Thursday’s Workwear Report: Textured Collarless Blazer

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

This blazer from Loft feels very modern and fresh to me. I like the one-button style and the seams and darts combined with the overall collarless look. It’s also getting great reviews! (Note that it’s labeled dry clean only.) It’s available in red and navy in regular (0-18), petite (0-16), and tall (lucky sizes only) for $50 at Loft, no code needed (was $98).  Textured Collarless Blazer

Here’s a plus-size option.

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Comments

  1. Thread jack: any ideas on what to get my husband for making partner at BigLaw? I’m thrilled for him as he is genuinely happy there, which I know is crazy. Willing to spend some significant money but don’t have any great ideas. I was thinking fancy watch but I don’t know anything about them. Would love any other ideas. Any help?

    • In-House in Houston :

      What about a nice piece of art for his office?

      • Anonymous :

        Ooh, no idea if this works for Betsy, but I would love this as a present if I made partner. On the other hand, I believe new partners often get a decorating stipend for their office, so this may not be necessary (although picking something out that he would like is a present in and of itself!).

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah at my firm you get a decorating budget when you make partner. I like the idea too though.

          • My old firm makes you go out and buy your own furniture. At least you can deduct it (assuming K-1 partner not W-2 “partner”).

          • Yeah, we have to buy our own furniture once we move into a partner office…no decorating budget here.

        • Is it common to use the decorating budget for art? Ime most partners use it for furniture, lighting, maybe a rug. I don’t recall any new partner using their budget for art but maybe I just wasn’t paying attention.

        • Anonymous :

          I like the idea of sourcing something even if you don’t have to pay for it. Especially if you can locate something meaningful. An up and coming artist from his hometown? A watercolor of a location with a special meaning for you both?

          Another idea would be to talk to his alma mater about a small prize or scholarship in his name. My law school has a few named prizes funded by alumni for highest mark in XYZ course or across three similar courses (like $100- $500 range). These smaller awards don’t require a huge endowment. Maybe something in your husband’s area of practice or a favorite class he had at law school?

      • Man, I hate to be anti-art, but art is so, so personal. And so not returnable. And framing / placement, etc. is important (to me).

        FWIW, my husband is a watch wh*re. And while he likes art, it’s not in the way he likes watches or fancy cars (bondurant racing school? I’d like to that or the jeep offroading you can do at the greenbrier and probably elsewhere).

        • Senior Attorney :

          Many of the high-end car lines have racing/driving course. LH went to one in Italy a few years ago and had a blast. If your DH has a Porsche or BMW or similar, or even if he’d enjoy driving a Ferrari or Maserati on the track for a few days, that might be an option for an experience gift.

        • I love the art suggestion but learned this one the hard way. Got two cool (I thought) pieces when he got upgraded to a senior associate office. They sit in our basement. But they make our basement look cool at least!

          Any watch suggestions or ones your husband liked when he first started collecting them?

        • You don’t think a spouse would know what kind of art to get? If anybody could get a gift this personal, it would be a spouse.

          • I would never ever in a million years want my spouse to pick out art for me. His taste is so different from mine and he would never be able to guess what I’d like. I don’t even like him to pick out sweaters or jewelry for me without very specific direction–he is just so set on his own aesthetic and so clueless about mine.

          • OMG, so dependent on the spouse.

            My parents, who dated as teens and have been married 50+ years:
            my mother knows everything about my father
            my father perpetually buys my mother The Wrong Purse

          • Are you my sister?!

          • Senior Attorney :

            HAHA that is so funny and true about The Wrong Purse!

    • In-House in Houston :

      My husband and I were in Las Vegas recently and walked into a gallery and a teenage artist was showing her work. She’s only 15 years old and her work is freakin’ amazing. We bought one of her pieces for under $5000. We love the piece first and foremost, but the fact that we got it while she’s still so young I think will make it very valuable one day when she’s older and has more pieces in the market. Here’s a link to her story.

      https://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/arts-culture/at-15-las-vegas-painter-already-has-sold-work-worth-millions/

      She was also on the Wendy Williams show at age 11 and she made a special painting for her. It’s amazing and the fact that she made it at the age of 11 is mind blowing….

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S8y0LWxVfM

    • Fancy watch? Peleton bike (home exercise equipment), framed photo of family for office, weekend trip with friends, something of the month gift for a year, depending on his tastes (hot sauce, shavers, wine, cheese, etc),.

    • What’s your watch budget? That would be a nice gift though he might want you to pick it with him

      • Watch budget is pretty high. I do think he’d probably enjoy picking something out with me but no he’d never spend on himself in that way. Any watch suggestions?

        • I like estate sales / high end jewelers that sell from estates. I’ve always loved the idea of a Patek Phillipe but not a new one. WSJ has some recent articles on unique higher-end watches.

          Or just go to Detroit and tour the newish things there and get a Shinola one — I’m sure your $ is better spent in economies where it is needed and not just a wasted extra $ to people who have many (no knocks on the Swiss, they make lovely watches and the chocolate is divine, but Detroit needs your money more accutely).

        • I’m sure you know of the usual (Rolex, Cartier, Piaget). Look for new and older ones. My SO wears a 30-40 year old Rolex and was interested in switching to a Panerai (I think those have gotten trendy in Finance crowds lately).

        • I’ve been the receiver in a lot of multimillion dollar securities fraud cases and part of that role is
          selling the stuff the fraudulators bought with the defrauded investors’ money. They ALWAYS buy watches and consequently I’ve learned a lot about high-end watches. Please, please buy only from a reputable dealer. It turns out that many watches that appear to be valuable have real cases but fake insides, aftermarket added bezels that detract substantially from the value, or other similar problems. It’s important to buy from a source that will guarantee the authenticity of the product.

        • Ooohh I would go with an Omega Speedmaster or a vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso.

          Do NOT get a Shinola. They’re a bad value for what they are and are viewed as watches for hipsters who are sucked in by the story but don’t actually know anything about watches.

          You likely have a guy friend who knows a ton about watches. That’s who I’d use as a resource for this. I bought my husband a watch as an engagement present and one of his watch fiend friends helped me find something perfect.

  2. NoMore6amFlights :

    Insight into how to make life work when I’m on travel too much? I’m on business travel about 60% of the time, much of it international (jet lag…), then also travel to see family (5 hrs away, major pet peeve that I’m always supposed to travel to them) and the wonderful new guy I’m dating (1 hr away), and basically feel like I’m falling apart. I like OUGHT to be able to handle this (and, if I can’t handle this, how will I handle adding very wanted kids to the picture?), but, really, I can’t anymore. I’ve been traveling a lot for about 10 years, like (used to love) my career in general, but am starting to daydream about being home for 5 whole weeks in a row….or quitting my job to move in with my sister and be her nanny… I’m getting sick a ton, I’m feeling completely fried many days, and I’m at a growth stage in my career where I’ve got tons of opportunities to make a good impression and set myself up for good future options, but I am just not at my best, and don’t have the energy to do the above and beyond which would reap dividends right now. Help??? I don’t want to destroy my career.. How do I handle the fact I seem to legitimately need more sleep than my coworkers and the early flights and jet lag are killing me? Ideas for staying healthy and eating well when I’m gone so much? Everyone seems to think because I’m single I can do this…but then I come home from travel to a house with no food and taxes that still need to be done and parents that ask when I’m coming to see my nieces…and, I can’t do this!

    • It sounds like you need a vacation. Can you take a couple of weeks off and just hang out with your sister/bf/at home?

    • Anonymous :

      Can you cut the non-work travel? Maybe you can fly your sister/niece to visit you? Even if you are working when they are visiting, you can meet for lunch and have weekends together. Ask new guy to travel to you for now.

      If you’re not already, make sure you are maxing opportunities for first class direct flights (within your employer’s policies). Don’t feel bad if it costs as lot more.

      Longer term, it sounds like the solution is a less travel heavy job. But you need to do something immediate as well.

      • NoMore6amFlights :

        Thanks for the ideas. I should clarify the guy does travel to me more than 50% of the time; he’s a sweetheart. Alas, with 5 little nieces, the idea of my family flying to me is pretty much laughable… though maybe we could set up skype time instead of expecting me to travel. And, although my job seems like it should be super well paying and offer perks like first class flights, I’m gov, so….a good but not amazing salary, and economy plus is the best I can hope for:-)

        • Anonymous :

          Depending on their ages, you might think about flying your sister and one niece to visit you and then do something special with the others when you visit them. Or turn it into a birthday present – like when you’re 8 (or age of oldest’s next birthday) you get a trip with mom to visit auntie. My sister and I have 5 kids between us but now that they are older, they are pretty good about taking turns to get a special visit.

          I’m in govt too. It’s unfortunate that you can’t get business class at least. Our policy is business class is permitted for any flight of 4 hours or any two flights totaling 6 hours within 24 hours or on approval from ‘high level’ – typically only used if someone has a lot of back to back travel that’s just under the requirement for business. Make sure you’re taking advantage of the frequent flyer programs. if you’re booked in full fare economy plus, you should be able to get a bump up from time to time.

          • NoMore6amFlights :

            I love the idea about maybe having one niece at a time come to see me!! (It also, ahem, sounds a lot quieter than the (wonderful) chaos of all 5 at once!) That really interesting that you can get business class…I’ll dig a little bit and see if maybe there’s some option I’m missing out on… Thanks for letting me know that you can! I almost always meet your criteria.

          • Shopaholic :

            FWIW, when I was younger, my family would send me (the oldest niece) to visit my aunt (starting at around 9 I think) and I loved it. I felt very grown up.

            It also sounds like you need a vacation to do basically nothing but sit at home – even an extended long weekend may be rejuvenating for you, if you don’t have time to take a longer break.

            Can you outsource/automate as many things as possible? I got sick of my weekends being full of errands so I basically order everything online, except for groceries.

            It sounds like you’re dealing with a lot!

          • Pen Pal the older nieces? I have a great, long-lasting relationship with one of my long distant aunts because she took the time to get to know me through letters. I spent a week at her house over the summer, but other than that week I never saw her. I chose to go to college in her city and she’s still my favorite, to this day!

            I don’t think extended family relationships are solely built on face time and in-person visits. Letters can be powerful.

        • Anon Gov Spouse :

          I knew you were gov because you said “on travel.” In the private sector I always here, I’m going to be away on business or I have work trip or a million other phrases. In the gov’t, across all agencies, it is always I’m “on travel.”

    • Can I ask what you do? I know it’s not for everyone, but I would love your travel schedule.

      As for some smaller changes you could make now, is it possible to fly out the night before instead of early in the morning? I sleep a lot better when I don’t have to catch an early flight, even if I’m getting to bed later. Not sure if that would change the quantity of sleep you get, but it might be better quality.

      • NoMore6amFlights :

        I’m an engineer… now in a pretty niche area which I don’t want to out. I think a lot of people who want to travel a lot don’t think about engineering as an way to enable that, but, omg, if you are an engineer and you love to travel, there are tons of options.
        I used to love it, too:-)
        That’s a good point about flying out the night before- there’s nothing good about sleep where I keep waking up thinking “is it 3:30am yet?”!

    • Anonymous :

      Long term, I agree you should look for a job with less travel. Short term, cut out visits to your family. If they b!tch, tell them you’d love to host them. If your new guy isn’t already sharing in the travel, I’d ask him to start visiting you 50% of the time, but I probably wouldn’t ask him to do more than that unless he offers or has a super flexible job. When you are traveling can you skip some dinners/evenings out with coworkers to get to sleep early and get your rest? I enjoy my coworkers a lot, but usually when I go to a weeklong conference there are at least one or two evenings where I have to bail right after dinner and just immediately go to sleep, because I need more sleep than other people do. Taking a large dose of Vitamin C daily helps prevent illness for me. I’m assuming this crazy job pays pretty well, so outsource your taxes and order in a grocery delivery to arrive the day you get home from a trip.

    • Anonymous :

      I have traveled as a single person and a married person with kids, and I am here to tell you that it is so much easier when you are single. If you are having trouble with the travel now, it will not get any easier once your relationship moves to the next level.

      Some ideas for managing the travel in the short term:

      – Downsize and simplify your home life as much as possible. Get the smallest apartment you can deal with and/or hire a cleaning service. If you don’t want to eat out when you are home, eat frozen meals or order meal prep kits.
      – If you have back-to-back weeks of international travel, see if you can stay over the weekend. My colleagues who travel internationally never go for less than two weeks at a time. The travel recovery is so brutal that shorter trips are just not efficient or productive.
      – Get boyfriend to travel to you or meet you in your location on free weekends in the middle of long work trips.
      – Why are you traveling to see your family all the time? Do you genuinely want to do this, or is it because you feel obligated somehow? When I was a young adult and my family lived far away, I didn’t see my family at all for a couple of years because I couldn’t afford the plane tickets. We now see non-local family members no more than once a year. If your family visits are making you miserable, cut back. If your family genuinely cares about your well-being, they will understand.

    • Your asks are not unreasonable! That’s grueling!

      Ditto others to eliminate non-work travel as much as possible.

      Also, I simply own the fact that I need more sleep than others. I can’t have caffeine, and if you want me to function, I need 8 hours of sleep and proper nutrition. I leave work at 5:30 so that I have time to get home and unwind before going to bed every night at 9 pm. (I’m the type to come in early – I’m useless after 6 pm, but can function at 6 am.)

      Don’t apologize for being a human being. Your schedule sounds insane! Take care of yourself.

      • NoMore6amFlights :

        Thank you! I keep feeling like I OUGHT to be able to handle this…everyone around me seems to be able to… But being reminded that from the walls of my office of freaks this looks like a lot, that my asks aren’t unreasonable, helps a ton.

    • I have been in your shoes. Most of my travel was domestic transcontinental (around 6 hours flight time) but I did round trips nearly every week for four years.

      I’m not single, I have a husband and kids. I wouldn’t make a blanket statement and say that made it harder than your situation. There were pluses and minuses. The minus was of course that I missed my family so much. The pluses were that my home was not unattended and I had a husband who could pick up the slack for things that had to be done in person during the week. (Like pediatrician appointments). Of course I still had to be the “house manager” and make all the pediatrician appointments from several time zones away…

      Here are my tips, and you’re probably doing a lot of them already. Always have your bag packed as much as possible. Have a fully stocked toiletries bag with replicas of what you use at home, and a couple different work week capsules to easily pack that you can mix and match at your destination.

      Try to travel on work time and not your personal time. I know this is easier said than done and I didn’t usually do it myself to be honest, but if at all possible, fly home Friday and don’t work in the office that day.

      At your destination, plan some nights in where you don’t have a dinner or work late in the office. Order room service. Watch crap TV or a movie, put on a sheet mask and make it an early night. Get your sleep on the road.

      At home, sleep when you want to sleep. Sometimes if I had three weeks of back to back weeklong travel and home on the weekends, I just stayed in the other time zone. Because my travel was west to east, that meant I was getting up earlier and knocking out earlier than my family. But it really helped me function better. Sleep deprivation is a well documented method of torture. Get your zzzs.

      Hopefully with all of this travel you’re pulling down some big bucks. Outsource as much as you can. Can you expense your laundry while traveling? The most convenient thing is to have the hotel do it, rather than you using up your precious weekend time standing over a washing machine.

      Lastly, with your family making demands, I suggest you plan out your trips to see them up to a year in advance. When your parents bug you, remind them that you are seeing them in June, September and December, or whatever. If there’s a set date, the “when are you coming to see us?” question is already answered.

      Best of luck and hang in there. I know how difficult it is. All I can say is, someday you will be stuck at a desk job and you will look back on this time as a pretty adventurous time of your life. (And you will miss the airline and hotel status and points! Ask me how I know)

      • NoMore6amFlights :

        Thank you, thank you, thank you. Somehow I’d never thought to give the hotel my laundry. And you are right – I see my family about once a quarter in practice, but if I put it on the calendar way ahead of time, it would ease the questions, which, although well meaning, often come when I can least answer them and just add to my feeling I’m not doing enough. And, yeah, although I’m having a rough time now, I do laugh thinking someday I’ll miss this…I do love seeing places, and doing work I’m energized about, and walking into the lounges at the airport…

        • Family is generally way easier to deal with when they know the date they will see you again, even if it’s not for a couple of months.

        • anon a mouse :

          Also make sure you are carving out time for YOU. Take a day off to rest. Treat yo self to a spa day here and there. As you know, you have a lot of different demands on your time and your own needs are taking a back seat. Aggressively stand up for your time and your needs.

      • Are you me? I did 4 years of nearly constant travel, then leaned way out into a 45 hour zero travel job. I miss it like crazy, but I know I’m glossing over the hard parts.

        6am, can you start thinking about your next job and what you want it to entail? I’m not familiar with gov jobs, so don’t know if there are defined career progressions. But it might help to use some of your flight time to do some soul-searching and career planning. Do you like traveling, but not this much? Would personal travel 2-3x/year be enough for you? Is your job dependent on traveling, or is there a different way to do your work? Is there an adjacent type of role you could lateral into for a year or two “to expand your skillset” and see how you feel about traveling and life at that point?

        Once you know the answers to that, you can then pick and choose the best opportunities that you want to shine in. Let others go if they won’t help you grow in the direction you want. One of the hard parts of being an overachiever is chafing at the idea of specialization – you want to excel at everything so you don’t close any doors. But in reality, you have to pick a direction and go that way for a while. There’s always time to change directions later on. So figure out your next steps, tailor your efforts to that path, and that might help prevent some of the burnout you’re feeling.

        • NoMore6amFlights :

          This is really helpful, thank you! And yes…it’s very hard to admit I can’t do it all, and to close doors. I also really like the deal of trying to rotate into a lateral role for a bit – that’ll take some creative thinking, but I like the idea.

    • Cut the non work travel and push back to make the work travel more reasonable. That means fly out at night vs screaming early in the morning. Or leave midday even though it limits your availability. Don’t stay out late wineing and dining, don’t always do work late into the night from your hotel just because you’re traveling for work.

      I used to kill myself to be as efficient as possible while traveling and then…I didn’t. And I still got promoted. YMMV as I never did much international travel but I did essentially commute cross country for a while.

      • +1 – I’ve always had a rule of day before or mid-day flights. Flying is working, and these days you can work a little on the plane too if you need to capture that time. But be kind to yourself and done schedule early flights! No one is paying attention to that granular detail, and it’s not going to help you get promoted. Most people fly for their convenience too – the people I know doing 6am flights have kids and don’t want to add an extra day to their away schedule. It’s totally reasonable to go the day before something. Another one of my tips is to take a few vacation days at the start of the trip rather than the end – an “entry” day or two. I travel there in work time, take the next day off to get acclimated to the new time zone/sleep in/etc., and then go to work the next day. I also either use vacation for a reentry day when I get home or work at home that day. Sometimes these can’t be done, but if you can do them most of the time, it gets a lot easier.

      • NoMore6amFlights :

        Thanks! It’s good to be reminded that, maybe nothing (bad) would happen if I just, stopped doing so much…

    • Nelly Yuki :

      You’re getting lots of practical advice, but I just want to point out that you said everyone else can handle this schedule no problem. Guess what? They think you are handling this schedule no problem. Everyone, or at least some people, are having the struggles. Do you have any confidants that you can have an honest “Dude, this $hit is killing me” convo?

      You have my sympathies – I stopped dating when I was on a heavy-for-me travel schedule because the idea of meeting a stranger after not being home all week made me want to cry. Congratulations for all that you are already doing. Think carefully about what your values are, and then work backwards from there. Hugs from this stranger.

      • Nelly Yuki :

        *having the strugges = has the same struggles. But in hindsight I might like “having the struggles” too ;)

      • NoMore6amFlights :

        Thank you! And, oh my, I understand about the dating! I hadn’t dated anyone in 6 years… Trying to START a relationship when traveling so much is really hard…

      • I have two friends who travel *so much* for work and they both have had that conversation with their friend groups and families and it was really really effective. Everybody gave them a wide berth when it came to scheduling and demands or requests on time.

    • I’ve been there, it’s really hard. A few thoughts:
      If you’ve done this for 10 years, you probably know quite a lot about what to do, even if (like me) actually doing it is another matter. Maybe take a quiet 15 minutes on your next flight and write down all the things that help? For me, this would include things like: take multivitamin, greens powder, oil of oregano (if the food is at all sketch), and vitamin D. Have Trader Joes veggies burgers and lentil soup in freezer to eat when I get home. Pack little baggies with flaxseed, dried berries, and chia seeds to add to hotel oatmeal. Do 10 minutes of yoga before bed.

      If you are also like me, all this travel means doctor and dentist appointments haven’t happened. Maybe schedule a physical? Because although it’s likely that you are just plain exhausted, if you also have a thyroid issue or adrenal fatigue (not unlikely given your constant jet lag), getting back to feeling good might take more than just a vacation.

      Book a vacation, preferably to stay in your own house! Find a week on your calendar (even if it’s 3 months from now), and mark it unavailable. I’d go for a solid 1 week, though if one day every week is doable for a while, that might work even better.

      When dealing with family and other requests to travel “since you fly all the time anyway”, I’ve found it helpful to think of things as “Your request for me to travel once a quarter actually means you’re asking for 1/5 of my free weekends this year”, etc. Whether I verbalize that or not depends on the situation, but, doing the math to realize that it actually wasn’t “no big deal” helped me a lot.

      I initiated a firm “I have to be in my own house, with no houseguests, at least one weekend a month” rule. It sounds silly, but it helped (and I had to invoke it surprisingly often!)

      Long term – well, that’s probably a know your options and career situation, but, know that your schedule sounds exhausting and if you don’t want to do it anymore, there’s no shame in that!

      • You sound like you’re either in, or on the edge of, burnout. Please take this seriously. You can’t sustain on willpower alone. You ARE human. You need sleep, you need downtime. Don’t let yourself get into such a depleted state that you take a long, long time to recover.

        You’re sacrificing a lot of quality for life for a job that’s not even particularly well-paying.

      • NoMore6amFlights :

        Those are some great ideas! Thank you!! I like your rule:-)

        And….arrgh…yes, it’s hard to realize how much I’ve given up for a job that isn’t even that well paying. Maybe it’s time to look at other options…

    • I had a three year stretch of travel every other week. Tips: vitamins and immune boosting herbs every day. Washing my hands like a maniac and bringing wipes to wipe down seat arms and tray table. Snack bars in my bag to decrease tired bad food choices. Exercising right when I arrive to wear myself out so I can sleep. Bringing slip on tennies so I can walk outside daily. Living on my own personal time zone rather than trying to cheat jet lag. Getting a massage at a spa while on the trip – I often go Friday afternoon before flying back. Having husband or best friend join me at my location on the weekend for a short vacation and then flying back. We’ve vacationed some less than glamorous places but we always have fun.

  3. I’m looking to replace my Michael Kors Flex pumps in an almond toe (which they apparently don’t make anymore). Kat has frequently featured Trot*ters brand shoes on here and I’m thinking about the Signature Gigi Round toe pump. Can anyone speak to the quality/longevity? All of the nordstrom reviews focus on fit, rather than how long they last. TIA.

    • I’ve had a pair of ankle boots for 5 years and they are still going. Really nice leather.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a pair of loafers and was very pleased with the quality for the price. Had I taken care of the leather (scuffed toe), they would barely look worn after several years. They are seriously sooooo comfortable and the leather is soft.

      I’ve owned them for ~8 years? I go through periods when I wear them routinely and times when I forget that I own them, so I’d say they are good for at least a couple of years of daily wear.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I have a pair of Trotters sling-back wedges that I adore. I’ve been very pleased with how they’ve lasted. I’ve had them for 3 years now, and I wear them 3-4 days a week in warm weather. I’m brutal on shoes. I’m just now starting to see real wear on the leather. Trotters are definitely one of my go-to brands.

  4. For the pool/club people :

    I joined a fancy tennis club that I thought I didn’t warrant as a single and thrifty person (who actually played tennis) once my children had outgrown the inflatable pool in our back yard. And I joined it mainly for their pool (with the hopes that we became a tennis family also). It has been fantastic and worth every penny. We happily pay the guest fee to bring friends and it lets me keep a messy house and rely on the pool / pool house for food / beverage / entertainment all summer.

    BUT, I will say, b/c I spend so much time there (swim team practice starts up in a few weeks) and usually feel the need to dress to get wet (although my children are competent swimmers now and there are lifeguards, I want to be able to jump in and pull someone out if needed; plus, I never stay dry b/c changing, showers, splashing, etc.), I have a pool part of my wardrobe:

    rashguards
    LE mini-swim minis (it’s like wearing clothes)
    various tankini / bikini sets
    mini-caftans
    like I might have 6-8 differing pool outfits (including 3 new ones b/c some of my post-partum stuff was too matronly; I also went through a swim shorts phase, but as a pear, they never fit right)

    Like hundreds of dollars worth of stuff. Something is always air drying. And you wouldn’t want to wear the same thing every day / every weekend, would you? And the volume of use means that some things do wear our or look less than awesome.

    FWIW, I am in the SE US and a lot of work contacts to go my place, so I don’t ever want to look like a hot mess.

    For us, a country club would have been too much $, plus, if we barely have time for tennis, we certainly don’t have time to improve our awful golf game.

    • I’m not sure there’s actually a question in your post, but I’ll respond.

      If I was rarely actually getting into the pool, I would probably just wear whatever summer clothing I would have otherwise, possibly with a swimsuit as “underwear”. Lots of summer dresses is what I would go for. You could also get a couple pairs of shorts (white and other chino-type shorts) and just rotate your tops. No one will notice if you’re wearing the same bottoms over and over.

    • Anon for this :

      My work wants me to join “the club” too while the initiation fee is “on sale” for $15k. I grew up middle class and that just boggles my mind. I just paid off my student loans and I’m still rebuilding my savings and not quite yet maxing out the retirement accounts. Plus, I’d like to give more to charity. I don’t begrudge anyone who can afford it and parts of it sound really fun. But your post touched on the part I don’t think I’d enjoy. Schmoozing with work contacts/coworkers/opposing counsels/judges in a bathing suit! If I’m paying $15k plus yearly membership fees to be in a club, I want to use the pool! Not feel like I’m at work the whole time. I don’t even go to the same gym as my coworkers – intentionally. Maybe in a few more years I’ll feel differently. If work wanted to pay for my membership, that would be a very different story.

      • +1

        I am you. Totally.

        Part of me worries that I am missing out on work opportunities/network blahblahblah…..

        But I’m an introvert, I need to get away from these people that are associated with my high stress job.

        And the idea of hanging out with them… at the pool… in a bathing suit…. and paying thousands of dollars for this great honor …. just shoot.me.now.

        We’re all different.

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          Yeah, this. There are other options besides the fancy expensive clubs. My husband, myself, and my four kids have a rec center membership at the Pac12 university that is right by where we live. This costs about $1500 a year for all four of us. There are multiple swimming pools, including a complex that has a “family pool” for the smaller kids (with lessons you can pay extra for) and an olympic size lap pool for the older kids/adults. There is also a nice picnic area. And we all get access to the university gym and track, which is excellent for my husband, me, and my two oldest sons. We are very much a fitness family. People at all the facilities are by and large incredibly normal and keep to themselves. It is perfect for us.

      • Yes. My kid used to go to the same ballet class and summer day camps as some of our local judges, with whom I interact in the course of my job. Super awkward because you know who they are, they may or may not remember you, you don’t want to call them “Judge” outside of court but you don’t NOT want to call them “Judge” either.

        • The children of our local judges. The judges themselves did not attend the camps.

        • Anon for this :

          Ack, yes. This is a strange quirk of my current job at a university – we get extremely discounted tuition for the music and dance classes that our school’s conservatory runs for kids. Which is great, except that it means that I run into my department chair on Saturday mornings when I’m wearing yoga pants and trying to distract the one year-old during his sister’s piano lesson. We still do it, but that part is not ideal.

    • I think you are over-complicating this? I don’t wear a swimsuit to swim practice unless I plan to swim afterwards. If my kid gets in trouble and needs help, I’ll shed my shoes and go in the pool in my clothes. After years of swim lessons and being a lifeguard, I’m not worried about the drag effect of my shorts.
      We belong to country club with pool and have a neighborhood pool. At both I see people I know professionally. I really don’t pay attention to what people are wearing and wouldn’t think anything of people repeating the same suits or coverup. I probably won’t wear the same suit 2 days back to back because it’s not dry, but I’m not going to stress that I wore this tankini last Saturday and now it’s Tuesday. To each their own.

    • For the pool/club people :

      Actually, it’s not a complaint. It’s a whole new wardrobe area :)

      It’s so d*mn hot and humid that I do usually swim a few laps and if I don’t, I sit on the side of the pool (always wet) and dip my feet in. I like having the option. Swimming really relaxes me and sometimes it’s the only exercise that I get.

      And it’s not a super work-schoozy pool (that is my church, but not the services I usually go to). I like all of the work people there (so far) and the parents of kids I see at work and at kid things. But it’s become like work where I do actually want to look good (and comfortable and covered).

      My around the house attire is still shockingly bad (but I love it).

      • Yeah, I figured you were just giving a heads’ up to those who have been discussing joining clubs recently that there is this added expense. I’ve heard others say the same thing. It’s not like you *have* to spend the money on cute coverups, but it just sort of happens because you can justify it more easily.

    • I spend lots of time at the pool too and my dilemma is finding coverups that actually cover – aren’t sheer, aren’t a deep v, and aren’t sleeveless (gotta protect my shoulders!). I don’t mind rewearing so I really just want one or two that meet this criteria. I did find a couple of t-shirts and pairs of board shorts so I’ll try that this year.

      • T-shirt dresses are great cover-ups that fit your requirements. I also like linen pants + t-shirt.

        • For the pool/club people :

          agreed

          LE has dresses made from their rashguard / swim tee fabric
          Vineyard Vines (and similar places) has coverups and t-shirt dresses that are halfway to the knee (not just butt-covering).
          Lilly has come cute things like this (but more $ and they tend to be shorter)

          I want something I can go into the grocery store in and not feel too exposed (not to mention the thigh sizzle getting into a hot car).

      • I snap up the athleta swim dresses/coverups. They aren’t super long, mid top of thigh works for me to go to/from car and I’ve walked into stores in them.
        http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=97464&vid=1&pid=906170122

  5. Anonymous :

    Any advice for working with a male coworker that I happen to know previously groped a female coworker of mine? I haven’t worked with him directly since I found out about the incident but was recently put on a project where I have to interact with him a fair amount, and I’m surprised how much it’s upsetting me since I was not the one assaulted. I am not worried about him doing anything physical to me – although I do plan to avoid being alone with him and certainly would not go anywhere with him outside of work (the previous incident took place at a bar after a work retreat when he was drunk) – but I just hate him so much on my coworker’s behalf that I can hardly stand to look at him. Not that groping someone is ok even if you’re single, but he is married and I have briefly met his wife, who seems nice, so I’m also mad on her behalf. I’m the only person at work who knows about this incident and the female coworker specifically asked me not to tell anyone so I cannot talk to anyone about it.

    • You truly seem like a very compassionate person and a good friend and ally to have.
      Your female coworker should be encouraged and supported to report the assault. Chances are this isn’t the first time he’s done it, nor will it be the last.

      The problem with this situation is that it sparks so many strong, negative emotions that don’t directly relate to your job or your working relationship with this man (jerk). I would try to stay focused on what you want and need out of your interactions with him to successfully complete the project. Immerse yourself in organization, lists, being matter-of-fact. Keep it totally professional and separate yourself from the inside/back knowledge that you have regarding this person.

      If there is any room for ambiguity, tension, or conflict in your working relationship with this guy, this could easily snowball for you into an emotionally-charged mess. Unfortunately, it’s going to require a great deal of self-control and effort on your part to separate your emotions, keep your focus, and get the job done.

    • You have an overload of empathy going on here. Good for you for being a good freind, but as long as you feel you are not in danger of being groped, which you said, just keep it professional and do your job. This is not your battle. There are two battles you’ve taken a side in – your friend’s harrassment, and this DOOSH’s marriage. Trust those women to handle this on their own.

    • I don’t have any real advice but I wanted to chime in to thank you for being a good friend. I was groped by a “friend’s” coworker once. She brushed it off and acted like I was being dramatic. She even suggested I was asking for it because I’d flirted with the guy early in the evening before he told me he had a girlfriend. Being assaulted is hard enough, it makes it so much worse when others blame you, question your integrity, and insist that he’s a great guy this was just a matter of crossed wires.

    • There is an article, previously linked here, from Miss Manners on “levels of chilliness” that seems to apply. I’ll see if I can find the link.

      • Here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/18/AR2008031802765.html

        And the AAM on a similar question here – #1 — http://www.askamanager.org/2016/05/i-have-to-work-with-someone-who-sexually-harassed-my-friend-im-bad-at-responding-to-positive-feedback-and-more.html

      • Link in moderation… grrrrrr.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Have you considered the cleansing power of fire? Just a thought!

      (I’m sorry you have to deal with him, I don’t think you’re overreacting, and I wish I had some good advice. In that situation — why have I been there so many times? because #men — I’ve tried to be ice cold, just on the socially acceptable side of disdain. I can’t report that it’s been particularly effective.)

      • Nudibranch :

        Maybe if you started out by telling him that you were close friends with (insert friend’s name here). Then a glare, pause, then “…very close friends.”

        That might warn him off.

  6. Self Car-cious :

    How much do potential employers care about the car you drive to the interview? (Assuming they see it through some circumstance or another) My car is 20 years old and while it’s in decent condition and totally safe to drive, it’s not exactly a looker. I do try to keep it clean, and there aren’t any rust spots or anything. I’ve had a few people tell me that I should try to park far away or take an Uber to avoid the interviewer judging me based on my car. Is this not ridiculous? I’m applying for my first “real job” out of college, and I can’t imagine anyone would expect a college kid to be driving a brand-new vehicle.

    • Anonymous :

      Your interview will take place inside a building. How would they would know what care you drive there? Who are the people giving you this advice?

    • Anonymous :

      This is ridiculous. Do not think about this for one more second and tell your friends to stop giving people terrible advice.

    • A. No one is going to look at your car.

      B. Since it’s your first post-college job, if they did and saw you with a fancy new one, you’d be judged as likely being a spoiled brat whose mommy and daddy bought it for you.

      In other words, focus your energy on prepping for the substance of the interview! And best of luck!

      • Ditto. If I happened to see your car I’d be impressed that you were driving an older car and not some brand new BMW Mummy and Dads bought you as a graduation present.

      • AnonMidwest :

        My well paid and well respected clients and I used to have a “oldest car” competition. I lost to a head of department that drove a 1992 toyota (it was probably in 2012)

        • One of our VPs only has 4 sets of clothing and 2 pairs of shoes. He is also one of the most amazing and respected people I know – even though I sometimes have to laugh (internally) on his fashion combos. Long story cut short – I would focus on doing your best on the interview rather than worrying about your car. Signed, I have 2 fancy cars and still use public transport at least 2x week.

    • Only the most insane of interviewers will recon your car. You do not want to work in a place that fosters this insanity. Losing out on a job because of your car would therefore be an actual win.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 This was my exact thought. If they are dinging a recent grad for having a not amazing car, you do not want to work there.

      • Yup, my thoughts also.

      • This exactly. I mean, I say this as someone who also drives a 20-year old car (as a mid-level associate who could afford a new one if I wanted one). But that is not the crazy you want.

    • My boss has specifically told me that one of the things he liked best about me (on a personal level) when I started was the fact that I drove a very old car (it did have some minimal rust spots) and had an IDGAF attitude about it. He’s a big fan of the Millionaire Next Door and would probably judge harshly if he saw an applicant driving some fancy leased car.

      All this to say, if they judge you based on your car, they’re revealing themselves to you. I wouldn’t worry about it.

    • BigLaw partner :

      I will admit to a reputation as a thrifty eccentric, but I had a car with shocking levels of bondo on it when I was still paying off my loans.

      I’d only rent a car for an interview if there is any doubts as to reliability. If it will get you there and not break down in their parking lot, it’s fine.

    • Off-key Valkyrie :

      I had an interviewer walk me out to my car once. The friend who set up my interview told me later that he would have done it no matter how far away I was parked, just to see my car.

      Car was trashed because I was commuting 3 hrs each way in it every day, and I’d had to dress for an interview in the backseat.

      I didn’t get the job. He screwed over my friend without a reference not long after.

      • Yeah. I had the same terrible experience and my driver side door was permanently stuck. The only way to get in was to open the passenger side, crawl over, and push the driver door open. The interviewer would not leave the parking lot and I finally had to to say that I couldn’t open the door. I got the job and didn’t take it.

        • Off-Key Valkyrie :

          Love it! My passenger side door is like that right now on my weekend pickup. It still works fine for everything I need, where’s the problem?

      • anonshmanon :

        bullet dodged.

        • +1 that is a crazy person you don’t want to work for. That’s a person who goes through your drawers when you are gone. He11 to the no.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Unrelated but similar, I once got dinged during a job interview post-college for saying that I was waitressing while searching for a job. I graduated during the tech bubble burst and I was doing anything I could to make some money and pay student loans while also searching for a full-time job. I can’t imagine what this woman would have preferred I do with my time – thankfully I never had to work with her!

      • PrettyPrimadonna :

        I had a friend who worked right out of law school at a boutique law firm in Miami, a place known for flashy expensive stuff and prioritizing appearances. When she interviewed, she was driving an old BMW. She had planned to pay down student loans before buying a new car, but, when she started at this firm, she was pressured by partners, etc. to buy a new (luxury) car. I think the phrasing was “get rid of your college car, you’re an attorney now.”

    • I drove an old car with a big cosmetic dent in the front to an interview once (I was 2 years out of college at the time).

      I got the job. My bosses either didn’t see or didn’t care about that old car and its dent, as long as the car was reliable and drove safely. FWIW it was an interview for a field engineer position.

    • That is ridiculous. Your car is extremely likely to be noticed by an interviewer… I mean, don’t have offensive bumper stickers on it, but other than that I can’t imagine an old car being held against you unless you’re interviewing in the auto industry (*maybe????)?

    • On the opposite side- I dated a guy in college with a very fancy car paid for by mommy and daddy- he borrowed a friend’s very average car to go to interviews

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Who are these insane people telling you this? You are fine! I sometimes drive a similar sounding vehicle (really old, but nothing visibly wrong with it), and I am a mid-level biglaw associate. My husband and I have one nice car and one old car between us. I drive that old thing to court and valet park it at fancy events. If anyone is going to judge me for that, IDGAF.

  7. KS IT Chick :

    Which shoes to wear…. I bought a cream & light grey skirt suit. I’m trying to decide what shoes I should wear with it. The black leather heels that hurt my toes but that look amazing, the black suede wedges that feel great but don’t look great, the black leather flats, or something that I haven’t thought of yet…

    • This sounds like a good opportunity for a non- neutral heel, like burgundy or really any other non-crazy color. I’m having a hard time picturing black heels with what you described, and nude-for-you could be risky if the tone clashes with the cream in your suit.

      Can you post link to the suit?

      • KS IT Chick :

        https://www.macys.com/shop/product/le-suit-chevron-print-skirt-suit?ID=4394860&CategoryID=67592&selectedSize=#fn=BRAND%3DLe%20Suit%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D127%26ruleId%3D27|BS|BA%26slotId%3D4

        It says it is white, but it is closer to cream.

        • I like it! Take it with you, if you’re going IRL shopping. The model is wearing a nude-for-you shade. I even think light blue but I’m a risk taker. :)

          • Oooh, these might work: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/sam-edelman-thea-strappy-pump-women/4425329?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=DUSTY%20BLUE%20SUEDE

            I ordered them last week and they haven’t come yet. High hopes!

    • I know Nine West doesn’t have the greatest reputation for quality, and I don’t buy much from them anymore, but these gray suede mary janes are really comfortable. There is the shiny thing on the inside of the heel, but that’s not all that obvious.

      http://www.6pm.com/p/nine-west-academy-grey-suede/product/8769318/color/478744?gclid=CNOu3euUs9MCFQIzaQodhsQBEw&zhlfid=139&kpid=39543888&ef_id=U1lIlgAAAAe3JRYZ:20170420134148:s

    • I’d probably go with navy pumps. Also, if your only pair of black leather heels hurts your toes then it’s time to get a new pair.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I love a bold choice – how about either cobalt blue suede? Or wine or dark purple?

  8. Just curious- for those of you who use YNAB, do you usually go over-budget on your previous month? And if so, by how much?

    • Or really, anyone who uses a budget and tracks their transactions meticulously with it.

    • Anonymous :

      If you are going overbudget each month, you either aren’t budgeting enough for those categories or you aren’t controlling your spending. The whole idea is to *not* go overbudget, much less on a regular basis.

      Are you talking about the month as a whole (total in vs out) or the individual categories you’ve set up?

    • Nelly Yuki :

      I am never “in the red” on any category, but I constantly and funding/moving money around. I am only a couple of months in so I hope this will slow down.

    • layered bob :

      I generally don’t go totally over budget (as in, spend more than the total amount of income allocated for that month) but I always go over in individual categories and need to reallocate money throughout the month. One of my budget lines is “?” – I dump about $40 in there at the beginning of every month and that helps smooth out areas where I went over by just a few dollars. For bigger over-spends I reallocate from long-term budget lines like “vacation” or “furniture.”

      • This. I fund the big categories (mortgage, student loans, etc), savings, and bills that are the same from month to month. Things like clothing, groceries, etc are moving targets within income for the month.

    • we use Mint :

      We use Mint, and sometimes our budgets get out of whack because of one-time expenses. This usually happens with our travel budget and our auto/transport budget. We’ll put $x per month for the amount we intend to spend for the year, but then we buy plane tickets in the summer for Christmas and so the travel budget is over for a couple of months until the monthly buffer catches up. Same thing with auto, we spread the insurance cost over the year, so when we re-up the insurance in the middle, it’s over for a few months. Cash flow for us is not a problem, so at this point, the budget is more to keep track of our spending. Sometimes our food budget gets out of line if we host friends for the weekend, but again, it usually gets back on track by the next month. The travel and auto budgets might be over by $300-$400 for up to 2 months (ie: we budget $150/mo for that category, but spend it in advance and the budget must catch up), and the food budget might go over by $50-$100 until the month rolls over.

      • The same thing happens to me, especially with groceries because I buy meat in bulk at Costco once every 2-3 months. I actually like the way Mint handles this issue better than YNAB, and it’s one of several reasons I switched back to Mint recently.

        • we use Mint :

          Yep! Since we’re not using the budget to regulate cash flow, I much prefer to buy meat in bulk as well :) If there’s a category that’s really over, we’ll definitely check it out and make sure we’re ok with it. For instance, we didn’t realize that our HSA purchases were funneling into our health/fitness category, so the first month of prescription meds/chiropractor/dentist charges that showed up made us freak out a little bit. Now that we know, we just upped that category to cover the HSA expenses. We also use tags to filter out things that we don’t want to show up in our monthly budget, like the deposit when we moved into our apartment, or replacing tires that only comes around once every few years. That way, we can see how much we spent for the year, and also see what “normal” expenses are.

        • No Problem :

          Wait, really? How do you get Mint to understand routine/expected expenses that are not monthly? For example, I pay my car insurance in full every 6 months instead of monthly. Whenever I pay it, Mint always gives me these warnings that I’ve spent $350 on car insurance this month, when my average is $60. Or I budget $200 a month for clothing, but I buy nothing in February and spend $300 in March and it tells me I’m over for the month (which I am, but there’s $200 I didn’t spend last month). I thought this was one of the benefits of YNAB, that money leftover in budgets from previous months roll over to the next month. I haven’t seen anything like that in Mint.

          • we use Mint :

            Hmm… ours does a running balance, so sometimes the travel category with a $200 monthly budget will show a positive $400 if we haven’t bought plane tickets yet (basically, the bar is just the standard gray vs. green tracking to budget or red tracking over budget). But then we buy tickets for $800, and we’re negative for 2 months, with the ugly red bar. Once we get to the middle of the year, it gets back into the green. We don’t have it set up to give us warnings if we’re over in a category, but it definitely goes into the red and then rolls over the excess money the next month. We can also look at the balance for the year, so even if we’re over in a couple of categories for a month, we can see if we’re over/under for YTD. That’s weird that it’s not rolling over the money for you, and I don’t think we have our set up in any special way to get it to roll over.

          • No Problem :

            I should clarify that I use the app 99% of the time because I hate the web interface with a fiery passion. I see now that there is a setting you can toggle to start each month with what is leftover from last month. That is definitely new since the last time I set up budgets on their web page. Thanks!

          • I don’t use it that way, but I think when you set up the budget you can tell it to roll over. But I’m like you – I get the warnings because I don’t build unusual expenses into my budget.

          • Apparently I should have refreshed before I commented. :)

          • For the occasional expenses like car insurance, in the settings for that budget item it will ask you how often the item occurs and when the next one is. So if that is set up correctly, it will automatically handle items like that correctly. There are also categories, like clothes/makeup that I choose to roll the balance from one month to the next. So If my budget is $400 and I spent $200, it gives me $600 the next month. For timing issues like plane tickets, I end up changing the budget schedule and moving up the expected timing to better correlate with the actual expenses.

    • Govt Mule :

      Late to the game today – but I love YNAB. I do sometimes go over, but I always reallocate so there isn’t a red category. Otherwise I find that my bank balances aren’t correct. I also have several fluff categories. Like “one time expense” and “house maintenance”. I sort of have a built in buffer to move around. For me the real benefit of YNAB isn’t that I strictly adhere to the budgeting categories, it’s that I correctly account for my money. I think moving money between categories is expected, and that’s why the program makes it easy. If you click on a red budget item it will prompt you to cover that overage with another line item. One thing I will fudge is changing dates on transactions in order to get them in the correct month. I have most of my monthly bills on autopay. Occasionally they will get paid early and artificially create shortages in the wrong month. I change the date to force them in the correct month.

  9. I’m speaking at a conference in Chicago in June and I have no idea what to wear (I will likely buy something new, once I figure out what I want). Normally I would wear a suit, but it’s a tech event in the summer (I normally speak at non-tech events in the winter). I can only find photos from last year of men, but none of them are in full suits (a lot of jeans and sport coats, as well as khakis and blazers) and I’m concerned I’ll look out of touch if I wear a suit. I am giving a presentation and also speaking on a panel – I’d rather not wear a dress/skirt because I don’t know what the panel set-up will be (in my experience panels often involve chairs that are too tall for me).

    I’m a lot happier with my winter wardrobe than my summer one – I feel like summer colors look silly on me. Any direction at all would be greatly appreciated!

    • I’d go with silk shell plus navy ankle pants. I’d also bring a (non-matching but coordinating) jacket.

      For me (and knowing the colors that look best on me and such), I would go with slim navy ankle pants, a cream silk shell that I have, and a coral jacket. I’d wear nude wedges.

      Alternately, I’m kinda loving the flared look, so I might do navy flared pants with a mustard colored blouse with wedges.

      • Honestly that sounds perfect, except warm colors in general clash with my coloring (I’m a ginger). Do you think a lighter blue blazer would work as a substitute for coral or yellow, assuming I can find one that doesn’t look like chambray?

    • Nylon girl :

      Hi, just came back from a tech conference. I wore the lands end wrap dress in orange with navy and cream blocks. It provides great coverage that stays closed and has 3/4 sleeves with buttons on the sleeves. Professional, comfortable, and doesn’t wrinkle. My new unicorn dress.

    • My sister speaks at tech conferences and she does wear a suit sometimes so that is not totally ruled out. She will also wear a nice long sleeved silk blouse with a pencil skirt or nice work trousers.

      It doesn’t matter that it’s summer outside unless you are speaking outside.

    • No specific recs, but try not to worry so much about summer vs. winter colors! Wear what flatters you and makes you feel confident and happy.

    • Anonymous :

      Some women do wear suits, depending on the tech conference (the one that I attend, at least), if they are presenting.

      However, I’d say the more common is exactly as Coffee described: neutral pants, blouse, blazer or open front cardigan. I see slim leg ankle pants and trousers. A dress like Nylon described or a pencil skirt in place of pants is common too.

      Don’t overthink the colors. Wear whatever feels comfortable to you. Most people will be wearing black, not necessarily spring/summer colors.

    • Anonymous :

      The answer to this depends on some factors–1. what is your experience/ credibility level? The higher your experience/ credibility level, the more flexible your dress code. 2. You are presenting and want to be taken seriously–err on the side of more polished in dress as a presenter–in sum, you are telling your audience that when it’s go time, you bring it. 3. Are you part of the industry, or an adviser to the industry?

      More formal dress with pops of color are a very effective uniform for presentations.

  10. Let me start by saying I used to love my job, but the total disregard for work/life balance has me just… done.

    I was recently connected with a professional contact with whom I clicked and who has the power to hire me for the job I’m hoping to switch to. I took him up on his offer of a coffee and am meeting up with him today.

    In general, I want him to do a lot of the talking- talk about where his department is going, why he switched from Chocolate Teapots, Inc. to Spouts Only, Inc., give a general introduction to myself.

    Do I bring a resume to this? Also, many people switch out of my current job once they have a family – I do have a family but it’s actually just the total disregard for any type of balance that has me looking to potentially jump ship. Do I say that or only if I’m asked.

    I’ll also add that I’m not looking for more of the same. I’ve really leaned in hard and am at a level that I would happily stay at for 10 years. I don’t want my boss’ job, I just want to move into something where I feel like it’s possible to do a good job and still leave early occasionally. Any tips in how to convey this?

    • Anonymous :

      Haha, fellow Ask a Manager reader :)

    • I wouldn’t bring the resume to this, but expect the person to ask you to send your resume over shortly after the meeting (give them the chance to assess whether they need it during the meeting, rather than shoving it in their face). I would have the file very accessible (ie in an email on your phone) to send to the contact immediately after the meeting. If they don’t say “send it over” you can try to naturally have it come up by genuinely referring to your experience a few times and then maybe saying “would it be helpful to see my resume? I can send it after our conversation.”

    • S in Chicago :

      Don’t say you are looking to lean out. Just don’t. Treat it like any other “interview” it’s about what you bring. Ask the guy questions about how much travel he does, ask if he ever works at home, chit chat about commutes-you’ll get a sense of hours quickly without looking unmotivated (even if you’re feeling unmotivated right now).

      • Yeah, I did take a lower level job recently which may have been interpreted as leaning out but I pitched my interest as being excited about learning a new area of my field, going deeper rather than wider, and helping new company with all the skills I learned as an executive of old larger company.

        It worked, and they gave me a salary bump too.

        • I like the chit chat about commutes part! That definitely gets me the answer I’m looking for. And I’m going to frame it as looking to work in an area where it’s much more project oriented and less crisis-management oriented.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Don’t bring a resume but have your talking points / elevator pitch about yourself in your head.

      I also wouldn’t ask about work life balance – granted I come from banking but this is likely to be negatively received. You can get a feel for it by asking questions like “How do you find Spouts only different than working at chocolate teapots?” “What do you like about Spouts only?” “What does your typical day / workflow look like at Spouts only?” which will get you a feel for the culture / hours expectations without asking directly.

      • Thank you.

        Normal me would never talk about the work life balance thing, but if it weren’t for that, I would stay at my current job. Y’all are doing a great job of reassuring me that in my panic I shouldn’t just shout ‘I NEED to have a life!’ at this person over coffee (which is definitely what my initial instinct is to do).

        • JuniorMinion :

          I will bet you $$ he talks around it or brings it up to you directly…. people have said things to me in the past like “oh its been great working here vs. banking – I’ve been able to take vacations and our team really respects 980s (yeah im that brat that now gets every other friday off)” Or even “You know I’ve really enjoyed the environment here at Spouts inc, our management is very organized and very cognizant of all work being impactful” which is generally code for no one will be wasting your life with stupid firedrills at 6 pm on Friday…

    • I can’t think of a good reason not to have your resume with you, just in case. If on the off chance he asks for you, bam! There you are, anticipating his questions and fulfilling his request. If he doesn’t it stays in your bag, unannounced. Why not just be prepared and bring it?

      • Ugh, asks for it, not you. That would be weird.

      • I pretty much have a phd in coffee interview/meetings. I typically wore a dress and heels, not quite a suit but a little more than business casual. As others have said, do not bring up work-life balance at all as it comes across as unmotivated (that’s totally cool, I was super burnt out from biglaw, but I never said so), but coffee is casual enough that you can ask those questions on the fringe of that in casual small talk (like others have said, “where are you commuting in from?”) and see where it goes from there. Bring a notepad. Don’t take such insane notes that you aren’t making eye contact and having an actual conversation, but it looks unprepared and sort of unappreciative. Often someone would say, “you know who you need to talk to? Jane Doe. Email her at [email protected] and CC me and tell her I told you to reach out. And do I have your resume in electronic format? Could you send that to me?” And then I would nod and write reminders to myself. Basically, someone is donating their time to you and your job is to be gracious and make the most of it. (This also means following up afterwards- don’t let him feel like he wasted his time.) Have your elevator pitch ready but have questions ready – people love to talk about themselves and this is the best way to learn about him and his job. I always had a resume tucked in at the end of my notepad so that I had it handy if requested but wasn’t shoving it in their face. Coffee is a great opportunity to get someone talking comfortably about themselves and their work, which means it’s a great opportunity to get them to like you, too. Good luck and great job so far!

  11. Anonymous :

    My friend and I are similar sizes and yesterday she brought a suit to work for me to take a look at and take home if I wanted it. It’s a suit I’ve been looking for for a long time – cream-colored wool with a shorter blazer (always important for me as I’m short-waisted). The blazer fits perfectly, the fabric is just what I wanted, I love, love, love this suit. But – it’s too tight in the waist for me, due to the fact that she had it altered to fit her. I can button and zip the pants but they would look a lot better if they were about an inch looser at the waist. Is there any fix for this? I’m assuming since she already had them altered, whatever seam allowance was there is gone. I have a tailor I’ve used in the past, but just for altering pant length, not for a major issue like this.

    • Anonymous :

      The tailor should have left the seam allowance intact. It should not be a problem to let the waist back out.

      • They probably did leave the seam allowance but I’m guessing they threw away part of the waistband. They may have to get creative and substitute fabric there. This could work if you never tuck in your tops.

        • It might be possible–my husband gained some weight a while back and had all of his suits let out just fine, including the pants waistbands.

          • Men’s suits are designed to be altered now and again to accommodate changes in weight. They usually have a seam that goes all the way up through the waist band in the back, for ease of opening and closing it. Yet another advantage they’ve established for themselves.

  12. Anyone live in Denver or nearby Denver? I’m going to be wrapping up grad school next year and my husband and I are considering whether we’d like to stay in the extremely expensive Bay Area or move somewhere else. It seems like Denver might have a decent tech job scene. Is it possible to live close to the mountains and work in the city without having a nightmare traffic commute? I love winter sports, so being able to do both is important, but Bay Area traffic has got me down.

    • My SO and I are looking at moving to Denver/Boulder/surrounding areas to escape the high cost of living in DC. From what I am seeing, the commute between Boulder and Denver can be annoying (but I am wondering how annoying compared to my current commute to/from DC to Baltimore every day…). We are heading out there for a vacation tomorrow and plan to do a test commute drive during rush hour one morning, is possible for you and your husband to take a short trip out and test out the area? We also plan to look into housing, drive around different neighborhoods, etc.

      • We are planning to do a trip like that in the fall. Would you mind reporting back after your trip in the meantime? I would love any perspectives.

      • I just moved from Denver after living there 2 years (not because we didn’t love it, we absolutely did). Golden is a town between Denver and the mountains that’s really becoming really popular. I’ve had a lot of friends move there from downtown Denver recently.

        By “live close to the mountains”– do you mean live in a ski town? If so, your commute will be at least 1.5 hours to Denver, and I have no idea what the time added would be on a weekday morning. But if you just mean “accessible to the mountains” you could even live in downtown Denver or any of the western suburbs (I LOVE Arvada, and there’s also Golden as I mentioned) and be in the mountains within 1.5 hours. Lots of people do day trips for skiing/snowboarding to avoid having to get a hotel.

        • I mean “accessible to the mountains” – it would be great to be able to do day hikes and mountain bike without driving far in the summer and then have easy ski day options in the winter. How was the cost of living in Golden?

          • Pretty much all of Denver is accessible to the mountains, if you are wiling to drive an hour.

      • JuniorMinion :

        Not moving but Denver is my dream town so thank y’all for allowing me to live vicariously.

        Signed,

        Texas resident who likes the cost of living but whose heart is in the mountains.

      • Anonattorney :

        Denver has a very accessible sprawl all the way to Boulder, which is at the base of the mountains. You can easily go up to ski/hike on the weekends. There are tons of suburbs between the two towns that are pretty affordable, and I think traffic isn’t too bad. Check Westminster, Erie, Lafayette for suburbs.

    • Anonymous :

      I work a lot in Denver and the locals complain about the traffic, but the worst traffic is seriously like slowing from a normal speed of ~70 to around ~30. Coming from most other cities, you won’t find it to be a big deal.

    • Anonymous :

      It may have other quirks, but people call Utah the “silicon slopes” for a reason — there are tons of tech jobs here and you can buy a nice, roomy house within 15 minutes of both work and a ski resort for under $400,000 (my five bedroom house was $325,000, it’s one mile from work and 35 minutes to the closest ski resort). The mountains are so much more accessible from Salt Lake (and especially Park City) than they are from Denver.

  13. KateMiddletown :

    Just wanted to plug the blue Balenciaga bag that my local news station featured today… as a copycat IKEA bag. Reminded me of the thread a few days ago!

    • I have to say I got a little lost in that discussion. Do people really use those crinkly blue IKEA bags outside of shopping at IKEA? Like, as a tote? Texture issues aside (and I admit I have texture issues) they are ginormous.

      • Anonymous :

        I use mine for big family trips and the pool all the time. Like when you need to BYO bedding and/or towels and pool toys / snacks.

      • PatsyStone :

        I use them as totes for long car trips, for hiding things from children in my car by looping one over the other, as a makeshift laundry basket to carry from room to room, and for toting nap mats and lunches and other daycare accessories. They might actually be my cheapest favorite thing. Second place is handkerchiefs from etsy.

      • Anonymous :

        We use them for grocery shopping. I also use a smaller sized one to haul the kids snowsuits back and forth from daycare. I can fit two snowsuits in one bag. They just wear their fleece coats in the car. Also a couple around for makeshift laundry baskets or organizing pre-vacation packing.

  14. Posted late yesterday – hoping for a few more responses (though the one I got was great).

    Going to a multiple day conference in an area of law that I used to practice and would like to return to (still working as a lawyer but in a different financial services space). Thing is – it’s a BIG conference and no one from my current or prior organization/firm is going – so it’s all up to me to use the networking sessions to shake some hands, get some business cards etc. so that I can reach out to people later. Tips on how to do this well – so that people want to talk to me and not just run away bc there’s some partner from some firm they’re trying to impress (I know there will be some of this – I’m not/never was a partner). Only thought I have is to attend as many of the seminars as I can but to focus a LOT more on the ~2 networking breaks/day bc you aren’t meeting people in the classroom the way you are when you’re getting coffee. I assume some of the hive does this a lot – so help me out.

    • New Tampanian :

      If you can get access to the list of people registered to attend (sometimes this is posted on the website for the conference), try to pick a few specific people you would like to meet. Contact them in advance (preferably as far in advance as possible because people’s schedules jam up quickly at these events) to schedule some time with them during the conference. This way you get to have a bit more quality time with them as opposed to the hit and run of a cocktail party.

      If no list is available, maybe take a look at the speakers and pick a few of those people.

    • Can you get the attendee list? If you know who’s going, you can identify a handful of specific contacts you want to meet. Having a clear goal like that can help keep you focused and researching them in advance can help you know what to casually bring up in conversation.

      I also like coming up with a handful of intros and conversation topics in advance. When the conversation is awkward, people are more likely to look for excuses to exit.

    • OP here – ugh – I didn’t realize I should have contacted people in advance. Went through a list of 800 attendees yesterday and highlighted the ones/the firms that I’d have some interest in and was thinking – how the heck will I run into this person with 800 others there?? I guess I’ll just have to do my best now that it’s about to start. There are a few smaller networking sessions which I think may be more productive.

  15. An extremely cute coworker asked me out. He lives and works out of another office a flight away in a different major city but comes to our office all the time. People in my industry meet and date all the time and it’s not forbidden as long as there is no manager/direct report relationship, which there isn’t in this case.

    Any tips for how to navigate this? I have a great reputation and lots of friends at work and we work in a friendly, relaxed environment. I want to see how it goes, but I also want to remain professional at work. Anyone have any good (or horror) stories about dating a coworker?

    • I met my husband at the office so no judgement here. I was, however, a student employee on a PT contract and it wouldn’t have been a big deal for me to leave if it got awkward.

      • For clarity, I was a 27 y/o PhD student, not an undergrad, so nothing scandalous like the big boss dating the intern.

    • Omg say yes and enjoy!!! Don’t even use any form of work communication to talk about your relationship.

      • I should add — I did say yes. I am excited but anxious given the complicating factors of distance and being coworkers (and yes, I know I am way overthinking this but I don’t get excited about many guys and this kind of thing doesn’t usually happen to me!).

    • It can definitely work but I’d try to take it slow and get to know him a bit better before you jump into physical stuff. My answer would be different if you had mentioned personality traits you like about him, but all I really see in your original comment is that he’s extremely cute. Which is great :) but there are a lot of very cute guys out there and I would probably want to make sure I felt an emotional connection too before anything physical happened. I’ve heard people say you can date one coworker without people thinking anything of it, but if you date a second one then you start to get a reputation (not saying that I think this is right, just that I have heard a lot of people say it). So I guess if it were me, I would try to suss out if this is guy is worthy of being that one you date at work.

      • Definitely has great personality traits. Just didn’t want to get into specifics here. I agree with everything you said and would not jump into anything physical with him or anyone I wasn’t interested in getting serious with. Good points!

        • Ah, I see. Sounds like you’re being really smart about it and sounds like this could be something really great. Go for it! And keep us updated! :)

    • If you don’t work directly with each other, date away.

    • I met my husband at work. We even worked on the same team, with cubicles only a few feet away from each other, and we still do 10 years later. It was just never an issue for us. We like that when we have work problems the other one completely understands the issue. Be mature about your relationship and drop any drama you might have when you walk in the office door. Don’t use company resources for any non-work communications. You don’t have to pretend that you’re not in a relationship at work though. A flirtatious wink as you see each other in the hall is allowed and fun, as is having lunch together.

    • Don’t overthink this, and also don’t jump the gun. You aren’t “dating” until you’ve had more than one date. See if you hit it off and if he calls you again. I definitely agree with holding off on anything physical until you figure out if the dude is really interested or just killing time…I would also maybe do some undercover reconnaissance to make sure he doesn’t have his own reputation for serially dating coworkers. That’s a bad thing to find out after it’s too late.

  16. Anon for This - Long Distance :

    My soon-to-be husband was supposed to take a year long internship across the country. There have been some logistical issues such that he wont be able to start until another 6 months, or he could do other research at that location until he can start the project 6 months from now- effectively meaning we will be apart for over a year. Because of the logistical nightmare, it has basically given him the opportunity to look for a new job closer to home that would be just as lucrative (the program director even said he understands if my fiancé wants to consider other options at this point). I am annoyed because my fiancé seems to be seriously considering taking the far away position even if it means being apart for over a year. I wanted him to try to pursue options closer to home, which upon his research there are quite a few (either in our city, or a city that isn’t so far away- which I could potentially get a job in). I’m frustrated that he’s not using this as a chance to make our lives easier. but I also don’t want to influence him too much and be the determining factor for his career decisions.

    Am I being unreasonable or is this a normal expectation for marriage/serious relationships?

    • I don’t think you are being unreasonable at all. Some couples make it work, but I would never want to live apart from my husband, especially in the first year of marriage! Talk to him and tell him what you’ve written here.

      • + 1

        If you’re about to be his wife, then it is totally reasonable that your considerations play into his career decisions in a huge way. My DH gave up a Post Doc to move to where I was in law school so we wouldn’t have to be apart for two more years. We weren’t even married yet. Your career should not take a back seat unless that is a conscious decision you have made together that you are both comfortable with.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I think this is a rite of passage for him to really have to grapple with the idea of making decisions that benefit you as a couple vs just him personally. I’d let him work through this on his own and pay attention to the ultimate decision he makes. It’s all well and good to think abstractly about what getting married means, but this is really his first “rubber hits the road” moment. If you can cut yourself, and him, some slack, that might make this a bit easier. But no, to answer the question, it’s not unreasonable to be frustrated by going through this process.

    • You should be the determining factor. Being married means you get to ask for that. He has good local options. Push him to take them.

    • It should be a joint decision, and he should take your feelings into account, but I think you’re probably oversimplifying it a little bit. It sounds like he has good potential opportunities closer to home but the only solid offer at this point is in the long-distance internship location? Given that, and given that it’s only six months (beyond the original time frame), I can understand why he’s inclined to take it.
      I may be biased because I am in academia and literally every couple I know has been long distance at one point or another, many for much longer than you’re talking about (I’m talking like 5+ years) but I don’t think wanting to take the long-distance opportunity is unreasonable of him, if he feels it’s better than the local options for some reason that he can actually articulate. But it should be a discussion, not a unilateral decision on either of your parts.

      • Anon for This - Long Distance :

        Yes, only solid offer is the long-distance one. I basically want him to pursue the opportunities here while keeping that offer on the table- which they said they would.

        The farther option honestly isn’t better- local are at least the same, if not more prestigious. And some of them would pay quite a bit more (plus if he was here, we would live together and save $). He has no qualms with the more local cities (I asked). I think it’s hard for him to imagine trying to pursue something else, but I don’t see a downside to pursuing other options while keeping the far away one open.

        • I’m confused about the timeline. The internship doesn’t start for 6 months but he’s been offered another position in the same location for the intervening months, right? When does he have to make a decision on that gap position? If he has to decide within the next couple of weeks then that doesn’t really give him enough time to look for local positions. Even if he turns down the gap position, presumably the internship will want a commitment pretty soon, right? All of this is to say that, yes, it makes sense to consider all of your options but it’s possible that he’s backed into more of a corner than you seem to think he is. Sounds like you two need to have some more conversations about what the options are.

    • JuniorMinion :

      So I am currently contemplating this (if my husband receives the job he is final rounding for today YAY) – a few things that helped us in our process

      1) Are the local options really as good? My husband nor I would ever leave for a truly similar opportunity – but if he gets his dream job in other city with a better pay package than he would get here I will support that

      2) How far away is it? My husband and I have agreed that we’re fine with anything in our (large, southern) state – its all driveable so we could see each other on weekends and the opportunity he is interviewing for would be a 3.5 hour drive from our current home. Is this possible with the nonlocal opportunity your husband is considering? It would have to be a real unicorn job with lots of $$$$ for either of us to be ok with the other going across the country.

      3) What do you want your lives to look like? We are people that prize financial security / would like two career optionality and are willing to make sacrifices within reason to make that happen. We’re both on the same page on this. There is no one way to do marriage / partnership – it is a choice each and every day to stay on the team. I know people with great long distance marriages, and people with terrible marriages who are both home in the same house every day at 5:30 PM on the dot.

      Good luck working this out – the storms I have weathered in my marriage / relationship have just served to make us stronger.

    • Anonymous :

      One research opportunity is not interchangeable with another. The distant opportunity could be better in terms of future options, personal interest, or other factors besides money. Add to that the fact that this is an internship with an end date, and I do think you are being unreasonable by viewing it as a you vs internship scenario. That’s not what it sounds like to me (researcher, married with children). Honestly, while being apart for one year is no fun, it’s also a relatively small period of time compared with the rest of your life.

      I’d reframe the discussion around what you both want your lives to look like MORE than one year from now. If this is the area that interests him, ultimately will he have opportunities closer to your current location or should you consider relocating permanently? Are you willing to locate and/or is he willing to redirect his area of research? Where do you want to be in terms of home life and professional life in 5 or 10 years from now, and what types of decisions should you be making to get there.

      Another thing I’m thinking is that you don’t FEEL like he’s CONSIDERING you in the decision, rather than his end decision. If so, do bring it up that way. It would be a good thing to touch on in pre-marital counseling, since that scenario comes up in every marriage all the time.

  17. Any suggestions for applying to a job that’s definitely a step down from where you are now? I’m in a travel heavy job right now that I generally enjoy, but I’m having a hard time balancing this plus my newborn – and thinking ahead to hopefully more children and being home/available more. No judgment at all for the ladies with kids who travel!! I’m just finding out that it’s not working well for me. There is a lower level job at the same company that’s available, but my education and current job are definitely above the requirements (think: I have a PhD and am a Director, this job requires a Master’s and is a Coordinator level). How can I spin this in a cover letter? Like… please do not be afraid of my education, I know what I am doing applying for this job? The work sounds interesting and like something I would be good at and enjoy, and I think would just be much better work/life balance.

    • Do you really need a cover letter to apply internally?

      I posted above but whatever you do, do not spin this as any form of “I think this job will be easier than what I do now”. That never works, because no one thinks their job is easy so it’s kind of insulting, and no one wants to hire a slacker. Just express interest in learning new things and of course point out how your experience where you are now could be really beneficial to them.

    • Personally, I would reach out to the hiring manager and ask for an informational interview. You can learn more about the responsibilities and you also have an opportunity to explain your interest. You want a position with less travel, and this job seems interesting and will allow you to put your professional skills of X, Y and Z to good use.

  18. Heartbreak Hotel :

    I posted over a month ago about breaking up with my live-in boyfriend due to his really over the top relationship with his parents and, even more, with his sister. He is the guy who is constantly guilty about anything that has to do with us or our relationship because his parents and sister make sure he knows that “family is first” and not to let a woman come between them, etc.

    This has been a really, really hard time. It’s been a month and a half and I just as (if not more) depressed. At first, we communicated every several days as he would send me texts that showed he was sad and lonely and missing me. Then we saw each other and I couldn’t contain my sadness, anger and heartbreak and it devolved into a crying and arguing marathon which left us both exhausted and drained. That changed the dialogue from “I miss you and I’m sad about this” to “you’re so angry and bitter and this is why we can’t be happy together”.

    I know there’s truth to the anger – I am angry. I feel I’ve been betrayed numerous times, he didn’t have my back, he skirted the responsibilities of being there for me and present in our relationship because he was preoccupied with his father and his sister and all their drama (a lot of which is self-manufactured). So yes, I am angry.

    But to say that I’m just SO angry like it’s irrational and unreasonable and for no reason at all is just factually untrue…

    Anyway, my Dad ended up in the ICU this weekend and he reached out and ended up coming over to offer moral support and company. It was nice. He was initially hesitant because of the fear that coming over would lead to another big argument, but made the choice to come anyway. I’m glad he did because I needed his support.

    But since then, I’ve been worse. It’s not like anything has changed… we’re still split. He still moved out. I’m still hurting. He’s still hurting. There’s no clarity whatsoever about where we are or if this is resolvable.

    I’m not sure if I’m asking a question here or just unloading. Doesn’t help that my birthday is tomorrow and I turn 37 . I had imagined by this time we would be engaged and planning for a baby come September (which we discussed constantly). Instead, we’re in this place and I am alone and sad and it’s pretty lonely.

    • There’s no clarity because you are still letting him be involved in your life. Stop it. Do not communicate with him. Block his phone number. You must stop engaging with him in any way if you ever want to feel better and move on with your life.

      If you want things to get better, you have to take actions that will make them so. You aren’t doing that.

      • This. End all contact.

        • I’ve found it helpful in the past to engage a friend into holding my accountable for cutting off contact.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yep, all of this. When I left my former husband, he did me the enormous favor of maintaining radio silence until I filed for divorce and served him with the papers. I was beyond heartbroken at the time, particularly because he’d purportedly not wanted the separation, but oh my gosh! It made it so much easier to move on!

        The developmental task you have on your plate at the moment is breaking the strong attachment between the two of you. You will not be able to do that if you continue to interact with him. Go no contact and stick to it.

        • Agree with SA (per usual) but would also say that I’ve been through something similar and the radio silence was also devastating. Like how could he be with me for so long and then not even care to ever follow up?? Any and all communication or lack thereof will be unhealthy. The only satisfaction you will get is to control the contact by limiting to none (or those few cases where you’re moving on and find a belonging you need to return).

          It took me two months of radio silence before I stopped crying everyday. But I really regret belaboring over that for even that long.

          This is the best for the long run. Be strong. Seek a support team of friends. You can do it.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I agree. It was horrible. Especially since it was so unexpected. I remember vividly that I would wake up weeping every morning for weeks.

            I’m not advocating just ghosting. I’m advocating telling him you’re done and then sticking to it. You really can do it!

          • After having it happen to me, I would never do that to someone. Closure. Agree 100

      • Piling on. The hurt will continue until you cut him out of your life. There are big, hairy, serious issues here that are not resolvable unless he is really ready and willing to change. Y’all broke up for good reasons. All you’re doing by staying in contact is peeling the scab off over and over. Read the book,”It’s Called A Break-up Because It’s Broken.” Some things can’t be fixed, and by staying mad, staying in contact and continuing to flagellate yourself over the relationship, you’re preventing yourself from moving on.

    • You need to go no contact. Like right now. You’re making this much more difficult on yourself than it needs to be, and it’s already plenty difficult! You will get through this. But get him out of your life so you can focus on you and moving forward. And I hope your dad makes a full recovery :)

    • I’m sorry about your dad.

      But seriously, cut it off. Your ex was not there for you when he was with you, you should not be relying on him now. nothing good will come of talking to him. I would cut it off cold turkey now.

    • Cut off all contact with him to give yourself time to get over it. You’re poking a bruise and he looks appealing because there’s nobody else in the picture. You need to give yourself some space and start dating other people.

    • You must stop. You broke up. You must not talk to him text him email him call him see him or answer anything he sends.

      You got together and he blamed you, and you internalized that. It’s poison. He is poison.

      You do not need his support. You need him to not be around so you can grieve and mourn and eventually move on.

      There is all the clarity in the world. You are over because you don’t work. There is no we.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      It sounds like you were hoping the break up would be a wake up call. He would realize the error of his ways, completely change, and come back to you the man you wanted him to be. That isn’t going to happen. Your most recent argument proves that. If you feel you can’t ghost him – tell him. I can’t just be friends with you. I can’t be with you. It’s not that I don’t care about you but I can’t have you in my life and move on.

      • Agreed. This really jumped out at me – “But to say that I’m just SO angry like it’s irrational and unreasonable and for no reason at all is just factually untrue…”

        He is not going to change. Worse, he won’t even see OP’s perspective. OP has tried to explain where she’s coming from and he flatly refuses to have any empathy for her. It’s crazymaking. You feel like, if only I used the right words to get him to see my side then he would get it and we could fix it. But the problem isn’t a communication failure on your end and it’s not that you’re unfairly resentful. It’s that he is so entwined in this toxic relationship with his family that he will never be a good partner to you. Move on. Eventually you will feel relieved that you are no longer tied to a person who refuses to engage in something as fundamental as empathy. Happy birthday, OP.

        • People should run, run, run from partners who take the line, “we could be so happy together if you would just change everything you think, feel and believe.” The OP’s ex-boyfriend is taking zero responsibility for their problems. The problems are her fault, and 100% her responsibility to change, as far as he’s concerned. Nice. OP, from personal experience: there’s no fixing a Mama’s boy with family-of-origin issues. He can fix himself, but you cannot fix him. And if it was me, I would not want him working through his issues on my time, while I was waiting in the wings.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I agree with the chorus here. I did the same in my last major breakup — he was such a part of my life I couldn’t imagine just *not talking* but it was so toxic! It took me … gah about six months to really cut off contact. I now regret the time I spent dragging it out. My life was so much better when I stopped devoting mental space to him, and the only way to get there was to stop giving him any time in my real life.

      Ideas: (1) Set up an email forwarding rule where all his emails to you get forwarded to a friend, or to an account that only a friend has a password to — they’re not gone forever, but you have to really work to see them. (2) Send a text along the line of, “We’ve broken up and I miss you, but I need you to stop contacting me. Please do not text/call me again. Wish you all the best.” Then ~*celebrate*~ the sending of that text by getting a drink/milkshake with a friend, and don’t contact him again. (3) Kiss someone new.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I would honestly block him on all platforms. He’s not resolving his drama despite repeated pleas from you that it is making you unhappy / negatively affecting your relationship.

      I have drama llamas for family. So does my husband. We have set up boundaries, in some cases no contact with certain family members in order to protect our family. When you get married / have a child / dedicate your life to someone else, that person and that family become your primary responsibility.

      I’m sorry that you are at this impasse, but try to let go of the ghost ships that aren’t carrying you and find joy and gratitude in the life and things that you have. In the words of Warren Zevon, enjoy every sandwich.

    • I think there’s no clarity because you know the relationship as it was, wasn’t good for you, but you’re still hoping that things can still change and that he will somehow come to prioritize you over his family… which has not and will not happen.

      So yes, I’m repeating what everyone is saying: Stop it. Cut him off completely. Don’t pick up his calls, or open the door for him, and think that you need his support. Thank the heavens that you won’t conceive that baby in September because you don’t even want to imagine this exact same split a year later with baby in the picture.

    • This sucks and I am so sorry but better to be happening now than when you do have kids with him and having to deal with his toxic family messing up your kid with their unreasonable rhetoric. It’s just so hypocritical of them to say family first and act like a partner isn’t eventually going to be family. I come from a very strong family first family too but we embrace the significant others. They are on the group texts. They are welcomed and encouraged to come to family events. Their version of this is so messed up! I know you are hurting but this is a blessing in disguise.

      The birthday thing might seem like it sucks but it’s a great opportunity to get some friends together and go out. Not a “I am in a bad place right now and need you guys” outing but a “birthday” outing during a time you really need them.

      Use your birthday eve eve as a cutoff date. The consensus is strong among the rettes. It won’t be easy but it’s gotta be done. Your deadline is two days before your bday and like someone else said make someone else hold you accountable to this (because don’t let him ruin your bday). And if he is still in the picture, he will! By either not giving you the attention you need or re-opening old wounds or appearing like he does want to change (he won’t!). There’s no amount of interaction that will be good for you with him. If you control the interaction, you will feel at least a little bit of satisfaction as opposed to being devastated by whatever contact he chooses (or doesn’t choose) to make with you for the birthday.

      I know it feels like the birthday is the turning point in your age, and you’ll NEVER find anyone and NEVER have kids but don’t let those creep into your mind. When and if you do, set a two minute timer to ball and when it is up, get up and go do something or call someone. (I say this because I am the same age and while single and miserably dating I think the same thing all the time but it’s not helpful to getting what I want. So this is what I do.)

      Good luck. Internet hugs.

    • GirlFriday :

      Bandwaggoning on the ghost him (hard) advice, but to help with that: do you have any really close girlfriends? It sounds like he’s basically being your girlfriend rn, and you do need someone to support you during this hard time with your dad. It just needs not to be him. Good luck!

  19. Does anyone have any recommendations for cereal bowls (deeper, high sides) that are plain white and would coordinate with basic white Corelle dishes? My kids don’t eat cereal out of the corelle bowls because they’re too shallow and are clinging to some old, chipped stoneware Christmas themed bowls that had seen better days three years ago.

    • I actually really like my plain whit cereal bowls from world market. I think I have the white spin bowls. Bonus for me being they hold up well but one time a friend broke one and it only cost like $5 to replace. Some of their stuff is nicer than the rest — I have pasta bowls that are scratched, but that “finished” gloss on the spin bowls etc is nice for the price.

    • I got some melamine bowls at Target and they’re just the size and shape you’re describing. There were a lot of different patterns.

      • But bear in mind that your kids may cling to the Christmas bowls no matter what… my college aged kid has saved a favorite chipped bowl from an old dishware set and it has a permanent place in the cabinet (sigh)

        • I still have my mom’s Parmesan cheese shaker from when I was a child.

          I’m almost 30 and live 400 miles away.

        • I suspect this will be the case in my house as well. I won’t throw the last two away, as hideous as they are, but we are down to only two of the original six. And we wash dishes a lot but not necessarily on a 24 hour cycle.

          • One at a time drop them.
            This is what my mother had to do to me in the same situation.

            Ended up with Ikea bowls

          • pugsnbourbon :

            Hand to god, several of the Pocahontas-themed cups that Burger King gave away when the movie came out still sit in my parents’ cabinets. I don’t know why.

          • haha I think we have a Finding Dory glass rattling around the house somewhere

            One time we had this kid over for a playdate, whose parents are artists and groovy natural types, and he brought along a couple of those expensive hand-hewn wooden toys.

            My son traded with him for a plastic Happy Meal toy. I didn’t find out until I was picking up my son’s room and found the hand-hewn wooden thing.

            I’m still embarrassed.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Fiestaware has about a million shapes and sizes of bowls, and it comes in plain white.

      • Maddie Ross :

        I love me some Fiestaware, but I think the bowls are hard to eat out of – especially for kids because they don’t have steep walls (harder to spoon stuff). I second the recommendation for melamine ones from Target. That’s what we use. Ours have a fun pattern (madras) but they had plainer ones too.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Really? I think what they call the chowder bowls are prefect — deep with steep walls! Not that I’m a total Fiesta nerd or anything… https://www.wayfair.com/Fiesta-18-Oz.-Chowder-Bowl-FIE3415.html

        • Anonymous :

          We registered for Fiestaware for our wedding and got about three sizes. Two are quite small and shallow, but the design called Gusto is sturdy and steep. They’re always the first bowls we go to for everything.

    • I’ve been happy with plain white bowls from Ikea. Super cheap, but seem to hold up fine (though I don’t have kids). The ones I have might be a little flatter than you’re looking for, but they have some different shapes, and they’re definitely better than a lot of bowls I’ve seen.

      • Minnie Beebe :

        Yup, get thee to an Ikea, STAT. Lots of options, lots of sizes, including large, deep cereal bowls (I have a set that I keep on a high shelf so that I don’t use them for cereal. Because good god, I do love me some cereal, and if I have a giant bowl available, I will fill it!)

        Crate and Barrel and CB2 also have some great options.

    • Crate and Barrel essential white dinnerware. Mine is 7 years old, and it’s in great shape. Thin, minimal edges that would mimic the thin edge of Corelle.

      • Yes, I was going to suggest this. We have the oppos!te problem– we have the C&B but I grew up with the Corelle and I miss them for their shallowness! The C&B ones are exactly what you need. (I miss the shallow ones because I have always eaten small portions and the C&B bowls dwarf everything – they are true, deep cereal bowls.)

    • Thanks all! I will check out every one of these options.

      I love that I can come here and chat about serious work issues as well as cereal bowls!

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Corelle actually makes deep bowls like you’re describing. I don’t think other lines will ever batch, because the glassy, milky white color is so different from other dishes. Look for their 28 ounce cereal bowl.

      • Moonstone :

        Yes, I just bought these and I agree. http://www.corelle.com/livingware-winter-frost-white-28-oz-bowl/1033163.html#start=1

      • OMG thank you! I ordered these

        I’m kind of embarrassed to admit how much I love the corelle now that we have switched. I was spending a fortune at Replacements for my old everyday stoneware in a discontinued pattern.

    • wanderlust :

      Crate & Barrel has great white dishes (including bowls). We requested them on our wedding registry and have been happy with how they have held up.

    • GirlFriday :

      There are a ton of good suggestions above, but I’ll give you my 2 cents as well. When we got married I bought PB’s Great White cereal bowls because the bowls that came with my wedding dinnerware were too shallow and heavy for me. They are great! 7 years later they are still going strong, but haven’t been kid tested yet. They have high walls and are sturdy but not heavy (they’ll be heavier than Corelle – that stuff is amazingly lightweight for how strong it is!)

    • Anonymous :

      Corelle makes high, deep, white bowls. I think they are called the soup bowl instead of the cereal bowl.

    • ShoeRuiner :

      Corelle Livingware Winter Frost White 28 Ounce Soup / Cereal Bowl (Set of 4)

      From amaz*n dot com

      love these!

  20. I have a…. friend? — a guy I know who I am friendly with, but don’t know well. We have known each other socially/casually for several years. We are both instructors on the professional staff at our hobby, having started as participants, but we both have other full-time professional jobs.

    A couple weeks ago, he asked me if I could dogsit for his dog for the day (he brings the pup to the facility we instruct at frequently, so I’ve known her/she likes me/I dogsit for a couple other friends in out community) and I said sure. For context, my last text message from him was 6 months ago, so it seemed random but I was happy to help. Had a great time with the dog, etc, he picked her up and that was that. A week-ish later, I asked if he wanted to get dinner to catch up, he asked if I was available the next night, we met up for a late dinner and that was fun.

    Now that I’ve spent a little more time with him I’m kind of interested in spending more time with him non-platonically. A mutual friend told me he’s single. I’m hoping for some hive mind feedback on 1) if this is a bad idea given the hobby overlap, and 2) how I kind of move from being very casual with somebody to being closer? Just ask him to do things more? Straight up ask him out?

    FWIW, this makes me feel way better/more giddy than any of the lackluster online dates or set-ups I’ve been on recently, but I also don’t want to get ahead of myself.

    • Ask him out!!!! Go for it. If he says no, oh well.

      • BeenThatGuy :

        +1 I’ve always found that I feel better when I put myself out there with no regrets, even if I’m turned down. I know the courage it takes but without the risk you don’t get the reward.

    • Unless you have good reason to believe he’s very shy, I think this is probably a case of he’s-just-not-that-into-you. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just trying to give you my honest assessment of the situation as an objective third party. You asked him to dinner, you went and had fun, the ball’s in his court. If he wanted to see you again he would ask, and I think it would come across as a little desperate to ask him to hang again without him reciprocating. I don’t think your shared hobby is a reason not to date though.

      • Oh, nevermind. I totally misread this and missed that he DID ask you to get dinner again after you asked him. So disregard my comment completely.

      • This was two days ago and when we left dinner, he said we should do it again and “we could even do it regularly!” but I agree the ball is in his court.

        I also didn’t ask him out to dinner with any pretenses or ulterior motives – it was just to catch up. I didn’t really start consciously having these thoughts until after.

    • It seems like he’s also looking for something less platonic. Go for it!

    • I would keep the line of communication open and if he makes the move go for it. If he deflects or reschedules, then keep it what it is. I hope it works out though! That’s so exciting to find a spark in an ember you weren’t otherwise noticing. Good luck.

    • “I had a lot of fun at dinner. Want to get together again this week?”

  21. Never too many shoes... :

    Ladies, I just watched this hilarious Rachel Bloom video for #ladyboss and could not help but think of all my peeps here…particularly when they get to the age old question about office appropriate attire…how much b00b is too much b00b?

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2017/04/20/rachel_bloom_s_new_song_parody_laments_the_difficulties_of_being_a_high.html

  22. Julie fit pants from Loft :

    WOW — I finally pulled the trigger on these and I will say that they are life-changing for a pear to have off-the-rack pants that 100% fit with no altering at all. I am probably a thicker / more pronounced pear b/c even on curvy cuts I usually have to get the waist taken in. They are tons better in the fit dept than my BR Sloane pants. Tons better than anything I can think of in the past 5 years, actually.

    Some of the pants are a cotton/poly blend, but I also got a pair of white skinny jeans (going up a size), and also a pair of shorts (they are long bermudas — I would have preferred something a bit shorter).

    QUESTIONS:
    — care: Do I launder? Do they shrink? Do they go in the dryer? FWIW,the BR Sloanes are dry clean only.
    — offerings: do they do things like cords in the winter or more shorts in this fit?

    THANK YOU so much to this site — I would never have discovered these on my own.

    • I machine wash my loft pants (some sort of black trousers made probably from polyester, I think also the Julie fit) with my regular load of dark clothing and do not treat them any differently than anything else in the load – machine wash, machine dry, pull from dryer and hang as soon as done because I’m too lazy to iron and don’t care that the creases go away. I have had zero problems with this, but again – mine do not contain any cotton.

    • I would also love to know how to clean these! And agreed – I now have three pairs and it is insane how well they fit! I want them in every possible colour/pattern.

    • I also really like the Julie fit skinny ankle pants. I am also extremely pear shaped and never fit any pants, but I agree with you…. while they aren’t perfect, they better than anything I have tried and are wearable off the rack. Miracle. The fabric is very substantial.

      I bought every color available at the time for me, and am awaiting more colors/styles.

      I have been very careful with mine. Mine are dark colors (black, navy etc..) and I am washing them as little as possible. I use woolite for darks from Costco. I wash in my front loader washer, on delicate and hang up carefully to dry, keeping the slight crease. I have literally only washed them like… once or twice, and I have had them for months. I re-wear them and hang carefully to air out after each wear, keeping the crease.

      I would never dry them in a dryer, if you want them to last. But I put nothing in my dryer except sheets/towels. It has really increased the longevity of my clothes.

      I have also started a new technique that I may try in the future on some of my other pants. I pre-soaked a pair of black skinny jeans (Treasure & Bond from Nordstrom’s – also workable for pears) in diluted vinegar + a touch of salt (look online) and then gently washed. This is supposed to help set/preserve the dye. So far, so good.

      I was going to try their white pants this summer, so let me know how yours wear!

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I wash with the rest of my workwear – cold, delicate cycle, hang or lay flat to dry. So far my Loft pants have held up really well – I’ve had the skinny ankle for a year plus and the scuba pants for about three months.

  23. I’m sorry. I think it’s really natural to mourn the loss of a live-in relationship. When friends of mine who had lived together broke up, they also had (for a while) difficulty disentangling themselves (because they had tried to stay friends immediately afterward), and eventually they got into some really bitter arguments that ended the friendship (such as it was). I actually think that’s better for both of them.

    Which is to say – I think what you’re going through now is normal, and natural, and I also think it’s really important to find another source of support, both for your sadness and anger about the breakup, and for your dad’s situation. Where are your friends in all of this?

    If you want this to be over, then you need to let it be over. It’s the only way forward.

  24. I posted a while ago about having an INSANE work situation with a harassing boss, which got so bad that I had an acute depressive episode and I went on medical leave and medication to deal with it. Not sure if anyone who will see this has been following my saga, but I wanted to post my happy update!

    I just accepted a much higher level position with more money at a competitor. I love everyone there and there’s a ton more room for autonomy, advancement, everything. Also, it’s probably for the best that I had that medical intervention, because depression does run in my family and I probably wouldn’t have gotten over the hurdle to taking antidepressants if not for breakdown triggered by harassment. So all in all, it was a very difficult time and situation, but it’s resolved in my favor. And the best revenge is living well, as they say :)

    In conclusion, don’t settle for a toxic work environment, and be proactive in taking care of your mental health!

  25. This is hard and you have my sympathies, especially dealing with your Dad on top of everything else but Anon at 10:47 is right. In a situation like this, you have to either break up and stop being in contact with him or accept that he is who he is, family and all, but that you are willing to accept that, and get back together. All you are doing now is dragging out the bleeding because you are holding onto hope that this is “resolvable”. It isn’t. You are not going to change a grown man’s relationship with his family or his priorities and without judging either of you it sounds like you hit a major incompatibility.

    I will say that it sounds like he is trying to be nice, so I would not just block him without warning. I would just say that I need a clean break, that I wish him well in his life, but I need him to not contact me again and THEN block him. Then you can start healing and moving on, which is going to take some time.

    Good luck. This is hard.

  26. I have a coworker who for some reason seems to insist on being a total mean girl to me. There are only five of us in our work group, and she’s made it very clear that she wants the ‘social’ crew to be everyone-but-me. She’s perfectly pleasant and professional to me in work meetings, but she started a group chat (on our work communication system, but a channel specifically designed for watercooler talk) for all of them except me, friended everyone but me on social media, she regularly invites everyone but me to get coffee or go to lunch – often right in front of me. I feel ridiculous being so sad about it because I’m 32, married and pregnant – I’m supposed to be an adult! – but it is honestly making me so bummed out. She’s much younger (23) but some of the coworkers she invites are my age or older and have kids so I don’t think it’s an age/stage of life thing. I wasn’t even subjected to this crap in middle school. I wasn’t cool there either, but at least I wasn’t the only person left out of a small group. I don’t even really know what I’m looking for but I guess I just wanted to vent.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      That’s aggravating and petty. Can you just start inviting the other people out for coffee?

      • Inviting everyone but here out feels a little too aggressive to me, but I think I might start asking one or two of them to get coffee one-on-one. That’s not objectively rude to anyone and would help me feel less left out I think.

        • Everyone but her*

        • One on one sounds great. Especially now that you have lots to connect about with your co-workers who are parents. You can ask what daycares/preschools etc they recommend.

          Don’t take it personally

        • TorontoNewbie :

          lol yes don’t just invite everyone else all at once unless you want to full on escalate the situation.

    • Maybe she finds you insufferable? I have a religious coworker who goes on and on about ‘God’ putting animals on the earth to eat and how I’m living in sin with my state marriage and not a religious one. It makes me get all stabby. So she doesn’t get invited to things on account of me not wanting to stab her. I’m sure she just thinks I’m mean and not that her personality drives me bonkers

      • Whoa!! Who says things like that at work?!

      • I’ve definitely never said anything like this at work. I’m generally pretty quiet. I’m not the class clown that’s always making everyone laugh but I take an interest in other peoples lives and think I’m generally pretty easy-going and inoffensive. If she really does dislike me for a valid reason, I wish she would tell me though. If I’m doing something that’s bothering her, it’s presumably bothering other people.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Have you thought about calling her on it? “Hey, Heather, I can’t help but notice that you seem to be avoiding me. Have I done something to offend you? If so I wish you’d tell me what it is so we can work it out!”

          I’m not sure I’d take my own advice (I’m pretty non-confrontational) but it might be worth a try.

    • Been there, also a group of 5. I vented to my boss, and he laughed it off, saying they were jealous or whatever. No advice really, just sympathy. I ended up getting a transfer/promotion out of that unit and I know they were ecstatic. But I don’t know what I would have done had it gone on several years more.

      • Thankfully I work a lot with another group that’s much larger and doesn’t have the same clique-y dynamic. I’m friendly with a lot of people in that group.

      • I’m curious as to why you shared this with your boss. If one of my employees brought this up to me I would wonder what they expected me to do about it (and I might be annoyed and feel like I was being asked to police the playground). Was it significant enough to be an HR issue, or did you have a close personal relationship with him? Is it an expectation of employees that they should be included in all after work things? Genuinely want to know – I’m older it seems than a lot of the posters here and am trying to get a sense of their expectations.

    • Questions to ask yourself:

      1. What’s the purpose of this group? (To gossip about coworkers? To complain about work? To laugh at the boss? Often we overhear enough of the water cooler conversations to take a guess at what the after hours talk is all about.)

      2. Knowing the purpose of the group, would you be a good fit or would you even want to be in it?

      I’m dealing with something similar at my job (not as extreme, no one is actively against me) but in my case, my coworkers want to get together to gossip and complain about whoever ISN’T at the lunch table. I stopped going because of genuine scheduling conflicts and now I’m not invited even when people are making plans right in front of me. I was bothered by it until I remembered that I don’t want to sit around hearing all the juicy work gossip and feel like I work for The Worst Company Ever. Also, while the group LOOKS like a tight group of friends, when someone moves on to another job they move on completely and lose touch. Real friends would stay in contact, right? These people aren’t friends, they’re just an unhappy alliance.

      It helped me a lot to see the group for what it really is, and now I can laugh when I see them head off to the bar after work. Whatever, b*tches! I’m going home to a lovely dinner with my husband and kids; you are going to get drunk and complain about your office mate. Have fun!

    • GirlFriday :

      Sorry this is happening. I’ve been in the middle of this kind of situation (in a larger group) and it’s awkward for everyone. I second the advice to take others out one-on-one. Maybe even bring it up, with them? Once the victim mentioned to me in passing “so-and-so really hates me” and I said “I know: she is so mean. It’s really awkward and I’m sorry. We try to include you in stuff – she is the only one who is a bully. Everyone else likes you.” After that, the victim seemed to not care as much any more. So-and-so is still a mean girl, but now she has the reputation as such and new people avoid her (which is just desserts because she is very needy and gets super bummed when new people don’t want to be her friends). Hang in there!

  27. Is it appropriate to send chocolates as a condolence gift? I think my friend would like them more than flowers.

    • Sure! Sounds like you know your friend well. Personally, I would like chocolates as well. I think sending anything, be it a card, flowers, or chocolates is lovely.

    • Senior Attorney :

      If you think your friend would like it, then by all means send it. It will probably be a nice treat in a sad time! (I never thought about it before, but I would totally prefer chocolates to flowers in almost any situation including bereavement!)

    • Flower shaped chocolates?

    • After a major tragedy a few years ago I had a house full of flowers and all they did was remind me of the funeral. I would have LOVED some chocolates, particularly from a dear friend who knows how much I love chocolate!

    • I did this once. I sent one of those fruit/chocolate “flower” assortments, after a friend died young of breast cancer. Her children/husband really liked it, and still mention it.

    • I saw yes. The best thing we received when we had a death in the immediate family a few years back was a tray of chic fil a nuggets. So much more appreciated than another flower arrangement.

      • YES. After my dad died, someone brought to trays of Chic Fil A nuggets. We snacked on those for a while, and we served them to visitors who came by.

    • Yes! I sent my bff a basket of snacks as a condolence gift because i knew she’d have loads of company and was too rural to just run out for supplies if they ran out.

  28. I have never worn gym shoes out and about, but think I need get with the times.

    Any recommendations for BLACK gym shoes that are cute/stylish?

    • All black converse? Vans?

      Keds has some slip-on ones that somebody linked here a few weeks ago that are leather and super chic.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I got those Keds leather slip-ons in cognac and white and I am itching to get them in black, too. They are great! http://www.zappos.com/p/keds-crashback-leather-black-leather/product/8547734/color/72

      • shoe chic :

        Really?!? Those black leather slip on Keds are chic? Can’t believe it. I think they would work.

        I do like the Nike’s but my feet are also very large, and more traditional gym shoes look bulky to my eye. The slip on Keds look pretty streamlined.

        Thank you everyone.

    • Nike frees are everywhere these days

    • Well, I would never wear actual gym shoes out and about. That’s not what the trend is. There are stylish sneakers, sure, but those aren’t gym appropriate.

      • funny…. in my region, no one says sneakers…. maybe, my grandma. Everything is called a “gym shoe”. Even the stylish ones.

        • When I was growing up in central
          Ca, They were all called tennis shoes” or “tennies”

          I didn’t realize there were specific shoes for tennis until I went to a fairly preppy college.

          I think this is one of those what is your regional accent questions, similar to what you call a soft drink – soda, pop, or Coke. Where I grew up it was Coke. “What kind of coke do you want?” “seven up”

        • I’m from NYC and I say “sneakers” all the time. I promise, I am not your grandmother’s age.

        • I’m in Toronto… We call them running shoes, even when they are clearly not meant for running. It’s funny how regional it is!

      • Anonymous :

        I agree. I wear my all black Vans everywhere on the weekends, but my actual gym shoes I only wear to the gym/running. My Vans are not comfortable to run it (obviously.)

      • I’d disagree with this. In NYC it’s pretty common to see athletic shoes worn out and about (i.e., with jeans and a casual top) including Nike Free, Nike Roche, Nike Flyknit, those AllBirds shoes that advertise on Facebook, etc. All of those could definitely be worn to the gym/for athletic activity as well. Maybe it’s a regional thing? But I noticed the same thing when recently visiting SF, Vegas, and Florida.

        • newbinlaw :

          Yup. I’m in LA and everyone wears Nikes, AllBirds, etc. with all types of clothes. “Athleisure” is big here though.

    • I was the same. I bought these

      Dansko Women’s Hope Fashion Sneaker, Graphite Suede, 38 EU/7.5-8 M US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0109FMV5C/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_Yyo-ybG7T67YZ

      And they don’t look too much like gym shoes but have that comfy feel
      And they’re a great deal if they have your size.

  29. I always have trouble adjusting to spring/summer clothing. My palate/preference is winter color/styles all the way. Spring/summer …. ugh.

    What shoe colors/styles do you wear more in the spring/summer? For example in heels/flats. Work is business casual but sometimes more formal. Sandals/open toes not appropriate.

    My color palate / capsule is black/grey/navy/white.

    TIA

    • I like gray and white with a tiny pop of red. Reminds me of tulips.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I love red shoes in summer and they would be great with the colors in your wardrobe. I also have gotten a surprising amount of wear out of my white pumps. Block heels will look more current than skinny heels this year.

    • It looks like it ate my post. I’ve been loving these shoes this spring. They’re so comfortable right out of the box. https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/franco-sarto-optimum-pump/379858?activeColor=250

      I’m wearing them today with a navy skirt/navy top/white jacket.

    • I think nude for you shoes are more spring/summery than black or navy shoes.

    • I need a new name :

      White-navy is super summery… and I personally love white and grey too. My basic colors are white-navy-beige mostly and I weae them all year round without problem, it’s mostly the fabrics that change.

      And I 2nd the suggestion of red shoes! Metallics are fun too.

    • I am the same. I prefer winter clothing altogether. The only thing I really like about spring is spring shoes! I wear more color on my feet in spring/summer because I’m not worried about matching tights or keeping my feet dry.

      I like to wear a low heeled taupe colored shoe with black and white outfits. It’s not too matchy but looks seasonal. I personally like the style that is closed toe, closed back but with an ankle strap, but that is because I walk out of my shoes in regular pumps.

      I also have over the years picked up spring shoes in pale green, a medium lilac, and a faded denim color blue. I wear these a lot. I don’t go all matchy with them either, I just wear them with outfits I think they coordinate with.

      Lastly, I really love an natural tan leather in spring/summer for both shoes and handbag. Think of a very warm day, maybe you’re wearing beige or cream or a red jacket. Tan is going to hit just the right note with that.

    • Thank you for all of these good suggestions.

      I think I need another pump in a nude-for-me. I only have those patent leather in nude. But I thought nude wasn’t a good look for flats? Maybe a compromise…. shorter block-y heeled….

      I would have never thought of red for shoes…. I love burgundy/purple….. maybe a deep oxblood?

      I have grey suede flats…. can I get away with suede in the spring?

  30. Beer distributors -- economics question :

    In my state (perhaps others), restaurants (perhaps other businesses, like grocery stores) can only buy beer from a beer distributor. So if you are a brewery, you can’t sell without going through them (with a small exception for sales at your site).

    In other states, I see beer trucks from companies making deliveries (the way coke or frito-lay would).

    Is there any real point to the distributors? Like other than protecting their existing businesses?

    [This is sort of like states where Tesla can’t sell directly to customers but has to have independent dealers.]

    Everyone talking has a stake in the outcome, but starting from scratch on a island, I wouldn’t design this and can think of how these middlemen help at all. Or maybe they help, but why require their use? Prohibition holdover? But that wouldn’t explain the car situation though.

    • It’s the beer/liquor lobby and purely economics, veiled with the idea that it is somehow either religiously motivated or safety motivated. But ultimately it is economics.

      • Agreed. Perhaps it’s more convenient for the restaurant to place an order with just one company for all their products, but it has a potential chilling effect on smaller producers that want to self-distribute.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Usually a prohibition holdover that was kept because it makes money for the distributors, and in the case of Maryland, the state, since the state runs the distribution.

      • This is how it is in many Canadian provinces. We never had prohibition but the provinces are the distributors and make a lot of money that way.

    • Because the free market isn’t really free and is heavily influenced by politics and at some point those middle men were able to change the rules to benefit their businesses.

    • I think it’s a combination of holdover from prohibition, and a centralizing of something that would be really hard for smaller companies to do on their own. There are some distributors that are owned by the larger breweries, which leads to some interesting challenges for smaller breweries to get into certain markets.

      A lot of the beer trucks you see are owned by distributors, and the breweries pay to have a truck with their logo on it. The distributors like it because they get money and distributor companies aren’t super recognizable, and the breweries like it because it’s easy advertising.

      There was a really interesting article in BeerAdvocate about the future of beer distribution. I highly recommend reading it if you’re interested.

      https://www.beeradvocate.com/articles/13526/wholesale-wars-the-battle-for-the-future-of-beer-distribution/

    • Anonymous :

      This answers a lot of your questions and has good pro/con lists

      http://homebrewacademy.com/three-tier-system/

      • Anonymous :

        There is also a documentary called Beer Wars – probably a little dated now, but entertaining.

  31. I’m looking for round brush recommendations from women with thick, curly/wavy hair. Or is 2 years about as long as they should last with every other day usage? It seems wasteful to throw them away so quickly (I’m thinking about my regular hair brushes that last for ever), but the bristles all break or the handle breaks and there’s nothing to do but put it in the trash.

    I have and like this one, but the bristles are toast and I need a replacement. http://www.sephora.com/polish-medium-round-vented-dual-hair-brush-P385598?skuId=1583822

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’d suggest asking your hairdresser for a recommendation.

    • I’m following because I also am looking for a unicorn round brush, particularly one where my hair doesn’t snag/catch in the connection between the barrel and handle.

    • anon a mouse :

      Check out the Olivia Garden ones. They are terrific. (originally bought because it’s what my hairdresser uses.)

      • I had one of these and constantly burned my neck with the end. I loved the brush but hated the scabs and scars on my neck. :(

  32. ankle pants :

    Where do your ankle pants…. that you wear for work…. end, relative to your ankle?

    I have seen so many different lengths.

    Do you have different lengths/taper that you perhaps wear with different shoes (ex. flat vs. heel?).

    • I was just thinking about this today! The ankle pants I’m wearing now are the shortest I own, and they hit about 3 inches above my ankle bone. I think the longer they are, the dressier they are, but my workplace is very casual so YMMV. I wear heels and flats with all lengths, but tend to wear heels more with the longer lengths generally.

    • Right at the top of my ankle bone. Shorter than that would be too casual for my office.

    • I’m 5’11” and disproportionately long in the leg and my ankle pants hit me well above my ankle – maybe 3″. IDGAF because if I did, I could never wear pants.

      This length looks better on me than pants intended to be full length, because those pants hit me probs where ankle pants are supposed to hit others, but theyre not cut to be ankle pants so they just look like what they are – too short for me.

  33. I’m just venting… We don’t post many pictures of our son on social media–DH probably posts one every 3 months, and I post one every 6. We use a private photo share to share photos with our family. I have never minded when one of our family members (usually a grandparent) takes a photo of our son while they’re babysitting or hanging out with us and posts it on social media, partly because it doesn’t happen all that often.

    But this morning, one of the grandparents, who is actually a step-grandparent, downloaded a photo from our private photo share and posted it on social media. That feels weird and different to me. Also, the photo was one of my son making a funny face, and while I think it’s adorable, I would not have shared with lots of people he barely knows or has never met, especially since they don’t know the context. (DH added an explanatory comment.) On top of all that, this photo is posted alongside photos of the step-grandparent’s biological grandchildren, whom she obviously favors. The photos of the other kids are much more normal, conventionally attractive photos of the kids with cute smiles. So, I know I should assume good intentions and all, but I’m just upset that she went out of her way to download a goofy picture of my son from the private photo share and then posted it alongside two cute pictures of her “real” grandchildren smiling normally. Grrrr.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you limit the access so the pictures can be viewed but not downloaded? It’s fair to be annoyed about that. I’d tried to let the less flattering picture vs. smiling pictures issues go.

      • I would also be annoyed by the download, though probably not the nature of the photo.

        Just replying to Anonymous at 2:56, agree that limiting downloads is a good first step, but snipping tool and print screen will still be options for those who are determined. I think the only real way to prevent it in the future is to communicate that these are not to be shared.

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