Wednesday’s TPS Report: Oversize Bow Blouse

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

Tucker Oversize Bow BlouseTucker has been off my radar for a few years — how could I have forgotten about these silk blouses with fun prints? Amazon has a ton of them on sale right now (and dresses, and tunics)… I’m liking this oversized bowtie blouse and the lovely black/cream print. It was $288, but is now marked to $116.32 (and eligible for Prime shipping). Tucker Oversize Bow Blouse

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


  1. TJ: I’m going to be in Seattle for a few days and could use some recommendations for places to eat. I’m looking for brewpub-type places (local beers, decent burgers, etc), good coffee shops, sandwich shops (or quick lunch spots) as well as brunch places. I’m going to be staying downtown and will probably rent a car at least one day. Bonus points for anything organic/local/sustainable! Thank you ladies!

    • Yay! I love silk blouse’s, even one’s with bow’s, but first let me help the OP. You should go to Pike’s Market downtown b/c they have a lot of thing’s to see, eat and everything else, and most importanteley, they have burley guy’s throweing around whole RAW Salmmon fishes! It is the greatest thing. My dad took me there 3 year’s ago when he was consulteing with Boieng Airplane Company and we had a great time. The guy’s in Pike Market wanted to know where I lived b/c they said I was beautiful! I never got a complement like that right to my face, and that was the SAME day that dad was saying my tuchus was to big!

      As for the Blouse, I totaly love silk, and when I was a summer intern in college, I had a blouse like this and a greasy alchoholic guy came up to me and untied the bow on my blouse right on the corner of 23rd and Pennsylvania Avenue! I was mortified! But he did NOT see anything b/c I was weareing a bra. FOOEY on men who do this to us women. It is VERY unprofesional to untie a woman’s blouse on the street. DOUBEL FOOEY!

      I told this same story to Benjamin b/c he was askeing about my work expereince in DC and that stand’s out in MY MIND year’s later. You have to be carful when wearing just a blouse in the summer in DC. It is hot out but you do NOT want men pawing at you when you are outside. FOOEY. I wound up geting a good recomendation from the person at the agency, so it helped me get my next internship in the Fall! YAY!!!!!!

    • Consider walking through the market and just getting nibbles of everything that looks good. There are a bunch of great little food stands there.

      • I definitely second this recommendation. That was my favorite thing about Seattle. Mmmm fresh donuts. Also, I ate at Etta’s on the recommendation of some here, and it was fabulous. Very fresh and simply prepared seafood. But, it isn’t a brewpub type place at all, so I just thought I would share.

    • Seattle is an awesome food town, and organic/local/etc. is essentially the default. Close to downtown, for brewpub-y stuff, I’d try Brave Horse Tavern in South Lake Union. I like Cafe Fonte, across from the art museum, for coffee, brunch, and lunch. My favorite downtown dinner restaurants are Purple, The Pink Door, and Lola. My more far afield suggestions, though – head to Ballard for northern Italian (Volterra) or French (Bastille), or take the ferry to Bainbridge Island around sunset, where you’ll have your choice of brewpub (the Eagle Harbor Pub), fantastic northern Italian (the Four Swallows, but check the hours), or interesting sushi (including vegetable sushi – can’t remember what it’s called, but it’s the sushi place in Winslow – I don’t think there’s another one). Or head over there in the morning and get delicious breakfast pastries at Blackbird Bakery.

      • Wannabe Runner :

        Love love love The Pink Door!! Fantastic food and great ambiance. They have trapeze artists overhead if you get there on the right night! DH and I went there right after the last season of The Bachelorette and saw Des and Chris at another table!!

    • Clementine :

      If you go to the Capital Hill neighborhood, there are lots of fun places for food and cocktails and a bunch of really fantastic happy hours. I like Poquito’s for margaritas, chips, salsa and these chicken sopas which are amazing little masa cups filled with deliciousness.

      I’m a big fan of Cupcake Royale too.

      Suddenly, after thinking about all this tasty food, the healthy, low-cal lunch I have in my bag just seems sad.

    • Have a wonderful time in Seattle – it’s one of my favorite cities!! Try Purple Cafe and Wine Bar for drinks and appetizers – there are several in the Seattle area. Also MOD Pizza is very popular and really good, particularly if you like thin crust pizza. If you want a taste of Alaska, Ivar’s Seafood Restaurant is pretty fun and the food is decent, though not as amazing as some of its Yelp reviews. For a taste of the tropics, Kona Kitchen is a very famous Hawaiian restaurant, though it’s a bit of a drive from downtown. And if you are interested in dessert, Trophy Cupcakes in Bellevue is AMAZING!!

    • Anon in NYC :

      Check out Tilth, but you will need a car/cab. I had an excellent meal there.

    • Matt’s in the market (third floor maybe?) was amazing, highly recommend.

    • Thanks, ladies!! These all sound great!

    • Here are some of my favorite places in North Seattle – aka Ballard and Fremont, mostly:

      Brouwer’s (beer and Belgian food)
      Revel (Korean food)
      Walrus and the Carpenter (oyster bar + small plates)
      Skillet (southern style, good for brunch or lunch/dinner)
      Dot’s Delicatessen (sandwiches)
      Stumbling Goat (fancy dinner/brunch place – they have the most amazing homemade sausage)
      RockCreek (seafood)

    • Best coffee: Vivace, Victrola, or Cafe Vita. Elysian on Cap Hill makes their own beer. If you’re feeling decadent have Top pot doughnuts (cake or old fashioned, not yeast).

      And what everyone else recommended.

      • Elysian is a highly regarded craft beer company, even out here on the East Coast. Definitely recommend a stop in their brew pub.

      • Cosign Top Pot, and they’re right downtown. Delish! My friends lived nearby and whoops!, we went three days in a row.

    • I love Oddfellows Cafe next to the Elliot Bay Bookstore (I think it’s in Cap Hill). Exposed brick, great food, you get a number & they bring it to your table – you can read all afternoon if you like.

    • FormerPhotog :

      Homegrown sandwiches! I’ll be out for a convention at the end of March, and eating at the Homegrown in Melrose Market is high on my list. There’s an awesome raw bar on the same street as well, and if you want fancier, Sitka+Spruce is in the same building. I had good food at Metropole, and Wild Ginger was one of the high points of our con last year.

      If you have a car, there is the most incredible Thai restaurant in Tukwila. It’s in a tiny strip mall (next to the big mall), and the food their is amazing – the owner was a Thai Airlines flight attendant, and made it to be a taste of home for her coworkers. It’s called Bai Tong, and the Crispy Pork belly is one of the very few things I’ve flown the leftovers home with me.

      Biscuit Bitch in Pike’s Place was incredible for a decadent breakfast, and the one thing I learned is that if you drink regular coffee, leaving room for cream meant half the cup was empty.

    • Favorites in Belltown for great, old-school brewpub food and atmosphere:
      Two Bells Tavern
      Five Point Cafe (near the Experience Music Project, which I unexpectedly loved)

      Top Pot really does have fantastic doughnuts.

      And finally, my favorite brunch place is Le Pichet, near Pike Place Market. Very French, with wonderful charcuterie (some house-made), cheeses, baked eggs, bowls of cafe au lait, etc. If they have the raclette, do not miss it!

  2. Am I alone in having a weird love of these types of blouses? I really like this.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think it’s cute. I haven’t ever tried one on though because I think it wouldn’t really work on my with my large chest.

      • Yeah, I know these are back in, but they remind me so much of my grandmother’s generation and, with my large chest, I’m afraid it would make me look like either my grandmother or a battleship.

        • marketingchic :

          Yeah this is the one trend that makes me feel super old. Reminds me of my mom and grandmother in the 80’s, and of being forced to wear one to church on Christmas Even when I was about 13. I think some styles like these are ironic-cute if you’re in your 20’s, but on me I would look like I’m ready to type up some dictation on a Selectric.

          • LOL, me too! If you’re old enough to know what a Selectric is, you probably won’t want to wear this blouse.

          • +1 (Jane Fonda’s character in the movie “9 to 5”)

          • hoola hoopa :

            “ready to type up some dictation on a Selectric” – YES!

            They make me feel warm and fuzzy because they remind me so much of mom and grandma, but I’m not going to wear one.

          • I learned how to type on a Selectric in high school. And my mother typed my Dad’s dissertation (twice) on a Selectric that she would borrow from her brother (who worked for IBM) every weekend back in 1972.

    • I love this too!!!

    • a passion for fashion :

      No! I love these type of blouses.

  3. Necklace question: what online retailer is a good source for “statement” necklaces – something I can wear with a formal dress that has a very plain neckline (like a simple jewelneck). Looking for a “costume” piece rather than fine jewelry since I may only wear it once. I am at a loss since I hardly ever wear jewelry, but this dress really needs something. Any recommended sources, please let me know! Ideally, I hope to be able to order several pieces, try them on and return what I don’t want.

    • Baublebar is awesome. I also really like what Banana Republic has been doing with jewelry recently, and they almost always have a 40% off sale (I’m pretty sure they ‘re having one today, in fact).

      • +100 on Baublebar. The prices are amazing and perfect for something a little trendier where you don’t necessarily care if it lasts years and years or not.

      • I enjoy ordering from them! I have a lovely statement necklace that I get a ton of compliments on whenever I wear.

        also, if you create an account, they will send you an email with a coupon (but you have to use it pretty quickly)

      • Second the BR rec. It’s been hit or miss for me clothes wise lately but the jewelry these past few years have been great. Especially around sales when it’s already marked down plus an additional 40% (since it’s costume). I’ve gotten some great compliments on them. Also, Loft if you’re in a pinch since their prices are pretty reasonable to begin with.

        jcrew also has great costume pieces (but you have pick through some of the crap).

      • Baublebar also has excellent customer service.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I haven’t ordered from them online, but the company Charming Charlie has a ton of cheap jewelry in general and statement necklaces in any color or metal you can imagine.

    • I bought this last night at Zara (it is the one the Duchess of Cambridge wore), and it might be just right for what you are describing. Seems well made.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I love Kate Spade for statement necklaces. They were having a surprise sale yesterday (maybe it’s still going on?) or else Nordstrom often carries them. Look for them on sale because they are too pricey otherwise for costume jewelry.

      This is pretty:

    • Miss Behaved :

      I own this and wear it all the time:

      I bought mine at a store in my hometown, though

    • S in Chicago :

      Whenever I have a wedding or other one-time wear, I’ll often check out ebay for JCrew, BR, or Kate Spade. The selection usually can’t be beat and it’s typically cheaper than regular retail.

    • pilates princess :

      Report, no reply. Sorry.

      But check piperboutique(dot)com

    • NY & Company has nice items for a good price. I wouldn’t count on their jewelry lasting many seasons, but I often get compliments on items I’ve bought there

    • Wannabe Runner :

      I have had surprising luck at JC Penney.

    • lucy stone :

      I love Manic Trout for this. I have a ton of her pieces and they hold up well.

    • I’ve had good luck at F21 for fun cheap costume jewelry.

  4. website building :

    Have any of you (including Kat) ever bought a domain name/built a website? I am looking to do so, but am relatively inexperienced and not sure where to start. Did you use godaddy/sedo/etc? Any resources to recommend?

    • Yes, check out weebly – one stop for domain and design via easy templates. A web designer can also work off of their product to professionalize the look. Highly recommend for ease of use.

    • It depends on what you’d like to use it for. A blog? WordPress is great for this and offers domain name purchases and customisation options.

      • Depends what you want it for. If you’re building a brand buy the top level domain no matter what you do — they’re only $10 or so and you can usually find sales — you can always redirect it. I would advise most first time bloggers to start with Blogger — super easy to learn, no hosting/storage issues, and you can still customize/run ads, and you can convert easily enough (I believe) to a WordPress blog after you’ve been doing it a while. I don’t have a great familiarity with but I think they’re similar. (which is what I use) is easy enough but there is still quite a bit of a learning curve, plus you need to look into hosting options, security option, be more familiar with HTML and CSS, etc.

        If you go the route, most people swear by Thesis or Genesis for your framework (we’re currently running Genesis, used to run Thesis). We’re on a dedicated server now but you can coast on shared server space for a long time — Bluehost is simple and easy enough.

    • baseballfan :

      My husband has built quite a few websites. Dreamhost is the answer.

    • Godaddy is notoriously terrible.

      • This. Terrible and progressively more expensive every year for the same services.

      • stay far away from Godaddy.

      • GoDaddy customer for about or over a decade here.
        Not sure if this is why I get pretty good customer service and check-up calls every few months about how everything is going. I’ve had my website compromised before and they’ve taken care of that.

        Big plus for this lazy person is that they’ll install things like WordPress for you. Really helpful if you’re running multiple blogs.

        It’s always been really cheap for me ($6 to $9 depending on what I’ve done over the years).

  5. Legally Brunette :

    I love this blouse except that it is oversized. I wish it were more form fitting and tailored.

  6. What do you do for colleagues that have lost a loved one (spouse/partner)? Especially if it is a bit unexpected? My team is at a loss for what to do for one of my co-workers. We don’t want to send flowers and we’re not sure if the deceased has any donations set up. Should we all just sign a sympathy card for right now? We all feel horrible and it’s put a damper on our day.

    • Different perhaps because I work at a university, but we buy books for the library that would honor the loved one. When my Dad died, my colleagues immediately asked what my Dad enjoyed (he was a huge reader about history) and they picked out new books that fit that profile. It was really touching. I also got a ton of emails and texts from colleagues all over the university. I could immediately tell when an announcement went out because I was flooded with texts and emails. I can’t begin to say how comforting that was. The announcement included a link to my Dad’s obituary and it was clear that people read it because the emails were so personal.

    • 1) Find out if funeral arrangements have been made yet or not. If they have and if it’s with a funeral home, call the funeral home to find out if the family has made any requests re donations in lieu of flowers.

      2) If you can get off of work, attend the funeral and visiting hours (if it’s the custom of the person’s religion/culture to have visiting hours etc. — if not, see if you can find out what’s customary). It may feel awkward but, having been a close relative to someone with this kind of loss, it really means a lot to the surviving spouse.

      3) Arrange for food to be brought to the house. If there’s a reception at the house after the funeral, consider bringing some frozen meals to pop in the freezer while you’re there. Don’t ask the spouse what s/he wants or needs. This person has no brain space to think about any of that. But you know s/he needs to eat, so provide food.

      4) When the person returns to work, express your condolences again. Ask how s/he wants to handle the situation. Would it be better to talk about it, or is work the one place where s/he can escape and be normal for a few hours?

      5) Continue to invite the person to go get lunch or whatever social interactions you had before the loss. Even if s/he declines, keep offering (although, obviously, don’t be pushy, just “hey, we’re running to out to [lunch place] wanna come? If not, can I bring you anything back?”).

      6) Realize the person may seem better now and then but that grief goes in cycles and the person might have a good day followed by a string of really awful days, and this can go on for months or years. Follow the person’s lead. S/he may feel like talking more about the spouse as time goes on.

      • All great points. I would say in addition to providing food, also consider taking over paper plates, plastic utensils, bottled water, etc. It was really helpful when my grandma died that we did not have to do a bunch of dishes after everyone ate, since a lot of family had gathered at the house.

        • Silvercurls :

          Ditto–all great suggestions.
          Two more thoughts:
          1) +1 to #6. Don’t be afraid to ask the bereaved spouse about the deceased, how they met, professional path, favorite activities or foods, sense of humor… People are almost always glad to talk about the person they have lost.
          2) So right about close family being too distracted to attend to household details! Also, in some traditions, immediate family of the person who died aren’t supposed to do any regular work.
          a) If you’re in or near the kitchen, quietly gather dirty dishes, used disposables, and take out the trash. If you use the bathroom, quietly check and offer to replenish the supply of toilet paper and tissues. Ask someone close to the family, but not in the immediate group of first-degree mourners.
          b) To the list of Anonymous @ 12:03 pm, I’d add: also throw in some paper towels and/or a couple of rolls of toilet paper. A house full of people will need extra paper goods.
          c) If you’re around at the right time, offer to pack up the leftovers.
          3) This advice may be outdated…? If the local media are still listing the street address of the house of mourning, and if you’re not so close to the family that your absense from the funeral would distress them, offer to skip the funeral to babysit the house (receive food deliveries, prep dishes/cutlery/napkins, and just plain be around to discourage any burglars).
          Okay, that’s enough. There’s a lot of common sense and sensitivity on this blog. Y’all know what to do.

          • academama :

            Actually, Silvercurls, I had no idea about any of those things though they seem common sense, so thanks so much for listing them out (and to those above you too for the ideas). I must have been living in a bubble for 35 years.

            OP, sorry to hear about the situation.

    • Original anon, one issue is that his partner doesn’t live in our state. She lives 4-5hrs away and thus that’s where all the arrangements will be made. So we can’t really attend services/bring food. Right now we’re trying to provide support for his staff member which just started last week. I just feel so horrible for him. I really appreciate your suggestions TBK and it’s good to have a reminder that grief is an on-going years long process for some people.

      • well then do what you can to find out where the funeral will be taking place, and contact them to find out what the family is requesting. If they are accepting flowers, I think you should pitch in to send an arrangement marked ‘from [Your Workplace]’ or whatever the alternative the family is requesting. It will mean a lot to have some message from his coworkers when he is there.

        Also, yes, focus on when he comes back to work. If you know what day he will be back, it could be better to have a small bouquet/small plant and a condolence card signed by everyone waiting for him when he comes back.

        And second TBK’s comment about trying to include him in social interactions as much as possible. Even more than before. being asked out to lunch or to join a coffee run will go really far to helping him not feel isolated in this new town so far away from where his partner was.

        Oh, and I only thought of this because of something NOLA told me: but mark this on your calendar, and make sure to remind your coworkers at the one year anniversary of this loss. That would be also a good time to be extra sensitive, and would not be the week to schedule a performance review, etc. :o(

  7. Perhaps I took the “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” book to heart a bit too much, but I can’t see myself wearing this top to the office because of the bow. I’d love to wear it around town on a Saturday, but I don’t want to risk it making me look too “girly” and young at the office.

    • Wildkitten :

      Me too. Otherwise I’d wear bows every day on everything.

    • I really like this type of blouse under a sleek suit. I don’t think that looks too girly at all.

      • I would think this blouse would be just the thing with a pants suit. I always feel way too “little man” in pants.

    • I’ve never read Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, but…meh. I really disagree with the having a “girly”/feminine look –> incompetent at being a professional rabbit hole. (That’s my personal opinion, and I’m sure others disagree.)

      I think the point is to look *professional,* which means being neat and wearing clothes that are appropriate for your office and setting. One “girly” accent on an otherwise subdued (for me at least–it’s neutral in color, and the print is bold, but not super-wacky), work-appropriate piece, should not make you look like a fluttering child who needs a fainting couch because Bows. I’m having a hard time articulating this, but I really just have a personal problem with the idea that the only way to look professional is to look as un-gendered as possible, and keep any “feminine” accents (bows, sparkles, pink) for the weekends. If dressing without those frills is your jam, go for it, but I wouldn’t want to work in an environment where wearing a blouse with a bow neck stood in my way of being able to be seen as a professional. And I think the only way to change those types of cultures is to shove their noses in it and be like, “Look at me, I’m wearing pink flats but I still kicked a** at that project.” But without making it some big huge production. Just be a lady openly expressing her femininity through clothes, but also rocking at her job. Does that make sense?

      • +1

      • I’m with you there. It’s one thing to know that a certain look isn’t for you personally (because maybe you are already fighting the “look too young” battle), and another to imply that because A Book said it’s something you shouldn’t do, then anyone who does it is betraying the sisterhood, or something.

        And yes, OP, I know that you limited your comments to your own circumstance, but I do think you have taken NGD to heart a little too much. But that could be because, I have a problem with acting like the things in Nice Girls Don’t are rules, and that the book is some sort of business bible. It’s a piece of entertainment with some valid observations that should make you think about the way you present yourself in the office.

        Yes, it points out several things that a women might be doing to undermine themselves, and if you are doing all or most of those things, that’s probably not the best way to advance. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do ANY of them.


      • +1. Last week at our annual meeting, I wore a navy suit with my bright pink heels. If someone wants to criticize me professionally simply because of my heel color choice, then phooey on them!

        • Wildkitten :

          Little girls don’t wear hot pink heels. They do wear baby pink bows. The idea is not to be not feminine, but to be a woman rather than a girl.

      • I would distinguish between looking “feminine” and looking “girly”. The latter to me is not a good professional look in excess because it has a childish and casual vibe. Whereas feminine (i.e. gendered and wearing things that men would not, such as heels, skirts, blouses, things that do not disguise the female form) can still be powerful and professional.
        Everything in moderation though, so a hello kitty watch with an otherwise professional suit is ok in my book, but when accompanied by other pink hello kitty accessories, can get too girly.

      • Anonattorney :

        To me it all depends on how you otherwise conduct yourself with co-workers and clients. If you are dressed in very “girly” clothes and you are overly timid, soft-spoken, demure or shy, then I do think your clothing choices will exacerbate the problem. Similarly, if you wear hot-pink heels and are overly flirtatious or sexual with coworkers, then the hot-pink heels could be an easy target. All of that behavior is still inappropriate if you are dressed completely neutral, but lazy people who adhere to stereotypes will have less ammunition.

      • TO Lawyer :

        + million

        I LOVE this philosophy.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Am I the only one who found that book utterly condescending? I couldn’t even finish it.

      • Nope. Can’t stand the idea & couldn’t take the book either.

      • Yes, it’s condescending but so what? After I read the book, I became aware that I did a lot of the things the book said not to do. I stopped doing some of them to test the book’s theories, and I noticed a positive difference with how I was being treated at work. So… so what if it’s condescending? In my case, it was still great advice.

        • Killer Kitten Heels :

          I guess I’m a weirdo, but I prefer my “advice” without a heaping helping of “condescending as fluck.” Especially when the entire point of the book is supposed to be about empowering women – not sure “hey there idiot, here’s all the stupid stuff you do that makes you look like a stupid girl, stupid” is the right tone for that message.

          • Wannabe Runner :

            I disagree. I found the book very helpful to realize things I was doing and not thinking about how they might come across.

          • a passion for fashion :

            i totally agree with you. And more than that, I thought the book was playing right into the stereotypes and actually making things worse. The point of the book was basically “its a man’s world, so here is how you need to act to bu successful in that mans world.” In my view, to make women “better off,” we need to change the “its a man’s world” mentality. By acting/dressing/etc feminine and still kicking @ss, we can change that mentality.

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            Passion/fashion, I think you’ve hit upon why the book rubbed me the wrong way.

            On that theme (and maybe this is a total fluke or happenstance) the three really successful professional women in their 50s who I look up to (who I personally know, not counting famous figures here) are all *very* feminine (pink suits in business meetings feminine), and definitely not any less powerful for it (two are law partners at major firms, one owns her own firm and is a prominent member of our local bar). They’re well-respected, and I truly believe the source of their power is being experts at what they do and being authentically themselves while doing it. They’re all different, personality-wise – one has more traditionally “masculine” speech patterns (that’d be the lady in the pink suit), one has a very “feminine” but outgoing presentation (Elle Woods-style), and one is a total introvert – but they OWN who they are, and attract like-minded clients who appreciate their individual styles. From what I can see, the only common thread between them is expertise and confidence – frankly, the same combination of expertise and confidence that successful men all seem to have (shocking, right?)

            Men can have all different personality types, all different styles of speaking and dress, and still be successful – why isn’t it the same for women? We all have to fit the “successful career woman” mode to achieve our career goals, lest the menfolk think we’re silly little girls? No way, I don’t buy it.

          • Wannabe Runner :

            But I feel like the book addresses these concerns. She has a whole section where she’s like: It shouldn’t be this way. These things are WRONG. But until they are changed, sometimes we have to play the game, especially if we are the more junior people in the office. Here are some tips for an office culture that is completely unfair, but that you won’t have the power to change unless you can first convince people that you’re competent.

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            But I think SHE’S wrong. The world ISN’T “this way” – people care about competence and confidence, not your gender or your clothes or even, frankly, your personality. I know plenty of women who are absolutely *killing* it while doing several or even many of the things she prohibits. Some are senior (my examples above), but plenty are not.

            The only women I know who are doing poorly professionally are doing poorly because they are either actually not competent, or are so convinced of their own incompetence (whether they are in fact incompetent or not) that they basically bleed fear and insecurity. Does that mean that male colleagues comment on their pink shoes as a proxy for their incompetence/insecurity? Sometimes, yeah, but it’s not the shoes’ fault she’s not doing her job well (or is so profoundly insecure that she doesn’t appear to be to observers). As with anything, if you’re not competent and/or profoundly insecure, people will mock the easily-seen things about you that are “different.” Changing the outside things without actually upping your own competence/confidence level, though, won’t fix your professional reputation. (You’ll just get made fun of for being “frumpy” or “trying to dress like a man” instead of wearing pink and bows.)

            The answer isn’t “don’t wear pink shoes or bows,” it’s “believe you’re capable and back that belief up with actually being capable.” Your shoes are irrelevant.

          • Wannabe Runner :

            Well, it seems your workplace is very different from mine then.

  8. cold in Chicago... :

    I’m looking for one of those basics, that hopefully is on sale this time of year.

    A basic black cashmere cardigan that I can keep at work to throw over anything when I’m cold.

    I prefer a “The Good Wife” type more drapey cardigan … probably no buttons..then the basic J. crew Tippy etc.. type of cardigan. To me, those drapey styles are a little more elegant. I am pretty petite on top. I like some of the Eileen Fisher drapey styles but I don’t want to drown in heavy fabric.

    I’m looking for excellent quality that will last me, but that is hopefully now on sale.

    • I have no shopping suggestions for you, but TCFKAG loves to do this kind of thing. Track her down at her blog (or her Tumblr) – I’m not sure where she’s hanging out these days.

      • cold in Chicago... :

        Thanks January.

        I was hoping that folks who have their perfect cardigan for this sort of purpose might also post their preference too…. and I’ll keep searching for sales.

        • cold in Chicago... :

          Anyone know re: quality of Neiman Marcus cashmere?

          I have liked Saks cashmere in the past, but I purchased a sweater last year that pilled way to quickly…

          • I’ve found it to be pretty good. The rub is the “Neiman Marcus” cashmere that is exclusive to the Last Call stores. For those, the quality is not so good— warm and looks nice for a while, but it’s a fairly loose weave that pills up and gets fuzzy. (I find they get quickly relegated to weekend/ around-the-house status so I buy them at deep discount only). If it’s NM cashmere carried at NM proper (which yours looks to be) the quality is better.

            For nice cashmere I also like Pure Collection, but their good sale is over now, so you’d have the choice between full price for black (if they have any in the spring line) and wonky sale colors.

          • I was a big fan, but a NM sweater I purchased at NM after Xmas last year and wore maybe 5-10 times (cleaned 2-3 times) developed a hole a short distance under the armpit. Not moths, because no other sweaters were affected, and I’ve never had a sweater wear out in a similar way before.

          • cold in Chicago... :

            Thanks AEK and Cat. Really appreciate this input.

            I posted incorrectly before… I have had good luck in the more distant past with more drapey Lord & Taylor cashmere, but my purchases last year were less hardy.

      • She’s here, lurking for material to make fun of us for with the rest of the STFU-Corp gang!

        • Accidentally reported, sorry.

          But really? How do you know who’s behind it? (Not attacking, genuinely curious)

          • Anonymous :

            Because you can see who “likes” each stfu corporette post. Its a tumber and so it links to the “liker’s” tumbler.

  9. I applied for a job online that requested a cover letter in the job description, but had absolutely no place to upload it in their cumbersome application program. I talked to a former co-worker who got a job there three years ago and she said the same thing happened to her when she originally applied. This is for a large-ish American company (>2,000 employees). How can they have such a dysfunctional application system?? Three years and they can’t even fix an enormous problem like not being able to upload required materials? I wonder how many talented applicants just won’t apply there anymore.

    • Maybe they’re trying to see how persistent you are. :)

    • Wildkitten :

      How’d your former co-worker break through the system to get the job?

      • I think she knew somebody there and was able to contact them about it. Otherwise, I guess the other option would be to combine it in one document with the resume, but that technically isn’t what they asked for.

        Let’s just say that I’ve always despised PeopleSoft, but even more so now.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think the vast majority of online application systems have major issues. It’s so annoying. Slightly related but I hate that they all seem to require your social security number, which serves no purpose at the application stage.

      • I actually haven’t encountered that one yet, but if I do, I’ll do all 000-00-0000 if I can. I highly doubt your average glitchy application system can protect your information securely.

      • I came across one system that asked for my SSN. I deleted my application. It was for an in-house counsel position and I’m not working as counsel for a company that’s throwing around SSNs like that.

    • If there’s an option to upload your resume, just combine your cover letter and resume into one PDF and upload it that way. That’s what I’ve done previously and it worked fine.

      • This. I think this is what they are expecting if they ask for more than one document, but only give you one doc to upload, that you will combine them all in one doc.

        • Normally I would agree with that (and maybe that is what they want), but their system was set up so the resume would be kept on file for multiple positions. Unless they want to look at multiple identical resumes with cover letters for each position attached, I don’t know if that’s what they intended.

          Either way, it was extremely unclear and annoying and made me not want to apply at all. Hence the rant.

          • oh, i agree, it is super annoying when the online app systems don’t actually let you do what they ask you to do, or just when they take hours to fill out, ugh. I completely sympathize, rant on ;o)

  10. anon in tejas :

    any suggestions for how to shop at amazon? I want to buy clothing from them, but it’s really hard with some items with multiple sizes/colors/prices to find out what they have in stock and what the price is. Suggestions on how to do this better? maybe I’m just doing it wrong?

    • Wildkitten :

      Depending on the item, I’ve also experienced this problem.

    • It’s not you, it is super disorganized and not user-friendly. I just have to narrow down my options as much as possible at one time: select the type of item, my size and a price range. And then I go through the list, right-clicking on anything that looks good, opening it in another tab. After a while I go thru the tabs, and look at the details. If it might work, save it to wishlist, if it doesn’t work, close the tab.

      Eventually I have to just go thru the ones in my wishlist to decide what to buy. It is definitely a multi-stop and time consuming process, that I usually do when I am watching tv or am otherwise bored. ;o)

  11. Coworker Issues :

    I am having an issue with a coworker (let’s call her S) than I am unsure how to handle…
    A little background. S has a history of issues working on a team, communicating, etc, but is generally considered valuable in the department because of her experience and knowledge. We work in a small department and report to the same boss. We currently share on office. We are both on management level in a large organization.

    A few weeks ago I brought up a possible solution to about how to fix an issue she vented to me about and suggested how to deal with things going forward. After that conversation, I thought I may have overstepped my boundaries by the way she reacted (shrugged me off, walked out of the office) and I apologized to her if she felt I crossed a line. The next day, another coworker (R) asked me about this exact situation and i referred her to S. When i got back to the office, I told S about my conversation with R to give her a heads up. S completely flipped out and accused me of talking behind her back and saying one thing and doing another (none of these things were true). She called me liar and was very angry and yelling. I removed myself from the situation. The next day I tried to talk to her and she reaffirmed that she thought I was a liar and would not say another word.

    Yesterday, I caught a mistake that she made that affected my work. I brought the mistake to her and asked her what she thought. She said ok, which i took to mean she would look into it. Later in the day, i followed up with her and she said it was fixed. When i checked, the issue was not fixed and I asked her about it. At this point she became very angry and defensive. Asked me why I couldn’t fix it myself and told me to stop asking her what she thought about things. I was extremely calm while she yelled. I did ask her to stop yelling and talk to me calmly and that i thought was she acting very unprofessional (maybe i shouldn’t have said that, but she was standing over me and yelling).

    Today S has basically ignored me and when I did need to talk to her and pass along a message she was pretty rude.

    Any suggestions on how to handle this?

    • There’s a lot you’re leaving out here but I would recommend that you communicate via email, cc’ing either her supervisor or yours. Take action when you can and it’s appropriate for her to do so, otherwise document document document. You do not have to take abuse from her, nor are you there to be her friend. Do your job, be professional and courteous.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      Agree 100% with Godzilla. Chances are, she’s acting this way to other people too, and probably her supervisor has heard about it.

      If there’s any way you can avoid your office while she’s in there in the next day or two, I would do that, just to let things calm down. Can you take a laptop to the conference room for a bit?

      Standing over someone and yelling at them is discipline-able, IMO. Decide whether it’s something you want to report, considering your office culture.

    • Interesting situation. What the others suggested is the best route.

      But you may want to call a one-one-one closed door meeting with her and tell her directly, with examples, the behaviors you have encountered that you found counter-productive. Using “I’ statements (I felt, I thought, etc.) and asking if that was the way she meant to come across, may do 2 things:

      First, cover you because you will have tried to address the situation one-on-one, and;
      Second, put her on alert that you are not her whipping boy.

      Don’t let her yell over you. But do look her in the eye and say is like you mean it and you are not going to take it anymore. Sounds like you have a class A bully on your hands who feels that acting like an entitled child is the way to get her way and your attempts thus far have only been met with histrionics.

      In my experience, in a similar situation, two men would cuss each other out and let the chips fall where they may.

  12. Manhattanite :

    I had a mediocre annual review earlier this week and it’s confirming all of my imposter syndrome fears. I know I should be at a lower tier law firm, but it’s hard to get there when you’re in an industry that’s slow and you are geographically confined by your partner’s career. I feel so out of my league right now. And as a mother of a toddler, I don’t WANT to put in the crazy hours necessary to catch up to my peers. I guess I just want someone to tell me to hang in there.

    • Hang in there! A mediocre review is not the same thing as a bad review! Don’t quit!

    • I had a poor annual review in 2013 and a great one in 2014. Mainly because I really took to heart what was said in 2013. Your review is a wake-up call, not a death knell. As a lawyer-mother you’ve already accomplished a lot in your life – the same hard work and intelligence that got you here will pull you through.

    • It sounds like there are two issues here: you’re not performing at the standards your firm expects (or you believe it expects) and you’re not happy with your job. Those things are often related, but the solutions may be different. To put it in therapy-ish terms, let’s give you the power back: forget for now about what your firm wants; is this the job you want? If not, what would that job look like? Are you currently interviewing/job searching? Even if your market is tough, the act of searching for something that you’d like better can shift your perspective and make you feel more in charge of the situation and your life.

    • Stop saying you belong at a lower tier firm. This might sound harsh, but that’s a cop out. If you say you’re just not good enough, that lets you off the hook because “oh, it’s not my fault I’m not doing a great job. It’s because I’m not good enough to be here so there’s nothing I can do to be better.” If you want to work at a lower level, then keep searching for a lower tier firm or other position that better fits your ambition. But realize that would be a choice (a perfectly fine one, but a choice nonetheless) and not just fate because you’re too whatever not to make it at this firm. If you believe you’re working at a firm with good lawyers, then presumably they know what they’re doing when they hire people and they hired you. So trust their instinct. (Also? Pretty much every lawyer I know has felt at one point or another that their employer made a giant mistake in hiring them and that the employer must be regretting hiring such a loser. And some of these lawyers are astoundingly brilliant and great at their jobs. We all feel this way sometimes.)

      Instead, think about what was said in your review. Was it all fair? Did you understand where each criticism was coming from? When you look back at your work, do you see where you could have done better? Did the reviewers give you specific things to focus on to improve? You mention not wanting to put in the time, but was everything in the review really a function of working fewer than 80 hours a week, or was that only a small piece of it? (And are you still hitting your hours target even if you’re not working 300 hr months?) Honestly and as dispassionately as possible, go through and see if you can turn each criticism into an action item. Make a plan for yourself to address weaknesses. (For example, I’m horrific when it comes to typos because I just don’t like going back through what I’ve just finished. So now I have a checklist and process for reviewing things.) If you don’t understand where some of the criticisms came from, go to the people who wrote them and ask them to explain to you a little better their thought process, and see if they have suggestions for improvement.

      Finally, was the review as bad as you think it was? Did the reviewers say positive things about you but, because you’re already completely convinced that you don’t belong there, did you block those out and focus only on the negative? If you have a paper copy of the review, highlight all the positive stuff or write it out on a separate piece of paper. Use it as a reminder when you feel like you just can’t cut it.

      • Huh. What great advice.

      • Manhattanite :

        Thanks for advice. This makes me feel better.

        Basically, I had a couple of positive reviews and a couple where the partners said that I was operating on the low end of my class year and that both my written and oral communication skills needed work. One was kind enough to note that I did not have a 100% litigation background for my first couple of years and that showed. I don’t disagree. I need more practice in both areas. Pregnancy, maternity leave and catch up after maternity leave did not help me in getting more experience.

        • Coach Laura :

          Manhattanite -since you missed time for pregnancy and leave, and were not in litigation thus slowing your progress, would it help your “mental image” of yourself to pretend that you are a – for example – third year instead of a fourth year? In academia, many schools stop the tenure clock for one or more years (like a partnership clock) for childbirth/adoption or extreme illnesses and it makes sense in your situation to give yourself a break. Stop thinking of yourself as “behind” and accept what is. TBK and cbackson and the other attorneys have given better advice than I could on specifics but my advice is to focus on what you’ve learned and what you’re learning and abandon thoughts of how you’re on the low end.

  13. Ladies,

    I have started breaking out in hives at night. It starts around 7PM, and by 8-9 PM my entire body is covered in hives and it is unbearable. I end up taking 2-4 benedryl, covering my body in calamine lotion, and going to bed. When I wake up in the morning the hives are gone.
    I don’t know what to do because during the day when the doctor’s office is open, I have no hives – but I don’t want to go to the emergency room when it happens at night. This has been going on for 10 or 11 days now. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? I googled it and it seemed like there was a lot of crazy stuff out there.

    • An at-home allergy or a delayed response to an allergy from something earlier in the day? My sympathy – sounds miserable!

    • It definitely sounds like an allergic reaction. I would make an appointment with an allergist. They can do a test on your back to determine what it is that you’re allergic to so that you can avoid it in the future.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        There are also a lot of things you can be allergic to that do not show up in the test they do with the needles on your back. Food dyes are one of them. Sometimes you have to figure it out through an elimination diet.

    • What did you eat/drink/consume in the couple of hours prior to 7? Are you apply lotion? Using a humidifier? Changing into different clothes around then? Have pets?

      I think you should still make an appt with a doctor, if just to talk about other ways to narrow down the cause. Log your reactions, take pictures of the hives and your environment to bring with you.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m allergic to red dye 40 in foods. It first manifested in me breaking out in hives at night. I was 21 at the time and I think I ate my dye containing foods with dinner or after dinner. Sometimes it was a strawberry margarita or daquiri. Sometimes it was sweedish fish while watching a movie. As I became more sensitive eating a BBQ sauce with dye at dinner would cause it. I usually took an hour or two to get itchy and then another hour or so to start to get hivey. Is 7 pm before or after dinner for you?

    • Clementine :

      That sounds like torture! I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this. Can you call your Doctor and ask what they’d recommend?

      I might consider writing down every. single. thing. you eat/drink/use to wash your hands/etc. and then take photos of the hives, etc. This way, when they ask you questions you’ll really have the data to provide them.

    • Thanks ladies! It’s just wild – I can’t figure out what I’m doing differently. I’m 30 years old and it seems to weird to have an allergy just pop up out of the middle of nowhere like this. I’ve eating different things every day, worn different clothes, had different schedules…

      • You might not being doing anything differently. You may have developed a sensitivity to something that was previously fine. An allergist would probably be helpful in figuring out how to isolate the trigger, which may involve some eliminations.

      • That’s the way allergies work. And they only get worse.

      • Wannabe Runner :

        Ditto to “That’s the way allergies work.”

        I developed severe allergies to cats and dogs in my early 30s and never had them before. I had a cat at the time. Gave myself asthma for being around her far beyond when I should have gotten treated.

        Get thee to a doctor ASAP.

    • bananagram :

      Is the pattern different on weekends? I’m guessing your behaviour (and exposure to allergins) is pretty regular during the week but less ordered during the weekends. May be a clue there.

    • It sounds like the hives are responding to Benedryl, which would make me think that it is an allergy. However, one other consideration could be a virus. Have you felt sick otherwise? This happened to my son–he broke out in hives every night for about 10 days. We took him to the doctor and she said it was a virus that would eventually run its course.

    • Do you change your clothes when you get home? Could be a sensitivity to detergent / fabric softener. Also, I find my skin to be generally more sensitive during the colder months so any irritant is going to cause full blown hives.

  14. for Sydney Bristow :

  15. Address or not? :

    Work TJ – I sit next to an admin who has a very negative life view. Constant complaining about political issues (‘they’ get everything handed to them, thanks Obama) and work (this attorney is asking her to do insulting things like make meal reservations, our benefits are terrible – I should just quit and live on welfare). It got to me, to the point that my husband was tired of hearing me complain about her. Since I am a paralegal and not her boss, I asked for an office re-assignment to solve the problem.

    A few weeks later, at my annual review by HR, my request was brought up in front of my main attorney. He denied my move since it would move me away from him and apparently she got a talking to. I heard muttering about it that week but didn’t say anything. Now, it has been about a month of the silent treatment from her. Should I address it with her? I don’t feel like I did anything wrong, but it has made me uncomfortable and I am concerned I have blackballed myself with the admins. My admin and others I work with are friendly with me, but who knows what others think? She will literally look down instead of making eye contact when we pass in the hall.


    • You requested a new office because the admin annoys you? Wow. From my perspective, that seems over the top.

      Yes, you should address this. I’m not sure that being direct will help. Or whether indirectly addressing it will be insincere. Going out of your way to say good morning/evening and other small-talk type stuff is a start.

      Even more than bosses/supervisors, you do NOT mess with admin staff.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I disagree that requesting a new office is over the top. To be constantly surrounded by unrelenting negativity is emotionally draining. During office moves, I’ve specifically requested to not be near someone that I have to work with and also can’t stand. I do think the OP should have raised the issue with HR prior to requesting a new office (assuming that she did not do that), so that HR could have spoken with the admin about an attitude adjustment, and made her office request only if the admin didn’t change.

        OP, I agree that for right now, all you can do is make pleasantries. Other admins may dislike you because of this, but it’s a work environment – you don’t have to be liked, but everyone has to be professional.

    • Silent treatment sounds like a step up? Does it interfere with the work you need to get done? Then don’t worry about it and remain professional and kind with everyone else.

      • Orangerie :


      • Wannabe Runner :

        Yeah, sounds like you got the good end of the stick here.

        Bosses can’t make her magically be nice. They can make her not be so negative. Sounds like that’s what you wanted, and it happened.

      • Olivia Pope :

        Exactly what I thought.

      • co-signing.

        And agreeing asking to me relocated from the poison attitude was not over the top.

  16. Does anyone have advice for other blogs or fashion sites like this but geared more towards conservative dress (religiously conservative)? I’m moving to the Middle East for work and keep getting conflicting advice on what’s appropriate for the office there, so I was hoping that some of you ladies who manage to dress fabulously while conservatively would have some good advice!

    As a quick question, some advice I’ve been given is that if you can see the outline of my body, my clothes are too tight. I have a very curvy body and am trying to figure out how to accomplish this without looking ridiculous — do I buy pants a size too big? Do I buy pants that fit but baggy tops that cover my bum? Or am I getting bad advice?

    • As someone who dresses in a (moderately) religiously conservative manner…I think that’s bad advice. I focus more on necklines, sleeves, and hemlines, and don’t wear anything super tight, but I do wear fitted clothes. However – it will totally depend on the environment, your co-workers, and where specifically you’re moving to. My clothes are very modest compared to some but downright inappropriate for others, probably (you can see my collarbone and I don’t wear baggy tops). Maybe someone else with more experience working in conservative areas of the Middle East can chime in.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I can’t speak to how well Morman dress would match with Muslim, but there are a ton of LDS fashion blogs. The ones I’ve run into are mainly causal, but google around for modest blogs. GL!

    • This won’t address what is necessarily being worn where you are moving, but I like gotogreaterlengths for suggestions on clothing items that fall into the modest yet fashionable category.
      Overall, I would recommend that you get a few core, safe pieces that can be mixed and matched. Then, once you are there, you will have a better idea and can shop accordingly. You’ll be really sad if you buy stuff now that turns out to be wrong later.

    • Hemlines should hit at knee, not above. Sleeveless is ok for Dubai, etc. otherwise just dress normally, don’t size up.

  17. FormerPhotog :

    Reposting – stuck in moderation due to a restaurant with a slightly blue name

    Homegrown sandwiches! I’ll be out for a convention at the end of March, and eating at the Homegrown in Melrose Market is high on my list. There’s an awesome raw bar on the same street as well, and if you want fancier, Sitka+Spruce is in the same building. I had good food at Metropole, and Wild Ginger was one of the high points of our con last year.

    If you have a car, there is the most incredible Thai restaurant in Tukwila. It’s in a tiny strip mall (next to the big mall), and the food their is amazing – the owner was a Thai Airlines flight attendant, and made it to be a taste of home for her coworkers. It’s called Bai Tong, and the Crispy Pork belly is one of the very few things I’ve flown the leftovers home with me.

    Biscuit B**** in Pike’s Place was incredible for a decadent breakfast, and the one thing I learned is that if you drink regular coffee, leaving room for cream meant half the cup was empty.

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