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Suit of the Week: White House Black Market

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

If you’re on the hunt for a white suit for summer, this traditional version might be just what you’re looking for — the bootcut pants, wider lapels, and one-button are all classic features.  (If you’re looking for full-length trousers for work in general, do note that WHBM has a ton of them in stock — and in short, tall, and regular sizes up to 16 (generally). Also, this dress is now marked to $70 and is delightful.) The pictured suit jacket (Miranda Suiting Jacket) is $150, and the pants (Miranda Suiting Slim Bootcut Pants) are $99.

Psst: sure, April 1 was more than a month ago, but if you’re on the hunt for a silly suit, here you go…

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Comments

  1. JuniorMinion :

    Hey all! Just booked myself a trip to Seattle for the first time ever for Memorial day weekend – any food / drink / things to do recommendations? I’m pretty outdoorsy and adventurous from a food sense.

    • Anonymous :

      Spuds fish and chips! The original location on Alki Beach is the best, because you can feed the chips to the seagulls.And Lincoln park is a pretty walk nearby, though not adventurous.

      • JuniorMinion :

        oooh thank you. I’ve actually gotten an airbnb in alki beach so will have to check this place out.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m from Seattle! Seconding the rec for Spud’s :) Also, if you stay on Alki, the Alki Cafe is a few blocks down from Spud’s and they have these ginger pancakes that I require every time I go back to visit my hometown. Other recs (besides the obvious, like Pike Place Market)–if you’re outdoorsy, consider taking the ferry to Poulsbo or if you’re planning to drive, drive north and take the ferry to Whidbey Island. Also, depending on where you’re coming from, Seattle’s weather is…well, standard Seattle that time of year, usually. The Seattle Science Center is wonderful too.

    • Alki Beach is great place to stay! Will you have a car? I’m in North Seattle, so I have fewer recommendations for West Seattle places, but I’ll give you a few ideas.

      Marination Ma Kai is in West Seattle, right next to the water taxi dock, so I recommend getting kimchi fried rice there before you hop on the water taxi to go downtown.

      If you’re into beer, Cloudburst Brewing is downtown by Pike Place Market. If you’re really into beer, get yourself over to Ballard, and do a walking tour of all the breweries. I recommend Reuben’s, Stoup, and Lucky Envelope.

      I highly recommend getting a picnic and going to one of the big parks. Lincoln Park is great, some other favorites are Discovery Park, Seward Park, Magnuson Park, Golden Gardens, and Carkeek Park.

      Museum-wise, I like the Museum of Flight, and the Museum of History and Industry.

      • JuniorMinion :

        We are planning to rent a car – so will drive for food! I just booked dinner reservations at Mo’ana fried chicken & whiskey as well as at the whale wins. Would you recommend marination Ma Kai over Mo’ana for dinner?

        Also thanks for the beer / park recommendations. That sounds right up our alley!

        • JuniorMinion :

          sorry – just realized its Ma’ono – case of the Wednesdays.

        • I haven’t been to Ma’ono, but I hear wonderful things! Marination Ma Kai is a little more casual (I think).

          If you’re going to the Whale Wins, you’ll be one block away from Fremont Brewing. I went to Whale Wins for my birthday one year, it was amazing!

        • Marination is actually more like street food — think kimchi tacos. I’d plan on getting lunch or a snack there, not dinner.

          Other food: no one has given you seafood recommendations! If you are splurgey ($100 dinner for two), check out the Taylor Shellfish near the Seattle Center. I don’t know if it’s the season yet but I took my mother to a combined crab + oyster dinner there that was to die for. Toulouse Petit, also near there, has fabulous Cajun food and cocktails. The Tin Lizzie, also near there, has amazing cocktails. That’s on your way to Discovery Park from where you’re staying, if you want to visit one of the bigger parks (with a better beach than Alki, though I’ll be piled on for saying it).

          The Ballard locks are fun if you’ve never seen locks and they’re a short drive from Whale Wins. Consider stopping at Kerry Park on your way up from West Seattle/ downtown to Fremont — that’s where the pictures with a perfect view of Rainier, the Space Needle, the Sound, and downtown are taken from.

      • Anonymous :

        I did a great food tour that takes you around the market and to some of the more famous restaurants (Etta’s? Ella’s? Something like that). It was amazing. It replaces a meal (and probably more).

    • Oddfellows Cafe and pioneer books next door is my favorite place in the world. On Capitol Hill in Seattle. Have fun!

    • JuniorMinion :

      Thank you all! I’ve got your suggestions organized in my phone and appreciate all the thoughtful responses.

      • Anonymous :

        Check out Biscuit Bitch (get the Hot Mess) and The Crumpet Shop, both in Pike’s Place.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’ve tried to post twice now and screwed it up by accidentally hitting Ctrl-R and refreshing both times, so I’m just going to say: have a great time! Seattle has so much to explore and do. Storyville Coffee in Pike Place has THE BEST salted caramel roll, and it’s way prettier and way less busy than the original Starbucks, Alki Beach/West Seattle is a wonderful area, and I’d consider whether you really need a car- we have a million options for public transportation.

      • JuniorMinion :

        Thanks! I’ll add it to my list. Good to know – I wasn’t sure on transit / whether we would want to go to a winery / hike outside the city and a car ended up not being crazy expensive so I just went for it but I will definitely check out the transit system for when we (hopefully) go back!

      • I also agree that Pike’s market is the place to go. They throw fish back and forth that are caught locally, so it is alot of fun to watch them throw and catch the fish. When I went there with Dad after Rosa got MARRIED, he said that it is a touristy thing, but so what? I am a tourist, as is the OP, and if Sloan Sabbath recommends it, it is proabley an OK place for other things, b/c it is an indoor mall. I think everyone ought to go there b/c it reminds me of Fanueil Hall in Boston. YAY!!!

    • This just popped through my reading – looks like a good list http://botanicamag.com/the-seattle-guide/

  2. KateMiddletown :

    I just want to draw attention to the silly suit featured. There is, in fact, a line of silly suits that you can purchase at Lord + Taylor. In what universe is there demand for a Fresh Prince Three-Piece Suit?

  3. newbinlaw :

    I just bought a white blazer (stiff linen/cotton type material) with very fine navy or black pin stripes. I cannot figure out what to wear it with. Its a boyfriend type cut. help?

    • JuniorMinion :

      It sounds like it would look really nice with a pair of gray jeans….

      Also if the stripes are in fact black it might look nice with a black skirt / pants and a gray top.

    • S in Chicago :

      Skirt or pants in burgundy or red. Skirt in a coral or emerald green with white top .

    • Especially if it’s navy strips, pretty much any cool colors – gray, light blue, mint, and olive would all be fine. Black opens it up even further – anything goes! Since it’s boyfriend cut, I’d suggest pants instead of a skirt to go with it.

      And for the future (I don’t mean this at all snarkily), try to avoid buying pieces you have no idea how to wear, or at least do some Googling in store beforehand to see how others wear similar pieces and make sure you have pieces at home that you can wear it with. The saddest thing is to do a closet cleanout in a year and realize you really loved this piece, but never wore it because you didn’t know how to wear it and/0r had nothing to wear it with.

      • anonymama :

        Oh, I kind of disagree. On the one hand, I tend to ponder forever over clothing choices, but occasionally I will buy something randomly in store that I just really like, and sometimes it sits there for a bit while I figure out how to wear it, but then I come around on it and it becomes a favorite. It really helps me expand my wardrobe, as I have a tendency towards boring/utilitarian, but if I buy something spontaneously I tend to stretch a bit more style-wise. But definitely second the advice to google/pinterest search once you have it home :)

      • newbinlaw :

        Thanks for all the advice! & yeah, I see this going both ways. I have a really expansive work wardrobe, and loved this jacket off the rack, plus it was a great price and one thing missing in my wardrobe is a lighter colored blazer. So I guess I figured, if it goes with ANYthing, I have that. Problem is, when I tried Pinterest-ing (and I do this so often successfully) I couldn’t find anything with these stripes + cut.

        I’m realizing based off of everyone’s tips that I think the problem is that I was trying to pair it with dress/skirts, and really the cut is more suited to pants. I have plenty of those too so I’ll try it out! Thanks :)

  4. I wanted to give a review of eShakti — I really like the two dresses I ordered! I went with a standard size (i.e. I did not put in my measurements for custom fit) and it worked out well. The cotton knit fabric is a thick jersey, a little more casual than I wanted but still good for a casual day at work (I am skeptical of how well it will survive a wash – will probably handwash). Overall quality seems good for the price — I love that you can customize the length, and decide whether you want pockets.

    • Betterandbetter :

      My wife and I got married in eshakti crepe dresses. They were great. I got a non bridal dress in a different print but same material its held up fine with cold water wash, hang to dry. Though it’s definitely not a cotton knit.

  5. Military credit unions? :

    We are in the early stages of buying our first home. I’m historically a customer of the Big Bad Midwestern Bank, and haven’t switched after all scandals etc. mainly because it’s a huge pain and my time resources are limited. However, given their history I don’t feel terrific about financing a home purchase with them. My father is a veteran of multiple wars and I believe this means I qualify to bank at one of the military credit unions, get homeowners’ insurance through USAA, etc.

    Does anyone have experience with these institutions in comparison to major commercial banks? Is the customer service really better? Are there downsides I should consider?

    • JuniorMinion :

      No experience but worth noting that your loan can be sold at any point by whoever originates it, and is probably pretty likely to be sold.

      • This. Get a couple quotes and go with the best terms. Loans are frequently sold so I wouldn’t worry too much about the company. IME credit unions have higher mortgage rates but still worth checking.

      • Yep. Get the best rate/lowest closing costs and just wait for them to sell it. I started at a credit union and they sold my loan in the first two months.

        • I got great service through my credit local credit union and the rate offered was lower that what we got directly from a regional bank. The credit union then sold the loan to that bank a few months later. In my state, you don’t pay an intangibles tax when the lender is a credit union so we saved a little money too.

      • Anonymous :

        Fascinated by this selling loans thing. Do any Canadians know if this is a thing in Canada too?

        • TO Lawyer :

          I’ve never heard of it happening here but it wouldn’t surprise me.

        • JuniorMinion :

          I’m not a Canadian and don’t have actual statistics on loan sales but I am under the impression (a mentor in my first job ran the whole loans desk ) that the structure of mortgages are different in Canada – Canadian mortgages are five year loans amortized over 25 years (so every 5 years the loan balance is refinanced) and I think the government there wants to incentivize banks to hold mortgages on their balance sheet. I think Canada is also more creditor friendly (have done a bit of looking into Canadian bonds for clients in the past) so these factors together are likely to promote holding loans on the balance sheet.

          • JuniorMinion :

            The problem with the US system is it is difficult for banks to hold 30 year fixed rate mortgages as long term assets when they have deposits as a short term liability. This disconnect is resolved as well as the interest rate risk is mitigated a bit by originating and then selling those loans off.

    • USAA is generally awesome to work with. Plus no ATM fees ever – they don’t charge any and reimburse you if other banks do.

      • Agreed! All my banking, car loans, insurance, mortgages (when I had one) and some retirement accounts are there.

    • Anonymous :

      My loan was sold to Big Bad Midwestern Bank lol. My advice (may be regional) is to use a mortgage broker. They take care of getting the quotes and presenting you with the one that has the best terms. Much, much less hassle-and no fee to you. I’ve had excellent experiences both times and was not able to match their rates on my own. Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        Actually, the Big Bad Midwestern Bank may just be servicing your loan (you send them payments, but they hold them on behalf of the beneficial owner).

        If you have a conforming loan, there is a pretty good chance that Freddie/Fannie own your loan (or did and then bundled it up and resold it).

        The first sale to Freddie/Fannie is usually sent to you (in the blizzard of other junkish looking mail you get every day). Each new servicer tends to send you a letter saying to send the $ to them now (and wow — this is ripe for the Nigerian prince who’s been e-mailing me / fake IRS people calling me to exploit on the unsuspecting).

        • Anonymous :

          The current servicer and the new servicer send letters, so you shouldn’t send your payments to a Nigerian prince unless the current servicer vouches for him.

    • As someone who has a husband in the law department (in the mortgage division) of the big bad bank with all the scandals, I can assure that the ship has been righted.

      That being said, we don’t bank with them purely for the same reasons you still do – takes too much time to switch things over. We also didn’t get our mortgage with them because the rates were much better elsewhere.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      Left you a longer response downthread. Short story: USAA is great.

      • +1. If USAA has an option for something (banking, insurance, life insurance, mortgage) I will use that product / service. Prices are very competitive / better than anyone else, and customer service, for real, is amazing. Cannot recommend enough, if you qualify.

    • Also, it’s importatant to note that different banks use different pools of appraisers. If the house you are buying is not in an average suburban market, this can make a big difference.

      We had terrible issues getting a motgage with a national bank, but have done great with small, local banks. Talk to mortgage brokers and your realtor.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My father was also a veteran but the last time I checked, I couldn’t join USAA unless my father was also a member. He wasn’t interested in switching so I can’t use them.

    • Yes, USAA is great! I have home/car insurance, Roth IRA, checking, savings, and a credit card through them. I got a mortgage quote from them, but ended up getting our mortgage from the lender associated with our builder, since they offered a bunch of incentives and it was generally less hassle. They immediately sold it, though luckily that’s also been fine so far. It does seem sort of crazy that you have essentially no way to control the financial institution that deals with one of your largest assets.

      • USAA has been fantastic for home/car insurance, checking and credit card.

        We had a horrid experience, however, with our mortgage through USAA. We went through them in 2012. Three days before the closing, there was absolute radio silence from the loan specialist. 48 hours before the close, she insisted that USAA would not close on the loan without knowing the grid number for our property (or something similar), which is used out west but is not how property is written in New England. On the day of the close, they did a “final review” of our bank statements that we submitted a week prior and demanded a receipt for a $25.00 check that had been deposited that same week. By random luck, my husband had the receipt with a picture of the check in his wallet (so unlike him). We faxed it over at noon. They refused our call until 3pm and insisted that it was too late to close that day and that they would need at least a week. We had driver 3 hours one way and taken a day off of work to close. We did manage to close that day with the wire coming through around 3:58 pm. We refinanced out of that mortgage within a year.

      • I’m a veteran and have my mortgage with USAA. They don’t sell their mortgages. Period. They are a member owned cooperative, unlike corporate banks who sell out customers to please shareholders. They offer competitive rates, absolutely amazing customer service, and a wide array of other financial services. For those children of veterans to be able to become members, their veteran parent simply needs to establish membership eligibility with USAA, not have an account. It is a smart and user friendly choice.

    • I have used USAA for multiple home, car and other loans, plus vehicle and homeowner’s insurance. They do not sell any of their loans at any point — it is a point of customer service for them.

      I have found their rates generally are competitive on vehicles and second mortgages (I had a second for a period of time with them), but less so on first mortgage loans (I ended up doing my home loans through the bank I worked for and then through a bank located by my mortgage broker).

      I love using USAA to buy cars — I negotiate my price, get to financing and then pull out my sight draft from USAA and tell the dealer that they either can beat my USAA deal or I will just sign over the draft. About half the time I end up with USAA and half the time the dealer (grudgingly) does me better on the laons.

      I have yet to find a better deal than USAA for insurance of any kind.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I love USAA in a way I didn’t think I could love a bank. I’ve found them SO easy to work with, I have a car loan and my car insurance with them, and they’ve saved my a** twice now when my car decided that functioning was asking too much of it (both times were on the freeway…). I was completely panicked and freaking the f out and they were wonderful. Not really related to your question, but makes me love them even more and speaks to their customer service.

      • Talking to the people who work at USAA is an enjoyble experience. I alwaysalwaysalways feel happy and helped beyond what I thought was possible!

    • Former Navy Wife :

      I use USAA for all insurance and banking, and NFCU for mortgage and banking. NFCU had better rates for mortgage and do not sell to a servicer which is why my mortgage is with them rather than USAA. Either way, they’re both great and I will never go anywhere else for my banking and insurance needs.

    • My mortgage is with Navy Fed. It was originated and is still serviced by them, and will be for the duration of the loan. I’ve had nothing but good dealings with them over the years, though I don’t use them for my everyday banking needs, because I’m 300 miles away from the nearest branch. They were easy enough to deal with over the phone/email for getting my mortgage done, though.

  6. Adopting a Dog :

    Re-posting because I posted late, with a revision to solicit more feedback.

    I am planning to adopt an older dog (1+ years) in the next six months. I grew up with dogs so I have a solid understanding of the level of commitment required. However, I was too little to remember the training process with our first dog and out of the house when the second dog was trained, so I’ve never experienced it first hand.

    Does any one have advice for new pet owners or making the adoption process easier? Books/blog recommendations and any suggestions for training a dog to handle city life versus versus suburb life are also welcome.

    • Cookbooks :

      With one dog, the obedience class suggested to my mom that she fill a kiddie swimming pool/sandbox/something similar with lots of plastic bottles (soda, water, etc), and have the dog walk around in it. All that rattling around is supposed to help them get used to noise. It seems to have worked since the dog is not afraid of thunder, for instance, and I think in a city where there will be a lot of noise, this could be worth trying.

      As far as adoption, be prepared for very protective foster parents. They mean well but can be demanding.

      Good luck! Dogs are wonderful :)

      • another anon :

        One of the great things about adopting an older dog–especially if you adopt one that has been living in a foster home–is that you may not have to do any training at all! It just depends on the dog and your expectations/situation, but adopting through a rescue group that uses foster parents will give you a good preview as to the dog’s level of training, personality, temperament, etc. As well, the rescue organization you use will be a great resource for training referrals if needed.

        We have adopted three adult dogs over the last 16 years. The first one we adopted with the help of a rescue group but she had never been fostered so they didn’t know anything about her and she turned out to have behavioral issues with other dogs and required extensive training. We worked with a dog behaviorist for that and he also helped us with her regular training (because she was essentially untrained). It was a lot of work, but well worth it–her behavioral issues were never fully fixed, but she had perfect house and leash manners! The second dog we adopted basically as her therapy dog–he was 10 years old and we got him from a shelter. We did zero training with him–he was so happy to have a home, he simply copied the first dog’s house manners and blended right in.

        We are on our third dog now and we got him at 9 months old. He’d been fostered and came to us house trained, crate trained, and knew sit and come. Two years later, we have done zero training because, like the first dog, has just picked up the house rules on his own–he even knows to sit and wait to get his feet wiped before coming inside.

        If you adopt through a rescue group (which I recommend so that you will know a bit more about the dog), do expect a fairly rigorous screening–we had to sign a “contract” promising to crate him at night and when were not at home until he was two years old, verifying that we have a padlock on our gate fence, swearing he wouldn’t be alone for more than 8 hours at a time, and promising to return him to them before giving him to anyone else, among other things. I hear people complain about this process quite a bit–why should it be so hard to adopt an animal that needs a home–but I like to think they do it simply to weed out the folks who are scared off by all the requirements. Also, despite what the foster parent says about the dog’s personality or temperament, do expect there to be a transition period–our current dog was a nervous wreck for the first three weeks we had him. He barked incessantly when we left, shredded anything left in or near his crate, and fear peed at any loud noises. With love and attention and some online tips about separation anxiety, that all went away and he is now possibly the most laid back dog on the planet. (Seriously, he doesn’t even greet us at the door when we get home!)

  7. Has anyone ever framed a vintage scarf (Hermes or something similar)? I see that there are a few online places that claim to do this now, but I’m a bit wary. Also shopping around with local framers and it’s hard to get a feel for how experienced they are, as I’m in a smaller Midwestern city.

    • If the framers have experience framing things like quilts or embroidery, it’s probably the same process as framing a scarf.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I like this thought. Could you ask around at local embroidery shops? My MIL has made us some cross-stitched things (??) and had them framed by someone who knew what they were doing — so perhaps a store where cross stitchers gather/buy supplies could have leads.

  8. Career progress or pigeonholing? :

    I’ve recently discover I’m good at teaching intro classes in my field. I’m in tech and I’m teaching content specialists how to do some of the simple stuff for themselves, instead of calling us.

    This internal cross-training program has been going on for several years, but I’m fairly certain that my classes have been more successful and more popular than the earlier ones. I seem to be especially good at reaching out to senior managers who are hopelessly computer illiterate. Lessons learned from my own frustrations in school, I guess!

    My boss has suggested she would normally call the training program finished until next year. But I think there would still be high interestand good turnout if we kept going.

    My position has a high degree of flexibility and work has been reasonably slow otherwise (maybe because we’ve been teaching people how to fish). If I proposed another class, she would probably give me some leeway.

    But am I am likely to be job searching in a very ambigously defined field within the next few years. If i focis on these classes, am I filling my resume with experience that will only be saleable at a community college? Or am I getting an invaluable chance to impress movers and shakers I might otherwise never talk to?

    • My gut instinct would be that you’re pigeonholing yourself, at least into training positions. Which is cool if that’s something you love! But if you wanted to move on to a different type of role, I would make sure it’s not taking up too much of your time. (As an aside, one of my dream jobs is teaching intro level econ classes in a community college or university.)

      • Career progress or pigeonholing? :

        It’s a job I admire, but not necessarily one I would want full time.

        On the other hand, I think I would be in fairly high demand as a trainer/ intor teacher, even in the current job market. Most of my grad school classmates were immediately hired in academia.

        Thanks for the opinion though. I am really out on a limb here.

    • I think this is a great opportunity as long as it does not become your only responsibility!

      What you’re describing could translate really well onto a resume if you phrase it correctly. Rather than just “taught intro class”, it sounds like you revamped an internal training program, increased enrollment X%, and developed techniques for supporting colleagues at a variety of levels. That will help lots if you decide to look for jobs elsewhere.

      If you are looking to advance at your current company and there are higher-ups taking your class, consider a short self-promotion at the beginning when you introduce yourself. “Hi, I’m Beyonce, I work in the IT department. I work on a variety of different projects, such as [exciting project X] and [exciting project Y], and today I’ll be focused on going over Z!” Just so they know you have a variety of responsibilities. You could also wrap up at the end with, “If anyone has specific questions about use cases for your department, please feel free to reach out; I’d love to help.” That can open the door to working with new people or getting street cred as an expert.

      • Career progress or pigeonholing? :

        Thanks- you’re telling me what I want hear, but the resume language is also hugely helpful. I also have an annual review coming up soon, and I may try to work some of this in.

        I have a pretty good into down pat, and I think it’s working, because they’re starting to call me directly!

        • Career progress or pigeonholing? :

          Intro…Sorry for all the typoes. I’m on my phone, and thank goodness I’m not a lawyer!

  9. Anon Lawyer Seeking Advice :

    Seeking work advice from the lawyers of the hive: How do you make sure that a document you’ve drafted is perfect before you send it out? I just got dinged by my boss for a document I sent to him (not to the client) where there were a few things that I should have caught but didn’t. My boss is great, so he point these out in the nicest way possible and just said that “these are things we need to focus on.”

    I just seem to have trouble picking up on some of these little details. I just feel like I never have enough time to do a good vetting of the document.

    Any specific advice that you have, I would greatly appreciate.

    • My biggie is printing out the document and reading it on paper, not on the computer.

      • +1

      • +1, somehow I catch things in print that I skimmed over on the screen, no matter how careful I thought I was

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to *printing* and reading a redline. If this is a consistent problem, do it twice. There’s never enough time for anything, but better to be slow than for your senior associate or partner to have to spend extra time correcting your mistakes. That said, someone reviewing a document will always find mistakes the original author didn’t see — it’s just the way it works.

        • +1 to this. Printing it out helps. So does working on something else for a few hours (or waiting until the next day, if possible) and then coming back to it. I’ve come to realize it is virtually impossible to produce completely error-proof documents 100% of the time. Once you’ve read something too many times, it is really hard to catch mistakes.

          I got dinged for this a lot as first-year lawyer with one perfectionist boss. I have naturally improved a lot over time. Depending on the type of work that you do and whether it follows any kind of consistent format, you may also want to consider a checklist.

      • Also read it with a ruler. And backwards.

      • This, coupled with reading it backwards. Start with the last sentence and go to the first. Your brain is less likely to correct mistakes that way.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        +1, with everything cleared off my desk and my monitor off so I can just focus on the paper.

    • AnonMidwest :

      On top of printing it out and reading hard copy, I find putting the draft down for a while, working on something else and coming back to it cold is very helpful.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      Agree with others. I am hopeless as a proofreader on a screen.
      In addition to printing docs, I find it is helpful to double or triple space drafts, even if your final products aren’t. I also use a second sheet of paper to cover everything below the line I am working on and then move down the document as I go.
      Reading out loud to myself also helps.
      And if you review a lot of any one type of document, consider creating a checklist you can use (and add to) to help you proof for recurring issues.

    • anon associate :

      Part of it is practice- both in catching errors and getting yourself used to the task of diligent proofreading, which is draining.

      1. Make sure you have more time to proof read. Ideally, enough time to give yourself a break and come back to it (I know, I know, I’ll offer you a ride on my unicorn next). When I clerked (which was my proof reading boot camp), I would allocate almost an entire day to proofing a 30 page order.

      2. Print it out, and read each word, touching your pen to it if necessary. Use a folded piece of paper to cover all the lines below the one you’re working on, so your eye can’t just trail down the page.

      3. Print in big font.

      4. Turn away from your computer or other distractions so you don’t just wander your way to something like emails or the internet. Sit at a table or desk in a room without one.

      5. Proof it, proof it again, and again. When you’re done, print it out and look at it- are there page breaks that weren’t in there before because one small edit you made shifted things? Hanging headers? Once you have a perfect printed draft in your hand, send to partner. I once got reamed out for leaving a page break in a draft I sent to a partner (which I would have seen if I printed and flipped through it rather than sending the draft after making my final edits on the computer, or if I wasn’t lazy and stupid and a woman and blah blah blah (he was not a nice man))), so, you’re not alone.

      6. Pour wine.

    • All of the tips above are good. I also have my assistant proof-read it.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      If you can have someone else look at it, that is best. Otherwise, standing up and walking while you read (change of scenery can help spur on your brain), backwards, with a ruler or following with a pen. Basically anything that changes your perspective and forces you to notice things your brain otherwise skips.

    • Agreed with printing and reading backwards. also, if at all possible I proofread first thing in the am-I’m fresh and had a break from the material. Also double check quoted text, cites and anything with a number.

    • Anonymous :

      Not sure if you’re a litigator, although the advice holds for other practice areas too, but don’t skimp on the routine things. As a partner, I go bonkers when the case caption or certificate of service are messed up, but so often these are and either they don’t get caught (because all caps therefore no spellcheck) or they’re thrown together last. Fair or not, it makes me question the content.

      • I made it a practice to take care of these things first. As soon as I was assigned a brief, I asked my secretary to start shell documents. When she was done, I looked them over and gave her the revisions when I was taking a break from research or drafting. I’d look them over again once before filing (usually while the brief was being reviewed by partner), to make sure the arguments hadn’t changed substantially. But it took so much stress out of filing when I didn’t think, “Oh sh*t, we need a Proposed Rule, and nobody’s drafted one.

      • Anon Lawyer Seeking Advice :

        Thanks – I’m in real estate, but the principals apply. I really appreciate everyone’s advice. I know part of my problem is that it just takes so long to proofread something and I’m stressed by how long it’s taking me.

        thank you!

        • I say this kindly but you may want to brush up on spelling – if you don’t know that you should have used “principles” in the above comment, all the proofing in the world won’t help you catch that.

          • That’s a little harsh. OP shouldn’t be treating posting online the same as her work product. Two different mindsets!

    • Anonymous :

      I made a list of my common mistakes. I check against all docs/orders. It really helps me not make the same mistake twice.

  10. Maudie Atkinson :

    Separate from the ethics of commercial banks and whether your mortgage gets sold, count this as a ringing endorsement of USAA. We got our mortgage through them, have checking and savings accounts there, use them to convert traditional IRAs to Rothstein every year, and use them for car and homeowners insurance. Their car buying service was also helpful for negotiating when we purchased cars. The customer service is great, they refund ATM fees (there aren’t ATMs), and their app is easy and intuitive. If you are eligible, use them.

  11. I think I posted too late this morning – so posting again for thoughts from the hive mind.

    I was connected with a mentor through a formal program via a professional association. The program just concluded and we were encouraged to continue the relationship informally if we’d like to. I would – but I am not sure how best to ask that in an email. I am writing a thank you email acknowledging his support over the past year and would like to express my interest in continuing our conversations. I’m struggling with the wording. I know it’s simple but I can’t find it.

    (Also, we are East Coast/West Coast, so our connections have been monthly phone calls and emails.)

    • Do you have to actually say “I would like to continue this relationship”? Can’t you just schedule your next lunch/coffee/meeting? And keep in touch?

    • I would say something generic about how you’d like to keep in touch, and then try to create opportunities to do so.

    • I have been a mentor in one of these programs. Here’s how your email should go:

      “Dear Mentor, Since we’re at the end of [The Formal Program], I just wanted to express my gratitude for your mentoring over the past year. Your advice has really helped me navigate [specific examples]. I would be very grateful if we could continue having regularly scheduled contact on a schedule that works for you. If that’s possible, please let me know what your preferred schedule would be. If not, I hope I can reach out to the future if something in particular comes up that I’d appreciate your insight on. Thank you again.”

      Your mentor’s response will probably have more to do with their own schedule and bandwidth than anything to do with you. If your mentor participates in this program every year, he may need to free up the time in his schedule to make room for the next mentee.

      Please do not just carry on as though nothing has changed – it puts the mentor in an awkward position if they had mentally planned for the program to last a specific duration and you are ignoring that.

      • Thank you! Yes, that is what I was fearing – that if, say, he wants to do the new year’s program with another mentee, he can tell me that. I didn’t want to assume anything. This is perfect.

  12. Crazy Dog Lady :

    I realize this puts me in Crazy Dog Lady territory, but I want to have a custom painting (either watercolor or acrylic) done of my lovely, lovely, slightly neurotic pooch.

    There are about a zillion options on Etsy. I would love any personal endorsement of an artist. I’m not necessarily looking for anything large. Thanks in advance!

    • http://whitehouseart.ca/

      Her custom portraits are closed for now, but should open back up in a couple of months. I got on the list to be alerted when it opened and was able to purchase one in April.

    • Ohh i have one! I used Suzie Hooban, Lazy dog art, in Arlington VA. I’m sure she has an etsy but you can google her too. She did my mini schauzer and my MIL’s lhasa, both so cute and captured them perfectly. I found her at a local art fair and dealt with her in person (went to her house to pick up), but I think she’s worth contacting, I really love our pictures and they were reasonably priced ( i think under 70?)

    • TorontoNewbie :

      I really like @ CarrieDraws on Instagram. No affiliation, I just like her stuff. I also commissioned a painting from this artist: http://jimbravopaintings.weebly.com/ and he was both excellent and very reasonable. It was definitely a little larger.

    • Sassyfras :

      This is someone I know IRL – she’s a wonderful person and does great work! https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThePastelPineapple?ref=pr_shop_more

    • I saw her work in a gallery and loved it: http://kellymagee.com/

      Haven’t done it yet, but I’ll be getting a portrait of my sweet girl from her.

    • Moonstone :

      Here’s a link to the gallery of the artist who did the watercolor of my cats.

      http://www.dmitrysamarov.com/gallery/illustrations/petportraits_index.html

    • Crazy Dog Lady :

      Thank you for all the recs thus far. So many cute pets.

  13. I find that WHBm runs a few sizes large. Great if you are size 18, not so great if you are size 0.

    • Nearly everything comes in a 00 or XXS. And the size relates heavily to the fit – the straight fits are very straight/narrow, there curvy fits are very, well, curvy.

      • I am a 6 or 4 everywhere else, and a 0/XS at WHBM. If I were a 0/XS elsewhere, the WHBM 00/XXS would definitely be too big. But I have a hourglass figure, so maybe that’s it.

    • Anonymous :

      Hmmm…has not been my experience in the 10-12 range.

      • Mine, either. I find their sizing to be consistently TTS unless reviews indicate otherwise for a particular piece.

  14. East Coast Vacation Spot :

    Husband and I are getting a long weekend away sans children to celebrate our anniversary (13 year) in June. Woohoo! We are looking for a quiet resort somewhere warm on a beach. We would prefer east coast or Florida and not New England. Bonus points for somewhere that has a direct flight from Boston. Any suggestions?

    • Ritz Carlton Amelia Island Florida

    • Check out the Don Cesar on St. Pete beach

      • Based on a google search for flights to Florida, you can get to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa/St. Pete, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach on direct flights from Boston.

        Based on where I’ve been (although haven’t always stayed at the hotel), I would probably choose the Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach, the Breakers Palm Beach, or the Ritz Carlton on Key Biscayne (all assuming money is not an issue). The Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island is also a good idea because it will be less hot there than in South Florida.

      • +1 This place is amazing. So luxurious.

    • Can you fly direct to Charleston? The Sanctuary on Kiawah.

    • Anonymous :

      I suggest Puerto Rico. Really easy from Boston and more predictable weather for June.

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