Thursday’s TPS Report: 3/4 Sleeve Ponte Shift Dress

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

Lands' End Ponte Shift DressLands’ End has been taking readers’ favorite Welt Pocket Sheath, and running with it — here they’ve added three-quarter sleeves and grosgrain trim; they also have versions with ballet sleeves, embellishments like lace, embroidery and ruffles, and different patterns and fabrics.  (The original solid dress is on a great sale — $34 right now. Actually, looking around the site, there are a ton of dresses under $40.)  I’m not usually a fan of nautical designs, but I think this version of the sheath looks elegant and versatile.  It’s $79, and available in regular, petite, plus, and tall sizes; it has slant pockets and is machine washable.  Lands’ End 3/4 Sleeve Ponte Shift Dress

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  1. Seattle and Vancouver :

    I am planning a family vacation this summer to Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC. Any suggestions for:

    1. activities for a family with a school-age child interested in the outdoors, art, and science?
    2. interesting places to shop for men’s casual and/or business casual clothing?
    3. where to stay in each city (area and/or specific hotels)?

    We will be renting a car.

    • I have some family near Seattle. Hiking near Mt Rainier is awesome and there are trails for a range of fitness levels. The EMP (Experience Music Project) is also fun to explore – it’s not just music/pop culture, they also had a great special exhibit on the technology behind the special effects in Avatar when I went a few years ago.

    • In Vancouver, go up Grouse Mountain. You can hike up or take a hanging car thing (I cannot remember what those are called). It’s beautiful, and they have animals and trails and a surprisingly fun lumberjack show. I think your child and you would love it.

      Vancouver also has a really nice aquarium, and Granville Island is a must do for a Vancouver visit (lots of cool shopping, dining, art galleries, sights.

      I’ve only been on business, but we stayed at the Pan Pacific, which was really nice. There are a couple of Fairmonts on that same stretch that people raved about. All were near the convention center/cruise port.

      • Rural Juror :

        +1 to the Vancouver Aquarium. I would also recommend walking/biking the seawall (goes around the area where the aquarium is- you can rent bikes at lots of different shops nearby).

        I also love Granville Island although I don’t know how exciting it would be to a child, it’s good for a few hours of entertainment (the market, shops, have lunch).

      • SuziStockbroker :

        If you are going up Grouse Mountain (on the gondola :) ), you could also do the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I grew up a few blocks away and never did it (because HEIGHTS) but my siblings loved it.

        There used to be an awesome planetarium too, not sure if it’s still there.

        Loved loved loved the Vancouver Zoo as a child (although have ethical issues with zoos now).

        Harrison Hot Springs is a super fun day trip from Vancouver as you are renting a car.

      • Seattle and Vancouver :

        Great suggestions–thanks, everyone!

    • Yay! I love TPS generaly, and the PRICE of this Dress, Kat, but if you LOOK at the dress closely, you will see that THIS Ponté SHIFT Dress will surely SHIFT men’s eyes DIRECTLEY down from your eye’s to your BOOBIE’S! THAT is NOT what I want to wear, and yesterdays discussion of BROOCHES, which I did NOT participate in, makes clear that the HIVE agrees NOT to let men’s eye’s drift down to our boobie’s b/c then men would be looking at us for our bodie’s and NOT for our mind’s. This dress clearly is useful for ONLEY one thing — getting a man to stare at our boobie’s, not MARRY us. FOOEY on that!

      This is important for the HIVE to know and understand, as that doosh who I could not get out of my apartement the other night was ONLEY interested in 1) drinkeing to excess, and 2) stareing at me and Myrna in the hope that we would have sex with him and 3) passing out and making us throw a blanket over him where he passed out so that he could spend the night. Buy I was to smart for him. I insisted that Myrna stay over, just in case he was to wake up and try and pay me a visit in MY bed. The last thing I needed was to be alone with a drunk who wake’s up with a wooden winkie and start’s looking for someone to work it for him. DOUBEL FOOEY! If he did wake up with those idea’s, having MYRNA over helped put that idea to rest b/c he did NOT even come into the bedroom, tho he did call out onley to hear BOTH Myrna and me answer him to tell him we were BOTH there together! YAY. He will have to go elsewhere to whittel his winkie. FOOEY on men that want us to do that for them.

      Today is another bad day in NYC and I slipped on the corner of 39th and Park. They have some fancy side walk’s there which in the winter make people slip. Fortunateley I landed on my tuchus, but did NOT twist anything, and I should be happy b/c there was NO poopie on the street. YAY!!!!!

    • For the Kids :

      Buchard Gardens (on Victoria island)
      First Nations museum at the University of British Columbia (and the UBC campus in general)
      a First Nations community (no specific recommendations, but you can visit some)
      Ride bikes around Stanley Park (someone above mentioned it — it has the seawall (and a nice little sand beach if the weather is warm enough)

      • I wouldn’t recommend just going to any First Nations community – the ones in the Metro area are actually hard to distinguish from the non-First Nations suburbs, and its where people live, rather than being a tourist attraction. But in the summer there are often gatherings or festivals you could visit if you wanted to learn more about the culture.

    • The Seattle aquarium is fun. Not sure how it compares with the Vancouver one. The sea otters are awesome.

      I love planes, so the Museum of Flight (just outside Seattle) was a big win for me.

      For a mostly-outside experience, you might go visit the Ballard Locks in Seattle and see the salmon ladders (with a glass view underwater).

    • lucy stone :

      Fun! In Vancouver we’ve stayed at the Westin Bayshore and loved it. You can walk to most things downtown easily but it’s not quite as noisy and it’s so fun to watch the floatplanes in Coal Harbor take off and land. Definitely rent bikes and ride around Stanley Park, it’s tons of fun.

      In Seattle we’ve stayed at the Westin and the Sheraton and liked them both. Pike Place Market, Ballard Locks, Chihuly museum, maybe the Klondike Gold Rush museum?

      My husband hates shopping so I didn’t shop much in Seattle, but loved the Nordstrom Rack by the original Nordstrom.

    • The fish ladder at the Ballard Locks sounds perfect for the kid on your trip (and it’s fun for adults as well). There’s a little museum about the locks and a nice park for picnicking while you watch boats lock through, and you can walk across/all over the locks and dam.

    • Also, Mt. St. Helens is a haul from Seattle, but it’s amazing if you have the time.

    • I really enjoyed the Seattle Underground tour, which starts in Pioneer Square. The kids on it seemed to have a good time.

    • Vancouver 'rette :

      Vancouver – third/fourth/fifth the Vancouver Aquarium and Seawall and Granville Island. I haven’t been in years, but I remember the Telus World of Science (formerly Science World) being a lot of fun when I was younger. The “First Nations” museum someone mentioned above as being out at UBC is the Museum of Anthropology, and it’s great, if you can make it all the way out to UBC. Staying near the convention centre (in either of the Fairmonts, or the Pan Pacific) gives great views of the North Shore and puts you right on top of the Skytrain and Canada Line for easy transit options. I’d also recomment checking out the Olympic Village area on South False Creek (basically a condo zone now, but some fun restaurant/patio areas to be had) and the restaurants and shops on South Main street (between Broadway (9th Ave) and about King Edward (25th). If you’re looking for an interesting community that isn’t right downtown, I would recommend taking a morning or afternoon to head to Steveston (neat little fishing community in Richmond) or Deep Cove (on the North Shore).

    • Tagging on, my husband and I will be going in May. Any suggestions for more adult things to do? We don’t have kids and like good but cheap food.

      • Anon in NYC :

        These are Seattle specific, but for food check out Tilth Restaurant, Salumi Artisan Cured Meats, and Pike Place Market. The views from the Space Needle are great. If you like outdoorsy things, I’d definitely check out Mt. Rainer or Olympic National Park (although that can be really more like an overnight trip).

      • fake coffee snob :

        Theo chocolate factory is also fantastic! This goes for kids (older and more patient ones), too.

        Seattle has some excellent Pho places, which is pretty much the greatest cheap food around. Uwajimaya if your idea of fun is a giant food import store.

        Wish I had more…it’s my hometown but the longer you stay away, the less you know the city…

    • A couple of years ago, I stayed in the Hampton Inn & Suites Seattle Downtown (700 Fifth Ave North). So, definitely nonfancy, but clean and safe and in a nice area. They offered kitchenettes, the location was GREAT, and I got to use my Hilton points.

      As I recall, I liked the location because it was kind of inbetween the space needle area and the Fremont area, which were our main interests. There was also a grocery basically next door. (the kitchen -grocery thing is important to us for travel because my husband has dietary restrictions, maybe not so important for you.)

      have fun!!

    • Anonymous :

      I have family in Seattle and have been staying in Airbnbs. There are a lot of choices in the Greenwood/Phinney Ridge area that I visit.

  2. Hey ladies! Wardrobe question for the hive: I’m going on a 4-6 week rotation to an office that wears purely business formal. My normal job is business casual. I own two suits, a structured black sheath dress, and a bunch of separates (the latter being what I more typically wear to my job). I’m pretty sure I need at least one more suit to be appropriately dressed for the 4-6 weeks, but I don’t want to blow a ton of money. What should I be buying?

    • In most business formal environments, a sheath (in a solid color) plus jacket works. If you like dresses, I’d look into neutral colors of basic sheath dresses (maybe a gray, a second black, and a dark jewel tone). Pair it with one of your existing jackets.

      Are any of the separates you have from lines that currently have complimentary separates available (e.g., Ann Taylor/Limited/Banana Republic to a lesser extent that seem to release new pieces in the same fabric each season?) Maybe you could purchase some of those to create suits? You’ll have to be careful that colors still match if the separates are a bit older & have been cleaned several times.

      I might try to use what you have to come up with like 6-10 outfits total you can rotate through your rotation.

      • This is really helpful, thank you. I’m thinking another suit, probably gray, plus two more dresses will be ideal. I’m assuming that the dresses should actually be structured and not a wrap/faux wrap/fit and flare style? For example, would the BR Gemma wrap or Sloan fit and flare be inappropriate?

        • I don’t think those dresses would work in a formal environment. If your suit is black, you can get other separates in black with a subtle pattern. Just don’t try to match solid black. If you get another suit, I’d recommend several pieces in gray.

          • Thanks! I have black and navy blue suits right now. Right now I’m thinking a gray suit, matching (same collection/fabric) gray dress, and a navy blue dress. Both dresses are structured sheaths.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      A different col0ur suit than what you already have, something that can be broken up so you have more options while you are on your trip (even in my business formal office, I can wear seperates like a sheath dress with a non matching jacket, particulary on Fridays), and when you get back to your business casual office.

      For example, some grey suit jackets (especially ones with texture or pattern), look great with navy, red or black suit pieces you may already own. You need to be careful of jacket shape, try the jacket on with different bottoms in the store to make sure it looks good as a seperate.

      • Thank you! I wouldn’t have thought to try on the suit jackets with separates to check for fit, so this is incredibly helpful.

    • Are any of your separates blazers or jackets? That would make them a bit more formal. What colors are your suits? One more suit would be good, then you could wear a suit M-W-F and be a little less formal on the other days, depending on your schedule. Do they have casual Fridays where you are going? That would help you. I can’t imagine they would expect you to get a new wardrobe. You can re-wear things a lot, esp. if you’re traveling.

      • Yes, I have a dark red blazer and a black jacket. My suits are navy blue and black – I’m thinking a gray one would be good. On Fridays they do business casual, so as long as I’m ready for M-Th I should be okay!

        • Right now The Limited has b1g1 free on their suiting, and they have a variety of colors (including both light and dark grey) and various pieces. I’ve been impressed for the price.

  3. Anon4This :

    Is this nautical? I think it looks like a traditional South Asian tunic style – I like it, whatever “style” it is!

  4. Worker Bee :

    There doesn’t seem to be any good place to share except at home with my husband, so I want to share anonymously… I just realized that we have $250K in our retirement accounts!! It’s not retire into the sunset I will never have to work again money, but, hey, hopefully it’ll grow into that by the time we are 55 or… earlier.

    For context, we are 30/28 living in a very HCOL. We don’t have a house and we can’t save to buy one until we are both working. We saved around $186K total starting with less than $5K in 2006 and the rest is from market increases and dividends. Before my current job, our highest household income year was $135K in 2011 and our lowest was $30K in 2007 and 2014. There was a 8-month layoff in 2009-2010. We made less than $60K from 2012 to 2013 because I was in school. Now he’s in school with 1.5 years left to go. Right now our HH income is $150K.

    Then my friend just informed me that a startup he joined will be exiting in a few months, at which point he will have enough to not work until he “gets bored”. UGH. Green grasses…

  5. I think this looks kind of “mom”ish

    • agreed. picturing an over 50 y/o mom wearing it to a wedding shower, not my 30-something self wearing it to the office

      • The top makes it look casual and reminds me of a beachy tunic that they also have, which I think is great. It’s a good casual dress, but wouldn’t be an office dress for me.

        I’m 5-4 and often just order the petites. Every season there are a few things that they knock out of the park and they are usually washable, so I get a ton of wear b/c I’m not afraid I’ll ruin something or run up a huge drycleaning bill.

      • Over Forty Mom :

        I find these comments to be offensive as it perpetuates the stereotype that moms and especially moms (or women in general) that have exceeded some sort of expiration date are not sexy, desirable, stylish women. Say the dress is frumpy, fine, but don’t equate frumpiness with a woman’s age or parental status. After all, one day you too might join the demographic used as short hand for frumpy and undesirable.

    • That basically sums up my whole problem with Land’s End. Even when it’s styled to look cute on the model, on me the effect seems entirely frump-tastic. Even with basic t-shirts, which seems hard to accomplish. I’ve given up being tempted by their items.

      • Same! Everything looks great in the catalog but IRL is often too loose, too long, just doesn’t fit in a flattering way.

      • Lands End is so frumpy. I feel the same with Talbots too. Maybe it works for certain body shapes but I think for most women under 40, it just looks frumpy and unflattering.

        • I’m over 40 but I think the secret to making Talbot’s clothes look good is tailoring. I wear a 6 and I’m tall and slim and their clothes, off the rack, look boxy. But when I have the waist nipped in they look great. I think tailoring is the secret to making all clothes look good…even if it fits, iy can fit better.

          • Actually, my 40+ stylish boss has this dress and wore it in the black and white the other day and looked great in it. She is petite and curvy, and it was very flattering and sharp. It looked good enough that I was wondering if I could buy it and wear to events when I knew she wouldn’t be there! Today she’s wearing the green and blue, and while I don’t like it as much, it still looks great on her.

      • la vie en bleu :

        their jersey/ponte dresses look great on me with little tiny tailoring fixes here and there. they are flattering without being too fitted for the office.

      • I agree, although I have found a few random items that I have loved. My only general exception has been the bathing suits, but then again I don’t mind medium rise bikini bottoms.

        • Their Aquaterra bikini bottoms were great! As a person who swims for exercise with a small waist and large bum, a string to tie and shorten the waist circumference is necessary for a proper fit.

        • Yup — Lands End has great swimwear, especially for those of us who need unusual sizes.

      • Yes, I like LE in theory, but on me I’ve never liked any of their dresses.

    • I actually like this one but would order it in petite to raise the hemline. The green version would be cute for casual days at work for me.

      • +1 – I think this is cute (and machine washable!), so if it needs tailoring to fit nicely, it might be worth the cost. Tailoring is so often the difference between frump and not, regardless of the brand.

    • Agreed. It would look cute on my grandmother, but on that model it is a tragedy.

    • The neckline is also pretty low, considering the style.

  6. Road Trip from Atlanta :

    My mom is visiting me this weekend and we’d like to do a 2 day road trip from Atlanta. I’m considering Asheville, Charleston or Savannah. I’ve never been to Asheville, while my mom has never been to Savannah. We like really good food, visual/performing arts, culture/sightseeing, and she prefers to stay at bed and breakfasts. The weather won’t be great, so I don’t anticipate a lot of outdoor activity. Which city would you recommend (alternative suggestions also welcome)? Any suggestions on what to see/do and where to stay/eat while there? Thanks!

    • I don’t think you can go wrong with any of those cities. If you guys like beer, definitely go to Asheville. But really, the food is great in all those cities. In Charleston I recommend Poogan’s Porch – the best food in the three days I was there. And the rooftop bar at the Vendue is beautiful. We stayed at the Mills House, which was fine – I liked the location, but it’s a small walk to the larger shopping area.

      • +1 to Poogan’s Porch–amazing chicken and waffles and the biscuits are awesome!

    • I just spent a long weekend in Savannah with my SH, and had a great time, so I can provide suggestions on that if you’d like (I culled a lot of advice from readers of this s i t e). Never been to Charleston or Savannah, though, so I can’t provide a comparison. Highlights in Savannah:

      We started with a walking architectural tour with Jonathan Stalcup. Absolutely fantastic.

      Check out the SCAD Museum of Art. Good for a couple of hours.

      If weather is decent, drive yourself to Bonaventure Cemetery, then to Fort Pulaski in time for a tour (I thought Fort Pulaski was surprisingly interesting).

      Honestly, the riverfront is touristy and I’d stay away…also would stay away from the Visitor’s Center, though we did go on a Freedom Trail tour (African-American history in Savannah, centering on Civil Rights movement, and it was the only bus or trolley tour I’d consider).

      Shopping on Broughton Street

      And as for food, we really liked the Pink House. We also got delicious, fantastic, very reasonably priced lunches at Chives on Broughton Street (their dinner menu is quite expensive). The Coffee Fox on Broughton Street had great coffee.

      Get a pass to the Telfair Museum/Thomas-Owens House/Jepson Center. All three would take less than a day; the pass lasts a week, I think.

      • +1 for the Pink House and their scored fish! Stay on the waterfront if you can. Savannah is amazing although you’ve just named three of my favorite cities – I don’t think there is a wrong choice!!

      • The Juliette Gordon Low house (founder of Girl Scouts!) may be fun with your mom, too. My mom was a troop leader.

        I say, make your mom happy with the trip to Savannah. Get to Asheville – a great city! – another time, or in better weather – there’s so much outdoor stuff there, but Savannah is a good walking city and you won’t be walking too far there.

    • Definitely Savannah! I went there for 5 days in June and really enjoyed it. The homes are lovely, and even if you don’t plan to do much walking around, there are some nice home tours and museums. The food is also delicious! I had a fantastic meal at Alligator Soul for dinner, and even the smaller restaurants I popped into for random meals here and there were pretty great.

    • Savannah is the closest trip and will probably have the best weather (plus, things are starting to bloom). Reposting some suggestions from a few months ago: For eats, take a peek at Florence, Pacci, The Grey, Collins Quarter, The Public. Other more established options are Vic’s, Pink House, Chive, Flying Monk Noodle, Soho South, local11ten, Elizabeth on 37th, Distillery, Gryphon Tea Room, The Public and Jepson Cafe. Shopping- Broughton street and the downtown design district will have a good mix of local and chain stores. Walking around downtown and through the squares (complete with benches for rest) is fun on a pretty day. Ghost tours can be a bit corny but fun. There are usually daytime walking tours of all sorts and also the trolley tours, including some that are on/off so you can cover more ground. If you drive out of downtown, Bonaventure Cemetery is good. Fort Pulaksi is on the way to Tybee. Good food on Tybee can be found at 80E gastropub, Sundae Cafe, and Tybee Social Club.
      But, I also adore Asheville. The Biltmore is a cool place to tour and there are a million B&Bs and good restaurants.
      Charleston is great, but it’s a drive from Atl, 5-6 hours. I’d look at OpenTable and compare menus/availability for each city.

      • Also, if you like Downton Abbey/period dress, the Biltmore currently has an exhibit of Downton Abbey costumes :)

        • Weather is supposed to be decent in Asheville this weekend. People are raving about the Downton exhibit at the Biltmore. Reservations required on weekends. If this weekend (6-8) there’s a big basketball tournament in town so get on your reservations asap. Good location B/B inn is Princess Anne. If you like silly things take a LaZoom comedy tour of the city.

    • Southern Transplant Anon :

      I’ve spent time in all three cities, and took way too long to get to Asheville, which I now really regret.

      Asheville is a foodie’s DREAM. I’d recommend Seven Sows, Nightbell (their chef used to be a chemist and there are amazing deserts that involve nitrogen freezing, etc. in all the right ways), the Junction, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Pasada, and there are countless more places. River Arts District is absolutely amazing and there are a lot of galleries in the main downtown area as well.

      Charleston has great food as well. If you’re oyster fans, Bowens Island Restaurant is quite the experience. Also love Poogan’s, Hall’s for steak, Hominy Grill (who doesn’t?), and Magnolia’s. Even if the weather isn’t amazing, a walk along the Battery is a must, especially if you’re into architecture.

      If you’re at all food-oriented, I think it depends a little on your mood. I think that Asheville cuisine has a bit more variety than Charleston. If you just want Southern cooking, Savannah and Charleston are your best bets. I was just pleasantly surprised by Asheville and wanted to make a plug since I think it gets forgotten sometimes.

      Have fun!

      • I would avoid Charleston this weekend because it’s the Food & Wine Festival – which is absolutely amazing, and could define the trip if you wanted, but hotels are much more expensive than usual this time of year, and most of the most top restaurants will be involved one way or the other. On the other hand, if you want to do some series celebrity chef sighting, eat some ridiculous food, and generally have an amazing time, well then probably no better time to go ;)

    • Thanks everyone! There are so many great recommendations here that I’m still undecided between Asheville and Savannah, but I know I’ll have a great time either way!

    • Is visiting the Biltmore really worth $50? It seems like a lot…

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Yea, it’s annoyingly expensive. I think it just depends on how much you like cool old buildings. I’ve been once, it was fun, but I don’t know if it was worth the ticket price (I think it should be more like $20, but I’m sure it’s horribly expensive to maintain). I haven’t seen the Downton exhibit, though…

  7. I just started using Retin-A, which I really like so far. I think it’s making my scalp- just the part that’s right next to my face- flake like mad, though, and I can’t as easily use my moisturizer there. Any suggestions? I’ve been putting oil on my scalp like I normally do for other dry hair problems, but I’d really like a solution that allows me to look normal while out and about and still treat the problem. Any ideas? Or am I just totally off base in thinking that the scalp dryness is a side effect of the Retin-A when I’m not putting it on my scalp, just right next to that area?

    • Wildkitten :

      It’s probably the Retin-A. Can you try putting it further from your scalp?

    • I’ve had scalp flaking issues that were finally resolved with Clobetasol, a prescription topical treatment. I had tried everything and this finally works. You rub into your scalp at night and usually it only takes 1-2 treatments to completely clear up the flakiness.

    • I had this problem too but all over my face. Tried Retin-A several times and gave up. After a job move, found a wonderful derm who had me work up slowly to it… and it was some really complicated schedule… i think it started with every 3 days or something like that. No flaking anywhere. Ask your dr if you can do that.

      • Yes, start with every other day or every third day and work up from there. And make sure you are using the “micro” formulation and not the old-fashioned gel (not sure if they still even make that).

  8. So, I’m in DC were basically everything is shut-down for the snow storm – including the federal government, school districts, DC government.

    But not my biglaw firm! Staff are allowed to use unscheduled leave (eating up one of their vacation days). Attorneys have the same options we have every day – work from home, come into the office, or non-billable/vacation time (we don’t actually get vacation days, it is just that you have to bill a certain amount for the year). Anyways, I came in because I live close by and had a project I have to get done today. I’m one of two attorneys on my floor. Neither the partner in charge of the office, any of the other office management, or HR (the people who made the decision that we are open) are here.

    I find it really offensive that the firm isn’t willing to just close for the staff when they know that basically no attorneys will come into the office. The few of us that are here are associates – we would have been fine with no staff and it would have just been like working on a normal weekend. There is no reason that staff, many of whom live far out and drive for part of their commute, had to choose between using a vacation day or coming in to the office in potentially unsafe conditions for them.

    Is it wrong that I’m mad about this? Are other DC biglaw offices open?

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      My firm’s DC and VA offices are closed today. People can work remotely but no vacation time lost for staff in those offices.

    • I agree that it would have been more gracious to excuse the staff, and if I ever have my own firm/authority to decide this I will absolutely implement it. I came from private practice to a no n profit and I would live live live to have staff more so than I want a junior lawyer. They are worth it!!

    • DC Wonkette :

      My DH’s biglaw is closed, but they also don’t have a structured leave policy. It’s all abut getting enough hours in a year instead…

    • Diana Barry :

      Not wrong. My firm also forced staff to come in on a few of the snow days when the T wasn’t running! Ridiculous. Everyone had to burn a vacation day.

    • I agree. I frequently argue with the powers that be in my office over this. If all of the attorneys are working from home, give the staff the day off. I understand there is plenty of work they could catch up on if they were there and they don’t have a work from home ability but I really don’t see the firm losing revenue by giving them an extra day or 3 of time off.

    • Clementine :

      I work for a State government in the Northeast. Even when the Governor declares a state of emergency, we have to come in or use a vacation/personal day.

      There is no option to work from home, so I come in (even when I probably shouldn’t) to avoid burning a vacation day.

      • This is absurd to me. In my state, state of emergency due to weather comes with ticketing/fines for driving, despite the declaration. Offices who do this should be prepared to defend litigation should some employee suffer grievous injury en route to/from work during a declared state of emergency. I get that business needs are ongoing and the pursuit of profit must be above all else but can we ( the collective we) occasionally just exercise common sense and show concern for humanity, generally?

      • Ah, I used to have this in RI, and it was miserable. Excellent way to retain people….oh, wait, no, I moved.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Haha, not biglaw, but my office is also open. Execs and analysts have the option to work from home, everyone else has to come in. We’ve closed for weather once in the past three years, with liberal leave options through snow storms, ice storms, and hurricanes, despite buses and even once, the metro closing. If I were in charge, the policy would be that if public transit shuts down, the office shuts down. It doesn’t seem fair to make people burn vacation days when they literally can’t get into the office, but that’s our policy.

    • The fed is not entirely closed. Those who are scheduled to work from home are expected to do so.

    • Any tips for motivating yourself for working at home? I’m having serious snow day jealously. I’d love to shovel the walk, make hot cocoa, and cuddle with the cat while I sort through a pile of personal paperwork, but work emails and assignments are flying fast and furious. I have to draft this license agreement by and my brain is just. not. working!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Yea, I think that’s crappy. My old job made the staff come in right after Hurricane Sandy when there was no power in most of lower manhattan, except somehow at our building. Subways weren’t running, you had to take buses and had to leave before dark because they stopped running buses at night. That’s when I knew it was time to find a new job. My new firm does require them to use a vacation day, but built in extra vacation days for this purpose, I’m told. It still seems unfair.

    • I work for a government agency, but not one under the actual governor (for those agencies the governor decides whether they close for weather.) Our policy is to close if the courts are closed. If we are not closed, but you feel unsafe traveling to work then you have to use a vacation day.

    • My physical therapist told me the same issue exists for them – that as long as the hospital doesn’t completely close down (pretty much never), they are expected to be in the office for their shift or use vacation time. Why would you force someone to come in during potentially unsafe conditions, in which all their patients probably cancelled?

      When I think about these things I’m always so grateful to be a salaried employee with flex work and plenty of vacation/sick time.

    • My firm does the same thing. I don’t know who thought that the negative impact on staff morale by forcing them to commute in unsafe weather was worth not having to pay out the extra vacation day. The only attorneys that come in when it snows are associates who live within walking distance.

    • Not in biglaw, but my organization’s official policy is that they don’t close as long as there is power to the building. They will even send out e-mails saying “We are open, but please don’t come in because it really isn’t safe.” We can work from home or use vacation time, but only professional staff actually have the technological capacity to work from home. Admin staff are basically forced to use up their vacation time. The organization just doesn’t want to have to cover anyone’s time using its own money (we normally bill close to 100% to externally funded projects).

  9. I have this dress in the green and blue version and it is so comfortable and well made. I wish I had purchased the black and white one instead because as it turns out I don’t really like the shade of green it is in. I think I may just buy the black and white version as well.

    • What shoes would one wear with the green and blue ? Nude ? I have had the hardest time finding navy blue shoes.

  10. Recommendations please: my best friend is struggling with a career transition at the moment. At last count, she was considering two wildly different MA programmes (think art history and linguistics) whilst working in government and teaching pilates. I think she’s disillusioned with the bureaucratic nature of her job and is feeling a bit rootless in her mid-30s.

    Any book recommendations or resources? I’m feeling ill-equipped to advise, I made a big career shift but I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do.

    • Wildkitten :

      Career counseling? More expensive than a book but cheaper than a Masters.

    • The Defining Decade… even though she’s in her 30s!

    • What Color is Your Parachute is perfect for her situation.

    • Some career taking stock is in order. Does she know what she would do with a Masters in Art History or one in Linguistics? What skills does she have now? Can she leverage that skill-set to move into a job she finds more interesting? These are some of the things she should be thinking of. Either talk to a career counsellor or use books like What Color is Your Parachute to help her plan a way forward.

      • chilledout :

        As someone with a MA in the humanities and now an MS in Taxation, I really recommend pursuing degrees in the humanities (UG or grad) only with a clear path to a career. I was planning to do a PhD and teach college, but as it turned out, there were no jobs in my field, the departments were just shrinking as people retired (and many closed or merged with other language departments). I ended up with a good amount of debt and no way to get a job that could possibly repay it. That’s why I switched to tax – no shortage of jobs, and they pay enough to support a decent lifestyle.

        The humanities are awesome, but one has to live…

        • Wednesday's child :

          Yup. I went to med school not because it was my dream, but because my dreams (and my humanities degree) didn’t pay the bills. I have friends who did the same UG who have now progressed to PhDs and are having a really hard time paying off debt and finding decent jobs- and a lot end up in government, HR, PR and other career paths that really aren’t related to their training.

    • Coach Laura :

      I suggest The Pathfinders by Nicholas Lore.

    • I would also encourage her to do informational interviews before applying to any educational programs or jobs. Find out the truth! People love to talk about themselves, esp. if you can afford to buy them coffee.

    • SFAttorney :

      Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career by Herminia Ibarra.

  11. KS IT Chick :

    I’m going to be having foot surgery for a long-term heel spur issue at the end of the month. I will be wearing a surgical boot for at least 10 days post-op, and my supervisor has told me that she doesn’t care what I wear to work (jeans & yoga pants were mentioned), as long as I am comfortable and not in pain.

    I do have a couple events during that time for which I would like to look a little nicer. I’m thinking a maxidress, preferably one with at least short sleeves, that I can wear with sandals or loafers on my good foot. My problem is that I’m 5’4″ and I wear a size 14/16. I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t head into muumuu territory and/or drag on the ground.

    I don’t want to pay a lot, since I just don’t see wearing a maxi dress that much in my life.

    I’ve got this in my cart at the moment: It is basically what I’m looking for, but I can’t tell for sure how long it is.

    Does anyone have this dress and know how long it is, or can you point me towards something similar that you think might work better?

    • Why a maxi dress? If you’re really committed to the idea a long skirt, I would go with a maxi skirt over a dress. Then you can at least wear all your normal tops and something with structure on top. I don’t think a maxi dress like that is the way to go when trying to look nicer at the office.

    • I’m only 5’0″ and bought an Old Navy maxi dress in petite. It fit perfectly without any alterations to the length. So going based off that, I think this one on the regular length would work for your height.

    • Why not wear a normal dress? A maxi dress to me says beach not looking nice for an event. And then just rock your boot and a sneaker. No one cares what shoes you’re wearing when you’re clearly dealing with issues.

    • Wildkitten :

      Honestly the Lands End dress that this post is about is crazy comfortable and looks nicer than a maxi dress, IMHO. If you don’t want to talk about your heel spur just tell people it’s a sports injury and wear a (clean, black) sneaker on your other foot.

    • I would not put that maxi dress as “looking nicer.” It’s very casual and something I’d only wear to the beach.

  12. Cute dress – how does sizing work for LE petites? That is, is a 0 more like a 2? a 4? I appreciate any experience here!

    • LE petites run a little bigger in the bust compared to say AT or BR, which I appreciate as a curvy petite. The dresses are fine on length, but the pants tend to be shorter than other petites.

    • Agree that their sizes run big, but I’ve had pretty good luck with P XXS XS or o-2 in numbered sizes. I’m a 0-2 in just about every other venue, except AT/Loft as they seem to run ridiculously big. If you are a 0-2, then a P 0 would probably fit well.

  13. SuziStockbroker :

    Can anyone comment on Hobbs’ sizing?

    I am eyeing couple of things and am exactly between sizes. Any advice about whether to size up or down based on experience?

  14. Any tips for finding a financial adviser in NYC? My husband and I are looking for someone we can meet with once or twice who can tell us what we should be prioritizing with our savings (retirement, down payment for a home, my 55K in student loans) and then how much we could afford to pay for a home in light of those priorities. What kind of information would we have to have prepared for that kind of meeting and am I right that it’d likely be a one or two visit kind of thing? What should I expect to pay for that kind of advice? Thanks!

    • SuziStockbroker :

      Hhhmmm, it doesn’t really work like that here (just going to a financial adviser once or twice, other than a bank branch employee which is free), but maybe it does in NYC.

      If you were my client, the kinds of things I’d want to know, to start with are:

      current take home pay
      # of years until retirement
      interest rate on student loans, current payment
      any pension information
      any life insurance/disability plans
      current rent
      existing children/plans to have children

      • Thanks, that’s helpful. Do you have a sense of who we could talk to for advice on this sort of thing if not a financial adviser?

        • SuziStockbroker :

          Not really, as I am in Canada. Here, advice is usually tied to having an investment account/buying product, sadly. There are a few only “fee only” advisors, which is likely what you are looking for as you don’t really need the kind of investment advice, financial, tax and estate planning that, say, I’d be able to offer.
          “Fee only” advice is not super regulated here, unlike my end of the industry (full service bank owned brokerage) so you need to be careful.
          I’d suggest you look up “fee only” advisors (who charge you for a plan, or their time) in your area and see if you can find someone with good references.

          What you are asking is not super complicated, so hopefully you can find someone who’d just charge you for a few hours.

          It’s tough. Honestly, I’d don’t know what we’d do if I wasn’t in the business myself.

    • Wildkitten :

      I think what you’d look for is a Certified Financial Planner. You might check if LearnVest has a product that would work for you – but they might be too basic.

    • It sounds like what you’re looking for is a fee-based financial planner — someone who you pay a flat fee or hourly to meet with you and help you come up with a financial plan vs. a commission-based financial planner who helps you invest your money and then gets a commission that comes out of your investment. The best place to start would be They’re a professional association of fee-only financial advisors.

      I’m not a financial advisor/planner, but am an attorney in the financial industry and am a huge proponent of fee-only advisors (I use a fee-only financial planner). I like that I know exactly what I’m paying for the advice and planning services that I’m getting and there are no conflicts of interest the way there are with a commission-based advisor.

      • Thanks, that’s exactly what we’re looking for–and that’s a great resource!

  15. SuziStockbroker :

    How do you get grunge off telephone keys? I just moved into a new office in our other building, and the telephone is filthy. I’ve gotten most of it clean except the actual keys.

    It’s totally gross!

    • I use Clorox wipes.

    • The same cleaner as the rest of the phone? I’d probably unplug it from the wall so as to not accidentally dial anyone while cleaning.

      • even though I’m the only one who uses my phone, I do unplug and do a pretty comprehensive wipe with clorox wipes every month or so. Keyboard, mouse & desk area too.

    • Alcohol pads. Like the kind they use at a doctor’s office before giving you a shot. You can buy them at the drug store. Works on key board keys too. You could also improvise with a rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball.

      • Be really careful on a laptop keyboard – even the tiniest bit of moisture can short out a key, as I learned the hard way. Make sure to power down the laptop first.

        If you power down the laptop, you’re probably OK, but I didn’t bother…

        I had to replace the laptop’s keyboard because the “Q” key stopped working. Yes – just like Dilbert – it really happened to me.

        • Yes, always do this with computer off. But this is why alcohol pads are great – they don’t have that much moisture on them to begin with. And this is the only solution I’ve found to getting that stuck-on grime off…

    • Clorox wipes – handy to have in your office for these kinds of issues.

    • Unplug the phone and then scrub the keys like the rest of the case?

    • SuziStockbroker :

      Thanks folks, I used wipes on the case, and the keys, but there is a thick layer of goop on the keys that it doesn’t seem to be cutting through, even with scraping with a letter opener.

      I’l go down to the drugstore and get something.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Yea that’s gross. Can you request a new phone? (Or just switch it out with one in a vacant office…)

        • SuziStockbroker :

          Nope :(

          • Meg Murry :

            Scrape it with something small, like an opened up paperclip or the flat end of one side of a pair of tweezers. Alternate wiping down with alcohol wipes and scraping the damp goo.

            Or spill something on it and render it in-operable so you have to get a new one?

      • Magic Eraser! This is my cleaning equivalent of duct tape – they clean anything!

  16. What would you do if you got matched on a reputable online dating site with a someone you or your colleagues regularly interact with professionally? It isn’t someone who would immediately connect me with my colleagues because I am not the lead in the relationship with his company. Do you treat it like any other anonymous person or do you acknowledge that your professional worlds are interconnected?

    • I might mention it in an offhand way. If you are sending him a message add a: PS – are you X from Y company? I work for Z and think I’ve seen your names on a few e-mails…

    • Not message them because I don’t date people I need to interact with professionally.

      • + 1 million. Pretend you didn’t see it. Hope they’ll be professional and do the same.

  17. Random Q, guys: what is your system for dealing with clothes that you’ve already worn, but are not yet ready to be washed? E.g. cashmere sweaters that you try to get a few wears out of, sheath dresses, suits, jeans, etc — where do you keep them, how do you store them, etc? Do you just put them back into your closet or drawer, maybe after an airing out period? Do you keep them some place different? I’m personally curious (so much clutter in our bedroom is from this category!) but if answers are interesting maybe I’ll turn it into a post… thank you in advance!

    • I pile them on the dresser with plans to hang them up / fold and put away, but you somehow things gang aft agley and I end up with a two foot stack of clothes. I would love a post on solutions.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      For dry-clean-only stuff like suits, blazers, and sweaters, I hang them back in the closet. I pared down my wardrobe significantly (got rid of about 2/3rds of my stuff) and now have plenty of space to give things “breathing room” while hanging in the closet. I also use Dryel between dry-cleanings, so I usually only wear this stuff once or twice before Dryel-ing it, so it’s possible that I just don’t have as much in this category as others might.

      For jeans and casual clothes, I just fold them up and put them away as soon as I’m done wearing them. If the thought of putting them back in with the clean clothes makes me feel even the tiniest bit squicky, that’s my sign that the item needs to be washed.

      • This, also, by paring down via the Kondo method, I’ve gotten extra drawer space so I’ve designated one drawer to hold the “worn once but still clean” items.

      • Hang, spritz with Downy Wrinkle Reducer (has odor refresher too, and I like it better than Frebreeze) then back in the closet

    • For jeans, tees or tailored clothes, I just put them back in the drawer or closet. For knits that need some more airing, I usually leave them draped on the hamper until the next morning and then put them away while I’m getting dressed. This works for me because I don’t have a huge wardrobe, have a good memory for whether something has been worn since washing/dry cleaning and don’t wear perfume or scented products. I also don’t feel as though the worn clothes “contaminate” the other clothes around them.

      • +1. I do this with my kids’ clothes too (my kids are bigger now and don’t get very dirty, and I cannot keep up with the laundry otherwise).

    • I keep them all over my floor, on the backs of chairs, over opened drawers in my bathroom, laying flat on top of my dryer. I am an animal.

      HOWEVER. My intentioned but never implemented solution is to have baskets for different types of items (so they stay somewhat organized) that are in between wears. They go on shelves in my closet so they get some air but are not confused with hampers.

    • usually drape over a chair or other surface until dry & then hang back in the closet. For dry-clean things (I only have a few), I will just relegate to the back of the closet. I don’t wear suits, so my only dry cleaning is skirts & a shell or sweater or two. I will probably only send them to the cleaners at the end of the season.

    • For after-work sweats and PJs: I have hooks in my closet dedicated to this purpose.

      For sweaters: I hang them on a wooden hanger for a day to air, then put them back in the drawer.

      For pants/skirts/dresses: I put them back on their normal hangers, let them air on the doorknob for a day, then back to normal closet location.

      Advantage of this system – there is only one sweater hanger available, and the doorknob can only hold so many hangers – so it’s a good way to force me to put everything away daily.

      • Should add, that I generally have a good memory for whether I’ve worn something, but to double check at the end of the season, I look at whether things have creases at the elbows or knees, or whether dresses/skirts are wrinkly on the back from sitting in them.

    • Shake (I have long hair and it sheds), hang on hanger to air out (even if not usually a hanger item), spritz with Febreeze if needed.

    • I have a six hook over door rack over my bedroom door. If it’s something that can be hung, I hang it for a day or two to air out then return to the closet. Sweaters get draped over a chair in my bedroom for a day and then put away.

      At least that’s how it works when I’m on top of things… When I’m not the chair overflows with clothes!

    • Wildkitten :

      The floordrobe! I keep mine in a specific basket or febreeze them and hang them back up.

    • I put them back — our apt. starts to feel way to small with anything out.

    • Must be Tuesday :

      Some items, I wash every time I wear them (underwear, tights, sports bras, socks). The rest, I will just air them for a day or so by hanging them on my closet door and then put them back away with my clean clothes, and won’t wash them until (1) they smell, (2) they have a mark on them (collar, cuffs, salt on pants, etc.), (3) I was sweating while wearing them (even if I don’t notice any odors), or (4) I’ve worn them several times without washing (I rely on memory for this).

      If I know that I want to wash something the next time I do laundry, but the item is clean enough that I might want to wear it again before laundry day, I fold it and place it on a small chest of drawers that I have in my closet, or if it’s a hanging item, I hang is on the inside of my closet door. If I want to wear it, it’s there, but if I don’t wear it, then I’ll just grab it when I do laundry. It’s right in the closet next to the hamper, so I won’t forget it.

    • I spray them with a vodka/water mix on a hanger and then hang them up on the end of my clothing rack for the night.

    • Hang them to air out (usually for a full day or two) either over the closet door or on the molding in our LR above the steam radiator — it is awesome, and takes out creases as well as (I like to think) partially steam-cleaning the items so that I don’t have to dry clean them as often. But it does make our living room look like yard with clothesline or dry cleaner/laundry. :D

  18. Hello! Any lawyers here that have experience moving to a new state and successfully landing a job? I have been been working for the government for the past 5 years in a litigation job I love, but I live in an extremely high cost area. My husband and I are thinking about leaving San Francisco and moving out of state: Denver, Austin, or Charlotte, NC are some options. Leaving my secure government job scares me, as does taking the bar exam again. blech. Would love to hear some real life experience from anyone who moved states and had to get a new lawyer job. How hard was it?

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Yes. I moved from NY to NC. I took the bar before I started looking for jobs, which I think helped some in that it showed I was really committed to moving (I wasn’t going to move before I found a job). I got lucky and found a job that happened to perfectly match my skill set relatively quickly (I think 4 months?). My BF, however, has had a much harder time and is still looking (he worked remotely for his job in NY for almost a year), but he has an unusual background. I’m in Raleigh, not Charlotte, but how good the lateral market is seems to depend heavily on what type of law you do. I see a lot of openings for IP attorneys, not so much business lit, for example.

      The NC bar, btw, was a lot harder to me than NY was. But maybe you can waive in? I hadn’t been practicing long enough.

      Also, if you have a government job, is it federal and is it something you could transfer to another office? I have had friends in federal agencies that successfully moved that way.

      • SF Lawyer :

        Thanks for the reply! I’m glad to hear that you found a job quickly. I work in state government, so unfortunately, no I cannot transfer. Unfortunately California bar doesn’t have reciprocity with any state so I’ll have to take the bar exam before moving. I just have to motivate to devote two months of my life to studying again. Pretty tough when you’re working full-time and taking care of two little kids! Also, have to shell out $3k to take the exam, so I’m not going to take the exam until I’m sure of the move. Moving is sure a big decision!

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Yes, not going to lie, studying while working full-time was tough, and I didn’t have kids to take care of! That might be why I thought NC was harder than NY, but the pass rate for NC when I took it was something like 60%, so I think it was just a tough year… You’ll also have to take the MPRE again, unless you’ve taken it in the last 2 years for some reason. That’s still easy, though.

    • Can you waive in? I moved from a government job in state x to a government job in state y a few years ago. Waiving required me to have an instate job; all government agencies wanted me admitted before I got an offer. So, I called the bar, and it turns out they’d let me submit my waiver paperwork. Once I had all my bar paperwork submitted, I was able to put that in cover letters and started getting interviews. The bar gave me a conditional admission letter, which I then used to get a formal offer from a job I interviewed with, and I got formally sworn in before my start date.

      But, in general, the answer to your ultimate question is: very hard. Heartbreakingly hard. I am not doing what I did, and I haven’t been able to get a job doing what I did. It’s related, but not the same, and doesn’t include the parts I loved about my old job. Plus, I invested a lot of time and energy in developing my reputation in my old job, and that doesn’t transfer. I moved to a small city, and I commute an hour each way to a bigger city for the job I got. Despite three years of networking, I have not been able to break into the new city’s legal market. My top tier degree means nothing because I’m from the wrong part of the country.

      You’re a little younger than I, so it probably is a little easier to transition into something new. But it won’t be easy, particularly if you’re looking for another government position. Maybe identify some firmest that are in SF and the place you want to go, and try to develop some connections now?

    • I moved from SF to Denver, but it was a little over a decade ago. I could have waived into Colorado if I had been practicing long enough, but I had not at the time. I am not sure what the rules are now. I think 5 years used to be the requirement. It was a pain to take the Colorado bar, but it was much more relaxed than CA, and I think just having taken and passed CA previously really helped my nerves. I used a recruiter, moved from one big law firm to another, and found a new job within a month in a not-too-great job market (I moved before I had a job lined up). I think it helped that we had already moved here for my husband’s schooling, so potential employers knew I was committed to the area, at least for several years. I was already working at the new job when I took the bar exam, and I negotiated two weeks off before the exam to study. You could get away with less study time. I was just paranoid.

      In short, it turned out not to be hard at all, but I was nervous about finding a job and taking the bar too.

    • I’m in CLT and was in a big east coast city before moving here. I had the NC bar already and went to work for a firm I dealt with at my old firm (very very helpful). Lots of transplants here, esp. if you do anything financial.

      I didn’t think that the NC bar was that hard, but it was my second bar exam and I had worked for 2 years before I took it. I always think that CA has the hardest exam.

    • I couldn’t waive in directly into my jurisdiction, but I had 5 years of experience, so I waived into D.C., and then used my D.C. bar membership to waive into my current state, which has reciprocity with D.C. It was expensive to be admitted in both places, and D.C. requires you to do a one-time CLE in person, but it was totally worth not having to study for and take a bar exam.

      • Frozen Peach :

        I just moved from a midwestern state to a large southern city and have found the transition to be difficult, but doable. I also had to take the bar again, but some states have an attorney’s exam option– if you’re already licensed, you don’t have to take the MBE again, just state-specific essays. Working and studying at the same time are hard, but I found that studying for a bar for the second time was much easier than the first time, because a lot of the material was familiar.

        Have you thought about contacting some recruiters who work in the cities you’re interested in? We were able to make the move because I was offered a job here– so I had a bonus to cover moving expenses and my bar application fees were covered by my employer. There are a lot of openings in some of the markets you mentioned right now for lawyers, at least so I hear. I only have the perspective of “secure new job first, then move,” but it was very very possible, and I couldn’t be happier we did it. I’m still not over the difference in cost of living!!

  19. .

  20. Dear organization leader,
    Please close our business. 3/4 of your workforce lives in rural areas 20+ miles from the office. Send them home before the weather gets worse.

    stay safe out there, everyone!

  21. SuziStockbroker :

    I am full of questions today:

    How to style a “kingfisher blue” sheath dress? What colour blazers would work? Shoes and bag?

    Please play stylist for me! :)

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