried tons of body shaper garments like these, and I always go back to the Sara Blakely Assets high-waisted tights sold at Target, with the legs cut off. Better and more comfortable shaping than any of the much pricier garments made for this purpose.

    • I have a Sara Blakeley for Target (cheap-o Spanx) high waisted bike short thingie that makes me feel a lot more confident. It goes from my lower thigh to right under my bra.

      • Anon - formal wear help :

        How do you keep them from rolling down?

        • That just hasn’t been an issue for me, maybe because I am a little short-waisted? Perhaps going up a size would help so there is more fabric? Sorry I don’t have better tips.

    • I have a full one piece shaper (looks like a wrestling singlet) that is great for this-. And you can wear a normal bra.

      • Anon - formal wear help :

        Where did you find it? Link, name?

        • https://www.amazon.com/Maidenform-Flexees-Womens-Shapewear-Singlet/dp/B00284B5M8
          It has a strategic slit so you don’t have to undress to use the restroom.

    • Search for Rago shapewear. It’s an old school brand. I have this one and it is really great: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009W2E6W/ It has some light boning in it so the waist doesn’t roll down like Spanx.

  22. Silk Shirt PSA :

    I just got some long sleeve silk shirts from & Other Stories. I wear a reliable size 8 in Elie Tahari and DKNY dresses and am a busty but small hourglass (32DD, narrow back but have been lifting so my torso geometry has changed a bit. 5’4″). I almost always have bust gap issues.

    These are great! Size 8 was the right size for me, so I’d say TTS. High quality construction and material, NO BUST GAP, cute prints, not too much material around the waist/at the bottom. They’re usually $118 (which is an ok price point for me, especially compared to my beloved Alice + Olivia, Reiss, and Vince silk shirts which are usually that price on sale). These were on sale for $58 which I consider a spectacular bargain for this quality.

    Don’t know how the solid colors would be for transparency, but the prints were completely opaque (dark grounds). While they are having a sale now and most of the sizes have sold out, they do seem to have classic cut silk shirts on a regular basis, both solid color and prints. Links to follow.

    • Silk Shirt PSA :

      These are the same cuts that I bought, not necessarily the same prints, since the prints are selling out fast.

      http://www.stories.com/us/Ready-to-wear/Tops/Blouses_Shirts/Silk_Shirt/102346007-0360443011.2

      http://www.stories.com/us/Ready-to-wear/Tops/Blouses_Shirts/Classic_Silk_Shirt/102346007-0223324023.2

      http://www.stories.com/us/Ready-to-wear/Tops/Blouses_Shirts/Silk_Shirt/102346007-0356006006.2

    • They have great customer service!

  23. We’ve talked about board membership here in the past – talk to me about the process of getting on a board. I was approached to join a board for a charitable organization. The board invited me to attend a recruitment event. They’re also asking for a resume. What can I expect from the event – is this basically an interview? Should I tailor my resume to highlight community involvement? Do I need to include a cover letter?

    • Sounds like an interview. I don’t know that I’d include a cover letter per se since they’re approaching you, but I’d send over an email with the resume talking about your excitement about the opportunity.

      Be sure that you’re a fan of the charity itself- as a Board member, you’re typically expected to make a major financial commitment yourself to the charity, as well as to bring in other financial commitments from your network.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        On the financial commitment, I’d say it depends and you can ask as part of the on-boarding process. I’ve been on two local charity boards and they really value our knowledge more than our money. The board tries to have a lawyer, an accountant, an HR person, etc. We are all expected to contribute something so that they have 100% board participation but they were very open that anything is okay and the average donation is $100. So, no $5000/year commitment or anything like that. They are also aware that people earlier in their careers will donate less and that as we progress, we will hopefully be able to contribute more. Involvement in subcommittees and events has been more important than $$ for my two.

        • My husband recently did some pro bono work for a local charity that was time and content intensive. Neither of us serve on the board of this charity, however, my husband is socially friendly with the operations director and did the work as sort of a courtesy to the friendship and because it was for a good cause. My husband did great work that saved the organization about 10k in legal fees, and we were later comp’d two tickets to the charity’s annual fundraiser dinner, worth approximately $85/piece.

          We bid on, but did not win, several of the silent auction items. During the live auction, I was reading through a pamphlet that listed some of their needs, and had a quiet conversation with my husband that we should make a cash donation to cover one of the items on this list. At the end of the evening, the operations director forwardly asked my husband and I – in front of a group of acquaintances – if we were planning to make a donation. He sort of joked about it, but it came across in a passive aggressive way. It was such a turn off and seemed so entirely rude that we decided not to make a donation at that time.

          I received a call yesterday from the organization asking for a donation. I encouraged my husband to have a heart to heart with his friend about how off-putting his approach was, and, since how he is his friend, that perhaps this approach could backfire with those who are less understanding of his tone.

          But… I feel like if we do donate, his rude behavior is reinforced, but if we don’t donate, I feel kind of cheap.

          Advice?? Apologies for kind of a long post.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m a fundraiser for a nonprofit and would totally want to know if someone on staff was turning off donors. It sounds like maybe your husband’s friend’s role is not in fundraising per se, and therefore he is perhaps not used to asking people for money? (This is my charitable interpretation of his behavior). I see no harm in having the conversation if your husband is willing. You don’t owe them anything for those comp tickets, especially since you spent money at the auction, but if you care about the cause a donation would be lovely. So I vote for have the conversation, then unless friend reacts really poorly, make the donation, and make decisions about future giving based on future interactions and/or results. Your husband’s friend might be great at doing the charity’s work, and crappy at fundraising, but if their work is important you would be contributing to that AND helping him be more effective in fundraising.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Have the heart to heart. Say it was off-putting but that you would like to donate to cover x need anyway.

      • As a counterpoint, I’m a lawyer fulfilling that role and I just got asked to donate $2500 to the nonprofit whose board I’m joining. Total budget is around $400,000, so this is not a large organization. “Board donations” is actually a metric that foundations will look at when awarding grant money, so it’s important to them. It’s super annoying though as I like to think I’m more than just a checkbook.

        I got asked to join another board where the amount was $5000. That was too steep for me. I’m in biglaw, so I guess they think I can afford it, but still. It’s something I wasn’t aware of before, and it’s good to know ahead of time since they bring it up late in the process and it can be awkward.

        • Look at it from the nonprofit’s perspective. They have a full-time staff that is expert at what they do. When they need something, they can’t expect you to drop everything and do it right away for them, even if you are able to contribute pro bono. The board meets about 4x per year and is not super involved in their work in between. Therefore, you are most valuable to them for who you know and how much money you can bring in.

          All that said, this should never be a surprise – financial expectations should be part of the conversation before you join a board, and if they aren’t, that is a red flag for a dysfunctional nonprofit (or at least a weak board).

          • No, no I get that. They actually only have 1 full time person and several people part time and I do handle their big legal questions. But sadly I am still most valuable for money, which I’ve come to realize.

            I just wanted to warn that there may be a relatively high commitment. I knew the size of the organization and was thinking more like $1000 or $1500 but I think they are trying to up board donations. I don’t have a problem with the organization I’m currently involved with, it’s just a fair amount!

        • This, I’m not a lawyer and nobody I know runs in those circles, so I when I was asked to join the board of a small, start-up non-profit, I didn’t realize how important financial donations are. They, and the board’s networks, really are used and important. I was happy to donate my time and input to the organization, but was naive about the need to be a networker, advocate, and donor for them.

      • A well-run nonprofit should be very clear about their expectations in terms of giving and soliciting donations from friends or your employer, often called a “give or get” threshold. Generally speaking, smaller organizations (budget under $1 million or so) are more likely to accept pro bono service in lieu of a financial contribution, or some combination of both. I worked at an org with a $2.5 million annual budget with a $5K annual give or get, and now work for one with a $25 million budget and a $50K give or get. The smaller organization did use board member lawyers pro bono, but they were also expected to contribute via the give or get, and actually tended to be among our larger donors. But there is a wide variety.

        In this case, you are really interviewing them too – don’t join a board unless you are really interested in the work they are doing, feel like you click with other board members, feel like you can make a difference in some way, and are clear about what they expect from you.

  24. Sloan Sabbith :

    What’s been your best “find” recently, either on sale, thrift store, or just something you’ve been looking for and finally found the perfect one of?

    For me, I picked up a pair of Cole Haan Addison ballet flats in black for $17 at a local consignment store last night, as well as a Herschel tote bag for $28, a suuuuuuper comfortable black, white, and grey casual dress (pretty much a sweatshirt in dress form), and Banana Republic grey cords that fit perfectly. Probably going to wear the cords with the flats and a black Pleione blouse to work today.

    Still looking for a good skirt, why are jean skirts in?! NO.

    • I got a pair of Theory ankle pants in navy on clearance at Nordstrom Rack for about $35. Had to get them tailored, but still totally worth it. Original tag was $235!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Yay! I just got a fake leather jacket from Macys for $20, and I’m delighted. It’s exactly what I needed after my old LJ disappeared (RIP).

    • An Armani blazer in great shape for $21. I also got a pair of Joe’s Jeans at the Rack for a penny.

      I love jean skirts. They’re my go to for Fridays in the summer.

    • I really wanted a light neutral coloured bag for summer and I finally found the perfect one at Kate Spade! It’s the Mylie and it’s the perfect every day bag.

    • GirlFriday :

      An above the knee jean skirt can be cute but anytime I hear mention of them I picture a woman in a fringe religious group wearing a full-length denim skirt, long sleeve button down and a headcovering. Sorry if that’s rude, it’s just what I picture. Anyway! I found a pair of Armani crop tuxedo pants for $8 a few years ago. They fit me PERFECTLY. The ony problem is now I want to buy more Armani pants, which I can’t afford. Wardrobe goals?

    • Anonymous :

      Gorgeous​ floaty Max Mara silk midi dress for $15 at our hospice thrift shop. Bodice fits weird on me, but it’s the skirt I love. Going to see if a tailor can cut the bodice away and refinish the skirt.

  25. Graduation Gift :

    My cousin just graduated high school and is moving to my city for college. I’d like to get her a gift, either something useful for school or an experience, but I’m not sure exactly what. I’d like to spend $50-$100. Any ideas?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I would probably do 1/2 something totally practical (Target/Amazon gift card?) and 1/2 a cool local thing. Like is there a hip restaurant near her school you could get her a gift card to? A non-chain homegoods store where she could get something nice to fancy up her dorm?

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Take her to dinner after her first week somewhere nice, just you and her. My aunt took me out to dinner and I was so grateful- I was homesick and miserable and having someone I knew come get me and take me out was wonderful.

      • +1 to this! There’s nothing better those first few weeks of college than getting away from college life for a bit.

    • School Bookstore giftcard. It may seem impersonal, but I think it’s the most needed/helpful. Taking some of the burden off of books/supplies is huge.

    • PatsyStone :

      A family friend who lived where I went to college essentially gave me a “get out of jail free” card. Something along the lines of if you get into a little trouble, and need grownup help but don’t want to go to parents, I’ll help you get out of it (they had the means to do so).

      I never used it, or really had reason to, but I always remember it as a super thoughtful gesture.

  26. Any tips for a hotel in Philadelphia? I’m thinking of visiting over the 4th of July (Monday-Wednesday). Looking to be in a central location (close to transportation) + near to the fireworks

    I haven’t been to Philly in many years and have no idea of neighborhoods etc. Any tips greatly appreciated! Price range of $250 and under/night

    • I stayed at the Le Meredien recently which looks to be $125/night. Walkable to the fireworks and centrally located for some great restaurants (we liked El Vez, Charlie Was a Sinner, Zavino, and Sampan). Also, check our the Reading Terminal (Beiler’s Donuts are amazing – and worth the wait, the line moves quickly.)

      We didn’t hit anything historical but I think that would have been a quick Uber ride. We rented a car and parked about a block away for $8/night over the weekend. I’ve also liked the Kimpton hotels in Philly.

    • Kimpton Hotel Monaco? It’s right near all of the historic sights, close to the El, and within walking distance of Penn’s Landing for fireworks.

    • Philadelphia has fireworks in two places, if I recall correctly, near the river at Penn’s Landing and at the art museum. If you want to see the display by the Philadelphia Art Museum, you’d want to stay in the Fairmont-Art Museum District area. The Le Méridien is there, and it’s near Suburban Station.

      Rittenhouse Square would work for both the museum and the river. Otherwise, Center City or Old City, I think would be convenient for Penn’s Landing.

      I don’t know what hotels are around anymore, but you like beer, Monk’s Cafe in Rittenhouse is great, as is Standard Tap in Northern Liberties.

  27. Accessories help! :

    I’m getting married in November (in southern Texas so it won’t be very cold) and don’t know what shoes or jewelry to wear with my dress. My dress is below:

    http://www.allurebridals.com/products/C348

    Any ideas? I’m open colors that match the dress and wine / claret colors. Any ideas?

    • Very pretty dress! I’d go with simple jewelry since all that beading is the star. I’d def do wine/claret colored shoes!

    • For a minute I thought you meant you wanted your accessories to match the wine you were serving at the wedding!
      Gorgeous dress! I’d follow the styling in the picture and go with a bare neck with an intricate dangly earring. See if you can find earrings that echo the patterns in the dress embroidery.

  28. Reply help :

    It’s easy enough to figure out how to make a main comment, but can someone give a how-to on how to reply to a specific comments? I’m new here and can’t figure it out.

    Also, does your comment go into moderation if you can’t see it after posting, or does it go into greys?

    Thanks!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Hit “reply” below the comment you want to reply to; sometimes if you’re replying to a reply to a reply (so, Main Post, Comment 1, Reply to Comment 1, Reply to Reply to Comment 1), it won’t nest, so if you’re addressing something specific, say so.

      If you put in your email and it goes to moderation, it will tell you.

    • Under each comment (but I think not every sub-sub comment in a thread) there’s a button that says “Reply;” hit that and your comment will be part of that specific thread. And if you don’t see your comment after you post it, you’re in the dreaded and somewhat dysfunctional moderation system. (Or you accidentally hit “cancel reply,” which I do all.the.time.)

      And welcome!

  29. COBRA question -- deductible restart? :

    Husband is switching jobs and carries our insurance. We’ve met our deductible for the year. Of course, I’m pregnant and due soon. Would it make sense to stay on his insurance on COBRA (and just pay the higher rate) for what’s probably a max of two months or would our deductible restart under that, too?

    • IIRC COBRA is a new policy – you get new cards etc. So your deductible re starts.

      • I don’t think that’s quite right. I thought COBRA continued the existing policy, but at full-freight premiums. I suggest you call the benefits administrator of the policy to find out.

        • Anon at 1:34 is correct – COBRA lets you remain on the existing, employer-provided group insurance plan but you pay the full premiums (plus a 2% administrative charge). It’s not a new policy and there’s no re-start of your deductible. I’d go with that.

  30. Making a photobook for a whole year – favorite service? I love artifact uprising but maybe something a little less expensive – shutterfly? And specific favorite book within that service if that makes sense?

    • I did this through Costco and was happy with the outcome, but I haven’t tried the other options and can’t compare :)

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I use shutterfly. They have 40 or 50% off photobooks all the time if you get their emails. I usually just do a custom book, so no specific favorite.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I use snapfish and get the book all teed up, then push “buy” when there’s a 50-60% off coupon.

      I always make the 8 x 11 photocover books. I’ve been making them forever for trips (well, for 7 years or so) and now for an annual thing, so they all line up neatly on our shelves.

    • Shutterfly is very user friendly and the books are really nice.

  31. Does anybody have the featured top in white? Is it opaque?

  32. I’m applying for an internal promotion and am nervous as all get out, as the expectations are much higher for an internal candidate. Does anyone have great tips for how to approach writing a cover letter this situation? Writing, “I’m already doing 90% of the role, so please hire me and pay me more already,” probably wouldn’t go over well. :)

    • Pugsnbourbon was just successful with this!

      I did this a year or so ago, and it felt really awkward. But, you have a better sense of the *actual* job–not the job spec as advertised–than almost any other applicant, and a sense for the pressure points that the orgaization deals with. In my case, I knew we had high turnover and onboardind was a slow and painful slog for the whole org. So, I made a specific point of highlighting my value to the organization in that my onboarding would be minimal and interruption in service/mission engagement would be next to nothing. My resume did the talking about the fact that I was doing 90% of the work anyway, so I used my cover letter to make my value plea based on my inside info.

  33. Anonymous :

    What do I wear with a lavender short-sleeve cardigan? I’m trying to add color to my work wardrobe for the summer, but I’m not sure what outfits to wear with it. My office is business casual.

    • I have a lavender cardigan and I like wearing a black shirt under neath and black ankle pants. I also wear it with white and grey underneath and/or grey pants. A multi-colored shirt for underneath that contains lavender would also work. So would a multicolored skirt. Navy (undershirt and/or pants) would probably also work.

      • Yes

        My neutral color palate is white/black/grey/navy, and my silk lavender cardigan goes with everything.

  34. I accidentally checked the box to be notified about follow up comments and I’m getting an email every 30 seconds. The unsubscribe link leads to a 404 page. Please tell me how to fix this. It’s awful.

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