Thursday’s TPS Report: Blazer in Ponte with Bow Detail

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

ASOS Blazer in Ponte with Bow DetailI know what you’re thinking: gosh that’s pink. And a bow! But pink blazers are in right now, and I think with an otherwise neutral outfit, this would be a nice pop of color and not overly girly. I think it would particularly rock with a mix of gray and black, perhaps even with a red shoe. It’s $63 at ASOS (where the sales at 70% off — I’m a big fan of their lingerie department, especially if you’re a hard-to-find size). ASOS Blazer in Ponte with Bow Detail

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  1. That is testing my no shopping resolve. Fantastic pink.

    • Diana Barry :

      It is v pretty! I think the peplum-ish waist would make it look awful on me, though. I also note with approval the model’s ombre hair – I think that is the “correct” way to do it. :)

      • Philosophia :

        I am amused. The model’s hair reminds me of the 1960s, when women who stopped dyeing their hair blonde often grew out their roots in public.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      This looks like something Kate Spade would make and charge 5 times this price for.

    • My thoughts exactly Cb! I LOVE this

    • Double-Bingo :

      I like it, but think the other pink blazer Kat linked to, the Basler pleated-front one, is TO DIE FOR. I love it enough that, if i I had $725 to spend on a blazer, I might even overlook the fact that I was spending $725 on acetate/polyester.

  2. I’ve been reading through what’s been written on the blazer thread yesterday (sorry that I’m late because living in another time zone) and … I was thinking … for a lot of bodies, finding a blazer that fits and looks good is difficult. I’m no expert on fashion history, but isn’t the blazer adopted from a male suit jacket, tailored and altered to fit a woman’s body, like the button down shirt that originally wasn’t designed for female bodies? A button down shirt doesn’t fit every woman equally and I was thinking the blazer of the suit jacket has the same problems. So yes, to that end, I think it’s irrational to think every woman must fit into a blazer because maybe it’s simply normal that blazers don’t work on everyone.

    • Agreed. I think there are so many criteria that need to be satisfied that barring having it custom made, finding one that checks all the shape boxes, in the right price range, and the right fabric is pretty near impossible. I’ve only had one blazer that fit me really well (a schoolboy blazer from American Eagle, weirdly).

    • I work in a less formal office (no suits; jackets nice but not expected), and it’s hard for me to find a blazer that makes me feel feminine. I’m pretty much average sized in all respects (height, weight, chest). Some women look fantastic rocking blazers with pants or jean, but I just feel masculine when I try.

    • I’m at a loss as to the magical cup size that most women’s blazers are made for. As evidenced in yesterday’s thread, if you have a large bust, you have the pulling issue. But for people like me with very small busts, the top gapes every time I move my arms or shoulders. I’ve had decent luck with shrunken blazers, but I still feel like I’m playing dress-up in a full suit.

      • *Raises hand*

        My body type can best be described as the same as Kate Middleton’s, with a bit more muscle, I wear a blazer nearly every day, and I’ve never needed alterations on one. Small b**bs, medium frame, slim but athletic appears to be the magic combination for blazers. I think the key is that shoulders and back need to be broad enough to prevent gaping, but not so broad as to prevent comfortable buttoning.

        Ironically, the thing I have the hardest time finding to fit perfectly are br*s. Outer clothing? No problem, and very rarely alterations. But br*s are my nemesis. I guess it’s always something :)

        • Ah, perhaps the gaping then is less about my boobs then and more about my shoulders. I have very narrow shoulders and stick-like arms, and tend to have extra material in the upper-arm/shoulder area in regular shirts as well.

        • Kate looks fabulous in her blazers!

      • Diana Barry :

        It totally depends on the brand too. With a fairly straight figure, Theory and J Crew blazers fit me very well, but Talbots and Brooks Brothers just look AWFUL on me.

      • Baconpancakes :

        When I was about 10 lbs and a cup size smaller (36D instead of 36DD/E/F), fitted 2-button blazers fit me beautifully. I am definitely not Kate Middleton shaped, but I have extremely wide shoulders and a narrow waist, so maybe it’s more of being triangular on top?

      • B cup I think. I’m relatively small boned up top with a small chest, narrow rib cage and waist, and blazers usually fit me fine. The one issue I have is that I sometimes have too much booty for them. I love blazers with double vents in the back. They don’t gape open too much like a single vent does and skim over my rear better than ventless styles (a tailored peplum also does a nice job, like the one in the jacket here). I do sometimes have to have blazers taken in between the shoulder blades and waist in the back, though. I wind up with too much fabric there sometimes.

        • I think this might be my problem. I feel like, even if my blazer buttons, somehow my butt pulls the fabric so it looks like it doesn’t fit properly.

        • I don’t think it’s any one cup size because a 30 D is not the same as 32 D.

    • Agreed. I did have luck with my 34Ds, short torso, petite length arms, with this one style that BR puts out with a little stretch in the wool in petites for when I need a suit/blazer.

      I think that’s also why we have the chanel style, which is a bit more forgiving that that weird v shape blazer from the mens department.

    • I just read yesterday’s blazer thread too, and it was pretty timely for me as I was just thinking this morning about how my “bought it so it’d button” blazer actually makes me look bigger due to the excess fabric. In general, for a business casual situation, I don’t think you need to button.

      Even in a formal situation, most people unbutton their blazer when sitting down, so a perfect button up fit is very rarely called for (meaning, if you think you look better w/ a slightly smaller blazer and plan to wear it open 99% of the time, I say go for it – since for me the button-up issue is not one of waist size, but bust, as was discussed yesterday and I don’t look like a sausage or anything in a slightly smaller blazer).

      but I’m a size 8 and overweight, so what do I know!

    • I really wanted to say this yesterday but I caught the thread late. I totally agree with you.

    • If you think the men are immune from this, see the comments made yesterday about Stephen Amell’s jacket at the People’s Choice. IMO his jacket definitely looked too small and silly with just the top button done – a miss.

      • Yeah, so true. When I was reading the blazer thread this morning and the talk about what you’re “doing wrong” with your body if you don’t fit well into blazers – I just thought, given the history of the lapel suit jacket, it isn’t surprising that so many female bodies have problems looking good in them. That doesn’t mean men don’t have problems, too … men don’t all have the same body shape either. But while I think with custom tailoring I could imagine to fit a vast majority of men bodies into suits nicely, I can’t imagine it can’t be done equally well with the vast majority with female bodies. Same as with button down shirts.

        And – yeah, this makes me wonder – what’s also weird is that men suiting are available in a larger size range. All major brands I know of carry regular sizes, short/wide sizes and tall/slim sizes, while female suits are available only in regular sizes. I know this is better with some US brands that carry tall and petites.

        • Don’t even get me started on why mens pants have a waist and length measure and womens don’t!

    • Actually, I have a separate question about blazers: I tried on this buttonless blazer at Mango yesterday and really liked it:

      However, none of the pants at Mango fit me. Can I style it with black pants from another store, or is that a major no-no? (Note: I’m not looking to re-create a suit look. I just need to look formal at work, e.g., wearing red pants with it wouldn’t work).

      Opinions appreciated!

      • Could you wear it with grey pants? I think if you wore it with black pants that didn’t quite match, it would look like you were trying to re-create a suit

      • I would probably not wear it with different black pants (except, for instance, black jeans on Friday). There is nothing distinctive enough about it that prevents it from looking like you’re trying to make a suit. The pants they are styled with are horrible!

      • Clementine :

        I might try it out with a dress underneath. I’m a huge fan of the sheath dress plus blazer look in lieu of a suit. I also think that it would look nice with several variations on the structured dress look.

        I personally think it would be great with a bold green or turquoise dress or a print with some black in it.

    • Blazer question :

      The conversation yesterday made me take a closer look at my (not-so-great-fitting) suits, and I think I need some advice. I am petite but curvy (5’0, 105 lbs and 32DD). I have an extremely short torso (my legs aren’t that petite for my height) and narrow shoulders. I have never, ever found blazers that fit me. If they fit my chest they are always too wide everywhere else, and even petite styles are often too long. I have four Jcrew petite suits (sizes 2P and 0P) and one Theory suit (size 0). The Jcrew jackets fit okay enough to wear, but they don’t look great — too broad in the shoulders even though they’re petite, and they close around my chest but then are wide elsewhere and too boxy. I don’t think I could size down, though, because of my chest. The Theory jacket I had heavily altered, and it looks okay now, although the shoulders are also too broad and it’s longer than I would like. Help???

      I don’t really need more suits — I’m a lawyer but my office is business casual and I rarely go to court — but I would like to have at least one that fits well. Also, my usual daily wardrobe is (1) sheath dress + cardigan, (2) pencil skirt and long-sleeved blouse, or (3) pencil skirt, sleeveless blouse, and cardigan (can you tell I hate pants?). I want to step up my wardrobe and swap out some of my cardigans for blazers (right now I wear a cardigan 3-4 days a week and I’m getting tired of it, especially as I get more senior). Any suggestions for brands/sizes that might fit me or that might fit with alterations a tailor could do? I read extrapetite and she has some good suggestions, but her shape is completely different from mine so many of her ideas do not work for me. I think maybe cropped blazers would work, but those are often boxy and I think I need something more form-fitting. TIA, so much.

      • I think Kelly from Alterations needed might have a good tip or two. Her body shape is different than yours, but she has really useful tips regarding tailoring blazers, what can be done, and what can’t be done. I’m also petite with a short torso, but boyish and not curvy, and from my experience, it is more difficult to buy suits off the rack that fits your frame without alterations because petite suit jackets tend to be cut for a slim figure. I have heard Ann Taylor is a better option for curvier figures, but because Ann Taylor isn’t available in my country, I’ve never tried them on and their site has no size measurements. :(

        I had some luck and bought all my suit jackets that fit me off the rack, but what my tailor told me is: taking in the waist is doable in many cases, but shortening a blazer is mostly impossible. So if you can’t find a blazer that fits you off the rack, you might want to look for a jacket that fits you at the shoulders and bust, hits your hip, and only needs the waist taken in.

        As a last option, there is the option of the custom tailored suit. This will come mostly more expensive than a suit off the rack, but as you said you only want one suit set to look perfect, it might be an option. Many companies offer horribly outdated cuts, though, that look somewhat matronly. Be sure to check photos of other customer’s suits from that company first, if possible, because unless you have some deeper understanding of pattern design, it’s impossible for you to judge what your jacket will look like if the lady of the tailoring company shows you a perfect photograph.

  3. Dealing with a family member on hospice :

    In the span of the last week, a close elderly family member I thought was basically healthy (recovering from a minor surgery) has gone from that to a cancer diagnosis and hospice care. It’s insane how fast it has happened and I’ve already cried more in one week that I ever have. Does anyone have any tips for dealing with this or any articles to recommend? When I see her, I don’t want to say the wrong thing or make the whole process worse. She has said she’s ready to go, but none of us, including the doctors, thought it would be so fast.

    • Ugh, I’m so sorry. Talk to the hospice nurses; they are going to be your best resource. But if you want to do some reading you can look at the national hospice foundation’s website. I’m sorry you’re going through this. Definitely talk to the people who are providing her care; they deal with this day in and day out and can help connect you and your family to the type of support you need.

    • HappyHoya :

      Don’t let your fear of saying the wrong this keep you from being close to her. While it’s great you want to be cautious, the best thing you can do is to treat her like you treated her before. Of course, people will get more attention when they are sick, but she’s still the same person. Of course, I do not know her or your relationship, but in general, I’ve found people in those situations gets frustrated when people act like they’ve somehow changed fundamentally. She’s still the same person, and would probably welcome a distraction from all the discussions revolving around illness.

      • I’m so sorry about your family member. HappyHoya has great advice. And if you are close, then just think about the types of things she enjoys doing and the type of person she is and the things you usually do together and let that guide you. Also the hospice people are wonderful and they really will help your relative be as comfortable as possible.

        My grandmother always thrived on being “the life of the party” and that was very important to her self-identity so we brought wine and tons of old pictures to her room and spent time reminiscing about all the awesome parties and holidays she hosted, the surprise party we’d thrown for her, etc. My mom bought a little boombox and ordered some CDs of her favorite music to play.

    • So sorry this is happening. I would say be there as much as you possibly can. Do all you can to be there. Leave nothing undone or unsaid. Tell her how much you love her and how much she means to you. If you are present and loving, I don’t see how you can say the wrong thing.

    • I’ve dealt with this a few times in our family and it is really hard. My suggestion would be to say what you need to say in the beginning. Go ahead and get anything lingering resolved. The rest of the time, however much it may be, spend talking about happy memories, talk about whatever you normally talk about. It’s ok to talk about your future plans, most people understand that your life is going on. And hey, you may get some great memories or advice out of talking about your hopes and dreams.

    • I second the hospice nurses being your best resource. Also find out if she’s on any food restrictions and if not, maybe you could bring her a favorite snack or two that you two could share or she could have with a meal (it’s still institution food…). She may also appreciate a blanket from home or some snuggly socks or slippers to wear, since drafts do happen.

      Hugs to you. It’s so hard when this happens, but please know that hospice care means they are trying to make her as comfortable as possible.

    • Dealing with a family member on hospice :

      Thanks for the advice, everyone. I think I’ll be seeing her later tonight (depending on moving facilities/bed availability). I hadn’t really thought much about talking to the hospice nurses, but I will definitely do that. Anything that might make this easier or less scary will be welcome. I’ve been through it once before with a grandparent, but the circumstances were a little different and not as sudden. I think that might be what’s hard to accept right now.

      • I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this. When my father was in hospice it came as a surprise to me. After he’d been there a few days, and I’d talked to the nurses, I found a book called Final Gifts which was helpful to me – I read it in small doses, not all at once but found it to be comforting.

  4. Can anyone recommend comfy in-ear headphones? I seem to have small or weirdly shaped ears and my cheap-y jellies and the ones that came with my Sony are driving me to distraction.

    • My boyfriend got me a pair of Sennheiser CX 300B MK II – they sound great and the smallest earbud size fits perfectly. I had the same problem you’re describing with my other cheapie headphones.

      I think theyre ~35ish on amazon, though you may be able to find them cheaper elsewhere.

    • I have heard that people with small ears like yurbuds, although I haven’t tried them myself. They are a basic earbud-type headphone that comes with various ear inserts to try.

      • We posted in unison, great minds think alike! :-)

      • I LOVE the yurbuds (sorry for the ELLEN caps). I have small ear spaces, and they fit great. I was so upset when one of my doggies found them and chewed them up. I went out the next day and bought another pair.

        I work out about 5 days per week, and sweat a lot. I have the ones that have a little hook like thing that fits over the top of the ear too and they stay in walking, running, being on the elliptical and weight lifting.

      • Third the yurbuds suggestion. Only in-ear headphones that don’t come out when I’m running.

        • sweet as soda pop :

          +another vote for yurbuds. Others hurt my ears and fall out. These don’t. I do not have the over the ear kind and I still have no problems with them coming out while running.

    • I just got a pair by Yurbuds at Target, the small ear ones for women. So far very comfortable and haven’t fallen out. Came with two different sizes.

    • Any kind of earbud that comes with multiple sizes of those plastic in-ear thingies work for me on the smallest setting. There are a bunch of brands that sell them.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      I have small ears (the new iPhone earbuds are waaaay too big) and I like the Bose noise-cancelling in-ear headphones. They come in fun colors and with multiple bud sizes, and they both fit and successfully block noise. I have no idea what they cost though, as I got them as a gift.

      • The Bose in-ear work great where many others have failed me! About $100. But going strong for 2-3 years frequent use.

  5. I have an odd question. I desperately need a haircut. I have a formal event on Friday night, and my dress would look better if I wore my hair up. But I want to do it in sort of a casual way, as if I did it myself (but I have no skills). So I was wondering if I could get my hair cut and put in a little do at the same time without paying for a full cut and an updo. How would I communicate that when making my appointment? Do you think they would do that?

    Also, how long should a formal gown be? Mine goes basically to the top of the shoes I want to wear. Do you think that’s long enough?

    • How well do you know your stylist? I’ve been going to the same girl for awhile and if I see her on a Friday or Saturday, she’ll ask me if I’m going out and sometimes she will curl my hair for me or put in a casual updo like you’re suggesting. I think if you’re close enough with her you could just ask if she can throw it up for you (maybe a low side bun? easy and elegant and probably won’t take her much time).

      • +1 Once during a normal trim on a Friday afternoon my stylist asked what I had planned for the weekend and I mentioned I was going to a charity dinner that night. She did an extra-fancy blow-out with some amazing curling iron-wavy thing (I have short hair so an updo isn’t possible) and charged me the normal trim price. I did tip her extra.

      • Same here – my hairstylist always offers to curl or do a quick little style for me when I get my hair cut. She’s already blowdrying and usually straightening at least a little bit, so it doesn’t take too much extra time. Usually I’m just going home from work so I decline but I know the option is there. (And agreed with Back Home – tip well!)

        And thanks for the reminder – I desperately need a haircut and will email my stylist right now to arrange that!

    • Diana Barry :

      I would just ask – if they charge something ridiculous like $80 for an updo that’s out, but maybe your regular hair person (if you have one) would do it for you?

    • bananagram :

      Not sure where you’re based but beauty schools will often have heavily discounted rates. Not sure if I’d want to try a haircut there, but an updo would be low risk.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I agree with the others re: hair updo.

      On your question about the formal dress — That length sounds fine to me. I’ve even worn short dresses to formal events and felt fine (this depends A LOT on the crowd, of course).

    • I try to schedule haircuts on the days when I have formal events, or even more casual get-togethers; I always request haircut and blow-out and let my stylist know if I have something special later that day. But I look so much better every time she blow-dries my hair that it is practically unnecessary. I have been going to this stylist for years.
      If you know your stylist well, schedule “haircut and style” and let her know that you need a “messy updo” when you come in. It will cost you a bit more + additional tip, but not as much as an appointment for a formal updo.

  6. Looking for a Chicago florist :

    Chicago ‘r e t t es:

    I want to send flowers as a thank-you to a couple in Chicago (my son’s girlfriend’s aunt and uncle who were hosted them for a few days that turned into almost a week because of the weather). Looking for a florist who can do something pretty and distinctive but not insanely expensive.



    • I love Stems – not sure about their prices for individual bouquets, but they were very reasonable compared to other vendors for my wedding.

    • Anthos on Broadway in Lakeview (anthosflowers dot com 773-697-0186 ) is wonderful. We use them all the time for everything from a single impulsive corsage for a dinner party to birthday bouquets. The designers come up with lovely things.

    • Miss Behaved :

      I love this online company:

      They have a $40 flat rate, including shipping, and the flowers are beautiful

    • Wait your sending flowers to someone who hosted your son, not who hosted you? That’s major momzilla. Assuming he is over 18 he should send them

      • I have to agree that this seems a little odd and overboard to me. Suggest to him that he make a thoughtful gesture.

      • Looking for a Chicago florist :

        Yes, they will be from him, I’m just getting the ball rolling — he’s a college freshman and clueless about where to start. (The online community most like this one that he participates in involves skateboarding, not much help there.) I’ll give him the name of the florist and some ideas and let him take it from there. And we talked about what kind of gesture would be appropriate — fruit basket, cookies, etc — and he thought these people would appreciate nice flowers. I just didn’t go into all that in my original post.

        Thanks to all of you for the great suggestions.

        • Yeah as a college freshman, I think he knows of google

        • hellskitchen :

          Just wanted to say that I think you are awesome for doing this and right in the way you are approaching it. If your son has never sent flowers before then just asking him to google it and figure it out doesn’t cut it. The fact that you had a conversation with him about it and are helping him get it right the first time means that he will be thoughtful about this in future on his own, rather than only doing something like this when prompted.

        • Silvercurls :

          I wanted to second hellskitchen’s comment. You’re not doing all the work here! You’re introducing a topic, discussing it, and setting up your son to proceed successfully. Smothering would be you doing 100% of the work without giving your son the chance to learn to repeat the action independently.

          As the mom of a somewhat younger guy, I’m taking notes. Life has a lot of lessons to transmit, and everything isn’t intuitive for everybody.

      • You don’t get thoughtful children if you do all the social work for them instead of explaining it to them and letting them do it (if they want to.) But when women complain that their boyfriends/SOs expect them to be the social secretary and handle all the scutwork of social relations while the guys reap all the benefits, and wonder why their guys are so callous, THIS IS WHY.

        • Looking for a Chicago florist :

          I hear all of this, really. I’ve given him the name of a florist — given his budget, he’ll probably go with the online site that Miss Behaved suggested, which looks wonderful — and he is responsible for choosing, ordering and writing the message.

          • Silvercurls :

            I wanted to add my support for what you’re doing to teach your son a new skill. You’ve introduced the topic, discussed it in some detail, started the ball rolling, but left it to him to complete the transaction with his own individual input. This is teaching, not smothering!

            Smothering would be you handling it 100% solo, without explaining what you did so that your son could learn to do the same thing independently.

            As the mom of a younger guy (not yet in high school) I’m taking notes.

      • Agreed. Difference between saying, “it would be nice to send flowers” and actually sending them yourself or picking out a florist for him unprompted. He’s an adult, he can google flower delivery in chicago and find something pretty easily.

    • New Leaf!

    • You are a good mom and a thoughtful person and the critics here are just unreasonable. How lovely of you to guide and assist your son who is at an age where he is just coming into adult responsibilities and relationships.

  7. Anne Shirley :

    Any ideas for a good long weekend getaway from NYC? Driving, under 3 hour trip. My vision is curling up by a fireplace in a big historic lodge, maybe some snowshoeing, wouldn’t mind a cute town to wander in, we don’t ski. But my budget says that I cannot just check into the Mohonk Mountain House, sigh. I just can’t take urban winter any more!

    • pilates princess :

      Lapland Lake in Benson, NY

    • anon a mouse :

      Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck?

    • What about the Hudson Valley or somewhere a little further up? You could go to Woodstock or Saugerties, both of which are really cute towns. Saugerties has lots of fun little antique shops, both have good food options, as does nearby Phoenicia.
      Or you go to Mystic, CT, per yesterday’s post. All of these places are less than 3 hours away; Woodstock is only 90 miles from NYC.
      Also: check out the NY Times online 36 hours in — feature. Lots of ideas (and they also have books, organized by region).

      • The Mystic column:

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’ve stayed at a B&B in Cold Spring before and really enjoyed it. It’s a cute small town and easily accessed via Metro North if you decide you don’t want to drive.

  8. Hi ladies–I have a pregnancy question thread jack. I am only 7 weeks pregnant and have already gone from a 36C to a 36DD (no other weight gain/body changes). I’m struggling with what to do about bras now and through my pregnancy. I’m guessing that my bra size will continue to grow, so I don’t want to invest a lot in a temporary size, but my current bra wardrobe just isn’t cutting it. I’ve heard some recommendations for a Genie Bra, which covers a range of sizes, but I’m skeptical of As Seen on TV products. Does anybody have any tips or recommendations? Thanks in advance!

    • My bra size jumped during the first 8 weeks and seems to have stayed the same since then (now I’m 35 wks). So I highly recommend getting 1-2 bras to make yourself comfortable. Pregnancy is uncomfortable enough!

    • Diana Barry :

      Dude, I feel your pain. I went from a 34D to a 36H while I was pregnant. I did some of each of the following:
      – cheap br*s from Amazon, Marshalls, TJ Maxx;
      – look for sales on Breakout Br*s (great website BTW); and
      – Maidenform outlet.
      I spent a ton, just from getting about 2 to fit each different size. You might also want to buy a little bit big and get some nursing pads for now, and then grow into that size. As you progress, you might want to buy nursing br*s instead of regular ones, so that if you are nursing, you can use them again (I had a steady/slow decrease in size from about 3 months post >> now at 20 months post).

    • There’s no guarantee that they will continue to grow. Mine went up a bit at the very beginning, then stayed the same the rest of pregnancy, and then grew more when I started nursing. Honestly, there’s just no good solution for this problem, but I will tell you what I wish I had done. I should have bought an underwire nursing bra during pregnancy. That would have ensured that I got the most use out of it. I would have even bought a size up, although I know many people disagree. For you, I’d probably recommend buying an underwire nursing bra in a 36DDD.

      • Shameless plug, but here’s a post I did on this topic a while back:

        I just reread it, and now that I’m back at work, my advice would have changed a bit. Wireless is good for right after the baby when everything is very sensitive and you aren’t working, but now I wear underwire every day.

    • If you are considering nursing, you may want to look at nursing bras by Anita & Bravado (the original Bravado line more so than the cheaper line they sell at Target). Pricy, but they have soft, stretchy cups that still provide real support, and they hold up really well. I stopped nursing over a year ago but my Anita nursing bras still wind up in my regular rotation because they are so comfy. If your band size goes up (it probably will towards the end) you can also use bra back extenders to buy you an extra inch or two on your regular bras.

      • Maddie Ross :

        I cannot say enough good things about the original Bravado bras. (And like Meg, not as many good things about the cheaper Target line — I use those as my “all my other ones are in the laundry” bras only). They are comfy, stretchy and somehow do provide real support. And they completely handle the waking up in the morning as a B and ending the day as a C, or vice versa when nursing, thing.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. I love the Anita ones and they last a long time.

    • I just bought two at a time and kept buy new every six weeks or so. I just washed often.

      I started as a 34B and went up to a 36DD while pregnant. I dropped to a smaller band once I delivered and my bump went away, and jumped a cup size up to a 34F (though I could possibly use a bigger cup size). I’ve been that size for a while now at four months post partum. I was told I may shrink once my baby starts solids, so I’m hoping to use the smaller sizes at work as I shrink.

      I will still need nursing bras for weekends when I have the baby with me, though. I find nursing bras less comfortable than normal bras so I only wear them when I need to nurse.

      • I’m a 32D and this strikes fear into my heart for when I get pregnant. B-DD?! Dang girl!

        • Don’t worry, everyone is different. I’m 16 weeks pregnant and normally a B and have really only gone up to a small C. I’m a little big for my bras now (minor quad boob action) but haven’t bothered to invest in any news ones yet.

          • +1 — I’m about 6.5 weeks and I went from a small C to a big C.

          • I went from barely an A to barely a B. It was so disappointing! I’d been looking forward to that aspect of pregnancy for years!

        • Anon in NYC :

          I know – 34DD here. I think my entire wardrobe would have to change in the early weeks. Ack!

        • Manhattanite :

          Make peace with the fear. I went from 30DD/32D up to a 32F/G at the end of pregnancy, beginnning of nursing. 32H/I when engorged.

          I feel practically tiny now that I’m back to a 30DD post-nursing.

          • I was a 34DD when I got PG and they never changed at all until when I started nursing. (Jumped to an F when my milk came in). So, just because you start big doesn’t necessarily mean they will get bigger!

            But they might… ;0 you just never know!

        • I’ve only gone up from a 34B to a 36B. (A little sad that I didn’t at the very least get some nice b**bage to go with the belly — who knows once they’re born, though, and I start nursing.)

    • I agree with the others who said that their cup size went up a lot at the beginning and then stayed there throughout pregnancy and nursing (for me, from a D to a DDDD). That was my experience, too. I will add, though, that I found a band extender a very worthwhile investment to keep wearing my same bras as my ribcage expanded later in pregnancy

    • I was a smallish 36C pre-preg. I’m now nursing in a 38D nursing bra but could probably go back down to a 36D/DD if I were interested in buying another bra.

      I bought underwire nursing br*s from Target at 16 weeks (36D), ~30 weeks (38D) and one more after my milk came in and I knew I’d be a D-ish for a while. They’re like $15 and work just fine for me.

      • Good bra recs here, and I agree that for most, there’s a lot of growth in the beginning and then it slows or stops. But I just want to add that if it doesn’t, look into Gestational Macromastia (images are not appropriate for work). I experienced extreme growth (and extreme pain) throughout my first pregnancy, and could not find a doctor in my (large metropolitan) area who had a clue what was wrong. It took me way too long to find out about Macromastia (through Google, not a doctor). I ultimately ended up hospitalized and treated far from home, and with surgery after the pregnancy. And I don’t want anyone to have to suffer the way I did. Good luck with your pregnancy!

  9. Lady Tetra :

    I just got new patent leather heels, and they’re so squeaky when I walk! Any solution?

    • As long as the inside isn’t a nice leather or anything you’re worrying about ruining, rub lotion inside of them.

  10. All this weight talk over the last couple days raises some questions for me:

    People who have lost weight, are you actually happier now? Was the weight loss worth the effort? How hard is it to maintain? What did you do to lose weight?

    People who are overweight, are you happy? If not, is it because of your weight? Are you actively trying to lose weight? How?

    • bananagram :

      I lost about 20 lb on weightwatchers and I think it did make me happier. The effect was on two fronts. First, I’m a recreational runner and losing some weight was very noticible in my running. Second, knowing that my bmi had gone from the overweight to normal range was a huge confidence boost. It gave me persmission to stop worrying about my weight. My bmi now is ~23, in the top half of the range, but I just don’t think about it now.

      • Kudo’s to you! I do NOT have that many pound’s to lose, but I love the FITBIT! Dad make’s me work out every day and he has put togther a programme that LETS me get my 10,000 step’s EVERY DAY, but if I don’t he says that I will NEVER find a man to marry me (other then guy’s like Gonzalo, who LOVE women with “shelf’s” for tuchuses.

        Dad also says he want’s mom to lighten her tuchus, and I don’t understand why. Mom has always had a big tuchus, and that NEVER seemed to be an issue until RECENTELEY. Why now is her tuchus an issue? Does this come up this time of year with other men who look at their wive’s tuchus and say it is to big? How should we deal with guy’s who say our tuchuse’s are to big?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I’ll chime in. I lost 30 lbs during my second year of law school, and I was actually happier. However, it wasn’t because of the weight loss. It was because of the things I did to lose the weight: eating healthier food and exercising more. I made myself a priority during that time period and really focused on my own well-being. I felt really great and looked great. Not going to lie, I also loved the way I looked in my clothes, which gave me a ton more confidence. It was 100% worth the effort. I did it the boring way, just by tracking my calories and working out.

      So, I’ve gained back those 30 lbs plus 5. I kept it all off for about 2 years, then work got really really busy and it started creeping back on. My activity reduced dramatically and I lost all my good eating habits because I started eating out more frequently, etc. I’m happy in some areas of my life, but I don’t feel great about myself. I think it has more to do with my unhealthy lifestyle currently and the fact that I haven’t been focusing on my physical or mental health for a while now. And I don’t feel good in my clothes anymore. I finally folded up all my favorites that I can’t wear anymore and put them away so I don’t have to see them every day. My New Year’s resolution (eep, I don’t usually do those…) is to be able to fit into most of those clothes again by June, so I am actively trying to lose weight again. I’m doing the same thing that worked for me before — tracking calories on My Fitness Pal and trying to work out almost every day. I have added more weight training in this time, so we’ll see how that works.

    • In 2009, I spent the entire year on a no dairy, no grains regimen. I am 5′ 2 3/4″ and I dropped from 132 to 117. I was a teeny bit plump before, and I was truly svelte (with cheekbones and collarbones for the first time ever) at the end. I started as a size 6 and ended as a size 2. I turned 43 that year and am now 47.

      I have gained back up to 123ish (in part due to some health problems in 2012 that made it impossible for me to exercise or really control my eating much). I typically exercise 3-4 times/week. Those health issues have recently abated enough so that I am now back to trying to reconquer those last 5ish pounds.

      I felt (and still do feel) fabulous when I am eating that cleanly and exercising that regularly. Eyes clear. Hair shiny. Skin luminous. Happy to wear all my clothes. And, truth be told, a little bit superior (I know, not nice, but there you have it). Oh, also look much better in photos because my naturally r-o-u-n-d face is less so.

      It is hard to maintain when I get a craving for bread (grains) and cheese (dairy). Or pasta. It helps that chocolate was never off the menu. I would say that, with the brief period in 2012 when my stomach issues made eating this way impossible, I eat clean 80-90 percent of the time. So the other times won’t kill me, but if I want to maintain the cheekbones and hips, it should really be 95-100 percent of the time. That’s just an issue of life priorities, IMO.

      • I should be more positive about what I *did* eat instead of focusing on what I did not eat:

        * lean protein (I don’t eat meat, so this was eggs, fish and seafood)
        * lots and lots of vegetables
        * lots and lots of fruit
        * moderate amounts of plant-based fats (olive oil, avocado, almond butter)
        * dark chocolate

        • What do people mean by “clean” eating? I see it frequently in discussions like this and it is so non-specific.

      • anonforthis :

        Just wanted to chime in to say that I am exactly your height and experienced nearly the exact same weight loss as you – 135 to 117 (thought admittedly I was much younger at the time). I now fluctuate between 117 and 124. However – and again, may be an age thing – I don’t have nearly as strict of a diet. I am a vegetarian, but aside from that I just try to make sure that most of my plate for lunch and dinner is filled with vegetables and includes a protein (beans, tofu, lentils, or a high-protein grain). I eat grains and carbs and have something sugary nearly every day though as well – I just don’t go crazy with it. That said, I do work out 5-6 times a week (vigorous cardio 4x, body weight exercises with some cardio 2x).

        I am much happier with my body now, but I have always been self-conscious about my weight and still continue to be, just to a lesser extent. I had to be more conscious about what I was eating, but other than that it wasn’t THAT much effort to lose the weight. I think what makes me feel the most better now vs. before is that I care way more about my fitness goals than the number on the scale; if I can run one more mile this month than last month, I don’t care if I’m 2 lbs. heavier.

      • Let’s avoid using specific height/weight ratios, friends. I don’t appreciate being your exact “pre” height/weight and hearing about how superior you now feel!

        That said, I enjoy eating dairy and grains–my bones and cognitive functions appreciate it as well!

        • You’re the one who listed your specific height/weight. Not sure how you’re offended by somebody else doing the same thing.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve lost 70 pounds from my highest weight 4 years ago. 20 of those were lost right after moving to nyc and being much more active in my daily commute. I lost the other 50 over the course of about a year and have been kind of maintaining that for the past year. I’m still trying to lose but have been more relaxed about my plan so I’ve been stuck in a 10-pound range for the year. I have a minimum of 30 pounds left to lose but would ideally like to lose about 40.

      The happiness question is complicated. Aside from the initial 20 pounds, I started losing weight as part of an overall life overhaul. Gaining weight was very much connected to my severe depression and anxiety issues, which I no longer suffered from when I started making changes. I also started dating for the first time in nearly a decade and began a new career at the same time. I’m definitely happier now but I don’t think it is entirely connected to the weight loss though it is at least partially.

      It was hard work for me. I’ve been working with a doctor and nutritionist and follow a plan they laid out for me with calorie, protein, fat, and carbohydrate guidelines. It was easier to follow before I moved in with my now fiancé because everything I ate was completely up to me. Now we eat dinner together often and it’s easy for me to slip into eating whatever he wants to eat. I also lost most of the weight when working super crazy hours at work so as long as I only brought what I was supposed to eat for the day I could easily stick to it since I didn’t have time to run out and get anything else. As I said, I’ve become more relaxed and don’t follow the plan now as well as I was before. I’m working on getting back on track. I do take comfort in the fact that I’ve more or less maintained my weight and it hasn’t been too difficult.

      I’m still overweight but I’m definitely happy now. It isn’t entirely because of my weight. I’m still somewhat dissatisfied with my weight but proud of how far I’ve come. Still trying to work my food plan and actually going to see my nutritionist today to check in.

      • I’m working with a nutritionist and doctor as well to address my weight issues (as well as depression and anxiety, some of which are chronic illness-induced). This week is week #1 of the new plan (NOT diet), and I already feel better. Even though i haven’t touched a significant amount of chocolate in three days, I’m feeling like my energy is more consistent and I’m getting enough to eat. And every time I feel like slipping, I remember how I feel when my pants feel too tight or I’m shamed about being in a bathing suit and I stick to my carrots and dressing plan and skip the overflowing candy and chocolate table at work.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Good luck reaching your goals. I’ll definitely say that even though I still have a ways to go I feel much better physically than I used to. That is a wonderful feeling.

    • anonforthis :

      As a counterpoint:

      This was the very question my therapist would ask me when I was recovering from my eating disorder: “But were you happier when you were thin?” For me, the answer was no. For me to be “thin” (size 0/2, BMI 19) I had to eat around 1500 calories a day, rarely drank or had dessert (not a glass of wine, not a cookie) and worked out 3-4 hours per day (intense cardio, often would feel faint or dizzy, vomited sometimes after workouts). And the worst part? I STILL thought I was fat. and of course I wasn’t happy!

      I know it’s unpopular, but for some people, myself included, that is what it takes “to be thin”. It did not make me happier. I eat very healthy, and do yoga and hit the gym a few times a week, but I also allow myself to indulge from time to time. This means that no, I’m not thin, but yes, I am MUCH happier.

      just a counterpoint :)

      • Diana Barry :

        Another counterpoint: I had disordered eating and over-exercised during my 20s. Same with restricting food, etc. I would break down and cry for 20 minutes if my husband wanted me to skip a workout to hang out with him.

        After I had kids (actually after #1) I became much more relaxed about things and now eat what I want and don’t stress about my stomach sticking out or whatever. The weird thing is, now that I eat more intuitively and don’t stress, I am close to the same size as before (not as scary thin/lean as I was at my lowest, which was at my wedding), but without the worry/anxiety and constant vigilance.

      • Yup. I have never been as unhappy in my life as when I weighed the least I ever have, which was about 30 pounds lighter than I currently am. I would not wish the self-hatred and misery that I felt on my worst enemy. Thanks for nothing, eating disorder!

        I know I’m usually banging the body-acceptance bongos here, but I have slightly not-that-great feelings towards the size of my body right now. I’m about 15 pounds heavier than I would like to be, due to some situational dietary factors outside my control, and maybe a slowing metabolism. Even though I know that weight loss, for me, does not lead to happiness, I still liked how my body looked, and how clothes fit me, 15 pounds lighter. But said situational factors, plus a strict edict from the therapist I saw when I started feeling myself slip into the ED thought-patterns that I was not to try to lose weight under any circumstances, mean that those 15 pounds are sticking around for the foreseeable future.

        So it is what it is–I’ve been aggressively buying clothes that fit my new figure, focusing on running because I love running, and eating vegetables because I love eating vegetables. Other than that whole can of body-image worms, I’d say I’m happy: seeing a great new guy who gives me all kinds of Feelings, chipping away at grad school, great friends, my dog, a job I enjoy.

      • I’m glad you chimed in with this. It’s always good to remember that weight does not define one’s happiness.

        I agree with everyone’s comments that when I feel better in my clothes, I am so much more confident and productive. Yesterday, I was wearing a crummy outfit that fit terribly. I felt awful all day and felt embarassed every time someone was walking behind me in the hallways because everything was lumpy. Today, I’m the exactly the same weight (5’6″, 165 lbs), but I’m wearing an outfit that I love and fits me perfectly. I feel like a million bucks. I’ve already pumped out several projects and I’ve only been at work for about two hours. I guess it goes to show that weight is less important than making sure your clothes fit well.

      • Joanna Toews :

        I don’t associate happiness with weight loss anymore for two reasons:

        1) My only dramatic weight loss was due to a traumatic experience and several months of PTSD-like symptoms. I literally could not eat more than a few bites at a time. I worked out like crazy for stress relief, but I often felt faint. It was truly awful.

        2) My most dramatic weight gain was due to lifting weights. Muscle weighs more than fat. And though the fat hung around, my body shape underneath the fat was SPECTACULAR. I felt physically and emotionally better than any other time in my life since puberty hit.

      • CPA to be :

        For most of high school and the first copule of years of college, I weighed under 100 lbs. I’m 5’3. I didn’t have an eating disorder, per se… there were no restrictions on what I ate and I didn’t work out. But I was a miserable anxious wreck because of things going on in my family life. Anxious to the point where I would feel like choking or gagging when I ate because everything made me feel sick. Peple would comment on my weight and my eating habits, and that made me even more anxious.

        The happier and more mentally healthy I’ve gotten, the more weight I’ve put on, the more I’ve eaten, etc. I’m now about 15-20 lbs heavier than I was when I was such a wreck. I’m at an “ideal” weight, and very healthy. I’m about to turn 30, and I feel so much better about life. I am much much happier now than I was when I was underweight. It has been a challenge to accept my weight gain at a certain level because of the cultural messages of “you can’t be too thin.”

        Weirdly enough, watching British TV shows about health and diet have brought me the most peace with my weight, because there the message isn’t “size 0/2 is ideal”. The message is “being healthy is ideal.”

      • I’ll second the people who say it’s not really the weight loss, it’s what you do to lose weight.

        I’m been lucky that I’m pretty naturally thin, but when I was in college/grad school, I ate tons of junk food, drank a ton, and never worked out. After I finished up, I started working out and eating better, and actually GAINED a bit of weight, but I feel so much happier.

    • wildkitten :

      I lost 20 lbs. It was worth it. I was downright giddy. I have gained it back (I stopped trying – don’t stop trying!) and am now working on losing it again, because it was worth it. I stopped drinking and ate lean protein and vegetables.

    • At one point, I did lose about 30 lbs (5 on my own, 25 with WW – I’m 5’5″ and went from 180 to 151). My body shape changed and I looked good. But it didn’t feel like MY body. Whatever. I slowly gained the weight back due to health issues (remember allergypocalypse?). I gained those 30 lbs back but my body shape is different now, more like the 151 body shape. And I’m not sure I was happier at a lower weight. It was so stressful watching after my food intake. I try to make sure I eat right and exercise and just live. I have way too many other things to worry about. It was an interesting experience but I’m not sure I could go back to it.

      • Similar to this. I lost about 30 lbs my first year of law school on WW (after gaining a significant portion of that in the year right before). Over the past 7 years since, my weight has slowly but surely crept up just about to where i started, but my dress/pants size has only increased by one (aka – started law school as a 12, went down to a loose 6, am now a tighter 6 in dresses or 8 in pants). My body is so different (i should also mention i’m a runner now). i’d like to get back down to the loose 6, but it’s crazy to me that the 20-30 lbs has only manifested itself in me in one size up. i will say i was happier then with respect to my self-image. I LOVED being able to wake up and wear anything in my closet, or shop and know things will look good on me, but I haven’t experienced that for a few years. In life, happiness about equal.

    • Olivia Pope :

      I will chime in and say yes, but mainly because I lose weight when I’m healthier. When I exercise regularly, eat more plant-based foods, and drink more water, I feel better all around. And it is nice to just get dressed instead of worrying about what will still fit.

      I would not, however, think an incredibly strict diet/exercise regimen would be worth it happiness wise unless I had some serious health risks that required weight loss. Food is a part of loving life, for me.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Oh my gosh! This is such an interesting question!

      I was overweight my whole life and yo-yo dieted from the age of 9 until I had weight loss surgery at 52. I know not everyone who is heavy is unhappy, but for me it was a lifelong source of unhappiness and embarassment (looking at you, Mom, who put me on a diet at age 9 and forever shattered my idea of myself as “okay!”).

      I went from a size 16-18 petite to a size 2. I work out every day. I had a facelift and tummy tuck to take care of the sags and bags the lost weight left behind. There is no question that I look better now, at age 55, than I ever have. And it’s kind of awesome, but I definitely work at it. The surgery leveled the playing field and made it possible, but I still eat way less than I’d like and work out way more than is probably reasonable. Which I am willing to do because it’s important to me.

      Am I happier? Well, when I am asked that question I always say that I am living two realities at the same time. On the one hand, I am still me, with all the same problems and foibles I ever had. In fact, some of it got worse. My marriage finally reached the breaking point and I left my husband last year. But generally everything is exactly the same as when I was fat.

      But on the other hand, at exactly the same time, everything is completely different. I always felt like I was going through life with an asterisk next to my name: Senior Attorney*

      *She’s great but she’s fat

      And now the asterisk is gone, which is every single bit as magical as I thought it would be. I don’t have to play “am I the fattest person in the room?” any more. I can go shopping for clothes with friends and most things fit and most things look good. I finally feel normal. I totally own that a lot of the angst associated with being fat was coming from me, but be that as it may, it’s awesome to have it gone.

      So. Yes, I’m happier. And no, I’m not a single bit happier. Both of those things, both 100%, both at the very same time.

      DISCLAIMER: This is my experience only. Not saying thin is better for everyone, or that fat-hating or fat-shaming are in any way okay. Quite the contrary. My first choice would have been to accept my body and be happy as it was, but I had years of therapy and believe me, that was never going to happen. I still feel conflicted about that — like I gave in to “the Man” — but for me this is where I found my peace.

      • Oh gosh – My experiences with my mother are VERY similar to Senior Attorney’s. First dieted at about the age of 12. Yo-yo dieting for most of my life. I hit a high point at age 40 and suddenly came to my senses and realized that I needed to eat better or I was going to have serious health problems. I lost 90 lbs (well, actually 95 to my lowest). I still had/have a lot of extra skin, which causes problems with clothing (and I don’t have the money for a tummy tuck). My marriage blew up when I had lost about 50 lbs so being thinner gave me the confidence to go forward in the world as a single woman. I look back at pictures of me at my lowest weight (size 6) and my face looks gaunt. Over the years since then, I slipped back into some bad eating habits. I don’t overeat and I don’t drink much at all and I exercise like crazy, but I found myself slipping more and more into snacks and too much sugar. I recently decided not to diet but rather just to eat well, more vegetables, much less sugar and I’ve lost a little more than 20 lbs in the past 3 months. I feel really good because I’m eating better and I feel healthier. Not just eating sugar to make myself feel better then feeling bad about it because none of my clothes fit (even my bras – everything was tight). I had a short term goal of being able to fit back into my ponte pencil skirts. I have the same skirt in 4 colors and they were a staple in my wardrobe until I gained too much weight. I’m now back in them and back into some of my other clothes. I’m still losing but I don’t really have a goal. Just to be healthy and fit into my clothes!

        • Senior Attorney :

          Ah, NOLA! Sugar is the debbil! I have subscribed to a CSA box and my 2014 resolution is also “eat way more vegetables!” Good luck with your goals, and big hugs from somebody who knows what it’s like!!

          • sweetknee :

            Good for you NOLA and Senior Attorney. Like Senior attorney, I had weight loss surgery(lapband) 3 years ago. I have lost 120 pounds, down from a size 24 to a size 10. I still deal with the loose skin issue (saving for a tummy tuck and a brachioplasty !), but feel and look better than I ever have.

            My mom put me on Weight Watchers when I was 12, and it was a yoyo for the next 30 years. Two pregnancies were the straw that broke the camel’s back weight wise.

            I work out 5x per week, and still watch what I eat like a hawk. I would love to lose about 15 more pounds, but I think those are going to be the hardest of all. I am within a “healthy” BMI, I am just hung up on the number on the scale.

            And I agree. . .sugar is the debbil !!!!

      • I yo-yo between normal weight and 20 LBs overweight every two years. I feel very confident about myself when I am 5-6 Lbs overweight. I hate the way my face looks when I am at normal weight as it looks bony. I like how I look even at 20Lbs overweight but I mostly try to lose it so that I don’t get called fat (which has happened) and I don’t have to worry what others are thinking about my weight.
        It is extremely difficult for me to maintain my medically normal weight. But neither I feel uncomfortable till I gain 20 Lbs. But I start becoming very self conscious at 20 Lbs and work at losing it. It’s bad and I absolutely hate having to work so much to lose weight. Also having hypothyroidism doesn’t help..It is so easy to pack on 20 least after the diagnosis and treatment..I treat myself much more humanely.

    • Anon for this :

      I lost about 20 or so pounds leading up to my wedding, re-gained some of the weight, lost it again (am at wedding weight now), and still think that I could stand to lose 5-8 pounds (but those pounds are purely for vanity reasons. I’m completely healthy as-is). My BMI is on the high side of normal, but I have a lot of muscle. I exercise on average 5 days a week, and occasionally do 2 workouts a day. I am conscientious about my diet about 80% of the time, and the other 20% I eat burgers, potato chips, drink alcohol, etc. I know that to lose the vanity pounds that I would have to be more strict with my diet.

      To me, the exercise and diet are worth it. For starters, I have a lot more energy. For years I felt “old” (way older than my actual age). Now I feel younger (and healthier) than I did when I was 25. I like how I look now – in and out of clothes – and I like that I have muscles. I feel strong. I also feel athletic, which is a somewhat new experience for me, and I like that feeling. I know that there is no way to predict the future, but I like thinking that I’m safeguarding my future health just a little bit. And I’ve changed my mindset from hating exercise to actually really loving it.

      • Anon for this :

        As an addendum, I will also say that I think it took about a solid 2.5 years to get to the place I am now (consistently exercising and enjoying it, and eating a mostly healthy diet). I still do things (mostly, eat things) that I wish I didn’t (inhaling all the carbs at dinner, etc.), and I need to learn to be kinder to myself. I also struggle with having a social life and keeping a healthy diet. Most of my girlfriends are not on the same page, so they want to have indulgent meals and a lot of wine, and I don’t, and it’s hard for them to support my choices. But I also need to let go and recognize that a big night out every once in a while won’t make me gain 20 lbs again.

    • I have been about 140 at my heaviest (highschool and college) and 117 ish at my lightest (most of my late 20s and 30s). I don’t restrict categories of food, but am conscious of food choices and caloric intake and try to follow a model where I eat whole / good / homemade foods during the week and allow splurges on the weekend. I rarely drink more than one drink at one time. I run a lot and vary the runs between intervals, tempo, long runs and hills. I also do power yoga once a week.

      I am without a doubt happier thinner. I feel better and I look better. Vanity, confidence and health all play a role in feeling better. I like the way I look in clothes better (which does lead to way more shopping). My large bust doesn’t look so large on my smaller frame. My face looks better.

      I will also say that when I was heavier, I had a worse relationship with food. Now that I have figured out what works for me, it seems easier. I eat when I’m hungry until I’m satisfied and try to never eat so much that I feel uncomfortable. I eat what I want within reason and I have learned that healthier food makes me feel way better. Being really active helps, too because I definitely notice a correlation between eating not so great foods and feeling sluggish and tired for workouts.

    • I’ve been unhappy with my weight- or more accurately, with the way my body looks and clothes fit- since at least 6th or 7th grade. My mom, who is naturally tall-ish and thin/curve-less, was not trying to damage my self-esteem but I think she did by constantly telling me I wore the wrong clothes (that top is too short, it doesn’t cover your hips… those pants are too tight…) and needed to get in shape.

      The thing is, I’ve never been overweight. I was consistently a size 6 through college and most of law school. I gained weight somewhere during 2L and 3L year, and by the time law school graduation came around, I weighed the most I ever had, 136 lbs (I’m slightly under 5’4). At that point I really felt miserable about my weight and needing to buy a size 8 (ridiculous, I know). I’m also not a very physically active person, aside from walking a lot.

      I did WW for a few months and then lost some weight by myself- I got down to 120 within about 8 months from law school graduation. My goal weight has always been 117-118, which I did get down to for a week or two, but it really felt unsustainable. How did I lose the weight? Tracking calories (not very strictly), sometimes skipping meals or only eating half of what was on my plate, working out 4-5 times a week. It wasn’t super hard actually, once I got into a rhythm it almost came naturally, but then if I get off track it becomes so hard to go back to my old eating habits. To be honest, I never ate CLEANER when I was losing weight- I just ate less of what I ate before. I know this isn’t healthy.

      When I was at my lowest weight I felt proud of myself and I liked how I looked in clothes, but still found plenty of flaws in my naked body. Part of this is that I wasn’t doing enough weight training or exercise to actually tone up. But overall I was happy that I lost the weight and felt more confident.

      Right now I’m at 123-124 and am again very unhappy with how I look 90% of the time. But I’m having a hard time getting back into the weight loss mentality. My ultimate fear is going above 125, I think hovering around there will trigger something in me that will make me more disciplined with myself ,or at least I hope.

      • If 118 felt unsustainable, but 123 makes you unhappy, then it sounds like you’ve given yourself a really narrow window and are either wishing you could make 118 sustainable, or just lose about 3 lbs. and stay there. I say this with compassion: I really wish we could find more peace with situations like this. My own scenario is very similar to yours.

        It speaks volumes that it seems like every participating commenter has several paragraphs to write about her weight history and how she feels about it. I really wish I could wave a magic wand and give all of us back all the time and strife we will spend on this over our lifetimes.

        • “I really wish I could wave a magic wand and give all of us back all the time and strife we will spend on this over our lifetimes.” This x1000. Like many others, my weight/shape complicated my relationship with my mother and I probably did lasting damage to my metabolism from a decade of disordered eating. Interestingly, what has helped me the most is becoming a parent. My body is capable of amazing things. I want to be healthy in order to set a good example for my child and to be able to keep up with him!

          • Senior Attorney :


            I will say that one of my proudest parenting successes is that I just shut the eff up when my son got a little chubby in middle school. I continued to make healthy food available, I continued to go to karate classes with him, and lo and behold he got taller and slimmed down and it never got to be a Thing.

      • I think there’s a lot to be said for eating half of whats on your plate. Its one thing if you cooked the meal, know how much one serving is, and are still eating half. But, if you are eating at a restaurant/ordering take out, etc, the portions are huge. If you’re used to eating a whole portion from a restaurant, and you cut it down to half, it makes sense that the weight would drop right off. And i dont know that it is unhealthy to do so.

      • Philanthropy Girl :

        I gained a bunch of weight during pregnancy, and at the end of my pregnancy went through serious trauma (my son was born at 23 weeks by emergency c-section, and lived only a week). I definitely consoled with food and six months later was heavier than when I was 5 months pregnant – the heaviest I’ve ever been. I was depressed and miserable for multiple reasons, my weight being one of them.

        I dieted, I worked out, even with a specialist trainer, and managed to loose 30 pounds. Even 30 pounds lighter, I was still heavier than I’d been most of my adult life. I hated being on a diet – I couldn’t drink, enjoy any of my favorite foods, and social/work events were miserable because I had to either cheat on my diet or not eat. I hated working out – my trainer was a jerk and gyms make me feel like a lab rat. I eventually gained most of that weight back.

        I was happier when I was 30 pounds lighter, but not because I was skinny (like I said – I was still heavier than I’d been my entire adult life). When I reached a comfortable weight, I started moderately enjoying my favorite foods, and instead of torturing my body at a gym went for walks in the sunshine or played a game of tennis. I didn’t start gaining weight back until those nasty emotional issues crept back in and I returned to my junky-junk food ways. Being at a more appropriate weight for me allowed me to enjoy my life more. I felt in control of my own choices (neither controlled by junk food, nor by dietary regulations), and was confident in my ability to say no when it was appropriate to say no.

        I think if I could return to an emotionally healthy place where I didn’t feel so controlled by my dietary habits, I would be happy no matter my size.

    • I’m 5’4″ (and 1/2″) and used to be really, really thin – in college and grad school my weight fluctuated between 98 and 103. It wasn’t because I ate well or exercised (I had pie or cake or cookies for breakfast and lunch every single day) but just youth, good genes, and a high metabolism. And you know what? I absolutely loathed my body and was constantly uncomfortable in it. I liked my weight, but I hated how pale I was, I hated my keratosis pilaris, I hated my nose, my flat chest, my body hair, the scars I had from childhood surgeries, the moles on my arm, and on and on. I covered up as much as I could (high collars, long sleeves, never wore shorts or non-ankle length skirts) and seriously daydreamed about becoming a disembodied intelligence.

      As I got older, I started gaining weight, and I also became so much happier (in many ways, but including with my physical appearance). It may have been more to do with maturity than weight, or it may have been that I started to look different enough from the models in the magazines that I no longer felt I needed to look *exactly* like them to be pretty. I leveled out at about 125 and started dressing like a modern American (I even bought a two-piece swimming suit, despite the loss of my thigh gap). It helped that I was finally a size that I could buy at most stores.

      Now I’ve recently gained another ten pounds as a side-effect to some medication (and those bad habits I gained in college – I had a cinnamon roll for breakfast today), and I’m *ever-so-slightly* less happy, because my closet is full of beautiful clothes I can’t wear anymore. But even though my thighs are jiggly and my stomach isn’t perfectly flat, I really do love them more than I did when I was 19.

      Short answer? While weight might have some impact on people’s happiness, especially their happiness with their physical appearance, I think a *lot* of it is about self-acceptance, health, and obsession with the ideals promulgated by the media. Thin =/= happy, or even happy with the way you look (not that you were suggesting that, but I think the two do get conflated far too often).

      • I’m pretty much here, with a side of Olivia Pope’s comment above about being happier not because of weight loss but because of being active and eating/sleeping well making me feel better. Used to be quite thin but still didn’t love how I looked (mostly insecurity and not being brave enough to try out different clothing/makeup/hair styles), sort of averaged out over the past few years, and sometimes feel bad about it but generally am MUCH happier now.

        • Yeah, my thinnest ever, a few years back, I liked my size and loved how clothes looked…but it was because I was having migraines 4-5 times a week, and unable to eat. I lost my job and broke up with the person I was dating. I might’ve liked the effect on my scale, but didn’t love what it took. Now I am super unhappy with my body (gained about 30 pounds over the past few years) but haven’t been able to motivate to lose (mostly food related–I work out, run, and dance). But better that than being sick and jobless is what I try to remind myself…

    • frugal doc... :

      I’m 5′ 7″ and my weight fluctuates from the low end of normal to 15 pounds heavier.

      When I am working crazy hours, so I can’t exercise and I have to “eat to survive” (ie. grab it when you can and have to eat for convenience), I am at the high end of my weight.

      When I have time off work or am out of my crazy hours period, I rapidly lose the weight in no time, with little effort. This is just due to improved eating – cooking more at home, less stress eating.

      I admit, that I never get myself exercising regularly. I just really really hate exercising, and when time is so valuable, it is unfortunately the first thing to go. My most common exercising is a tiny amount of free weights I do while watching TV to relax. I do see that improving muscle bulk/tone in my arms takes little work and seems to improve my metabolism and make weight loss easier.

      I definitely feel better and happier when I am lighter. It is amazing how even a small amount of weight loss helps my “bad knees”, back pain and overall energy level and mood. Also, a 15 lb weight loss is enough to move me down 1-2 sizes in pants. Kinda sucks to have to maintain such a range of sizes in my wardrobe.

      Interesting observation…. when my weight is down, women comment on my appearance in a positive way (or say negative things about their own weight, which makes me feel bad….), but men tell me I am too thin. I see a clear correlation with what men prefer…. They prefer T*** and A** and a rounder face . The thinner you get as a woman, you lose the T & A. However, for me…. my breasts are tiny and don’t get bigger with weight gain so guys lose both ways!!!

    • anon for this :

      I lost 30 pounds over the course of about a year (from 130 to 100ish – for reference, I’m 5’0), after 3 or 4 years of yo-yo-ing up and down the same 20 pounds through restrictive dieting and then overeating. Amazingly, though I convinced myself I was one of those people that had to “starve myself to be thin,” the reason I found it so hard to lose weight was that I a) wasn’t patient and moderate and b) had probably wrecked my metabolism. For a year I pledged to just “eat clean” and try and exercise more and cut out late night snacks (in law school I used to go out, drink, then come home and binge on second dinner). I still indulge in a glass or two of wine with dinner, almost every day (European upbringing) and will eat out, but I’ve found that my appetite and attitude have changed and I’m more likely to stop eating when I’m full. I lost steadily for about 10 months and have maintained a steady weight for the last 6 or so. I’m definitely happier and feel better about myself, especially since I no longer feel it’s a daily struggle to maintain the weight. Going forward, I think the key is not getting complacent and allowing it to creep back on. But anyway, just some perspective on the fact that it was easier, for me at least, to lose a substantial amount of weight just by shifting the focus away from dieting and shifting the focus toward a healthier routine in general. That also allows me to feel happier about the weight loss and able to focus on how it improves my life, rather than to feel anxiety about maintaining some impossible ideal.

    • anon blah blah :

      I’m 5’2. My weight fluctuates between 127-130. I carry most of my “excess weight” in my thighs and butt. Even at my lowest weight in college (around 120) I have thick thighs and a booty. On my bad days, when I am unkind to myself, I feel plump. (And on my really bad days, I worry I am in denial about calling myself merely plump.) About a year ago, I weighed 123, partially due to side effects associated with topamax. While I wish I saw that number on the scale now, I’m not sure I was happier at that weight: I still had the same anxiety and dysmorphia I have now. (But my skirts fit a little better…) Perhaps the hardest thing about the gain is that I feel shame associated with it.

    • In about 7th grade, I reached my adult height of 5’4″ and weighed 122 pounds. I think that was a good weight for me and my body type, but I thought I was fat and was extremely self-conscious. My weight went up and down a bit over the next few years. By sophomore year in college, I weighed about 155 and was NOT HAPPY about it – it looked like too much externally and I wasn’t in good shape at all because I wasn’t exercising consistently. A combination of surgery to treat another condition, a weird temporary thyroid problem, and getting more exercise helped me get down into the 130s without trying too hard and increasing the exercise and cutting down on junk helped me get down to 125. I felt great at this weight and wish I had worked to maintain it – for the first time in my adult life, I felt like I didn’t have to suck it in all the time or worry about my clothes not looking the way I wanted. I also felt like it was easier to stay in shape because I had been exercising more. Now, I’ve gained about 20 pounds since I stopped exercising as regularly and started eating more junk. I still feel okay (and most of my clothes still fit), but I’d like to get it back down. I’m just cutting down on sugar and carbs and working out more, but I don’t diet and won’t be killing myself in the gym. Life’s too short for that.

      • I don’t have a history of disordered eating, but seeing all these commenters say that they felt fat at 125 (which is what I weigh) is depressing me and making me want to diet, ASAP.

        • AnonInfinity :

          I agree.

          I’m not sure if some women are feeling like 125 is overweight (the focus of the OP’s question) or if they’re just saying it’s not their ideal. But the fact that some would consider 125 to be overweight gives me the sads.

        • If it helps my ‘thin’ weight is 127 at 5’5. The only time I weighed between 122-125 was when I was pregnant and had severe hyperemesis gravidum. Trust me, hitting that weight while *pregnant* made me never ever want to get down to that size again.

    • This is an interesting topic to me. I decided at New Year’s 2013 that for that year I would see what happens if I treated my weight like a lot of the men I know. For the year, I did not step on the scale, ate what I wanted, and exercised only if I felt like it rather than out of an obligation to maintain a weight. I gained weight over the year, but I also felt a lot of relief letting go of a sense of obligation to maintain a size to impress those around me. It’s remarkable to me how much more pressure women put on themselves to maintain weight than men do and how much more women’s self-confidence and happiness depends on their physical appearance than it does for men. The post earlier this week illustrated this. Can you imagine a man stressing about a attorney job interview because he thinks he is forty pounds overweight and writing to a men’s professional fashion blog for advice on how to feel confident for the interview? Neither can I.

      • I don’t think it’s necessarily a male/female issue. I do think that straight men generally face less societal pressure to be thin and fewer body issues as a result (there is still pressure to be fit/strong, but less of it, and you can build muscle without resorting to extreme dieting so it doesn’t have the same impact on their relationships with food). However, I have many gay male friends and what they go through is SO MUCH WORSE than most of my female friends. There is insane pressure to be not only very thin but also very muscle-y/athletic/have a six-pack/etc. And there is also a crazy obsession with youth. I have gay male friends who are not out of shape at all who constantly agonize over their bodies and use extreme weightloss strategies and dieting, and a friend who (at 30!!!!) is already considering botox.

        • AnonInfinity :

          I know lots of straight men who are concerned about these things as well. Although our culture values thin-ness in women more than men, I do think that men fret over there weight almost as much as women do. Or maybe I just hang out with vain men.

      • Joanna Toews :

        Me neither. Straight men I know worry about their weight in terms of whether they’re attractive to the opposite sex; definitely not in terms of their hirability.

    • I was generally ‘chubby’ at 175/5’7” (size 10-12) in HS, but in college gained weight and hit my peak of 205/5’7” (size 16) in Junior year. It was a wake-up call that I was depressed and lethargic and needed a change. I started working out again (had done sports in HS), and dropped healthily back to 175. I then got pretty disordered and swiftly ate/ran/lifted my merry way down to a low of 157 (size 6-8). That doesn’t sound super skinny, but when I look at pictures of myself from that Fall, I actually don’t look nearly as confident and happy as I do in the pictures from the Summer before, or after the weight crept back on. At 157, I still didn’t think of myself as ‘skinny’ but I was skinnier than I’d ever been, and it was a weird mental place to be trying so hard to be thin, but to still not be a size 2. Of course, looking at those photos now is a trip, because I look *tiny* and I can’t believe I didn’t feel tiny. Somehow, even at a weight many women would never admit to, I look like I’m taking up no space at all in the world. It’s…weird.

      Regardless, I gained back up to the 10-12 range over a couple years and my ex got miserably upset with me for putting on the weight which made me feel awful, but aside from him, I’m way healthier now than I was at my lowest (and I put the weight back on slowly to this point by being healthy). I eat well, work out regularly and feel really comfortable in my skin. It helps having a ‘traditionally attractive’ body-type (T&A, tiny waist), but mostly I think it’s that at this weight and with these habits, I don’t spend a lot of time obsessing over my body like I had to to be a couple sizes smaller. I just live in my skin and live my life, and it is 100% refreshing and wonderful not to give myself shit for adding a spoonful of sugar to my tea every now and then.

      My annual physicals always come back with across the board perfect results aside from being slightly overweight, but my doc says that as I’ve got no other indicators of health problems from that weight, she’s not worried.

      I think it also helps that (as much as I hate that dating/sex attention affects my mindset), I’ve had partners who loved me 100% at all points along my weight spectrum who liked my brains/confidence, but also my body. The most by far have been when I’m at my current weight, but I was deeply in love with a very sweet guy when I was at my heaviest (who’s still a good friend). I’ve also gotten negative attention for being ‘chubby,’ but have never felt lonely/alone at any point and the positive has always outweighed the negative.

    • I lost 30 lbs a few years ago after I was finished having children, and about 10 lbs creeped back on. I’m overall happy with my body and my weight.

      The biggest thing that affected my happiness was starting an exercise program. I started running. And I now LOVE running. Mostly because it makes me feel good and helps with my stress. And on the days I run I swear I look better in my clothes and my thighs are slimmer. I’m sure it’s psychological, but I love what it does for my confidence. And so I continue to run. I also really appreciate the goal setting opportunities that there are when it comes to running. I’m hoping to run my first half marathon this year. This is something even two years ago I never, ever thought I would even consider, let alone commit myself to! Accomplishing those goals also make me feel happier.

      So, I’d say that loosing weight did not make me feel happier, but lifestyle changes I made while loosing weight do make me feel happier.

  11. Killer Kitten Heels :

    Brand question – anyone have any input on the brand “See by Chloe”? I’m eyeing a pair of boots on 6pm that just came into my price range (hooray for unexpected bonus), and trying to figure out whether they’re worth it. It’d be the most I’ve ever spent on boots if I buy, but I really like them and they’re significantly marked down. (Link to follow below)

    Thoughts (and alternative recommendations, if you have any) are appreciated!

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Link to boots as promised:

    • No idea about the shoes, but I have a dress by the brand that I found at a consignment store. It’s a simple sundress, but the attention to detail is amazing (it’s lined, and has an invisible zipper), so I would expect the shoes to be well made.

    • I think its Chloe’s less expensive brand. I have one skirt that is amazing in terms of fit and contruction. I would go for it.

  12. ATL Psychiatrist Recs :

    Can anyone recommend a good psychiatrist in Atlanta?


  13. I have a “holiday party” to attend Friday night in New York. The invitation said “business formal,” but the event itself reads more c*cktail (evening, plated dinner, drinks, fancy hotel). DH also thinks more cocktail, but—Business Formal?? To me that reads conservative suit. Also, the company likes to party a little, so I’m kind of at a loss as to what is appropriate. I’m thinking a fitted LBD with a black blazer and maybe strappy heels?

    • I’d do a black sheath dress, suit jacket, statement jewelry, black hose and pumps (but no straps or platform or anything like that- just a classic black pump, maybe in suede and 3-4 inches). If it says business formal, I would steer away from a cocktail dress or strappy heels, but I think some blingy jewelry would be ok and you can always take it off.

    • I had the same question at my new workplace this year. My office calls its end-of-year holiday party dress code “business formal” I asked around and apparently, they do this because it signals to the (old?) men that they need to wear jackets at the club where the party is held. It was c*cktail attire in practice for the ladies — conservatively so, though — sheath dresses or conservative cocktail wear.

    • This is the dress I was thinking. With a blazer if more conservative/without if not (also depends on temp!). Not with booties. I’m also on the shorter side, so it hits above the knee but not too short. I’m also mid-twenties if it matters re: styling.

  14. I am 7 weeks pregnant, yay! But my husban and I live in a 1000 square foot (1 bed+den) apartment in DC and I am starting to freak out about our space. Please reassure me that it is doable.
    Also, any recommendations for an OB? I am with Capital Women’s Care on K Street and so far it has been a mediocre experience. There is a 50% chance that a stranger will deliver my baby (6 doctors share on-call duties). Is that normal?

    • Congratulations!
      I was with Kaiser when I had my son, so was also in the multiple-doctor situation and switching was not an option. I made the point of meeting all OBs in the department for my routine pregnancy visits, so I would not see a stranger in the delivery room.
      One small baby is certainly doable in 1br+den.

    • I don’t really know what’s normal, but my OB practice of 6 doctors does the on call thing too and lets you rotate your checkups among all the doctors if you want so that you can meet them all ahead of time. (They also let you just see one OB the entire time prior to labor if you wish). I’m 16 weeks and have seen 3 of the doctors so far. I plan to go back to scheduling with my “main” doctor once I’ve met the others, but all the doctors so far have made clear that who I choose to schedule my prenatal appts with is at my discretion as long as I come in every 4 weeks.

      • Thanks, KLG! I forgot to mention, my practice allows you to see only three of the six on call docs. The other three are at another office and do not share patients (until delivery).

    • Watermelon :

      That’s plenty of space. Babies are small and I don’t think they care about kitted out nurseries, given that they can’t even see much at first. Look into mini-cribs if you’re concerned about space.

      • Better Clothes for 2014 :

        Second the minicrib recommendation. We never used a full-sized crib and it is about the same size as a day-care crib, so no transition issues.

        • 3rd the mini crib. We had a 2BR in Arlington and it was nice. It’s rare for a baby to actually outgrow a crib before they can climb out or age 2 (when you’d probably switch to a bigger bed). Babies are small. Just resist the ads telling you to buy a mountain of stuff that they’ll outgrow in a few months anyhow. Pioneer women didn’t have a lick of that stuff.

          Also having whoever is on call deliver is very common. It may even happen if your doctor is on call – maybe she gets pulled into an emergency C-section and you’re having a normal, non-emergency delivery. When you’re delivering, you don’t really care (or notice) who is at the end of the bed, and you don’t see them that much while laboring, you see the nurses most often, most of whom you won’t meet beforehand.

          • In House Lobbyist :

            Love the mini-crib! Our mothers acted like we were depriving their grandchild of a necessity when we bought a mini-crib. We used it til our son was over 2 when we moved to a toddler bed. We live in a large house but I still don’t like all the stuff people want to buy so I walk a fine line between making suggestions we like and donating or consigning things that are duplicates or unnecessary.

    • I’m 37 weeks, and the hardest part of living in a small space for us has been the gifts – tons of little onesies and stuffed animals and other toys. We instituted a policy that if the gift wasn’t on our registry and was bigger than a breadbox, we would donate or return it (unless it was a book, we love books). You’ll probably want baby in your room for the first few months anyway, so you’ve got some time after baby comes to decide whether you need to move.

      As for strangers delivering your baby – that is very common. In fact, I opted against a practice that tried to have “my” OB deliver the baby, because it meant that “my” OB had to reschedule the intro appointment 3 times in a row due to deliveries (it’s a neat model, but I don’t have the job flexibility to accommodate frequent reschedules for 40 weeks). The practice we went with has 13 doctors who rotate on-call status, and I’ve tried to see many of them during my prenatal checkups. You’ll have tons of prenatal checkups, so you can totally see 6 docs before your birth. You might even be able to see each of them 2-3 times.

    • You should be fine. Our first townhouse was smaller than that (800 sq. ft), and our guy lived in our room for the first 6 months and we basically never even entered his nursery. Our bedrooms were on separate levels and it was just too hard/tiring to run up and down stairs in the middle of the night. I actually enjoyed having him in the room with us b/c it made night feedings quicker with less disruptions. I actually wish we’d spent less time/energy/money on newborn stuff for his nursery, as we really just didn’t use it.

      We have since moved into a 2 bed apt. with our guy, who is now 2 years old and a running, jumping terror, and even that is fine. Living in DC, you’ll find tons of ways to get out of the house/apartment without having to get in a car (which is a deterrent to me leaving my house with a kid for whatever reason), and being able to push a stroller down the street to a nice coffee shop or walk to a park has really helped me when I feel stressed about space. Now, I feel cabin fever even in my parents’ large suburban home, so I guess for me – it’s less about space, and more about getting out and about, so YMMV. Keeping the apartment clear of clutter/excessive/unnecessary baby gear, as mentioned above, is priceless. After moving into the apartment, we rented a storage unit really help keep the amount of clutter to a minimum (it’s close, so we use it like a basement, really). I also find myself a lot more aggravated by our surroundings when things are messy. A biweekly cleaning service also helped me immensely.

      • Thank you all so much! Your wisdom and purchasing tips are so helpful!

        • Ha – I really do need to underscore my comment that I over-bought for our guy in excitement/anticipation of his arrival. B/c he lived in our room, we cleared out two drawers in my dresser, and we only ever used the items that fit in those drawers. I am ashamed at how many unused blankets, cute outfits (also – know thyself, I never got into dressing our guy up, so a lot of cutie/occasion outfits were never seen after an appearance at a shower or a pre-arrival BabiesRUs trip), and stuffed animals are packed into storage or were donated. Same for me – I also had less space for my stuff, and lived in comfy yoga clothing during maternity leave. I just didn’t need as much as I thought I did, especially with space as a premium.

    • Totally normally that another doc might deliver your baby. In my practice, I saw some of the other physicians once in my last trimester, but I’m sure I was still a stranger to them. Unless you are induced or have a scheduled c-section, you have no control over who delivers your baby-and that’s OK. Remember, they are on call once a week because that way they are well rested and awake when they deliver your baby, not slumped over the bed due to exhaustion! Even in a smaller practice, they often share call with another smaller practice, so you generally don’t have better odds of getting your own doc. Congratulations!

    • I think it’s totally normal to not know who’s going to deliver your baby. Just think of how hard it would be to schedule your life if you were an OB who was always on call to deliver her patients! I go to Arlington Women’s Center at Virginia Hospital Center and have been very happy with them. I like that they have a midwife on staff (two now, I think) because I feel like that says something about their approach to childbirth. In that practice, you have one OB (or midwife) who’s your primary but you have the option to rotate so that you’ll have seen everyone by the time you deliver. I’m high risk so I’ve had a lot more appointments than most, but I think you do at least get to meet everyone.

      Another thing to consider is to figure out where you want to deliver, because that will dictate which doctor(s) you can use. If you haven’t decided yet, I hear very good things about Sibley if you want to be in DC and I chose VHC because a lot of my friends delivered there and recommended it. I’ve seen the labor and delivery rooms and they’re very bright and spacious, with a daybed so the father/partner can stay with the mother and baby and they have big showers (big enough for your husband/partner to get in with you if you need support during labor), with handheld showerheads.

    • For OB: If you’re willing to travel to Arlington, I love Dr. Julian Martinez (a solo practitioner) and VHC. He shares call with other docs, and the one who handled my labor was great, too. I switched to him from a practice that guarantees you see all their docs so you know who will handle your labor, and I wouldn’t change back for the world. The one-on-one relationship throughout pregnancy to me was much more important than the actual delivery (which, to be fair, for me was only 3 pushes, unmedicated, so my doctor was barely there).

      For apt: We live in a 2br, and my only hesitancy for you is a) storage space without that second closet, and b) making sure you make clear to relatives that you don’t have space for big “things” (you don’t want a swing AND a bouncy chair, a rocking horse AND a walker, you don’t want to prestock boxes of diapers or your future stroller or your convertible carseat). We’ve found it very doable so long as we only keep what we’re currently using in the house. You have to have the people who are gifting you things respect that.

    • Enough space and I recommend a doula :

      Congrats! 1000 feet is plenty big (we did it), but definitely be strategic about what items you bring into the house. So much of that baby crap is just crap and you won’t use it enough to be worth taking up room in your house. Margaret’s advice is right on re: the big things. My kids up to ~11 months slept in the bassinet portion of a pack n play better than they did in their cribs with fancy organic mattress (oy!) If you don’t want a mini crib (because those mattresses can be harder to find), we loved the Ikea Gulliver – solid wood and tiny footprint but fits a normal mattress and converts to toddler bed.

      I delivered at Shady Grove in Rockville and was very happy with the midwifery care from the midwives at White Flint Mall, but that may be too far for you. But, I will HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend my doulas – By Your Side Birth. I gave birth the first time without a doula and regretted it. The second time with a doula was wonderful. They have orientations every month that you can attend to find out if it is right for you, and then once you sign up, you can do prenatal practice with them.

    • It’s very common that your OB will not necessarily be the one to deliver your baby. I do think it’s good to try to meet the doctors in the practice beforehand. I also think it’s nice to go with a smaller practice so there aren’t SO many doctors. When my first child was born, I was with a very large practice. I’m sure that most of the doctors were great, but of course the least experienced one was on call when I went into labor (4 weeks early). She kept trying to convince me to stay home. Finally, I could not take the pain, ignored her advice, and went to the hospital. She was STILL lecturing me while she was doing the internal exam in triage. Yes, I was 8 cm dilated. (Her excuse: “But you sounded so CALM on the phone.”) In the end, it all went fine and she was just a blur between my legs while I was pushing. But I will be much more careful the next time around to make sure I’m comfortable with all of the doctors in the practice and to at least meet them ahead of time.

    • I delivered with CWC on K Street in August. I wasn’t thrilled and felt railroaded into an induction at the last minute. My story:

      They never discussed induction with me until a nurse called and left a threatening voicemail telling me to be at the hospital by 6 PM based on some slightly iffy lab results. When I got to Sibley they didn’t have my records but the on call doctor who knew nothing about my situation was going to induce me anyways. His words were, “You’re 40 weeks, so you might as well be induced. There’s no reason to wait.” I had an awful Bishop score (a high risk of it ending in a c-section) and did not want to be induced unless it was medically necessary. I walked out and made an appointment at CWC the next morning. At that appointment they were pretty pissed I hadn’t gone through with the induction, but I think it had more to do with interrupting their holiday weekend and one of the doctors being out for her wedding.

      I was not thrilled with how the whole thing played out. I particularly did not like Dr. Newman who is rather abrupt. My appointments with him were never more than 1-2 minutes long. One he didn’t even take his hand off the door knob. I wouldn’t deliver with them again. Nearly everyone I know who used them ended up with a c-section. I didn’t in the end, but I walked out of a premature induction and wouldn’t let them up my pitocin when I finally was induced.

      If I was to deliver again I’d look at GW midwives or the corresponding doctor group, but I haven’t used them personally. Try reading on DCUM for more opinions.

    • On the space issue, I will also add that you should see if you can borrow things from friends with older babies. So much of what they use is just for 2-3 months, and your baby might not like the item anyway (for example – our guy never liked swings, but he happily sleeps in the bassinet of a friend’s baby who hated it). Our friends with babies have been more than happy to lend us stuff just to get it out of their apartment, and we’ve passed along things that we bought to younger babies once our guy outgrew them.

    • DC Association :

      When my son was born, we lived in an 850sf apt in Dupont Circle. Honestly, it was totally fine. We put the crib in our room, used the top of a shorter dresser as a changing table, and it was perfect. You will be totally fine.

      My other recommendation to you is: if you plan to go back to work and use a daycare center GET ON LISTS RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Seriously, you must start visiting day care centers NOW and add your name to their lists. I do not mean to scare you but it is the absolute truth. We ended up only getting into one daycare center and had put our name on 5 lists. Luckily it was our first choice center and all worked out.

      The problem for us living in DC, is that we are also competing for spots with people who live in VA or MD, but work in DC…not just the people who live in DC. It’s easier for people if baby is near their office.

      If you are not going back to work or plan to hire a nanny, then no worries!

    • When I got (accidentally) pregnant with my first, my husband and I freaked out. We were living in a 600 square foot 1 bedroom house. It was in summer/fall of December 08, and as we frantically looked at bigger homes in Seattle, we had this double panic — both that we couldn’t really afford what we were looking at, and the sense that the bottom was about to fall out of the market.

      We decided to sit tight in our home. After he grew out of the basinette in our room, baby fell asleep in our room in a little play tent, then got moved to the crib in our dining room overnight. We hired a carpenter to eke storage out of every spare space, and built a little attic space for storage. We were ruthless with getting rid of anything we didn’t need, and had to have hard conversations with grandparents about not buying large amounts of kid stuff. I measured everything that we bought (crib, highchair, activity space) to make sure we were getting the smaller version. We used our car trunks for storage (Everyone had a stroller in the trunk, rather than bringing a stroller in to the house)

      We lived there 2 1/2 years before we moved to our new town. I don’t regret that decision at all. Space was tight, but it would have been way, way worse to be upside down in a mortgage that we could barely afford, and not be able to take the job opportunities we were able to take.

      1 bedroom and a den will work, if you want it to. It takes a little creativity and flexibility, but you will be fine, if that’s what you chose!

    • Chiming in here from Japan. We’ve been in a 600sq foot 2 bedroom since our daughter was born. It works fine for us (and everyone in Tokyo–600sw feet is normal for a family apartment here). It helps to have a (relatively) big living/dining room and very small bedrooms. We all hang out in the living area, and just go to the bedrooms to sleep. We’re in a very urban area so spend a lot of time outside, going on walks, to the park, just bumbling about the neighbourhood rather than hanging out at home.

      Agree with previous comments about the stuff! We did the same thing with gifts: if we needed it, we used it; if not, we saved small things to re-gift to other friends who had kids and consigned the rest. We also rented a bassinet for a few months rather than buy one, then used a pack-and-play until she was 1.5 yrs. It’s just easier (for me) to adjust to the space I have than go through the hassle of moving to somewhere bigger and further out. We are right in the middle of Tokyo, our mortgage payment is low, and there are tons of libraries, cafes, community centers, etc in easy walking distance.

      Re a stranger delivering your baby: that was my situation too, and it was fine. I trusted the clinic head doctor and knew she would maintain a consistent level of skill among all her midwives and OBs, so no matter who was on duty when I delivered I’d get someone kind who knew what they were doing.

  15. DC doctor recommendation :

    I’ve recently moved to DC and need to find a primary care physician. Any recommendations or advice on how to look? I’ve always just gone to student health services in the past. Thanks

    • I am really happy with One Medical Group. They charge a membership of $200 (search for coupons), but they gurantee same day appointments, email and phone access to your PCP, and really personal care.

    • zocdoc[dot]com — search by specialty/insurance, reviews, and online appointments.

      Also in DC, I found a PCP I liked via zocdoc (she was at MedStar in Chevy Chase), but she just left the area, so I will be going back to zocdoc. Before zocdoc, I had tried two providers (one PCP, one gyn) that I found from word-of-mouth recommendations and had poor experiences with both, so the ability to read a lot of reviews and to book an appt easily (rather than playing phone tag with an office) with zocdoc are real draws for me.

    • DC Wonkette :

      Dr. Kaufman – great experience

  16. Highly recommend yesterday’s post on Capital Hill Style detailing Claire Underwood’s fashion from House of Cards. She is absurdly chic and has the professional wardrobe I’d die for (if I didn’t work in a jeans office).

    • Olivia Pope :

      I love Claire Underwood’s wardrobe. I want so many tailored sheaths.

    • I love her look, but I don’t feel like I have the body for it. She’s extremely slim.

      • Agree with this, but will add that (a) she’s tall, and (b) the short, sleek blonde hair adds to the look. I’m thin, but shorter with a ton of thick, longish hair. I can wear the same type of clothes and look okay but it’s just not the same.

        • Ha just looked it up and she’s only 5’6″. Dang I would have sworn she was 3-4 inches taller than that.

          • Screen actors are notoriously short. I’m guessing she looks tall because she’s thin, the clothes she wears in the show are very straight up and down, and she’s surrounded by tiny actors. I’ve, strangely enough, run into Kevin Bacon about a half dozen times and the man is a tiny little person with a great big lollipop head. He looks like a bobble head of himself. Somehow I think those proportions work on screen for some reason.

          • A Nonny Moose :

            I’m betting she also has 4″ heels on at all times.

    • Oh my. I didn’t know who Claire Underwood was… and now I cannot unsee her! What a stunning wardrobe!!!

  17. Baconpancakes :

    Echoing Anne Shirley’s post above, I have used 1.5 vacation days in the past year, I’m feeling really sick of my job, and I’m thinking it’s about time to at least take a long weekend. Anyone have suggestions for a long weekend not terribly far away from Washington, DC?

    • Charlotte is wonderful. Small enough that you feel like you’re on a vacation, big enough you don’t feel weird sitting in a coffee shop reading.

      • Baconpancakes :

        North Carolina? Any particular recommendations for activities or places to stay?

        • I wrote a novel and it got eaten. Will re-write tonight; any particular things you like to do/eat? Also, will you be driving

          • Baconpancakes :

            Thank you! Do: nature things, coffee shop reading, history and “educational” tours. Eat: everything. Also bit of a beer nerd. Drive: maybe, but most likely flying to avoid the 6+ hour drive.

        • What about Asheville in NC? Weekend at the Biltmore?

        • Ashville is great, lots of breweries and has some funk to it. Bil
          Banner Elk is a little smaller and very cute. There are lots of places to hike and be outdoors (Grandfather and Sugar Mountain) as well!

    • A Nonny Moose :

      Rehoboth is actually pretty nice this time of year. They have great outlets (tax free) and the restaurants and shopping isn’t nearly as crowded as usual. Also check out the eastern shore of MD– St. Michaels is fantastic. If you want something super-relaxing, rent a cabin in WV and completely check out.

    • Charlottesville! 2.5 hours away, vineyards and breweries, nature if you want it, lovely downtown and university to walk around if you don’t. Let me know if you want any more specific recommendations.

    • I live in Charlotte and drive back and forth to Richmond a decent amount. For what it’s worth, we’ve found that the travel time eats up so much of the weekend that it doesn’t feel fun – and DC to Charlotte would be a bit further. (Flying is ok, though). It depends on what you like to do, but Richmond or Charlottesville could be good options. Richmond has great restaurants, fun shopping in Carytown, some historical sites and a nice riverfront for walking. Charlottesville is great for wine, historical stuff and relaxation. There are also some good hikes very close to Charlottesville.

    • Only 1.5 days of vacation is very little! Is there any way you can use more vacation time this year, even if you don’t go away? I am a big believer in using all vacation time if possible. Vacation is part of your compensation just like your salary. I realize that this is easier said than done in many cases but thought I’d chime in.

    • Philadelphia, if you avoid rush hour travel, is only about 2ish hours away. Great food, great drinking. You can do historic site seeing or just wander around and do some shopping. I am very fond of Fork (although haven’t been there in a while) and Farmer’s Cabinet. Plus there’s that big food market to walk around – Reading Terminal Market. I am also very fond of the Mutter Museum, a medical history museum. And there’s the Barnes Collection, a mansion stuffed full of art, although I think you do need to buy tickets in advance.

      I think it’s also pretty easy to find good hotel deals, and I find the food and drinks cheaper in Philadelphia than in DC.

  18. Random maintenance question. For those with dark hair on the upper lip, do you remove it? How? And how often?

    I have done the threading thing for awhile, but because I’m busy and cheap it means that 2/3 of the time I just deal with the hair being there. And no matter how careful I am, I always get a pimple or two on my upper lip right after. So I want to look into at-home solutions.

    Tweezing is too painful. Should I go wax? Depilatory cream?

    • One day I will laser it off but for the interim, I’ve been using one of those tiny facial hair trimmers that uses 1 AAA battery. Takes 3 seconds. I am also too lazy to go thread it off.

    • I love the Bliss wax strips. I cut them to size and heat them a little with my blowdryer and off goes the hair. I’ve been brave lately and even doing the top part of my eyebrows.

    • Houston Attny :

      I use Jolen bleach one time and then a depilatory cream (I use Sally Hansen) the next time. It takes about 10 minutes total each time. Neither is painful, but my upper lip might be a tad red for about 30 minutes, particularly after the depilatory cream.

    • Wax is better. Depilatory creams will burn if they’re on a second too long.

    • Anonymous :

      I use this: . It doesn’t get every hair, so I still have to do some tweezing, but it gets almost everything. Ignore the reviews that says it is very painful. If you’re already used to having hair ripped out of you, this is no different.

    • frugal doc... :

      I bleached/plucked for years and tried waxing with bad results (skin to sensitive, burns/pimples etc…). Could tolerate depilatories either. I never tried threading, but I would have to go every 2 weeks for my issues. This is the answer…

      It hurts a little in the beginning until you get used to it. There’s some funny YouTube videos… Use it at first to cover you between threading. You will get so good at it, you wont have to pay for threading anymore.

  19. My mom wants to do a Sur La Table pasta making class together but my schedule doesn’t work with their classes. Can anyone recommend something similar in NY that won’t break the bank?

    • Anon in NYC :

      Institute of Culinary Education. They have a ton of classes.

    • Serious Eats often advertises courses to sign up for through this site:

  20. Medical care frustrations :

    So, I recently had my routine yearly GYN appointment, which I need in order to renew my birth control (pill) script. I just got a bill for 2 STD tests, at $176 each, that I did not order. I’m really frustrated because I feel like such a captive customer–I had to be there to get my BCP renewal, I was never asked if I wanted these tests (I didn’t), and here I am with this bill because my insurance won’t cover them. Is there any way out of this, either on this bill or in the future? I’m extra annoyed because my husband would never have to deal with something like this, since he doesn’t have to play the patient in order to obtain birth control. Grrr.

    • Call and complain to your doctors office. That’s ridiculous.

    • I belive that it is against medical ethics to tests for STDs unless the patient specifically asks. Did they draw blood or preform a pap smear? If not, how would they have preformed these tests. It seems like a billing error to me. Contact the Dr’s office first (ask for the staff member in charge of insurance billing). The insurance company

    • I assume you had an annual well-woman exam. this is 100% covered by your ins under the new health laws. if your ob did other testing & didn’t ask, call and complain.

    • My kids’ pediatricians do a routine hearing and eye exam (they’re not eye doctors), and my insurance doesn’t cover these. Now I tell them up front not to do them. Your doctor probably doesn’t know exactly what insurance covers. I’d ask them to adjust your bill.

      • Your doctor probably doesn’t know exactly what *your* insurance covers. Patients have different levels of coverage, obviously. Still advise you to ask for an adjustment.

    • I totally feel your frustration with the “playing the patient” thing! It annoys me to no end that BCP is not over the counter in the U.S. When I lived in HK, I could go into the pharmacy and get 10 packs at a time whenever I wanted. It was great – I knew what brand I wanted, and I was travelling all the time, so I never had to worry about running out. I get that there are issues with BCP that means a doctor consult is useful, but I feel like it’s the same with things like allergy meds where there are a ton of OTC choices with varying efficacy and side effects.

      • HK has its issues, but there’s a resilient MYOB mentality there that shuts down the extreme anti-abortion people who try to politicize and restrict birth control pills under the disguises of “caring about the health of women.”

      • Anonymous :

        I’m on daily allergy meds, and let me just say that I CAN. NOT. STAND. the OTC nature of my medications now. Reasons:

        1) It’s no longer covered by insurance. What used to be $15/mo (copay) can now range from $60-120 depending on the pharmacy.

        2) There are frequent shortages of the drug, so I often have to move my prescription around to the one pharmacy that has any left, and pay whatever their price is.

        2) I *still* have to get a prescription because my dose exceeds the amount of pseudoephedrine a person is allowed to buy OTC in one month. That means I still have to go see the doctor and face the risk of getting slammed with extra charges like OP here (Last year, as the doctor shone the line up my nose and asked questions, I responded that yes, I did have some sinus congestion. Suddenly it was no longer an annual wellness visit, but a regular doctor’s visit to which my copay applied).

        3) Even though getting a prescription for an OTC med is not unique to my situation–it’s also required for FSA reimbursement, which I imagine many people have to deal with– pharmacies are incredibly confused by the concept of someone having a prescription for something OTC. I submit the refill request, show up at the estimated “ready time”, and they don’t have it ready–their reason: “oh this doesn’t require a prescription anymore so we just ignore those refill requests.” I then get to wait 30 minutes while they slap a sticker on the box.

        For the love of all things sane, I really hope they *don’t* make BC over the counter.

        • Anonymous :

          Oops, added #2 and forgot to renumber. I also forgot a 5th reason:

          5) The pills no longer come in a bottle where I can shake one out per day, or multiple to put into a pill organizer. They come in blister packs that bend my nails backwards when I try to push just one pill out, so you can imagine that pushing out 14 for a one week trip is mighty fun. I guess this is at least one area where BC wouldn’t get any worse, since many BCs already have incredibly obnoxious packaging (I’m looking at you, Previfem and your hanging chads).

  21. That is ridiculous. They always ask me if I have any concern regarding STDs and whether I would like the tests. I always tell that that I am not concerned as I am in a long term, monogamous relationship. They shouldn’t just do the tests without asking if you would like them done.

  22. Yay! I’m PREGNINT! I cant WEIGHT to have this BABBY!

  23. New to this game :

    Threadjack – got great advice earlier this week from the fab folks here. So, new question – I just found out that the person I would be working for if I got the job is coming to the initial meeting I have scheduled with an executive search firm representative. Is this normal? I’m choosing to believe it is because my resume was just that impressive, of course, but this seems unusual. Sometimes I wish there was a handbook for this stuff…

  24. Threadjack – sorry to bring a somber tone to you ladies today, but question for you – one of my good friends just called to tell me she had a miscarriage. I do not have children and have never been pregnant. I would like to send her flowers or some sort of package (like maybe lotions/candy or something) – is this appropriate? I just want to let her know that I am thinking of her and maybe cheer her up even the slightest bit.

    • For the same reason, I once sent an Amazon gift card with a note saying I was thinking of the couple (because it’s his loss, too). I figured they could use it on whatever distraction they chose (book, movie, whatever), especially because I know they do Amazon instant video for movies. I thought a distraction is better than flowers, but you know your friend.

      • I do like that idea, maybe I could get them a gift card to their fave restaurant. I’m just clueless when it comes to pregnancy/children related things b/c not many of my friends have kids so I’m not yet in that part of life.

    • Stack of silly shallow magazines and/or silly shallow books. I did this for a friend who had a miscarriage and she quite enjoyed the distraction.

      And just let her know that you are thinking of her and acknowledge that for her, it was a loss of a “real baby” no matter how early in the pregnancy it was. I just read the Slate article about second trimester miscarriages and learned from the comments how clueless people can be about feelings around miscarriage. Even if it was a very early miscarriage, your friend may quite validly feel that she has lost a child.

      Not trying to get into a prolife/prochoice discussion here because it doesn’t matter. What matters is how your friend feels about her pregnancy loss.

    • Joanna Toews :

      When I miscarried in July, what mattered to me most were the condolences emails from my friends. One gave me a bottle of my favourite brandy. That was really great.

    • Philanthropy Girl :

      Check out the website – they have links to some lovely art and jewelry keepsake pieces that are perfect. I treasure mine. A small flower bouquet would also be appropriate. If your relationship isn’t close enough for a gift, a simple sympathy card with a thoughtful note is perfect.

  25. I hate the film and advertising industry with a passion.
    This is why:

work fashion blog press mentions