Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Long-Sleeve Dress With Keyhole Back

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

Armani Collezioni Long-Sleeve Dress With Keyhole Back Love. This. Dress. I’m not sure how I feel about the head-to-toe red, but the fact that I’m on the fence about it says it’s probably worth trying. But the dress — oh, the dress! Love the wide bateau neckline, the keyhole back, and the darts and pleating at the waist are gorgeous — we’ve seen a million dresses like this, yes, but this one does it the best.  It was $1,055, but is now marked to $633, limited sizes at both Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’sArmani Collezioni Long-Sleeve Dress With Keyhole Back

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  1. Holy crappers, that’s gorgeous. Love, love, love!
    And also considering the red tights/shoes…

  2. Mouse in DC :

    I really like the way this looks – it wouldn’t flatter my figure, but on the right person, it’d be very nice. Would the key-hole back make it less formal than another dress, though? I’m thinking in a more formal office setting, would it be too flirty?

    • Ooh, I agree. I’d describe this as more of a window than a keyhole. Beautiful, but not work-appropriate for me – plus, with the long sleeves, I’d get too hot wearing this with a blazer.

    • Diana Barry :

      Yes; I think the back makes it not OK to wear by itself in a conservative office. Would have to try on with a jacket to see how it looked.

    • I have to show this to the manageing partner! I still am not abel to buy anything b/c of the electric power issue, and now I heard that sewer system’s will have to be fixed in the FAR ROCKAWAY’s! FOOEY! I can’t wait to long b/c alot of my dresse’s are getting tight b/c I have put on alot of weight.

      But that is an incentive, my dad says, for me to loose weight! My dad is smart, but also fruegel. He want’s his daughter (ME) to be svelte and healthy, and so do I want that for me. He also said I will be better abel to be married in my mom’s weddeing dress b/c she was onley a size 2 THEN. She is much bigger now, and that is what my dad is afraid of — that when I am age 55, I will have the same tuchus. I do NOT want that either. FOOEY!

      So I am goieng to the NYSC every day now to make sure I do NOT get to heavy before the holiday’s. We DO have the BIG party comeing up and I want to be able to wear my little black dress, unless the manageing partner says I should wear my RED dress. Ultimeately it is up to him because HE is footeing the bill!!!!!!! YAY!!!

  3. Styling help needed! :

    Ladies, I’m headed to SO’s company holiday party and I want to glitz it up, but I don’t know what to wear! Here are the options, with links to follow in the next post:

    Option 1: BCBG Max Azaria Enna Sequined C*tail Dress in black. I picked this up on sale on Black Friday. This dress hits mid-thigh on me and I am a member of the itty bitty you-know-what committee, so backless isn’t a problem.

    Option 2: Guess Khloe Cap-Sleeve Shimmer Dress in gold. I can borrow this from a friend. This dress hits mid-thigh on me. I think it would be fun with a black belt and accessories

    Option 3: J.Crew Sophia Dress in deep red silk tricotine that I have had FOR-EH-VER (Sandlot-style). I’ve worn this to a lot of holiday parties, so I’m a little sick of it.

    Option 4: Kate Spade Darcie Dress in emerald green. I would have to rent this from RTR, and I’m not sure I want to spend $ when I already have some options. It also might not be available on the event date in my size. The color is great though.

    I’ve been to this party before and the dress code is fancy c*tail. It’s in the New Jersey ‘burbs at a hotel. I’m leaning towards option 1 or 2 right now, but have a few questions.

    First, are the first two dresses too much/clubby/young (I’m pushing 30)? Women wear everything and anything to this event, but sometimes get talked about over the water-cooler (e.g., manager in a leopard-print wiggle dress). I can’t seem to get a feel for what’s appropriate.

    Second, how should I style these? I feel like there’s a lot of potential here that I am not seeing.

    P.S. I have a really hard time finding shoes that fit, so I can’t just scoot out and buy a pair. Here’s what I have in the closet: black patent round-toes pumps, nude-for-me suede peep toe pumps, black strappy sandal heels, and pewter peep-toe sandal heels.

    • Styling help needed! :

      Option 1

      Option 2

      Option 3 (mine is silk tricotine, not the chiffon, and more red)

      Option 4

    • Diana Barry :

      No mid-thigh dresses at a company party. Sorry. (you may make people remember your SO for the too-short dress worn by you!) I would do just above knee – if the Sophia dress is that length, it would be better. Or the Darcie dress looks like an OK length – but I would def wear with a cardigan or wrap.

      • Yes to everything that Diana Berry says. Mid-thigh should never be an accurate descriptor of anything your wear to work or a work-related function (unless said function is a pool party and we’re talking about swim suit coverups – and even then I’m all about the knee-grazing caftan or cute bermuda shorts).

      • Fresh off a company Christmas party this past weekend, I second Diana Barry. Definitely not the backless one, and mid-thigh AND gold sparkles is a lot for a company party. Sparkles, yes, sparkly mini-dress, no. I saw it, but I definitely didn’t think it was appropriate (and I’m late 20’s with plenty of mid-thigh skirts and dresses in my closet). Maybe I’m stodgy before my time, but I think near-the-knee is kind of a necessity for anything office-related, including after hours parties. I like the Kate Spade one best.

        That said, if your SO works for a huge company and you won’t be hanging out with his boss and coworkers all night, you might be able to get away with something a little more clubby. At least the people like me who see you and think “really? to a company party?” won’t automatically associate you with your SO… I saw all of 3 people I know at my party, and I have no idea who any of those wearing slinky, short, sequinned dresses are, so my judging was limited to one night. :)

      • SF Bay Associate :

        +1. “Mid-thigh” is never appropriate at any work function, in our out of the office, in any circumstances other than the infamous pool party scenario, and even then, your cover up should be longer than mid-thigh.

    • I’d go with the J Crew dress, but then I tend to be extremely conservative when it comes to office-related dress. This goes double if it’s an SO’s office. If it were me, I’d see my job to be to cast the best light on my husband possible. That would mean avoiding anything at all that could be the subject of office gossip later on. I’d be going for a dressy, attractive, but impeccable look. I’d save the gold dress for a purely social event. But then, as I said, I tend to be extremely cautious in this type of case.

      • Also just looked up the BCBG dress and, um, no.

      • Exactly what I was going to say. Even though it’s not your workplace, I’d still dress conservatively (as you’re an extension of your SO and any gossip about you could negatively affect him). It looks like the JCrew dress has the best hemline. Maybe you could dress it up with a sparkling necklace or belt?

        • Maybe a belt like this?


    • Definitely no to #1 or 2 – body hugging gold fabric is too much for a work event. I agree with TBK that the Sophia is a good bet. I’d pair with the pewter peep-toes and maybe a sparkly brooch at the waist rather than a necklace.

      • typing too fast – obviously “gold” only applies to #2, but the body hugging, backless, short fit of #1 puts it firmly into “Heidi’s wardrobe on PR” rather than office party guest.

    • Option 3 or 4. I think you can pull off a dress above the knee if his office is not very conservative (4-5 inches above the knee would have worked for DH’s office party, but not for mine). If it were me, I would wear the J Crew and use the money you save to buy a fantastic pair of shoes.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think the first two dresses are too clubby/young for an office holiday party (I looked up the pictures – the Guess one *could* work if it was in a more muted color but in the gold, I think it’s too much). I’m sure they look great on you, though! At my office holiday party, those dresses would definitely be looked askance at. I’d go with option 3 or 4.

      • MaggieLizer :

        I’m seriously considering getting it in black, that dress is lovely. I agree the gold is a bit too much for a company party though.

    • Options 1 & 2 are inappropriate. Safest bets are J Crew / Kate Spade.

    • Thanks for knocking some sense into me, ladies. I’ve worn the Sophia to this event before (3 years ago? two?) and wore it to two other company parties last year, so I rejected it out of boredom. But it sounds like I should go boring.

      I’ll save the BCBG for NYE and Vegas.

      The Sophia is actually very long- it hits mid-calf. The Kate Spade will likely fall below the knee as well (short torso makes things long on me).

      Otherwise, I’m certainly open to taking suggestions for dresses

      • Diana Barry :

        Good if the Kate Spade is long – that dress is v nice, but I would def wear cardi, fancy jacket, or wrap with it. :) Forever 21 has some cute evening over-stuff:


        • Kontraktor :

          I don’t necessarily think a fairly plain strapless c-tail dress requires a wrap or cardigan. I don’t find such a style particularly forward or immodest, especially since it is an evening party. I myself am wearing a one-shoulder dress to my company party on Friday. I guess it’s a know your office thing though.

      • des-pairing :

        It seems you’re not in love with the JCrew option… Maybe try something short but otherwise conservative and not sparkly, and you can jazz it up with accessories? Like this one: http://bit.ly/Vqvmw5

      • des-pairing :

        comment stuck in moderation because of link … so here we go again: It seems you’re not in love with the JCrew option… Maybe try something short but otherwise conservative and not sparkly, and you can jazz it up with accessories? Asos has a bunch of short shift dresses in muted / neutral colors, some even with lace that I think would be cute with a gold clutch

      • SF Bay Associate :

        You could hem the Sophia to knee-length on you if you’d like.

    • des-pairing :

      This thread is having me reconsider what I’m wearing to my BF’s office party. I went last year in a LBD and was somewhat under-dressed, a great number of ladies were in gowns. He works in tech so it’s a more relaxed environment, maybe that’s why people take their one chance of the year to dress up?

      This year it’s a Bond-themed event, and my BF is a Bond-enthusiast, so I bought a gown for it. It’s the BCBG Sophira chain-necklace halter gown in a deep green color. Now I’m wondering if it’s a bit too much and if I should return it for the Agata v-back gown in black. Thoughts?

      (Would’ve attached links, but might be stuck in moderation again…)

      • I like the dress, but I don’t think deep Vs are appropriate for professional events… how scantily clad were the other ladies last year? Depending on boob size, this dress could range from very sexy to downright scandalous.

        I think you can do the Agata.

        • des-pairing :

          I don’t have much in the b**b department but the Sophira made it look like there’s more to it. Maybe that’s why the BF was rooting for it so strongly?
          But yes, I’m definitely going to do the Agata. It’s also a more timeless gown, come to think of it. Thanks for the advice Herbie!

          • The Agata gown is gorgeous and much more Bond-y than the Sophira. Great call!

          • des-pairing :

            In a Bondy twist of event, I told my BF that I’d exchange the dress and asked for the receipt (I paid for it, but he was carrying the bag for me).
            He said he’d thrown it in the shredder to prevent “such nonsense”. He must really love that dress

          • karenpadi :

            WHAT?! I.can’t.even.

            I hope he apologizes, buys you the Agata, and takes you out on a decadent date where you can wear the Sophira. If it were me, there had better be a home cooked meal, flowers, and a really, really amazing LGP in the next 24 hours.

          • des-pairing :

            Love how LGP has become a standard abbreviation!
            I hope he’s joking about the shredder, though, he does that a lot. Otherwise, yes, all of the above are in order

          • eastbaybanker :

            Given that it’s a tech party AND a theme party, I think you are totally fine with the Sophira! It doesn’t sound like that conservative a crowd, the green is holiday festive, you’re small-busted so you won’t be spilling out of the v-neck, your SO loves it….

            I almost never advocate for any option with less coverage. For the record, I’m wearing the JCrew memo dress in poppy grove to my office’s afternoon holiday party. But I think you’re fine in this case!

  4. It does give off a very Santa Claus is on his nth wife vibe.

  5. The all read look gives off a very Santa Claus is on his nth wife vibe.

  6. Sorry to start the week off with such a depressing TJ, but a dear friend’s mother passed away over the weekend. I’d like to do something for her, but don’t want to send anything that’s fussy or requires her to use any mental energy to take care of (like a plant). Any suggestions? My inclination is a really fuzzy bear, something soft to hug as all of this is so overwhelming. The Hive always seems to know what to do in these situations. Thanks ladies.

    • LeChouette :

      I always send a nice fruit basket from Manhattan Fruitier in times like this. If she is staying with her family it could be a nice gift that everyone would appreciate. If you want to get something just for your friend, and she’s a stuffed animal type I think that would be nice! You know your friend best.

    • [insert clever name here] :

      My dad passed away when I was young-ish (I was 22) and we received lots of very thoughtful gifts. One of them was along the line of your stuffed animal idea and very sweet – we got an incredibly soft and large blanket with some teas and hot chocolate and a sweet note that said something to the effect of “for when you need a hug and some comfort and I can’t be there”.

      Other ideas – gift certificates to restaurants or hotels (note saying to “help find your new normal as a family” or “to be together as a family” or “when you need food and can’t find the energy to cook”) or baskets of comfort products (books, lotions, soaps, bath products, food, etc…).

      I also had a friend who sent me a note and a gift every year after my dad passed away for a few years – small things, like a bottle of wine or a plant or some chocolates – just to say she was thinking of me and knew that the hurt didn’t go away after a year (or several).

    • I always think that a really nice, heartfelt card is nice. A gift is nice, too, but what really matters are the words you say in the card. Tell her nice things about her mom and how special their relationship was. Tell her that if she needs anything, that you are there. Remind her that she can call you any time.

      • Agreed. My grandmother passed away recently, and my best friend sent a letter in the mail that meant more than any flowers or food did. It was beautiful and made me cry, but in a good way.

      • Although be careful to avoid the well-meaning-but-hurtful platitudes. No: “she’s in a better place,” “it’s all part of God’s plan,” “I know how you feel — I was heartbroken when my beagle died,” “you’ll feel better in a few months.” Not that you’d say these things, but my husband and his family got all of these (and more) in cards and in person when my FIL died and, despite the fact that the family knew people had the best intentions, they really stung. I second gift cards to restaurants (make sure they do take out — sometimes people don’t have the energy to put on a “public” face long enough to eat a meal at the restaurant).

        • I second all of what TBK said. No hurtful platitudes please. When my father passed away, I was so sick of hearing the hurtful platitudes. A thoughtful letter, minus platitudes would be nice though. I like the blanket and tea idea, and restaurants that do take out.

          You’re right to not send plants. I got one, and felt guilty every time it was dying because I didn’t have the energy or memory to take care of it. It reminded me of my Dad, and in some way it was like I was neglecting my relationship with him (though he was gone), no matter how irrational that is. I know several other people like this, so plants are definitely not the way to go.

    • Thanks ladies. I like the blanket idea, and she loves tea, so that would be nice as well. I planned on writing her a thoughtful note, and will double-check it for anything that could come across as a platitude. Thanks for all the advice.

    • Second for a food basket with snacky foods that don’t need to be cooked and a nice card.

  7. Mouse in DC :

    Asking advice of DC ladies – I’m newly moved here, and I need a hair sal0n. I currently have waist-length hair, which worked fine in the academic world but looks funny (to me) in suits. Wearing it in a bun, which is the limit of my hairdressing skills, is getting old.

    I’m considering going to Trim in the Adams Morgan area, as it has good reviews on Yelp. My hair is very straight and fine, and I’m planning on a short angled bob or pixie cut that’s easily styled and maintained. Has anyone gone to Trim? Or does anyone have a salon that they’d highly recommend?

    If it helps for reference, in Seattle I went to the Derby Salon, which had a great vibe and gave me a great cut.

    • I see Nate and Immortal Beloved. My hair is thick and wavy, and he’s the first person I’ve been to who knows how to thin it out without resorting to layers, which look awful on me. I know we have opposite hair, but I’m confident that if can do wonders with my hair, he can work with any hair.

      Place can be pricey, but I think it’s worth it.

      • Mouse in DC :

        Thanks Regretful – Immortal Beloved was one of the salons I’d considered (got to love the name!).

    • applesandcheddar :

      I have really thin straight hair, and I didn’t really care for the cut I got at Trim. I’ve been all over DC for cuts, and I’ve finally started going to Nathan at the Michael Anthony Salon at Eastern Market. He is very meticulous, and he knows how to work with this type of hair.

      • Mouse in DC :

        Thanks applesandcheddar (a really good snack, I must say!) – that is one that hadn’t come up when I was looking, and I do like their vibe and reviews.

      • Almost There :

        +1 for Michael Anthony, I see Hunter there

    • I have no suggestions for a salon, but I want to say that I am so impressed that you are considering going from waist length to a pixie! That totally rocks!

      • Mouse in DC :

        My theory is that the money that I will save on hair-care products will cover the money I will spend on regular trims. :)

    • kerrycontrary :

      It’s in the suburbs…but I go to Jenny B. at Kindle and Boom in Rockville (not hard to get to if you have a car). I’ve never had a problem with my cuts there, and I’m very particular about my hair.

      • Mouse in DC :

        Thanks kerrycontrary – I’ll check them out as well. Plus all the shopping along the Pike. :-)

    • Highly recommend Amie at Bang Salon Verizon center. I have same hair type and she is great.

      • Mouse in DC :

        Also heard good things about Bang. Alrighty – now I have to narrow down amongst the recommended choices. I’ll let you all know how it works out, and whether I’ll need to change my username to ‘Crew-cut Mouse’ or ‘Wiglet Mouse’ for the near future.

      • In-House Optimist :

        I did not have a great experience at Bang, but I went to the one on U Street. I love love love Christophe at St. Germaine in Chinatown, but he is pretty pricey. Like you, I decided to cut off all my super long hair (after my wedding), and was willing to spend a little more for someone who would do a great job because I was scared. He did an AWESOME job, and now I drive 1.5 hours into the city to see him every three months because I just can’t go anywhere else!

    • Bang. Amal. She is amazing. AMAZING. I’ve seen her work on every hair type from long, thick wavy to straight/medium body to thin and fine (my SO’s bald spot has never looked better). she is literally a miracle worker.

      • i used to go to trim in admo. in fact i went from long hair to a bob there. i had to go back twice because they didnt take my request for a short bob seriously. i went back the next day and were really nice about it and gave me a great bob. i liked it there, you can go back any time for a bang trim or touch up – which is awesome for short styles.

    • I have a pixie from Michael at Logan 14. He slowly talked me into it over several cuts and I adore it.

    • Bonnie recommended Roberto at Verizon Center, and he did a nice job. Which reminds me – Thank you Bonnie! DC Jenny had recommended someone else at Bang, but I haven’t been able to try them since the wait was a little bit longer than my hair could handle at the time.

      • I heart Roberto. He took me from shoulder length straight hair to pixie and I haven’t looked back.

    • WriterKate :

      May be late to this but I love Jamie Brigham at Bang Metropole. I’ve been seeing her for years. I followed her there from a salon in Tyson’s. Jamie is a bit out there herself with hair but is great at listening to what you want and what you’re willing to do re: everyday maintenance and making suggestions from there. At this point I just tell her what is annoying me with my current routine and just let her decide what to do because she knows me so well. She is also great with color. Plus, Bang is reasonably cheap!

    • eastbaybanker :

      You should consider donating your cut hair to Locks of Love. It’s a non-profit that makes hair pieces for low-income children with cancer. My old salon would do your cut for free if you were donating, which is how I heard of the organization.

      • Mouse in DC :

        Thanks – I’ll look into that; if they can’t use it, perhaps it could be donated to another organization and put to use (don’t they use human hair in oil spill remediation?). Much nicer than just having it tossed in the garbage.

      • Locks of Love actually is for kids with alopecia. I donated to them once. The second time I donated to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths. Read up on both and see which one suits you.

        I go to PR @ Partners in Shirlington. I see Jade. I have long hair and she’s the one who cut it short twice for my donations. But there’s many, many outlets for PR @ Partners in the area.

  8. I have an immediate relationship threadjack. You guys always give such great advice. Deep breath and here goes:

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 years now. I love him a lot and for all intents and purposes, he’s very good to me. Kind, fun, generous. We have similar interests and love to spend a lot of time together. The problem — I don’t know if I trust him. We’ve had some issues in the past, which I thought were resolved, but I recently went out of town and some strong circumstantial evidence points to the fact that he was out all night one of the nights I was away. I have no direct evidence of this. Its been about a week since I’ve suspected and I’ve said nothing. I just don’t know what to do. Do I ask him directly and see what he says or what his reaction is?

    Further complicating things is that I’m not in a very good position financially to be on my own. I hate myself that this is the case, but it is. I would be in a pretty bad position if we broke up. I have some friends and family members that I could stay with until I was able to get back on my feet, but that is just so embarrassing (I’m older; not in my early 20’s where I feel like this kind of thing is okay). I love him very, very much, but I’m making myself sick over this. I just don’t know what to do.


    • Get in touch with one of those friends/family members who you trust and make arrangements just in case. Then ask him about it. Assuming you weren’t going through his email/otherwise snooping, you have no reason to feel bad about asking him if you have suspicions, especially if he’s given you reason to distrust him in the past. This will just eat at you so you might as well get it over with!

      • Nope, not going through his email or credit card statements or anywhere where I should not have been. He’s just sloppy!

    • What do you mean by “out all night”? Like he was out partying and ended up at a diner at 6 a.m.? Or slept with someone else?

      • And also, did he already lie to you about it or you just never asked? When I go out of town, I generally still check in with my SO so if he told me he was home watching sports and actually went out that’s different from I am out of town and he went out with his buddies (which doesn’t seem like that big a deal)…

    • It’s been 4 years. “You don’t know if you trust him” = you don’t trust him. Move on.

      • I know. But I hate this answer. Because I love him and because I have invested so much time and so much else. It just makes me sick. I feel like its bad judgment on my part and I never should have spent the last 4 years of my life on this.

        • Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all make mistakes. The more important thing is what you do to correct course. Invest another few years in a guy you’ve spent 4 with and still don’t trust? Or free yourself up to meet someone you can trust 100%?

          I saw your circumstantial evidence below. Something is definitely making your spidey senses tingle, and it’s really important to listen to that. If your gut tells you something is wrong, then it probably is.

          • I was hesitant to say this, but I agree with Herbie…sometimes you have to listen to your intuition. In my experience, the ones I try to ignore are the ones that tend to be right.

          • e_pontellier :

            +1. Things only get worse before they get better.

          • phillygirlruns :

            agreed with everything herbie says. life is too short for this and you deserve to be with someone trustworthy.

          • anon in-house :

            SO much wisdom in truth in what Herbie and De wrote. You would only be wasting more precious time on him by staying together against your better judgment.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          Sunk cost fallacy.

          Precisely because you’ve wasted 4yrs with someone you don’t trust– that’s the reason to get out of this ASAP to avoid wasting even more.

          Just sinking more time with him won’t make him more trustworthy. People only change if they themselves want to change, and only through great effort on their part.

          Look at it this way– every minute you spend with him is a minute you’re not spending developing yourself and your own life, and possibly meeting a guy who IS trustworthy enough for you.

          • Almost There :

            I just learned all about sunk cost fallacy on wiki, thanks Susan! To learn something new on a Monday morning…!

        • The shame is part of what keeps you stuck, and by reaching out to family or friends, you counteract the isolation and shame. And if you stick around another year, then you can tell yourself you never should have spent the last 5 years of your life on this.

          I guess what I mean is, we’re all human, we all make mistakes in relationships, but the important thing is to listen to yourself and if you know you’re making a mistake, you don’t have to keep making it. But it’s not easy. I waffled around for a year or two after I knew it was a mistake, until things got even worse.

    • Maybe I’m missing something – but what is the problem with him being out all night, on a night when you weren’t home anyway? Is the trust issue that you don’t know where he was and suspect dastardly behavior? Or you don’t care for the company he keeps when he does go out all night?

      • He didn’t mention that he was out at all. It wasn’t an out with friends things, because he would have mentioned that, I think. This is why I need to ask him, I guess.

        I think he slept somewhere else. He picked me up from the airport in the morning wearing nicer clothes and cologne. When we got home, the newspaper was on the stoop ( I arrived at a time when had he left the house to get me, the newspaper would have already come and he would have put it inside) and the bed was made. When we got home, he immediately brushed his teeth — at this point I was watching because the clothes + the cologne + the newspaper + the bed were all weird signs. Then last night, I was on the computer and googled something and noticed a past google search for a restaurant. I looked at the history and he had googled it on the night that I was gone. To clarify, I was not snooping anywhere — I happened to be looking something up and noticed a search for a restaurant I’ve never been to.

        As I said…all circumstantial, but weird enough and out of character enough to make me think that something is up.

        • Also, he would have told me if he was out with friends. I would have no problem with that.

        • What do you think his reaction would be if you asked what he did that night? Do you think he’d lie, get defensive, flat out tell you (assuming something happened)?

          • I think he’d either lie or get defensive. I’d much prefer that he told me, even if something happened, because that would at least be a starting point for repair. I could decide if I wanted to forgive him. But, I can’t get anywhere with lying. It would just continue to drive me insane.

            I’m going to ask him straight up tonight. I’m going to look him in the eye and ask him if he went out.

          • I hope he is honest with you, if something happened. Hugs and good luck tonight if you bring it up. And we’ll be here tomorrow if you need to talk <3

          • e_pontellier :

            And I know I say this every time someone posts that they’re going through relationship troubles, but tell us what city you’re in and someone will take you out for a drink. It was so helpful (and *is* so helpful) to know there are c-re t t es in my city that are here for me if I need it.

          • +1 to e_pontellier!

          • Anon, I think the fact that you think he is capable of lying to your face about something important probably tells you all you need to know. How could you hope to build a life with someone like that? So sorry you are dealing with such a [email protected] situation.

          • +1 to what DC Jenny says. I think deep down, you know this relationship isn’t going anywhere. You’re just not ready to bite the bullet yet. You don’t trust him, you expect him to lie to you… ugh. There are better guys out there.

        • Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, I think.

          Definitely figure out what your exit strategy is. In fact, even if this discussion doesn’t result in a break up, I would suggest figuring out how to make it without his financial assistance, so in the event something does break you up, you don’t feel as trapped.

          And then – just ask. If you don’t feel comfortable asking what he was doing while you were out of town (in a general “I’m interested” rather than a “you owe me an accounting of your time” sort of way) then there are probably bigger issues. It sounds like it was an early morning airport pick up (bed was made, newspaper out, etc when you got home), and that he was more dressed for a nice night out. “Hey, you were pretty dressed up for such an early morning airport run. Did you do something fun the night before?”

        • If you feel like you can’t even ask the question, you have a big problem. What is the point of being with someone if you can’t trust them? If you think he could point blank lie to your face, then he is an a**hole and you should be glad you’ve realized it now. People don’t change unless they want to.

          Ask yourself – what do you ultimately want out of life? If it’s a healthy relationship then move on girl! There is no shame in sleeping on someone’s couch for a few months/living in a small apartment/whatever to get back on your feet. It’s better to be happy and moving forward than stuck.

        • K...in transition :

          Just got here so not even sure if you’re still reading this but in case you are, what if you look at things differently?

          Instead of thinking of it as a “wasted 4 years” where you were “stupid,” what if this relationship was meant to happen for this amount of time but only this amount of time? What if, had you not been with this guy, 3 years ago or 2 years ago, some scam artist would have come into your life and you’d have dated him and he’d have drained your bank account or robbed your house or something? Or what if, had you not been dating this guy for these 4 years, you’d have not learned a life lesson you’ll need in order to make your next amazing relationship successful?

          Or what if your right fit needed the past 4 years to become the right person for you and, had you not been with this guy (and if you don’t leave this bad relationship), you’d miss out on him?

          sure, there’s no way to prove these things as true, but there’s also no way to know they’re not ;)

          • “Or what if, had you not been dating this guy for these 4 years, you’d have not learned a life lesson you’ll need in order to make your next amazing relationship successful?”

            K- This is such a lovely way of looking at it!

          • K is really good with this stuff.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Clarification – Out all night doing what? Is it possible he was out with his friends, maybe had too much to drink and crashed there? You haven’t stated your evidence, but just being out all night isn’t in and of itself reason to end a relationship, even if there were past indiscretions or issues. You know all the details, so if you feel like it is worth ending the relationship, then I wouldn’t let financial considerations get in the way – he’s a boyfriend, not a spouse.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Okay – read more of your posts. Just leave. Whether he did something or not, you clearly don’t trust him and there really is no point having a relationship without trust….

  9. With the kind and thoughtful responses to the break-up discussion on the weekend thread, I thought I would post my story as I could use some guidance.

    Yesterday, my husband of 6 years (we’ve been together for 10) moved out yesterday at my request. We rarely fought and usually enjoyed our time together. What drove me to this was a variety of issues: 1) his immaturity — he would often play on the internet, etc instead of helping me around the apartment. 2) He never seemed to think long term — children, buying a home, investing in our future 3) The spark may have never been there. I think he was a safe option for me. He’s kind and tries to be romantic, but it just didnt do it for me 4) While lady garden parties were enjoyable, I never really wanted them. 5) I’m ashamed to admit that his behavior (juvenile, earnest) would embarrass me when we’re out in public. 6) I did meet someone else, and it was this relationship that made me realize that while I wasn’t necessarily unhappy in my marriage, I wasn’t happy and never felt like we had a true partnership.

    So, now H has moved back to our old city (we moved to current city for my work). And 1 day later, I’m a wreck. It’s something I wanted, so why do I feel so badly? I feel guilty. Part of me wants to go see H and tell him “nevermind, I made a mistake.” I know I need time to think this through, but I feel guilty that maybe I never gave him a chance to grow up. Maybe I coddled him too much. I’m sure it doesnt help that I dont have friends in my new city. It’s just me and my thoughts.

    Any advice from the hive?

    • I went through something similar with a guy a few years back. We were together for almost eight years, engaged at the end. I grew up in the course of that time, he did not. Eventually, I was working full time and he had no job, no prospect of a job, no plans, no ambition, no responsibiilty for anything. There was no spark and I could not respect him. I stopped feeling like he deserved an equal say in anything. It took me a year of feeling that way before I found the resolve to tell him to move out. I felt like I was kicking a puppy, a badly trained and annoying puppy, but still, a puppy.

      It took a couple of days of tears, but after that I felt like an enormous weight had lifted. I had not been a good situation for either of us. In putting off dumping him, I had only delayed the point at which either of us could move on to find something that would work for us.

      You may be right that you coddled your husband. Maybe the new city agravated the issue. But, there is no reason for you to think that if you call H back it will be any different. He won’t grow and you won’t be happy. Unless you have some reason to think that things would be different, both for you and for him, trying to undo the break-up would be a bad choice.

      You have other things in your life, focus on those. Sometimes it can feel really good to jost focus on kicking a$$ at your job for awhile without having to worry about anyone else. Maybe you would be happy reaching out to long-distance friends in your old city for chats on the phone and visits.

      • A puppy — that sums up him up perfectly. He’s very happy-go-lucky, which makes me feel like a monster in this scenario. Thank you and the other ladies for the words of wisdom. Makes me feel better to know that I’m not the first person to have gone through this.

    • Mouse in DC :

      Have you considered counseling, both just on your own and (perhaps) with your husband? It can be so helpful to have that dispassionate other person to bounce your thoughts off of.
      Speaking from my own experience, of course YMMV, it was good to know what I was bringing to the relationship equation so that I could change my approach and avoid replicating similar problems with my next boyfriend.

    • Big internet hugs your way. I know this is really really hard. My suggestion: Therapy. My story is somewhat similar, and even though I was really relieved when I left, it still tore.me.to.pieces. Therapy didn’t fix everything, but it sure helped me work through some of the big stuff, and gave me the strength to stick with such a hard hard decision.

      I assume that the things that were deal-breakers in the end didn’t just show up last week. You likely made your husband aware that these things bothered you, but he never got around to changing them. You can’t be responsible for his choices, and at the end of the day, you can only be responsible for your own happiness.

    • It sounds like cheating or an emotional affair? That can cause a ton of guilt, but I think you are correct when you say that it was the spark you realized wasn’t there with your husband. I think guilt is a totally natural reaction to ending a marriage, and it in no way means you are taking the wrong action. Women have a tendancy to blame themselves, so instead of seeing asking for a divorce as a step in the right direction, we think, “this is my fault. I should have seen this earlier, I should’ve realized this before we were married, etc” Breakups without anger (cheating, etc) are some of the hardest. You should def think about therapy, especially since your support system is a little light.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Be guilty for a while. Let yourself feel guilty. Own the fact that you cheated (emotionally or otherwise) on your husband who treated you well. I think the first step to forgiving yourself sometimes needs to be really getting what you did, so you can one day decide that okay, you made mistakes, but you hopefully made them on a path to a better future for you and ultimately him as well.

    • I highly recommend the following books for those going through a breakup (whether you’re the dumper or dumpee):

      Getting Past Your Breakup



      It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken http://www.amazon.com/Its-Called-Breakup-Because-Broken/dp/0767921968

    • Anonymous :

      Dear Regretful:

      You feel badly because you just ended a 10 year relationship. Has nothing to do with male or female. Rule of thumb is it takes most people a year of recovery for every four or five years of marriage. Get a good therapist and an even better divorce lawyer.

      If you blame him 100 percent for the break-up, you’re wrong. When a marriage goes sour, the blame is 50-50. You saw but did not see. You knew but did not know.

      Good luck….

  10. Hey all, just wanted to say that I got to meet Susan (edna_mode_nyc) yesterday! We spent a few hours running around with my other friend in the afternoon before we had to leave. And I want to let you all know that she is as wonderful in person as she is here. Such a great combination of caring and no BS. And I call her style “girly with an edge.”

    I had such a great trip to NYC. My three big purchases were a gorgeous Free People sweater, Michael Kors mary janes, and a delicate silver and diamond necklace from a vendor at Union Square. My friend and I ate fabulously, shopped and talked and walked until we were exhausted, and completely relaxed even though we’ve both had a rough time at work. I would highly recommend a trip like this!

    • I am so sad that I didn’t get to meet you but I’m so happy you had a great trip! Please let us know when you’re coming back.

      • e_pontellier :

        Ditto on everything!

      • Awww! So sweet. I’m sorry I missed you, too! My friend and I had so much fun on this trip that we realized we need to do this kind of thing more often. We’re really compatible travelers so we should take the leap.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      NOLA! It was great meeting you and your friend. I’m delighted you both had a great time in NYC.

      Oh, btw, that weird green drink I bought at Whole Foods was truly evil swamp + moat water. I was so queasy last night from it, that I think it dissolved any “edge” I had.

      I still feel like a right mess today and my stomach is gurgling. If I didn’t have so much work to do, I’d curl up in a heap in the sickroom and moan.

      • That thing reminded me of the green sludge Renee Russo’s character drank in The Thomas Crown Affair. Nasty! It looked like swamp water. I can’t believe you drank it!

        I got in so late last night that I did nothing and I cannot wake up this morning. I did get unpacked and I started laundry. I was finally getting coffee and breakfast when my boss started calling and emailing me urgently about something he is clearly afraid to deal with. He asked me if I was in “work mode” and I said no, I’m not, but I’ll deal with this. Clearly a great welcome back.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          I’ve eaten and imbibed many a strange thing before, in the name of new experiences.

          After tumbling down the rabbit hole of mild dehydration, how could I resist a bottle of something with a sign that said, “DRINK ME” affixed to it? ;-)

          I’m already grimacing in advance of what your pointy-haired boss wants now.

          • I hope you feel better!

            The thing with my boss – one of my staff was out all last week with a back problem. She came back to work today but said she was still in pain, etc. HR called him about it and he freaked out because he didn’t think he should have been brought in at this point and they actually wanted him to DO something. It’s all been worked out, I think. But it was like he was blaming me for the fact that HR called him…

  11. My husband got a deer just before Thanksgiving and we just got the meat back from the butcher this past weekend. I don’t come from a hunting family and so have no experience cooking venison. Any recipe recommendations? I did make up some of the ground meat into chili last night (same recipe as I’d use for beef plus a little oil to brown it in first) and that was delicious. We have sausages, steaks, tenderloin, ground, and roast. I’m planning to ask MIL for advice, too (FIL was a great hunter and he’s the one who taught my husband) but thought I’d see if anyone has any ideas.

    • I’ve had venison once – my mom curried it desi-style. It was amazing.

      Divalicious – they have the sequined backpack in stores! That’s how I knew they exist.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        Curry venison, yum! I think I could probably be tricked into eating a stapler if someone cooked it in curry long enough.

        (Ditto with anything deep-fried.)

    • Such a great question! I will share and I am anxious to see other replies, because we have a whole freezer full of venison, just waiting to be used…

      First, we do take plenty of the meat to a processor and have it made into snack sausage that has jalapenos and cheese mixed in. That is pretty delicious stuff.

      Here are a few recipes:

      » 1 venison loin (back strap), all silver skin removed
      » 1 cup whole milk
      » 3–4 garlic cloves, crushed
      » Small handful black peppercorns
      » 1 bunch fresh rosemary, picked off the stem and chopped
      » 8-oz. jar raspberry preserves
      » 1 cup water
      » 1⁄4 stick unsalted butter
      » 1 package applewood-smoked bacon, sliced
      » Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

      1. Cut venison loin in half and soak overnight in refrigerator with whole milk, garlic cloves, black peppercorns and rosemary.
      2. To prepare the raspberry preserve sauce, combine raspberry preserves and water in a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Swirl in butter. Set aside and keep warm.
      3. Drain the milk from the venison, discard
      all other ingredients, and pat venison dry with paper towels.
      4. Lay out the bacon strips on a cutting board, slightly overlapping each piece (forming 2 large bacon sheets). Place a loin on the bacon and gently roll the whole piece, covering in a sheet of bacon. Repeat process with the other half of the loin.
      5. Season the bacon-wrapped loins with salt and pepper.
      6. Place a large cast-iron skillet, seasoned with vegetable oil, on a stove over medium-high heat. Place loins in the hot skillet, seam side down. Sear for 4–5 minutes, until the bacon becomes crispy. Turn over and sear other side for same amount of time. With a pair of tongs, continue to turn venison to sear all sides, so the bacon is crispy on all sides. Cook to medium-rare.
      7. Pull loins out of skillet and let rest for two minutes. Gently slice into medallions and fan across a plate. Drizzle with raspberry sauce.

      If you like curry, this is my fool proof recipe:

      2 T vegetable oil (or use bacon fat if you are cooking bacon for a topping)
      * 2 onions, minced
      * 2 cloves garlic, minced (I use more)
      * 2 tsp. ground ginger or fresh ginger grated
      * 1 tsp ground cinnamon
      * 2 TBL Curry powder (I use more)
      * 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
      * 2 cans (15 oz ea.) garbanzo beans/chickpeas
      * 1 lb. chicken or venison, cubed to approx. 1 inch pieces
      * Cooked rice
      * Toppings: crumbled bacon, peanuts, bananas, chutney, a mixture of plain, sweetened yogurt with diced cucumbers, lemon juice, garlic, curry powder to taste and cayenne to taste mixed in.

      DIRECTIONS: 1. Brown the meat of your choice in a large stock pot. You aren’t trying to cook the meat completely, but just enough to thoroughly brown it. Maybe 6-10 minutes, then remove the meat to a bowl. I recommend seasoning the meat while browning, usually with salt, pepper, and curry powder. 2. Heat oil (or you can use the fat from the bacon) in the same stock pot used for the meat, over medium heat, and cook the onions until tender. 3. Stir in garlic, ginger, cinnamon, curry powder. Continue to cook onions and spices approx. 1 minute over medium heat, stirring constantly. 4. Add chickpeas/garbanzos. If you use canned, go ahead and include the liquid. I usually add some chicken broth if I use chicken for the meat, or beef broth if I use venison or beef in order to add a b it more liquid, but it isn’t totally necessary. Stir to combine all ingredients and heat to a simmer. 5. Add the browned meat, and simmer the entire mixture, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender. Serve over rice. And add all the condiments on top! Delish.

      • Oh, the first recipe is called: Applewood Bacon Wrapped Venison Loin with Raspberry Preserves.

        • Actually, I think the official name for the first recipe is GET IN MAH BELLY!

        • Oh wow, these look great — thanks! And Ru, deer curry hadn’t even occurred to me but it sounds delicious. I bet the stronger flavor of the deer really comes through the spices nicely (I love goat curry for this reason).

          • The deer is especially good in the curry. I haven’t tried it in other curry recipes, but I think it would work well in many of them. And, petitesq is right, you can sub venison for beef in most recipes.
            Oh! Here is another one that is one of our favorites:

            1 Venison Roast
            1 Green Bell Pepper
            1 Yellow Onion
            Sliced mushrooms
            Worcestershire Sauce
            Garlic Powder
            Onion Powder
            Red Pepper Flake
            Steak Sauce
            Mayo (optional)
            Kraft American cheese slices (or whatever cheese you prefer on cheese steaks)
            Buns (I used onion rolls from the grocery store bakery)

            Directions: Take a partially thawed venison roast and slice thin (for this step my roast was 75% frozen and I used a mandolin to slice them evenly. It worked great!). For remainder of the thawing marinate in Worcestershire Sauce to tenderize. Once venison is thawed throw one sliced bell pepper and one sliced yellow onion into a skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Season with Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add mushrooms. Cook vegetables for a few minutes until they soften up but still hold a bite and set them aside. Then in the same pan add a small amount of Olive oil and toss thawed venison in. The venison needs about 3-4 min. Do not overcook. While the venison is cooking season to taste with the Garlic Powder, Onion Powder and Red Pepper flake. For the final minute of cooking toss back in the vegetables. Fire up some good bread with cheese under the broiler. Once cheese is melted, take out and add your steak, vegetables and a light drizzle of steak sauce and mayo.

          • (Venison Cheese Steaks) I am terrible about putting titles on my recipes. :/

          • Secret thing my mom does with red meat curry: she sticks entire garlic bulbs in the curry, like the whole thing (no chopping, peel as many layers of skin while keeping the bulb intact). It turns into this wonderfully soft mushy spicy thing which is such a treat to enjoy on its own. Just press the garlic out of the skin and enjoy!

    • Similar to your idea with chili, venison is generally great in any preparation in which you’d use beef – so, similar to the chili, think about it in stew (with veggies, same as you’d make it with beef). We also make venison cutlets (same as you would with chicken — pound thin, dredge in egg, lightly breadcrumb, then pan fry). Lots of good options. Have fun!

    • Greensleeves :

      You can definitely use it similarly to beef. However, keep in mind that venison tends to be much leaner than beef and will dry out quickly. So, for example, venison burgers (unless you add some fat) do not equal juicy hamburgers!

      • Research, Not Law :

        Yep. We also like to use it in place of recipes calling for lamb, since they can often stand up to the heftier taste.

        Some favorites: osso bucho (spelling?) and, surprising, fajitas

    • Soak it in buttermilk for a few hours to a day before you prepare it. It makes the meat very tender.

      Love venison! Lucky you :)

      • I know! My husband was worried I wouldn’t like the taste (I’d had venison stew before and liked it but he still wasn’t sure) but I think it’s terrific. Very happy about my well-stocked freezer.

    • My husband is a huge hunter, we’ve used our venison instead of beef for the past 5 or 6 years- spaghetti, lasagna, chili, “hamburgers,” tacos, steak, it’s a perfect substitute and is not gamey at all. We’ve not bought any beef in years. No special recipes needed. If your processor can make some into tamales and sausage next time, thats the best. So yummy.

  12. Cornellian :

    After realizing I’d worn through the tips of my heels after a few wears again, I’m finally devoted to buying a pair of low wedge or heel shoes to commute in, so I don’t tear up my nice heels on my Manhattan walk/subway/walk commute. Does anyone have any good picks? I’m looking for something to keep my pants off the ground but capable of withstanding sidewalks and grates.

    • I just bought a pair of wedges from Target. They are comfy, and even more so with my beloved terry cloth inserts. The wedges are a good height, and I would think they would be a good stand in for pants that should be worn with heels. Bonus they were only $30 so if they wear out you just toss them.

    • This is my go-to pair. I keep a pair at home and one under my desk:

      • anon in-house :

        I have the same exact ones from Naturalizer, which were also recommended previously on this site by other ‘rettes. Highly recommend.

    • des-pairing :

      Colehaan Air Tali wedge (pricey, but often on sale at 6 p m.) I invested in a pair because I often forget to change shoes at work. These are amazingly comfy, have that height for the commute, and can definitely walk into any 8:30am meeting.

    • Alternatively, my friend says it’s really easy and cheap to replace the heel tips yourself. I haven’t tried it yet, but she buys bags of tips from some cobbler supply online. Armed with those and some pliers, she says it comes out to $2-3 per replacement.

  13. I have a vicarious shopping quest please! I am in love with this dress but $284 for NYE (the only time I would conceivably wear it) is just too much. I need it in an XL and would love it if someone could suggest an under $100 option. (bonus points if it’s under 75)

    The link is following but in case it doesn’t come through it’s the Stretch Sequin V-Neck from Velvet by Graham & Spencer

    • http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/velvet-by-graham-spencer-dress-stretch-sequin-v-neck?ID=658169&PseudoCat=se-xx-xx-xx.esn_results

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      The color is off but I think this is close.


    • LC by Lauren Conrad at Kohl’s had a few adorable sequined dresses yesterday. I can’t give you a link because the dresses aren’t online for some reason. I also saw at least two other cute sequined dresses there, but didn’t take the time to check the brands. (I was on a Christmas ornament mission.) All three of the dresses were under $100!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      This is cute but it doesn’t have the back sequins.


    • Rent the Runway has lots of sequins! Click sequins in the trend menu on the left hand side.

    • I don’t have anything specific to point to, but I got a very similar dress from Lauren by Ralph Lauren (Macy’s/Bloomingdales/Nordstroms will carry these – check both stores and online, is my suggestion). It was also similarly priced at the time, but I know they do go on sale, so you may have some luck. If you aren’t looking for exactly the same, but only similar, LbyRL seems to have several other sequined options. They run tallish – I’m 5’10” and they hit me at the knee pretty reliably.

      • One shouldered, sequined, sizes up to 14, and $80 online at Nordstroms.


    • Yay! Thank you for all the suggestions!

  14. Diana Barry :

    Can I just rant for a second? One of our friends told us that he expects to make 350K *this month*. I wouldn’t want his job (commission based, lots of glad-handing), but this just makes me feel inadequate. Boo!

    • Well, I feel poor now. Haha. I think we should get him to buy manomanon’s dress for NYE!

    • Who even says that? I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and presume the way it was done was really tasteful? ha. Also, I expect to make $425k this month. haha.

      • Cornellian :

        yeah, that’s really strange. I’m trying to imagine how it came up. Are you his accountant? tax lawyer?

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        I was thinking the same thing. Although I’m curious how to do that tastefully without it turning into humblebragging (not tasteful either.)

      • Diana Barry :

        He is one of my DH’s best friends- they talk about how their work is going all the time. I think DH was wondering how they might afford the house on which they are bidding now.

    • Legally Brunette :

      What does he do? Could he be embellishing? I haven’t heard of anyone making that kind of money in a month (unless you’re a CEO of some Fortune 100 company).

      • If his income is commission based, there could be months where he makes nothing. Not that $325K for even a whole year is small change, but just saying it’s not like it’s $325K x 12.

      • Or an NFL player:

  15. MissFeasance :

    My CBX bar review starts today. Yikes. If anyone is studying for the bar in Feb and wants a pen pal to commiserate, let me know!

  16. Brooklyn, Esq. :

    Any thoughts on J. Crew suiting–particularly, what’s the difference between the Super 120s and the Stretch Wool? (Obviously the fabrics are different, but how do they wear differently–drape, wrinkles, etc.?)


    • e_pontellier :

      I don’t have any experience with the stretch wool suits, but I have the super 120s in black and grey and love them!! I particularly appreciate how the skirts are actually knee-length on 6’tall me.

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        Thanks! Do you have the tall sizes for the jackets?

        • e_pontellier :

          Yes I’m quite sure I do, but I should double-check when I get home. The grey suit fits amazingly well, but the black one is tight in the arm holes (which is very strange; I exchanged it and everything and it was still tight). I wear the skirts with everything; they’re very versatile. I can wear the skirts a number of times before the wrinkles around the middle need to be addressed, which is also nice. The jackets are formal when paired with skirts – I have the 2-button jackets – but they’re great for interviews/going to court and more casual-looking when worn with pants. I really like all the pockets in the jackets and I like that the jacket arms are lined with pinstripe material; it’s just so cute. I’m a 4 all the way through and the jacket arms were long enough!

        • Almost There :

          I’m 5’10” and I have the tall jacket

    • No experience with the stretch wool, but i had a super 120s suit (navy pinstripe), but thought i’d provide some quality context: i wore it 3-5 times a month and it survived for 3 and a half years before it got too dingy and started to wear at the elbows. It was really reliable and held up well (until it fell apart), so I’d recommend the fabric.

      • e_pontellier :

        +1 on super 120s quality. I’ve had the grey skirt for over a year, I’ve worn it a TON (2x per week?) since I got it, and it’s still in great shape.

    • I hate the stretch wool. The Super 120s is much better, imo. The stretch wool is too thin, holds wrinkles quite well, and is less forgiving of lumps. The thinness of the material + stretch also makes the skirt a little more curve hugging than I’d like, and I have a relatively flat tush (my other J crew pencil skirts in the same size, from the same year, def don’t have this problem). I only kept it because it was final sale. However, my stretch wool is from 2011, so I don’t know if they’ve changed the material.

      • I forgot to say: the drape and feel of the Super 120s is also far superior to the stretch wool. The stretch wool is ever so slightly scratchy / stiff in comparison. I can’t speak to how well it wears in comparison to the 120s because I hardly ever wear it. Echoing e_p & qwerty, though, the super 120s wears extremely well.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      Thanks for all the input–went ahead and purchased the Super 120s suit in navy with the 25% off code yesterday. Can’t wait!

  17. momentsofabsurdity :

    For those of you who liked that scalloped, art-deco style top Kat featured a while back, I just saw this on Asos and can’t recall if it’s been mentioned in the comments before.


    Obviously it would need something under it (well maybe not, maybe you ladies are more adventurous than me) but I think it’s a reasonably close approximation.

  18. Has anyone worn these? I found them on Zappos while looking for sensible shoes that are not too sensible shoe-looking and found a few pairs of pumps that might work. Have never seen them before and they look so much cuter than the black blobs on my feet currently (I love them, but I feel like Charlie Brown in them). Thanks!

  19. MaggieLizer :

    Need a gut check ladies. Is there a polite way to ask that your superior not slip large documents under your door because you’re a total klutz and will kill yourself tripping over them in the morning? The managing partner likes to make comments on a hard copy and then return them to me so I can review them. He also keeps really odd hours, so he slips the documents under my door so. Problem is, I don’t work for him enough to get used to checking for these documents of death when I open my door, and he always drops them off at unexpected times with no email heads up. Today was the second time I’ve injured myself tripping over the DODs- the first time I fell flat on my face and this time I knocked my head on the corner of the door.

    We’re not allowed to have inboxes outside our doors and the cleaning staff closes and locks our doors at night, but managing partner could drop off his comments with our shared secretary so she could give them to me. Is it out of line for me to ask him to drop them off with her? Or should I just keep my mouth shut and try to be not such a hot mess? TIA!

    • If you’re falling on your face, I think you probably SHOULD ask that he drop it off with the secretary…he probably doesn’t want a workers’ comp claim, afterall. Besides, if you’re worried it could seem out of line, you can always use your klutziness to poke fun at yourself, it’s not like you’re asking just to be high maintanence.

    • I think what you said here is plenty polite. Just leave out the clumpsy part – no need to explain. I would just say something along the lines of, “Can you please leave the documents with X instead of slipping them under my door? I don’t always see them when I walk into my office and would hate to trip over them or damage them in some way.”

    • Unless you are so far along in a pregnancy that, if you are close enough to unlock/open a door, your bump will block your view of what is just behind it, then I can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t just learn to look where you are going.

      Sorry if that is harsh. But if I were your managing partner, I would think that this is one of the more absurd requests I’d ever received.

    • So I disagree with the above posters and I would just look for them when I come in. Because if the shared secretary isn’t there when he is, he will just put them under there anyway. I just think it would come off as high maintenence to ask him that.

    • hellskitchen :

      You could hang a wire basket or a heavy folder outside your door and request that he place those documents there.

      • hellskitchen :

        nevermind. Just saw your comment about the inboxes. Could you place a wire basket or something outside your door? Or if you want to tell him to drop them off with the shared secretary, say that you don’t want to accidentally spill coffee on the documents as you walk in the door so would he mind dropping them off with the secretary. That way you don’t have to mention that you are tripping over them

  20. It’s official! Kate & William are having a baby… and yes I am slightly too invested in their progeny

    • momentsofabsurdity :


      • momentsofabsurdity :

        But also, poor Kate! Admitted to the hospital with morning sickness!

        • I can’t really work up too much sympathy for having the luxury of going to the hospital with morning sickness. Some of us have to do our vomiting at work.

          • yeah… as excited as I am about all the fashion coverage of the pregnancy and glad for good news for them (and if it’s a baby girl, not being unseated by a little brother), I just got a little depressed comparing my (hopeful) future pregnancies and childcare to her circumstances.

          • She has hyperemesis gravidia, you would not be at work with it.

          • I have a friend who works for a living who was in the hospital for the same thing.

          • I also suffered from hyperemesis and was hospitalized after losing 15 pounds. It is no joke and life-threatening.

        • I have a huge fear that I will get hyperemesis with my future hypothetical preganancies…I’m super susceptible to hormonal nausea (every time I tried a new pill was a fun-filled puking experience), and it sounds SO awful.

          • HorriblePregnancy :

            As someone who lost 10 pounds in 6 weeks, got dehydrated and had to be hospitalized for an IV when I was so dizzy that I could not stand up, I would like to make a distinction between throwing up a few times a day and not being able to keep anything (including water) down for days on end. The first is unpleasant. The second places the unborn baby at significant risk and requires medical attention. I am not particularly invested in the D. of C’s pregnancy (although I wish them the best), but I got a lot of flack that was majorly undeserved and would not want anyone else to go through that.

          • Almost There :

            @HorriblePregnancy: that sounds sooo awful, I’m sorry people weren’t understanding!

          • I believe one of the Bronte sisters died from hyperemesis gravidarum. I have no idea how I know this.

            But yes, it can be serious.

    • e_pontellier :

      I AM SO EXCITED (and I didn’t expect to be)!!!!

    • Almost There :

      I read that she is in “the very early stages of pregnancy” – do royals not wait the usual period until telling the news? We are always talking about when to tell here so I wondered.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I would guess they planned to keep it under wraps but her hospitalization necessitated making some sort of official announcement (or the news would inevitably leak).

      • My guess is that they wouldn’t have told if she hadn’t been admitted into the hospital…

    • So glad that I heard the news first here! (No, seriously! Squee!)

  21. I need some styling help. Our work holiday party is at a nice Italian restaurant this year. The dress code is “Holiday Dress” and “Holiday Casual.” I plan on wearing a kelly green wool dress. I am blanking on how to style it. In the past, I have worn it with a pair of peep toes that is a mix of colors and includes kelly green, but can I wear peep toes in the winter (I am in the midwest, if that helps). If I wear the peep toes, do I wear pantyhose? Alternative shoes include nude for me pumps and various kinds of black shoes (would I wear black tights with these?) I am also considering hunting for some gold shoes and a cute gold belt. Help!

    • Almost There :

      I would worry that gold with green at a holiday party would read Christmas tree costume, tread lightly here.

      • Strongly disagree with Almost There!! I have a green dress that I rock with gold shoes, and it’s a great look. I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I got the idea from an episode of Gossip Girl. Picture here: http://intothefashionworkshop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Serena-no10.jpg

        • Almost There :

          Oh I think it’s a great look too in most situations, no green-gold hate here :)

    • I think black tights and black shoes would be the best here. I would do a gold/black details statement necklace with it.

      I personally wouldn’t wear peep toes with it, its too cold.

      And I say this kindly, don’t ever wear hose with peep toed shoes.

  22. TJ: Can anyone comment on the quality and/or actual color of the black blossom J. Crew tartine tote? Do the larger side panels have a bit of a rosy tint, or is that just my computer screen? Thinking about making a Christmas present to myself, but haven’t bought a bag from J. Crew in awhile.

    • this is the bag: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/handbags/PRDOVR~17521/17521.jsp

    • Also looks pink to me – name (blossom black) would indicate pale pink to me as well.

  23. Almost There :

    What does body-con mean? It doesn’t seem to be consistent across brands or anything… to me it is supposed to mean super-tight, but sometimes it seems to mean more like curve-hugging or fitted. Thoughts?!

    I ask because I am back to dress shopping (my asos size adventure did not work out) and like this dress but I have some tummy/love handle issues I’d rather not highlight…


    • Body – conscious, I think – so I agree on anything that hugs the curves and might to be form fitting.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’m sorry the other dress didn’t work out! IMO, I would avoid body-con dresses if you are at all self-conscious about the tummy area (though Spanx might help with this, I’m not sure).

      How about this dress?


    • I think any time a dress is described as body conscious in the name, it’s basically going to be skin tight. This dress looks like it would be very skin tight. If you’re concerned about not highlighting love handles/stomach, I wouldn’t order it. I think the original dress you ordered was probably much better in terms of that sort of thing – look for something with a similar a-line silhouette.

      • This is a lighter red than you’re looking at, but it looks like it would be quite flattering on.
        (Incidentally, they have lots of other very pretty dresses on sale, but they are not red lace so not posting)

        • I also really love this. Tried it on in store and can tell you it looks amazing on.

        • Almost There :

          Thanks! I was running out of ideas of stores to even look at, hadn’t though of anthropologie! I am resigned to the fact that I probably won’t find what I’d like in red, considering navy or dark green.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      It’s definitely not consistent across brands.

      The asos dress you posted looks clingy and curve-hugging. And it’s the sort of thing I’m leery about buying online because I like to try on clingy stuff to figure out what sort of foundation garments I might need to avoid VPL.

  24. style advice needed... :

    How much do you typically pay to have a suit jacket altered?

    When do you decide that the alteration expense is not worth it, and you just should buy a different jacket that actually fits better and is a timeless style?

    I am finally doing a closet clean-out, and am better organizing my clothes by size (I fluctuate) and am going to alter my pants/important clothes that need it. I have never done this.

    As I don’t have to wear suits/jackets often, I have very few complete suits. Like …. 2. But I feel that I should alter at least one suit jacket (charcoal pin-stripe) and one separate black jacket so I have something that fits well for those rare interviews/meetings where I need them. These are Ann Taylor wool/lined pant suits, jackets worn only a few times. I probably bought them on sale for ?a couple hundred dollars? It was several years ago, so they are not as fitted along the torso as current styles are.

    None of these jackets look great on me or are comfortable, but I tend not to be a fan of suits. I think I have found a good tailor that will honestly tell me if they look bad (!), but I suspect they all need a lot of alteration. I have no idea how much this costs.

    What is your limit? What makes sense?

    • Kontraktor :

      Jacket alterations can be expensive, especially if you need to have a lot of things done. If the issue is as simple as slimming the sides, that usually isn’t too expensive. But, if you are talking about slimming, shortening sleeves, adjusting shoulders, etc., you could be looking at a $100+ bill. Honestly I might recommend going out and looking for a suit you really really like that maybe fits better off the rack and spending your money on that. Will you love these suits if you drop the money to alter them? If yes, then maybe consider, but it seems you’re +/- on these to begin with. So, it would probably be better to spend the money on new things you really love that fit a bit better.

    • I just bought a pantsuit a couple of weeks ago from Ann Taylor for $120 – it was extra 40% off the sale price – black with a cream pinstripe, wool blend, fully lined. Really a nice suit for the money. If you can get a deal like that, it’s probably better than trying to alter one you already have, when alterations could cost close to that if you alter the jacket. I lost 25 pounds 2 1/2 years ago, kept it off for 2 years and had all my suits taken up. Now I’ve gained back 13 pounds and nothing fits, thus I am haunting the sales at Ann Taylor and BR, they both have such good promotions. It might be better to just keep several sizes on hand if your weight fluctuates.

    • There is a great post on extrapetite dot com that you might find helpful about alterations. I know that Kat has linked to the specific post before on this blog.

  25. Okay, over the past few days, every comment I post ends up in moderation. I don’t think I’ve used any forbidden words.

    I use Firefox as my browser. Is it just me, or are others having this problem?

  26. Shopping help! I’m still a law student (which means a limited wardrobe for formal events, because I never attend them), but my future employer just invited me to attend a gala with other members of the department for a charity he is on the board for. The dress code is holiday c*cktail. Any ideas for dresses (preferably under $150, law school budget)? Everything I own that is cocktail I’m afraid will either be too short, too informal, or too tight.

  27. Shoot, in the original post I forgot to bleep out the second c*cktail. Repost!

    Shopping help! I’m still a law student (which means a limited wardrobe for formal events, because I never attend them), but my future employer just invited me to attend a gala with other members of the department for a charity he is on the board for. The dress code is holiday c*cktail. Any ideas for dresses (preferably under $150, law school budget)? Everything I own that is c*cktail I’m afraid will either be too short, too informal, or too tight. FYI, I’m 5’3 and curvy.

    • You can write into my blog for more ideas if you want — but I’d check out (a) White House Black Market and (b) the under $150 section of Nordies — both stores would probably have lots of options for you. I’d use the opportunity to get a simple, sleep LBD that would work for lots of these events — and then maybe get some really sparkly cheap glitz from F21 or somewhere similar to add some glitter for the holiday theme.

      • Thank you! My plea for help is submitted to your blog. :)

      • Actually I highly recommend White House Black Market for jewelry too. It’s a little more expensive than F21 but I think the pieces look very high-quality for what they cost.

    • I don’t have any recommendations for particular dresses, but I went to something similar when I was a law student and felt very comfortable in a long-sleeve lace dress with sparkly jewelry. It was great because it was conservative and didn’t stand out a ton (which I would not want to do as the new person) but was still glamorous and festive.

    • Also, Rent the Runway.

  28. collegiette :

    I have an interview this week! This is an excellent opportunity in my state, and I’m very very confident about it. After having no luck searching on Capitol Hill, I’m convinced that I just won’t be moving to DC – my plan since age 12.

    Would I be crazy to pass up my dream of DC for this better job? Did anyone experience anything similar?

    • Don’t count on anything before you have an offer in hand, but I think it’s definitely worth seriously pursuing the opportunity in your state. The Hill seems to have changed a lot – even if you could get something, would it be what you wanted (kind of work, environment, etc.)? That was my SO’s experience in his search. Have you ever lived in DC?

      Also, keep in mind that taking the state opportunity now does not mean that you are committing to stay there until you retire.

    • No, you wouldn’t be crazy. You might be putting the horse before the cart, though, since you don’t even have the job yet, and I’m guessing from your handle that you are very young. DC could still be in your future! To answer your other question, I lived in DC for about a year after I graduated from college. I liked it and planned to return there after law school, but the economy had other plans, and now I have a great job in my home state. I do have occasional pangs of wishing I still lived in DC… but for the most part, my life here is pretty good, too, or at least not worse than I expect that it would be if I lived in DC, and I’m basically content with that. You’ll have to decide for yourself what the trade-offs are and whether they’re worth it to you — and remember, you can always change your mind. Good luck!

    • Where are you located? I can’t imagine job-hunting on the Hill from outside DC. It’s so heavily based on personal contacts. Have you tried getting a job in your Senator’s/Congress(wo)man’s local office? Have you worked on campaigns? These are the ways to get onto the Hill from beyond the Beltway. Otherwise, you need to move here and schmooze, schmooze, schmooze. And I don’t mean move here jobless and try to get the Hill job. I mean move here and be here for a few years, hoping something appropriate to your interests/skills will open up (and meanwhile meeting as many Hill rats as you can). You have to be very opportunistic about Hill jobs.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      No, not crazy. Take the better job if you get it. I worked on the Hill, and people’s experiences vary wildly based on what member they work for and what the political climate at the time is like. If you have a good option you’re excited about, I’d take it. Plus, it doesn’t mean you can’t later go work in DC.

    • Job Huntress :

      A couple thoughts on the capitol hill search. First, it is easier to get these jobs if you already live in DC, it might not be fair, but that’s just the way it is (as is mentioned above, hill jobs are often about networking and being in the right place at the right time). When an opening comes up, the office will want to fill it ASAP, and usually that means calling people they think they can interview that week. Second, this fall was not the best year to be searching. People on the hill before an election will typically wait till after an election to make a move. Third, on the hill you are likely to come in at something very entry level (intern, LC), and then have the chance to move up fast, rather than getting a job at a level you might be shooting for in the private sector. I don’t know what your situation is, and it can be tough to apply for the “low level,” and lower paying jobs if you do have more experience–but keep in mind, if working on the hill is something you want to do at some point in your life, the sooner in your career you do it, the easier it will be (even if it is hard now, it will likely be harder later).

    • Speaking as someone who works on The Hill, no, not crazy at all. There aren’t enough Hill jobs for everyone who wants them. Of course, it’s entirely possible you would be one of the lucky ones… but it’s also possible you wouldn’t be, whereas this job offer is for certain. Additionally, DC has a very high cost of living, and it can be a tough place to make ends meet right out of college — so while you’re (at least temporarily) giving up on the “dream” of living in DC, you may actually have a higher quality of life in your home state.

      • Sorry, I just re-read your post and realized it’s an interview, not an offer. I’d still pursue it aggressively, though, without necessarily giving up on your other dreams. Beware that even when congressional offices want to hire a particular person, they can’t always make it work. It never hurts to have other options.

  29. collegiette :

    Since posting, I’m feeling more optimistic about DC. I’ve had three internships: two in DC with a lobbyist and a consulting firm and one in state with a house member. I just had a phone call from the person I interned under, and she said the congressman brought my name up to the Chief of Staff. They’ve been discussing a possible fit for me.

    This job hunt has me on EDGE. Looking brighter though.

  30. That is a FANTASTIC dress.

work fashion blog press mentions