Suit of the Week: Boss

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.

This suit is one of the first pieces that readers really noticed in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and — good news, ladies — it’s still in stock, and it’s getting good reviews. We’re featuring the skirt suit, but it also comes with a matching dress — and Boss actually has a lot of things in eggplant right now, including a nice twinset. The suiting separates are currently $196-$414; after the sale ends, prices will go back up to $295-$625.

Here’s a lower-priced suit that comes in four size ranges.

Psst: check out all of our workwear picks from the 2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale — this suit is splurgey but there are a TON of things under $100.

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This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale eggplant suit

LOVE this eggplant skirt suit from the big Nordstrom sale! Eggplant is an unusual color but readers mostly agree that YES you can wear it to court, conservative offices, and other meetings requiring very conservative attire.

Comments

  1. How do Boss suits fit? :

    I am a pear and feel like I’m ready for big-girl Boss suit. Otherwise, BR suits fit me perfectly (Logan fit pants only). I’m on the cusp of petite though, so sometimes I need a petite jacket (which Boss doesn’t seem to have).

    Worth trying? And how does sizing run — I’m a 6 in pants at BR but need a curvy cut usually for my hips / thighs.

    • Marshmallow :

      I don’t own a Boss suit but tried one on in store, and I felt like it fit really well in one size up from my J. Crew/ Ann Taylor size. I am a very busty hourglass, though, so it sounds like we have different body types.

    • Diane Lockhart :

      I usually love the fit of Boss suiting (I am pretty much hourglass in shape) and so ordered the jacket to this suit in my usual size online. When it came I was disappointed and immediately returned it. It was not an appealing color — more dark brown than eggplant. It might look better when paired with the skirt but i only wear pantsuits so was hoping for an extra blazer to pair with black pants and this was not it.

      The jacket was cut much skimpier than normal Boss, it flared out in the hips and was short so it was not at all flattering on me. Not your normal Boss jacket and I own about 6 Boss suits. It fit more like a Theory blazer, which requires me to size up.

      • anon in sv :

        I saw it in the store and had the same reaction. It’s not purple eggplant. It’s a reddish brown. Sigh.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Love Boss suiting. Have a few. I am somewhere between straight and an hourglass, so it sounds like we have different body types, but someone about who said they were a very busty hourglass said Boss worked too.

      To compare to Banana Republic, I am a 0 tall there, but I buy Boss suits in a 2 (regular since there aren’t tall sizes). I am 5’11” and feel like Boss is made for tall people, so you might require hemming. (I only wear skirt suits though, so pants may be different).

    • I’m a pear and I love boss suiting. I wear a size up on the skirts (a 2 in jackets and a 4 in pants and skirts). I get the pants and jackets tailored- the boss stores will do it for free.

  2. I tried this suit, and it was beautiful (especially the color) and well-made. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit me, as I’m short enough to need a petite. The buttons on the jacket were just too low, and the lines on the side of the skirt would make it look strange if hemmed.

    Does anyone have suggestions for brands that have suits around this price point/quality that come in petites? I see that Boss has a few, but I’m open to other suggestions. I have several Ann Taylor, Anne Klein, and Halogen suits in my closet, but I’d like one or two suits that are a step up.

    • How do Boss suits fit? :

      My go-to is Banana Republic wool suiting. I’m 5-4 but with a short torso and need a petite jacket in their suits.

      I cannot wear Brooks Brothers at all — the proportions are all off and I’ve never seen petites in suiting.

      I used to have good luck at Talbots but haven’t tried them in a while.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you tried Reiss? They cut smaller so I would size up, and they don’t have petites but based on my experience all of their skirts and pants run shorter than average.

    • Anonymous :

      I really like my tailored Talbots suit. They have a petite line, though the jacket was a little boxy. But tailored, it fits perfectly. I feel like Talbots quality is a step up from Ann Taylor, but certainly not to the level of Boss.

  3. Minnie Beebe :

    Maybe it’s just my screen, but this looks brown to me. Otherwise, I like it! I’m guessing it looks better IRL.

    Off topic: It’s only Wednesday, but would this godforsaken week just end already?!?!?! Work is sucky. News is sucky. I just want to hang out with my kid, eat candy, drink wine. Not in any particular order.

    • Clementine :

      I’ll second the fact that this week needs to end.

      Just substitute ‘chips and guac’ for your candy and I’m THERE.

      • Anonymous :

        Did somebody say chips and guac? I’m there. I’ll bring wine slushies.

        • Someone invite SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS.

        • Joining y’all and bringing those Oreo truffles someone posted about yesterday. I haven’t been able to get them out of my head since then!

          • It was me and I’ll bring the truffles myself since they are still sitting in my fridge. Dwindling by the day though.

    • Thirding!! #overit

      I just want to hang out with my new dog and go for bike rides and take bf’s boat out since it’s finally not completely stifling out.

      • Dude, *I* want to hang out with your new dog! Congrats on the new addition!

        Also over this week, which is all the longer because I’m on vacation next week.

    • Yes, seriously! I’m in my last week of work at Current Job, before taking a 3 week vacation, coming back and starting New Job… Is it Friday yet???

  4. Anonymous :

    This suit makes me drool so much.

  5. Overthinking this…? I’m in high-middle management at my Fortune 500 company. I had some nagging IT issues that 2 IT people couldn’t solve. One guy finally did. Would it be weird for me to email his supervisor and say “You have no idea who I am but John did an awesome job and I wanted you to know!”

  6. UK Ladies, help with sizing :

    How does Boden sizing compare with Hobbs? I’ve found Hobbs to be a little generous and now i want to buy some Boden.

    • Boden lists the garment measurements for all their items. There’s no need to guess at sizing with them.

  7. Any recommendations for a backpack to take on work trips that doesn’t scream “high school student!” This is clearly a know-your-office situation, but my work culture is very, VERY relaxed. Still, I’d like something that looks grown-up rather than juvenile. And it has to cost less than $100.

    Thanks!

    • I’ve had my eye on this one – https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/tls-professional-slim-laptop-backpack/249582. Ebags seem to have a lot of “professional” backpacks.

      • I have this one. It took some getting used to — it’s almost TOO organized and isn’t good for bulky things (like a container with leftovers for lunch), but will fit a pair of shoes. Now I really like it and I’ve been using it steadily for about 4 months. It is great for travel too. You can put it over luggage handles either vertically or horizontally.

      • 85$ after code recess

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      The Lo and Sons Hanover is $102.40 on sale right now.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      KNOMO backpacks! Some are a bit above your price range but not all

      • Miz Swizz :

        I love my Knomo backpack! I have the Harpsden and it’s $99 so barely meets your price requirement. It’s sleek and holds a fair bit. I also like that it’s water resistant.

    • Herschel.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        This, too. I have my Herschel bag at work today and have taken it on every work trip I’ve gone on.

      • Warning though – mine totally busted the bottom out after only a few months of use which really annoyed me because I have had my Northface from highschool (so thats 15 years going strong with no issues) and my Fjallraven for 3 years so I was annoyed it failed after 6 months of use.

    • Thanks, all! Keep ’em coming!

    • Moleskine has a few colors including Navy on sale for $75.
      https://store.moleskine.com/usa/en-us/bags-and-cases/bags/classic-backpack-for-digital-devices-up-to-15/p1025?ic=Z1oSPw%3D%3D&vid=2778

    • Out of Place Engineer :

      Maybe too late — but someone recommended the Anello: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y4LW54X/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I3SI1QTYKGVPOI&colid=21B91H0FRY8JZ

      I am intrigued by the way it opens…

  8. anon for this :

    So, my SIL and I had a serious sit down about our strained relationship, at her request, which is a lot of progress. I’ve posted here before about her cold/unkind behavior toward me, screaming at me when I got engaged to her brother and just generally being a b*tch for no reason.

    Uncomfortable as it was, it was good to sit down and actually talk about it. Ultimately the result I think will be positive and we can improve our relationship.

    However, one thing she talked about has been spinning circles in my head. She listed some favors I have done for her/her family — cooking meals in line with her dietary restrictions, occasionally babysitting, etc — and told me that these behaviors were “selfish.” I can’t quite wrap my head around it, but I guess she feels I am martyring myself or something, and being nice to her purely out of my own self interests?

    This is crazy, right? I almost feel like I’m being gaslighted. I’ve definitely gone out of my way to be kind to her, in hopes it would mend our relationship and also to help my husband during recent family stress. I’ve never brought it up to her or held it over her head – though I do think my husband has said on occasion, essentially, how can you continue to be so cold to my wife when she is being kind to your family. SIL implied I act very put-upon and only do these favors to “prove” I am a good person. But I don’t feel that way – I have time to help with stuff and just generally have an “action” love language. Helping family is what you do, especially when life is falling apart as it has been for this family lately.

    Therapy tomorrow, but please confirm I am not a terrible, selfish person for babysitting and making gluten free cake?

    • Honestly, sounds to me like this is a lose-lose situation for you. I would focus on cordial but distant. Sounds like your husband would support you on that.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      You’re not. She’s being cray. You’re being a good person, she’s gaslighting, take a step back.

      • cat socks :

        Yep, totally agree. Sorry you have to deal with this.

      • At least you have a HUSBAND that is NOT a nut case. But tread carfully b/c he is her brother and you must remember she will also always be her sister! FOOEY on tootsie frootsie relatives b/c I have enough of my own. My cousins from Eastern Europe came and stayed with me and stole 1 sneaker of mine and a few pairs of my panties. They also stared at me while I was comeing out of the shower. FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe she feels bad because you are in a sense taking care of her family better than she is and it’s making her feel inadequate? Not saying you’ve done anything wrong and I’m sure you have good intentions but I can see how if her family is falling apart, why she would be slightly frustrated by a SIL showing up with a gluten free cake.
      I agree with advice above to back off and be cordial but distant. She doesn’t seem to want a closer relationship and you can’t force someone to be a close friend.

    • She sounds like someone that loves drama and loves being in control. Just continue being you and giving her lots of space. Your husband knows you are trying and being a good person and thats all that matters.

    • She’s being crazy, but is it possible that she can’t face the truth, which is that she needs/appreciates the help? Especially if your relationship is strained, it might be easier for her to construct a narrative that involves you having ulterior motives.

      I say, keep on giving, to the extent that you want to. Don’t engage the crazy, don’t overexplain why you’re doing it. “I am happy to help.” Full stop.

    • I would drop the rope with this woman. It’s nice that you have been trying to help her and get along, but she is going to keep being unpleasant and finding a way to cast herself as a victim. I would definitely not have any more one-on-one discussions with her where you listen to her complain about your generosity.

    • Color me clueless :

      For some reason, the “gaslighting” concept simply will not stick with me. What does it mean that she is gaslighting you, and what is the underlying reference? I hear this all the time, and feel ridiculous that I cannot decipher.

      • Anonymous :

        The term comes from an old Ingrid Bergman movie and is a method of abuse where the abuser attempts to make the victim feel confused by questioning them and making the victim doubt themselves. Like, if I remind my mother of the time she threatened to hurt me, she’ll tell me I’m just being dramatic and imagining it. That’s gaslighting.

      • Anonymous :

        It means questioning a person’s version of events and making them think they’re going insane by claiming things they remember happening aren’t true or didn’t happen the way they remember. Her SIL sounds like a very unpleasant person but this isn’t really gaslighting.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s a movie reference (Gaslight) about a husband that convince his wife that she’s crazy.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslight_(1944_film)

      • LMGTFY . . .

    • Anonymous :

      Sounds like everything is someone else’s fault with her. I’ve dated a guy like that, you can never win. She will always find a way to be the wronged one, it doesn’t matter what you do.

    • Been there :

      My SIL behaved exactly the same way as you describe. Our family did so much for my brother and SIL when they got married, moved into a new house, had children. Laundry, meals, helping pack and unpack, financial assistance, helping with kids, and on and on and on. But it was never enough or never done exactly right. Or there was some other problem. We believe the complaints originated from SIL and my brother is weak and trying to keep her from exploding at him. Eventually, they cut us out of their lives. There are two sides of every story and maybe I’m missing the part about how horrible our family was to them, justifying being cut off. But I concluded she could never be satisfied and he always would be weak. After many years apart, my life is easier without them.

      Good luck ever making your SIL happy if she complains about the nice things you do for her. And by good luck, I really mean quit trying. It won’t work.

    • Anonymous :

      Hear me out. There are a few people in my life who seem to be generous but I don’t appreciate them or their efforts. It makes me feel uncomfortable and feels controlling. I also don’t like that I can’t reciprocate. Maybe she feels like you are showing off or one upping her. Think about her perspective and your motives.

      • What a sad way to live! Associating her kindness with “showing off” or “one upping” or controlling intentions says a lot more about you than about those people in your life. I hope this phase passes soon for you.

        • lol! You are pretty funny that you think you can analyze me based on 4 or 5 sentences. I hope you can recover from judging random internet people.

    • Nudibranch :

      I’m sorry. I doubt you can ever be nice enough to overcome her dysfunctions. And if you change, she’ll find something else crazy to blame you for.

    • What possesses you to want her approval?

  9. When are you delegating and when are you having someone else do your work for you?

    I was hired to do A and B. I LOVE A – I’d do A for free, I love it so much. I’m ok with B – not my favorite, but sometimes a chance of pace from A is nice. My bosses recently added C to my plate, which I REALLY dislike and has a pretty heavy workload. They told me to borrow an assistant to help with C and they’d look at hiring someone to handle C so I can focus on A.

    When I asked for volunteers from the assistants to help with C, one eager new employee fresh out of undergrad replied. She’s very interested in C and is eager to do more substantive work (no intentions of being an assistant forever – just saving money for grad school for a year) and build her resume.

    I’ve given the assistant big chunks of C to do, and my bosses got permission from the admin supervisor to use her for C. She understands that any tasks relating to her admin job come first. The portion I’ve given her to do is preliminary research – just combing the internet for hours for background on the issue so that I can then analyze the issue and write a report. She’s doing such a great job and genuinely interested that we’re starting to discuss bringing her on as part of the team since we were considering hiring someone anyways.

    I’m feeling super guilty about having the assistant do the research for me. I guess I’m feeling most guilty because I dislike doing the research so much? If the assistant were an intern, I’d have no qualms about giving this assignment (and it’d be good for them). Something about the assistant piece of it makes me squidgy. I’m still writing the report, but it feels dishonest? to have her do the research for me.

    I don’t normally have an assistant, though I’ve had interns (and been an intern) a few times, so is this just part of adjusting to having people/assistants/interns under you?

    • I’d say that as long as it isn’t violating any company protocols (or your client’s requests) to give her this work and you appropriately give her credit, it’s fine. You’re giving her a good opportunity to learn, do work she likes, and potentially get a job with your company. I’d love to be in her position. As long as you’re not giving her work she’s not qualified to do and you’re willing to accept responsibility for the final product, go for it.

    • Anonymous :

      This is an opportunity for her–that’s why she jumped on it! And now you’re considering bringing her on the team. This is exactly the outcome she’d hope for; there’s no reason to feel guilty! And in fact, if you take the increased responsibility from her, that would be the guilt-making thing.

    • Anonymous :

      This sounds totally normal to me. You got permission to delegate, and you are going to supervise/check the work before submitting it. I would make sure to give her credit for her portion but would have no qualms about this.

    • That’s how having an assistant works! Sounds like it’s working out really well for both of you!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m really confused – why are you guilty? Sounds like she’s doing her job well and there’s nothing for you to be concerned about?

    • Anonymous :

      Yes! Help her out; she is clearly on her way beyond the admin role, and this will give her early experience and presence. If you were going to do this forever, it might start to look like exploitation, but you are a long ways from there….and agree 100% – make sure you give her credit, as well as feedback.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        100%. I am an admin currently transitioning into a new position, and I wouldn’t have snagged this opportunity if my boss hadn’t given me that kind of work. You’re being a good boss!

    • I think you might be muddling up the issue because you don’t like to do C. The assistant does like C! Even if she is overstating her liking, she doesn’t dislike C. Diversity in aptitude and attitude is great on teams, you are giving her credit and an opportunity for substantiative work.

  10. Anonymous :

    As an assistant who loves substantive research, this would be a dream. Just give her credit somewhere.

  11. Question for the hive: when do you feel comfortable recommending a former colleague to your work as a potential candidate to be hired?

    Situation: I was an intern with this person, I genuinely enjoyed being around this person (we sat in the same communal office), and I don’t recall hearing anything but positive things about this person’s work. We both graduated at the same time from law school, and it’s now two years down the road.

    I just found out we were hiring for my group, and also received a hey-how-are-you-I’m-looking-to-move email from the former colleague. Without a thought, I sent the email to our practice group head who told me that we were hiring. Then, I did some sleuthing, and realized that this person went to a not-so-hot law school and has had three jobs since graduating. I’m feeling a little weird about my recommendation…thoughts?

    • Eh, I’d let the practice group leader decide whether this person is a good fit. You can certainly CYA by letting her know that you ONLYwanted to pass the name along, that your contact with that person was pretty limited and stale, but they are on your radar. But let the hiring authority decide whether they care about the law school, or the jobs, etc. The person could be perfect, who knows. I doubt (hope? but doubt, mostly) you’d be blamed if this person was terrible.

    • Anonymous :

      Unless I have worked incredibly closely with someone and truly feel that I can enthusiastically recommend their work (there are maybe five people I can say this about), I simply forward the resume and say something like this:
      “Hi Hiring Manager,
      I understand we have a position open in XYZ area. My former colleague at ABC Corp contacted me to express interest in the position. We didn’t work together closely enough for me to comment on her work, but she was a very pleasant colleague.”

    • Law school ranking has had minimal correlation to lawyer quality in my experience. Why would this be an issue for you?

      • It’s less the law school ranking than the three jobs since graduation…I have a feeling that the law school is what led to the three-jobs-since-graduation problem. Although I personally agree with you, I’m junior enough at the firm that I don’t know what our firm’s perspective is on law school rankings (and I know some firms DO care about this).

      • Anonymous :

        And it isn’t something that would reflect poorly on you, because it’s obvious from her resume where she went to school and how many jobs she’s had. I think it would be a bigger problem for you if you recommended someone who went to Harvard and had a federal clerkship and they turned out to be mediocre.

        • Cornellian :

          AGreed. I’d worry about things that aren’t obvious from their resume, because they can just trash the resume if they’re only looking for a T14 grad.

  12. Calling senators :

    Shout out to ohc for her script for calling senators.

    Note to Texans: Cruz and Cornyn now have an automatic answering system, where you can press a number to leave a message, if you’re uncomfortable with collecting your thoughts when talking to a real person.

  13. Can someone help me with a script to address a PTO issue?
    When I took this job a few months ago, I told with my boss that I would need to take certain days off in August due to prior obligations (I used that wording). One of these obligations is a vacation with extended family and the other is an orientation for a part-time degree I’m starting. Initially, I offered to take unpaid leave since I wasn’t sure if I would have accrued sufficient PTO. Boss said no need to do unpaid leave, you should have enough time accrued, if you don’t we’ll work it out.
    That boss left (new job, different state), and I now have an interim supervisor for the foreseeable future. I checked my PTO, and the only way I’ll have enough for the days I need to take is if I use both sick and vacation time. Neither of my events fall remotely close to “sick,” so I need to bring this up with my current supervisor but I’m not sure what the best way to address it is. Old boss wasn’t clear on how it would be “worked out,” but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect her promise that I could take the time off to be upheld. I just don’t want to sound like I’m jonesing for permission to abuse sick leave or get more PTO than I’m owed. Tips?

    • Anonymous :

      I would just say that the prior boss had authorized the time off for these commitments before you accepted the job, and ask that you can take the time unpaid since you don’t have the vacation leave accrued. I know the original boss implied you wouldn’t have to take unpaid leave, but since you didn’t work out the details of how you’d be paid and you were willing to take unpaid leave initially I think it makes sense to just ask for that and hope this boss is as generous.

  14. Food and Family :

    Food is my family’s love language. My grandmother keeps a running mental list of the homemade foods that each of us likes best and works really hard to always have the things we love when we’re there. My mom shows love by making huge meals whenever me or Sibling is home. I show love by cooking for family members when I visit, sending them recipes I think they’ll like, and even mailing homemade goodies for friends.
    The problem? All of this food is SO unhealthy. Mom and I have tried introducing my grandmother to healthier recipes and she’ll make them…. right up until we aren’t looking and she switches the skim milk for heavy cream and adds a stick of melted butter poured over the top. I’ll cook quinoa when I’m visiting Mom and she says she loves it and wants the recipe, but when I visit again 3 months later the rest of the package is sitting untouched in her pantry. We’ve all struggled with our weight for years and there are various other health problems in the family (high cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.). I can’t help but think that this contributes to the problem. There’s been discussion on here in the past about different love languages- how can I break the cycle of this one?

    • Anonymous :

      Unless you’re living with your grandmother or visiting her constantly, I don’t see how this is a problem. Even one unhealthy meal a week isn’t going to contribute significantly to weight gain or health problems if the rest of your diet is healthy. You know food is your grandmother’s love language. Give her the gift of cooking delicious meals for you and focus on eating really well and exercising a lot when your grandmother is not around.
      And don’t police what your mother eats. If she doesn’t want to eat the quinoa you left her, it’s not your place to judge or nag her about it (though you would be well within your rights to stop going out of your way to introduce her to new foods).

      • +1. I also come from a family that has struggled with weight, and who also thinks food = love.

        I have accepted that when I go home (usually around major holidays, once in the summer or spring), I will be eating unhealthy things. It makes them a treat (my grandmother makes this potato cheese casserole that is to die for).

        I’ve made some changes in the way I eat otherwise — I’ve found that what works for me is limiting processed carbs and packaged foods. But I don’t think policing what my family ate would be welcome or productive. When they ask why I’ve lost weight I am honest about my diet and exercise. If they express interest, I tell them more. Otherwise I just do my thing.

        When they visit me or my brother, we eat the way we would if they weren’t there, and my parents don’t complain, and have even learned to like some new things to add to their menu.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think you stick with eating healthy at home and making lightened versions of your favorite foods for family/friends. BUT, let your grandmother cook how she wants to cook.

    • Calling senators :

      Is your grandmother Paula Deen? I think accept the love while you’re visiting and be good at home. You will always remember those foods.

    • Stop eating the food. I’m guessing you won’t ever get your grandma to stop cooking these things for you and you recognize that that’s how she shows her love. But you can stop eating them (or eating all of the food she gives you).

    • How do Boss suits fit? :

      One meal at Nana’s isn’t what makes you have a weight problem. 50 meals at Nana’s might not if you practice portion control, eat slowly, chew your food well, converse at your meal, and really savor it.

      My grandmother will cook you all sorts of vegetables in lard and then put butter on it. But at least they are vegetables! But she also makes a lot of raw vegetables in vinegar with pepper and I start with that and the fried chicken (I knife and fork it and pretty much avoid the skin; the chicken is tender but not greasy) and eventually just get full before any damange is done.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s hard enough to change the way you eat and cook — don’t try to tackle getting your family to change how they eat and cook. People change when they are motivated to, not when someone else is motivated for them to.

    • I miss my Grandma and her cooking so much! Please just enjoy it and moderate other places!

    • Baconpancakes :

      So I am definitely sympathetic to the posters who are saying just accept the love as it comes, but I’m also from a family that will feed me so much I will literally gain 10 lbs in 4 days if I accepted everything they offered. And yes, they are all extremely overweight and in some cases morbidly obese. Picture: we come back from a traditional family favorite restaurant where the food is incredibly bad for you, and within 10 minutes of getting back to the house, my aunt will ask if she can get me a piece of pie with ice cream. No, thanks, still full from dinner. Give it ten minutes, and she’ll ask again, this time with leftover fried chicken from yesterday. After we talk for a bit and watch a movie, she asks if she can get something from the kitchen – soda? Lemonade? Beer? Wine? Some nuts to snack on? Little Debbie cake?

      When we have a picnic, there are 3 different types of mayo-based salads, hamburgers AND hot dogs AND Italian sausages, as well as a bowl of watermelon, two cobs of corn per person, a green salad, and a plate of brownies. For five people. If I skip one type of mayo-based salad, my family notices and asks if I don’t like it.

      My advice is to eat what you want out of what’s served. Don’t necessarily try to change their behavior, but don’t let them change yours, either. Pick the healthiest dishes and fill up on those. If someone sends you home with leftovers, you can toss them with impunity. Don’t let them guilt you into eating something you don’t want or are too full to enjoy. Just be gracious and thankful and praise the things you do eat, and know that this IS a love languages thing, so take the intention as it’s meant to be given, even if you don’t take the actual food.

  15. anon for this :

    Anyone part of a profession that has a professional organization that basically does nothing?? I was a member of this organization and when I took time away from my career they booted me out for being inactive. I am back at work in a slightly different field in part so that I don’t have to rejoin this Nothing organization, pay money and have to take exams to be a member again. It’s also a small, incestuous field where you really need to suck up to the right people to get ahead, hence the lack of detail to this post. My new boss is enamored by this Nothing profession and is encouraging me to rejoin even though my job doesn’t require me to be a member and work won’t pay for the membership fees. I believe it is over $500 a year and all you get is a magazine that is written mostly by students and ads for consulting firms. I need some other professional development type goals to deflect her attention from this Nothing organization without it making it seem like my related degree and previous work experience is well, Nothing.

  16. Anonymous :

    I have to say retailers are driving people who otherwise don’t online shop much into the hands of Amazon. Had contractors at my home and now that they’re finished, I need to thoroughly clean. Of course conveniently my vacuum cleaner stopped working. I want an old school bagged vacuum – which no one stocks in store – bc everyone wants bagless/robotic etc. (and I totally get that). Checked the websites for every store you can think of and no one can get it for me in under 7-10 business days – bc it’s a “large” item. When I online shop, I use the online versions of retail stores to keep my money going to them and keep them in business — and yet if you think I can wait 10 business days – or 2 weeks – to clean – I guess money goes to Amazon this time . . . .

    • Vacuum repair shops still exist! I’d try that route first. We have a (bagged) Miele and it’s getting harder and more expensive to find the bags but I have two shedding dogs and couldn’t live without our vacuum cleaner.

      • Afraid to admit it but we get our Miele bags online. Although we live in the greater Chicago area the nearest shop is a 90 minute round trip away.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you borrow someone else’s vacuum in the meantime? Even if it isn’t a bagged machine, it would at least let you clean up a bit while waiting for the 7-10 delivery.

      Or rent one?

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Have you looked at Sears? I bought a bagged vacuum, very highly rated, there last year. I feel like I remember seeing lots of models with bags.

  17. Flats Only :

    You can’t? If food is love, then food that’s perceived as less in any way is perceived as less love. Especially because I bet your grandma views what she is cooking as treats (unless she lives with you and is doing all the cooking, but I didn’t get that from your post), and by rejecting treats, which are probably occasional, you are rejecting her love. This is certainly frustrating, but it’s probably one of those battles you should not bother fighting except for perhaps limiting your portions of treats. Can you “take the rest home” and then pitch it? That’s what DH and I do.

    • Not OP but in my Filipino family that would not fly. You are expected to eat until you physically cannot eat anymore as a sign of respect to the host.

      • Cornellian :

        that was my experience in Poland as well. and then you waddle to the next family. I don’t understand how people do it routinely!

  18. Has anyone pared down their wardrobe to eliminate a color they look good in? I have been trying to cull my closet and realized that I almost never wear brown items, even though it’s a color that suits me. It feels weird to purge nice pieces just because I haven’t been gravitating toward that color recently.

    • Shopaholic :

      I don’t wear brown or navy much so I just got rid of everything I had in that colour that I bought when I was building up my professional wardrobe. Honestly, I felt guilty too but it was so freeing afterwards – in a weird way, clearing up closet space also clears up mental space for me!

    • Marshmallow :

      I purged anything red or pink for this very reason. Doesn’t look bad on me, just doesn’t fit with the rest of my wardrobe. It’s really streamlined my outfit-making process and I’m so glad I did it.

      I’ve shared this thinking before here but I’ll repeat it: donate the clothes (or sell them cheap secondhand) and think about the joy you’re giving to someone else who couldn’t have afforded those items new. I grew up shopping at Salvation Army or Goodwill and the “treat” of finding something really nice that fits you is very special. And buying it, even for a few dollars, is a good feeling of providing something nice for yourself or your kid.

      This blog post has a religious bent that isn’t really for me, but I think it’s a lovely perspective on donating things that are “still good:” http://wearethatfamily.com/2014/10/dear-world-lets-stop-giving-our-crap-to-the-poor/

    • Thank you, Shopaholic and Marshmallow! More “mental space” is exactly what I feel I will gain. And quite right about giving nice things to others who will use and benefit from them. I am really good about donating good-quality things I don’t use, except in this one arena of work/dressy clothes. It’s like I somehow expect that my profession will suddenly declare that brown is its official color, or something.

    • I also don’t have brown, red or green in my wardrobe anymore because I never seemed to wear those colors. I have kept a couple unicorn pieces (one redish orange shirt and brown grey cardigan because I wore those and I have a shirt that has brown and green in it but I wear it with jeans).

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I took all brown and most blue out of my closet, save for a few items that are easy to wear on their own or look fabulous with black, grey, white and burgundy (a lot of my wardrobe). It’s really been nice.

      I have two pairs of brown flats, a brown leather jacket, four blue dresses that look awesome with black accessories, and a tan cardigan. I also have a few blue or blue printed blouses.

  19. New Job Jitters :

    I posted the other day about how to transition from a super casual office to a business formal office and got some helpful answers so thank you! I start on Friday and a having last minute jitters about if I’m polished and professional enough to work in a financial company that is so formal.

    Any tips on how to feel polished/professional? I’m the new office administrator, so I’m both client-facing and agent-facing. Any advice on how to make this a smooth transition?? I’m coming off of 5 months of unemployment so I think that is also a factor in the anxiety. Logically, I know that I can handle this job and be good at it…but there’s just that littl voice in the back of my head that’s telling me otherwise…

    • Anonymous :

      You can do it!

      This is silly, but I’m a junior lawyer and every time that insecure feeling creeps up before a client meeting I always put on a pair of (fake) pearl earrings. Something about that little thing just makes me feel more polished and lawyerly, and I act more confident as a result.

      Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      You’ll do fine — just because you’re having jitters doesn’t mean you need to listen to them. All sorts of professional and experienced people chose you for the job, so if you can’t trust yourself, at least trust them that they aren’t idiots, that they understood what they were looking for, and that they hired you for a reason.

    • Before I went back to work after 6 months of unemployment, I had all of my shoes polished and heel caps replaced. I made sure only clothes that fit well were in my closet, and I took a few items to the tailor to make sure they fit perfectly. I also cleaned out and organized my closet, and before putting my clothes back in, I washed, steamed, ironed, or dry cleaned anything that was “in between” typical cleanings. All in all, it was probably $200 but made me feel much more put together.

      On a day to day basis, I feel more when wearing lipstick. I don’t actually wear lipstick all that often, but it boosts my confidence when I do.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Hey congrats! Similar to SC’s comment, if you can afford get, getting a manicure (maybe gel if you’re hard on your hands like I am) always helps me feel a little more polished.

      If your company is as formal as it sounds, a good rule of thumb will be to always say yes to that voice in your head questioning “Is ___ too casual for this office?” And pearls and square diamond-like rhinestones are never too casual (if you have pierced ears).

      Knock em dead!

  20. Anonymous :

    Anyone here who is an arts/craft type of person?

    Saw a small jewelry box that’s perfect for my purposes. Thing is it’s being sold as unfinished wood – advertised as – you can paint, embellish this how you wish. I normally don’t do arts related projects and yet this time I want to – probably bc it’s fairly small and ultimately if it turns out badly it’s a $15 box so no big deal.

    Someone mentioned using acrylic paint. Any tips beyond that? Do I really just go to Michaels and buy a tube of paint in the color I want? What kind of brush? Do acrylic paints need to be mixed or watered down in any way and if so – how do I do that (I live in a small rental apartment – so bonus points for any idea that does NOT result in a mess or me buying all kinds of things I’ll use once and have no where to store). Sorry for the dumb questions – last time I painted must have been in grade school where you had those paint sets and a container of water.

    • Acrylic paints are really easy – no need to water down (maybe if you want to cover a really large area with a lighter shade). They work with any kind of brush really and cleanup is easy. That being said, acrylic paint on wood with no sealant/finish probably doesn’t look very good. Acrylic kind of has the finish of matte wall paint.

      I don’t work a lot with wood, but I would probably go for some kind of glossy wood stain from a hardware store. Single small can, one brush – do it near a window. If you want a solid color, you can probably do acrylic + sealant, but do a search to see what works well to seal.

    • You really can just go to Michael’s and buy a tube of acrylic paint in the color you want :)
      Most acrylic paints sold for crafts- the ones in those little cylindrical bottles- can be used exactly the way they are. In my experience, acrylic paint can stain, so spread a garbage bag or something over your work surface and don’t wear your favorite shirt. Unless you’re painting a super detailed design you’ll be fine with cheap-o brushes sold in multipacks near the paint. If you get overwhelmed by brush options, find a store associate and say “I have this box and I want to paint it with this paint. Can you tell me which brush to buy?” The people at my Michael’s are usually pretty helpful.
      For a different look (maybe a second project if this one goes well!), I’ve had really good luck using wood stain on that kind of unfinished wooden box. I just get a little can of it in a color I like at Lowe’s and use a small sponge brush to apply it. The end result makes the $15 box look surprisingly fancy!

      • Anonymous :

        Thank you. And now a follow up dumb question – wood stain is only sold in various wood colors right (dark; cherry; light etc.)? I.E. wood stain does not come in colors like paint does? Also do they sell wood stain in anything less than those quart sized cans – that seems like it’s an overkill for a small box.

        • Anonymous :

          I think you can get smaller sample cans – like you are trying to figure out what color stain to do before you commit to a bigger can.

          Color – maybe? It will never be as saturated and solid as paint would be, but I think there are color shades available. Your best bet is to go the hardware store and look/ask.

          • +1 paint and stain will do different things.

            I like to think of stain like self tanner: it darkens the wood but the grain shows through. Paint is like eyeshadow: it’s gonna be blue.

        • I definitely recall seeing very small cans of stain, since it typically doesn’t take much and people often use it for smaller woodworking projects. Online Lowe’s has some 8 oz cans. It comes only in wood colors, so I’d take a look online at what colors you like, if you want a wood color for your box. I used a cherry stain on an unfinished pine trinket box and it looks really lovely. Since most of these unfinished wood boxes are light shades of pine they pick up the colors of stain really well without any weird tints.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          Yes, you can get colored stain, but the wood grain will show through. I stained an old dresser dark green, and I love it. If you want paint, head to a hardware store, not a craft store, and tell them the look you’re going for (you can even bring the box so they can give advice on how to paint it).

          • Cornellian :

            and if you go to a hardware store, look for deeply discounted sample pots that people ordered made and then didn’t want/the store messed up.

        • Late to this thread, but for small projects I go to the Benjamin Moore paint store and buy one of the tester samples at the store — tons of colours, and more than stains:) It is really small size container of paint, but adheres well to wood, and you can pre seal the wood before you paint. Maybe other paint stores in your area have sample colors, or perhaps you can find a missed tint — a tint that was not used by someone else.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I just did a project with my kid where we used liquid watercolors on an unfinished box. The grain of the wood of the box felt very open, for lack of a better word — like balsa wood -ish. Anyway, she painted on it with the liquid watercolors, which kind of soaked in, and then I covered it in multiple coats of a sealant (made by crayola, weirdly enough). It looks great, and the sealant dealt toned down the slight roughness of the wood.

  21. Uterine Fibroids :

    Anyone willing to share their experience with hysteroscopic fibroid removal? In the course of investigating my (currently non-existent) fertility it was discovered I have fibroids and removal is now on the horizon. I’m freaking out a little. I’ve never had surgery and don’t really know what to expect. Will there be much pain? How long does it take to feel better? Anything you wish you had known beforehand?

    • I had some removed back in April. Surgery was relatively quick, and I didn’t have a lot of pain afterwards, more like cramps. I took the day of the surgery off from work, and the dr gave me clearance for an extra day after (which I took, but probably didn’t need.)

      You will have some spotting/bleeding, so have a pad ready to go leaving the hospital.

    • I had several removed in January. It is a simple outpatient procedure. I remember the whole thing, but I understand that most people don’t (I don’t respond to most pain medications, unfortunately). It should be totally painless! I had it done on Friday morning, slept for a few hours, and was up and about. If you are scheduled for another weekday, I would recommend working from home the next day or two–see what your provider recommends–just to feel extra confident.

      Re: fertility–I’m sorry you’re going through this. Removing fibroids is the first step!

    • Anonymous :

      Not to scare you, but my mom had the surgery as said it was the hardest medical recovery she’s ever been through. She took opiates for a full week, and she hates opiates (usually stops within 12 hrs, after other surgeries). Keeping in mind, the dr. also said it was the worst case she’d ever seen.

      Again, I don’t say that to make you feel bad when it sounds like you don’t have a choice, I just personally don’t like sugar-coating.

    • Uterine Fibroids :

      Thanks for the responses. It’s good to hear that it will most likely be a quick recovery – and that even in the worst case there was no hospital admission. Thanks, too, for the good wishes re:fertility. Somehow the good wishes of strangers can seem very meaningful at this time.

  22. Handshakes :

    Do men hold their hand higher in the air when they reach out to shake hands with a woman? I don’t often shake hands, when I did today, I realized I felt like I was oddly reaching up instead of out. Is this a gendered thing? Curious to hear from those who actually do shake hands with both genders on a regular basis.

    Also, sidenote, for the first time ever, and probably the last, I was wearing a great new shirt and my favorite power heels to make a first impression when a board member introduced himself to me with no warning. OTOH, I was taking out the recycling…can’t have everything we want.

    • I’ve never really thought about “higher” in particular but I have noticed that some men are very weird and awkward about shaking hands with women. I think they’re overthinking it. Usually I try to help them out by very unequivocally extending my hand for a shake as soon as is reasonable – like from several steps away as I’m approaching. It’s harder if you’re suddenly introduced to someone (or they introduce themselves) – that’s when you get all sorts of goofiness, especially from older men.

    • Cornellian :

      Having to reach up makes some sense to me, as the average woman is shorter than the average man, and the average man in most fields is more likely to interact with men than women.

      I sometimes experience the opposite, where they hold your hand so it’s palm towards the ground as if they are proposing. yeck.

      • Handshakes :

        Yeah, I tried to think it through with that logic too. But I’m actually very tall, so for me to be reaching up… AnonZ may have used the best word with “goofiness.”

    • YES THEY DO AND IT’S SUPER ANNOYING. Kind of like they want to kiss your hand but keep it like a handshake? FFS MEN, STOP DOING THAT.

  23. EGG MCMUFFIN- didnt do it :

    Super easy question: how do you pronounce this § ?

  24. Kidsplaining :

    My sister was planning a visit to coincide with my son’s 4th birthday party this summer. He’s been counting down the days and very much expects that she’ll be here for The Day. Well, her coworker just died and she needs to be there for the various events this weekend and is pushing her visit out. No big deal, but- how do I explain this to the 4 y/o? I don’t want to say “auntie had to work so she’s coming next week instead,” because that’s giving the impression that work > family (?). He isn’t old enough to understand death- or at least, I don’t think this should be the foray into the convo. Ideas on how to give a good explanation?

    He’ll be disappointed but fine- we’ll have 2 cakes!!! 2 parties!!! But I want to make sure the message is right ok why she’s not coming for the party after like 2 months of talking it up (“I want vanilla cake! It’s auntie’s favorite!” Etc)

    • Anonymous :

      I would just say “Auntie is going to come next week instead, but it will be great because we will have a special cake with her” or whatever. I don’t think a 4 year old needs any kind of explanation. As long as he knows Auntie is still coming just on a different day. If he asks why, I would just say oh something came up, but I know she can’t wait to get here or something like that.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Yeah, I think if you phrase it to “Auntie is coming later and changing it to a special, second birthday party just for you” it could go over pretty well.

    • Spirograph :

      Hm, I actually would probably explain it. I know my 4 year old would not let it go, and would keep asking why until he got a reason he’s satisfied with. Plus, I generally am a fan of being matter of fact. My 4 year old is aware of death, and that it’s something sad, so I’d probably say something like “auntie’s friend died. Auntie needs to stay home to help people right now because it’s important to help people when sad/bad things happen, but you are important to her too and that’s why she’s coming next week for a special extra birthday party.”

      But you know your kid. If you can get away with just drumming up excitement for a second party, by all means do that!

  25. seeking ice cream recs! :

    Anyone have any fun new ice cream flavor or brand recommendations? Past favorites have included Magnum Minis (the portion control is perfect!), Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked, Jeni’s espresso, and Talenti anything.

    Important questions:
    1. Does Halo Top live up to the hype?
    2. What sorbets are good enough to make me not want regular ice cream?
    3. What’s your all-time favorite gourmet ice cream? So far, Jeni’s is my favorite, but McConnell’s is definitely up there.

    • Handshakes :

      Tillamook-Stumptown Coffee collaboration. I wish I didn’t know it existed.

    • Liquid Crystal :

      Graeter’s, preferably the bourbon pecan one or the blackberry one

      My Whole Foods carries it.

      • anon in sv :

        The Graeter’s mint chip is wonderful. And the chips are chunks of legit good dark chocolate. Like, I’d eat a bar of that chocolate. Now I need to try the bourbon pecan one.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t like Halo Top. I like smaller portions of richer ice cream rather than eating something that’s not as satisfying.

    • I am a true chocolate lover, but I also enjoy Dolcezza blood orange sorbet. Actually, I like a lot of their sorbet flavors instead of ice cream or gelato when it is hot! I’m in DC and you can get it in the Dolcezza shops in carry out containers or at Whole Foods in the area.

    • Three Twins is hard to beat in just about any flavor. I’m partial to basic chocolate and their bittersweet is the best. Strawberry too, and they make a cherry Garcia knockoff that’s better than cherry Garcia.

    • The only sorbets I’ve ever liked are 1) Haagen Daaz vanilla raspberry frozen yogurt/sorbet and 2) these sorbets that come in fruit shells at Costco.

      • Just googled; apparently they’re called Island Way sorbets and may be available at other retailers too.

    • I like Halo Top, but it’s definitely not in the same league as REAL ice cream.

      Peanut Butter Cup is the best Halo Top flavor I’ve tried so far. Black Cherry is a close second.

    • Foolish Fox :

      Dove has raspberry sorbet dark chocolate bars. I love those.

  26. Some suits I really don’t like but this one looks pretty and comfortable!
    -gabby
    www.orcuttfamilydentistry.com

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